“How do you handle an ex-partner who is suddenly sweet, trying to show he’s changed, telling everyone how sorry he is and how hurt I am, and trying to negotiate a financial settlement?
It seems to me that so many survivors talk about their ex-partners being abusive after the split, but apart from the first few weeks, my abusive partner is now suddenly very soft (lots of "darling"s and "sweetie"s) and promising to look after us and trying to prove he’s changed.
My abusive husband, now we’ve been separated for 3 months, has changed from being physically aggressive to emotionally abusive to sickly sweet. He is trying to prove to me and all our friends that he has changed and is capable of talking nicely and not get angry.”
Sometimes, other people’s problems sound easier to deal with than our own.
Nathalie’s husband’s behavior is sick-making rather than threatening.
Because he’s having a “Mr Nice Guy moment”.
Don’t get me wrong. He hasn’t turned into a truly nice guy.
He’s just cunning enough to know that, in certain circumstances, Mr Nice Guy works better than Mr Nasty.
You see, he doesn’t want the marriage to end.
Maybe he still wants Nathalie around. It would be far fetched to say he [has suddenly realized that he] loves her.
More likely, he doesn’t want to look bad to other people. But…
there’s another much more important reason: he’s thinking about how much this marriage breakdown is going to cost him financially.
That’s one good reason why abusive men sometimes turn nice, and sometimes nasty, when their partner involves a lawyer.
They want to minimize the financial cost to them.
Sorry to sound so cynical, but…
The best outcome for them is if they can get you to trust them to provide for you.
Think about it for a moment -
Why on earth would you “trust” someone who has a track record of treating you badly?
So, what should Nathalie do?
I’d certainly advise her to:
- Ignore his appeals to her better nature – because to all intents and purposes he doesn’t have one
- Avoid “negotiating” directly with him
- Communicate, as much as possible, only through lawyers
- Keep pushing for what is rightfully hers
If you’re struggling to make sense of your abusive (ex-)partner’s behaviour,
there is good news:
Due to popular demand, I’m reopening the:
“It’s Emotional Abuse. Don’t Try To Fix It” teleclass program for 24 hours, on Thursday, August 27th for 24 hours only.
So, if you are still obsessing about the Hows and Whys of his behaviour, this might be just what you need. You can find out more at. here