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Huge Sudden Positive Change? WTF?

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Maenad, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. Maenad

    Maenad Member

    Hi all,

    I'm really confused. I haven't been here for a while. A lot of the same has happened with my partner doing his raving 'nana every couple of weeks. Then something happened. I met some one I really, really liked. My partner sensed a change in me and eventually got around to asking me what was going on. Nothing has happened between me and this new friend. I told H. that I had met somebody I would like to spend more time with. It was like skewering him through the heart. He actually doubled up and wailed.

    Prior to this H. was playing computer games every moment he could. He would play them while "looking after" our 4 y.o. son. He was drinking way too much which made him a jackass to live with. He did nothing else, not even if I asked him to. He would cook about twice a week and really thought it was enough. He hadn't worked for 18 months when the job he had was hellishly unreasonable and gave him a bleeding ulser and some sort of break down.

    Within 2 days he had 3 job interviews and got himself the full time job he hasn't been able to find for 6 years! Now, less than a week later he has tidied and rearranged 3 extremely messy rooms, cooked dinner almost every night, repaired furniture, done a huge amount of laundry, and stood his ground against Centrelink's arrogant incompetence. He has cut down on drinking and playing computer games by about 75% from what I can see. And he's asked me to marry him. He is desperately sorry for his previous "blinkered" behaviour. He really thought he was doing all he could but now he realises that it he could and should have been doing more to keep his family.

    And how unfair is this? My heart had already left. I had screamed and cried and run away from home many many times over the past few years and yet it was only when I told him that there was another guy that he finally understood that he had driven me away.

    So where did my hopelessly passive aggressive partner go, and will he be back? Can I trust this? Can anybody explain to me what has happened? Or at least just give it a try because it's very strange and kind of weirding me out.

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  3. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    I did have a similar situation with my husband, years ago, after I left him in Cyprus (where he was posted), took the children and returned to Canada. He had been drinking heavily, behaving badly towards myself and the little ones. The final straw was when I caught him cheating on me. In any event, once he realized he's lost me, he followed me back to Canada and did a major turnaround in a very short period of time. Although he was being very lovely and very responsible and so on, I didn't trust him. It was such a major change that I was confused and uncertain much as you are. We were separated for 6 months, as I didn't quite believe him. It took me a long time to believe and trust him again. Fortunately in my case it was a permanent change.

    Perhaps your being interested in someone else was the wakeup call he needed to smarten up? That would be the happiest explanation, most definitely. But whether or not it lasts, is very difficult to say. Best case scenario, he is truly trying to change. Worse case, he has changed to manipulate you into staying, and will revert to his old ways after he is certain you aren't leaving. I suspect it is somewhere in between the two. You must remember he is human and he has PTSD, so even with the best of intentions he may relapse. However that doesn't mean he won't now pick himself up again and keep trying. This could be a step forward in his healing process. My daughter has PTSD, and she makes quite radical changes every once in a while, which surprise my husband and myself. We also don't quite believe it initially, and often we are right, but often we are wrong too and the changes are permanent. It seems to be part of the ups and downs of having this illness.

    How long has it been? As I am a mental health professional I would also wonder if it's not some form of manic behaviour. Has he changed meds recently? That can cause mania in some. Mania can make people very active and helpful for a short period of time. In any event, I would try to enjoy it while it lasts. It will take time for you to trust it, given his bad behaviour in the past. If he is indeed sincere it is certainly a marvelous change and I would praise him for it, perhaps that will give him more incentive to continue.
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