“My ex says he changed. Do I believe him? What does this mean? What should I do?” This is a question that I get asked a lot from clients and readers.
When your ex reappears and says he has changed… he needs to be able to tell you exactly what it is that has changed – without you having to ask.
If he hasn’t truly changed, he will be banking on the hope that you have the same level of insecurity and low self-esteem that you had in your relationship. If you do, you’ll eat up the “I’ve changed” monologue right away. He can then, get back the control, access, and validation that he’s after (because remember, he is just as insecure as you were).
If someone has truly changed…
- They will give you the time and the space that you need to process.
- They’ll prove to you through their consistent actions that they’ve changed.
- There won’t be in any kind of pressure to secure your forgiveness and get back together.
If you’re in the “my ex says he changed. Should I take him back?” boat, keep this in mind…
When you’re wanting to appear to have changed… you’ll advertise it everywhere and need to tell everyone all about it.
When you actually have changed… you won’t need to do a thing. Your disposition, energy, and life will speak for itself.
If your ex comes back and says that he WILL change… no. Let him fully clean up his side of the street and prove that it’s clean.
Change can only happen when responsibility is taken and there is a genuine desire to change for yourself – not because you’re in a panic from losing control over someone. Feeling out of control and wanting to put a bandage on your bruised ego by making a phone call or sending a text and claiming to have changed is not indicative of real change. It’s just more of the same bs.
I’m not saying that people don’t change. They most certainly do. I’ve definitely changed. When people change, it happens because they want it and they’re motivated to change; they’re ready. I changed because I decided to take accountability and wanted to do it for ME. Not because I was scared of losing some guy I f*cked over and was faced with either not getting what I wanted or having to “change.”
Being so enthusiastically receptive will translate to him that you still think low enough of yourself to get taken in by his WORDS. If he dishonored you in the past, his words should not mean much at this point.
Let him explain himself and while he does, remain nonreactive. Don’t hold your breath and understand that real change takes time.
When someone has really changed, you will feel it. They won’t ask anything of or pressure you back into a dynamic that they destroyed.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your breakup, please look into working with me here.
Another amazing post. He hasn’t come back but this post still helped. They all do. Thank you Natasha
I just posted this on my GNO group on Facebook. Everyone agrees: You’re amazing!! Love you!
Dear Natasha, I just wanted to tell you how amazing I think your blog is. I’ve done a lot (embarrassing amount) of reading on the internet after my breakup and I’ve struggled to find anything that comes close to giving me the insight and comfort that yours does. It’s honestly like reading my own thoughts, I check back each day in hopes that you’ve posted something else because they’re always so helpful. I’ve been on and off with my ex for 5 years, I’m 24 he’s 27. My recent breakup was terrible. We got back together after a year and a half apart, he approached me and promised things would work. I was traveling at the time and he’d moved to the US. When I got home he also moved back to London to be together, so I really thought he was serious. We lived together, with another couple, we got a dog and things were good. My friends all say he’s a narcissist/sociopath, he’s not a good communicator, has no empathy and would be extremely selfish, he once didn’t come home after an argument, something that I found completely unacceptable. If we fought he would refuse to meet or talk unil it suited him. This was his last chance with me so he was better than the past but he was still a very self centered person. Amongst that kind of behavior he would be extremely giving and loving, it was very confusing. We then had to move and lived with three of his single friends and I hated it. At first i tried but after a few months I felt he wasn’t putting in enough effort and I resented living with all of his friends. He payed our rent as I was interning at the time and he had a great job but it was held over my head and in turn he thought he put so much into the relationship, when in reality it was just money and he wasn’t there emotionally. We had an argument one day and didn’t speak for a few days, i told him I wanted to move out and live with my friends because I knew we wouldn’t want to move but that I didn’t want to break up. He was going away for a few days and told me I had four days to get my stuff out. So I did. This all happened over text and I haven’t seen him since, it wasn’t a clear breakup and I was devastated, I lost over a stone in weight, our mutual friend told him and still he wouldn’t see me. We’d text a little, but he would be so angry and nasty, he even agreed to see me face to face but would cause an argument and get out of it, he’d give our dog to his friend to bring to me and pick up, three weeks after our breakup I text him one final time saying we had things to sort out and a dog to think about and he never replied. I decided I had to let my dog go as I couldn’t let myself be treated so badly and it was clear he had no intention of sharing the dog we got together, it was truly terrible. It’s been 5 months, I haven’t seen or spoken to him. He has done a version of this the past two times we’ve broken up but this is definitely the worst. He always moves on very quickly after, I never check his social media because I know there will be things I don’t want to see. when we broke up (cowardly over text) he blamed me for it all, saying I ruined it and nothing was ever enough, which isn’t the case. He told people his live had never been going better and that I was his biggest stress. I put up with so much from him, more than a lot of women would, especially given our history of him being a bad boyfriend. I moved in with his friends and forgave mistakes, stayed when he had no money. All of a sudden his career took off, he wasn’t making money doing very little, living with his friends and of course I would be his biggest issue when he wasn’t treating me like he cared. All of his past relationships have ended the same way with him just disappearing, his friend have fallen out with him over it in the past. I just really struggle with the blame I’ve felt after putting up with so much in the relationship. He was emotionally abusive and a truly horrible person to be with. It makes me feel bad about myself that he could move on and forget me so easily after what we had. Everyone would tell me how I was the love of his life, even when he was with other girls he would apparently speak about me. I just don’t understand him. I know he’s horrible and I want to move on I just can’t seem to let it go, I weirdly miss him and and the thought of him moving on makes me sad and anxious and a sick part of me wants him to miss me and come back like he has before so I can tell him no.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have. Sorry for the long message (believe me, that isn’t even half of it) xxxxx
This is the best response to any comment. I love how involved you are with your readers much love to you! xxooox
Thank you Monts! I try to do the best I can. I am so appreciative. All my love to you too!! XOXO
Had to come here and read this particular post 10 times today. I woke up to another set of “likes” on old pics from him on my Instagram this morning. After a year of no contact, I deserve more than passive a** “likes”. Like what am I supposed to do, return the damn like?!! You are so right, it’s all about control. I will continue my radio silence. Thanks for slapping me reality!
All my love xoxo 🙂
LOL! Exactly. I love your attitude Bria. Thank YOUUUUUU 🙂 X
I’m trying to be better and getting better everyday. But my situation is pretty difficult. I’ve just ended a 2.5 year relationship with my first love and only real relationship. We had genuine, real love and friendship. I saw a few things that I didn’t like, and we both had questions about our futures (we are both in mid-20’s). The point is, the arguments became more frequent until we just weren’t having fun anymore but the love was 100% still there. He broke up with me in November. I immediately did no contact after he broke up with me and tried to use the time to decide if the things I didn’t like we’re deal breakers. Anyway, I just think I took the nc too far and ruined everything. I saw him at a wedding, and he asked to hang out, I got anxious about it and decided not to. He FLIPPED out on me but unknown it’s just because he was feeling hurt and rejected. That was in the end of January. Fast forward to the beginning of March and he is ENGAGED to another woman. I’m completely heart broken, as I truly thought in my heart that we would be together. The worst part is, we go to the same church and he is saying that God showed him to her, and that he is doing things Gods way by getting engaged to her, and that “when you know you know”. I feel completely torpedoed, and I feel like it’s all my fault and my nc just pushed him too far away and my rejection just pushed him into another woman’s arms. We talked about our future all the time. And because he is using religion (I mean, idk maybe God DID speak to him), he is just being viewed as this golden boy and is getting approval from everyone around us as if I never even existed. I feel like I fucked my whole life up and I can’t shake it. Please help. Xo
I’m trying to be better and getting better everyday. But my situation is pretty difficult. I’ve just ended a 2.5 year relationship with my first love and only real relationship. We had genuine, real love and friendship. I saw a few things that I didn’t like, and we both had questions about our futures (we are both in mid-20’s). The point is, the arguments became more frequent until we just weren’t having fun anymore but the love was 100% still there. He broke up with me in November. I immediately did no contact after he broke up with me and tried to use the time to decide if the things I didn’t like we’re deal breakers. Anyway, I just think I took the nc too far and ruined everything. I saw him at a wedding, and he asked to hang out, I got anxious about it and decided not to. He FLIPPED out on me but * I know it’s just because he was feeling hurt and rejected. That was in the end of January. Fast forward to the beginning of March and he is ENGAGED to another woman. I’m completely heart broken, as I truly thought in my heart that we would be together. The worst part is, we go to the same church and he is saying that God showed Her to him, and that he is doing things Gods way by getting engaged to her, and that “when you know you know”. I feel completely torpedoed, and I feel like it’s all my fault and my nc just pushed him too far away and my rejection just pushed him into another woman’s arms. We talked about our future all the time. And because he is using religion (I mean, idk maybe God DID speak to him), he is just being viewed as this golden boy and is getting approval from everyone around us as if I never even existed. I feel like I fucked my whole life up and I can’t shake it. Please help. Xo
I broke up with Mr. Impulsive-narcissist a few months ago and he has yet to go away. Every text and email kills me with his promises to change and requests to see me. It’s always a painful no, but I cannot bring myself to block him. Will he ever stop? (I’ll probably panic when he does). How do I get some relief?? Why do I allow this to go on?
I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I wish that I could help, but I have too much to say to type it all out and not enough hands to type or hours in the day. This is why I cannot give specific advice. I do offer one-on-one coaching if you are interested.
Thanks for the love, for reading and for your understanding.
You’re not alone XOXO
Love your blog mama!
You have been through same stuff that iam..
dealing now with some very tuff brake up and even after 3,5months im still not over , but he is already dating other people, ignoring me and like i never even existed. and I was so good to him, even he sayd that! 🙁 He sayd he never had anyone like me.. but he just didnt had enough attraction for me cuz i was always there for him. started taking me for granted and then broke me to million pieces.
Now im trying desperally put myself back together, he seems enjoying life to the fullest.. i cant even think about dating anyone yet..
I need time to heal!
Your blog has given me strenght and hope that one day everything will be ok.
Thank you so much, you don’t even have any idea what this means to some women out there to read this and get support from this blog.
God bless ,keep em coming! <3
Hi Dee! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your message brought me to tears. You are loved, understood, supported and so very appreciated and valued. Thank you for being a part of this tribe 🙂 You’re never alone. All my love to you soul sis; I promise to keep them coming! xx
Hi Natasha, 🙂
i have been reading your posts for a while and i can say i can agree with a lot of things that you have described. They sound wise and are really helpful! Thank You first of all.
But there has something i do not really understand. In one of your posts about ” Whether my ex has changed” you have written that ”you don’t care whether he is volunteering, saving little kittens become a yogi, ( in another post btw you write how yoga have helped you to change) 🙂 he is the same person at his core” . How he was the same before us with us and is going to be the same. ( That sentence sounds like its absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for that type of guys to change) ( That is about emotional unavailable ones) . Here you have written ” I’m not saying that people don’t change. They most certainly do. I’ve changed” Giving an example of an EMOTIONALY UNAVAILABLE ex of yours.
In another post you are saying we should NOT BELIEVE in the photos we see online, that our emotionally unavailable exes has CHANGED ,doesn’t matter whether they have kids ,got married and so on.. And here you are wirtting :
”Oh and that ex that I wrote about in the beginning of this post?…
I saw on the news last week that he got married to a gorgeous woman and they are expecting twins. Has he changed? Maybe. ”
Once again like i said at the beginning i really like and agree with a BIIIG part of your thoughts and advices ,but whether emotionally unavailable people (exes) change or not and whether they will be better with their new girlfriends….its gets little bit confusing when we gather the whole written information here. But after all i think everyone has to find the his own truth. 🙂
Thank You once again,
I don’t have the time to answer comments in great length, but since you are detailing and itemizing perceived contradictions/inconsistencies in my work – which is my truth, blood sweat and tears – for others to see, I want to take the time to, as clearly and quickly as I can, clear it up.
If you are being inquisitive, asking a question at the end of your comment, wanting me to respond/clarify, that’s something that I would be more than happy to answer and so grateful for you pointing out.
However, unless I’m missing something here, you aren’t even asking for me to clear any of it up or clarify it. You’re just pointing out inconsistencies, saying your thoughts at the end and that’s it. Instead of seeking genuine clarification and a better understanding of something that’s confusing you, you’re passively undermining.
I don’t appreciate it nor do I think that it is very kind, no matter how many smiley faces or thank you’s it is laced with. It doesn’t even give me a chance. I think any reasonable, logical and empathetic person would agree with what I’m expressing.
People who lack emotional connection, empathy, awareness and accountability are generally all about facade because that’s ALL they can rely on. They lack the kind of substance that having the ability to create meaning through connection, provides. And because they are avoidant, they don’t take the TIME that it takes to look at themselves and their actions in not so positive of a light, gain accountability and change. They generally hop from one relationsh*t to the next without having to heal and evolve because they can’t deal with having to look in the proverbial mirror. If everyone who did volunteer work or took a yoga class became instantly changed and transformed, the world would be a much different place. You can volunteer, do yoga, or whatever it is, but if there’s no meaning or connection behind it (which emotionally and empathetically unavailable people lack), it’s usually just for image, social media, to garner attention so that they can appear that they have changed, etc. I got into yoga to face my broken body, mind and heart. I was ready to change and I went into it with openness, connectivity, empathy for myself and the desire to be accountable for my shortcomings, INSTEAD of just hopping into another relationsh*t, which was hard.
A person who just treated their ex like sh*t and showed a complete LACK of the equipment necessary to change, won’t change anytime soon. They’re too comfortable surrounding themselves with the “yes” people who enable them.
I say don’t believe photos that you see online painting a happy/changed/different picture, because people who have truly changed, don’t need to photographically document their “change.” When you’re truly legit, you don’t need to announce/post/document it.
I stated that maybe my ex had changed because it had been YEARS since I had seen him – maybe he had changed for the better, maybe for the worst… Who knows? The point I was trying to make (which you failed to mention), is who cares? I HAD changed and evolved since those years ago and I WAS NOT interested in further investigation. That is the fruit of indifference.
Every one of the quotes of mine which you extracted is also explained in the various posts. You are taking my words out of context and failing to acknowledge the message that I have and will always state in my posts:
Most emotionally unavailable, narcissistic and/or empathetically bankrupt people do not change because they don’t have the tools and the self awareness that it takes to make a change that will involve having to be accountable, responsible and uncomfortable in viewing their destructive behavior. People ARE capable of changing, no matter what, but that change takes an ability to WANT to change, independent of getting any selfish needs met or because they feel that they are in danger of losing someone or something, and it takes TIME. Time that no one on the other end has to waste on baseless hope.
Please read the surrounding material and you will see this all explained in my posts. If I was someone who wrote about the dangers of contradiction and then repeatedly engaged in it, this wouldn’t be the first time that someone would bring this up to me.
Thank You for your response.
Yes, its true that I am not asking You to give explanation and i just have written my opinion. I thought that’s not the right place here ( where people leave comments ) to have any long dicussion and like You said above You don’t have time to answer comments in a great lenght. I didn’t mean to be rude or impolite. And i would like to say sorry if You have accepted it in that way.
Like I said in my fist comment i agree with a lot of things You are explaining. I find them wise and very helpful. And it wasn’t my aim to underestimate Your words and experience 🙂 I am sorry once again.
Thank You once again for Your response.
Natasha thank you for the lovely article, it came at the right time. My ex came back after a year, and me being so stupid I went back to his arms just because he told me he changed… truth was that he didn’t, and I have to deal with a broken heart once again… this has really destroyed me, it is difficult enough to move on from one person to do it a second time with that same person. Fortunately, I was able to see through him and decided to call him out and cut any contact with him, after reading your article I realized I need to continue being strong. Thank you!
Happy it helped! ? Thanks Ale! XOXO
I realize that I’m coming VERY late to this party, but I have to say your blog is like I found my heart! I went through a really rough break-up 9 months ago and I’m still struggling to find my way…mostly because he has reappeared a few times in a very up in the air sort of way and then disappeared leaving me scratching my head and asking WTF all over again. I so wish that I would have found this 9 months ago. Thank you for your words…it’s truly helping.
Hi Stephanie! I am so happy and honored to help. You are loved, supported, backed, believed in and never, ever alone.
Thank you for being a part of this tribe. All my love to you soul sister 🙂 xoxo
This article..omg. I’m on my 3rd… yes 3rd breakup with my EUM. Totally embarrassed for myself. I had found your site previously Natasha, but I really wanted to believe he had changed and it just didn’t stick. The last break he begged me for a month as I had some smarts to block and go NC on my own but I didn’t have the strength to keep the door shut. But what you say in this article is SO true… he hadn’t done the “real” work. He just missed me and did what it took to get me back (begged me for a month contacting me using other phones, showing up at my house). His attempt at “commitment” for the 3rd round was still pretty weak and his constant attention seeking with other girls drove me up the wall. And he knew this and did it anyways. And then would say to me “OH so I’m not allowed to talk to girls now??!!” He then gave me the silent treatment followed by up by a breakup text after 3 yrs. F*ck off with that shit. That’s a f*cktard right there. Good news is I’ve found my way back to your site and now it REALLY resonates with everything I’ve gone through. He’s been blocked on everything.. phone, email, social media. I just spent at least 4k on his 50th bday too. I have quite a bit of stuff at his place. He can KEEP it. Door is SHUT. Thank you so much for all you do for us that are trying to break this cycle! xo
You are not alone in this or ever ?? Thank you for being a part of this tribe. I’m so happy that the posts are helping. You got this. xoxo
I wish I read this 2 weeks ago. My ex messaged me he changed his mind about wanting kids, we broke up 5 months ago. After going out on two dates this last week, he told me it wasn’t going to work. I’m so confused, and I can’t believe how ready I was to believe him. Now I’m reeling and how can someone make a 180 turn on such a big topic in 5 months.
I walked away from a 12yr relationship 3 months ago. My gut was warning me most of the time but my heart wanted to believe in love. The 1st month he stopped by my house a few times unannounced, telling me how hard it was for him. I told him he can’t keep coming to my house (my house is 2 miles from his). I was surprised how strong I felt. The 2nd month we ran into each other (he “coincidently” parked behind me – small town, my bright blue car stands out). We talked about the relationship – I’ve been struggling ever since. Even told him if I see him I have to walk away because it’s not good for me. 3rd month – he sent an email saying how sorry he is for treating me so badly and hurting me, knows I don’t trust him, and even though it’ll be hard he’s going to try to get me back, he’s going to start counseling – he sees he has alot of issues to work through and wants me to know he’s going to get help. He wanted to meet for coffee, I said I’m not ready. He texted once “to keep communication open”. Past demons got a hold of me (his lying, being secretive) and I messaged him saying I don’t need to know he’s bettering himself now that we’re not together, I still don’t trust him, I’m done living on hope, time will tell. He’s replied that he must’ve been a real monster to me – haven’t heard from him since. I know it’s only been less then 2 weeks, every day is a struggle to not contact him. I’m not good with boundaries (he knows it) but have gotten better sticking to them since I left him. All this time, he’s initiated contact but I keep the texts going, I always seem to want to have the last word. My boundaries weaken if he contacts me. My healing has gotten much harder the more time goes by. The whole time I’ve known him the only thing he’s ever been consistent with is being inconsistent – I hate that there’s still a little hope in me. The pandemic is making it harder for my healing, but I do have a ton of work to do on my house. I spend most of my time reading online articles which is how I thankfully found your site. I read and re-read so many of your articles – they’re what’s keeping me from contacting him! ? (sorry for the length)
No need to EVER apologize for the length. Thank YOU, from the very bottom of my heart for sharing (and by doing so, helping others who do not comment but read the comments, feel less alone). Thank you for being a part of this tribe.
I’m so happy that the posts have served you. This is what I live for.
You are never alone. All my love to you, soul sister. xox