My abusive ex-husband says he has changed | Agony Aunt

Our agony aunt, Fiona Caine, answers your questions.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 10:10 am
Fiona Caine gives advice to a woman who thinking of going back to her abusive ex-husband. Picture: iStock/PA.

Question: My husband and I were only married for three years before we divorced. He had a drink problem and, when drunk, would become very aggressive and often hit me. I moved away from him with my two children, and over the past eight years, I’ve built a new life for myself.

But my ex-husband has asked if I would give him a second chance and says he has changed. When I saw him, he certainly seemed more thoughtful and I still have feelings for him.

When I told my mother, she said people like him never change. Is my mother right?

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Answer: While it is true that people can change, I would strongly advise caution here.

One meeting with him isn’t enough to know whether he really has changed. I think you have a lot to lose by letting this man back into your life.

Why not suggest some counselling sessions together?

If anything in those sessions makes you doubtful, I think you should be very wary of letting this man back into your life.


Question: My son is about to move in with a divorced woman with two young children. I am concerned and have been trying to talk to him about it. However, he says he loves her and has told me to mind my own business.

I am a little hurt by this, as all I want to do is make sure that he is making the right decision.

Why can’t he see that this affects us all, not just him?

He may be happy to become an ‘instant dad’ but I’m not sure I like being an ‘instant granny’.

Answer: I have some sympathy for how you feel. However, it must be his decision. You do not have much of a say in the changes which will be taking place, even though you may be called upon to provide support.I would strongly encourage you – and indeed your son if you can persuade him – to go to the Family Lives website ( for information about step-parenting and step-grandparenting.

It will take time to develop affection for this woman and her children.