1. No, they have not changed nor are they likely to change. As an author who writes about psychologically abusive relationships, I frequently get letters from survivors asking me if it’s possible for an abusive, narcissistic partner to change. Theoretically, if someone is willing to change and puts an active and consistent effort in modifying their behavior every day, it may be possible, but for narcissists on the high end of the spectrum, this is highly unlikely to happen.
Throughout the course of this work, I’ve communicated with thousands of survivors who’ve had abusive relationships with malignant narcissists and have yet to hear one testimony attesting to an abusive partner changing long-term.
What I do hear many stories of are abusive partners who temporarily shift their behavior to sweet and kind in order to hook their victims back into the abuse cycle. Once their victims are sufficiently invested again, their abusers revert back to their true cruelty and contempt. So if an abuser seems to be on his or her best behavior – beware. It’s likely he or she is merely biding their time before abusing once more.