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For womankind. Share the Red Flags #2

(115 Posts)
ParsleyTheLioness Wed 14-Nov-12 19:05:24

Time to start a new thread. Original one here
red flags I should have heeded

feelingdizzy Sat 24-Nov-12 14:45:28

A book would be such a good idea,reading this and the other thread has been an eye opener and so sad for me.

My exH was so emotionally abusive,I was 23 when we met he was 42 declared undying love for me almost immediately,the control ,the sulking,the manipulation began almost immediately.

The lies about everything,making me doubt who I was and what was important to me.One off the sickest things was how he seemed to love me so much more when I was depressed,he liked it when I couldn't fight back that I needed him and my dear god,he abused this need .

I left 8 years ago and writing about this still makes me shaky,I hav tried other relationships am trying something now,but the stress of watching their every move seeing when they will(not could will) change has actually ruined the joy in beginning something new.

Fuck am crying now.

kickassangel Sat 24-Nov-12 14:49:24

Anyway - here's one I find amusing.

Counting how many pieces of meat he got dished up in curry/stew type meal. No matter which plate I gave him, he was always convinced that I had got more than him, and would count how much meat he had on his plate compared to how much I had on mine. If it turned up it wasn't in his favor (I just dished out spoonfuls of curry, I didn't weigh/measure it) I would offer him some from mine, but he would then be all 'no, no, I don't want to deprive you. Just saying that I wasn''t getting as much as you'

Seriously - who actually counts the pieces of meat on their plate?

kickassangel Sat 24-Nov-12 14:52:38

dizzy - that's awful. So sorry I posted something so minor straight after - completely a cross-post.

But stories like yours are why I would be wary of a book. Look how trivial mine appears compared to yours - how would someone feel reading these things in a book?

I think a book with some serious medical advice from therapists etc, with some added anecdotes, could be good. But none of us here are experts, and I really think that on this issue rl help is the best. A book may prompt someone into doing something, or it may just drive the problem deeper.

janelikesjam Sat 24-Nov-12 16:14:36

I see your point Kickassangel e.g. picking collecting someone because of caring/kindness or controlling behaviour. But of course therapists don't give medical advice, and there are loads of therapy books out there (though maybe not enough re. abuse though and certainly not enough re. emotional abuse). Interestingly the lack of interpretation or experts' advice, just this-is-what-happened and this-is-what-i-think is what I find most powerful.

Counting pieces of meat - well yes I suppose thats trivial in a way, but a wider question there too.

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 24-Nov-12 17:03:32

A lot of the Flags are unambiguous though, and are just plain abusive.

FuntimeFuschia Sat 24-Nov-12 19:50:49

Oof. Well. I fear this will be a long one.
I read the previous thread with a mixture of fascination, recognition and great sadness. My first ever relationship, and the long term effects that it had suddenly made crystal clear sense. I think I'm writing this to clarify with myself and with others that I was actually in a pretty abusive relationship, I don't know. Would be very interested to hear other opinions.

Met when I was 16 and he was 21. First relationship for us both. He came across as very shy - later discovered he was actually extremely arrogant and believed that most people were 'worthless' and didn't deserve basic politeness. Also wanted to create an air of 'mystique'.

His father was utterly horrible - sexist, racist, homophobic, you name it. High status job, heading towards retirement and clearly dreading it. Was an utter shit to his wife who was lovely but worn down. Clearly did not like women at all. Ex BF worshipped him, was usually very sweet to his mum but at times would join in with the bullying.

Gradually seperated me from my friends. I was 16/17 and liked going out. Would pick fights just before a night out, or meal out with my friends to make sure I either didn't go or had a miserable time.

Would rant quietly at me late into the night - I would be lying in bed desperately trying to keep my eyes open, sobbing, while he listed the various things I had done wrong. I can barely remember my crimes, just wailing 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry' until he 'forgave' me and let me go to sleep. This happened at least once a week.

Believed himself to be a tortured and misunderstood artist and musician (he was shit at both) and saw himself as my 'mentor' and 'teacher' in how to be an intellectual which basically seemed to involve sneering at anything mainstream and only watching foreign language films and reading classic literature. I like classics. I also like Jilly Cooper. I found myself HIDING books and DVDs from him to avoid the inevitable criticism.

My weight suddenly became an issue. I was size 10, had never had any concerns about my weight. One day I was told I ate too much, used to be much sexier and that it was my 'duty' to lose the weight as he 'had to be seen with me'. I was 17. He would stare at me while I ate until I stopped, comment on everything I put into my mouth. He told me I had broad shoulders and walked like a man. He bought me clothes that were far too small. This led to a very unhealthy relationship with food, which to some extent I still have.

He would tell me which of my friends he fancied and how they were far more attractive than me.

Pushed me in the stomach during a row, then persuaded me it hadn't happened.

I only realised after reading this thread, and the previous that I was actually terrifed of him. He manipulated me into a position where I had no one to talk to, made himself this massively important figure in my life and had me constantly doubting my decisions and desperate for his approval.

He used to dismiss me during a conversation - if he was on the phone I'd be chatting away and he'd suddenly start talking to someone else in the room.

On the rare occasions I stood up for myself he sulked. And sulked. And sulked, again with the result being I would apologise and promise to 'try harder'.

I got decent A'Level results and went off to Uni about an hour away from where he lived. Oh, the sense of freedom! I could go out without getting permission, wear what I wanted, smoke without hiding it. He became increasingly desperate as I used the physical distance to gain self confidence and detach - would turn up out of the blue, proposed to me, insisted he was moving to the same city so I could live with him and he could keep me close.

I'm not proud of this but one night I kissed someone else, didn't feel remotely guilty, and broke up with him over the phone blush but with hindsight I think I could never have done it face to face, he would have bullied me into changing my mind, then punished me for it.

He then pestered my mum and my friends with concerns over my mental health. Sent me long rambling letters hinting heavily at suicide. I ignored them. Last I heard from him (he would occasionally email me to update me on his life, I think to show me what I was missing) he was about to get married and was training to be a counsellor sad the thought of which fills me with horror.

My self confidence, self esteem and ability to trust my own judgement were shattered. This has improved over the years, but never really left. I look back and can't really remember anything good or happy, I remember lots of tears, confusion and exhaustion. I do know there were times when I would ask myself if relationships were supposed to be this miserable, but generally thought, as I had been relentlessly told, that any problems were because I wasn't 'good' enough, and he was kind and patient enough to take me under his wing.

I was 16 when we met, 18 when we split. I am now 30. I have never, ever had a relationship like this since him. Some things were so subtle, and seemingly trivial, others were blatantly manipulative and abusive. I didn't even realise.

Shit. Sorry its so long!

Mytimewillcome Sat 24-Nov-12 20:16:31

Before we got married I thought his close relationship with his mother showed that he had respect for women. How wrong was I! He only has respect for her and none for me. Every decision we make he asks for her opinion and we are both in our 40s! Beware everyone.

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 24-Nov-12 22:06:38

Hugs to everyone...life gets better. I am on my own now, but that is better than life being abused. I hope I will find someone at some point. But if i don't, my life is still better.

TisILeclerc Sat 24-Nov-12 23:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kickassangel Sun 25-Nov-12 00:31:39

Yeah, it's the attitude that how dare you have an equal measure as them, you should always have less because you are less.

Frizzbonce Sun 25-Nov-12 13:08:44

feelingdizzy I'm so sorry.

I can't remember who said it but someone said that a Huge Flag was when he seemed pleased if you didn't get a job you really wanted or something went wrong for you, so your remark about him preferring it when you were down struck a chord. My ex preferred it when I was feeling insecure and depressed - it put him firmly in charge.

froggies Sun 25-Nov-12 20:45:30

Exp1 the early ones I should have heeded and didn't:
anger at other people and things that didn't go right. Hatred of his Dad (who is actually lovely) because he tried to advise him. Turning the lights on on my motorbike, while he was sat pillion, and I was actually riding it! (and calling me stupid for not having done it myself). Shouting at me every time something went wrong. Unbelievably lazy, and financially incompetent

The ones that really made it obvious: locking me out of the house when we had a row, pinning me against a wall, tieing me up and rapeing me because I stayed out later than I said I would, telling me we should have DS adopted when he found out I was pregnant.

The ones that made me get out: him getting angry at DS for not staying still to get his nappy changed. Him saying the empty condom packet in the bedroom must have been the cats playing with it.

Exp2: the early ones I should have heeded: being unbelievably generous with his time and skills when my bike broke down. His XW being a bitch, and that is the reason why he only had supervised contact with his DD after they split
Up. Didn't see DD or pay maintenance. Encouraged me to take a job I didn't really want hundreds of miles away from friends and family because it would be good for my career.

The ones that really made it obvious: unbelievable debts that I only fond out about after he moved us again, at the drop of a hat to the opposite end of the country. Horrendous treatment of my DS. Bloody lazy around the house, but made out to everyone else that he did everything. Walking out of the room when he found me sat in the chair in tears because DD1 wouldn't stop crying when she was weeks old, telling me I better do something about it. Belittling friends, family and any outside help (health visitor was evil incarnate apparently) threatening to take DD's if we split up. Choosing which bike i should buy, which car I should get, which clothes I should get, put downs disguised as jokes.

Since we split up: he has totally blanked DS (we were together for 12 years!) repeatedly belittles both me and DS to DD's. Met new gf, married her, and moved house all without telling me - DD's told me (still haven't met new wife, and only have his address because social work told my solicitor). In the last 3 weeks has walked off with £35k that he was supposed to pay into the joint mortgage (pissed at my solicitor for leaving me in this position), accused DS of sexual misconduct towards DD's - this is the second time he has put all 3 children through double SW/police interviews for false accusations (have just heard that DS has not been charged) Refused to return DD's to my care against the advise of Social work and Police, severely restricted my contact with DD's since he kept them, (2 weeks ago), from them living with me to 4x 5min phone calls and 1 1/2 hours that he supervised at a soft play centre this morning. (in court on Tuesday hopefully to get DD's returned and an interim residency order).

Ex1 was bad, it was obvious early on. Ex2 maintains he is not abusive because he has never hit me. My women's aid support worker says he is the nastiest, most manipulative, and emotionally abusive bloke she has come across since she started the job, 7 years ago.

I wish I could send his new wife a link to the red flag threads!

TisILeclerc Sun 25-Nov-12 22:33:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovesPeace Sun 25-Nov-12 23:48:33

So many red flags, in my relationship with the ex.
I finallly stopped giving him an ounce of credibility when on being told I was leaving he said 'I never loved you and have never been happy for all the time we were together'.

Given that he'd clung to me like a limpet, and was still desperate to stay with me even after I'd told him I was off, I admired both his self-sacrifice and acting skills.

I laughed at him.

CharlotteCollinsislost Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:11

Wow, froggies, that is seriously scary stuff. My FWH (haven't left yet) is similar to how your ex2 was before you split - although hopefully not quite so vile. Hope tomorrow gets you your DDs back and they've not been too upset by the whole thing.

froggies Mon 26-Nov-12 22:20:40

Thanks. I was allowed to speak to them for another 4minutes this evening :-(

Finding it hard to be optimistic as although the PF has said DS does not need to appear in court and all restrictions have been lifted, he hasn't made a final decision so it hasn't been written off completely yet. Worried that the sheriff will continue it again until the PF has made final decision, which could still be weeks, or I might have to ask DS to move out so that I can get DD's away from ex.

But once this is all finished, and when I am eventually in a position to do so, I will be a massive supporter / fund raiser whatever I can do-er for Women's Aid. They have been amazing. (and I might post a leaflet to his new wife)

ShakiestDude Tue 27-Nov-12 00:21:29

froggies what a terrible story. I wish you all the very best, what a twat!

I didn't find out until I moved in with my ex that his xw (although they weren't actually divorced) had lied to him about debts and their old house had actually been repossessed. He didn't tell me this until I had moved in, then found out he was in £30 k of debt an still married. fucker angry

This is the only thread I ever,ever swear on, it just makes my blood boil that we have been treated like this and makes me want to protect every woman from feeling the same. angry

mamakoula Tue 27-Nov-12 03:47:44

I will probably put my foot in it or say something wrong but I want to thank all of you who post here.

I was in an abusive relationship. Not a romantic one but one at work.

Ultimately, regardless of the relationship there are similarities between them whether it is a romantic/familial/friend/work relationship. Certain fundamentals apply across the board e.g respect, honesty, integrity, a desire to work together.

I am still working through the damage caused to my personal and professional self. I now have PTSD. I have lurked on a number of threads for a bit band I have to say that reading about emotional abuse and how you have all come through or are dealing with the aftermath has given me strength and also some understanding of what I have dealt with.

You are all tremendous and inspiring.

A careful and thoughtful book would be unbelievable. You have all been so generous with your experience.

xxx

thanks

mamakoula Tue 27-Nov-12 03:54:33

Flags -

denial of conversations
constantly changing goals
undermining
refusing to acknowledge contributions
refusal to make use of expertise and knowledge
creating chaos
causing conflict with peers
isolating
unfulfilled promises
telling me about previous 'problems' and then doing this to me
reassigning work
constantly changing my assigned duties and work
refusing to document
mocking and diminshing me
compulsive lying
accusations against my personal and professional self
insisting he knew me and understood me better than myself
projection and gaslighting

froggies Tue 27-Nov-12 18:27:14

The girls are coming home tomorrow!!! Down side is DS has to go stay with a friend until all of the allegations against him are cleared :-(

Back in court in 2 weeks.

TisILeclerc Tue 27-Nov-12 20:15:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CharlotteCollinsislost Tue 27-Nov-12 20:24:28

Oh, so pleased about the girls. Hope the allegations against your ds are quickly dealt with.

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 28-Dec-12 00:28:55

Hi everyone, I hope you have all had a good Christmas.

Does anyone still have a link to the "ways to spot a loser" article. My sister is dating a real twunt and she knows she needs to end it but will not believe it until she has seen it in black and white. We have been on the phone for 2 hrs an she is feeling awful. I recognise so many of the red flags, thanks to mumsnet. My sister was astounded when I pointed out how many of his behaviours show his way of taking control.

I have googled it but got about a million results and scrolled through the last thread but can't find it.

Please can someone post a link so I can send it to my sister and make her dump the toxic arse.

Thank you xxx

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 28-Dec-12 00:30:06

Ps Merry Christmas xxx

ladyWordy Fri 28-Dec-12 01:48:24

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