Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

What were your *red flag* moments

(101 Posts)
louby44 Sun 09-Mar-14 12:07:48

My exP was a very subtle bully and over the nearly 6 years I knew him these things now jump out...

* it was very full on very quickly, he would buy me presents, flowers and he'd moved in 8 months after we'd met (too soon now I know) but I was flattered

* he had no friends, I was never introduced to anyone - our social life consisted of family and my friends, he did rediscover some via FB afterwards but I have always found that odd

* he would moan if I didn't text him when I was out with friends

* he would moan that I didn't say 'I love you' to him all the time

* he was obsessed with football, it was on all the time, 2/3 matches every Sunday, on in the week at least 3 nights, if we had visitors he would ignore them because of the football

* he was obsessed with how things were done, tins turned round the correct way, quilt put on and shaken in a certain way

* he would have angry outbursts, throw his lap top down, shout, get annoyed with people who walked in front of him, drivers in cars - completely over the top behaviour, very bizarre

* he was horrible to my DC (and his own DD sometimes) negative, cruel, emotionally withdrawn. He was physically abusive to his own daughter last year! major shock to me!

* very jealous of my amicable relationship with my exH

* he would ignore me for days

I'm sure there were more.....these are the things I have to keep reminding myself about...

Coelacanth Sun 09-Mar-14 12:37:22

Despite assuring me that his previous relationship was well and truly over because it was she who wasn't that into him, he invited me to a party that she was at and then couldn't believe it when his best mate gave him such a bollocking for being so insensitive to parade me in front of her. I believed his version at the time - and guess what? 20 years later he parades his OW at an event my DS was at ONE WEEK after he left me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Mar-14 12:39:28

Thinking back, how we first got together should have been a red flag... Gave me this massive sob-story about his family had disintegrated after losing their mother to cancer a few years earlier and how his alcoholic father had blown the family fortune thus depriving him of his birthright.... hmm

I was young, OK? The 'tortured soul' thing made him sound romantic instead of, what he actually was, a bellend spoilt brat with a massive sense of entitlement. <Kicks self very hard>

Another sob story one here. Dad walked out before he was born, mum had mental health issues and never loved him, he had lived with his grandparents who both died before he was 22, he settled down after uni with a girl who he thought was The One and did everything for but when she got pregnant it turned out not to be his, he moved across the country and because he was lonely fell into a bad marriage and then he met me and I was going to save him.

Again, young and stupid so believed it all. I now have reason to believe that 85%+ of that story is bollocks!

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 09-Mar-14 12:46:11

What is it with the 'no friends' thing? My stbxh was intelligent, articulate, funny and friendly but in the 11 years I was with him he had no friends, I mean none!

He didn't have a stag night and chose his Dad to be his Best Man - I wasn't happy about this but he said he was his best friend.

It worried me a bit as I could never understand it but resigned myself to the fact that he was just happy to be with me.

This in future will be one of my pre-requisites - must have friends!!

louby44 Sun 09-Mar-14 12:48:38

Hindsight....such a wonderful thing. So, so wished I'd stayed in my lovely house...but at the time we were going to be together forever....now I'm living in a house I can't sell...

JabberJabberJay Sun 09-Mar-14 12:53:10

I should have run for the hills the first time he referred to his mother as stupid and his sister as a slut. That should have told me all I needed to know about his attitude towards women. Unfortunately, I stayed for another 11 years and had 2 DCs with him before coming to my senses.

<kicks self for the 100th time>

KissesBreakingWave Sun 09-Mar-14 13:08:24

Absolutely EVERY one of her exes was stupid, an abuser, emotionally messed up and so on. Should have spotted that. Every situation where she didn't have complete information about where I was and what I was doing was grounds for suspicion that I was Up To No Good. Did spot that one, squashed it, repeatedly, told her it was a dealbreaker, so she started doing it behind my back, up to and including threatening to harm the children of female friends of mine. Which is what ended the relationship.

There were other, lesser ones, but those were the biggies.

LavenderGreen14 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:10:46

blimey - my ex was the same, textbook. Sob story, lost his mother, alcoholic father, lost all his birthright, no mates, ex gf kicked him out and he had to go to a b&b, used to lose his temper when driving, out and about if someone accidentally bumped him, alienated neighbours, football obsession, aggressive towards me and our newborn, outbursts directed at me - so many alarm bells, how could I have been so stupid?

And the daft thing is, the OW has fallen for it hook line and sinker.

Coelacanth Sun 09-Mar-14 13:15:15

Well - I've just had one. POF guy who was messaging me before the weekend

"Hi *Coelacanthe" I'm off work today and free to message all day if you want"

Really??? REALLY??????

My message back:

"Hello xxxx. I'm going to say this nicely. Why on earth, on the loveliest day of the year so far, would you want to spend it virtually communicating when you could be out there interacting for real? TBH it's my idea of purgatory. Is that typically what women on POF do? If so they can hardly complain if they're still single and can't find anyone".

Got something off my chest there grin

Coelacanth Sun 09-Mar-14 13:16:25

And now I'm off out.

louby44 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:16:52

cottonbuds my exP was in the army for 23 years. When Facebook took off he began finding these people he'd been in the army with.

He would get all excited when he found a friend on FB and say "wow he was a very good friend of mine" and I'd think he was such a good friend you haven't seen him for 18 years!!! wtf!!

He moved 40 miles to live with me and not once did we ever have any of his friends over, never! he had no one in his life, just his DD and then me! That to me now is a biggy! No friends = odd!

When I found out he was subsidising his salary with burglary... confused

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 09-Mar-14 13:20:29

I agree louby - definitely a red flag for me.

Oh and he had a very strange 'close' relationship with his psycho mother. So glad I never have to see her again!

louby44 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:36:03

Katie omg - how did you find out about that!!!

When the Police arrested him confused

taratamara Sun 09-Mar-14 16:25:49

I'm not sure about no friends on its own if there were no other red flags- what do we think? I've had times in my life with not many friends and I know there are MNers in that position from threads on here.
My ex had a few friends but the main red flags I should've spotted blush were losing his temper easily, showering me with romance/flowers/etc and moving in quickly, and isolating me from my own friends and family

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 09-Mar-14 16:38:15

Sorry tara - I gave quick replies rather than listing all the red flags and I may have come across as flippant.

I know from threads on here that there are those who are in that position but it was different in my stbxh's case. I suppose another red flag linked to that was that he only wanted to spend his time with me, almost smothering me at times and he also had what I can only describe as a bizarre relationship with his mother.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sun 09-Mar-14 16:46:44

I also think the not having any friends thing is a huge red flag and think the reason abusers don't have any friends is because other, normal men, see them for exactly what they are and don't like them.

Wrapdress Sun 09-Mar-14 16:48:46

Red flags drinking is a problem:
1) He wouldn't go anywhere where there wasn't booze available. He would never attend a "dry" wedding reception for instance.
2) Couldn't have sex sober

Red flags anger management is a problem:
1) Totally rude to service people on dates, such as the waitress.
(only have one on this red flag because I never go out on another date when I see this)

Red flags he's married but hasn't told you:
1) constantly unavailable, especially weekends
2) constantly lying
3) suspiciously charming

taratamara Sun 09-Mar-14 16:50:14

that's interesting handfulofcottonbuds I can really relate to that as my ex was also smothering and wanted to spend all his time with me and it just be the two of us.
I'm very watchful of red flags now though but almost maybe going to the other extreme - so I was wondering if someone's only got a couple of not especially close friends but seems otherwise okay, whether that'd be a red flag or not.
What was your stbxh's relationship with his mother like, if you don't mind me nosing asking?

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 09-Mar-14 17:02:15

They adore each other, I have a DS and we are very close but this left me feeling uncomfortable and was the only thing we ever argued about.

She wasn't happy when he moved in with me and kept reminding me that I had taken him away from her and she had to do the cooking herself now.

She calmed down for a few years then, was always pleasant and caring to me but put subtle things in my stbxh's head in a manipulative way. This caused rows with us as he couldn't wouldn't see what she was doing.

We went on holiday with PIL and he spent the whole time with her. She ignored me and my DS to the point where she sat with her back to us and I told my stbxh one night that if he didn't back me up against her then that was it - he never did and I backed down.

The night before he came to pick up his stuff, I stabbed his Mum's face in some of his photos as I just couldn't bear the way she looked at him, it was unnatural - not my proudest moment but I was angry.

There's loads more but it all goes back years so I won't bore you smile

sorry for the derail louby

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 09-Mar-14 17:02:50

Actually, it's really helped me writing that - was having a wobble today x

AnyFucker Sun 09-Mar-14 17:05:11

When he said "if you go away to University I don't know if I will be able to stay faithful"

dumped

taratamara Sun 09-Mar-14 17:05:50

thanks for sharing it handfulofcottonbuds
not having to see that mil again will be one of the up-sides of your divorce!
smile
thanks

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now