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Red flags I should have heeded - share yours for womenkind

(1000 Posts)
ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 21:13:47

There were various red flags that meant I should have headed for the hills, but I was vulnerable at the time, and he only upped the ante several years and a child down the line. I will share mine, in the hope that someone may take it on board, and hopefully others will share theirs too.
In no particular order: very early on in our relationship, he would throw a strop for no reason that I could discern, and looking back, still didn't know what had triggered it. I just knew I felt bad afterwards.
He was always unaware of personal space, and would frequently invade mine. Eg in the car, he would suddenly lurch accross me to access the glove box, without any warning. His car, his space.
Subtle undermining tactics. I am very particular about the perfume I wear. Anything else is a bit of waste of money really. He knew this, but would always try to 'convert' me to another one.
There were many others, and things got worse, with lots of EA, some dv, but I am just thinking of the things that had my Twat Detector been working, would have encouraged me to get out before I had emotionally invested. Please feel free to add. I'm sure I shall think of lots of other things later.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 16-Apr-12 21:33:44

Paying for me to go abroad, and then stealing the equivalent amount from my bank account. See also: doing me unasked for 'favours', and getting shirty when I wasn't sufficiently grateful.

Being shitty and disrespectful to perceived 'lesser beings' - waiters, shop assistants...

Telling me my lipstick 'matched my spots'. Bastard.

I know I'll think of more.

sunrise65 Mon 16-Apr-12 21:36:38

hi parsley smile good thread idea. lundy book has made me remember quite a few of these too:

the perfect man! couldn't believe my luck, seemed too good to be true (it was!)
..he was so thoughtful, generous, be honest a bit full on.. told me he loved me within a month of seeing each other.

randomly would go apeshit about something small. the first time he did this i laughed because i thought he was joking (he let his perfect persona slip)

liar (several occasions)

couldn't argue without shouting

told me his ex broke his heart by cheating on him

very jealous when he had been drinking (would get really upset if i just spoke to another man)

MissFenella Mon 16-Apr-12 21:39:47

Putting sugar in my hot drinks and denying all knowledge when I mused that it tasted 'sweet'. This went on for weeks.

Saying his hairdresser was trained by Vidal Sassoon.

Pursuing me when I was 11 and he was 19.

Blaming the contact details for escorts I found on his Dad.

Giving me VD,

After I ended it, telling my friends I had cancer and that is why I dumped him.

sunrise65 Mon 16-Apr-12 21:40:18

here's another that maybe you could tell me what you think...

told me he * presumed* i was on the pill ... we ended up having a child together

Anniegetyourgun Mon 16-Apr-12 21:41:48

Lied to me about silly, pointless, easily disprovable things

Accused me of flirting with other men

Developed an irrational loathing of my (once very close) extended family

Belittled my interests and hobbies

Strangely addicted to collecting old rusting bits of cars

But he was very kind to small children and animals (if not always very good at looking after them).

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 16-Apr-12 21:42:28

Oh yes, the lying! XH lied about his age because he thought I wouldn't marry him if he was a year younger. hmm They got bigger and badder and more ridiculous. A couple of years after we split I'd suddenly remember something and think 'he lied about that too!'.

His ex was a total bitch.

Driving at high speed (100mph plus) even though he knew it scared me.

Gaslighting... I thought I was going mad.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 21:42:57

Sunny yes, mine did the 'favour' thing.
Sunrise have never read the Lundy book. Yet. So no influence there.
Another one. Very mean, but when he had done something quite abusive, and he was worried I would go, would buy me something, not large, but enough for me to think, 'Oh, he does love me, he's just a bit gauche and immature...'

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Mon 16-Apr-12 21:52:09

sunrise I don't understand the pill thing...could you elaborate?

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 21:55:28

Oh hell yes!
Mine could lie for England. Walter Mitty personified. And always filled the kettle, despite about 2" being enough...said he never remembered, but after 20 yrs...small thing, just designed to irritate.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 21:56:28

Sunny I got the gaslighting, but not at the beginning.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 21:58:00

Annie mine collected old hoovers...have just put one ready for him to collect.Think there's a couple more in the attic. For the love of Pete, why?!

ScorpionQueen Mon 16-Apr-12 21:58:25

Slagging off his ex gfs for being totally mad- afterwards I realised he would no doubt be saying the same about me, although ending it was the sanest thing I ever did.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:01:49

Sunrise yes, why did you never have the convo about that, prior to err insertion....
Scorpion mine never did that, think he realised I wouldn't like it, but all his ex's details were tippexed out of his address book, which I realised later might have been so I couldn't contact them. If he had just crossed them out, I could have read them, and he was too mean to buy a new book.

WhippingGirl Mon 16-Apr-12 22:02:43

'doing me unasked for 'favours', and getting shirty when I wasn't sufficiently grateful.'

aaaargh!!! another EA tactic i hadn't even realised exp did. crap.

where to start really.........i tell you what though in my younger days i used to feel threatened if blokes i dated were still chummy with their exes - now complete opposite - within reason id see it as a huge positive and proof they arnt fecking mad!!! I was completely suckered that the ex was the bitch from hell and i felt so sorry for him that she had chewed him up. now id shake her hand i really would. i wuld never invade someones privacy like that but if i ever had the chance to meet her id take it and prob end up laughing together about what a cock he is!

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:06:53

whip you're quite right...mine used to pretend to be insecure about his looks. Actually he is quite handsome, its his effin horrible personality that is the problem...

Squeegle Mon 16-Apr-12 22:10:38

Telling me that his ex was so emotional, she would lie on the floor weeping . He said he used to step over her. I thought she must have been really weak..... Why did I not think more about that scenario??

MinnieBar Mon 16-Apr-12 22:14:22

Eating chocolate in front of me and saying 'but you can't have any, because you're overweight'. angry but he turned into a total lard-arse after we split, ha!

Telling me that we were both more intelligent than everyone else we knew, and that the most stable couples were ones where the man was just that bit more intelligent than the woman hmm so we would be fine then (think we lasted just under four years, which seems ages in the circs but hardly a medal-winning amount).

WhippingGirl Mon 16-Apr-12 22:18:25

minniebar - oh look its my exp again! def the bit about perceived superiority thing ha ha

squeegle - i was that girl lying on the floor weeping :-(

Anniegetyourgun Mon 16-Apr-12 22:20:24

Just think, MinnieBar, if he really had been more intelligent than you you might still be with the bugger. What a good thing he wasn't.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:21:16

I can remember banging on the bathroom door, shouting "You never effin listen to a word I say". You could say things to him, and he would have no reaction. Light on, nobody home...

Lizzabadger Mon 16-Apr-12 22:22:29

Expecting me to pay for everything.

Being controlling about what I ate.

Being controlling about what we did together.

Being cagey about when he could see me and changing plans at short notice.

Introducing me to his friends like I was some sort of specimen.

Totally over the top gestures of apology when I had complained mildly about something.

Quick declaration of 'love'.

Over flattering.

Presents that were all about him, rather than things I would like.

Petty lies that then turned into whopping lies.

Kept telling me how "nice" he was. Over keen to be seen as nice by everyone so would do huge and ridiculous favours.

Many of his family and ex-colleagues no longer spoke to him fir undisclosed reasons.

squashedbanana Mon 16-Apr-12 22:23:03

Kept going on and on about his ex being a bitch...a lying bitch...a lazy bitch...a greedy bitch...a cheating bitch. His justification for being tight was because his ex was a gold-digging bitch

Lied, gaslighted

He never apologised or took responsibility for his actions/behaviour. it was always because i or my daughter had wound him up

Would fly of the handle over the smallest thing, I was left walking on eggshells, wondering what the hell was wrong

Told our son to ignore me then told my son I was mean because I didn't find that amusing.

Whenever I questioned his behaviour he would get aggressive and defensive, would then complain of being treated like a second class citizen, though he could never expand on why he felt that way

Didn't want to marry his ex. She railroaded him, she said she thought they should get engaged, he agreed. She told everyone they were engaged so he felt obliged and compelled to go through with it

I feel a mug but at the time he was so good at playing the victim, and he was so sweet, generous and attentive that I felt sorry for him and wondered how any woman could be so mean to him

Told me he loved me within the first month

Superiority complex, expressed an opinion and expected to be agreed with

A propensity of bursting into tears and locking himself in the bathroom of challenged

Was jealous and suspicious

Not sure if this is true or just children telling tales...his niece told my daughter she saw him draw a picture of me and kiss it and cuddle up to it when he went to sleep at night

I'm a mug...but learned some bloody good lessons for the future

A past boyfriend got shown the door when he told me 95% of men beat their women and I should be grateful he didn't hit me. He was made to leave IMMEDIATELY!

Becky36 Mon 16-Apr-12 22:24:50

Bloody hell where to start.

1. All exes are nutters/psychos/bitches. You however 'understand him'. He has never felt like this before.

2. Lying. Pathological lying about everything.

3. Has no real friends. Has drinking buddies but no close friends.

4. Makes snide comments about your friends or family or both.

5. Makes equally snide comments about 'not coming first'.

6. Jealous without any reason to be.

7. No relationship with his family.

8. Everyone in his life has wronged him in some way. Nothing is ever, ever his fault.

9. Encourages you to confide in him about personal stuff and then turns it against you later.

10. I had an ex who had no bank account, no furniture of his own, no car, no nothing, just the clothes on his back.Didn't matter to me, not bothered about money but he lied about the reasons. Turned out he had been prosecuted for fraud and had his accounts closed down and seized. Lied about this to the bitter end.

11. Brags about women he has hurt in the past but then insists he has changed.

12. Takes offence about the most minor of what he perceives to be criticisms of him. Out of proportion sulking and tantrums. However if he upsets you then you are expected to get over it and to stop going on about things.

Could go on and on and on.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 16-Apr-12 22:30:07

I've remembered a couple more.

Another ex who was massively threatened by my intelligence - dealt with arguments in a sub-Dennis Waterman style...

ExH lied after we split and told me he had Hepatitis. Lying shit.

WhippingGirl Mon 16-Apr-12 22:30:12

can i just add.........using massive emotional blackmail techniques to pressure me in to sex when i didnt want to do it for various reasons. being nasty to me all day then expecting sex at the end of the night. being very resentful if i go to bed early because i am very tired (my life is demmanding and tiring for lots of legitimate reasons) (i cant believe i felt i had to justify going to bed early. sigh)

MinnieBar Mon 16-Apr-12 22:30:46

Quite, Annie grin

Ooh, I've remembered another. He didn't get on with my parents (because they could see straight through him, in hindsight) and so I used to see them only ever on my own, three or four times a year. He told me to simply stop seeing them, because that was a perfectly reasonable response to the situation. Yet he was more than happy to take money from them when we were short, and/or they wanted to help out.

This is cathartic and depressing in equal measure… I in no way blame my parents but I really hope my DDs will be able to kick these types to the kerb way quicker than I did.

Squeegle Mon 16-Apr-12 22:31:16

What does gaslighting mean? Have heard it before but have not understood.

The whole walking on eggshells thing is so painful isn't it? That is the relationship I have with my father- how absolutely stereotypical that I have replicated. Really don't want to again!

squashedbanana Mon 16-Apr-12 22:31:23

Just remembered another...he would deliberately drive aggressively to annoy any other driver who had annoyed him

Very entitled and an over indulged mummys's boy

Jealous of my daughter taking my attention

Jealous of me if our son wanted to come to me, even if it was just to be fed after having spent the past hour or so with him (my ex)

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:32:23

Becky you have reminded me of something. Friends, years ago, were talking about how he had orgainised something for his wife's birthday. Out of context, STBXH brought it up, and para-phrasing said "I don't believe/do that stuff. Thats not me". Implication being it wasn't worth it/women didn't deserve it.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:37:04

good gracious, would like to name everyone, but too late in the night....
the sex thing. Yes, if he wanted it, and I might not have, the wheedling. In later years he didn't want it at as a weapon.
Intelligence. Really annoyed him that I had a degree. He invented an entire previous conversation where I had told him I was much more intelligent than him. Later he admitted he was lying.

Lizzabadger Mon 16-Apr-12 22:38:40

My flatmates at the time said when he walked in the room it was like all the warm air got sucked out of it.

Happy about some animals he was caring for dying as it meant less work for him.

Minshu Mon 16-Apr-12 22:39:35

Only violent ex-p I've had told me he had had urges to hurt his ex-gf when they split. Four years later, he acted on those urges when I broke up with him. I was only 17 when we got together, if that's any mitigation for my stupidity.

Ex-H - telling me he wanted children, while always acting like someone who didn't want to be encumbered with dependents. We didn't have any together, and he now has a GF with no apparent interest in kids, and I have a lovely DP and DD. Everyone's a winner.

I have a female colleague who does the 'doing me unasked for 'favours', and getting shirty when I wasn't sufficiently grateful.' She can be so lovely and generous, but I steer well clear now. Drives me up the wall.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 16-Apr-12 22:40:27


XH was a master of that 'n' all. I have a terrible memory and he really traded on it. The pretending to believe I'd said/meant something awful was a favourite too.

Becky36 Mon 16-Apr-12 22:41:06

Just thought of another one...when he is angry or defending something which is clearly out of order he seems to be acting or following a script. Something about his emotional tirade seems false or play acted.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:41:42

Liz, that is bad... Banana the Mother thing. I always thought it was good that he loved his mother. In fact, he loves her/hates her in equal measure. Probably how he feels about me. She has got him to believe he is Entitled to many things and the Man should be Boss. Not as she has lived at all. Do as i say, not do as I do...

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 22:43:41

Becky yes, acting to a script...saying he regrets breaking up our family...but again, light on, nobody home...

Niffler235 Mon 16-Apr-12 22:46:01

Punching furniture because I left the heating on and I made him too hot. Apparently.

Hating that I earned twice as much as him and constantly telling me it was just down to luck and 'reverse' sexism.

marshmallowpies Mon 16-Apr-12 22:46:46

Changing his mind or dropping out at last minute with no excuse from events/plans relating to my friends or family...but any plans with HIS family were sacrosanct & woe betide me if I didn't go along with the plans.

Constantly telling me my hair was scruffy/I didn't dress smartly enough at weekends or take care of my appearance when I was with him, compared to during the week. (I liked to dress down at weekends & relax after being smartly dressed at work...and I never like wearing make up unless I have to).

Constantly griping about the long hours I worked & never offering any sympathy for why it was happening, just grumbling about it (Believe me, if I could have worked fewer hours & been less stressed & unhappy in my career, I would have done it!)

Overall, undermining my confidence at every turn & making me feel belittled & pathetic, as if my problems were nothing compared to the great burden of his life, i.e. enduring my company on a daily basis.

nolongeramug Mon 16-Apr-12 22:47:17

Wish I had been on MN Before I met ex, warning signals for me are;

Telling me bluntly that I don't look good in certain clothes, telling me I didn't talk propery, sit properly and wasn't allowed to use the word 'shag' apparently it's commen.
Making me feel guilty about going running, making snide comments like "thought you would rather spend time with your DS then run"
Told me within 2 weeks he loved me.
All his ex's were psychotic weirdos.

Could go on..

Becky36 Mon 16-Apr-12 22:47:44

I think it's amazing how these men operate to almost identical patterns. They could almost be the same bloke.

nolongeramug Mon 16-Apr-12 22:50:04


squashedbanana Mon 16-Apr-12 22:53:50

Parsley His mum is very mousy and meek and his father is very loud and bullish. She's very much the little woman at home tied to the stove. He was very proud of telling me how close he is to his mum and sister and how it pisses everyone else off as he is the golden boy and the only one who is listened to. I wonder if secretly he despised his mother for not being more outspoken against his father? His father is a loud, brash man with a harsh temper

I think he wanted me to be the quiet little woman who never challenged him but treated him as king of the castle etc.

borninastorm Mon 16-Apr-12 22:57:22

becky36 I was just about to say it sounds like everyone was married to my EXH.

Niffler235 Mon 16-Apr-12 23:02:58

Told me that my seriously ill sibling should have been subjected to euthanasia.

garlicnutter Mon 16-Apr-12 23:07:47

Yep, Becky!

Early red flags:

Disproportionate rage. In fact, any rage - I saw a lot of that later, and keep well away from ragers now.

Dumped his previous fiancée suddenly, when he "just knew" she was seeing someone else.

He'd never been able to talk to anyone like he could to me.

Admitted earlier use of prostitutes.

Stole small stuff a lot; told 'funny' stories about thefts he'd done.

Dangerous driving, dangerous pastimes.

Turned up without warning.

Referred to best friend's wife as "a nice little wife".

Had sexist, insulting nicknames for all his female friends.

Shy when sober with me; arsehole 'lad' when' drunk; bastard at work.

I thought he was just a bit awkward socially.

... I've learned a lot from him ...!

Oh, and this is a weird but common one - Would curl up and sleep when upset, angry or confused.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Apr-12 23:10:33

Niffler another one...I had enjoyed enjoyed a reasonably successful career in the Public Services. Any reference to this, at all, treated as if it were something to be ignored, a bit , 'my life doing something shameful previously', despite the fact that the previous earnings enabled him to have a good standard of living...

BibiBlocksberg Mon 16-Apr-12 23:11:42

This thread made me remember some of the really early flags with last partner (more like bunting than flags actually with hindsight)

First date I asked him about a scar on his hand - answer 'I had to hit a woman because she was drunk and wouldn't stop going on at me and winding me up' 'Oh, don't worry, I didn't know her or anything'

And the most cringeworthy memory/flag - again, early on in the relationship, I turned round during sex to find him flicking through a porn magazine at the same time. 'I was just trying to get more turned on'

How I didn't run away screaming after those incidents and stayed for a decade of tightwattery, lying, gaslighting, whining (especially for sex), taking money off me, routinely ignoring me, critizing, everything I ever wore etc etc I'll never know.

If only I'd had MN back then!

Anniegetyourgun Mon 16-Apr-12 23:14:05

If it's any consolation, Bibi, it was probably a lie about the drunken woman. (At least one has to hope so.)

garlicnutter Mon 16-Apr-12 23:20:08

If only I'd had MN back then!

Yes indeed, Bibi, me too. What were all the older women thinking when I first started seeing Twat Number One? They must have been telling each other I was going to come a cropper, surely? At least with Number Two, I knew some most people disliked him. I just couldn't see why [duh!] and they just didn't tell me sad

Am shocked by your porn mag story. You poor girl!

Niffler235 Mon 16-Apr-12 23:21:28

You're not alone in the porn mag thing Bibi!

babyhammock Mon 16-Apr-12 23:22:35

Becky36 yoyu stole my list wink

Becky36 Mon 16-Apr-12 23:30:01

One of the main problems here is that we want to see the best in people so make excuses when these men start with these behaviours. By the time you realise that they are emotionally abusive you are invested in the relationship and it's much harder to get out.

They are so bloody clever at the beginning of the relationship, flattering you and making you feel special that you don't want to see what they really are.

It's like they are wearing a mask.

Ultimately when you have been in this type of relationship it makes you very suspicious of people going forward and that is part of the reason it's so damaging.

garlicnutter Mon 16-Apr-12 23:35:54

I agree it's made me more suspicious of people. But I think I needed to be. My boundaries and self-worth were fucked up. I've seen people ranting since then, people who become arseholes when drunk and people who seem to be always 'extreme'. Now I know what I'm looking at and hear what they tell me. So I don't piss around "understanding" them or trying to get their special attention.
I understand them just fine now, and that kind of attention I can live without!

foolonthehill Mon 16-Apr-12 23:36:17

Oh my've all been partners to my NSDSTBExH !!

Would write a list...but I think you've covered most things above.
has any one mentioned expecting to be a kept man, and yet moaning that he has felt so burdened by being the main bread-winner (I was working within 12 days of DD1's birth...just for context...and have barely stopped since...get to keep the money now though smile )

BizzieLizzy Mon 16-Apr-12 23:38:05

Happy about some animals he was caring for dying as it meant less work for him shock sad

BibiBlocksberg Mon 16-Apr-12 23:39:41

"it was probably a lie about the drunken woman" - yes it probably was. He was always fond of talking about wanting to twat this or that person for some perceived slight but strangely wasn't physically aggressive.

More of a dark, brooding, start shouting and bawling the minute a problem was raised and he felt 'critized' stealth intimidation.

You saying about the older women garlicnutter, made me remember a landlady I had with twat number 1 - she was great really and totally warned me off him but me being 19 and still knowing everything wrote her off as an 'interfering old bag' at the time blush

Mind you, seven years down the line it was a comment from a friend that showed others also saw him as the bullying arse he really was despite the jovial exterior gave me the push I needed to get away.

"Am shocked by your porn mag story. You poor girl!"

Embarassing as it is to admit though, it shows me just how far down the toilet and halfway round the u-bend my self esteem and self respect used to be.

No way would that be happening now, I'd have my clothes back on and be out the door before he could even think of turning another page grin

WhippingGirl Mon 16-Apr-12 23:45:46

'you wont find anyone else who will put up with you' /'you wont find anyone as good as me' in his weird skewed percepton of what a great catch he was the staement is relatively true BUT i cant guarantee i will find true love out ther but i'm fairly confident if i dont drop my standard too much i can probably meet some nice men with less issues thsn him!

squashedbanana Mon 16-Apr-12 23:46:44

Yes Bibi!! The jovial exterior! My ex always used to give a chuckle after saying something, at first it seemed jovial but then it became mocking ie after voicing one of his, many, opinions he would chuckle, as if to say of course he was right, it was so obvious!! Or he would make a remark to me, a belittling remark, but then chuckle as if it was just a joke.

I am very wary now of men who seem overly jovial as my ex wasn't the only abuser I knew who on the outside seemed friendly, laid back and jovial

WhippingGirl Mon 16-Apr-12 23:47:25

a friend once described her ex as this 'he had issues and he was making me feel like i had issues' how accurate for all these twats!

Becky36 Mon 16-Apr-12 23:48:21

Garlic - My exh was very, very abusive. Mostly emotionally, sometimes physically. I thought that I had seen it all and could spot a dickhead from a ten mile radius without binoculars.

Then I met my ex boyfriend. I thought that he could walk on water. I adored him. The relationship was very intense right from the start.

He was a nightmare. I cut off all contact in the end because he just could not tell the truth - about anything. I think what upset me more than anything was that I told him about my exh, in graphic detail, and he used it to his own advantage.

I just feel so stupid now for allowing myself to be treated like that, not once but twice. I have been alone now for two years and to be honest I would rather be on my own for the rest of my life than be in a relationship with some arsehole. I have read loads of books on the subject, trying understand what makes them tick. And that's the worst thing. You will never understand these idiots, they just are, and looking for a rational explanation is a waste of time.

BibiBlocksberg Mon 16-Apr-12 23:51:44

"but i'm fairly confident if i dont drop my standard too much i can probably meet some nice men with less issues thsn him!"

I think the chances of that are very high indeed WhippingGirl!

Was just sat here thinking (in a Werther's original ad style voice) 'and now, I'm the interfering old bag' - telling all who will listen they 'don't have to put up with that shit' smile

Yes, so often these types play the perfect character when outside the home, funny, friendly, generous, charming, jovial. Close the front door behind you and it's a completely different story though.

MyDogShitsShoes Mon 16-Apr-12 23:58:39

This is both depressing and vindicating at the same time. I'm sitting here like a nodding dog!

Early protestations of undying love. Overly generous for no reason/Presents he wanted to give rather than I wanted to receive.

Over-bearing, aggressive, misogynist father with major persecution complex. Passive aggressive, professional victim mother. Yet described weird disfunctional childhood as "idyllic".

Over reaction to any perceived criticism real or not, hence the "egg shell" problem. It would be obvious if he was in one of those moods so I used to watch every word waiting for him to start ranting about some imaginary slight.

Both exes apparently completely unreasonable.

Major sex ishoos.

No friends of his own, just aquaintences.

Lying constantly about insignificant things.

Had to win every row. Would just shout louder and louder, wouldn't stop til I cried. Then would sulk for a couple of hours before becoming overwhelmed with remorse and self-hatred.

Never listened, ever! Lived in the same house together for 5 years and always put the bloody heating on wrong even though I explained how to use it at least once a week!

Never once took responsibility for any fuck ups, always someone else's fault.

No idea of normal social boundaries, would say really inappropriate things/make rude jokes etc. It was obvious from day one that his parents had never once pulled him up on this sort of thing, lauded every word he said.

Bullied in school (had to move when dad was released from prison), so took on the persona of "the funny one" in order to fit in. Don't think he's ever been himself since. Not sure he even knows who he is.

Maybe we should write an MN book!

ThePinkPussycat Mon 16-Apr-12 23:59:37

We were friends for over a year, then I found I fancied him, we were both shy, I got us both drunk and then pounced. I think I was his first girlfriend. His words to me as we were lying entwined on his bed (not sex, but fooling around)? 'Come on, come on' said in a sort of growl.

When his room in college (which I unofficially shared) got messy, he blamed me for teaching him to be messy (well, I am messy, that much is true)

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 00:00:09

i nearly forgot the lying followed by attempts at gaslighting when i caught him out. sigh

bibi - he he thanks

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 00:04:35

"Maybe we should write an MN book!"

Yes I agree, it's been said before and I think it would be a great idea.

I still find it so helpful and validating to read about other peoples experiences, nodding along and thinking 'I knew that was a pile of horseshit he tried to dish me up'

Gives a firm voice to some of the remaining fog's and WTAF happened THERE??

I also vote for an armband with WWMNS (what would MN say) on it, a handy prompter for when you're just about to question, explain away or excuse unacceptable behaviour.

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 00:08:07

...just about to question yourself in a 'is it me' manner I mean.

<digs out bead bracelet making kit>

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 00:09:17

Oh yes, forgot to add that we were friends for 3 years before he saved me from my terrible ex-boyfriend [we really need a face-palm emoticon]

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 00:11:05

looking for a rational explanation is a waste of time.

Agreed, Becky. But we have to look for it, don't we, as we frantically search for the answer to "What the fucking fuck happened there??"

I guess "You expected a lunatic to be rational" would be as good an answer as any grin But I, for one, have gained much valuable insight from all my reading - about people around me, and about myself. Twats do target emotionally healthy, balanced partners but people with a varied selection of insecurities make easier pickings - I was one of those.

Not saying I'm free of insecurities & suchlike now, btw! More that I am now aware when somebody's trying to target them, and don't hang around to see how they'll do it. So that'll mean I've got some boundaries smile Hurrah!

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 00:11:38

mydog - my ex doesnt know who he is either. he had some strengths but if he showed that side for too long he had to punish me for it. its as if hes embarrssed by acutally pulling his weight/being a decent bloke. he had social issues defintely and was even less his real self with 'friends' than he was with me. i kind of feel sorry for him in that way - my real close friends see the warts and all me and i them - thats a friendship dynamic!

being bizarrely jealous about anything whih took attention from him. i couldnt have much of a conversation with any of his aquaintances/family which was about something he was unfamiliar - he would be like a little child jumping up and down for attention - it was alsmost funny but sad and pathetic too. i had some female friends who had tons on common with exp that i wasn't faintly interested in - didnt bother me in the slightest - i was just happy they got on - he accused me of being a jealous person but i really dont think i was.

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 00:13:08

WWMNS!! yes yes!!! exp hated mn - of course he/they did - any kind of female collectivism is threatening...i'd hate mn if i was emotionally abusive too he he he

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 00:14:36

<places order for Bibi's WWMNS bracelet>

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 00:19:37

<admits she doesn't yet have a bracelet making kit >

Jewellery making is still in the 'would like to do' category along with learning to play the violin and speaking italian.

Great excuse to stop off at Hobbycraft though smile

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 00:21:38

had some strengths but if he showed that side for too long he had to punish me for it ... embarrassed by acutally pulling his weight/being a decent bloke

Oh, YES, Twat2 did that! Thanks, WG grin

Wasn't a problem with T1: never pulled his weight, hence never embarrassed.

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 00:23:40

whippinggirl did we marry the same man?!

Mine would literally get louder and funnier until we paid him attention!

I genuinely feel sorry for him. I really don't think he's a bad person, just very very damaged. Sadly too far gone for me to save. It really saddens me to think that I don't think he'll ever be truly happy. I hate his parents almost as much as I pity him.

Definitely put me down for a bracelet!

Becky36 Tue 17-Apr-12 00:23:44

I can remember talking to a quite a senior police officer about this subject and he said that these men often target women who they perceive to be strong and capable as these women are more of a 'prize' than women who they see as weaker then they are.

It's like your strength threatens them in some way and they want to pull you down.

I have to say that Lundy Bancroft's book (much discussed on here) was invaluable for me. I realised that it wasn't me. it was them and I could not change who they were. The only person I could influence was me.

Bumblefeck Tue 17-Apr-12 00:39:39

I was talking about this the other day with my mother

- Over-rection to any arguments, he once spent an hour sobbing very loudly so i was sure to hear in the bath after I disagreed with him about politics
- My family were not "our kind" of people
- He loved me after about a month, and had quickly worked out when we would get engaged, married, kids etc
- We had 2 different types of teaspoons, one for making tea etc, and one for eating yoghurts etc with. They had to point different ways in the drawer
- Refused to put my name on the house, refused to put my name on the car that I paid for because it was "simpler"

In my defence I was only 16 when I met him

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 00:51:10

YY, unfortunately women who they perceive to be strong and capable are often that way through a lethal combination of perfectionism and hidden insecurities <flagellates self>

That reminds of another red flag - I saw it on a thread here today, actually. When you find yourself yourself going on about how strong you are, how you can stick up for yourself and how you "can take" anything/it/something ... you need to ask MN if you're being abused. And listen to the answer.

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 00:52:23

ARGH at teaspoons, Bumble!

And a very small grin

LesserOfTwoWeevils Tue 17-Apr-12 00:54:01

Told me all about how he'd slept with all his ex's friends, while sniggering with glee at his own naughtiness and cleverness.
Got involved with me while his previous girlfriend was pregnant. He told me they were over but failed to mention that to her. In the end she gave him the boot so he was all mine hmm...until he could persuade someone else to shag him.

Bobits Tue 17-Apr-12 00:59:14

Underneath it all,
They are nothing.
They are rife with insecurities and vulnerability.
And they are angry at what everyone else has that they don't.
They love to see any imperfection in you,
And they love to bully you,
It makes them feel like someone.
But when you leave they become nothing again.

They do wear a mask. And they try so hard to hide their true self, but all the lies catch up with them. And they end up the real losers hiding in denial.

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 01:12:05

For crying out loud garlic where were you 12 fricking years ago!

HazleNutt Tue 17-Apr-12 03:14:42

where to start..

doing me unasked for 'favours', and getting shirty when I wasn't sufficiently grateful - oh yes. Mine called me 3AM to tell me that he has booked a skiing trip for us. I don't ski and hate snow, which he knew very well, as we had discussed that I do not want to go skiing, ever. Besides that, it was 3AM and I was sleeping. Then he manufactured a fight as apparently I was not enthusiastic enough about the plan and refused to take my calls.

- No real friends.

- all previous relationships ended because exes were cheating psycho bitches.

- did not like my friends. Actually claimed that they did not like him and his feelings were hurt, although my friends were nothing but nice and polite. Suggested that I should see less of them too.

- constantly correcting and criticizing me. but in a nice way, to help me improve, all for my own good.

- the sulking, oh the sulking. I never knew what I might have done wrong this time to ruin his mood. I did not seem to be doing anything right any more. But we would be so happy if I just tried more..

Preggersntired Tue 17-Apr-12 03:22:41

Ooh plenty ...

He belittled his friends in front of me.
Other friends of his were criminals..( ok So I was young & stupid, bit on ions this one..)
Telling me I was fat (er... no!)
OTT name-calling ... And über-critical of others, including my family; and subsequently driving a wedge between us so I would have no support.
That my friends & family didn't like him.
Overly friendly with some women... Even whilst going out with me

If only we could condense all this knowledge into a book for girls!

BenedictsCumberbitch Tue 17-Apr-12 03:39:48

The lies over the most ridiculous of things.

Proposing within 4 months.

Wanting me to get pregnant straight away (I was 17 and he was 22).

No friends other than one older woman, mother figure? Who adored him in a not quite right kind of way.

Unable to hold down a job for any length of time and it was never his fault he was 'let go'.

He once lied that my mum confided in him that my dad had an affair. My mum hated in him and wouldn't have confided in him if her car needed topping up with petrol never mind anything else.

He convinced me to let him film us having sex (cringe) even though I was deeply unhappy about it because the strop lasted about 6 days.

He also tried to convince me he'd been having dreams where a young boy was trying to contact him from 'beyond'. He said he believed the boy to be called X, the name of my dads brother who died in childhood. He'd been rifling through my parents old photos.

He also tried to convince me he had stigmata once. I told him I'd seen him clenching his fingernails into the palms of his hand but I was the mental one for not knowing they were the marks of Christ. Obviously. And it still took me about 6 months to get rid of him.

And the best one was he forced me to try speed because I couldn't possibly criticise him for using it until I'd experienced it. I was young and stupid and completely in his grip sad

mathanxiety Tue 17-Apr-12 04:36:53

Admitted early drinking and driving as a teen with no regrets, same for going to strip clubs. At the same time, wouldn't dream of missing mass. Bothered me to write a thank you note to his mother when she sent me a blouse as a gift my post. The bothering started the day the package arrived. At the same time, gave me hints that he hated his mother.

'The perfect man', but too much too soon, professed eternal love, blah blah. Put me on a pedestal, told me his beliefs about me, which were all baloney. I was every shade of wonderful, I should do X and Y and Z career-wise, never mind what I had to say about my life.

Maybe this was just another way that we were poles apart and maybe he was genuinely trying to throw me in the deep end to be struck by terror on purpose, but he never worried about the important little details. I was sent off to do X or Y or Z task or errand lacking some basic piece of paperwork, like the LSAT, in London, without the all-important registration card that I needed to get in (it hadn't arrived in the post but he couldn't see why I wouldn't be fine without it), and the directions to Grey's Inn which I had to first find and then find the exam location there after getting into the city from my relatives' home in Carshalton at the crack of stupid o'clock one Saturday morning, my second time ever in London, having travelled from Dublin. I had never done an American style multiple choice test like the LSAT either, but my nervousness was like water off a duck's back to him. It simply didn't register. Arrived with my pencils and only my Irish passport for ID and had to argue to be allowed to sit the exam, alongside very hardboiled American students all of whom were bragging loudly about the fantastic law schools they were applying to, brandishing their registration cards and swigging diet coke at 7.30 am. Sending me to do the LSAT was a favour as I was going to be making something of my life.

Went berserk about his flatmates' messiness despite the fact that he was always the last one to join the merry band in all his digs and despite the fact that they had never sat down and worked out any house rules together. Maybe he assumed they were the same neatfreaks that he was, but a therapist suggested to me later that these displays of temper were done to show me a little of his true self and see my reaction. Couldn't live with people, it turned out, without hating them in a very short time. Initially all was sweetness and light and they were the best roomies in the universe. He had four addresses in three years.

Critical of my friends and our mutual friends behind their backs. Very dismissive about everything Irish whose merit didn't make sense to him immediately. Arrogant and superior attitude...

Thought misogyny and fattism were funny. Thought that No didn't necessarily mean No and that the essence of rape is not lack of consent, thought consent once given couldn't be changed.

Response to shock and trauma (bad news from back home in the US) was to isolate himself from me.

<whacks self on forehead>

meredeux Tue 17-Apr-12 06:42:29

friends and family didn't like him (they could see what I was blind to)

Leverette Tue 17-Apr-12 07:27:27

Being approached by several of his colleagues of both sexes who felt the need to warn me that he wasn't very nice and that I could do better and needed to be careful.

Being hassled after our first date when he went on a pre arranged trip away for five days because I didn't call him.

Being emailed, phoned, approached in person, texted constantly until I agreed a second date.

Being told in far too much gory detail how he was convinced his exW must be gay because she maintained a close female friendship. Even told me he'd made a pass at said friend to try to 'split them up'.

Telling me lots of stories about being accused of bullying at work, getting into fights, getting embarrassingly drunk and behaving badly.

Telling me all about how exW wore stockings and suspenders under her work clothes to please him and why couldn't I do that.

Obsessive, morbid jealousy about an ex I've remained friends with including threats and intimidation.

Accusing me of meeting up with someone when I walked the dog for twenty mins one evening, when he'd been invited to come with me confused

Too many others to mention really.

Seven months on I still feel like such a twat for believing the 'good side' when all this crap was staring me in the face.

Lueji Tue 17-Apr-12 07:53:32


Lack of self deprecating sense of humour

Not offering to take heavy loads off me

The car he bought

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 07:58:14

Benedicts - exp tried to force me to try coke with him for the exact same reason. And some sex acts. I never gave in but he tormented me with it the entire relationship . U would never tolerate a man again who can't accept that as an adult I have the right to say no to lifestyle choices like that for any reason I choose. I don't have to justify not taking drugs to anyone!!!! He sex acts and drugs became irrelevant. He truce for year to break me down by getting me to do things I was very opposed to. I also k sw that if I did them that would have empower him to walk all over me even more. I think this was the biggest, reddest, huge bloody banner if them all!!!!!

Imwhat galled him the most was that he knew I had lots of more experimental
Sex in less serious relationships and was so annoyed I wouldn't do it with him. Duh! The previous partners had been much more relaxed and made me feel safe about trying things and I trusted them. Exp made me feel more vulnerable than any man even hAs. Sigh

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 17-Apr-12 07:58:44

Ma interesting what you said about displays of temper and the therpist. Was that about showing you himself to see how much he could get away with, then pushing the boundaries?
Superior attitude. My STBXH was raised to believe he was better than other people. Still believes this. His mother thinks that all the family are better, despite their biggotted dm reading attitudes. eg, they once went to Blackpool for their hols, cos they had a relative who they could stay with. They had to say they had been to the South Lakes.... He goes to church, and is a Church Steward. Don't know what they would have to say about his dv and ea....complete hypocrite. As are the family.

ChickenSkin Tue 17-Apr-12 08:05:32

Constant lying. Lying about everything from "no I swear I have no debt with that company, the debt collector letter must be a mistake!" to "I had salad for lunch"

A history of debt and impulse buying - the guy was in the process of losing his house and going bankrupt - and he thought this would be a good time to buy "an acre of the moon".

Never learnt from past mistakes. Bankrupt one year, applied for a ridiculously high apr credit card two years later, maxed it out within 6 months, began struggling to make payments.

Constant pressure/nagging for sex as well as trying to "arrange sex appointments". Telling me it was ok that I didn't want to as he'd be quick.

well ....... that has successfully ruined my mood for the day.

ChickenSkin Tue 17-Apr-12 08:06:00

Sorry, can I just add "road rage" onto there please.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 17-Apr-12 08:14:05

my Dad used to say 'street Angel, house devil' about Some Men. He never saw that he was one.... I picked a charming bully, same as my dad.

Lueji Tue 17-Apr-12 08:24:38

Oh and that time he drove me mad with his jealousy, not dropping the subject and to the point of offending me so that I slapped him and he grabbed me by the neck pushing me against the wall.
He promised never to do that again and he didn't for 12 years but I should have gone with my first instinct and not marry the loser.

I felt guilty for hitting him first.

BenedictsCumberbitch Tue 17-Apr-12 08:29:40

I've thought of more (same man), he went berserk when I said I was still going on a girls holiday that was booked before we met, I resorted to making up fake letters from the holiday company (scanned in their logo to my computer) threatening court action if I cancelled so he'd 'let' me go.

He broke up with me on my 18th birthday and made me late for my birthday meal because I was begging him to get back together and apologising for whatever minor misdemeanour had made him break up with me.

Stole money from me.

Begged me not to go away to uni (I didn't), my poor parents didn't know what to do for the best. Robbed me of two of what should have been the best years of my life before I finally saw the light, the flags were there from the beginning I just didn't have the experience to see them for what they were, it was my first setious relationship. I can only thank all my lucky stars he didn't succeed in tying me to him irrevocably by getting me pregnant. No wonder I went off the rails when we split up (and ended up pregnant to my next boyfriend - now my amazing DH- within 3 months of meeting).

VivianDarkbloom Tue 17-Apr-12 08:38:09

Sorry to hear about all the EA that's gone on here. I won't go into my experiences of that as it's been so thoroughly covered here, but I'll never again ignore signs that a man is still obsessed with his semi-famous ex and apparently unaware that going on and on and on and on and on and on about her to your new girlfriend for the first several months is not really appropriate, and guess what, will make her feel like shit.

If anyone's in a similar situation, take it from me that you can't "win": you can eventually have him say he loves you, move into his house, be showered with adoration, even be explicitly told that your relationship is better, probably even marry the guy and have his kids, but you'll always feel that you're not quite good enough, not quite perfect, not quite ideal. Once it's there it's not going anywhere.

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 08:51:01

Can I just add that I had no fricking idea of all of this until this thread!

I left him because he cheated, thought all of this stuff was normal and just him! In my defense there was no dv for me thank god but still I'm going to give myself a concussion from all the face-palming angry

Yy to the "thank you note for mother". If either of his parents so much as farted in my direction I was meant to fall over myself with gratitude.

Totally shit with money. Used to go on massive sulks if I was overcome with glee when he spent our last £5 on a magazine and some chocolate for me confused .

Had very specific ideas about sex. After the first couple of times when I said something about not wanting to feel like I had to follow some sort of bloody script every time (see, I had balls then!) he went in a massive sulk and didn't speak to me for a week. When he eventually dained to see me he made a point of telling me that he "very nearly dumped me because of that, he was so pissed off".

Why the hell didn't I see that he was quite clearly "showing me his true self to see how much he could get away with".

Also just remembered that just before we got together I'd got back in touch with my best friend from high school (male). He was so jealous but in such a sweet way, hated feeling like that, just couldn't understand why I couldn't see how gorgeous I was and how no many could ever want to be just friends with me. I didn't mind phasing him out, he was only my best friend through 4 years of high school, no big deal, I wasn't at all chuffed at having bumped into him completely by chance. [Insert wee humphy face here]

Did I also say that although he and his parents are stiflingly close every other member of his family is a complete nutcase/can't be trusted/hates them etc. They fell out with the whole rest of the family for 13 years but they were the victims, it was all made up.

angry angry angry

I blame all of you <narrows eyes and points finger around thread> why did no fucker tell me?! Alright I never told anyone because I thought it was all normal and everyone I knew was jealous of how happy we were, but still!

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 08:54:47

* wasn't overcome with glee at the magazine obv! Only because i'm so bloody ungrateful mind you, not because I would then have to lend him £5 to buy petrol.

Unreasonable cow.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 17-Apr-12 08:55:52

I think people do tell us, and we choose not to listen, cos we is in luuuuuurve. When a man shows you who he is, listen. If a man ever says "I'm a bastard, I am" this is him being truthful. Believe him, and run for your life.

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 09:01:20

But he wasn't a bastard, they just didn't see the real him like I did, didn't understand him. They were just being judgmental. It wasn't his fault, he had ishoos.

<<hollow laugh here>>

fergoose Tue 17-Apr-12 09:07:07

Mine told me he loved me before we even got together, moved in with me immediately at other end of the country,wanted me pregnant straight away and when baby born wouldn't let me near her to feed her as I was a crap mother

CaoNiMa Tue 17-Apr-12 09:15:13

Reading these horror stories is incredibly depressing, not just for the wonderful, clever women who have been affected by idiotic men, but for the fact that such men exist in their myriads.

It makes me fearful of having sons lest I inadvertently bring up a monster like these bell-ends.

susiedaisy Tue 17-Apr-12 09:20:43

Great thread I can really relate to some of it. Red flags I should of taken note if were,

Road rage.
No real friends but plenty of drinking buddies.
Not close to his family, but would do anything for virtual strangers on the street.
Temper tantrums that were apparently my fault.
Frequent arguments with people in shops etc that were always that other persons fault for being 'a knob'.
Dislike of me trying new hairstyles, clothes etc, keeping on about it until I stopped wearing it.
Being awkward and not coming home so I couldn't go out on the odd occasion.
Disliking virtually all of my friends.

I could go on and on!

susiedaisy Tue 17-Apr-12 09:27:31

I meant to say on the odd occasion that I wanted to go out as he made it so bloody difficult for me that over the years I just didn't bother as it wasn't worth putting up with the sulking from him!

marshmallowpies Tue 17-Apr-12 09:28:02

MyDog I really think you've been dating my ex! The need to win every argument, no matter how trivial, and being loud & funny (& often tactless/inappropriate) in front of others is definitely him.

Can remember the feeling on nights out with friends where he'd been charming, funny, light-hearted etc in front of others, but as soon as they were gone the mask dropped & I was left with this silent sulking persona.

Also: the OCD thing. I put things back in the cupboard the wrong way and he didn't like the way I did the washing up, not to his prescribed method.

PurplePidjin Tue 17-Apr-12 09:36:20

Triggering an argument then not answering the phone/door because he's not ready to discuss it.

Inviting you round, then spending the time playing computer games - on his own. Coming to bed at 4am, then complaining you're asleep despite knowing you need to be at school by 8.30 the next morning.

Driving to work past your school every day yet never stopping to give you a lift home (3mile walk)

This is when I was at 6th form btw

ebmummy Tue 17-Apr-12 09:40:09

We weren't living together (thank God) but be basically he:

Told me he loved me after 3 days, and got pissed when I laughed in his face as to how ANYONE can claim love after 72 hours.

Asked me 'why' my breasts were small.

Said if I cut my hair, he'd dump me.

Eyed up other women in front of me, then said I was paranoid and insecure.

Slept with another women when I was on holiday.

Claimed it was his sisters when I found underwear in his bedroom (wtf?)

Used to make me call him when I got home to prove I wasn't with another man.

Couldn't call him on his mobile during Sat night as he claimed he was 'working'. Then shouted abuse if I had the cheek to call him. Later found out he with his other gf...

Wouldn't let me wear make-up. Any. Even concealer for my spots.

Almost hit me when I left my coat at his, then went back for it cos I'd disturbed him on phone to his other gf.

Together on and off for a year (was 20, and bloody stupid so went back after 4 months of KNOWING he was a wanker for second helpings). Finally told him to go screw himself after he threw a cup of coffee at the wall. Bumped into him a few months ago, and thought wtf did I ever see in him?! DH a million billion times the man he will ever be...

BertieBotts Tue 17-Apr-12 09:41:34

Sulked/acted really upset and rejected if I didn't feel like sex (once we'd started having it).

Asking me after 24 hours (Yes, really!) if this was a serious relationship, because if I was going to get bored after 2 months he didn't want to know. When I said that was ridiculous and I didn't know yet, pressed me for an answer or it "wasn't worth it".

Anecdotes about how he "put his mate in hospital" after the mate slept with his girlfriend. ALL his exes had cheated on him, of course.

babyhammock Tue 17-Apr-12 09:43:43

YY, unfortunately women who they perceive to be strong and capable are often that way through a lethal combination of perfectionism and hidden insecurities this is so true sad

So glad this thread got started..

thebighouse Tue 17-Apr-12 09:46:53

- laughing at animals/people hurting themselves;
- blanking me for days when he was unhappy and saying he 'just needed time';
- getting angry. Just WHY? It's not necessary.
- getting angry with me when I was ill;
- not speaking to his family/mother;
- getting angry during sex;
- making me dress up for sex. It's just objectification;
- porn. porn. porn.
- angry in the car;
- getting drunk and arguing with friends until I was embarassed;
- treating waiting staff like crap.

chocoraisin Tue 17-Apr-12 09:47:46

sigh I'll add mine to the collection then... this was the ex before my current ex:

Having a screaming argument with his exfiance on the phone in front of me within the first month of us dating.
Telling me they broke up because she had a breakdown and was 'mental'
Blaming his temper on his dad's DV towards him as a child (requiring me to comfort him when he was angry and behaving scarily towards me)
Paying for me to have my haircut somewhere he approved of and instructing the hairdresser what to do, without my consent
Telling me I looked 'like a dyke' when I bought new clothes, and that I was clearly too 'stupid to shop' so should take him with me so he could approve all purchases
Telling his friends we had broken up, but not telling me!
Moving in within 3months 'while he got himself sorted' and cocklodging for the next 2 years
Refusing to move out when asked
Taking the pin number to my credit card and withdrawing cash whenever he felt like it
Taking cocaine every weekend (I was very young, and very stupid. I thought this was 'normal' for someone in his industry)
Refusing to allow me to come out with him when he went clubbing because I was distracting
Telling me my friends didn't really like me, and I shouldn't bother with them

etc ad infinitum. Yep, classic EA/FA and potential for DV. So glad I got out!! Should it be a rule that teenage girls get given the Lundy book on their 18th bday? That relationship began when I was 22. Horrible.

Current ex: More subtle, but still -
Blaming his withdrawal from anything affectionate/physical in our relationship on depression (therefore I was a bitch for not understanding, being patient etc)
Adopting my friends/interests/ hobbies early on then criticising me for not showing an interest in him as a person
Controlling all finances, and creating a permanent state of anxiety at home that we were always very poor - then going out and buying x-box/42inch TV etc whenever he felt like it (despite me being the main wage earner)
Inviting his friends to use the house as a drop in centre irrespective of him being here - they didn't even knock, let themselves in the back door - while I was home on mat leave (scary as hell!)
Telling me I didn't allow him to have a life, despite playing football 2-3 times a week and going to the gym 2-3 times a week, while I did all childcare.
Refusing to allow me to pay for a babysitter so that I could go out while he exercised (financial control again, isolating me)


thebighouse Tue 17-Apr-12 09:49:02

- disliking any men that were more successul than him;
- having to win EVERY argument, not letting any argument go, whether with me or with friends/relatives.

chocoraisin Tue 17-Apr-12 09:51:28

oh - telling me that I wasn't normal for wanting sex, and that being miserable about not being touched (ever) was putting him under impossible stress. Then waking up to find him fondling me while I was asleep/attempting to have sex with me under those circumstances. EEEEEEW

SarryB Tue 17-Apr-12 09:58:25

Expecting me to cheat just because he had done it in previous relationships.

Getting scarily angry at the smallest thing.

Sitting on his arse all day smoking pot. And getting really angry when he ran out.

Maccapaccawacca Tue 17-Apr-12 10:01:39

I was once sat on the sofa with a long-standing BF when he was absent-mindedly stroking my hair and saying "I wish you were a bit more gullible"

NicknameTaken Tue 17-Apr-12 10:05:54

Mine kept the mask on very well till I was pregnant by him. The most obvious slip was when I was making the bed and he went into a rage because I put the clean sheets on the floor. I very nearly finished it there and then. It was just a little doubt - yes, it probably wasn't very hygienic. Why did I not see that I could have dragged the sheets through a pigsty and it still didn't entitle him to rage at me like that?

sleeplessindenial Tue 17-Apr-12 10:14:49

Doing me favours and going mad when I'm not excited and grateful. Ditto cooking dinner without asking me if I like/want it and making me feel really bad if i don't like it/am not hungry etc

Checking my phone/Internet history and asking why I have called my mother/sister/friend and making me explain myself

Before we lived together he would pop round 3 or 4 times a day to see how I was aka check up on me. Quiz me about where I'd been or who had been round.

Make my friends feel so uncomfortable and unwelcome that they stop coming also moaning, swearing and sighing everytine I got a call or text so i stopped replying to people.

Road rage, racist insults and critising people's appearance as they walked past when he is driving. Also aggressive driving.

Every ex girlfriend is a psycho bitch and cheat

Aggressive in public to people he thinks are looking at him funny

Super critical of me, calls me lazy, a slob, fat arse etx

Hugely jealous, possessive and controlling. If I am out the house I can expect up to 20 calls to find out where I am and who with. Spends hours questioning me and trying to trip me up even though I am telling the truth

Shows off about people he has beaten up

Has sex with me when I'm asleep, freezes and pretends to be sleeping if I wake up and denies it in the morning even though I know it's happened.

Lies about everything all the time.

Told me from the off that he didn't like children but insisted on meeting mine, expects tidyness, quiet and is very quick to raise his voice with them. Fond of saying "I'm glad your not my kids" etc to them

That's just off the top of my head I'm sure there will be more if I think about it

LiviaAugusta Tue 17-Apr-12 10:19:45

Don't normally post here but what you're all describing is similar to the bf I had all through university- I've spent years getting over the stuff he put me through but never thought to categorise it as EA until now. Never physically violent but
- told me he loved me after a week
- successfully alienated me from other people on my course by refusing to get to know any of my friends as they 'looked down on him' for doing a 'lesser' degree
- tried to get me to change degree to do the same as him and never forgave me when I refused.
- never visited my flat and made me sleep on the floor at his as he 'needed his space'
- charm personified to others (my mum loved him) but evil to me and anyone he lived with
- hated me going out with friends and ignored me for days I I didn't answer his calls or ring him exactly when I'd promised I would.
- told me he hated the person I became when I was drunk (I never do anything bad, just get a bit loud), I didn't drink for two years, still can't drink much and feel mortified if I think I've drunk too much and lost control in any way.
- told me that I became 'common' when I'd been home to visit friends and family and that he had to work hard to get me back to being someone he wasn't embarrassed to be with after a home visit
- convinced me it was my fault when he ran off with someone else, then when we met up to exchange items after we split spent ages telling me how much better she was than me (especially in bed, a bit rich considering he'd refused me for the last two years of our relationship)

In my defence I was a teenager, new to university and hundreds of miles from my parents and sources of support. We lasted four years until he moved on to someone more malleable than me.

NicknameTaken Tue 17-Apr-12 10:20:39

Just one variation - my ex's previous girlfriends were all (according to him) gorgeous, sexy, well-dressed and constantly showering him with presents and money. So of course I tried so hard to live up to this standard and of course I could never reach it. Apparently, the way I offered sex wasn't sexy enough. Rather than ask cheerfully if he was up for it, I was meant to writhe around and plant the idea in his head, so that he could initiate.

God, I wish we could round them all up and stick them on an island or something.

Sleepless, please don't tell me you're still with this man shock

sleeplessindenial Tue 17-Apr-12 10:40:40

Yes blush

But I am working on not being he has just started an alcohol programme and asked the doctor for counselling but to little to late

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 17-Apr-12 10:47:51

bighouse oh yes, getting angry when you're ill. I remember him shouting once, "I hope you get WORSE"!. He's 50 soon, not 3....
Tall wiv, island not far enough away, moon trip anyone?

How about Mars? It's where they're from ain't it?

Sleepless - give it a time limit x

susiedaisy Tue 17-Apr-12 11:01:27

Oh gosh yes getting angry when I was ill or if the dc were ill and he might have to help out or alter his plans a bit!

marshmallowpies Tue 17-Apr-12 11:02:47

Being unnecessarily rude to waiting/shop staff, etc is another one I recognise.

Constant assumption that the world owes him a favour & if things aren't arranged entirely to his convenience he has the right to jump down people's throats about it, even when they are young, poorly paid shop staff!

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 11:03:39

Just picked up on the present tense in your post too sleepless - you can do it, you can get out, hopefully all of us here with our (sadly) acquired experience can help you.

Parsley - yes that's reminded me, getting really arsey whenever I was even slightly unwell. Culminating in one famous night when I suddenly felt sick and dizzy, walking up and down trying to breathe deeply etc and remember the fucker laughing at me hysterically. I was terrified, thought I was having a heart attack or something angry

And the laughing at other people hurting themselves, that always did give me a pang of 'you wanker' - I mean, you see a creature falling off of something straight on to their head (for example) and your first instinct is to find it funny? <boggles>

It was always especially funny to him to see women hurt themselves/make themselves look 'stupid' (in his eyes)

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 11:08:17

"Constant assumption that the world owes him a favour"

yy, more nodding.

Last ex used to behave as if he was a lord/royal but was switched at birth and forced to live a 'paupers' life.

Waiting for the knock on the door by the royal buglers to inform him the terrible mistake had finally been discovered and whisk him away to the life of which he was truly deserving hmm

squashedbanana Tue 17-Apr-12 11:28:45

These traits need to be more publicised. I tried askign friends for advice, one would always try and see things from his point of view and make allowances and the other just said "yeah he's just a typical guy" confused

lovesineffable Tue 17-Apr-12 11:43:14

I think the 'honeymoon period' was red flag free, after that they popped up regularly.
The first post on this thread jogged my memory, I had forgotten about the times he reached across me while I was driving

fraggle500 Tue 17-Apr-12 12:01:27

Oh my Gosh.....The driving "things" .....

Always the CD or radio station he wanted,
At the volume he wanted
Temperature control set the way he liked it..... Cold.... didn't matter if me and the kids froze,
Windows open or closed again only on his say so could this action be performed,
No eating or drinking...but OK for him,
My car so asked him not to smoke....Ha that's a joke, didn't even lie, just lit up in front of me!
Turning the indicators on and off when I WAS DRIVING, I obviously couldn't judge the right time to turn on/off..I am only a women after all,
Constantly telling me what gear to use...see above!
Oh and as he was always drunk I did all the driving and telling me at the last minute we need to pick up his Mum, child etc they are expecting us.

God what was I thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lovesineffable Tue 17-Apr-12 12:09:37

when I was driving my ex would behave as if I was blind, I mean he would give instructions as if I was unable to see and had to be guided by him

mind you I sometimes do a bit of backseat driving myself blush ..infact I am probably as controlling as he was, the relationship was one big power struggle, a 10 year wrestling match grin

oldraver Tue 17-Apr-12 12:11:31

Being as nice as pie to peoples faces then turning and ranting about them as soon as we have walked away. When we went out in groups or to peoples houses he would drink (as he always reneged on his turn to drive and would have more to drink, getting stroppy, so in the end I always drove) and wouldn't leave until the early hours... of course everyone thought I was the party pooper and he was the life and soul.

Of course the moment we left he would start ranting what boring wankers they all where and why did I have to inflict such people on him, why couldn't I of dragged him away sooner, it was all my fault etc. Inevetiably I would bump into people who would say what a lovely friendly chap he was. hmm After one dinner party he hissed as we walked home "dont you ever leave me with those people again"

slug Tue 17-Apr-12 12:13:55

I remember my ex telling me off for using my hands when I spoke. Apparently I was embarrassing myself hmm

Insisted the degree I was doing was "About as much use as a roll of toilet paper". His, of course was far more important despite him failing his final year while I went on to do an MA with distinction

Insisting he accompany me everywhere. This included deciding to take up the same sport, play in the same team, and monopolise my friends.

Constant belittling of my family

It was about the time I discovered him putting pinprick holes in my diaphram that I took the car that apparently was his because he paid for some of it and pissed off out of his life forever.

chocoraisin Tue 17-Apr-12 12:21:24

mmm the car stuff. I wasn't allowed to touch 'his' radio because I wasn't driving. And objecting to techno played at the loudest volume (while I was pg) was apparently evidence of my failure to appreciate him as a person or allow him the space to enjoy his interests.


NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 17-Apr-12 12:23:17

Reading this with great interest and seeing a lot of my husband here. Whether or not I'll stay with him is still up in the air at the moment.

One example from me that was a massive red flag last summer - after returning to work with DD at 5 months old I ended up pushing myself too hard and having 'suspected' DVT. My leg swelled up like a balloon. Before it was diagnosed I was sore but coping for a few days then one evening as I went to go to bed the pain suddenly hit me, I was in agony and crying my eyes out. We had no pain relief and I had to beg him to go over the road and ask our friends for some - he argued with me for ages as I 'should have asked him to get some earlier', 'it wasn't hurting you earlier so why is it now' and 'I can't go and ask them, its too late at night'. He did eventually go and get me some.
And the next morning he was really angry with me as my leg was so bad I could barely move - I begged him to take the day off work as there was no way I could a) walk to work myself and b) drive DD to nursery.
It was a really shitty few days.

oldraver Tue 17-Apr-12 12:25:51

YY to the driving stuff and I had totally forgotten about this. On the occasions I was allowed to drive my car, he would fiddle constantly with all the controls before I could do anything, like signalling, as he knew 'I wouldn't do it'. I also drove too slow at the speed limit and would get a lecture whenever we arrived anywhere as it took too long

Whipping I saw your thread about how you differentiate what was EA as opposed to not getting on... and sometimes after the fact it isnt always obvious. I know it has taken me reading others threads on MN for the penny to drop, all those instances I knew didnt feel right but must me (as I am the bad person)... well it was him being a shit

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 12:27:30


'Jokily' pushing me or blocking my way.

Getting seriously arsey if I didn't feel like sex.

Abitwobblynow Tue 17-Apr-12 12:30:48


Idealising and putting me on a pedestal to a ridiculous and uncomfortable making excess.
Being shy. To a wierd, pathological extent. He could go through a whole evening in company without saying a word.
Avoids people.
Has no friends.
Always going to the same place, without fail. We NEVER did anything different.
My friends didn't like him.
Telling me he loved me within days.
Sulking and withdrawing. For days.
Not noticing/picking up/responding to sexual cues. Even when I told him what I liked.
For 20 years: he liked being stroked/massaged etc. Not once has it ever occurred that I do too.
I was always the instigator of touch/affection/hugs.
'The reason [I resisted you/refused to listen/denied] was because you didn't tell me in the right way/was too rude/aggressive'
Demeaned, but in such a subtle way I didn't notice.
Road rage, aggressive driving.
Made it hard for us to socialise, like in some subtle way I couldn't rely on him, he didn't back me up in my efforts so I lost confidence.
Doesn't do things with other males (pub squash biking whatever), and I now see their attempts to be friendly.
When the children were born, I ceased to exist other than 'mother' and 'housewife'.

So subliminal that I didn't see it.

susiedaisy Tue 17-Apr-12 12:32:42

'Get seriously arsey if I didn't feel like sex'

Oh yeh I know that one!sad

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 12:34:18

Oh, yes, driving! Mine built a vintage sports car. Didn't bolt the passenger seat to the floor until we split; I had to grab hold of the body on corners. (WHY did I meekly take my life in my hands - literally - every time we went out in the damn thing?)

Leverette, nearly all HIS friends asked how he'd managed to land me. I thought they were being sweet [facepalm] Even their comments in our wedding book say "Garlic, you could have done much better"! Funnily enough, none of my friends thought I was punching above my weight.

We should add to "When he tells you who he is, listen" ... And when his friends tell you who he is, listen!

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 12:36:52

Driving rings a bell here, too. My ex had a very flash, expensive sports car which he loved to an extreme extent. He also had bad road rage. He battered a guy once for cutting him. Literally knocked him out in the middle of Peckham and then we drive off. I don't know why I didnt report it to the police. Fear, I guess.

thebighouse Tue 17-Apr-12 12:37:32

I remember watching a famine on the news and saying 'Gosh we are so lucky' and him saying: "No we aren't! We could be rich and not have to work ever again! Those people are lucky!"

= inflated sense of entitlement

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 12:42:15

Driving, oh god, there's a whole chapter of it's own.

I remember the revelation that long ish drives could be spent pleasantly chatting back and forth between driver and passenger when a friend drove me to pick up my car last summer.

So conditioned was I to sitting there silently, passing the juice and snacks at ordered intervals like a good little woman. Any attempts at conversation from me were met by the radio being turned up until he couldn't hear me anymore.

"Didn't bolt the passenger seat to the floor until we split; I had to grab hold of the body on corners" - that is shocking garlic, thank god nothing ever happened to you! Goes to show how deliberate the choices of these 'men' are (seeing as he bolted the thing down once you'd split)

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 12:43:31

Oh that has made my blood run cold@thebighouse.

Ex was just like that.

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 12:47:25

NiniLegs, when I had a serious allergic reaction I was literally hanging on to life for a couple of days. The GP was visiting four times a day. Twat1, meanwhile, moaned about his lack of packed lunches & cooked dinners so the doctor gave him a massive bollocking. I heard his incredulity that any human being could care more about his own convenience than his partner's life.

Despite that, I didn't leave him for another seven years. I think you should act faster.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 12:50:35

Yes to hating me being ill. I had three visits to hospital while with ex, and he didn't visit me once. I had to get a cab home every time, and then I got one night in bed before he was up and moaning about me being lazy and the place being a tip.

I was with him for 4 years. No children (thank God). I was young, which makes it easier now for me to excuse myself for staying with him. But I am still angry that I allowed myself to be mugged off like that for so long by someone who was basically a bully.

sunshineandshowers1 Tue 17-Apr-12 12:51:01

I can relate to so many of these posts. Interesting how a lot of these 'men' profess their undying love almost straight away, move in quickly etc - my ex was exactly the same.
Other red flags were:
Lying constantly
Taking an instant dislike to my friends and family
Snidey comments/shitty remarks (I.e 'you look nice, your spots are starting to clear up' angry)
Putting me down in front of his friends and acting as if he was too good for me
Constant interrogation about my ex-partners and wanting to know that he was better looking than all of them
Saying something and then denying all knowledge of it a few minutes later (that was a real head fuck)
Getting moody if I wanted to go out with friends or work colleagues (eventually got to the point where I lost all my friends and turned into a recluse)
Turning up unannounced (very creepy)
Convinced I was cheating on him
Used to go into detail about one nightstands he had had before me
Said my boobs were 'small but they would do'
Hated the fact I had a better paid job than him and told me that my boss hated me
Told me that I was 'disgusting' and that he had gone off me a bit because he found out that my first boyfriend was mixed race (actually ashamed and embarrassed to write that down as I cannot believe I actually stayed with him after that vile comment)
Had a gambling and coke problem, drank too much, always skint.

The list goes on. He ended up being physically and sexually abusive as well and I finally left him a year ago. The thought of him makes me feel physically sick. Wish I'd heeded those red flags and dumped his sorry arse right at the beginning!

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 12:52:46

My ex didnt profess his love straight away, but he did say on our second date that he wanted us to be 'exclusive' and wanted me to stop going out to clubs all the time and to 'calm down'. Why the hell I didn't tell him to 'fuck off' there and then I'll never know.

The 'settling down' translated to me sitting in every nigh, waiting for him to come home from boozing, drug taking and probably shagging around.

Jolyonsmummy Tue 17-Apr-12 12:53:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janelikesjam Tue 17-Apr-12 13:07:54

1. Strong interest in porn, and some of it Urgh ...
2. Previous girlfriend stalking him (this means he was a jerk and enjoyed the attention)
3. Boasting about previous g/fs.
4. Having affairs whilst married.

These are 2 men I glued together! Didn't go out with either of them for more than 6 months, but still really icky.

There's loads.

MN Relationships should produce a book based on this thread alone.

SarahStratton Tue 17-Apr-12 13:09:37

God this thread is scary. I'll add.

Being taken into Boots regularly, to be weighed on those public scales things. I was fat, even though I am 3" taller than DD1 is now, and was 1/2 a stone lighter than she is, and he thinks she is too thin. Go figure.

Hated animals.

Was demeaning towards those he considered 'lesser'.

Was rude about anyone with any form of disability.

Had no friends. Still doesn't, considers everyone to be beneath him and not worthy of him. Hah.

Disliked my family, who I am very close to. Tried many times to drive a wedge between us.

Gaslighting, I have a terrible memory and he used to tie me up in knots with it.

Lying. I am now completely intolerant of any form of lying, with the possible exception of polite white lies. I would never, ever date anyone who lied.

janelikesjam Tue 17-Apr-12 13:10:28

Oh, forgot - drunk - well over the limit - driving!!

angrywoman Tue 17-Apr-12 13:14:37

Going back to his 'batchelor pad' with him to find a washing basket of ironed clothes on the doorstep. Done by his Mum. She 'liked doing it'. He was almost 30.

hellsbells76 Tue 17-Apr-12 13:14:57

Another one nodding along here! So much of this is my ex to a tee:

Telling me he wanted us to have babies within a couple of weeks.
All his exes were bitches/boring/psychos. I was different <hollow laugh>
Breaking down sobbing telling me he was infertile (so I didn't bother taking the pill - yes, slap me)
Getting me pregnant a month later (not infertile after all! Surprise!)
Getting appallingly pissed and screaming down the phone at me when I didn't want to get the bus and join him at some comedy club at 11pm (I was pregnant, he'd been on a bender since leaving work).
Pissing the bed. Regularly.
Punching walls.
Locking himself in the cellar for days after some perceived wrongdoing on my part.
Unable to hold down a job/a flat. He's nearly 40 now, still unemployed (sorry, self employed - ha!), still dossing on his mum's sofa.
The whole world is against him. Nothing is ever his fault/responsibility.

I've noticed he has a bit of a pattern of homing in on quite together/capable single mums and reeling them in to mother him as well. The gf before me was one, I was one (till he broke me down but after a fuckload of counselling I'm back to myself again) and now he's got his claws into another who seems very nice and is obviously being completely suckered. I'd like to warn her but there's no way she'd believe me (I'm sure I'm a boring psycho bitch in his tales of woe to her too)...

I was lucky and I did discover mumsnet after a few years of this. Everyone here saw right through him and gave me the walke-up call I needed and the strength to throw him out and more importantly not let him back in. I'm more grateful than I can say.

FermezLaBouche Tue 17-Apr-12 13:15:25

Scary thread.

Mine used to have a thing for Goth type women, and whenever we were out and saw a woman with bright pink hair/goth style clothes would point her out to me and keep asking why I didn't make myself look sexier.

Told me my genitals were "weird" and marvelled that none of my other partners had told me this before. That one fucked me up for a while sad

Resented the fact I got a decent degree while he failed his. My subject was apparently a "piece of piss."

Never had proper friends, but clung onto a group of thuggish, racist, scummy layabouts he knew from college. We went out with them one night against my wishes and had to stay at one of their flats in a shit area of Newcastle. I woke up in the morning to find him no longer on floor next to me, but he had climbed into bed with this girl who lived there. "Nothing happened."

Nagged for anal sex in a horrible wheedly way for AGES. I eventually said a really firm no.....then during sex he tried to put it in there anyway. It fucking HURT.

Cheated on me many times. I first found out when I actively snooped his email. Not right, I know, but I knew something was wrong. Found an email conversation between him and his brother whooping about the fact I hadn't found out. And I stayed with him for 6 more months, becoming the most jealous and clingy person ever until he dumped me.

Sigh. Never, Ever again.

sunrise65 Tue 17-Apr-12 13:16:15

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep and parsley , i posted when i was half asleep.
i know it sounds weird too much info warning but basically i didn't think that he had finished blush and kept thinking.. 'why does he stop when it gets good...' i feel really embarrassed writing this. anyway after we had been seeing each other a few weeks, after doing the deed i turned and said to him..'you didn't...did you?' and he was like 'err yeah i always do' and i said 'WTF!!! I'm not on the pill or anything!!' so i went and got the morning after pill. luckily no pregnancy then but after we had been together for a bit longer and we had 'fallen' for each other we got sloppy being careful again and he told me that he wouldnt mind if i got pregnant and we even discussed kids together (this is so stupid thinking back) but anyway, i was love struck and he knew i've always loved the idea of being a mum. within no time i found out i was pregnant. i later found out he had lied to me about various things during the pregnancy and told me after DD was born that he resented having a baby with me because he has had to put his life on hold.

not sure if abuse or stupidity on both our parts? (excuse the pun!!)

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 17-Apr-12 13:18:25

"Despite that, I didn't leave him for another seven years. I think you should act faster."

You're probably right garlic. sad

In addition to the 'when his friends tell you who he is, listen' I'd like to add 'when his family tell you who he is, listen'. On our wedding day FIL (who is a pathetic manipulative arse of a human being who worships his son yet treats him like shit at the same time), turned to me and said 'I always thought he'd marry a meek little woman'. To this day I don't if he meant that AM meek or that I'm NOT. Don't know but I was very hmm at the time.

sunrise65 Tue 17-Apr-12 13:19:51

hellsbells76 pissing the bed!! never come across anyone else saying this but this was my ex tooo!!!

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 13:20:39

Yes to drunk drivig.Ex used to drink a bottle of brandy and take shotloads of cocaine and then drive about at breakneck speed in his flash motor. I threatened to call the police a few times towards the end of the relationshp, but he always guilted me out of it - 'I will be deported' was his favourite one.

Then dont drink/take drugs and drive you twat.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 17-Apr-12 13:21:42

Doh, meant to say 'I don't know if he meant that I AM meek or that I'm not'.

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 13:22:12

shock and sad Nini - always nice to get a head-fuck on your wedding day. From your new FIL.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 13:22:33

I would say to any woman in a relationship with any of these forms of abuse present:

Find whatever strength you have, gather it up and get the hell out. You are wasting your life. Living a half life. You deserve better.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 17-Apr-12 13:25:13

Lol garlic yes it was, and the ILs were all generally shitty to me both before and during our wedding, that's just the tip of the iceberg! wink

oilfilledlamp Tue 17-Apr-12 13:26:53

He always criticised what I listened to on the radio, and if I watched tv together with the children.

Always 'bored'.

Driving: When on the motorway, if I nodded off, he would drive faster and break hard, real close behind a car (despite the children being there too!).

Talking to me when I was actually busy, or reading without checking beforehand if I had a moment to spare.

Always going on about other (younger) women being gorgeous.

I should have left him after the first affair.

Always gave the impression to others that he knew 'where the towels were kept'. Very charming and intelligent man, who once whispered into my ear, 'Fuck you', when we had family around and I was really enjoying the day.

janelikesjam Tue 17-Apr-12 13:27:08

Extremely mean with money, everyone's out to rip-him-off (man no. 1)

Averagely OK with money but sort of suspiscious i.e. promises but no delivery (man no. 2)

When people are kind with money, I've decided, its a good sign.

marshmallowpies Tue 17-Apr-12 13:28:03

To be fair to exBF I think he is an honest person, it wasn't his usual behaviour to lie to me or mislead me, but can certainly recall occasions where he had conceded a point to me in the heat of an argument (very rare, but it did happen) and later denied it: 'I never said that! I never agreed with you!' and I wished I'd had a dictaphone so I could play back what he'd actually said to me...

Can definitely remember I never got to listen to any music I liked in the car....I put a CD on once of one of my favourite bands, got about 2 songs in when he decided guitar music 'distracted' him from driving so we had to go back to his dance choons. I spent years liking the music he liked, going to see films he liked, etc because the things I liked were beneath him. Always lots of arguments about my map reading and getting lost, taking wrong turnings etc. Car journeys were always fraught with stress and bother.

He also likes animals, probably more than he does most people, and is good with other people's children - just didn't want any of his own.

I had a long conversation with him about all these things a few months ago (first time we'd spoken properly in years) as he is in the early stages of a new relationship and is seeing the same patterns of behaviour emerge. He actually did want to listen to me explain all the things about our relationship that used to upset me, which suggests he does acknowledge some of these character traits in himself and wants to try and improve things. His memories of our relationship were completely different to mine, though, and I didn't go as far as accusing him of being emotionally abusive...but I came pretty close. I felt at least if I couldn't be honest with him, who else could?

PurplePidjin Tue 17-Apr-12 13:30:13

Possibly an unpopular view, but Takes Drugs is a major red flag for me. They will always choose the drugs over you sad

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 13:31:15

Sounds creepy and nasty@oilfilledlamp angry

Money was a weapon. He would splash hundreds , even thousands of pounds, on me when he was in a good mood and wanted to 'show me off' - new clothes, beauty treatments, champagne & expensive restaurants etc - but if I pissed him off, he would refuse to contribute towards basics like food shopping and wouldnt put his salary into our joint account that month (pisse dit up the wall instead).

He bought me a diamond ring that cost ££££ but ripped it off my finger during an argument and I never saw it again.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 13:33:24

Purple, so true.

I didn't know ex had a drug problem until well into our relationship. He was a 'social' cocaine user at first, but became a big user/addict. He was already a aggressive man, but the coke made him even worse. He took steroids, too I think. Never admitted to it, but looking back, he was abnormally pumped up.

chocoraisin Tue 17-Apr-12 13:34:18

every time we discussed something/argued current ex would say I was gaslighting him because he refused to accept I was capable of remembering something he had said. Therefore I was lying, he had never said it, and I was 'impossible' and 'not normal' to talk to - so there was no point (in his opinion) to having any kind of discussion about anything.

Yes to being pissed off at me for not being excessively grateful for his presence in my life (apparently he became a 'buffer for my life' when I had DS and have 'never appreciated how hard this was for him' what the fuck he thinks he was protecting me from I have no idea. Not to mention I didn't ask/want or need someone to protect control my life at that point hmm)

hellsbells76 Tue 17-Apr-12 13:37:19

Applies to alcohol too. DD and I were always second (third, fourth) best to the pub.

javotte Tue 17-Apr-12 13:38:56

Arriving 3 hours late and getting angry if I dared complain. Repeatedly.
Never asking a question about me. He always talked about himself.
Never getting me a single gift.
Taking my virginity by raping me, and then telling me I was so fat and ugly I should be grateful someone wanted me at all. sad
Making me brush my teeth before he kissed me.
All the failures in his life were other people's fault.

fergoose Tue 17-Apr-12 13:39:20

Mine used to say the most evil things in a spitting fury to me - then afterwards I would be heartbroken, he would say he didn't mean it as he was angry - and each time I would forgive and try to forget.

chocoraisin Tue 17-Apr-12 13:41:26

he dropped out of uni because he was 'too clever for the course'


detachandtrustyourself Tue 17-Apr-12 13:41:56

just lost a (too) long post, so going to do a bit at a time.

Declaring love, wanting me to move in, (therefore giving up my house/independence/ means of escape) asking me to marry him, innaproppriately early. (I thought, great, he wants to commit)

detachandtrustyourself Tue 17-Apr-12 13:43:44

He did the same with his next poor woman.

detachandtrustyourself Tue 17-Apr-12 13:54:41

Reluctance to use condoms/pressure for sex/discussing children very early. Getting me pregnant quick, getting me to give up my own house quick, so when I did have feelings of unease, thought I'd better marry him.

Said I walked in an "unfeminine" way, and "people notice how a woman walks". (chipping at my confidence)

An earlier abuser, actually told me he thought of a woman with big breasts, when having sex with me. He also showed me porn, said porn use normal. (I still wonder, don't all men use porn? or not).

SoSad007 Tue 17-Apr-12 14:07:46

Called his 2 exW 'lunatics'

Told me he had only been married once

Picked up one of his children (from his exW, not me) and full on shouted at her in a rage - snidely called me a 'parenting expert' when I called him on it

Hated his mother and sister

Would never allow me to meet his mother or sister

Told me that 'abuse can be perpetrated by the woman as well' - yeah right, when you are 6'4" and a misogynist???

Said that one his neighbours had called the police because his exW was abusing him

Said that I had 'problems' and that he was only trying to point them out to me

As the relationship continued, the abuse on his children (with the above exW) lessened, but it increased on me, effectively I was their buffer

One evening over dinner, he managed to say 9 negative things about me in a row, until I threw him out of my flat

I know there are loads more.....angry mysogynistic twat

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 14:09:41

Oh, detached, that sounds awful sad. My DH of 10 yrs does not use porn, btw. Not all men do.

Ex refused to use condoms and flushed my pill down the loo. That was the MASSIVE red flag waving in my face. I wish I had left then. Not long after that he really did start to hurt me. That is a whole other thread, though...

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 14:11:27

Oh, just to add - ex was 6'6 and weighed 18 stone. He was violent and abusive, yet regularly called me a psycho and said a few times after 'arguments' (him ranting and pushing me about while I cried) that he didn't feel safe sleeping next to me. WTAF?

namechangeforbrutalhonesty Tue 17-Apr-12 14:11:33

First ever red flag (ignored!): the most dysfunctional but functioning family in the world. Sibling fights oftern meant broken bones. Regular punch ups. Verbal abuse from everyone (adults to children, children to children and adults)

Told me not "get ideas above my station" every time I wanted to acheive something

Sulking for hours when I would not have sex at 3am/when family due

Told me I had no taste and needing educating everything I bought something for the house

Hated each and every friend on sight (and principle)

Took 2 days to visit me when I was rushed to hospital with head injuries, because it was inconvenient to him

Talked about other women and how he would never be able to get a woman as attractive as X, Y or the other

namechangeforbrutalhonesty Tue 17-Apr-12 14:14:48

Refusing to spend time with my friends and not allowing me to spend any time with him and his

Told me my main hobby was useless and I would only use it to meet men

Told me he wasn't sure he would have children with me because there were too much illness in me

namechangeforbrutalhonesty Tue 17-Apr-12 14:15:19

*needed educating

SpottedGurnard Tue 17-Apr-12 14:17:36

I think the biggest red flag for me must have been the time his female friend said to both of us "I just dont understand why you're together. Spotted, you're way too good for him."

The man used to live in absolute filth. No bed sheets or duvet cover on his bed. Yellow pillows that stunk to high heaven. I was never allowed to open the curtains when I visited as he was paranoid that people were watching him. Plus many more disgusting habits.

Bleurgh. Why oh why didn't I listen?

namechangeforbrutalhonesty Tue 17-Apr-12 14:18:58

and the PORN. All the time. I don't think it bothered me...but maybe it should

SpottedGurnard Tue 17-Apr-12 14:20:12

Oh and would always insist he was more intelligent than me. He would laugh and pat me on the head in a patronising way.

The year I left him he failed the fist year of his degree and resits. I got a first class degree with honours. (My new dp is lovely and praises me for being more intelligent than him. It's not true but nice to have the compliment!)

fridakahlo Tue 17-Apr-12 14:26:56

This was only a fling, because luckily I did have the benefit of the collective wisdom of MN and once I had managed to pull my head out of my arse infatuation, I ran for the hills.
Going on about how honest he was. If someone talks about how utterly honest they are constantly, it probably means they lie a lot.
His soon to be ex wife was a 'cheating bitch'.
Telling me proudly that he often walked into the HR department at his work and would loudly ask the all female team 'anyone up for a shag?'.
Telling me proudly that he'd 'never hit his children'.
Telling me that he had split up with his last casual fling because she wanted to take things further, whilst telling me that he could only enjoy sex when he had feelings for the other person.
I hate to think what his ex-wife went through but at least she got away, after about seventeen years with him.
I really wish that I could have tattooed 'misogynist' on his forehead as a warning to all others.

ThereGoesTheYear Tue 17-Apr-12 14:34:37

Lies, mainly to make himself look good/get out of trouble.
Lots of petty crime/dishonesty/antisocial behaviour: lying on CV, double parking, stealing from work
Appalled by female sexuality (I was never allowed to initiate sex, pregnant women made him uncomfortable because they had obviously had sex.
Undermined me by criticizing my appearance and if I got upset, not apologizing but saying he alone appreciated it. (e.g. 'you've got bad skin but it's ok because I think it's cute')
Road rage
Drunk driving
No real friends
Batshit crazy family

sickofshittynappies Tue 17-Apr-12 14:41:21

wow their really are some twisted men out there

my ex gave me an std and tried to convince me i gave it to him (even though i never cheated)

plus most of the above. its funny how ive moved on and hes still sitting in the same room i left him in leading his sad lonely life.

hellsbells76 Tue 17-Apr-12 14:50:11

Isn't it such a revelation when you start being able to spot them early on? I recently went out with a guy for a few months - it was all going pretty well (although antennae were twitching slightly over the many stories about his crazy ex), then we had a conversation in which for the first time I didn't stroke his brow and say 'there there dear' over said crazy ex but suggested that he take her to court over her (supposed) refusal to let him see his daughter. He went into a massive huff and blanked me for two days (ignoring phone calls, not replying to texts etc). On the second day I told him to fuck right off. Silent treatment = hyuuge red flag. Sympathise with said crazy ex now...

Beckamaw Tue 17-Apr-12 15:13:03

I think this is the first time I have openly admitted to the extent of this man's fuckwittage due to embarrassment.
1) Initially quite evasive about when we could meet up. Never committed to anything until the last minute. Initially said it was due to his complicated living arrangements, but didn't want to bore me with the details! truth - he was back living with his parents at 32 due to massive gambling debts. His girlfriend was often there too.
2)Lengthy texts and emails sent continually but didn't speak on the phone. Due to gf being there.
3)Disappeared one day (no radio contact) eventually reappearing the next day to advise that ex gf of 6 yrs had contacted him and wanted to get back together. He was confused. I told him to try and fix things with her and I hope it worked out. He said 'I can't believe you are being so reasonable. If you said that to me I would stab you in the heart'. WTAF?? Truth - his gf (of 1 yr) had found the texts and gone ballistic.
4)However, I was devastated. He then called me to say he couldn't live without me but he couldn't see me until he had sorted the mess out. He had told ex he wanted me and she was 'unstable'. Truth - ex had him on tight leash.
5) After 3 weeks we met up. Had a night out and went back to his. He was now lodging with a mate. When we got back he had a panic outside the house and said he saw the car of his exgf. I walked off and told him to sort it. 20 mins later he called me - it was 1am and I was in the middle of nowhere. He had 'got rid of her' and ran to come and get me. As he caught up with me he swept me into his arms, kissed me and told me his ex was over the road 'following us'. There was a 20 something woman walking the other side of the road. He said 'kiss me until she gets the message and leaves'. I noted that he tasted of toothpaste, which was odd given the circumstances. Truth - he made the whole thing up because he had promised to phone other gf. The other woman was just a random person!!!
6) he admitted to once being a football hooligan.
I found out when I finally friend requested him on FB. He accepted and then deleted me but other gf had seen it and (luckily) contacted me! There is so much more but I can't muster the energy to type it all.
Suffice to say I am embarrassed that I actually tolerated his nonsense as long as I did!

Fefeffion Tue 17-Apr-12 15:20:23

Told me he loved me within a couple of weeks.

His exes were all crazy and those who had kids were always bad mothers for one reason or another.

Used to just wallow in self pity constantly and expected me to be his emotional punchbag.

Walking in town one day he suddenly saw his ex and ran up an alleyway to crouch behind a bin mouthing 'has she gone yet?'. (Turned out he owed her money for rent after he just left her one day high and dry).

Oh - he also thought that he was a viking??

I just feel a huge sense of relief.

Berts Tue 17-Apr-12 15:31:44

All exes were depressed/mental/emotionally fucked up (now I think he might have been the one who made them that way grin)

When we met I was super-skinny, as I'd just been through a major illness. I jokingly warned him that I wouldn't stay this thin as the only way to do that would be to live on fat-free yogurt and dry toast, to which he responded "So why don't you do that?" He wasn't joking.

Needed full-on commitment from me right away. Very drama-rama about everything really; "Why do women always need to see me as Jesus or the Devil?" No, you're just a tosser.

Very negative about other people and thought it was clever to be cynical about everything and everyone. I was much younger than him and really, I left when I got older and realised that those attitudes belong in your teens, maybe your twenties, but by the time you're in your thirties/forties, you should stop sitting on the sidelines slagging everything off and thinking it makes you clever.

Announced at a dinner party that "I'm very manipulative." He was dead proud. Unfortunately we'd already been married a couple of years by this point.

He took the Psychopath test and was dead pleased that it turns out he is one! He thought it made him very interesting indeed. Luckily we were already mid-divorce by this point.

Berts Tue 17-Apr-12 15:36:28

Oh, and he was REALLY anally retentive about splitting everything 50/50. I don't expect men to pay my way, in fact I was the sole breadwinner in my current relationship for a few years, but to get hung up on 'I paid for this, so you pay for that' is an early indicator of meanness.

Berts Tue 17-Apr-12 15:41:30

Oh, and pretending he wanted to go over our finances, but only wanting to talk about it at 11.30pm, just after I'd put my book down and turned off the bedside light to go to sleep, then having a go at me about how I never wanted to discuss our finances.

And always ready to go out for stuff he liked to do, but insisted that if I wanted us to go out anywhere on a Saturday night, he needed four weeks warning (we had no kids, so no babysitters needed or anything like that, and he didn't work weekends) and then when the night came, he would always pretend to be ill.

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 15:41:47

Ooh, another one!

He only repeatedly had text sex/phone sex/porn obsession because ttc for 4 years, 2 potential mc scares, my hospitalisation for horrendous hg that lasted 6 months, 3 admitions for reduced movement, traumatic birth and re-admition 3 days later for post dural puncture was "really hard for him"!

Apparently I have no idea how difficult it was. He was only unfaithful because he couldn't cope. It was a reaction to the stress hmm

It was ok for me because i'm the strong one. Keeping positive was easy for me.

Also the fact that despite borderline pts and pnd, and regardless of the post dural puncture, massive episiotomy/stitches and anaemea I did all the night feeds, kept the house immaculate and did all the cooking because i'm better at it.

And, me making sure I looked nice every day, doing my hair & make up, wearing nice clothes, never complaining etc meant he thought it was normal to be pestering me to let him go down on me after 4 weeks shock

I will always be angry that I didn't spend those first precious weeks slobbing in my pyjamas cuddling ds all day. Thankfully he was a very contented baby and was never demanding but I can never get that time back.

I was obsessed with doing everything perfectly. Couldn't let just one thing slip.

Turns out it was a waste of energy because I caught him sexting again when ds was 4 months old.

It was then, dear reader, I left the bastard!

Definitely agree the Lundy book should be issued to all teenagers. Maybe they should teach it in schools. Lesson 1 - Monday - don't be a gulible twat!

oldraver Tue 17-Apr-12 15:46:50

Even though its not something I hear very often nowadays, but if the phrase ^I'm not blowing my own trumpet but....^ever comes up I cringe.
It was one of his favourite sayings usually followed by a tale of his wonderfullness/how he isn't appreciated enough/had the recognition he thinke he deserves

YokoOhNo Tue 17-Apr-12 15:57:16

Warning signs I should have heeded:

Saying "you will never meet anyone as good as me".

Looking in the mirror, grinning and saying to himself "you are having a good looking day". And telling me that he had always dressed well and "had an eye for colour" grin

Calling his ex a "psycho bitch from hell" and me believing him. I can see now that he used the same mind tricks on her. She did sound vulnerable with family issues, but I can see now that he belittled her, ground her down and ruined her self confidence until she probably did suffer depression and a break down. Then he got scared when she got mentally ill and binned her, triumphantly confident that she was broken into bits by their relationship ending.

He kept all (and there were A LOT) his love letters from his ex. And not just in a box in the attic - they were everywhere; between the pages of books, hidden in a pen box, inside CD cases, in suitcases, etc etc. I can't work out if they used to hide love notes for each other to find and he left them there or if he put them there for him/me to stumble across. Prob both. I'm sure he used to enjoy coming across the notes himself - they were incredibly passionate and romantic (they met doing English Lit) and it delighted him and stroked his monstrous ego that someone loved him so much and he cast them aside. He also delighted in my finding them and teasing me for being "jealous" and "insecure" - then refused to gather them up or put them away in a box because they were "part of his life that he can't change" and I shouldn't be so nosy!!

"Banned me" from buying a pair of knee high boots because they would make me look like a "slut". I didnt realise he was quite serious, so laughed and bought them anyway - i wanted to wear them with opaque tights and a knee length wool skirt, so hardly slutty! He then threw a monstrous temper tantrum, including holding my wrists and bawling in my face said we were finished because I "refused to accept his opinion". If only I had accepted that we were finished!!

I had kidney stones which were quite debilitating, but didn't stop me trying to live my life and go to work - he loved to play the ministering angel and kept telling me not to do things because I wasn't up to it, was too frail, too delicate and that I needed his support. I see now that he liked that i was ill and tried to make me dependent on him. in hindsight, he was reading too much Bronte, ha ha!

Told me that he loved me because I was a size 8 and that I'd better not put on any weight, because he could never be attracted to someone big. Due to illness (see above) I weighed about 7 1/2 stone, but he encouraged me to cut out cheese and not snack between meals.

Being incredibly jealous of my job and repeatedly saying that he was just as talented and intelligent, if not more so, than me and he couldn't understand how i got that job and that he should have got it. This is notwithstanding that he got poor A Levels and got into university on clearing and failed several interviews for similar jobs.

Throwing an almighty temper tantrum in the pub in front of everyone, because a (mutual) male friend bought me a rose from one of those table rose sellers. This was not withstanding that the friend bought them for all the women in our group, that he was gay and we had all urged him to as a laugh because he was so flamboyant. According to ex, only he had the right to buy me flowers and I should have thrown it in the bin if I loved him.

I'm sure there are more....!

carernotasaint Tue 17-Apr-12 16:06:15

My red flags are listed in the post by dark lady (my username on mse) just scroll down the page and its the long post by dark lady.

Lueji Tue 17-Apr-12 16:35:17

His attempts at making me jealous.

His marriage proposal off the cuff the day after a big fight.

I should have gone with my instincts and say no, instead of a longish engagement.

mathanxiety Tue 17-Apr-12 16:36:42

'Was that about showing you himself to see how much he could get away with, then pushing the boundaries?'

Yes that was what she was saying. She had seen him too for a few sessions and she thought he was a psycho, or a man with strong psychopathic tendencies.

Part of what he would do was get a fixed idea about someone, what they were like, what sort of characteristics they had. There were no shades of grey in his mental pictures. He had as much of a chance of being utterly wrong about someone as right. A lot of his characterisations of people reflected his own insecurities. But sometimes he was capable of true insight, in a very creepy way. His insights never had any moral element to them though and they were never completely objective. They were the insights of someone who could see something he could exploit. This is what the therapist was getting at -- that he studied me and experimented a bit once he had me caught in his high beams.

BenedictsCumberbitch Tue 17-Apr-12 16:38:14

God I've thought of even more, the ex girlfriend being a nutter, more like he was still shagging her and encouraging all the crazy.

He once encouraged me to take a 'small' paracetamol overdose so that my parents would see how upset I was they wouldn't allow him to stay over. Thank fuck I didn't do that.

Lueji Tue 17-Apr-12 16:45:11

Oh, and that time he was so upset because I left the flowers he had given me in his car because he had been a tosser. Never mind an apology.

And the time he asked me if I'd still love him if he was not handsome.
I said he was not that handsome and he had a strop.
He thought he was/is irresistible to women.

In fact, after we broke off, he told me I was ugly and that he could easily get a new woman.
He has recently changed his mind, apparently, because as his previous girlfriends (I'm only aware of one) were now married.
And he keeps asking about my imaginary boyfriend.

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 16:51:32

Just realised I fell for the 'psycho, mentally unstable' ex, woe is me story more than once.

Most recent ex loved to re-count a story where he had to drive miles to meet his ex at a curry place late at night because she'd phoned him sobbing she didn't have any money.

Now I know that couldn't possibly have happened because he was as tight as a gnats arse round a cartwheel smile

He was very generous though, with MY money

Lueji Tue 17-Apr-12 16:52:43

And the warning from SIL ( his brother's wife), who was a friend, about porn use.

Astr0naut Tue 17-Apr-12 16:53:32

TElling me all his exes were nuts/still in love with him.

Not having a good word to say about anybody


Not liking me wearing short skirts.

Not liking me talking to exes; even just ex shags - whereas he would drop everything to see his 'nutcase' ex.

Always need ing to borrow money.

Not being able to hold down a job (not good enough for him/boss had it in for him)

TElling me I was boring.

Telling me he prefered chunkier legs (as opposed to long and slim? Prick!)

Thinking his band was going to make it big (cringe)

Blaming his dad and his mother's death (20 years ago) for everything since

Making me lie to the police about his identity so he wouldn't get done for various driving offences. hmm

Bloody hell, over 10 years ago and I can still remember this!

Incidentallly, when I left him, he told lots of people where I used to live that I was still obsessed by him and wouldn't leave him alone! I would never had known this, had my sister not met someone who told her. She put them striaight!

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 16:56:17

I wish my ex had had some family or friends to warn me off him. But his 'friends' were all shit scared of him - that should have been a sign in itself - and he blew so hot and cold with people that he didn't keep many friends for long periods. His family lived abroad, both parents dead so only a couple of siblings who he was very dismissive of.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 16:59:18

Just remembered another very bad one.

He absolutely hated any man calling the house for me (not that many dared!). He put the phone down on my male boss for calling me at home, and interrogated a very old male friend on the phone before finally 'letting me speak to him for 2 minutes, but tell him if he calls again, I will come to his house and put manners on him'.


I cannot believe I put up with it, I really can't.

susiedaisy Tue 17-Apr-12 17:05:18

My exH also told everyone he meet, once i separated from him, that I had mental health problems hence the marriage breakdownangry

Panamama Tue 17-Apr-12 17:06:39

A massive red flag is if they seem happy or satisfied when you don't get something you want (like a job or opportunity) or have a bad night out or pressure you not to do things for yourself or try to better yourself. If they get satisfaction out of you not doing well or not enjoying yourself away from them then they are not someone to be in a relationship with. They are not on your side and deep down are insecure and horrible to be with.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 17:07:55

Yep. Ex told people we both know that I was possessive, controlling and clingy.


Frizzbonce Tue 17-Apr-12 17:08:45

Brilliant thread!

Constantly telling me how 'lucky' I was to have a H who still fancied me. Because loads of men stopped fancying their wives/girlfriends so I was really 'lucky'. Funny - I never felt lucky about this because he kept going on about it.

Not having any real friends because I was 'his best friend'.

Saying things like: 'I'm the only one who really knows you' as though he had X-Ray vision into my head.

And whenever I was sitting quietly ie wanting to be on my own or reading on my own he would say: 'Are you ok? Are you SURE?' so I would have to drop what I was doing and reassure him that yes I was fine - I just wanted a bit of time on my own.' 'Oh ok' he would say and droop away, only to return ten minutes later to say, 'Oh you're still reading.' Sigh

He hated me working in the evening. I'm freelance and have to sometimes. He would come upstairs and just stand at the study door. If I ignored him he would say 'Are you done yet?'

When I left him it was like crawling out from under a fuggy duvet and into the fresh air.

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 17:10:24

"A massive red flag is if they seem happy or satisfied when you don't get something you want"

Wholeheartedly agree with that, that's going on my list of things to keep a closer watch out for!

Astr0naut Tue 17-Apr-12 17:14:49

Lots and lots of similarities with these men.

Wondering if any of my knob ex's exes are on here, and whether they'd be saying the same things.

My confidence was at almost rock bottom when I finally left. I felt stupid - because, as he kept telling me, just because I had a degree, it didn't mean I was clever; ugly and dull.

In actual fact, I'd become quite meek, a stone under my healthy weight and walked with the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I soon changed. grin

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 17:19:25

One of Ex's exes used to stalk him. Se would phone up the house and cry down the phone to me, telling me I had no idea what they shared together and that he would come running back to her eventually. I thought she was a psycho bitch and used to tell her not to call again or just out the phone down on her sad.

In retrospect, I think he abused her quite badly and she had some sort of breakdown. She was quite young and from a sheltered background, whereas he was clever as a fox and very manipulative. He told me himself that she had several abortions and 'went crazy' after he last one. What a bastard he was.

Poor girl. I sometimes wonder what happened to her.

carernotasaint Tue 17-Apr-12 17:21:05

Blimey its almost as if these men are all cut from the same cloth or all graduated from the Dennis Waterman charm school with a distinction!

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 17:26:09

Urrgh, yes Frizzbonce, not being able to have any space to read, work, be on the internet etc etc in peace.

It's like living with an adult toddler who cannot entertain himself when 'mummy's' attention isn't on him <shudder>

According to my ex, it's unnatural to want to spend time quietly just by yourself and he never needed any.

Funny then how much time he spent being mentally absent through weed and playstation when it suited him though.

"I wish my ex had had some family or friends to warn me off him" - in my case I wish his friend and a mutual friend of mine at the time hadn't done such a bleddy sales job on just how great he was and pushing us together.

Of course I didn't have to go out with the guy but I still clearly remember my friend telling me how lovely he was, the same age as me, how he's never travelled because he didn't have anyone to encourage him, how his weed use had spiralled upwards of late and a 'good' woman would help him get a grip on that....blah blah blah.

Instead of thinking, eff me, no way am I going there all I heard was 'I can help him, I can fix him' Awwwww, poor soul blush

TheSmallClanger Tue 17-Apr-12 17:32:49

The "psycho ex" thing is a classic and a giveaway.
Also lying, and usually lying about nothing, or telling strange stories for no reason at all - things like claiming to be related to famous people, or having had a string of improbable and exciting jobs disproportionate to their age, experience and current line of work.

I've only ever had one boyfriend go really weird on me, and the thing that set my sensors going was his obsession with surprises. I would never be allowed to plan dates or nights out with him, it would always have to be a surprise, and if I insisted, I was being a spoilsport and unromantic. We almost split up when he insisted on taking me abroad for a weekend, and wouldn't tell me where we were going. He kept blethering on about "whisking me away" when he knew I hated surprises. It was his way of being controlling and getting away with it. He would also deliberately give me presents he knew I didn't want, like fancy underwear or cuddly toys.

The controlling did become overt - getting jealous of my friends, my relatives and even my pets - and I got rid then. The next boyfriend ignored me most of the time, which was bliss compared to surprises and sulking.

mathanxiety Tue 17-Apr-12 17:35:45

grin I can assure you mine really was...

BibiBlocksberg Tue 17-Apr-12 17:58:18

"He would also deliberately give me presents he knew I didn't want, like fancy underwear or cuddly toys"

Ooh, I was going to put that as well - especially bad on gift giving occasions.

He knew full well what I really wanted because I'd given him plenty of specific ideas but alway got the opposite.

An example being the Sherlock Holmes boxset of the BBC series - 4 years after I stopped watching that and had in fact virtually begged for the Bones boxset.

And the 'expensive' jewellery (very occasionally) - I personally don't give a rats behind what something cost but if someone is going on and on and on about how much you'll love the item and how he had to hunt for it everywhere and just how much it cost only to then be staring at an Elizabeth Duke special is crap.

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 18:30:56

I couldn't date someone again who was so inconsiderate of my needs. Exp couldn't let me study at home ie shut up and turn the telly down etc he just couldn't. Now I am a bit wiser I realise he was thrilled by this need for quiet and took full advantage of my vulnerability in that way :-(

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 18:32:05

Definitely yes to the bloody surprises angry

I had a surprise birthday party every fricking year!

He also liked to fix things as a surprise as well. Him and his bloody father would do it all the bloody time.

I can't count how many times he'd come back from his patent's and say "my dad's washed your car for you", yes because little ol' me could never manage it by my little self!

I could never mention a fault with it for fear it would be "fixed for me" as soon as I let the poor car out of my sight.

My absolute favourite was when stbx-fil was talking to me about it in words of one syllable. He actually said, and I quote "it's a 1.9 you know!".

I did know.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 18:32:06

Thats it@Whipping.

Ex didn't actually care about me, looking back.

He didn't care if I was tired, ill, sad, upset, stressed, busy. He only looked at me in relation to how i could fulfill his needs.

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 18:51:26

I always got shouted at for crying because women only cry to get their own way right?

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 18:54:09

Oh God, yes. I cried to 'make him feel bad' and 'manipulate him'. Tosser.

WhippingGirl Tue 17-Apr-12 19:30:35

Yes exactly that mags.

Met up with an ex today just to catch up about recent split. A nice ex who still respects me and cares for my well ring with no ulterior motive. He was understanding and appropriately concerned about me. His normal psychologically healthy behaviour made me feel about a million times more mangled in the head and confused about my tolerance if exp. sigh. I have become that person who tries to be strong and then crumbles because someone is nice to them. I think that might be a defining moment in admitting it was acute EA

detachandtrustyourself Tue 17-Apr-12 19:45:53

Mine only asked if I was feeling better after being ill/giving birth to find out if I was up to serving his needs, like giving him a BJ, not because he cared how I was feeling. Mostly if I was ill I still had to serve his needs.

HazleNutt Tue 17-Apr-12 19:49:44

The "phycho ex" does seem to be a common trait in 90% of the cases -taking no responsibility for any relatioship breakdown, it is always the other person.

I do sometimes wonder what the ex is telling other people about me now. We broke up several years ago, but I bet I have morphed into a spectacular psycho in his tales of woe. grin

Bumblefeck Tue 17-Apr-12 19:54:00

More and more keep coming back to me whilst reading this thread

- He used to come shopping with me because he knew what looked best on me
- I had to go to his hairdresser, and he tell them what what I "wanted" done when booking
- I bought a bikini to be met with the comment "that would look so much better if your stomach was flatter"
- Made me join a gym because I was putting on weight (I was a size 6-8 at that point)
- When cleaning the house, the furniture hd to be put back EXACTLY into the grooves in the carpet - he would come home from work and crawl about the floor to check
- I wasn't allowed to speak to our old neighbour because her husband attempted suicide - it was clearly something she had done so would be a bad influence
- My 18th birthday was spent at home because we HAD to go to his parents for Sunday dinner the next day - every Sunday was spent at their house. My "treat" was a takeaway pizza

I have never really thought of it as EA before tho....just as he wasn't for me and was a bit of a knobber. Reading through here it's very cleaar he was following the same sad script as the rest of them

misty75 Tue 17-Apr-12 19:59:07

My ex (from many years ago) went out 'to get the shopping' and I stayed in because I was under the weather. While he was out a woman phoned and I answered, only to be told that she worked in a 'massage parlour' and that she had just given him sexual services only for him to run off without paying. Such was his hurry, that he had dropped his diary, hence her knowing his phone number and calling it. I was understandably shocked and had no idea what to think. On his return I asked him wtf was going on!

'Apparently' she was a jealous crazy ex out to cause trouble, and I was a jealous crazy bitch to have doubted him, and I was also in the wrong to have answered his phone and listened to her, oh and I was clearly paranoid, and also dishonest to 'pretend' to be ill and to take advantage and let him do the shopping whilst lounging on his sofa.

Unfortunately, I was very young and gullible. I believed him and ended up apologising, after being threatened and raged at. If I'd walked out at that point I could have saved myself from two years of psychological, sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

But I lived, and eventually learned!

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 20:01:58

Me too@Bumble. I have been a bit thrown by this thread this afternoon, actually.

I thought my boyfriend was a bit 'different' because he was:
a) not British and came from a completely different culture
b) had had a seriously rough upbringing
c) was just over protective because eh loved me so much and had never had anyone love him as much as I did (he fed this bullshit to me)

But no. He was just scumbag.

Astr0naut Tue 17-Apr-12 20:02:17

I feel like this thread should be put on paper and sent out to every teenaged girl in the country.

Having said that, I knew a lot of knobhead's behaviour wasn't normal, but I was 21, straight out of uni and he was ten years older and 'a man of the world'. I thought that maybe I'd become too far removed from my roots and hung about with students too long. Or 'styoooodents', said with a sneer.

Becky36 Tue 17-Apr-12 20:02:30

When I met both my exh and my exb (who both turned out to be unhinged) I had vague feelings of unease about them. Nothing I could put my finger on but those feeling were there all the same. Both of them were funny, sexy, on my wavelength with their sense of humour etc.

It only occurred to me afterwards that if I had listened to my gut instinct instinct neither of those relationships would have gone anywhere. It was like the superficial stuff blinded me to who they really were.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 20:12:27

I was 19, he was 29, Astr0 - I also felt that he must be more worldly than me (although I was not naive) and must really know better than me, and he played on this, constantly telling me that I was being immature/childish/oversensitive.

I feel the same@Becky. Do you know how I met my DH? He grabbed my arm in a bar and said 'You aren't going anywhere, you're coming to talk to me'. Actually grabbed my arm, quite hard, enough to feel sore for a while afterwards although not bruised. That was a red flag, wasnt it? Nice, normal guys can engage women in conversations without grabbing them and then blocking them into a corner. He also (quite aggressively, looking back) hassled me to lose my friends' so he could 'have me all to himself'


Astr0naut Tue 17-Apr-12 20:22:03

Stupidly, I chased at the beginning; thinking he must be more exciting than my existing, student boyfriend. I also believed all the the shite about teh band 'just being about to make it'. blush Because of the chasing, I felt on teh backfoot to begin with and that he didn't really want to be with me, so I'd have to try harder. I behaved very out of characer from teh beginning.

I used to get the immature thing a lot. He also became quite vitriolic about one of my friends who was a little older than me and had a strong personailty; to the point where I cooled that friendship. Presumably this was because she would see through him.

All of my friends stopped coming round because he woukd get very drunk and abuse them in way he thought was witty and humorous. Towards the end, the best I could hope for about the drinking was that he'd drink enough quickly to pass out. SAdly, he could drink, and drink, and drink.

I would like to add that, whilst not a pleasant two years, it's made me a much stronger person and in a strange way, better in a relationship.

It also means I'll know exactly what to look for in any of dd's potential bfs in the distant future.

Becky36 Tue 17-Apr-12 20:27:20

Mags - you're right it's a massive red flag. Unfortunately as well as having all of the emotional maturity of a stick of broccoli they also have charm and charisma by the bucket load. I was reading somewhere, can't remember where, that the 'butterflies' feeling you get with some men is actually your fight or flight instinct kicking in and sometimes this gets mistaken for attraction.

And of course most of the time, before he decides to get out the big guns and decimates you, he is almost the perfect man, with only the very occasional slip up. Sex is amazing, he is amazing and you have told the world and his mother what a great guy he is. It's almost embarrassing to admit what a wanker he is after you have built him up so much.

Bumblefeck Tue 17-Apr-12 20:31:13

@ MagsAloof

When I finally decided to leave, I was honestly shocked by my sister saying that I should pack a bag and leave it with my neighbour, the "bad influence", so I could get out quickly and call her to come and pick me up. I remember thinking that she was totally over-reacting, he wasn't a bad person, I was the evil one for wanting to spilt up etc etc but I can see now why she said it. She could clearly see him for the twunt that he was and how easily it could spill over into physical abuse

Every single one of my family said afterwards that they didn't like him but didn't feel they could say anything to me because, being young and stupid, I wouldn't have listened.

Astr0naut Tue 17-Apr-12 20:35:02

Same here, Bumblefeck. Mum said she was worried that if she'd said anything, I'd've been with him longer. She did say that had marriage ever come up, she'd've had to say something. That still makes me choke a bit, cos my mum never, ever interfered in our lives, so she must've been terrified.

Ps. The sex was shit, so why did I stay? I'd've been having flings by the bucketload had it been an earlier boyfriend, but I was always scared he'd find out.

LemonTurd Tue 17-Apr-12 20:40:26

Various incidents from three ex's (I've learnt my lesson now, I hope!)

Taking me to pubs/restaurants far away from where we lived, as it was 'romantic'. Turns out, he was engaged shock so obviously didn't want to be spotted by anyone he knew.

I'd go out with friends. Come home later than I'd said. Him - "You've been seeing a man! Haven't you!!" Then launch into a diatribe about how women were always fucking him over. This happened a lot.

Belittling the fact that I like books and poetry. Apparently I was stuck up and thought I was better than other people hmm

If I cried, he screamed at me to stop. Said I was manipulating him and, "the last bitch did that as well".

Once took hold of my own hand and slapped my face with it.

Incessantly talked to me all through the night and wouldn't let me sleep.

Would leave up to a dozen drunken, abusive messages on my phone through the night, calling me a fucking cunt and similar. That was nice to wake up to sad

Told me my arms were hairier than his sad

Couldn't deal with me being ill. Once hung up on me when I needed help sad

All three told me they loved me within days. There's a lot of recurring behaviour on this thread, isn't there?

I feel so sad and angry that I put up with this crap. Feels good to write it down though.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 20:41:17

My mum was the one who finally made me see sense (after 4 years of this shit, which had spilled over into physical and sexual abuse, and made ma shadow of my former self). She basically imprisoned me in her house for a night and talked to me for hours. Told me I was breakig her heart having to watch me falling apart and that I was a better, stronger person than this. The next day she came with me while he was at work, we took my stuff, loaded it in to her car, and left. He arrived back as we pulling away and actually had the cheek to smile and wave at my mum. I dont think he realised she was escorting me away from the flat forever. He probably thought she had come to take me out for a bit, and that he could play 'Mr Nice' to her face, and then harangue me about going out without his permission later.

Phew. bad memories.

Becky36 Tue 17-Apr-12 20:48:01

Astr0naut - I think that why we stay is complicated. For me it was partly that I wanted to get back to the great relationship I thought that we had in the beginning. I thought that if I told him how much he was upsetting me he would see the light and go back to how he used to be.

What I didn't realise either time it happened was that the initial honeymoon period was a ploy to reel me in. It wasn't real. The abusive relationship was the real one. I just couldn't get my head around it. Why would anyone want to hurt the person they say they love? It didn't make sense.

I realised that during the early stages, when you want to tell each other stories about your life and your vulnerabilities, they were actually studying me to find my weak spots. And then using them against me to hurt me.

No-one wants to feel like they meant nothing. But that is how they make you feel in the end. And to them you are nothing. They just move on to their next victim and pretend you were a nutter so they can reel someone else in with their sob stories about horrible women.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 20:50:30

I stayed for myriad stupid reasons.

I thought he loved me and that was why he was so 'protective' <durrrr>
I thought I could change him.
he treated me like a Queen - in the beginning
We had a lot of fun - in the beginning
The sex was amazing - in the beginning.
I thought I could get things back to how they were.

Things got worse and worse, and yet I stayed for probably a good 2.5 years whie things were really bad. Really, really terrible. sad

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 17-Apr-12 21:02:56

Yes, learning what your Achilles Heel is/are, then using them....

DustyDen Tue 17-Apr-12 21:15:10

A mummy who he still kissed on the lips when saying goodbye. Aged thirty-five.

HazleNutt Tue 17-Apr-12 21:16:47

I stayed because I was madly in love, or obsessed would be a better word. And it was so amazing in the beginning, if I only tried a little harder and would not make all those mistakes that upset him, surely we could go back to that..

myfriendflicka Tue 17-Apr-12 21:17:19

Weird telephone behaviour?

NOT calling when he said he would.
Being very loving charming on one call, then refusing to take the next one, and being elusive/unavailable and not answering for days. Then being nice again...
Becoming very angry (over the top angry) if you called at an inconvenient time, which you couldn't possibly have known about (that it wasn't a convenient time to call I mean). He sent me abusive emails if I called him at the "wrong time". I said why not just turn your phone off like normal people if you don't want to be disturbed at a particular time?
Sometimes he would pick up the phone in order to slam it down several times, just in case you didn't get the message that he didn't want to talk.
At times he would pick up, then pretend he couldn't hear you, ie "Hello? Hello? HELLO?" etc until you hung up in frustration.

This was apparently the fault of his "psycho ex" who had a "personality disorder" and her never-explained phone behaviour caused him to have a pathological fear of the telephone....

I had never encountered this sort of behaviour before and found it emotional torture/a total headfuck. When we were together he was lovely, when we were apart he was absolutely horrible.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 21:21:32

Mine would be distant and cold and monosylabic on the phone, but as soon as I saw him in person, he would maul and molest me, and be just totally, inappropriately physical. Ick.

Heleninahandcart Tue 17-Apr-12 21:26:11

Getting angry when I shed tears in public as i embarrassed him.

Telling me it was my fault BIL had heart attack as I hated him (nope, I thought he was a good man).

Being vile to me in public by using another languagewhilst smiling at everyone else.

Using my private diary against me.

Using my inner most fears to taunt me

myfriendflicka Tue 17-Apr-12 21:26:33

I suppose we should be sorry for them, they are so weird/fucked up. Or maybe calculatedly abusive...It was definitely an experience I wish I had avoided...

squashedbanana Tue 17-Apr-12 21:28:25

Ick yes, my ex, after a day of being vile, hence me being quiet and distant, decided he needed reassurance. The best way to do this he decided would be to come over and snog me and grope one breast while our son was feeding on the other breast. Bleurgh!!!

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 21:30:01

I am angry that I wasted 4 yrs being taken in by this shyster on one hand.

One the other hand, I am glad I learned my lesson. I could never be taken in by an abusive man again, and if by some fluke I was, I would have the strength and savvy to get the fuck out asap.

garlicnutter Tue 17-Apr-12 21:34:10

flicka, this thread had made my mind up on the deliberate/unconscious question ... deliberate, in the case of my Twats anyway. I've worked out (finally!) that when I told them "I can stand nearly anything, as long as I know what it is ..." I thought I was saying I'm fairly laid-back but can't bear lies & deception.

What I was really doing was giving them a key.
"I can stand most things ..." = I will take abuse, indeed I'm almost expecting it.
"As long as I know about it ..." = You can fuck me up by keeping me guessing.

I will not even be thinking anything like that in future!
Thanks, thread grin

Becky36 Tue 17-Apr-12 21:36:26

Just thought of another one.

He was short with me, just off, one word answers and snidey little comments. I would ask him if there was something wrong. He said no and said that I just wanted to start a row. These little conversations, surprise, surprise, always ended in a massive row! Which was what he wanted all along. This happened over and over and over again. I could tell by his face that he had got the arse but he would never admit it.

MagsAloof Tue 17-Apr-12 21:37:50

It was definitely deliberate and calculated in my ex's case. He liked having power over women. He wanted a chattel - someone he competely owned and controlled and that would do his bidding - keep his house, service him sexually, hang off his arm.

He had absolutely no respect for women.

My God, the thought of it now - as a feminist, as a mother of daughters - makes me shudder sad

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 22:45:23

Another one of those here becky used to drive me nuts.

It was bloody obvious he wanted a row but it had to be my fault. Aaargh that one used to piss me right off angry

I have an endless list really as the relationship lasted over 30 years sad but some of them:

Lied about everything and did my head in by changing his stories constantly

Told me he loved me within a few weeks

Proposed after 2 months

Didn't 'allow' me to talk about my physically violent ex.

Bought me unwanted gifts of 'sexy' underwear and didn't care when I took them back to the shop (every time) because he enjoyed shopping for them so much - ugh.

Mocked my choice of books, TV, films, magazines as stupid & common.

Said I was 'boring' when I was too tired for sex.

I laughed when he said he believed he'd been swapped at birth as his parents were too common to be his. But then his sister told me he'd said the same to her.

Said I wasn't feminine or 'ladylike' enough - whatever that means.

Constantly criticised my physical appearance. Told me my back was 'too long' WTF?

After living so long with this type of abuse I know I never want another relationship. I've lost the ability to make friends and can't trust anyone.

I don't know what's normal any more sad

MyDogShitsShoes Tue 17-Apr-12 23:20:17

Oh mealie that's awful. I'm so sorry x

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 17-Apr-12 23:53:21

My goodness, I could have written so many of these posts. It's eerie how similar these men are.

Told me he loved me very early on

Wanted to have a baby pretty much straight away, I was 17 at the time, he was 28.

Lied about everything

Hated my family and friends

Told lies about my family and friends to try and drive a wedge between me and them. There was one lie in particular that he used to tell, I'm not going to say what it was because it would make me too easily identifiable, but briefly it was about some people saying something very horrible about him. He repeated that lie over and over again starring different people - why oh why did I continue to believe him?

Bought me horrible presents and expect me to be extremely grateful. I love to read and he got me some Mills and Boon - coz that's wot wimminz reed innit?

Belittled me, told me I was nothing, I was getting above my station because I wanted to go back to college and finish my A-levels.

No close friends of his own.

Controlling, vile misogynistic father, passive aggressive mother

Road rage, one time he was teaching me how to drive and he started an argument, then started screaming at me and then suddenly took the car out of gear. DD was in the car at the time.

Physically abusive but always my fault because he 'had to restrain me'.

Psycho ex who tried to control him.

Terrible personal hygiene

During sex, he would do the same things to me over and over again despite my repeatedly having told him that it was uncomfortable/hurt. Pressured me for sex after having DS, I was taking 'too long' to heal from a tear that had required stitches.

ozirish Wed 18-Apr-12 03:24:30

Instant adoration

Complete bombardment of text messages & phone calls

I had to call him everytime he texted to me “call me” this was day & night

People were out to get him and he was only trying to do right by others

Lost his job through no fault of his own

Lied about having a girlfriend when we met even though I specifically asked him if he had one

Satanists had put a curse on him and we had to pray

More lies to get me to see him again in Ireland – I was happy in London – I had to pay airfares etc

Then complete silence

Finally truth out that he had a girlfriend, turned out he slept with her the night before I was due for a holiday. Didn’t find this out til many years later

Totally messed me up and I was on the rollercoaster for nearly 8 years

Promises made over and over and broken

Had one affair that I know of

Towards the end I truly despised him but still believed he would become enlightened – said he would get counselling, wanted another child even though he blamed me for ending his life when had the first child. I ‘put a gun to his head’

Suffered depression and back pain 2 months after we married so he was incapacitated for most of our marriage – met and married within 10months – big mistake

Lost several jobs – all other peoples fault

Car accidents – not his fault although his road rage was horrifying

Sex and affection and respect dwindled to nothing

Was always at the pub and smoking 'with his friends''

His mother was a saint and I was hopeless not being able to work, bring up child and do all housework

Spent 5 years suing other driving only to blow the payout on himself and guitars although I supported us for years.

God I thought I was a strong person but I am a mug.

Finally divorce will be granted in less than a month but I am still surrounded by the drama of him as I have 2 kids by him. My heavy burden of him in my day to day life is gone and the drama of his lifes misfortunes is gone. I am so happy now but so disheartened to learn I chose such a person to be my husband.

In fact I have to name change just to get rid of the Irish connection – no offence to you lovely Irish ladies

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 07:17:17

Teenstrop I had 'forgotton'or suppressed that one. I had a colposcopy, and they ended up taking a bit of my cervix (small bit, where the problem was) at the same time. It suited me to have it done at the same time, as I didn't have to go back. Tremendously sore afterwards, and fwit, who later on withdrew sexually (but still used to masturbate) pressurised me for sex before I was properly healed. I put it down to insecurity at the time, but it is a common theme, sadly...

So many familiar things - here are just a few of mine:

Refusing to allow me to meet his friends then telling me they all hated me when I did and accusing me of fancying all his make friends.

Only seeing me on his terms and when he wanted to.

Ignoring me for days at a time while inferring I had done something wrong but refusing to tell me what.

Dumping me repeatedly for no reason, then calling me for sex when he was lonely.

Repeated suspicious behavior around other women, turns out he never kept his dick in his pants - the entire time.

Not allowing me to have my hair cut.

Not allowing me to learn to drive.

Not allowing my mother or sister into our house in three years.

Making me go on nights out with no underpants on as it 'turned him on' sad

Making me take a cab to the er when I was having a suspected miscarriage on mothers day and also going mental cos I wouldn't stop on the way home to buy his mother flowers.

Shouting at me because I didn't cut chicken properly?!?

Not picking me up from the airport when I came back from a holiday because he 'just knew' I would have been unfaithful to him hmm

Smoked dope 24/7 even though I brought in almost all the money and we sometimes couldn't pay the mortgage.

Continually nagged me for anal sex then decided to just do it anyway while I was asleep and I woke in agony.

Forced me to perform os on him upstairs on a bus and in the back of a cab.

Would always make me leave in various states of undress in the middle of the night with no money, forcing me to walk to a friends house for help and totally shame myself.

God, I don't think I can go on, just suffice to say I'm glad I only lasted seven years with him!!

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 18-Apr-12 08:51:42

This thread is giving me chills. I'm definitely going to buy the Lundy book for my adorable teenage niece. My first abusive relationship was at 16 and set the pattern for later relationships.

I'm remembering more: I came home after having my appendix out, and was shouted at - I think I didn't realise what a toll my operation had taken on him. He stomped off to the pub and left me alone and in pain - that was the week before our wedding. Reader, I married him. sad

Thought my family were chavvy scum and to be tolerated with bad grace, whereas his family (and culture) were hugely superior.

malinkey Wed 18-Apr-12 09:04:09

Tick, tick, tick. It's spooky how many of these things I can relate to.

The stupid thing is I still sometimes have doubts about whether he was abusive or not but when I read everyone else's experiences I can see him so clearly.

I'd forgotten about the illness thing. When he was ill or stressed or needy (so just all the time then) he wanted my unconditional never ending support <waves pompoms>

But if I was ill or upset he would get cross or ignore me. After having panic attacks for the first time in my life (soon after we were married - I wonder why!) I was really scared and asked for his support - he was furious and created a huge argument which left me confused and feeling totally alone. Later on of course this episode was rewritten as him looking after me and helping me to get better. hmm

When I hadn't known him long he told me a story about one of his exes and how she came to visit him and got flu so ended up staying longer than intended and he had to look after her. I never could understand why it seemed such a big deal to him <slaps head>

I think the gaslighting is definitely the worst bit - even though I can look back and see what he was doing I still doubt myself.

myfriendflicka Wed 18-Apr-12 09:38:34

What is of most concern is why any of us would put up with any of this appalling behaviour.
There is a link with early abusive behaviour in the family, I believe. You absorb it unconsciously when you are very young, so it is familiar and you are attracted to that kind of person without knowing why. I do think there is something in this, which is why you really need to work out why you are having relationships with people who don't treat you properly, and move on from it...

NicknameTaken Wed 18-Apr-12 09:43:26

I used to lie in bed breastfeeding DD as a newborn, while he lay behind me thrusting at me as if he was trying for anal sex. Because of the angle, he couldn't have got it in, but it was just bizarre, as if he couldn't bear to having to share my body. Funny how they don't show that in all the soft-focus pictures of mothers feeding their children.

angrywoman Wed 18-Apr-12 10:22:23

His brother said 'good luck with him' when I was pregnant with DD1. Seemed sincere aswell. At the time he was still being Mr Perfect and I wondered WTF his brother meant.... Turned out ex bullied him contantly for years.
Oh yes Porn. My ex used it every day towards the end of our relationship. 'Working' from home. He implied it was my fault for giving him no sex!
He took explicit photos of me which I deleted before the end of the relationship. He texted me a year later saying that he had found them - truth or lies who knows but he did have back-up on his computer. Apparently he did something similar to his current gf during a brief split... this time he used her email password to get into her account and sent photos of her with text from her to various people. Lovely. And she was about to have their baby. Poor woman has taken him back.....

MissCeliaFoote Wed 18-Apr-12 10:34:35

Avoiding meeting my family at all costs.
Only wanting to go on dates to a cinema right out of town or to 'watch DVDs' i.e. have sex in his flat - obviously he had a serious girlfriend and I was just his bit on the side, and he was avoiding the possibility of us being seen -- but I was too dim to work this out at the time.
Fucked me like I was a piece of meat, but he was the first person I'd had sex with, thought it was normal. I told him sex was hurting, and he just carried on. I lay ther not knowing what to do.
Had pictures of semi-naked page 3 girls in his flat.
I hinted that I might love him five months into our relationship and he laughed at me, completely incredulous. 'Next you'll be telling me you LOVE me? Oh God, haha'. This long, humiliating laugh. I left in tears, but luckily it was the beginning of the end.

In short, I was a bloody idiot not to have broken up with him sooner.

Frizzbonce Wed 18-Apr-12 10:44:00

Mealie I'm so sorry to hear that. What a fucktwat. You are still in there you know - your self-esteem is just buried under layers of his shitty behaviour. Talk to a counsellor. I promise you it helps.

All these recurring themes - instant declarations of love - taking pleasure in your upsets, only caring about what you can do for him - control control control.

Another one - the floodgates have been opened!

He hated my body hair and would gently 'remind' me to get a bikini and leg wax. When I pointed out that it was midwinter and the only person to see my ladychuff was him - and he winced at the idea of having his bollocks waxed he said: 'I know it's not fair but it's just the way I am.'

He would point out that I was gaining weight - I am a size 10 - then look sad and say: 'At least I notice.'

If I wore something he didn't like he would look pained and when I asked him what the matter was he would say: 'Nothing' so of course I would keep asking. Eventually he would sigh and say: 'I think you're a bit old for that skirt'. (It was a knee length pencil skirt). Later on I got wise to his passive aggressive bullshit and when he said: 'Nothing' I would say, 'Ok' and carry on so he would up the sighing and huffing to such a point that he was practically hyperventilating.

If I tried to talk to him about a problem he would shout: 'Oh it's always my fault' and storm out.

malinkey Wed 18-Apr-12 10:59:00

Frizzbonce - God, yes to the shouting 'It's always my fault' when trying to have a conversation he didn't want to have or more often 'Just because you're so perfect'.

All this stuff I'd forgotten. Sigh.

SoSad007 Wed 18-Apr-12 11:04:53

Nickname I find the mental imagery of your last post really disturbing sad. What the hell was he thinking???

More come to mind:

The only females he knew were wives/girlfriends of his male mates. They were the only females he said anything positive about too.

Broke up with me 5-6 times within a year. After the first 2 breakups, I would call and say "We need to discuss this". He would simply ignore those calls, and sulk.

I swore to myself after the last breakup that this was it, and I wasn't taking him back. He calls 3 weeks later and asks me out to dinner, as if nothing had happened, which I ignore. Twelve months later, he's leaving messages for me saying "Can we talk about this?" Too late mate, that ship sailed long ago!

Oh, and how spooky is this: Three months into our relationship, I bought him a few books for his birthday, as he loved to read. One of the books was about one woman's experiences with female genital mutation, and how she escaped her oppressively patriarchal society. I asked him shortly after if he has started reading this book, and he said "No, I found the subject too disturbing". Wish I had delved deeper into why he thought it disturbing, but of course he would have lied and made something up. Looking back, he didn't think of himself as an abuser, and would have been uncomfortable reading the book as it would have been like looking into a mirror for him.

Frizzbonce Wed 18-Apr-12 11:26:56

malinkey yes - by shouting, 'it's always my fault isn't it' or 'because you're so perfect.' (often followed by 'Remember that time ten years ago on 14th December when I specifically asked you to get semi-skimmed milk and you got FULL FAT!' - he was brilliant at writing down all my sins in blood and then recalling them when we were arguing about something totally unrelated!) But by the shouty response they get to avoid the real issue at hand, shout at you and make you feel bad.


One more. I came back from hospital after giving birth to DS, having suffered a massive haemorrage, and he starts moaning about how 'tired' he is from having to get up at night and feed the baby. When I point out that I've been on a drip in hospital he reminds me that I've had 'a nice rest.'

I can't believe I felt bad about that.

malinkey Wed 18-Apr-12 11:45:03

'a nice rest' - arf!

That's reminded me of a similar one too. How could I have forgotten all this? In hospital after having DS, severely anaemic and waiting for a blood transfusion, ex was about to go home so I told him I needed to go to the toilet and he told me that as he was there I'd be better off feeding DS (can't for the life of me remember his reasoning) - so I instead sat down and tried to feed DS before bleeding heavily and nearly fainting and having to be rescued by a midwife, who cleaned me up and put me to bed then got ex busy washing and changing DS, which no way on earth he'd have voluntarily done.

This story was later relayed by him as him having to do all the looking after of DS in hospital because I was 'out of it'. Sometimes accompanied by an evil glare at me. Like I'd been on heroin or something. And that's probably the last time he changed his nappy til he was about 6 months.


marshmallowpies Wed 18-Apr-12 11:46:43

Frizzbonce - my ex, after we'd been split up about 6 months, announced he had some things he wanted to tell me and came round to my flat to read out a letter he had written which basically listed all my faults and all the reasons why I was a bad person and he'd had to end the relationship.

It included details of presents I had bought him which were inadequate compared to the things he had bought/planned/done for me, or compared to presents other people had bought for him.

He said he needed to get all this off his chest in order to move on from the relationship, and I sat there and took it meekly, as I thought I deserved to be punished for all the bad things I'd done to him. I now don't understand why I didn't just throw him out of the flat...

malinkey Wed 18-Apr-12 11:48:09

marshmallow - was he 5?!

arthriticfingers Wed 18-Apr-12 12:01:55

Another one here who can tick 30 odd years of boxes - gaslighting DV the lot blush sad
But ... I can remember the very first red flag I paid no attention to - back then (yes you've guessed it) 30 odd years ago.
We were kids on the beach hanging out with his (obviously) friends, and when we go to get an ice-cream, FWH says 'You'd better not have one - as ice-cream will make you fatter.
Apart from just how twattish a thing that is to say to a 20 something girl surrounded by young women whom I did not know well, all in bikinis (and you always thing other girls are prettier than you are at that age), I weighed less than 8 stone and wore a size 10 confused

Astr0naut Wed 18-Apr-12 12:16:04

My absolute favourite bit, and what, I suppose summed him up, was when I finished it.

We'd had a big row on teh phone (I'd moved out to be nearer work; he would follow when he got a job, AHem) and it had ended. I felt relief. H then drove to my flat to see if I'd reconsider.

I didn't; I was free.

He had a tantrum, slammed the door into my cooker so hard it broke the knobs off (which landlord took off the deposit), then left.

Thirty seconds later the intercom buzzed: "Can you lend me £20 for petrol? After all, it's your fault I drove here." [speechless]

malinkey Wed 18-Apr-12 12:16:37

Very first red flag was ex talking politely to a shop assistant when he was unhappy about something, then looking bashful and saying 'I didn't get angry, I wanted to but wouldn't want you to see me getting angry with him' or something similar.

Many years and many angry shouting scenes later, and having witnessed numerous incidents of him 'bumping' into people on busy streets and leaving them floundering in his wake so that he could get cross with them, I should have listened to him.

NicknameTaken Wed 18-Apr-12 12:40:03

Thanks for the sympathy, SoSad! I didn't find it upsetting at the time - I was already learning to minimize his behaviour.

Frizzbonce Wed 18-Apr-12 12:44:39


"my ex, after we'd been split up about 6 months, announced he had some things he wanted to tell me and came round to my flat to read out a letter he had written which basically listed all my faults and all the reasons why I was a bad person and he'd had to end the relationship.

It included details of presents I had bought him which were inadequate compared to the things he had bought/planned/done for me, or compared to presents other people had bought for him."

<sits speechless>

You are Well. Rid.

SootySweepandSue Wed 18-Apr-12 12:50:23

Ok here goes;

- telling me that he didn't want me to join a gym
- telling me off for reading the Daily Mail ( ha ha I know it's shite but I only read the You supplement FFS!). I was livid btw. Telling me what paper to read what a tit.
- realising he was downing the best part of a bottle of plonk while cooking dinner and then drinking another bottle at dinner (every night)
- having a massive strop when I suggested a healthy picnic over a pub (boozy) lunch
- his film collection consisted of only x-files/csi and was on VHS tapes

What a loser and what was I thinking? Luckily got shot of him after a short while, subject to changing all my numbers.

SootySweepandSue Wed 18-Apr-12 12:53:49

Oh and once at one of his booze fests (dinners) he actually came out with 'why do I feel the need to control you'. Well at least he was a self-aware twunt.grin

MagsAloof Wed 18-Apr-12 14:25:22

I feel so sad reading this thread sad

LilBlondePessimist, some of what you said made my blood run cold. Well into the relationship, when there had already been every red flag going and the abuse had started in earnest, Ex also used to force me into oral sex. Sometimes when friends were in the house he would call me in to another room and force me to do it. He also had an obsession with having it done in public places. Grim.

But what really rang a bell was this:

'Would always make me leave in various states of undress in the middle of the night with no money, forcing me to walk to a friends house for help and totally shame myself'.

Every so often he would start a huge row in the middle of the night, then pick me up (usually in underwear; bear in mind he was 6'6 and weighed 18 stone, while I was a very slim size 8) and throw me out of the door into the corridor of the flats he lived in (we lived there together for a while, too). He would then eventually throw my clothes and bag out after me, when I had sat in my bra and knickers on a stone floor for long enough sad, then double lock the door and go back to bed shock. This was one of the most humiliating things he did to me. I don't know why I ever let him get away with it more than once. The guy upstairs from him was a crack dealer - a seriously nasty, violent, moral-less man, even Ex was a bit intimidated by him - and I remember even he said to me one time, after coming up the stairs at about 3am (probably from selling drugs to kids or some other lovely pursuit) to find me sitting in my nightie on the floor outside Ex's door 'Ive seen men treat their dogs better than he treats you. Why are you with him?'. He even offered me cab fare home, but I declined. How much lower could I have sunk?

Wow. Reading that back I make myself sound like a pathetic shadow of a person. Cannot believe that was me sad

NiniLegsInTheAir Wed 18-Apr-12 14:36:33

Struggling to read most of this, it's like I'm having a conversation about my husband!

Nothing to add that hasn't been said already really, but another story about the shocking treatment after giving birth that others have mentioned. When DD was born last year I stayed in hospital for 3 nights as she had jaundice. I was struggling to feed her and she wouldn't sleep so neither did I.

On Day 3 (I think) he came in for visiting hours, I was sat uncomfortably on a chair in my room trying to feed DD. All he said when he came in was how tired he was, then got into my bed and went to sleep. angry. I was sat still trying to feed DD when a midwife came in - when she saw him fast asleep she looked murderous, shook him awake and berated him for sleeping while I was obviously struggling with sleep dep/feeding problems etc etc. When she left he called her a bitch.

Not sure what this adds to the conversation but it came to me today while reading this and it's stuck with me now!

magsaloof, it's actually a heart wrenching thread, which is reminding me of things I had long since forgotten. I think being ejected in the early hours in a state of undress is so upsetting because it is just so humiliating. I used to feel glad if I had managed to grab a t-shirt, and eventually got to the point of never wearing any less as he used to engineer the arguments to after sex when he had me at my most vulnerable. Sometimes I wonder if he treated the next poor fool as badly as he did me, and then I think probably not, because who else would be stupid enough to let him. Seems I'm maybe not as stupid as I thought I was when I read of everyone else's horrific and all too similar experiences (although at least he very rarely physically hit me - funny how I always said that if he really beat me, that would be the final straw) hmm

Actually, just remembered something which although trivial, also humiliated me and started early on - he used to make oinky grunty pig noises whenever I ate - even in front of friends blush. I was a size 8.

MagsAloof Wed 18-Apr-12 14:52:47

LilBlonde, I always said that about the 'beating', too sad.

Although he bruised me and hurt me regularly by pushing, shoving, grabbing my arm etc - he never 'hit' me, which made it 'not so bad' in my warped world at that time.

fergoose Wed 18-Apr-12 16:25:37

I wish mine had actually hit me like he threatened to do - then I would have left him rather than put up with it for 16 years.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 16:58:23

Lilblonde mine used to be a bit weird after sex. Used to make him a bit 'aggressive' in a non-specific if it triggered something hormonally. Well strange. I used to think he was arsey when he didn't have enough sex, but when he did, he was arsey in a different way.
Also once, when drunk, I told him of some sexual abuse over a long period of time by a family member. It was never referred to it, as if it was just the drunken ramblings of a mad woman. Not so drunk that I couldn't remember telling him about it. Very strange indeed.

KirstyWirsty Wed 18-Apr-12 17:54:00

Declaring love within days (I was 'The One'!!)
Talking about settling down and having kids within weeks
Stealing from work/restaurants (e.g. jugs pepper mills)
Gifting aforementioned stolen items from work (snow shovels etc) to neighbours and friends and acting like the great benefactor
Road Rage
Lying lying lying!!!
His Ex was a liar ... (projection anyone??)
Saying 'To be honest'and 'trust me' all the time ...
Hidden Porn (belonged to a friend though hmm)
No real friends - tags along with brother's pals
sneaky and evasive
Trying to have sex with me while I was sleeping and pretending that he was asleep
Ran down everyone - my friends, his family, my family and then said that he didn't like the way I spoke about people!??
Always wanted me to decide what to do and then criticised it and glaslighted me by making out he was the one who made all the decisions about what to do!!
Any meals made by me were examined as he looked at the contents of the fork and asked questions like 'did you remember to put curry powder in it?' (Yes - it is curry you tosser!!)

About 5 years ago I decided he was my penance for mistreating my first husband .. It makes me sad that I was willing to put up with all this shit .. and it took him having an affair for me to kick him out

something2say Wed 18-Apr-12 18:41:35

Some of these are blowing my mind, and I agree that young women should know these sorts of things / wish I had known them when younger.

I think the biggest mistake I ever made was to stay with a man who was really alternative, beyond when I realised he was dangerous too, because I wanted to explore his scene basically. But at the end I just felt tainted by him and I never include him in my roundup of boyfriends now.

He -
Told me he loved me really quickly like so many others here.
Told me that people HE knew did things spontaneously, so if I wanted to be one of them I should do this too. This meant rent my newly bought first ever flat, half decorated, and go and live with him in his shed, with his son, and get a job down there and run their house and not go to the music events there or do the yoga or anything.
He used to shout at me and use tactics to make me feel bad, like be monosylabic when I went out and rang him to say hi.
He also pulled my top open and exposed my bra, saying that people could see in this sort of top, look!
He kept saying 'Are you going to sleep with the builders when they come??' 'Are you picking up men on the internet? That's your pattern isn't it?' because we met thro a forum.

I refused to commit to him, and would listen to this shit and then let him leave and then ring him up and say it was over. But then go down for the weekend in two weeks time, saying it was friends and having a blinding time, and then next time he would do something that was a clear no no, I would rinse and repeat. This went on until I realised that every time I saw him I just felt bad and I had no peace in my heart about what I was doing.

Anyway. I don't think about him often. The sex was good all the way thro tho.

WhippingGirl Wed 18-Apr-12 18:59:27

not the ejecting in underwear but starting rows on nights out and stranding me so he could lock me out. i never left without keys for 4 years!

wanking in bed next to me loudly as a punsihment for me refsuing sex.

the passive agressive sulking thing all the bloody time

subtly eroding my friendships even if he could only find the tiniest thing to criticise about them.

threatening exes i was in contact with. now we have split i have a list of people to contact and apologise to for his rantings.

trying to cause conflict between my mum and i - nice try!!! my fab mum is a serious dv survivor and spotted his tactics a mile off smile

undermining my parenting decisions based on nothing to make me feel bad

encouraged me to tell him all about thingsw i had done at work so he could criticise my decisions - because he's qualified to do that - not! ranting at me if i told him he was wrong

being totally unable to let a disagreement drop nd escalating it in to a row whatever the debate was from the falklands to the price of bread.

chocoraisin Wed 18-Apr-12 19:00:46

Declared love almost immediately, proposed to me within 4 months. Not romantic, ridiculous. I wouldn't accept if I knew then what I know now sad

LesAnimaux Wed 18-Apr-12 19:05:36

Great thread.

I am very lucky that I have an excellent in built twat detector, but I so wish all women did. This thread should be printed and handed out to all female high school girls.

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 19:15:25

Had I read this at 15 I would not be where I am now 12 years down the line. But I am out and building a better future.

Agree - this should be handed out!

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 19:17:52

Pillar if I had read it, I wouldn't have believed it applied to MY dh. Denial aint a river in Egypt, honey...

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 19:21:17

Actually, good point! It took years of pointing out the behaviour in this thread for me to realise....

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 19:22:32

Years of other people pointing it out that is...

Thank you MyDogShitsShoes and Frizzbonce for your comments.

This is both a very sad and at the same time a great, cathartic thread.

I am very pleased to say that I received my decree absolute today.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 19:56:55

Freedom Mealie you can pilot your own rocket now.

Abitwobblynow Wed 18-Apr-12 20:34:01

We do need to talk to young people. Put this link on Facebook.

BenedictsCumberbitch Wed 18-Apr-12 20:37:47

LesAnimaux I think I have a pretty good twat detector as well but these men don't out themselves as twats to begin with, then their twattishness is dressed up as love and concern for you etc. Often they make you feel sorry for them because they have had it so hard and sometimes it's only with the benefit of hindsight that you can look back and wonder why you were taken in by such a manipulative bastard. It's quite patronising to sit smugly and say 'well thankfully I'd never be so stupid as to let any of this happen to me'. None of us set out to get involved with men who completely screwed with our minds.

MyDogShitsShoes Wed 18-Apr-12 20:42:14

Good for you mealie, new life starts today x

MyDogShitsShoes Wed 18-Apr-12 20:46:12

Not sure about a fb link abitwobbly, a lot of us have shared some pretty personal stuff. O know I'd be deleting some posts if I knew it was going to be.shared.

<<stands and applauds benedicts>>

MyDogShitsShoes Wed 18-Apr-12 20:57:45

Crap, just realised I can't see the fb link thingy on my phone.
Could someone let me know if it's been shared please? Thanks

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 21:08:09 are right about the way LesAnimaux's post came across, but I think it is definitely important that girls are educated at their most vulnerable age. Anyone can get sucked it...and often it seems to be strong, successful women (like someone else on this thread's like a prize/challenge), but as someone who got involved with a total cock at such a young age....I think it would be worth making some of the 'red flags' more public. They have a brilliant campaign in Australia for this.

FB link not best way probably...

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:10:40

don't linkto FB.

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 21:11:08

*sucked in

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 21:11:44

Have already posted on this thread under 3 diff names due to paranoia...

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:13:20

It's not fair to link. Some of us are identifiable.

BenedictsCumberbitch Wed 18-Apr-12 21:24:16

Oh I completely agree that young women should be educated but it was the 'but I'd never let it happen to me' subtext that I objected to which I hope wasn't how the poster intended to sound.

LesAnimaux Wed 18-Apr-12 21:25:37

Or maybe I'm just very lucky that I have seen relationships like this in RL as I was growing up, and every time I started a relationship with a great bloke, and noticed one little tiny thing that rang an alarm bell I ran. Very fast. For years I was a serial monogamist.

Take it as patronising/smug if you want. If no one is immune from twats why bother educating anyone?

<<sighs and mutters; this is why I wonder why I actually bother with MN, sometimes>>

Like the OP said;

" but I am just thinking of the things that had my Twat Detector been working, would have encouraged me to get out before I had emotionally invested."

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:29:57


I'm a bloke but I've been watching this thread along with the brave babes thread. I relate to both from experience. A lot of truth is spoken in each. I wish we could help younger people by advising them but, unfortunately they like to find out the hard way. I know i did.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:34:58

I agree. People only get out when the time is right. But it is a good idea to plant the seed. Many of us did not realise we were being subjected to the same sort of abuse. Many of us were raised with low self-esteem, which made us more vulnerable to this. Perhaps Les was raised with greater self-esteem than I was, and many others.

garlicnutter Wed 18-Apr-12 21:35:03

Found the Australian campaign Pillar referred to. Not bad!

garlicnutter Wed 18-Apr-12 21:37:29

True, Parsley. Plus, as others have said, when you talk to your friends they try to make you feel better by making excuses for the abuser and encouraging you to be nice to them! That's one very good reason for a campaign ... so the friends recognise when others are being abused.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:39:58

thing is, maybe you wouldn't have the knowledge if it hadn't happened to you.

LesAnimaux Wed 18-Apr-12 21:41:36

ParsleyTheLioness, I really don't think it has anything to do with self esteem. Maybe a certain 6th sense, or just experience of watching the relationships of others.

garlicnutter Wed 18-Apr-12 21:42:03

YY, cgno, I assume that's why the friends tend to come out with wishy-washy bad advice. Information campaigns could address that.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:42:41

Also, I hope nobody is damaged by this thread. A lot of stuff I had forgotten or suppressed has been brought up by other similar experience. Horrified of how the script they are working to is similar. Would stress that there is help out there. In the past Rape Crisis have been a great help to me. In my case they dealt with a vicious sexual assault, you don't have to have experienced rape to go to them. Many of these abuses include sexual elements.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:43:20

Unfortunately Les the evidence is otherwise.

garlicnutter Wed 18-Apr-12 21:43:27

Ahem, LA, I was with you until your last post. Now you really are sounding like you see yourself as smarter & more gifted than all us poor saps who got caught.

You realise that kind of attitude is an abuser magnet, I trust?

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:43:41

I think self esteem has alot to with it. It effects so many life decisions that you make.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:47:48

I didn't want to be negative about a campaign, just thinking that our parents did tell us all this stuff but a lot of the time we didn't listen. Not sure how many people will listen. How many people's parents told them not to smoke?

MagsAloof Wed 18-Apr-12 21:48:13

Funny thing is, I didnt have low self esteem at all (took a dip towards the end of the relationship, though). I thought I was God's gift to mankind when I met him grin. I was a very confident, cocky little thing, in fact. But there was a part of me that thought that 'drama' in a relationship was normal (explosive fights between mum and dad when I was very small, until my mum booted my verbally abusive father out and did a sterling job of bringing us up alone). And anothe rpart of me that thought that because I was so clever and tough and basically bloody brilliant, I could fix him, change him, make him love me the way i wanted him to.

It sounds bonkers now, but it is true.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:49:19

also we don't want to add to there script

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:51:42

Cygno you mean give ammo to the abusers?

LesAnimaux Wed 18-Apr-12 21:51:57

Well, I don't think I have much self esteem.

When I say "6th sense" I mean when you know something might happen, but you can't explain why, and you just have to get out of there" Everyone gets that sometimes. I'm certainly not special.

I am seen by others as not being very trusting. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, sometimes good. My DM and DSis seem to believe most people are good people. Has been their relationship downfall.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:52:05

I've tried to help people too. But you have to let go after a fixed time limit.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 21:55:50

Cygno have you seen my question? May have cross posted, this is a fast thread...

LesAnimaux Wed 18-Apr-12 21:55:52

The "fixing" thing rings true.

Women need to stop thinking they can nurture a man into perfection. (If that makes sense)

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 21:56:07

Actually garlic, that campaign seems to have got better since I was last in Oz!

PillarBoxRedRoses Wed 18-Apr-12 21:57:41

Oh..that one is in America...but same premise.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 21:58:28


maybe, they do react to trends quite quickly. For example I bet there all 21st century men now .... etc.

perceptionreality Wed 18-Apr-12 21:59:28

One particular relationship yielded the following things:

I saw him get angry with people and resort to violence very quickly. He also punched walls. I am sure his temper would have eventually turned on me more and more.

He was a sadist and enjoyed hurting me in various ways - he seemed to get off on it. Crushing my feet, squeezing my ribs hard among them.

He had a beautiful ex girlfriend who seemed to me like a very nice person. She had lots of friends and was popular. However, according to him she was 'crazy' and it was her fault they broke up.

He refered to women as 'bastards'

His family viewed him as the one who always rocked the boat.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 22:02:49

Perception glad you got out...
Cgno I will spell your name correctly. But that is so...sad....isn't it?

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 22:06:55


well maybe i'm wrong, but I bet any current abuser's didn't admit to old fashion attitudes.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 22:11:48

I'm not saying you are wrong. What I am saying, I think, is that it does not seem unreasonable to have a partner who is pleasant to us,most of the time, does not put us down or abuse us and cares about our wellbeing. And yet, for many of use, that didn't happen happen. What kind of damaged mind thinks abuse is preferable to this, as a 'relationship'.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 22:13:30

It's down to the persons personalty. If they're superficial they will go along with any trend that suits them. Why not an internet trend to make them attractive to women.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 18-Apr-12 22:14:45

cgno, have you just joined mn? You seem to have no other mn history other than this thread?

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 22:19:23

it's not unreasonable to have a partner that is pleasant nearly all of the time. I think you just have to relay on your gut instinct. If you feel a bit uncomfortable some of the time then thats not acceptable. But don't get confused with sometimes things are difficult, but you feel like you can cope.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 22:20:02

yes I have. but I've been reading for sometime.

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 22:21:17

I meant it is unreasonable -- see above

garlicnutter Wed 18-Apr-12 22:21:47

Oops, PillarBox, I thought I was looking at an Australian one!
Never mind, it's still not bad smile

I disagree your parents warn you about red flags, cgno. A lot of red flags look identical to green flags. Love at first date: ideal romance or suspiciously quick? Could be either. Buys you gifts: ditto. And so on.

It's all in the context. Love at first date and he seems to be hurrying towards mortgage & pregnancy? Alarm bell. Buys beautiful gifts and asks you to wear them? Alarm. Texts you 15 times a day? Sweet. Keeps texting even when you don't reply? Creepy. Perpetrators do announce their intentions but, if you're floating on a cloud of oxytocin, you need people around you to hear the context. (Or to be a walking compendium of Mumsnet's harsher wisdom!)

garlicnutter Wed 18-Apr-12 22:27:38

Yes, we nearly all have healthy instincts for danger. Unfortunately most of us are too willing to override them. Anyone can make this mistake, especially if they come from a dysfunctional environment, but it's almost universal in women because of our social conditioning to "be nice".

cgno Wed 18-Apr-12 22:33:21

Hi garlic

I'm a bloke btw, but my mum has an amazing nack for chancers.

MyDogShitsShoes Wed 18-Apr-12 22:33:29

In my marriage it was him who had the low self-esteem. I was the confident one with the great friends, own house, nice car, good job etc.

I think self-esteem is the route of a lot of his problems tbh.

BibiBlocksberg Wed 18-Apr-12 22:49:01

"I disagree your parents warn you about red flags" - agree to that, if my 'D' mother had spent less time going on about when to buy a hat for a wedding and just once had told me 'he's treating you appalingly, at least think about leaving the bastard' it would have helped a lot. Even if I wouldn't have admitted it openly, it would have supported what I was already thinking.

Having said that, I have lost friends over telling them they don't have to put up with the way their being treated in relationships and am generally seen as a bit of an angry sad case with only cats for company these days in other circles for pointing out clearly twattish behaviour.

Maybe I'll just carry out the 'stealth ninja' mission I thought of - printing this thread, sorting into handy categories and leaving a copy in every publicly accesable space I can think of smile

aftereight Wed 18-Apr-12 23:01:05

Ah, so many of these, and at the time I really thought he was THE one!
I often wonder if we all named names we could find our own exes twats and warn each other off grin