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things in past relationships that, in retrospect were red flags(60 Posts)
Thought I'd start a kind of 'preventative' thread rather than all the 'after the horse has bolted' threads that dominate this section
Ive had had a couple of bad relationships in the past. I wish now I'd recognised these bad signs at the time.
-jealousy at seeing me talking to another man
-lying about number of expartners
-general intolerance of other people
-not coming to ultrasound
Women that would talk to him but ignored me and would not look me in the eye.
When I asked if there was any reason he said "she had come on to him once but he had turned her down."
Repeat x 3 before marriage
Shoulda bought him that ticket. You know the one . . .
His ex GF Was a real bitch
His ex GF before that was a real bitch as well
Oh and his ex GF from school, what a cow.
His mother was a saint in human form.
I don't even remember this, but a friend told me after I left XP that he was taken aback when we went to a pub one night, the bouncers told us it was now too late to come in, and XP kicked off at the bouncer.
Also when he was asking me after 24 hours "Is this a serious relationship? I need to know because if you'll get bored in 2 months I don't see a point to us doing this." and refused to take "I don't know yet" as an answer.
Also telling me the reason he refused to sleep with me on the first night was so he didn't get accused of rape later. Not that he was concerned I was so drunk I might have been saying I was ready when I wasn't, but that he didn't want to get into trouble. Nice...
- avid pursuit of me
- overblown praise
- early declarations of love
- contempt towards other people, other opinions
- "joking" about violence he wished on those who crossed him
- punching a wall when stressed
- claiming that name-calling and wall-punching were healthy ways to release anger
- having dumped previous girlfriend twice to hook up with someone more pleasing, but having her take him back in between
Those were the early warning signs during the honeymoon period of first getting together. There was worse to come once I was more deeply entangled.
-walking away from me when I was talking
-shouting at me when I was crying the day after I had my dead baby
-telling me how he had sympathised with a work colleague after her m/c
-not allowing my 18mth dd to have any toys downstairs
-telling my 7 yo dd off for crying after he hit her
......loads more where that came from....biggest waste of 16 yrs of my life
- Disapearing for hours at a time
- Being a victim
- Not being able to cope with tiny traumas (running out of tobacco, not having any clean socks) and going mental
- Not being able to do 'adult' things (wash clothes, personal hygiene, feed himself)
- Lying about how much/when he'd been drinking
- Saying/doing terrible things when drunk then 'not remembering' and being very remorseful
- Oh and hiding cocaine in the skirting boards..but think that one might be an 'after the horse has bolted' one!
Standing me up or leaving me waiting a long time for him to arrive.
Belated or non existent birthday / christmas and valentine day presents.
Scrutinising shopping receipts and making deductions for items of sanitary wear before he paid me his half.
Leaving me to make my own way home after a night out while he stayed out partying.
Throwing a bowl of dirty washing up water over me.
Him taking long walks at night for several hours, because allegedly he couldn't sleep.
Saying ex was mad and that she'd been abusive towards him
Lying about his work
Being overly shy and gentle at first - playing the victim who was looking for someone to care for him
Failure to talk face-to-face about anything to do with the relationship
Any discussion was an argument and any response he made was due to 'provocation' or 'nagging'
Living off his parents
Selfishness. His needs came before family.
Failure to adjust behaviour after the birth of his child
Social isolation and wanting partner not to go to social events
Number one for me was lying.
ExP would lie about everything even when there was no reason.
If I ever feel ready to be with anyone else, I will have a zero tolerance policy on lying.
Continually letting me down and breaking promises at the start of the realtionship.
Bragging about incidents when he was violent.
Not just looking at other women while we walking along, but locking eyes with nearly everyone that walked past whilst letting go of my hand in advance and stepping away from me.
Yup and the old slagging off ex girlriends and that I was 'different' to all other women.... oh and his mum being a total saint when she was actually a right old battleaxe who was quite nasty to vrtually all her other children on a regular basis.
Oh and making out he's incapable of doing anything around the house or doing it so badly as to never ask him again. If he can drive a car, he can operate a sodding washing machine!
Meeting up with (and snogging) his ex in order to get her blessing.
Demanding that I got rid of everything connected with my ex while he kept everything from his...in chronological order.
His notebook in which he kept notes on every penny he spent..so that I could reimburse him.
Asking me to give him 95% of my wages for the household bills. I could use the other 5% for clothes for ds and I and toys etc.
Threatening me because a man once asked me directions to the toilet while we were out one night. Apparently I was sleeping with him.
Accusing me of sleeping around.
Telling his friends I was frigid.
The violence which increased incrementally.
Telling what I could and couldn't wear, where I was allowed to go, who I could talk to, what I should say.
I wish I'd had MN 20 years ago.
Others I've just thought of, which were very early on
- Withdrawing affection when I said no to sex. I just thought this was how he reacted when he was upset, it didn't occur to me he probably shouldn't have been upset!
- Getting angry in situations where a normal person would be upset. I thought this was a gender thing, compounded by the fact I always cry when I'm frustrated or angry, it seemed to make sense he would do the opposite. Apparently I had TOTALLY SHITTY male role models.
- Proclaiming that he hated spending time without me and pretty much inching his way full time into my single bed in my shared room at my mum's house. Leaving a drawer full of used condoms and tissues in the room when we moved out (I had to clean this out three years later after we'd split up. BOAK. But I'm quite glad my mum never did it!)
- Going out with me in the first place when I was 18 and he was 23. I know not all age differences in relationships end badly but I'm 23 now and I could not imagine wanting to date someone just out of school.
- Nicking my cigarettes on the first night we met and then insisting he couldn't smoke because he didn't know when to stop and last time he was smoking so much he started coughing up blood, so forced me to give up as well because it was "unfair on him". Okay it was a good thing I stopped smoking, but I didn't fucking want to! I started again a few months after we split anyway, once I suddenly realised he wasn't going to lambast me for it any more.
A really messed-up relationship with his mother. Argumentative and disrespectful - yet also clingy. After a year of treating me well he gradually started treating me like his mother. Not good.
Dysfunctional family/upbringing. Not a red flag, more of a caution.
Need to top my and everyone else's stories, or to ignore them.
Inability to meet me halfway on an apology or post-argument making up.
Agreement to start a family only when I threatened to leave (despite agreeing clear timeline before marriage).
One divorce and multiple broken relationships, he did all the dumping.
Long term sexual problems and seeing me as the solution, because 'he fancied me more than all the others'
Despising the university I went to (Oxford), calling it elitist and taking the piss, even though I went to comprehensive and he went to private school
Never, ever getting drunk and being judgemental about drinking, despite taking cocaine and spending most of his youth smoking cannabis
Being mean about my friends, implying they were all a bunch of drunken fuck-ups (they weren't they were just normal people who liked letting their hair down sometimes)
Giving me no help to put my stuff away when I moved into his house, even though, obviously I had no idea where to put everything
Being shitty to me the first day after we'd got married
Not wanting anyone I'd ever shagged to be at our wedding (and I was 28, FFS, they weren't recents)
Being hyper-critical of my driving
him smoking in the car whilst pg and refusing to stop as I was nearly vomitting
constantly taking the childrens toys away for proglonged periods with petty reason
punched me in the arm
poor me BS
not wanting me to go out with friends
taking my birthday money back off me
false promises of change
OMG I could go on all night
Not turning up until 9.30pm on the night I had DS knowing that I had started labour the night before and was on my own (I had elected home birth). I was waiting and waiting for him and by the time he turned up I couldn't even speak as I was in so much pain let alone call the midwife.
Other things, once I was hooked, were:
- "jokingly" denigrating my degree, my nationality, my accent
- low-level "affectionate" name-calling ("short-arse, slow-coach, ...")
- extreme name-calling ("stupid fucking bitch!")
- making promises that were never kept
- jealousy at the thought of me having a pet that I might "love more than him"
- considering my differences of opinion with him to be either 1. contemptible, 2. controlling, or 3. "betrayals"
- blaming me for his own choices
- saying that we would never break up
- saying that all he needed to set him straight in life was "the love of a good woman"
- "joking" that he owned his favourite parts of my body
- sex that was all about dominance and submission
- violent, angry outbursts
- throwing and breaking things in anger
- hitting his head against a wall or punching his own face
- pinning me against a wall and shouting in my face, once
- physically blocking me from leaving the room during one of his abusive rages
- saying about his actions in anger: "It's your fault, you made me angry"
- complete indifference about my pregnancy: saying "oh shit" when I announced I was pregnant, remaining abroad during the first 3 months of my pregnancy, never called, and never asked me how I was holding up
- threatening to "make my life hell" if I left him
- feeling put out that my miscarriage made me sad, and therefore unable to focus all my attention on him
- breaking down a door with his fists when I questioned his lack of feeling about the loss of my pregnancy -- which was just as much his as mine, after all
- threatening suicide when I would bring up aspects of his behaviour that upset me
- threatening to kill me if I left him
Oh, and I forgot the aspects of financial control/entitlement:
- getting angry that I wasn't paying more for joint expenses, until I was paying the entire rent myself
- refusing marriage for years even though it was something very important to me, and then suddenly proposing when I got a secure and high-paying job
- being very interested in my salary
- telling me nothing about his own off-shore bank accounts and investments
Good grief, some of these sound like real mental heath issues. I always view anger with particular suspicion as it shows a lack of ability for reasoned thought, and often a lack of ability to accept responsibility for things that need fixing, regardless of who is "at falt" Just repair the problem, FFS. Don't waste energy trying to pin blame on somebody else. Thats what 5 year olds do.
Bad guy no. 1
Obsessive unreasonable jealously ( who was that man you were talkilng to up at the bar? Eh a guy who was waiting at the bar who was just making conversation! Have you slept with him? )
Not having ( or intorducing me to ) any friends from the past ( despite living only 10 miles from where he was brought up)
Unreasoable anger ( throwing things around my flat because tye dinner was late )
Trying to " borrow" the money i had beesaving for years for a deposit for a flat to buy a caravan for his mother
Borrowing money off me then paying for me and makimg a big show of it IYSWIM
That one turned out to be violent. Fortuately i got out befroe marriage or kids.
Bad guy no.2
Having major unresloved issues with ex gf ( they had never lived together or had kids, just dated)
Said he counldnt cope with the fact that his ex had had a lot of partners befroe they met ( they were both in their 30 s so totally normal)
Totally controlled by his mother
Stood me up or arrived incredibly late with no phone call or reasonable explanation
Kept our relationship secret in certain circles " becaise his ex was suicidal"
Physically unaffectionate and weird about it
That one turned out to be gay. Although i dumped him for his weirdness long befroe i found out ( im pretty stupid i know)
I recently bumped into bad guy no2 at a wedding. I havent seen him for more thna 20 years and im there with my Dh and our children. Hey, its a lifetime away and ive kinda got over it, y ' know. hopefully he has come out, met soemone, yadda yadda.....
So Hes there with his mother !!!!!!!!! She was an evil old bag to me then but ney, that was a long time ago and shes an old lady now, in her 80 s and quite frail.. So i politely shake her hand and say " im kristina, i dont know if you remember me, i used to go out with your son? "
She refuses to take my hand and spits back at me
" well i could hardly forget after the terribel way you treated him"
And hobbles off.
He puts his head down, looks embarassed and mutters " its late, well have to leave now" and trots off after her
It was like a time warp
Here is my list of red flags from early on in the relationship There has been more afterwards of course:
- doing things the way he wants them wo bothering asking me if I was happy with it first. The one I remember from very early on is him having the invites for the wedding printed wo telling me anything about it. They were as far as it could be from I would have liked. Then organizing we, evenings for himself (hobbies) wo ever asking me if I was happy with it. Not unusual he told meof his plans on the day, 30 min before leaving...
- Withdrawing affection (usually associated with stonewalling) if I wasn't agreeing with him. Again early on I remember him stonewalling me for haf a day because I did dare joke about something we hade been joking about together before (several times).
- Being unable to hold a discussion/argument. Avoid conflict is one thing but it meant that during our marriage we have never been able to 'discuss' anything (from our reltionship to education of the dcs etc...). He would just look at me, blank face and stay silent. And then would get very resentful and difficult to deal with because things weren't the way he wanted!
- Being unbale to show anger. I know it's quite the opposite than most other people but someone who is so unable to express emotions is just impossible to live with (Anger wil come out in a different way even if it's not through shouting. The atmosphere got awfull)
Some of them are awful, aren't they? And some are easy to see why you might overlook them at the time.
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