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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.

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!

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