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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.

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!

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