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For womankind. Share the Red Flags #2

(115 Posts)
ParsleyTheLioness Wed 14-Nov-12 19:05:24

Time to start a new thread. Original one here
red flags I should have heeded

flippinada Mon 19-Nov-12 16:18:24

I dithered about posting my red flags but decided to bite the bullet. Some of them, I'm sure, will be unpleasantly familiar. Here goes:

Used to scream in my face, reducing me to tears.

Would goad me until I snapped and then sneer at me for being out of control.

Used to restrain me physically "for my own good".

Once picked up the cat and threw him on the sofa - I can still remember the look of fear on his wee face.

Used to launch verbal attacks on me seemingly out of nowhere - although looking back they were a tool to keep me in line, as they would always happen after I'd done well at something or appeared to be making new friends.

Worked hard to alienate me from existing friends and family. He was particularly threatened by my Mum and skilfully manipulated our relationship to the point where we were virtually estranged.

Leading on from this, when I had PND, he was feeding lies to my family that I was neglecting my DS but not to worry because he loved me very much and was taking care of everything. At the time he was seeing someone else and let me know I was surplus to requirements - openly texting her in front of me, arranging to do lovely things for her that he never would have for me.

Told me that I didn't have PND, I was lazy and wanted to have it because I couldn't be bothered to look after my DS (I was suicidal at the time).

Used to sulk and behave horribly (including letting me "catch" him wanking over porn) if I refused sex, so that I would give in to keep the peace.

Used to bully me into attending events I didn't want to go to, and then ignore me once we were there.

tryingsoonflying Mon 19-Nov-12 22:10:39

flippingada wow yes very familiar. How did you escape (logistically) - any tips?!

flippinada Mon 19-Nov-12 22:44:19

He left me for the woman mentioned above - while I was recovering from PND. He coolly advised me I was surplus to requirements (although still expected me to look after DS, naturally, so he could romance his new lady love). Bear in mind we were still living together at this point.

Although it was horrendous at the time, it was the best thing that ever happened, in retrospect.

flippinada Mon 19-Nov-12 22:55:18

He also tried to get residence of DS on the basis that I was unstable and didn't have any support network.

I'm pleased to say that didn't happen.

Btw for anyone worrying (I know animal cruelty is upsetting, it upsets me anyway) my lovely cat was ok, he died of old age two years ago.

flippinada Mon 19-Nov-12 23:00:00

Sorry can't think of any tips right now but gather all the support you can - whether that's friends, family a charity or a combination of all three. Support is really important.

Once my family (my Mum especially) realised what was going on they were 100% there for me. Thankfully I have recovered the relationship with my family and we are closer than ever.

Frizzbonce Mon 19-Nov-12 23:49:37

My Ex was never violent. The red flags were subtle but over time the behaviour like dry rot just poisoned my soul.

He always knew how I felt. Way better than me. 'I know you' <said in pitying voice> when what I was feeling didn't correlate with how I was meant to be feeling.

Whenever we had family or friends over he turned into Super Husband - cooking and cleaning and telling me to 'sit down'.

He wouldn't leave me alone. It was an insult to him if I wanted to be alone to work or read. He hated me working in the evening even though I'm freelance and would sometimes have to. He would stand at the doorway sighing and saying: 'Aren't you finished yet? I'm worried about you overworking.'

He told me how lucky I was that he still fancied me.

Jesus I am so glad I'm out of that. For the first few months it was like being able to breathe again.

Milkandlotsandlotsofwine Tue 20-Nov-12 00:59:56

Frizzbonce Your mention of feelings is scarily similar to my ex. He would always try and tell me how I felt. I once told him "You don't care if I'm happy or not as long as I SAY I'm happy" and he just giggled in a rather shamefaced "You've got me" sort of way!

He would NEVER apologise. Not properly. Even when he had behaved dreadfully the most I would get was a "I'm sorry but..." followed by a diatribe on how it was all my fault anyway!

Obsessive about the weirdest things. When we lived together I was only allowed to use 1 teaspoon to make tea/coffee and it had to sit on top of the coffee jar at all times. The same with butter. We had a butter knife that had to stay on top of the butter tub in the fridge. God forbid if I moved them or used another piece of cutlery. He would actually tell me off and if I said he was being ridiculous he would blow a fuse.

Telling me what to wear and picking my clothes until I literally didn't even know what to buy unless he 'helped me'. He even used to cut my hair for me because he didn't want a hairdresser messing it up! If god forbid I ever bought anything for myself he would tell me it was awful. I once purchased a lovely dress when he wasn't there. We went on a night out and I got loads of compliments yet he just kept telling me It didn't suit me. One time his friend came up from London and he made me change my dress because it "Wasn't fancy enough" for his friend to see me in. shock

Used to complain if I sat around in my PJ's, even late at night. Every Friday night he would expect me to get all dressed, heels, best lingerie, the works, even if we weren't going out. He called it "Dressing up to stay in" and he would get all dressed up as well. I had to do this EVERY Friday, no matter how tired I was from the working week. If I refused he would reduce me to tears name calling me and telling me I didn't care about our relationship.

Utterly reliant on his parents at the age of 38. Hero worshipped his father who was such a skinflint his parents didn't even have central heating in the house they had lived in for over 40 years! Funnily enough he was incredibly stingy as well. He once got some sunglasses in a 2 for 1 deal at Boots. He let me pick the 2nd pair and then afterwards told me I should really give him a tenner for them. They were free ffs!! Then when I objected he got furious with me.

I could go on and on and on. In fact typing this has made me sad as I can see so plainly what a fruit loop he was. I worshipped him at the time though. I was only 21 when we met and I wasted 4 years of my life on the bastard! If I ever have a daughter I would literally lock her up in a tower to keep her away from a man like him.

MacAndCheese Tue 20-Nov-12 01:13:30

The "I'm only being honest" line. No, you're being rude.

Sulking when called out on the above.

Wouldn't admit when he was wrong.

Saying he'd never met anyone like me cliché within hours of meeting me. He was 32 ffs, it isn't even acceptable at 18.

Being uncontactable for no specific reason

PDAs when meeting his friends/out in public - might as well have just peed up my leg. hmm

MacAndCheese Tue 20-Nov-12 01:14:51

Oh god Turnip calling women "females" still grates today.


flippinada Tue 20-Nov-12 09:08:38

Oh yes frizzbonce I had forgotten the never being allowed pick up a book and read or do something solitary.

Also would spend ages on the phone to his friends/family. If I ever phoned someone he would bug me "how long are you going to be, how long, I'm bored, you need to do x, y, z etc etc" until I put the phone down.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 20-Nov-12 09:33:32

Mac PDA?

Frizzbonce Tue 20-Nov-12 10:15:20

Milkandlotsofwine - thank God you are no longer with this man. Seeing it all written down makes me shudder. No wonder emotional abuse has been ignored for so long - it's not until you list all the behaviours that you can really 'see' how controlling and abusive it is. Mumsnet should compile a book of Big Red Flags because if all this knowledge was in one place then maybe we could protect our daughters from what we went through.

MacAndCheese Tue 20-Nov-12 17:58:23

Parsley - PDA = public display of affection.

Hand holding = cute

Touching the back of my neck and attempting to maul me - not so cute.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 20-Nov-12 19:08:30

Ah, thanks.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 20-Nov-12 19:19:21

YY to the strong declarations soon after meeting! I got the whole "I can't believe how lucky I am to have finally met the love of my life!" within 2 weeks hmm Funnily enough he sent the exact same words to me a couple of weeks ago about his new g.f...

tryingsoonflying Tue 20-Nov-12 20:52:36

Thanks, Flippin for info and suggestions. Glad you're ok now smile

Milkandlotsandlotsofwine Tue 20-Nov-12 21:07:16

Frizzbonce I think a book would be an excellent idea actually. It's terrifying how many woman I know are going through or have been through such terrible treatment. The horrifying thing is that at the time I honestly thought that it was me who needed to change to please him. It's actually only 10 years later that the full horror of it is sinking in.

Some things still haven't though. For example I have had 3 long term relationships in my life and in all 3 the man has been violent to me at least once. I'm still not 100% convinced that some of it wasn't my fault and I think that deep down I still believe that all men will be violent towards you if pushed.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 20-Nov-12 21:45:40

Making a book out of the thread was suggested in thread 1.As I said last time, I do think that it would be unfair on those generous enough to share their stories, as that was never the stated intention....maybe there's another way. I think it needs to be 'opt in' though. Unfair otherwise.

kernowgal Tue 20-Nov-12 22:02:17

Milk that's my worry too, and although it's still quite soon after I split with my ex (six months or so), I can't help thinking that things will go the same way with the next one. My parents' relationship isn't violent, and none of my previous relationships have been either, but this last one has really knocked me for six.

I do know for sure now that if a new bloke exhibits any of the early warning signs that my ex gave me, he'll be out on his arse toot sweet. I'm happy enough on my own and the scales fell from my eyes with him.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Tue 20-Nov-12 22:28:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tryingsoonflying Tue 20-Nov-12 22:38:42

<waves to hilde>

Shaky Tue 20-Nov-12 22:53:17

I posted on the last thread a bit quite a lot but I can't believe I left out one of the most important bits. He had been separated from his wife for 4 years when we got together. I presumed he was divorced and he didn't tell me he was still married until I moved in. He lived in a tiny welsh village in the middle of nowhere. Told me he couldn't get divorced as he didn't know where she lived. My parents were horrified that he was still married and I ended up lying to them, saying his divorce had come through, just for a quiet life sad. His mum eventually found out her address and gave it to us (I kept a copy of it). He still didn't do anything about it.

We were together 6 years and in that time I asked him to marry me 3 times but he said he couldn't because he was still married, yet refused to do anything about it. I suppose he still had control by being married to someone else. I have no idea if he is still married or not ...

Shaky Tue 20-Nov-12 22:58:14

Oh and he never, ever gave me a compliment. Instead of saying "you look nice" it would always be "that top looks good" therefore complimenting the top rather than how I looked.

If I had a haircut, he would say " the hairdresser did a good job" not your hair looks good, always taking the compliment away from me and attributing it to something else. sad

Shaky Tue 20-Nov-12 22:59:38

These threads should be made into a book and given to every girl and boy in high school

Frizzbonce Wed 21-Nov-12 12:43:57

One more thing. It's amazing how used to these subtle undermining tactics I became and it was only when I left and much later got together with a great man that I realised . . .

My DH was cooking me dinner and at one point he said: 'You don't have to keep saying 'thank you'' and I realised with my Ex I had to be continuously and excessively grateful for anything he did for me.

Ex would remark on any weight gain. I remember him looking at a holiday photo of me and saying: 'Those arms are looking a bit . . .beefy.' When I got upset he said 'At least I notice you. Would you rather I ignored you?' I pointed out that paying attention to someone is not the same as pointing out miniscule physical flaws. He said in a martyred voice: 'Sorry. I can't do anything right can I?'

Except a few weeks later we went to a museum and there was some sort of weighing machine which told him he was 'Obese'. He spent the next half hour ranting about how the machine was broken!

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