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What red flags did you ignore in regards to a relationship/friendship

(22 Posts)
Sofiathefirst2016 Sat 02-Apr-16 17:00:09

After my recent ordeal with a now ex friend (that some lovely MNs helped me through) I was wondering did you over look any serious or little red flags with relationships/friendships and look back now I think how did I miss them? I know I certainly did!

huskylover Sat 02-Apr-16 18:17:51


- Way too much texting/needing daily contact
- Sleeping with other men behind her DH back
- Stalking other men (once her marriage ended)
- Saying she wished she'd never had her (lovely) children
- Threatened suicide, just because a new man was being evasive
- Telling a man she had a fling with, that she was pregnant (she wasn't)
- Analysing texts from men (over and over)
- She slept with a best friends DH.

In the end, she also slept with mine.

Needless to say, we are no longer friends!

And fwiw, I have a lovely new DH (well, it's been 8 years, but you know what I mean). So maybe she did me a favour. grin

I can't imagine, ever going back to the days when I had such a needy "friend" stalker crazy bitch with the morals of an alley cat in my life.

poorbuthappy Sat 02-Apr-16 18:20:13

Asking me to marry him on day 3.
I do t care how much of a soul mate anyone is. No one should be proposing on day 3..

marzipanmaggie Sat 02-Apr-16 20:06:21

Declaring love for me from the start. As poorbuthappy says, anyone who says this is lying.
Wildly extravagant presents and particularly using them to apologise for poor behaviour

I will never make mistakes with those two things again

Heatherjayne1972 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:12:51

A man who always had ( still does) to be right He was never ever wrong and when confronted with facts refused to accept them unless it agreed with his point of view
Oh and leaving used condoms in his car - giving me a totally ridiculous explanation for them
Not respecting my point of view even if I happened to agree
Name calling / sarcasm in jest
I could go on and on ...

TresDesolee Sat 02-Apr-16 20:19:32

Oh god, so many...

Bitching about mutual friends behind their backs (friend)
Sleeping around while in a relationship and asking me not to tell anyone - turned out she'd slept with my boyfriend too (friend)
commenting on other women's tits (boyfriend)
Telling me I was jealous and paranoid when I accused him of shagging someone else (he was)
Telling me before he'd met me that he'd be a brilliant step dad to my kids (in my defence, I did dump this one PDQ...)
Speaking horribly about his mum when she was perfectly nice (at least two exes)

The older I get, the more I trust my instincts!

BettyBi0 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:32:55

One ex friend used to always feel massively wronged by other people all the time and totally overreact to feeling slighted by anyone. Should have set alarm bells ringing but I somehow assumed she'd be more normal with me. Doh!

KatsutheClockworkOctopus Sat 02-Apr-16 20:42:34

One friend constantly unloaded to me about her DH, ILs, work-everything basically. However, when I had a difficult time and spoke about it to her she cut me off quite nastily. I cut her some slack that time but came to realise that she is just incredibly self centred -though she has a very convincing 'nice' persona that most people fall for. I wish I'd heeded the initial red flag and saved myself some effort.

CalleighDoodle Sat 02-Apr-16 22:12:34

Saying their marriage ended because their ex wives had 'mental health issues.'

midlifehope Sat 02-Apr-16 22:15:19

Saying totally non pc and quite cruel things about other people. He was not being 'ironic'. He meant them!

Maracattack Sun 03-Apr-16 08:35:47

A history of dramatic fallings out with other oh-so-cruel-and-unfair people... How I wish I could hear their side of the story now! No-one is that unlucky.

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 03-Apr-16 08:47:15

Constantly bitching about the people they have the closest relationship with. It's like wanting to be a victim, and refusing to do anything about it. Also, if they'll bitch about others to you, they'll bitch about you to others.
That attitude tends to suck people in, make them sympathise with the "victim", and cause tensions between people in the same circles who are hearing tales about each other. It's manipulative and weird. Avoid the moaners!


haveacupoftea Sun 03-Apr-16 08:56:53

I got sucked into a fwb type situation with someone i really the whole 'i want to be with you but there's something wrong with me' spiel, as well as 'maybe in the future i'll be ready' to keep me hanging on, and dramatic confessions of almost - love when i would lose patience. I was genuinely convinced I was special and important when in reality I was being used as a sex toy confused

I dont regret it - I played my part too and no one forced me into it - but it took years to entangle myself from.

99percentchocolate Sun 03-Apr-16 08:59:53

Texting streams of messages. On average six to every one of mine.
It escalated to turning up at my house and place of work unannounced and with no reason.

Ahappynewmummy Sun 03-Apr-16 09:34:42

constantly talking about her problems and herself even on the day I gave birth.

Ahappynewmummy Sun 03-Apr-16 09:37:43

Oh and an ex kept telling me he was an alpha wolf (thought he was being silly) then he ended up being ea and DV. should have walked away when he first said it

VoldysGoneMouldy Sun 03-Apr-16 09:52:05

Oh God endless stuff. Like you OP recently had a what I thought was a friendship end, and looking back on it with emotional distance was like having my eyes opened. Annoyingly, thought I was pretty good at spotting abusive behaviour, having had support after an abusive relationship for a few years.

With the friend, the whole dynamic was screwed in her favour. It still hurts a bit to see how much I was used; I wouldn't hear from her for ages, but then when she needed something, and had no other option, she'd call me. Or was it that she knew only I'd accept her crap? It felt at the time that it was because she trusted me, and that's what's so clever about these dynamics. They manage to make you feel privileged.

That's exactly what one of my abusive exes did as well. Made me feel special, like I was trusted above all others, that he did what he did to help me, that he'd forgive me for that mistake but I must never make it again, and could I modify that behaviour because it was becoming an issue... See how that spirals? My biggest error with him was believing his 'my exes were horrible people, the last one was crazy, she still needs me or she'll kill herself' stories. I had to interact with her a few times, and I was always polite but very cold. I feel bad about that now, as I'm pretty sure he was screwing with her the same way he was with me. I don't think a word he ever said was true.

That said, high insight is a wonderful thing. It's hard to see things clearly when you're emotionally invested, whether that's in a romantic situation or a friendship. Part of the way abuse works is by keeping you blind to it, and it's normally a small thing that is a wake up call and makes you think "What the hell am I doing?", and then the realization comes crashing down. Never be hard on yourself for not seeing it as abusive, because that is the essence of abuse.

dilys4trevor Sun 03-Apr-16 10:06:55


Constant talking about their problems even when you didn't know them that well.
Talking a lot about how shit this country is (she was born and brought up somewhere else)
Sitting through a whole evening and getting five minutes to share your news, whilst listening to very long rambling stories for three hours
Hearing how nannies have stolen from her, how awful her mil is etc. Stories always seemed a bit hmm
Expecting favours but the minute you might need one, there is a very long detailed story about why not
Everything always about her (when there was a death recently she wasn't invited to the funeral as it was small but she was upset and said she felt 'left out.')

Some of these things only emerged over time but there were elements of it from the start.

A lot of these people are very hard to spot though as with their narcissism tends to come a very open 'lovely person' charm. Their 'victim' comfort zone takes a while to spot as well and you start off thinking 'God, they are having a rough time!' That coupled with the charm makes it very hard to work out.

I think in future I will be wary of anyone who seems wonderful but unlucky!

contrary13 Sun 03-Apr-16 12:20:26


- grandiose "I'm better than everyone else" statements.
- arrogance beyond the grandiose statements.
- subtle isolation ("you do know that your friends and family all hate you, don't you?", and "no one will ever like/love you as much as me...").
- telling me what to wear whenever we went out (he insisted that I attend my high school leavers ceremony in a horribly short skirt, stockings and a garter belt, for example. Oh, and they didn't have my exam certificates to hand me in front of everyone, because he'd insisted that I RSVP "no" and then changed his mind and dragged me to it at the last minute... Although he was the same age as me, he went to a different school, and my lovely teachers deserved this disrespect, in his opinion, because my school was "crappy" and "only stupid people" went there...).
- telling me that his father beat and controlled his mother, and how much he hated him for it... on our second date.
- gatecrashing my 18th birthday party (this bit may well out me), which is how we first met. He spent the entire time bragging about the fact that he had a drivers license to anyone who would stand still for long enough to even look like they were listening. I was talked into going on a blind date with him, by mutual "friends", a week later. I had no clue who he was, or even what he looked like...
- ... at the end of that first date, dropping me off home last and, when I turned to ask him to release the seatbelt holder, because I couldn't manage to do so, saying "oh, I suppose I'll kiss you..." and launching himself at me.
- getting bored of waiting in a queue of traffic, so deciding to drive on the wrong side of the road to get to the roundabout quicker, then - when we were almost obliterated by a car driving straight at us, on its right side of the road - saying "I thought it was a dual carriageway!".
- spending a week on holiday with my parents refusing to come out of the bedroom until evening and then moaning about how he couldn't cope with the heat or crowds in the restaurants/bars. My parents, thankfully, carried on and did their sightseeing. I wasn't allowed to go with them, because of him.
- insisting on accompanying me to every job interview I had... and then, when I got the jobs (somehow: I wouldn't have hired me, with him in glowering tow!), turning up and insisting that I pay him attention until... yep... I lost the jobs! He couldn't hold down a job because working the normal teenager jobs was somehow beneath him. At one point, he was hired at the same place I was (the manager thought he was applying, too, because he was there). But whilst I was up front and dealing with customers, he was sweeping the kitchen floor... He tried causing a row during a shift three days into these jobs (because he somehow talked them into scheduling us for the same shifts) and got fired on the spot. He was pissy because I kept my job. It was fast food, but my goodness, I loved the team I was working with!
- talking me into paying his rent for him. He lived with his parents, I lived with mine. In hindsight... I doubt very much that he was actually paying rent (although I was paying rent to my parents). I worked my backside off on minimum wage, to cover two rents... and endured his emotional abuse because he never got to see me, along with his physical abuse when he suspected that I was cheating on him with my team mates (I wasn't, the whole team was like a little family and... even now, I'm still justifying something that doesn't need to be justified because of him!)
- saying, when I was 6 months pregnant with my DD (19), that if I didn't go back to him (I walked before I even knew that I was pregnant, in fairness), he wasn't going to pay a penny towards her... to my mother. I've not spoken to him since I finally saw sense and walked away. I've never accepted a penny from him, and my DD is precisely that... my DD. I've raised her without any sort of input whatsoever from him.
- getting his sister-in-law to try stalking me on FB 6 or 7 years ago. Unfortunately for him, I always check who sends me friends_requests... and his profile was in her friends_list, as was his wife's. It's possible that I was being painted as the evil ex who wouldn't allow him contact with his much-loved daughter (whom I think he saw once, in passing, when she was 3 months old) and the SIL was trying to suss that out for herself. Maybe she even had concerns for her own sister being married to him. I don't know. I didn't appreciate the lack of honesty in the approach and blocked them all immediately.

That relationship lasted for 14 months and was over 20 years ago last December. The scars, though, will be both on and within me for the rest of my life. He was abusive in every way possible. I can only say that I stayed with him for as long as I did, because I genuinely believed that I wasn't worth more. That I deserved everything he doled out to me.

The only two things I took from that relationship, though were my DD and the fact that he did teach me what to watch for, flag wise. My DD had a 4 month long relationship last year with someone who seemed the most charming young man on the face of the planet... but for three red flags:

1) my very confident, self-assertive DD was displaying very worrying signs of submission towards him every time they were together, and we were there too.
2) he told me that when they had children that he wasn't going to allow them anywhere near my DD's family (so, me, her younger brother, her grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins... the whole lot of us!)
3) he was very keen to spend time alone with my 11 year old DS. The keeping my putative grandchildren away from me, conversation actually took place after I told him point blank that I wasn't happy for him - a virtual stranger who my DD had met on the 'net - to watch my DS whilst I went shopping that day, or indeed, ever. My DD giggled and stroked his arms whilst sitting practically on top of him, whilst he told me that I'd never be allowed to see their children because I wouldn't leave him alone with my 11 year old. I didn't know him. I think that was the 3rd time I'd met him during their entire relationship.

A week later he dumped her and she threatened to kill herself. Repeatedly. In the hope that he'd come back to her. She ended up under a pysch team and with a diagnosis of bipolar2 and a personality disorder. 6 months later, though, she still blames me for sabotaging their relationship and for the fact that I apparently paid the pysch team to insist that she needs medication... and yes; we have a very long road ahead of us, as a family.

I'm just hopeful that one day my DD is able to recognise her own red flags...

candykane25 Sun 03-Apr-16 12:34:44

A friend

Getting engaged to a FB who she hardly spent much time with and it wasn't an actual engagement ring
When that didn't work out, becoming an OW and devoting her life to that chap for two years whilst he had no intention of leaving his partner.
Getting caught up in dangerous situations which ended up in A&E
Needing endless support.
When I started to distance myself after she would ring me in the early hours saying she was upset and needed me, she would then ring my friends mobiles asking where I was.
Accidentally deliberately breaking my belongings.
I cut off ties completely and she told everyone I was the unreasonable one.

loveyoutothemoon Sun 03-Apr-16 14:21:01

A new boyfriend

Saying "you and your children are all that matters to me" when we'd been together 1-2 months and never even met them!

midlifehope Sun 03-Apr-16 17:02:20

Yep - I can also identify with the oddly grandiose statements one, and statements betraying an obvious superiority complex

Also - making people (friends and family) that visit the house uncomfortable with rude sarcastic and dismissive behaviour

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