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Share your ‘red flags’ for the good of womankind updated

(245 Posts)
Electrascoffee Thu 23-Aug-18 23:23:09

Please can we have another thread about this. I need to be constantly reminded. I’ve just had another nightmare relationship and the things I can take from it:

He was pretty isolated. He had only one friend who he also managed to piss off frequently. His family didn’t see him or even know he was moving House even though they lived in the same town. His daughter won’t speak to or see him.

When he’s happy everything is sweetness and light. If he’s having trouble at work, or is ill it’s somehow my fault. Using others as an emotional dumping ground for his shit is somehow normal according to him (he says this)

Emotionally manipulative. Dumped me in a crowded restaurant and then decided he’d made a terrible mistale.

Criticised my clothes. Said he didn’t like my perfume.

Made grandiose claims about himself.

Kept telling me sob stories about how he always got the blame for things by his ex wife and how he was only ever trying to get on with everyone. All his exes had BPD or NPD and all he wants is a quiet life.

Making me feel bad if I didn’t orgasm and then if I gave him guidance I was making him feel shit in bed.

Hissy Fri 24-Aug-18 08:14:40

What happened first?

When was the time that you first remember thinking “oh, I didn’t expect that”?

This is about you and your standards for allowing people to treat you the way they think the can.

What did your family/childhood teach you about how you should be treated?

ShatnersWig Fri 24-Aug-18 08:19:32

What Hissy says

Tryingagain1 Fri 24-Aug-18 08:47:36

Great idea op! Sorry for your experience! Some red flags I had were:

- Making various promises and not following through, for example 'I want to make all your dreams come true' hmm 'I will fix your car', 'I will help you with fixing your light' etc etc that mysteriously never happened...

- Going hot and cold, cancelling dates etc. It's a pattern that will never change, it's just manipulation to get you hooked

-Making out ex wife/partners were crazy, impossible etc

FairylightsTentsAndBunting Fri 24-Aug-18 08:50:37

Agree with Hissy.

These are about your own boundaries rather than red flags from them per se.

Some of my biggest red flags are about being treated 'too well'.

Being treated like shit are the easy spots!

plusonefail Fri 24-Aug-18 09:34:09

The big red flag in my relationship with a textbook narcissist was how perfect he seemed to start with. Full on love bombing - I was the most perfect woman he’d ever met, he’d never felt like this before, he wanted marriage and children (within days of us starting a relationship...and we were in our early 20s). Every single view I had he reflected back at me. We were soulmates.

Except we weren’t. He was making himself seem like the perfect man to trap me into loving him. Our views on many serious issues were polar opposites but I didn’t find out until about a year down the line when his mask started to slip. Beware the man (or woman) who seems to perfect.

YeTalkShiteHen Fri 24-Aug-18 09:37:46

I watched a programme recently where a woman was killed by her abusive partner and her Mum said something that really struck me.

“We spend so long telling our daughters how to find Mr Right, we don’t tell them how to avoid Mr Wrong”

And it’s true!

FairylightsTentsAndBunting Fri 24-Aug-18 09:41:16

Gosh that's so true, Hen.

It's ven worse in some cases; my mother encouraged me to overlook glaring red flags in case no one else ever wanted me!!

MargoLovebutter Fri 24-Aug-18 09:45:16

Having your own clear boundaries is crucial to forming healthy relationships - not just romantic ones but with anyone. I've learnt this the hard way myself.

YeTalkShiteHen Fri 24-Aug-18 09:46:09

Aye mine did too sadly. She was so conditioned to believe that wives should obey and be submissive. Thankfully she married my dad, who is a good and decent man.

I didn’t, I married a monster. But I didn’t realise he was a monster until he had broken me so completely I nearly couldn’t put myself back together.

I’m militant about teaching my kids to speak respectfully to people, to speak up against bullying, to speak up when they are treated badly and to know that consent is hugely important. Also, to understand that our actions affect people, so always try to ensure they are positive effects.

I have boys and a girl, and I tell them all the same thing. They don’t see DP and I argue (we don’t tend to tbh) but they do see days where we disagree, or things go wrong, and they also see us work it out, calmly and without hurting each other.

ems137 Fri 24-Aug-18 09:50:06

Definitely the love bombing! It's happened to me twice now and I lapped it all up totally believing it all. The last one wanted babies within a couple of weeks!!

TornFromTheInside Fri 24-Aug-18 09:53:12

Since being a teen and thus starting to formulate adult views on things, I have always taken note of people's behaviour when you disagree. It's easy to get along when you're agreeing on things but you learn a lot about someone when you disagree.

I can completely disagree with some of my closest friends, male and female, but part of why they are important and we'll respected by me is how they behave at the worst of times, not at the best of them.

Giggorata Fri 24-Aug-18 09:54:16

Red flags for me include whataboutism, where you question/challenge some little thing and get a barrage of what about this or that back, instead of addressing the point; pushing boundaries - not accepting no and/or trying to change you; and not listening properly/gaslighting, so they either hear a totally garbled version of what you actually said, or pick up one word and run on about that...

OnePotPlant Fri 24-Aug-18 09:56:30

Here are mine:

1. Describing their exes as crazy when you are told at first you are apparently different.

2. What PP said about intermittent reward, blowing hot and cold

3. Being over-interested in your exes and other men in your life

4. Asking questions that breach your boundaries

PerverseConverse Fri 24-Aug-18 09:56:41

Disregarding your feelings if you're upset about something. My stbexh wanting wedding gifts that were bought by my family, including my late dad? Let him have them, it's not important. But my dad bought us that and I was the one to choose it. Doesn't matter, not important. Eldest starting secondary school and feeling emotional about it as I'll no longer be taking her to school and it will feel weird? It's not weird it's progress. Not happy with having the lights on during sex (small children likely to walk in) and don't like certain positions for various reasons? But I can't keep it up and/or can't orgasm otherwise.

FairylightsTentsAndBunting Fri 24-Aug-18 09:57:27

@YeTalkShiteHen that all sounds very familiar winkflowers

OnePotPlant Fri 24-Aug-18 09:58:23

Since being a teen and thus starting to formulate adult views on things, I have always taken note of people's behaviour when you disagree. It's easy to get along when you're agreeing on things but you learn a lot about someone when you disagree.

This is very true! Also having conversations escalate very quickly, leaving you thinking "wtf just happened?"

Juststopit Fri 24-Aug-18 10:00:34

Lying. Even small ones is now a massive red flag for me. Exh I have found out lies to me for 26 years and his debts. Hurting but I know I wouldn’t tolerate such crappiness ever again!!

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Fri 24-Aug-18 10:12:33

Yes to conversations that escalate so quickly and you’re left reeling wondering “What did I say? How could I have said it differently?!”

Also isolating you from your family as if they have too much influence over you, when really you just enjoy their company.

NonJeNeRegretteRien Fri 24-Aug-18 10:14:49

- Acting dismissive of you.
- Not reciprocal of your efforts.
- Being late when they know being on time is important to you
- displaying a lack of empathy when you’re upset

I remember very vividly XP sitting on the sofa playing video games, I was aware we hadn’t really done too much together the past few days/weeks so our conversation went like this:
M: fancy going out for dinner tonight?
H: <shrug>
M: we could pop down the pub or to the pictures?
H: <bemused face> <shrug>
M: is there anything you’d really like for dinner tonight?
H: <scoff><sneer> No <scoff>

I was really hurt after this especially since if I argued with him all he would do was grin or laugh at me. I found it really difficult to feel on an even keel. When we were splitting up because I’d internalised all the frustration and hurt I was covered in spots (never suffered), mouth ulcers, and came down with flu the week I moved out. I remember getting in my car with the last bits of my stuff when Florence and the Machine came on the radio singing The Dog Days are Over.

Right ‘n’all....

yetmorecrap Fri 24-Aug-18 10:33:53

Beware the guy who really early on suffers from’champagne tastes, beer money wages’ syndrome. You will end up funding the’champagne tastes’. Also guys with massive ‘ideas’ in terms of business etc who don’t have the money or intellect or tenacity to see it through. I had a 4 year relationship with a guy who managed to combine both things. Quite exhausting and a financial killer

userxx Fri 24-Aug-18 10:34:24

That feeling of not quite knowing where you are up to, the feeling of uneasiness, confusion and feeling like you're going slightly mad.

HollowTalk Fri 24-Aug-18 10:44:19

I've a good one though I think it's an unusual one.

One with a mother who sent him half a haggis grin when I went to visit him and went mad (I could hear her on the phone) when he told her I didn't like haggis. She also said of his (lucky) ex-wife "She needn't think she can call herself Mrs McGonigleMcGonigle* any more!"

*Think longest and daftest name you can think of.

She was also furious when said ex-wife promptly gave up her married name.

PerverseConverse Fri 24-Aug-18 10:54:26

Beware he who relies on elderly parents for childcare but criticises, disparages or despairs of them and is glad he lives an hour away from them.

Beware he who is a victim and accepts no responsibility for his life choices.

Beware he who keeps in touch with exes unnecessarily or is too involved with his ex wife on a day to day basis. Most people manage to share custody of children without constant messages each day.

Beware he who refuses to make a decision about where to go or what to do and leaves the mental load of things to you then always complains about some aspect of what you've organised.

ChristmasFluff Fri 24-Aug-18 11:04:35

The thing is, you can memorise all sorts of red flags, but as Hissy and Fairylights point out, if you are not boundaried and have a lack of self-worth, you will explain them away and excuse them in the desperation to be loved.

I would walk away at my dealbreakers (lying, addiction, cheating, aggression, bad attitude, perpetual confusion etc), but would also walk at the first sign of having to try to work out what someone was thinking, secretive or confusing behaviour, or if I felt I couldn't trust the person.

Basically, a relationship requires love, care, trust and respect on both sides (credit to Natalie Lue at for that phrase). Obviously the love comes later, but care, trust and respect as starters, so anything that violates that is a signal to walk.

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