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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.

Cattenberg Fri 24-Aug-18 11:17:27

One of my exs wouldn't take responsibility for his actions. If he upset me, he never really apologised because "it wasn't intentional". He was very unreliable and regularly let people down. He seemed to think this wasn't his fault as he was "extremely busy" and was suffering from emotional turmoil.

He'd had an awful, traumatic childhood that left him with many issues. I read about "disassociation" and it definitely seemed to be his coping technique. I made a lot of allowances for him and tried to persuade him to get professional help, but I don't think he did. I couldn't fix him or our relationship.

He also told lies. I wish I'd walked away when I realised he'd misled me about his age (without technically lying). That turned out to be a big red flag.

PerverseConverse Fri 24-Aug-18 11:18:12

In my experience abusive men come across as so bloody reasonable about the red flags and cause you to dismiss them because they are such a nice guy and of course this is just gaslighting but it takes time and experience unfortunately to be able to spot it early on. I'm still discovering things my stbexh did nearly 6 years after separating. Little lightbulbs go off every now and again.

MargoLovebutter Fri 24-Aug-18 11:20:43

ChristmasFluff is spot on. You have to trust yourself and love/like yourself enough to see your value and know what is acceptable and what isn't and enforce those. That is how you draw your own boundaries. Without those things in place, it is much harder to spot the red flags, which are essentially things that are not acceptable to you for very legitimate reasons.

Drainage Fri 24-Aug-18 11:20:43

Red flags..
After coming out of a long term relationship and falling directly into another, I didn't even know what these were..
Loads of projection about who you are without getting to really know you.
Hypersexual behaviour.
Promising and planning for a future (that never materialises)
Lies (Not white ones such as "Yeah that t-shirt looks great") basically any lies.
Blowing hot and cold (massive, building sized red flag with stars on)
Silent treatment.
Lack of respect.
I'd say the main one is 'trusting your gut'. If something doesn't feel right it probably isn't.

(From a bloke)

3luckystars Fri 24-Aug-18 11:22:37

If it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right.

If you get a warning feeling, just back off and take a break to think about it. This won’t put a genuine man off you, actually the opposite.

PerverseConverse Fri 24-Aug-18 11:24:18

I really struggle with boundaries as feel like a bitch if I enforce them.

Hissy Fri 24-Aug-18 11:53:41

The other think wot I learned in detoxifying my life post abusive twat/family was this:

"Just because something is unacceptable to you, doesn't mean it's abusive"

It's OK to find something unacceptable. It's OK to say, "No, that's not how I do things, or what I find works for me"

PerverseConverse You state your boundaries and then just remind people that X or Y is not going to work for you. It's not that you are being a bitch, and saying No is always going to upset those who like to get their own way all the time, but YOU have the right to have things go YOUR way sometimes too. If all else fails, if someone is not listening to your polite and reasonable boundaries, then THEY are rude and if you have to be a little more robust in policing your boundaries, that's STILL not being a bitch.

Hissy Fri 24-Aug-18 11:58:18

silent treatment
blowing hot and cold
lying for the sake of it

I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but any of these and it goes like this:

Tell them once and once only that it's unacceptable.


No matter what. Whatever they say/do, tears/threats, do not budge.

Don't EVER go back on this.

I learned this the VERY hard way.

FairylightsTentsAndBunting Fri 24-Aug-18 11:59:31

Again, agree with Hissy.

I have a friend who has really struggled with boundaries with the result that they have been hugely taken advantage of finanically and emotionally.

I have helped them to understand that they are allowed to have boundaries and that this is just what is acceptable to them in their life.

A couple of people habe responded really well to their new boundaries and one even told them it was about time they stopped saying yes to everyone!

They have also lost a couple of people but understand they they weren't reallly friends.

I always think of it in terms of the way we teach 'stranger danger' to children. Someone who is a good and decent person will completely understand, accept and respect your "no". It's only those whose plans to take advantage are thwarted who will complain.

And also, once someone has shown they don't respect your boundaries, you have no obligation to be 'nice' or polite in restating them.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 24-Aug-18 12:04:15

Turning up univited
Not giving me enough space for ME time
Got arsey when I couldn't see him at the weekend because I had other plans
Told me what I was thinking!
Too much too soon
3 months it lasted - 3 months. It ended in April and he's still trying. I've now blocked him on everything.

Verbena87 Fri 24-Aug-18 12:05:57

In all relationships I’ve found it a game-changer to think “does this make me feel more like myself, not less?” at regular intervals, and also “does this relationship make me feel happy, comfortable, loved, proud of myself, confident, listened to and validated way more often than it makes me feel tired, anxious or not understood?”

OnePotPlant Fri 24-Aug-18 12:09:12

Oh that’s excellent verbana

numptynuts Fri 24-Aug-18 12:17:07

I really struggle with boundaries as feel like a bitch if I enforce them.

You are their favourite.

I can be like this too but learnt the hard way, it's just not worth being too nice thanks

yetmorecrap Fri 24-Aug-18 12:17:34

I think one thing to remember as well is it’s very individual, have seen stuff here described as abusive that I personally would think was annoying but to me not abusive. To one person what is a red flag is another’s ‘ooh that’s nice’. Be it guys who want to be around you ‘all the time’ to ‘overly sexual’ . Personally both of these would annoy me, but wouldn’t some ladies on here.

AngelsAckiz Fri 24-Aug-18 12:29:04

Pointing out that the average UK couple has sex for 19 minutes (or something) and that I should be grateful. (Yes he googled it!) And always blurting "sorry" when he orgasmed.

Calling me a psycho bitch whenever I got upset.

Telling me my standards were impossibly high.

Telling me to shut up when I woke up screaming and crying with a nightmare.

Telling me if I ever leaved him I'd lose the children and be homeless. (I owned 2 businesses)

Taking out credit cards and loans in my name because it was "good for my credit rating"

Taking my daughter off me when I was trying to nurse her while crying from being shouted at and saying if I didn't get my milk flowing, he would give her formula. (She was exclusively bf)

Never knowing what was going on with my finances or how much money I had. He would just tell me "we are skint".

Telling me men don't want children, men are only ever coerced into it and if I left him, I would be a single mother forever.

Telling me I need to lose weight and get back to how I used to be before having kids.

Telling me I need to support him more because he has mh issues and that's why he gets angry.

Holding me against the wall by my throat.

Throwing me down the stairs.

Took my mobile hairdresser to notice the way he spoke to me and tell me, to actually realise I was being abused. Took 15 months to actually leave because I believed I would be homeless, bankrupt and lose the children, but things got so bad that I decided that was infinitely preferable to being with him for one more minute.

I was homeless for 2 weeks, did a debt relief order and 5 years later, met the love of my life who I've been with for 4 years.

AngelsAckiz Fri 24-Aug-18 12:31:50

Ah yes false promises!

Then being told that promises are for children... I was flabbergasted at that one.

Verbena87 Fri 24-Aug-18 12:33:02

If it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right.

This as well. Remember my dad finding me in tears over not knowing what to do about a high-drama boyfriend in my teens and saying “notice how you’re feeling now. That’s your answer. Be brave and walk away.” (I am very lucky to have grown up with parents who think like this, and have a loving and respectful marriage. It’s absolutely an unfair advantage.)

BobbyBanana Fri 24-Aug-18 12:42:54

When talking to his mother on the phone, saying 'byee' in exactly the same affectionate tone that he did with me. At first it was just a bit odd but over the years it became clear that her hold over him and his acceptance of it was monumental and she treated him like a boyfriend, not a son. Up to the point of enabling his alcoholism by being the first one to suggest a large glass of wine every evening, followed by another and another and them both hanging onto each other's every word.

yetmorecrap Fri 24-Aug-18 12:56:31

Crikey Angels, now those are def red flags to me!!!

AngelsAckiz Fri 24-Aug-18 14:06:30

IKR! I can't believe that was all normal to me for so long. I thought he was exactly what I deserved, at the time.

I am in a very loving relationship now. He is kind and gentle. The contrast is so stark...

Saffy60 Fri 24-Aug-18 14:46:46

First red flag, told me he loved me after only two weeks. I did call him on it! You cannot possible love me you don't even know me....I should have binned him then! He was unshakable.

Second red flag was hearing that he didn't speak to several close members of his family, daughter, sister, mother, brother in law and uncle.

Third red flag was bragging about something he did which terrified his ex wife when she was his teenage girlfriend. (He later tried the same stunt on me.)

Fourth red flag he would never give me his full attention e.g. if I was talking he would be scrolling on his phone, because he could multi task so it was OK! This was just one way of showing me that I wasn't worth his full attention!!!

Graphista Fri 24-Aug-18 15:22:43

I've been reminded of a few that were true of my ex by recent threads on here. Wish mn was around and I'd known about it back then.

Lack of long term deep friendships. He didn't think this was important.

Lack of apologies - even for minor things would NEVER admit he was wrong, even when provided with black and white proof.

Sulker - could easily go days without talking to me.

I was his first proper girlfriend, we were very young when we met so I put it down to that but in hindsight even at 19 it's unusual to have only had flings/ons. Meant he was pretty crap in bed too!

Lack of ambition, clock watcher re work - seems an odd one but basically meant he was lazy and entitled. Others getting promoted before him he saw as favouritism rather than down to his lack of effort (and he bitched about this a lot!)

Yes! To lack of decision making too. Sometimes is ok but if they NEVER make decisions I've found they do expect others to bear the mental load (not just dds dad this one). In addition somehow being expected to be a mind reader and know what they wanted to do/eat/go to.

This one I may get flamed for as materialistic if people misunderstand as its really not about that - poor gift choice. Obviously people might not get this right in the early stages but if you've been together more than a few years and they're STILL getting you inappropriate even offensive gifts for you that says either

A - they don't know you that well

B - they don't care enough to get you something you will at least appreciate the idea they were going for.

It's not about expensive gifts, it's about the thought behind them (or rather a lack of)

Verbana - yea I think if you're having to change yourself too much to "fit" them, it's not a good relationship.

One thing my ex did that I now definitely see as abusive which I didn't even in the immediate aftermath of our split was his comments about my weight/body after having our dd. I'd always been very slim (size 6/8) before but of course naturally gained weight with pregnancy - and to his shock didn't lose it immediately after! I had to have an emcs and dd and I are both lucky to be alive but pretty much as soon as I'd had 6 week check he started making digs about my weight, c section apron, going to the gym, watching what I was eating. He started calling me a nasty nickname relating to a fat tv character. If I ever challenged him he framed it as a combination of joke/trying to motivate me to lose weight as he "knew I'd feel better about myself" if I did. He now does the same to wife 2 (she's had 5 DC to him and is maybe size 10/12 DEFINITELY not overweight - not that this would be an excuse) and she runs off to weight loss clubs if he starts commenting/soon as she's allowed post birth. Irony is I'm now a 16/18 and at various points at that size he's come sniffing round!

“We spend so long telling our daughters how to find Mr Right, we don’t tell them how to avoid Mr Wrong” so true - I've tried to avoid that with dd. She recently had a relationship go wrong and it blindsided her, even though I'd noticed some love bombing I think and discussed that with her (but hey I'm old what do I know?!) both 17 and opposite to my ex (her father) he'd never had casual relationships they'd all from age 14 ended up being ltr/serious - that's odd too in my opinion. It's extremes that are dodgy.

Angels - so glad you got out. Well done.

Verbena87 - I'm the child of a deeply dysfunctional abusive marriage - probably doesn't help matters!

"told me he loved me after only two weeks. I did call him on it! You cannot possible love me you don't even know me....I should have binned him then! He was unshakable." Same with ex, but as I was his first proper gf I put it down to his feeling infatuated/overwhelmed, even now not convinced this was a red flag in my case but accept I'm probably wrong.

sar302 Fri 24-Aug-18 16:00:37

@AngelsAckiz , I'm so pleased your hairdresser spoke up!! (And also congratulations on dumping the prick!)

AngelsAckiz Fri 24-Aug-18 16:13:40

Also when he tells you to always look at him when he's arguing with you. Like breaking eye contact is disrespectful.

Incredibly scary and intimidating.

PerverseConverse Fri 24-Aug-18 17:32:45

My ex called me gorgeous. He called his 6 year old gorgeous too. Made me feel icky.

Definitely the present thing.

Last year I got myself something for my mum to wrap with my children for Christmas to give to me. He got me the same thing (and told me before Christmas he'd got it) and when I told him I'd already got it he was really upset and annoyed that I had and seemed to expect me to return the one of got so he could give me the one from him. I suggested he return it to amazon but he said that was too much hassle and said he'd give it his mum. It was the way he acted like this was my fault and somehow I should fix it. He put no thought into presents at all. I'm veggie and was gluten free and other special diet for IBS and he knew that this was medically indicated and that I'd be in pain if I ate things I shouldn't. He bought me a well know bakery cupcake for Valentine's Day full of artificial this that and the other and gluten and wasn't vegetarian either. It was a kids cake with a tacky heart ring on the top. He presented it to me in the bakery bag. I was really, really upset and offended. When I said something he claimed his kids had wanted to get it me and again acted really offended and told me I was very ungrateful. He bought me some fitness equipment too which I took as "you're fat" He just didn't get why I was offended and sulked because I was upset. I made him return the fitness equipment. He did it with my birthday present too. Bought me something totally unsuitable and said it was no bother to exchange it if I didn't like it. When I suggested he get his money back as I shredding had 2 pairs of this item he went on and on about it for months about how he always chooses crap presents and how he knew I wouldn't like them etc. Playing the victim essentially.

CandidaAlbicans Fri 24-Aug-18 18:01:38

If they can't or refuse to talk though any relationship issues that arise. Sooner or later something will crop up that has upset/annoyed the other and it's no good flying off the handle before storming off. They must be able to discuss stuff like mature adults.

Negging. Saying hurtful things, usually about my appearance, then claiming they're "just joking" when I complain. It's damaging, shows a lack of kindness and respect, and I now have zero tolerance for that shite.

beanaseireann Fri 24-Aug-18 18:09:41

He really couldn't stand his mother.
Turned out to be very misogynistic.
I'd like to know why.
I'll never know now.

Electrascoffee Fri 24-Aug-18 18:14:21

Thanks for your replies. I'm autistic so yes I do have boundary issues unfortunately. I'm trying to get better at figuring out who these people are. In the beginning this man showed none of these signs which is I suppose what happens with these people.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Fri 24-Aug-18 18:19:01

“I don’t think [insert name of friend / family member / colleague] is very good for you”

OutPinked Fri 24-Aug-18 18:35:20

Turning everything on me, nothing was ever his fault, he was incapable of accepting blame for anything.

Total gaslighting. Regularly would act like he hadn’t heard me say something or that I hadn’t done something I knew damn well I had, made me feel like I was going crazy at times.

Very, very subtle put downs such as telling me certain things I loved to wear didn’t suit me (despite everyone else saying it looked great), telling me certain body parts could use plastic surgery (one was my arse which every other man I have ever dated has been obsessed with...) and telling me I was too stupid to achieve what I wanted in life.

Never paying for anything. The first couple of dates he was generous and kind, then it all went downhill and I found myself always paying the bill including on my birthday. I never got a present or even a card. He never made any real effort for me tbh. He would also bill me for the petrol used during a short journey hmm.

Always insisting he chose the film we watched, what went on TV, music we listened to etc because I didn’t have any taste apparently.

Comparing me to his exes. He talked about his exes a lot, in particular two he very much had on a pedestal. He would inform me of all the ways they were clearly better than me.

Laughing at me when I was upset about something.

Rejecting me sexually often and telling me it was my fault because I had ‘failed’ to seduce him.

Removing my phone when I was in his presence and hiding it so I didn’t have access to it...

Choking me, holding a knife to my throat and slapping me around the face then making out it was my fault because I ‘shouldn’t be so beautiful’ hmm.

Extremely arrogant in a grandiose manner, thought he was something he really wasn’t. Always thought he was above me.

He was a psychopath. I realised this after I left him. When I separated from him he stalked me for months until it escalated to him publicly assaulting me. I got the police involved and never heard from him again luckily.

OutPinked Fri 24-Aug-18 18:37:33

Ahh yes pan, he also tried to convince me my best friend wasn’t really a friend and that he would eventually drop me. He also would send nasty messages to another friend of mine when I left the room.

OutPinked Fri 24-Aug-18 18:39:21

The put downs were always ‘just a joke’ for him as well. He minimised his behaviour.

OutPinked Fri 24-Aug-18 18:46:44

Also worth noting he talked about the fact he had got 4/5 of his girlfriend’s pregnant and that they had all had an abortion. He said this almost as if he were proud, it was really rather odd. He further told me he had slept with almost 80 people, again something he was really proud of.

Sorry, I hate thinking about the twat but if this thread helps someone escape a bastard like that then brilliant.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Fri 24-Aug-18 18:50:39

“It’s not that I don’t trust you it’s just that I don’t trust them”

SendintheArdwolves Fri 24-Aug-18 18:53:52

For me, the first tiny warning bell was when I found myself "editing" what I told my friends about the relationship, because I didn't want them to get "the wrong idea" about him.

The reality was that they would have got exactly the right idea about him.

babycham75 Fri 24-Aug-18 18:58:44

Had me emotionally involved before we even met - we were at school together and he looked me up
Telling me he loved me before we had met
Sex maniac
Wanted to watch me have sex with someone else
Obsessed with the past
2 ex wives, one refuses contact with him, last girlfriend left his flat and posted keys back to him rather than see him
Even after all this, I still wanted to see him
It was when I became physically ill with the stress and constant high emotion I realised I had to get out. He didn't let go easily.
Now he's with another woman, who lives 300 miles away and he's doing the same to her.

Queenofthedrivensnow Fri 24-Aug-18 19:00:38

Happy to add to this.

No friends is a massive red flag to me never again!!

Wanting to rescue you - I'm assuming you are all competent adults!

Any sign of needy behaviour.

Taking issue with your friends. Narcs and abusers don't really understand friendship patterns and flaws and forgiveness. Or loyalty.

SocialPiranha Fri 24-Aug-18 19:02:52

“Borrowing” money very early on (and never paying it back obviously)

Criticising my friends and family members. Again very early on.

Telling me “my ex did that....” about various sex acts especially ones I wasn’t sure about. Reminding me the small dress size she was. You know because he had standards I needed to maintain.

Using derogatory language about women. Slag. Whore. Filthy bitch. Etc. Not just in arguments with me but about other women. I would never, ever date anyone ever again who spoke that way about women. Even in a “jokey” way.

Apparently not remembering mean things they do or say in arguments or just denying it totally even though you know they said/did that.

Any signs of aggression, addiction, cheating (including texting other women).

Putitallbehindme Fri 24-Aug-18 19:03:15

Telling me he couldn’t believe how I dressed, that my geography was terrible, my memory was terrible, not to mention ANYTHING about ex boyfriends, not to lean down so men could see down my top...

Need I go on?😄

Queenofthedrivensnow Fri 24-Aug-18 19:06:34

And actually - from an otherwise lovely bloke - excessive descriptions of his proposal to his ex!

toothtruth Fri 24-Aug-18 19:11:10

the main one is always the 'Discrediting exes' Any man that seriously bad mouths his ex and tries to paint her as 'crazy' within the first weeks of getting to know him is covering something up.

Men that are extremely intense and 'romantic' from the second they meet you despite not really knowing you at all.... this can often indicate that they are not actually interested in you as an individual person but as their symbol of a woman... and is usually a precursor for controlling and emotionally manipulative behaviour... they will often have a set way they want things to pan out and if you deviate from that they will react badly

Men who use any derogatory sexist language about other women ie 'that whore/slut' even if its not directed at you its a glimpse into what they actually feel about women and a message not to trust them at all.

PerverseConverse Fri 24-Aug-18 19:13:13

Calling your breastfed 2 year old who's only ever seen his dad once in his life a "mummy's boy" and saying he needed to toughen up and be less dependant on me. Telling same 2 year old that he needed to share me with him. Criticising how I managed my finances and where I shopped because shopping at Tesco was why I never had any money yet being quite happy to eat my food, drink my drinks and use my house as a base when he needed to see clients closer to where I lived than he did hmm

babycham75 Fri 24-Aug-18 19:15:03

Your middle paragraph is soooooooo true
Totally him

fiercelikefrida Fri 24-Aug-18 19:23:34

The early signs I should never have ignored:

Overly interested in my past relationships, trying to catch me out about the details around them (ex. When they ended, how long they lasted etc).

Telling me he's bipolar, has mental health issues and that he's bad for me. (He's not diagnosed with anything). When I finally say ok you're bad for me let's not do this he starts talking marriage (I've only known him 2 months).

The usual crazy ex's apparently his ex was a narcissist 🙄

Making statements about women like they are all the same, ex. "All females are crazy".

He needed me because I helped him be a better person.

He was 33 and none of his relationships had lasted more than a year and by his own account they were on and off.

He messaged me loads when I went out and then asked when I got home if I'd been chatted up, he didn't care apparently but just wanted to know 🙄

There were loads tbh, I ended it after 3 months, I think if I only saw the tip of the ice berg.

So to summarise red flags:
1. Overly interested in my past
2. Any warning of being bad for me
3. Crazy ex's
5. Sexist
6. Neediness/putting me on a pedestal
7. No previous long term relationship
8. Upping contact when I'm out/questioning

fiercelikefrida Fri 24-Aug-18 19:33:02

Men that are extremely intense and 'romantic' from the second they meet you despite not really knowing you at all.... this can often indicate that they are not actually interested in you as an individual person but as their symbol of a woman... and is usually a precursor for controlling and emotionally manipulative behaviour... they will often have a set way they want things to pan out and if you deviate from that they will react badly
This is so true, I dated a man like this at the beginning of the year. He was mid 30s and had probably had 15+ proper girlfriends. He was the type to want to put it all over Facebook after a month and declaring love. It was obvious to me that he did this to every woman he was with. It ended after a couple of months (all very dramatically) and he's got a new girlfriend (nothing wrong with that) but he's already putting photos of them up (I can see in my block list 🤣). Also photos of the flowers he's bought her etc. It's so clear he has a formula and an idea on how things show progress...he puts women on a pedestal and when they don't live up to it they get dumped. All his friends can't understand why he can't find long term love 🙄

fiercelikefrida Fri 24-Aug-18 19:33:29

Sorry highlighting fail

Isitovernow Fri 24-Aug-18 19:43:09

Well, I dated what my friends called an 'asshole' and I dated a guy who had narcissistic personality disorder. No question. So here were the red flags for both of them:

- being late and getting arsey if I brought it up.
- talking a lot about his ex wife, even on the first date.
- making a huge effort to see me if he knew sex was on the cards but making f-all effort if sex wasn't.
- blowing hot and cold.
- cancelling at the last minute and expecting me to re-schedule no bother. I bid him Adieu after he did that the last time.

The narcissist
- He love-bombed me entirely at the beginning: surprise flowers, surprise presents, showing up places unexpected just to give me a hug, sending me cards to wish me luck for the tiniest of things, amazing texts, wrote me poems, listed off my positive traits constantly. He was essentially irresistible. I had never been treated like that before.
- He told me one day on the phone that I 'hadn't put a foot wrong.' What happens when I do, I wondered.
- He told me he'd never get jealous and doesn't get jealous. A few months later, he showed up at my house crying and shaking saying 'the thoughts of you out enjoying male attention.' I had gone out for a night with a female friend.
- He twisted things. If I had even a slight issue with him (maybe not ringing when he said he would or something like that), he would twist it around and tell me that I needed to look at myself to see why I would react that way.
- He lost his temper and said he didn't usually but was driven to it.
- He talked about our longterm future one night and then dumped me the following morning! He then came crawling back.
- He wouldn't have sex with me until I swore that I was going out with him and I was committed to only him (sounds sensible really but felt like a ransom at the time, to be honest).
- He made out that there was something inherently wrong with all of his exes and said once that all his relationships had ended because he couldn't fix them.
- He sent me the most emotionally deceptive long email where he was basically criticising every inch of my being but in the most sophisticated, subtle way. I showed it to a colleague and she said it was the most toxic thing she had ever read.
- He encouraged female attention and then made out like all these other women were actually chasing him, presumably to boost his non-existent self-esteem.

I could go on...but I won't!

I think red flags are obvious but we do overlook them. I think green flags are better. Green flags are these:

- someone who does what they say they'll do when they say they'll do it.
- someone who shows you who they are through their actions, not tells you who they are through their words. Talk is cheap.
- someone who prioritises you without looking for something in return.
- someone who treats you as an equal. This is the most important of all.
- someone who understands who you are and does not need to be moulded in to treating you well.

flowers to all. We all deserve love and happiness. xx

Purpleisthenewblue1 Fri 24-Aug-18 19:47:22

Love bombing (from a man or woman).
Crazy Ex (she always a bitch or crazy or both).
Feeling confused or having to work them out early on (it shouldn’t be that much hard work).
Being negative about women on TV (like, what’s that stupid cow talking about now).

twilightsaga Fri 24-Aug-18 20:02:26

Putting a hole in my door in an argument, never having money, calling me ugly amongst other things

VanellopeVonSchweetz99 Fri 24-Aug-18 20:21:32

mean about little things, penny pinching
self pity, being chippy
unfounded jealosy

lived together, ended up pushing me down some stairs in a club (!) never spoke again. Sexual chemistry out of this world.

Pinklady11 Fri 24-Aug-18 20:28:25

In the first three months:

Telling him how my nan fell apart after the death of her youngest daughter (my aunt) and him saying ‘cool story, you got an interesting one?’

Secretly trying to film us in bed

Me organising every single time we met up. Then he’d just turn up to my place with a bottle of JD and proceed to drink it in a few hours

Turning up at my flat when my attractive friend was there and telling me to ask her for a three some

Passing me a note saying ‘geek’ when I was on the phone to my sister talking about books

Having a go at me after an evening with my friend talking politics/ current affairs (which he invited himself along to) because I was boring and nerdy

Being proud and puffed up like a peacock when his mate tried it on with me

Sure there’s more.

Reader I married him angry

Electrascoffee Fri 24-Aug-18 20:42:26

Pinklady sad

userxx Fri 24-Aug-18 20:59:36

Pinklady - did you divorce him?

Pinklady11 Fri 24-Aug-18 21:03:17

I most certainly did. After he slept with my best friend (who had acted as our bridesmaid)

In a way I’m almost grateful to him, walking away took a strength I never knew I had (as twatty) as that sounds. I’m a different person now, and he wouldn’t have lasted a week if I met him now.

Pinklady11 Fri 24-Aug-18 21:04:57

*excuse the jumbled English blush just sat down with a glass of red!

userxx Fri 24-Aug-18 21:07:33

Well it wasn't wasted then was it, it's turned you into someone with zero bullshit boundaries and a liking for red wine 🍷😈

Queenofthedrivensnow Fri 24-Aug-18 21:08:55

Any kind of gas lighting or creating atmosphere. It's been a hard lesson that normal people don't do that

twilightsaga Fri 24-Aug-18 21:15:52

@Pinklady11 he sounds absolutely awful. I bet you're extremely happy you got away from that one

trulybadlydeeply Fri 24-Aug-18 21:16:12

Crazy, menopausal ex.

Coming into the relationship with no money, home or anything, reassuring me that he had "come with nothing and would leave with nothing". He is currently taken me for everything he can get and he a house and an income from me.

Lack of long term friendships, history of falling out with people.

Talking about his ex wife and their relationship on the first date.

I could go on!

trulybadlydeeply Fri 24-Aug-18 21:17:24

Apologies for typos, stupid kindle

Pinklady11 Fri 24-Aug-18 21:33:02

Worse is I still have a vague urge to defend him going ‘he wasn’t that bad...’. He was he really was.

Couple of years in, I was being treated for severe depression for, well quite obvious reasons, and he (drunkenly) said he’d drive me to a nearby suicide spot so I could ‘prove’ to him that I was depressed. Christ he was a bastard.

Without going into it, when I left I hadn’t worked for 3 years due to his job, I lost my home (again it came with his job), lived 200 miles away from friends/family. And I did it. So anyone reading this who might feel trapped, there’s always a way to LTB smile

Queenofthedrivensnow Fri 24-Aug-18 21:36:48

Remembered something reading another thread. Normal people feel guilty if they hurt you - accidentally I mean like bumping into you or whatever. Exh accused me of exaggerating every single time and told me a have a very low pain threshold. Exp was guilty of this too. It's very weird and a form of gas lighting and stealth violence I reckon.

I'm very worried that exh does this with the dds. If they step on my toe or something I make a big fuss about it and I drum into them that if someone else is hurt they must ask if they are ok and comfort them. I realise this sounds a bit batshit but abusive relationships make out batshit

Lalala2018 Fri 24-Aug-18 21:53:38

Eurrrghh my please run and don't look back list:
If he tries to change your plans
Making it difficult or gets in a mood if you see your friends.
Making it seem like his life and current plans, job etc benefit you.
Making promises he never keeps or not sticking to a plan.
Some guys are looking for help, so if he moves in with you too quickly.
Says any paraphrase of "Its all in your head"
Speaks to you with any form of disrespect.
Doesn't value your time.
Expects bells and whistles but gives nothing back.
Is selfish, then he should be alone.
Gets angry at stupid things.
Makes you feel uncomfortable in any way.
If you are unfortunate enough to have kids with him, gives you little to no help.
Takes over your plans and makes you feel small.
Creates arguments.
Drinks excessively.
Is rude to service staff.
Tells you his exes were crazy.
Is delusional and lies.

You only have one life. Lonliness is far far better than insanity.

Electrascoffee Fri 24-Aug-18 21:57:29

In terms of the first thing that happened to make me think something was up.

It was only 6 weeks into the relationship. I had got upset about something and was tearful about it. He ripped into me afterwards saying I had ruined his evening and made it all about me and that he had already heard enough moaning from his mum that day and he didn't need any more.

He made me think that my autism was the reason for the above and that I don't realise when I'm talking about something the other person doesn't want to hear. This is perhaps true but I rarely get upset about anything. Looking back he was conditioning me to never expect emotional support from him. From here it has spiralled downwards but he made me think I did something wrong.

Queenofthedrivensnow Fri 24-Aug-18 22:05:27

Again triggered by another thread claiming to have 'trust issues' even using that phrase sets the alarm bells off for me - it's a disclaimer about being controlling and jealous isn't it?

userxx Fri 24-Aug-18 22:12:14

@Queenofthedrivensnow 100%, it's justifying his actions before it even kicks in.

nonameisbetterthanmyname Fri 24-Aug-18 22:30:55

So from the early days (wish I’d had Mumsnet to guide me);-
No friends
Love bombing from the start ( marriage and babies within 3 weeks)
Crazy exes
Overly invested in my past
Asking weird questions about things and not accepting my answer eg I have a deep tummy button which he found strange, refused to accept that it was just my anatomy and proceeded to say ‘because some women have abortions through their tummy buttons that leave them deformed?’
I got an amazing placement offer the day after he failed to get a job and when I said ‘yes! I got the job’ told me I was doing it deliberately to wind him up, and sulked - so much sulking.
Yes reader I also married him sad
Cue years of broken promises - the big ones ‘I’m not telling where I’ve booked our honeymoon, it’s a surprise” - guess what - he hadn’t booked anything. Nowhere to live after we were married ‘ I was told it was all sorted. No help given for me to return to uni “ all the people who love us say it’s not a good idea”
Isolated me from my family and friends - my family were nuts I should only speak to them once a week. Having friends was weird, he should be enough for me - I was unreasonable to want to keep in touch with any others
Absolutely shit at presents - being hugely offended if I didn’t gush with joy but thinking nothing of returning presents I’d bought him then going and choosing either something the same or something he never touched again.
Saying absolutely vile things in arguments but saying it was because he was rubbish at arguing whereas I didn’t say those things as I was good at it.
So much more
Yes reader I’m still married to him sad

Graphista Fri 24-Aug-18 22:49:09

Yes! To poor attitude to other women. He was lovely to his mum but complained constantly about other women and REALLY hated having a female boss (I suspect at least partly because she saw right through him! Wish I'd listened when at a social event we were chatting and she randomly said something along the lines of "why on EARTH are you with him you could do so much better" yes rude and inappropriate but still wish I'd listened.

Re their ex's - either extreme is a red flag - whether that's overly negative 'crazy bitch' type comments or overly positive putting her on a pedestal. I dated one guy for a while just over a year after I split from exh, he'd been divorced several years but his ex could do no wrong! I concluded he was still in love with her and ended it, later learned they got back together!

Rude to service staff - yes! And not just romantic relationships. I had a shocking experience with someone who was becoming a friend (at that point) who was appallingly rude to a waiter who'd unfortunately brought the wrong order to our table (simple table number mix up). To my embarrassment I didn't call her on it. But I certainly noticed, she never even apologised when I did make a somewhat weak comment that her reaction had made ME uncomfortable. I let the friendship slide and I really hope if I were ever in that situation again I'd tell the person how absolutely unacceptable such behaviour is.

Queen - 100% agree. My now exh cheated with someone who was supposed to be a friend. If ANYONE should have trust issues its me! One woman I dated said they had 'trust issues' because their first gf (talking high school not very serious relationship here) had dumped them to be with someone else. No cheating involved just normal teen changes. I kinda gave it a pass at first (more fool me) but as time went on I realised they were just jealous & controlling.

Graphista Fri 24-Aug-18 22:52:00

I really thought I'd get flamed about the present thing. Glad people understand what I was getting at. It's not to do with amount (or not) spent, it's if they get you things that are completely unsuitable because they just couldn't be arsed to think of something suitable, couldn't be arsed to actually get to know you.

nonameisbetterthanmyname Fri 24-Aug-18 23:26:52

Oh and also the NEVER making a decision - ever. I just thought that was laziness until once I deliberately said I would not give an opinion on whether to allow DS to go on a school trip, as I noticed I always seemed to get the blame for any wrong decision. DH decided to let him go and then when he realised it wasn’t such a great idea he blamed me - saying that he knew that I thought he should go and that’s why I didn’t say anything but he wouldn’t have allowed it if it was up to him. He could not see that anything he said was unreasonable - even though I had steadfastly refused to give an opinion either way he knew what I was thinking?!. angry
I then looked at his lack of decision making and realised he always gives both options so that he’s always able to say he was right in retrospect.
Constantly tells me everything about his job in the tiniest technical detail. Gives it the big I am about what a huge deal he is in his career - telling me how everyone thinks he’s so impressive and how successful he is. How impressive his salary is etc - We live in a shit hole of a house, never have much of a holiday and can never seem to afford anything. angry

OnePotPlant Fri 24-Aug-18 23:30:36

This is one I’m not sure about so interested in views - someone who is 30 and desperate for a wife by their own admission, and has dated dozens of women over the past few years but not managed to turn anything into something longer than two - three months long?

Graphista Fri 24-Aug-18 23:34:10

30 years old never had a relationship last more than 3 months? Yep I'd call that a red flag.

userxx Fri 24-Aug-18 23:37:29

@OnePotPlant I'm not sure I'd call that a red flag, everything seems to be a lot more casual these days.

Ohyesiam Fri 24-Aug-18 23:37:38

Any man who bandies the word Perfect around early on suddenly turns into an asshole ime.

“ you are the most perfect woman I’ve ever met” Run. A. Mile.

OnePotPlant Fri 24-Aug-18 23:38:39

He’s had a couple of longer ones while younger (about a year) it’s just the last few years and the frantic dating - up to 3 dates with different people a week at one point

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