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Share your ‘red flags’ for the good of womankind updated(245 Posts)
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.
That's true. No one is perfect. Any guy who has called me perfect that early ended up being a creep or a-hole.
Really want this thread to balloon
Also from another thread which happened to me - exh objecting strongly to me wearing pyjamas to sleep. Before I met him it was a physical comfort thing but as time went on it became because I didn't trust him to not try and touch me when I was asleep. I will never sleep naked ever again - not that I especially want to but that's a dealbreaker right there and I should have got shot of exh then and there. Never again.
Also from another thread constant pestering about sex is a huge red flag too. Exh was good as good through pg and for about 6 months after dd1 was born then the switch flipped - every time I got a bit of respite to have a shower he was there pestering and it drove me nuts.
And a whole point on its own - ranting at you for the crimes of anyone else. Exh it was road rage he would rant at me in the car as if it was me that cut him up. He still tries to do it now though he lives with another woman and has another child - texting me that he's 'fuming' that he's been dropped from a job and therefore can look after the dds for a week. Er.....not my issue? I'm employed and solvent thanks!
@OnePotPlant on the one hand the desire is reasonable but not being able to sustain the relationship is 100% a giant red banner!!!!
Gut instinct is my red flag.
What gets to me about my relationship with my abusive, narcissistic ex and father to my DC is that on the day I met him my gut instinct was that there was something wrong about him. Despite this I ignored my concerns and allowed myself to be reeled in. I then went through the classic behaviour of making excuses for him, thinking he would change, then being too scared to leave, before I finally made the break.
There have been a couple of other people in my life where I've ignored my gut instinct and paid the price. I'm very cautious now.
Yy to the PJs thing. My ex hated me wearing them. He also used to grope my breasts in public and sulked when I objected because he "just found me really attractive and was showing affection." Fuck off, groping is not affection, it's assault.
This has reminded me of an ex. He would constantly text or email me if we weren't seeing each other. He'd moan if I didn't reply straight away too! Once I was in the garden hanging out my washing and he had a go at me because he had to wait 15 minutes!!
He also 'borrowed' money which I never saw again.
Having a massive go at me and listing everything that was apparently wrong with me but as soon as I stood up for myself and said it's over as I'm such a bad person, he was begging me to change my mind! It took months to finally shake him off!
What a great thread.
How about never being wrong about anything ever
Or never apologising
No compassion/ empathy or sympathy- 5 days post c-section I fell over I sat on the floor in pain and he stepped over me didn’t help me up didn’t ask if I was ok .
Another time my daughter then 8 mo choked when I was alone with her - she was ok luckily I knew what to do but when I told him he shrugged and said ‘she’s alright now’
Nothing ever being their fault or responsibility - have decided that in future any man who says ‘I didn’t do it on purpose!’ Will be long gone
it’s a poor excuse
Groping - just yuk
Being mean to animals
Big yes to how they treat serving staff
Often (weirdly) an early red flag can be them actually TELLING you straight out what the problems will be later - on the first or second date, he might say something as basic as "I get really jealous" or "I have trust issues" or "I tend to fall out with bosses" or "I lose my temper easily", or something else, said very casually, with a laugh, that makes it sound like self depricating humour. At the time you ignore it, and only looking back do you realise they were being 100% accurate.
So if someone makes a joke about how unreliable they are, or that they're not really a proper grown up, or how they find it hard to make friends, etc, listen, because they are probably telling you straight out how it's going to be.
If you read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft, he proposes that abusive behaviour is driven by a sense of entitlement. His reasoning is compelling.
Now it's pretty much impossible for a man to grow up in such a patriarchal society as we have without feeling entitled, at the very minimum to be "king of his own castle". On that basis, every single man has the potential to be abusive in his intimate relationships and my gut instinct is that most are, it's just the intensity and frequency that varies.
The biggest red flags are probably any noticable indications that he considers women to be inferior to him. If he is comfortable referring to women (any woman, for any reason, even exes) using mysoginistic language, if he feels entitled to comment negatively on how women behave or dress, if he expects his opinions and his needs to be more important than yours simply because he's male and your female then run a fucking mile. What he is prepared to reveal of himself to you is just the stuff he thinks is fit for public release - if that's dodgy then the stuff he's chosing to hide must be really fucking dark.
With soon to be ex the first few dates were great. Saw a great show chosen by him. Went to a fabulous restaurant that I had always wanted to go to. Went out to a lovely lunch and then went shopping together. Joined his friends and family for some birthday dinners which were fun. No pressure to take it to the next level as he just seemed to enjoy my company and enjoy sharing experiences. All well and good.
After maybe three or four weeks, he invited me to his family's house to meet and then play tennis at a club he was a member of nearby. I walked into the kitchen of his family's house at a perfectly respectable time on Sunday morning (around 11am I think) and his father was sitting there. He saw me come into the room and made no attempt to get up and say hello. I thought it was odd. I don't remember there being a proper introduction either. His father looked strangely irritated which was odd as he must have realized that his son had met someone he liked. And, even though I say it myself, I was quite a catch, in my own way!
With the benefit of hindsight, this was the first MAJOR red flag. His father was a raging narcissist. Had to be the centre of attention. Disliked anyone else being the centre of attention and couldn't really 'enjoy' anyone else's pleasure and achievements, including his own children's. (My father is exactly the same.)
While we had an enjoyable courtship - doing lots of travelling (instigated by me) we never really got to know each other properly and it was all quite a whirlwind.
Fast forward a year or so and we got married as both keen to start a family. Maybe not the best reason to get married but not the worst either. Within a few days of getting married I realized how our expectations were out of kilter. While both our fathers were raging narcissists (I only realized that years later) his father had expected his wife to be a dog's body and wait on him hand and foot. He HATED spending money on anything but himself and everything was always about his ego and looking good.
While my father was similar in some ways and hugely misogynistic, he was more than happy to pay for help around the house (there were five children) and to pay for extras that would enrich our education.
Soon to be ex grudgingly agreed to an au-pair (I paid) as I went back to work part-time and it was the cheapest child-care option. Very early on, I noticed how I was marginalized by him and how his father's lack of social etiquette, manners and thoughtlessness was being mirrored by his son.
When we went to parties (usually my friends) soon to be ex would be all over the women there (he loves female attention) while pretty much ignoring me. He would often stand with his back to me while talking in a group, making no attempt to draw me in or make me feel comfortable.
I remember going to a friend's wedding while breastfeeding our first born. While I sat in the cloakroom breastfeeding, soon to be ex swanned around with my friends (usually mine - he didn't have that many) and didn't even bother to bring me a drink. This was typical of how he behaved in company. I think I was expected to be seen and not heard.
While our children were young he was keen to get his career furthered - nothing wrong with that of course - and would sometimes ask prospective clients to the house. He would expect me to vacate the house - even on a Sunday - with two young children in tow. I should have told him where to go but I didn't know any better and you feel incredibly vulnerable with two young children. I just thought I had to do what was best to help him advance his career.
In short, he never really considered my feelings. While he paid lip service to being a good husband (presents, champagne when necessary) it was quite superficial. I also noticed that he never really opened up to me and shared any personal stuff. I found this frustrating and also it meant I didn't feel close to him. He has never changed in this respect. I often think he opens up more with other people and is more relaxed around them. Were we both trying too hard to 'make it work' when we both, deep down, knew we weren't really that compatible? If I am brutally honest I never really fancied him that much which is ironic as everyone else seemed to! I thought attraction would grow which was naive of me.
Bottom line - watch a person' behaviour. How do they act around people they don't need to impress? Meet his family. What are his parents like? How does he talk about other people, particularly any ex partners? Does he consider other people's needs and feelings when appropriate?
If your gut feeling is telling you something is wrong, then listen. I remember quite early on soon to be ex making a few disparaging comments about other women. I remember thinking: 'that's not on'. Why did he think it was okay to be overtly flirtatious with other women around me? That is showing a lack of appropriate boundaries and is also disrespectful.
Watch out for their boundaries. If they disrespect other people's they will disrespect yours. If you are sad or upset are they able to 'feel it'? Soon to be ex never did. On one or two occasions I saw him break down but it wasn't to do me usually. When I tried to talk to him about my feelings towards him he would just get angry usually. Which says it all really.
I remember early on soon to be ex getting angry with me because he complained I wasn't passionate (about him). I should have walked away at that point. It wasn't my fault how I felt. He could have been sad, or disappointed but angry - not an appropriate response. That should have been a deal-breaker but I stupidly felt 'guilty' because I was worried about hurting him. In all honesty, he was probably angry with himself because he realized he had fallen for someone who wasn't as into him as he wanted. I should have been more honest but he could also have accepted the situation and moved on. You're either feeling it or not and you can't 'make' it happen, unfortunately.
Never, ever, ignore those gut instincts. I should have walked after I met soon to be ex's parents. Of course he can't help who his parents are but he showed no insight at all into his family dynamics and still doesn't. He doesn't do 'self-reflection' - that is a big red flag. If someone can't learn, change and grow then are they a person you want to grow old with? (I would also suggest you check out a person's school background - when I looked into soon to be ex's - eeeeekkk!!)
I think the part when you say 'he never considered my feelings' really is the crux of it. A good relationship involves being with someone who truly cares about your own feelings (and you theirs of course).
When I was a kid and I used to go to church with my mother (I don't go anymore), I'll never forget a priest once saying, 'love is when you truly care about the wellbeing of the other person, not for any self-serving reason but just because you truly want the best for them.' I remember thinking 'duh!' at the time. If only I knew then just how profound what he was preaching was!
@Isitovernow my dad used to say that being in love was caring more about the other persons happiness than your own. My dad was a lunatic but it's the same sentiment.
Yes yes to the love bombing.
He loved me within a couple of weeks saying that he'd loved me from school (when it turns out latterly as he loves to tell people he didn't even know who I was)
Moved in at 6 months promising the world and yes of course I can have another baby which I desperately wanted. Then I realised that he was a binge drinker but with the constant shouting for the smallest thing, even if it wasn't my fault, just aggressive shouting, left me cowed and unable to say anything.
Drinking spirits causes violence which got a little worse every single time but not to the point of any marks, more of a grab of the throat, when I go to bed to get away, coming in and pulling the quilt off calling me names.
Some I recorded using the voice recorder on my phone but when he was sober and sorry he couldn't listen to it as he was so upset he'd done it.
Waiting for my mum to die, got her home from the hospice on the Friday to her own house, my dad, understandably, was useless at this time and I didn't leave my mums side, I begged him to be there for me, he went out drinking and got home on the Sunday. I ignored him on he Monday and my mum died on the Tuesday.
If I am not home and he's been drinking he previously contacted prostitutes, but he never acted on it so that's ok.
Going out with pals and this is a common one, on a Friday (last Friday) when I text at 6 the next morning are you ok the response wa"you can suck my root". He's 46!
Saying he's sorry about last weekend, I haven't spoken to him since then (for the first time there is a consequence to his behaviour albeit a small one) so as I type this in the car park of a McDonald's, crying at all the posts for all these women who have had a terrible time, I realise in ten minutes I go home, back to that
Shows no interest in your "happenings" whether it is illness, pain, accident, achievement, birthday, basically if its good or bad - makes no difference he will play it down as its you and not him, he won't want you to have any fuss or limelight. That is all his!
- Not apologising because "he didn't mean to do it"/"he couldn't help it"
- Habitually lying to other people - he'll lie to you too
- Chameleon - e.g. when he is with friends and they dislike something, suddenly he dislikes it too, even though normally the two of you enjoy it
- Gets you to do something (anything, even little things) you feel uncomfortable about, but you do it as he makes you feel stupid otherwise
- Silent criticism: doesn't say anything but it's clear he doesn't approve. If you suggest he doesn't approve you are being unreasonable, as he didn't say anything.
@OutPinked wow you've just made me remember I had the exact same thing! Bragged about how every one of his ex girlfriends had abortions and smiling to himself in wonder as he marvelled about his "super fertile sperm"
How do they treat other people? Watch carefully. If they have busy ups or misunderstandings with all in sundry then avoid.
Are they sendentary?
Don’t help out? Would let change a nappy. Cringe over women’s problems/periods/breastfeeding.
Have pointless expense spectator ‘hobbies’ which take up all weekend?
Internet conspiracy politics?
Avoid avoid avoid.
Excellent idea for a thread. I’ve been fairly lucky in my relationships but steer clear of these:
Uses the words “I” and “my” more than “we”, “our”, etc. eg if we were going on holiday together he’d tell people “I’m going on holiday” even if I was there. In good relationships everything is about what’s best for the team as a whole.
Flirting with other women in front of you
Never wanting to do/watch/eat what you want, always has to be his choice and sulks if he doesn’t get it. If this has anything to do with sex, Run run run away. Sex is for two people to enjoy, so if one person doesn’t want it, neither should the other
No friends ever.
Would claim to be friend with people who had vaguely crossed paths with him and didn't know him.
All ex's without fail were "bitches".
Only ever dated women who had somewhere for him to quickly move into (without contributing).
Boasted to my dad on the first meet about all his ex girlfriends.
Boasted to my dad on the first meet about how he was often Fired.
Was always fired because people "were jealous" of him.
Pointing out all my flaws as a joke.
Told me if I had his ex girlfriends body I would be more successful.
Telling outright lies about his achievements/ abilities and then telling more lies and exploding if you dared question the inconsistencies.
Strangers always wanted to ruin his life and get him in trouble.
Would complain, sulk and compare me sexually.
Telling me I needed 3 things to make it in life and unfortunately I didn't have any of them.
Bringing up to strangers something I'm embarrassed and uncomfortable about and smiling at me saying "Go on, tell them all about it"
Multiple jobs going at a place. Before walking in to the interview he made a huge fuss about how my outfit was inappropriate and I better apologise for it when I got in there. It wasn't in any way. I got the job, he didn't. He was seething & said I only got the job because I was a slag. When I pointed out it was a straight female making the decision he still insisted they only wanted slags.
After we broke up would still call and quiz me on my weight and how much I was paid then gasp in horror / say he didn't believe me.
These are all off the top of my head!
Also I think another thing to look out for is the person who goes around proclaiming what a people person he is, how much he cares about other people. But he never gives a penny to charity and moans about immigrants 'taking advantage'
My ex made my hospital admission for a severe infection all about him. I thought he was amazing for being so considerate and attentive and staying with me all night as my stbexh was a total shit and wouldn't have done that at all. But afterwards I realised how he'd gone on about how tired he was, how stressed he was, how he'd hit a wall and couldn't cope because he was so worried about me yet thought that in my drug induced haze I'd want to know about his latest ex-wife and contact with the kids issues. When I got a repeat infection a few weeks later he told me he couldn't cope with me ending up in hospital again It was all about him.
Anyone who describes himself as 'old fashioned'. It means they're a sexist.
Telling you they are a genuine nice guy. And will do anything for anyone. Translates as I want all the glory and attention for being a nice guy rather than actually being altruistic.
Any inking at all of lying. About anything especially seemingly inconsequential things. There are still a few things about my exp o never got to the bottom of - what became of his old van and why he couldn't phone the estate agent to arrange handing in his keys. The second one he kept bs me about not liking talking on the phone. I ended up saying fgs if you've shaheed the estate agent I'm really not bothered!!! Nope wasn't that and still wouldn't tell me.
If they lie about anything they will be lying about big things guaranteed.
Doing anyhu g at all that makes you feel unsafe - even speeding
I love this thread and haven't even properly read the first post.
'I really don't have anything to say.'
He wasn't exaggerating. When someone tells you who they are, believe them.
-fallen out with key family members (parents/siblings/children)
-children under 16 they don't se because ex is a bitch (I think if they meant that much you would go through court)
- pointing out random women and saying they look like a slag etc
-rude to service staff
-unnecessarily mean to others (e.g homeless man asks for spare change and they say fuck off you dirty scum etc)
-too full on too soon
- not following up on promises no matter how small e.g I'll ring you tomorrow, unless good reason
- turning up with no warning
- jealous of male friends or collegues
- I don't know how to word this one but an ex let me get 3 trains home at 10pm at night when I was 16 rather than drive me 25 mins home because he wanted to save on fuel (I even offered petrol money)
Actually as a rule if you wouldn't want your daughter to date someone like them then they aren't good enough for you.
Gosh same ones over and over.
No friends. Well one fairweather friend who he fell out with
Daughter who refused to speak to him
Two exes, one who chucked him out in the snow and never let him back in, he doesn’t know why , the other ex wife who threw a party when they divorced
Focused on me from day one, no life so just hung around waiting for me to finish work
Jealousy/checking up on me but tried to cover it up eg always in my area just passing, once he called in to go to the toilet (he lived 30 miles away ) once he passed my house at 9am and my friend’s car was on the drive from the night before and he went spare even though he knew my (woman)friend was visiting
Lazy. When he said he had done nothing all day, he actually meant nothing, just sat on the settee all day not even watching the tv
Over helpful at first eg doing things/getting me things I didn’t even want and then when we broke up said he felt used
Stopped being helpful after a while, making a big show offering to do a job but then not doing it and never mentioning it again
Obstructing my nights out (rare) by calling me away with an emergency or guilt tripping me by saying, I never thought you would really go when I was so upset about ..../I can’t believe you went tbh...
Bigging himself up, made out he was really popular at work and everybody said he was always laughing (false)
Mr nice guy actually turned out to be an angry bully
When I ended it, he made such nasty threats against me that the police turned up within half an hour in the middle of the night when I reported it
Threatened suicide by calling me to tell me he was at the top of a mountain and was going to drive off but he wouldn’t tell me what mountain he was on for me to call the police (he is still alive on Plenty of Fish)
Meanness with money - not paying way or share, expecting you to fund the home while their money is about 'them'.
All activities are about their preferences and hobbies.
Vagueness about family or other key relationships.
Taking doing something once as a commitment to do it forever, whether its taking out the bin, cooking supper or paying for a holiday.
Making commitments for you without talking about it.
Belittling your successes or career.
Turning everything to being about them.
Definitely the bigging themselves up. One of my ex boyfriends was forever telling me tales of how this women said he didn't look his age, that one tried to pull him, stories of all the women he'd slept with but would get angry when I talked about my ex. Negging. He slipped in sly little jibes about my body at every opportunity. Blamed everything on me - I was mental, I scared the shit out of him, blah blah blah.
Oh another one about mine is how he treated his daughter. He told me how he dropped her off at a sleep over, then decided he didn't want her to be there so went back after 10 minutes and took her out. Totally selfish - not thinking about her feelings at all.
He kept saying horrible things about his daughter (presumably because she doesn't have any time for him). Like 'she's got really fat', 'you wouldn't like her' I asked him to stop being an arsehole about his daughter. And reminded him that his relationship with her is HIS responsibility.
Also he moaned about his son. Who, apart from me and his mum was the only person who would do anything for him.
'He gets on my nerves he's got too much testosterone' yeah, well he is a 20 year old guy 🙄
One thing I'm curious about is how to we distinguish between love bombing and a genuine connection/interest in you?
I think I was raised to think most men would use me and that that was the worst possible thing so I've attached myself to love bombers.
Obviously I get when it's super full on it's not right... but obviously I want to try and avoid the ones that are clearly not that interested/just interest enough to get me into bed.
What kind of signs should we be looking for that the man is genuinely interested in a non lovebomby way?
Hmm - my ex was quite complicated. In lots of ways he was and is a ‘nice guy’. But he was a terrible husband. It makes it more complicated because the red flags didn’t come out until we were married and we had children - basically when I was vulnerable and dependent.
But the main one was:
Avoidance of any real communication regarding issues raised by me- this was done by charm. If he let me down and I called him out, he would be charming and apologetic - there would often be flowers (which I didn’t want) and then it was supposed to be forgotten. It felt exhausting to keep going on about it. After a period of time he would do it again. I felt frustrated, not listened to - like what I felt didn’t matter. But on the surface he was loving, attentive and kind. In future I would listen and give weight to those feelings.
It’s hard to describe, but I would know it instinctively if I came up against it now. But I would never again be in that vulnerable position of having young children and wanting a marriage to work for their sake. I know I could walk away.
Taking issue with anything in your past. Exh and I for all his faults were very open about past experiences and it was never an issue. Exp couldn't handle this at all and gave me grief about mentioning ex partners for the duration of our relationship. He also told me he thought me going travelling (extensively before I had kids) was pointless and selfish. He told me I shouldn't have had dd2 and also that he understood why exh left me (he didn't I threw him out), that I must be shit at my job (sw) because I have no tact (been doing it a decade now) he would start these conversations over and over and over.
Ex was apparently mental
Created a triangle, him, me, the ex
ALWAYS the victim
What a catch, couldn't believe my luck
Constantly wanted me to have what ex had
Told me he always fancied me
Moved into my home
Engaged within months and married soon after
Ignored anyone who came to visit
Planted ladies garments around the house
Would laugh in my face if I was upset
Broke or binned everything that was sentimental to me
Tell me he loved me but I was mentally unstable and needed help
Then would stop me seeing a councillor
I wasn't allowed help in any form, from him or anyone else
Twisted every conversation
@ThriceThriceThice my exh would be a complete arsehole then buy gifts. In a strange way there was at least some acknowledgment of fault there
Don't, under any circumstances, allow "You're better than her" flattery to turn your head if he starts "my ex was a bitch" etc, particularly early in the relationship. Your relationship is about you & he getting to know and love each other, not spending time speaking an old relationship into yours.
It's a no good ego stroke and sympathy seeking conversation designed to put you up on a pedestal then knock you off it. At which point you'll become the crazy bitter ex, and people may actually believe it of you just as you believed his talk.
Undue criticism of women, misogyny, sexism.
Partner or perspective partner constantly analysing you - it's wearing, and is a self-important way of leading up to criticisms of you.
Unkindness - to you, waiters, family, animals etc whoever. A relationship is dead in the water without kindness.
Don't allow a man to make you do penance for his past relationship. You're not there to 'pay' for the sins of others
These red flags I won't get involved with or justify for even a moment, nobody on earth is worth the angst
I'm hours out of finishing a relationship because of the following
Apparently I looked at someone whilst out and was told he should "smash my fucking face in"
Physically stopping me from leaving a room on more than one occasion
Mocking my past relationships and shaming me for people I'd been in relationships with.
I'm such an idiot. How did I get in this fucking mess.
Just saw this from Toogoodtobetrue
The biggest red flags are probably any noticable indications that he considers women to be inferior to him. If he is comfortable referring to women (any woman, for any reason, even exes) using mysoginistic language, if he feels entitled to comment negatively on how women behave or dress...
Had a drink with ex recently after event with DC - he was already well lubricated. We were discussing a mutual acquiantance who I find ‘difficult’. He started ranting about a time she had annoyed him and ended up saying ‘she’s a fat, ugly bitch and I wouldn’t fuck her’..I was totally It was just very revealing that this woman had pissed him off (publically disagreeing with him) and that was how he responded. Look for the misogyny - it will seep out.
I'm such an idiot. How did I get in this fucking mess.
You really aren’t. You are strong and brave and you found your way out - you fucking left him! I think you’re fantastic and I love you
I'm not strong or brave, although it's lovely of you to say, as really, he left me
How pathetic is that?
my exh would be a complete arsehole then buy gifts. In a strange way there was at least some acknowledgment of fault there
If only - that’s what we want to think and it keeps us in the game. In reality it’s a ‘shut the litttle woman up’ move. We are the unreasonable ones because they’ve apologised.
Well you are stronger and braver without him. Not pathetic, just learning, like we all do, each day at a time.
Thank you thrice
I needed to hear that.
I'm so disappointed in myself that I've become so involved with him. It's going to take everything I've got to ignore the messages I'm already getting saying he still cares. Why do I still love him? I can't forget all the cruel things he's said
SWeetRelief - they condition us to accept the shit that's the problem. I'm autistic so I'm a bit of a sitting duck tbh.
An ex of mine did the love bombing.
I was perfect, he’d wanted to marry me etc. As soon as I conceded he went cold, texting then ingnoring me. If I ignored him I was ‘torturing hkm’ If I pulled him up on the way he was treating me then I was ‘needy’. Very confusing. Thankfully a very short lived relationship which shamefully, was ended by him and subsequently followed me begging him to give us another chance. Wish I could go and shake some sense into my younger self I still get angry thinking about how he made me feel and how I acted during that time.
@MistressDeeCee oh god, you've just highlighted something else my ex did. At first I was the total opposite to his ex and then when I started to try and resolve any issues we were having or retreated into myself as I was hurt and needed some quiet time to process my thoughts he told me i was just like her and "everything was falling apart." Code for don't rock the boat or I'll think you're just like her. He would sulk if I was upset with him over anything. He referred to her as "a dick" and to be honest on some things she was but I soon started to wonder if she actually had a point on some things.
Jesus this is all frighteningly familiar.
I was told I was turning into his ex.
Told I was marriage material
Then that I needed therapy
Went through my phone in minute detail
Picked apart any interaction I had with any men from way before we met
He's literally just been to collect the rest of his things. My heart feels like it's gonna burst out of my chest
Why do I still love him? I can't forget all the cruel things he's said
Give it time my love. Imagine you are recovering from a car crash. You would be confused and in pain. Think of the pain (why do I still love him, why does it hurt) as recovery. It will pass. You will get stronger each day and love him less (not that it’s really love). Talk to friends and family and get support. You are the focus not him.
- incredibly jealous of my company with other men to the point he would attack or threaten to attack them.
- if he starts to cry when you point out a bad behaviour of his. This is emotional manipulation.
- Trying to force physical defection on you when you're upset with him.
- blatantly lying about a situation you are in or putting his spin on it "Yes I did shout at Andy, but he was slagging you off behind your back" when it's fairly certain Andy was not.
- When they are angry you instantly shut up. Whether due to fear of violence, shouting or moodiness the air gets sucked out of the room.
- When does something very wrong claims they won't do it again if you'll do something. Ex: If you sleep with me more I won't kick off, if you spend less time with your friends I'll be happier. So the onus is on you to change his behaviour.
- Doesn't listen to no.
- Tells you your close friends are a bad influence or that they don't really like you.
- Has amoebic fascination with violence and not in the loving CSI way. Has a love for guns, loves watching war films, openly hawks at accidents etc.
- Has previous on sexual harassment/ assault.
- Uses misogyny and sexist words openly and not in a jokey way. "She's a fucking whore"."I hate cunts who think they deserve more than they have" etc.
- Uses previous mental health as a weapon or reason I.e I need you to stay in with me as I'm always anxious when you're away, you know I get depressed if you hang with your friends etc.
- If you say you'll leave him he threatens violence on himself or you.
This was the same partner.
Trust your gut when at the start it doesn't feel right. You don't need a reason to stop a relationship with someone other than you no longer want to be in it.
Niggling doubts can be wrong but even if they are, why continue if you have them?
I wish I’d read this post last year, before finding myself involved with quite possibly, two of the prettiest yet craziest bastards to walk the earths surface. Having just come out of a long and serious relationship, new to the dating scene I completely missed the following (twice)
- love bombing. The first converted religion shortly after meeting me and wanted to ‘marry me before the week was out’. The second asked me to be his gf two weeks after meeting me. Showered me with love and gifts and told me often, how perfect I was.
- The crazy exes. They all have several. The common denominator in all these fucked up relationships pal, is you
- falling out with close family members. ‘I haven’t spoken to my brother for 6 years, he’s jealous of me’. Step mum telling me she had been begged by his mother to get him to talk to her. As he’d ignored her for weeks for no real reason.
- family members/ anyone close telling you he’s hard work or wishing you luck
- stonewalling / ignoring you as punishment. ‘Bringing it to your attention that ‘silent treatment hurts the most, I’m pretty good at it’.
- being a completely different person in front of new people - everyone loved him and told me how much of a lovely person he was. Only for him to be the complete opposite with me, when we were alone
- telling you about how an ex had him arrested for assault and managing to convince you it wasn’t his fault, he’d ‘never touched her and she’d caused the marks herself’.....
- ranting often over trivial things that others had done in his presence but not necessarily to him. Called me one day ranting and raving about how his step mum done too much for his younger brother - actually furious. Took me 10 minutes to calm him down.
Blowing up over silly things, all the time which would cause me to constantly feel as though I was treading on eggshells. An example being him losing his head because he’d planned to cook dinner for the two of us but as he was staying at his parents they expected him to cook for the family. ‘They want x but you don’t eat it’ me ‘that’s fine babe, I’ll try it’ him ‘you will not!!!’ Proceed to blast me for being difficult.
- throwing toys out the pram for making the wrong decisions and then expecting you to help them resolve the issue.
- not standing by their responsibilities and acting appallingly towards an ex.
- telling you after you’ve split up that conversations that were had and you have proof of, didn’t happen.
I really could go on..... the latest really did pull all the stops out!
Thrice you are an angel.
I've only told one friend because I'm so embarrassed.
98% of the time he was lovely and I've never felt so wanted and adored. I know I'm not easy to live with sometimes but when we argued it just used to get too much. You don't say those things to someone you're supposed to love do you? No matter how cross you are?
I laughed at something he said earlier because it was so ridiculous, he responded that "you had better stop laughing, I'm warning you" I saw red and thought you're not gonna intimidate me in my own house so I said "or what?" he kept saying he was warning me over and over then refused to let me pass to leave the house. I had to use the back door where he then proceeded to scream than I was a cunt in front of my neighbours. I'm so ashamed. It's not normal is it? I don't know what to think
My narc exH:
negged me the morning after we slept together for the first time (he did not like my hands apparently) - this turned into a habit an he was increasingly contemptuous about it
utterly incapable of empathy and everything had to be about him
desperate need to be admired and the centre of attention
hated my friends and family and slagged them off until he had isolated me
criticised me for being dull and too fat every time we went out - "I was ashamed of you" etc
smashed things up in a temper (always mine), punched the wall next to me, bumped me out of the way - eventually of course this escalated into kicks and punches.
Everyone else was an incompetent fool, he was a creative genius.
No patience, tolerance or kindness even when I had pneumonia and a couple of operations. he is just incapable of it.
Fucking lazy - I did everything for him and 3 DC whilst working a 60 hour week.He never once got up with a child or came home if any of them were ill.
Loved to torment people verbally (me especially) and would rant on and on at me for hours until I was hysterical.
Cheated multiple times and drew our mutual friends into keeping his secrets (they are not my friends now!)
I could go on, but I won't. Reader I was stupid enough not only to marry him but to stay with him for thirty years. He is definitely no loss, but I am still furious with myself for wasting all those years with him.
My family say I'm hard work and wish men good luck with me. I'm NC with most of them as I finally saw them as being toxic and had been since I was a child. I don't have many friends really. Not close ones. I don't trust people. That's why I hang out on here as no one knows who I am and I don't have to behave a certain way to be accepted. Every time I read about it being a red flag for men to be NC with their families or not have many friends I start thinking maybe it's me that's the problem. After all it's me that's the common denominator in these failed relationships. I've recently discovered I'm probably autistic and have ADD which probably explains a great deal but things like this reinforce all the times I've been told by abusive people that I'm the problem and it's my fault. It makes me permanently wrong footed and confused.
Oh yes and my ex hated his mother.
The way he spoke to her was just not good. Get me this or that. Called her bitch etc.
citrus when he went on rants, made you hysterical would he then calm down and belittle you "is there any need for you to be so hystercal"? I couldn't speak to mine as he would stone wall for months so I'd write a note, that got ignored, then id text him that we need to talk, the reply was "ffs grow up, i dont conduct myself through text messages"... he'd sigh every time I would enter a room, then fake laugh at tv programmes that weren't funny, just to prove a point I was non exsistant.. write on my Facebook wall how fabulous I was for the world to see but wouldn't actually be speaking, he'd make me a meal but throw it in the bin before I could even eat it as he said I hated his cooking.. twat from twatsville
I’ve thought of another which sounds small but took me a long time to understand- that feeling of not knowing what each day will bring. What will they be like today? Will they ignore you or be in touch hourly? Will they be affectionate or aloof?
I wish I’d figured this out earlier rather than living with low-level anxiety about the situation for quite some time. We deserve consistent behaviour, we do
No - not normal - not right. And I’m no angel - just someone half watching LOTR on tv, drinking wine and MNetting because I’ve put up with crap before and would rather other women put up with less of it.
The thing I got from your post is that you stood up to him - your post is really positive. You said - no - not here, not in my house. It shows you have self-worth and you have values - you were strong.
Of course he is charming, loving,98% of the time. You wouldn’t be with someone who was.a total dick - he knows that. It’s an act. If you married him (had debts or children with him) it would different and he would probably only be charming, loving 50 % or 30% of the time or not at all - whatever he thought he could get away with.
Don’t punish yourself for wanting to be loved / feel special. It’s what everybody wants. But congratulate yourself for learning about people who fake it. It’s hard learnt - but you’ve learnt it none the less.
Might seem like a weird one, but people pleasers, avoiding any conflict at all. I think it's a bad sign if you can't talk through any disagreements as resentments build up.
I think that’s true Sausage. People pleasers will often put your needs behind other people’s needs further down the line when they take you for granted as well
@ThriceThriceThice yes I know and it stops them having to own their behaviour BUT exp was so much worse I suppose I see it differently
@OnePotPlant reminds me of exh. He would tick me off about my perceived behaviour to strangers - 'you let a door go/you were rude to the waitress/you gave x a dirt look' all things I could only respond with 'I didn't mean to!' I used up joke that I could be in a terrible accident and exh would tell me off because I didn't say please to the paramedic. This still makes me feel batshit
Thank j you so much everyone, I really needed this. I might laminate some as affirmations!
Did any of you find that your narc kept paying all the time and wouldn't let you ever pay? Another narc I was with did this as well. I wonder if it's part of the manipulation arsenal?
electrascoffee yes - at first I put it down to him earning ridiculous amounts of money and just wanting to treat me but then, he started bitching about his ex gf being a gold-digging bitch who’d refuse to pay for anything. I remember one day waiting for him to go to the toilet when we were out and paying the bill myself - he was furious!
@electracoffee I think they do pay for everything in the love bomb phase, it enhances the 'I'm perfection'! I was on par with exh wage wise, when we got a joint account he'd cast up he was paying for everything and I didnt, as if ALL my wages contribution didn't exist. They seem to think if they punch in the pin number that's them paying.
I think they like to pay and play the generous romance until you feel great guilt at him always paying so then they start "letting" you pay for things until you end up paying for most things and they are staying regularly at yours and eating your food/using your hot water up/helping themselves to the WiFi etc.
I'll never forget my ex sitting there and saying "what's your WiFi password?" after our third date. He didn't even say please. No one has ever asked for it before and I've never asked anyone for theirs so I asked why he needed it. Because he didn't want to use up his own data allowance! He only paid £10 a month for his mobile and got charged for sending photos so he'd insist on using messenger to communicate. He'd even phone me from messenger rather than his phone itself. Or he'd use his work phone. He rarely called though and I view that as a red flag now. Happy to message half the day but never wants to talk on the phone as doesn't want to use his minutes.
He told me early on he was boring but I think this was how his ex had described him so as he'd described her as a dick I wrongly assumed that she'd just been unkind. Fuck me was he dull. No conversation, no interests except cycling and cricket (yawn) but didn't actually engage in either, just watched on the tv. He was happy to do whatever I organised but was incapable of thinking up anything himself which got old very quickly. I suppose that all boils down to be cheap and lazy
Argh, all these stories and my own make me want to run away and live in a log cabin alone. :D
Three phases to a relationship with a narc...
Male or female the trick is to beat them to the punchline, they REALLY don't like it!!!
Lack of empathy/compassion when poorly.
Wanting to spend more time on the iPad/computer games than with me and making me feel bad for asking for attention.
Minimising any hurt/upset feelings.
Telling me and others that I’m “psycho” or “insane”
Never letting me cry.
Never saying sorry.
Yes they want the ending to be on their terms. If I ended it with mine he'd send in response a message which didn't even acknowledge what I'd said. Eg,
'Dear Mr Twat, I've had enough of your mind games and shitty behaviour. Accusing me of cheating and giving you a STI you never had is the end. Do not contact me again, ever'
'Dear Electra, I'm so sorry you feel that way. As you know, I need time and space to sort my head out but I'm fully aware that you deserve to be happy and I don't want to hurt you. If we are meant to be together it will happen in the end. In the meantime it would be nice if we could remain friends'
So he completely ignores the shitty behaviour. He's such a wanker.
Sigh. I think reading all of this that any chance to find a decent, warm, kind, caring, non controlling guy is doomed think I’m just going to get cats instead
I will definitely be teaching my daughter to trust her instincts. I spent several years with someone who literally scared me witless but kept on thinking I was wrong as my mum and everyone else seemed to really like him. I thought I was going mad. I wasn't. Weirdly what made me see the light was a dream I had that we were getting married. In the dream, the wedding car was all dirty and my mum turned up in rags because she said this wedding wasn't worth celebrating. I then realised what I had known deep down all along!
@Cawfee I relate to your post. Excessive use of phone/tablet/tech was a common feature of exh, exp and a dear friend exp going through awful DA separation just now. Then can literally never put their phone down.
Exh can't even put his phone down whilst spending a few moments in my house dropping the dds. It's quite cringy. I had a honeymoon period with exp of about 6 months where he wasn't bonded to his phone but that cane to an end abruptly. I can't stand it and resent other people doing it at social events.
Lying and/or hiding things
Refusal to talk on the phone
Dysfunctional relationship with parent/s
Blowing hit and cold
Being unnecessarily critical
I used to go out with someone who would turn up on nights out (if I went out without him) to “give me a lift home” (so basically make sure I’m not having too much fun and make me leave before I’m ready).
He would be horrible about other women’s looks. He took it really personally if he found a woman unattractive, even if she only worked with him or was on his course.
He borrowed a lot of money from me - eventually he paid it back but it took years (after we broke up). He also “borrowed” lots of small amounts which he never paid back. If he put £10 on the electric, I would have to put £20 on next time. He once wrote a friend a cheque to pay for his share of something and muttered “mean cow” when she noticed that he hadn’t signed it.
Urgh the curtailing nights out. A friends partner does this constantly and we have big concerns that this relationship is co ercive.
My exp said 'people only go to the gym to have affairs' there was my giant red banner!
My ex went one further than just checking my phone. He, somehow, and I still don't know how, hacked into my laptop and read all my emails and he deleted photos I had on there! It was very scary at the time because he read emails from friends and relatives and accused me of having affairs with them all!! He was bragging about it once and said all he needed was an email address! I have changed my phone number and email address since then. But he still tried to contact me months after we'd broken up!
This is from over twenty
okay, nearly thirty years ago when I was young and naive and didn't know any better.
My Hindsight List.
1. Got jealous and moody over ex-boyfriends that I had before I even met him.
2. Silent treatment.
3. Mocked my behaviour around my friends so that I changed it to suit him.
4. Could not bear any form of teasing.
5. Tight as a gnat's fanjo.
6. Told me tales of the awful way he and his friends talked about and treated women as if it was funny.
7. I found myself lying about previous sexual experiences for a quiet life. We were married for fifteen years and to this day he thinks his was the first cock I ever touched
8. Would never apologise, other than to say 'Sorry if I upset you', which is clearly not an apology.
9. Was shit-scared of his mum.
10. Never, EVER put me first. Ever.
That's just the list from before I married him. I'd get writer's cramp if I started listing the shit that came down after the rings were on.
Yes withdrawing affection to punish. Then, when I pulled him on it he said ‘you need to be patient’ ugh
*Tell them once and once only that it's unacceptable.
They do it again - IMMEDIATE STRAIGHT RED CARD
No matter what. Whatever they say/do, tears/threats, do not budge.
Don't EVER go back on this.*
Does that go for cheating too? Lying? Anything they do, if they do it again it's done? Just curios
@Verbena87 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?”
Does that go for cheating too? Lying? Anything they do, if they do it again it's done? Just curios
I'm puzzled by this. Surely cheating and lying would be definites not exceptions
I follow this. Life's a lot simpler.
It’s about YOUR boundaries
What’s a line for you. Cross that more than once, knowingly and it’s game over
One of the first times we stayed in a hotel together - I can't quite remember the lead up to what happened but I found myself outside the bedroom door wearing few if any clothes and trying to get back into the room. Soon to be ex found it highly amusing to drag me along the corridor, hugely embarrassed and loudly protesting. Eventually, I managed to get back into the room but I had carpet burns on my legs and bum.
WHY did I not just leave then and there? Or at least book into another room and leave first thing with him to pay the bill for the extra room?
I will NEVER put up with bad treatment again EVER. Much better to be single than in a mediocre (or worse) relationship. Always watch behaviour as well as words. Behaviour shows you what to expect. If it's bad it won't get better but will get worse. Walk away. Repeat - walk away.
@butterballs9 Oh what a horrible man. I'm sorry he did that to you. Rotten behaviour. The thing is we can all look back and why we put up with things we've put up. The main thing is you'll never put up with it ever again.
Yes indeed - this is the danger of ignoring red flags.....a relationship should be about feeling excited about new possibilities.....a glimpse of things that could be exciting and better. It's about 1+1 = a lot more than 0.5.....
I was talking to my Aunty about this tonight and she said the problem is that if the sex is good that can keep you there even though the rest of the relationship is a mess because the sex causes you to see the person not for who they really are.
Red flags from a few of my exes:
> Obsessive need for sex (3-4 times a day)
> Obsession with getting me pregnant (control)
> Asking me over and over again to adopt all principles of the surrendered wife
> Constantly being asked to ‘surrender and submit’ and when asked what this really meant he couldn’t adequately articulate it
> zero friends
> very distant relationships with all relatives even children
> many jobs in a small space of time (5 in 6 years!)
> crushing financial status
> grand protestations of love “let’s elope”
> lying over the most innocuous of things
> expensive gift giving (most recently thousands of pounds on a push present)
> choosing outfits for you to wear
> excessively communicative - texting/emailing/calling all day every day
> no empathy
> wanting to spend all of his time with you, sulking when you have other plans which do not involve him
> drinking every single day
> secretive with phone (disabling all notifications)
> push/pull behaviour
> punishment when things don’t go his way
> needing to be the priority always, even over your own children/other peoples kids
> excessively charming yet unable to forge long lasting meaningful relationships
> over-confidence with women
> all relationships he had were with vulnerable women - it’s as if he could smell our vulnerability
> seeks out a tonne of information and gives very little in return. This gives the illusion that he’s very communicative and open when in fact he was extremely shut off
I was willing to put up with the above due to not having enough self worth or boundaries.
- crazy exes/all previous relationships ended on bad terms
- didn't like me seeing friends or family
- ridiculously mean
- referred to the mother of his child as "worst mistake of my life that c&nt"
- suicide threats
- Often spoke to and about his mother and sister like utter shite
- No close friendships
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Constantly put on a silly little voice and did impressions of me
- No sympathy if I was unwell- even when I was seriously unwell he refused to take me to the doctors
- Ruined my birthdays and his sisters wedding by basically having a tantrum- it was like he needed all the attention on him no matter how badly he had to behave to get it
No sympathy/empathy is one that can show quite early if your aware enough and is a big red flag.
Yes Christmas - all the above are dealbreakers. Totally agree with the confusion, working out what someone is thinking stuff. Also agree about care, trust and respect - all vital.
Purple - yes...easy to ignore those early red flags and give the benefit of the doubt but they are total giveaways.
The birthdays yes, most of them ruined here too, gave him an I pad for his 40th, I got the silent treatment for my 40th..
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