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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.

Cantgetthisshitoutmyhead Tue 28-Aug-18 21:22:34

In some ways we have to remember these people only go for people they regard as strong, the reasoning for that is because they can hide behind us, like a classic picture of a child hiding behind a parents leg.... they need us to be that strength because our purpose is to feed them (supply) and fight their battles for them, at the same time fight our own battles, as they would never do that for us. We loose strength easily as this in it's self is very draining as an adult-child is hard work, they see us as weakening so that's when they abuse, because we failed their expectations.
Just my personal take on it, if your recovering from these people, embrace the fact you were once strong, strong enough for them to be attracted to you and you will be strong again. X

PerverseConverse Tue 28-Aug-18 21:37:28

@Cantgetthisshitoutmyhead oh god yes. One of the first things he said once we'd met in person (been chatting via OLD for weeks) was that I was a strong person. Although he seemed to think I hid behind my strong persona and that I was actually very "soft." I supported him as best I could through his mental health difficulties and he said I was really supportive, even had a little "positives" note on his computer screen quoting "supportive partner" but when I got sick of his poor me attitude and refusal to help himself he quickly changed his tune and he found me unsupportive.

What I struggle with though is all the good times, all the nice things and supportive things he did. He was subtly abusive and I ended it after about 11 months so maybe he hadn't had time to properly ramp it up. There was lots of little things from day one really but I stupidly ignored them as he seemed such a great guy and he seemed to be everything I ever wanted. Sometimes I still wonder if I was cruel to end things and call him on his abusive and manipulative ways.

Cantgetthisshitoutmyhead Tue 28-Aug-18 22:13:51

@PerverseConverse I can assure you, you definately got out at the best time, my Exh was classic covert narcist, everything was very subtle, I could never put my finger on it, he knew to be nice, caring and fabulous but it lacked depth, it was all dare I say "learned", as if it was picked up from films, that's what made him so attractive because he mimicked great films, we all love a good romantic leading man but the average man isn't like Christian Grey but we'd love them to be.. So when we find this great person who possesses this persona we are totally smitten, the problem is a film lasts for 3 hours, they have no clue how to take this great guy they pretend to be onto another level or how does this great guy cope in a crisis, they fail to "learn" that part of life..

Cantgetthisshitoutmyhead Tue 28-Aug-18 23:47:41

I genuinely think there's a pathological part to play in persons with this type of behaviour, there's stunted progression from say 12 years and an accelerated part of the personality to say 70! I have a DS who is 12 who possesses lots of the descriptions of exh behaviour as do all 12 year old children
Fight my battles mum
I'm ignoring you mum
I'm going to play you off against someone mum
Feed me mum
Your horrible mum
I didn't do that mum
I'm going to break your rules mum
Then the pattern to get what they want
I love you mum
Your the best mum
You look lovely mum
They don't actually mentally feel that depth yet as they aren't old enough to truly mean it but they recognise it makes you smile,

That's where the adult-child is stuck, unlike a child though they posses this other element like my 70 year old DM
not apologising everyone else is wrong
Set in ways
Wont swallow pride
Cut a conversation dead
Fall outs last for months
Very critical

Its safe to say reading through the other posts, there's a definite pattern to be seen, I don't believe this is something that they are fully in control of.

curryinahurry77 Wed 29-Aug-18 01:03:03

I had huge numbers of red flags during a 15 year relationship. I'm not academically stupid, two science degrees, successful business, blah blah. But back then I had low self esteem and zero boundaries.

Sadly, emotion can rule over logic.

Why did I not heed the red flags? How in gods name did I end up marrying and having three lovely children with this inhumane sod?

He was the first person to say he loved me, and the first person that I had any kind of emotional or physical connection with. I was too innocent, too trusting, too loyal, too resilient, and too optimistic.

Here are just some of the red flags:

- Love bombing: Telling me he loved me and that we were soulmates within a month of meeting.
- Tantrums: the first time I cooked for him he threw a strop because it was 'the wrong type of steak'. Years later I would get the silent treatment if he didn't like what I cooked him for dinner.
- Hugely defensive
- Selfish: We always went to see the films he wanted to see, he refused to see anything I wanted
- My accomplishments were minimised.
- Weird family values: his mum regularly aired her opinion that all men are gamblers, womanisers or alcoholics. She also said "all women are bitches"
- Hates going to visit his mum/sister/brother
- Gambling. He could not understand why I had an issue with him gambling £100s/£1000s on the horses when we were saving to buy a flat/planning a wedding/having children etc. I was the one with the problem, not him.
- Juvenile behaviour: Acting all wounded and stroppy if I didn't get him an AMAZING birthday or Christmas present.
- Lying about the oddest things e.g. that he failed his driving test when he didn't even attend it
- Also lying about the HUGEST things, like wanting to get married - he told me recently "we all say things we don't mean". Errrrr, nope.
- Repeat affairs......sleeping with OW when I was 6 months pregnant with DD2. He swore on his unborn child's life that he would never do it again. I trusted and believed him. He did do it again - with his masseuse
- Lack of respect for women. He told the above OW by text: "don't tell curryinahurry that we f*****".
- No good friendships
- Selfish: Sleeping on my hospital bed because he was knackered/hungover after being away on a sport tour. I was knackered because I was in labour and 8cm dilated, but he needed the bed more than me.
- Intimidating: I felt too scared to have a conversation about anything he may view as a 'challenge' to his behaviour because he could get very verbally aggressive.

I wish I could have read a thread like this one 15 years ago!!

Please don't ignore red flags.
Trust your gut feeling. x

rightknockered Wed 29-Aug-18 01:42:12

Love bombing and being madly in love with me, declaring love at first sight, etc
Spitting out food I had cooked and "teaching" me to cook
Complaining that I was never grateful enough and getting more and more angry at my apparent lack of appreciation for a cup of tea for example
Also lying on my hospital bed after I had had a c-section, the midwife gave me a leaflet on domestic abuse after that, but I was too afraid to do anything
Also eating my food in hospital,
Complaining every day that I was in recovery from the c-section and forcing me to sleep downstairs with newborn ds1 because he needed sleep
It was like this after each child and I believed him when he said he didn't realise it was so cruel
Lying about ridiculous things. He said he was colourblind, still maintains that lie now and brings it up to get attention
Phoning me constantly when I was out of the house and then cross examining me on my return home, this slowly lead to him hiding my keys and throwing away my shoes to stop me leaving the house.
Only wanting sex at stupid times like 2.30 am and often waking me to do so, and then only wanting it how he wanted, forcing me if I refused. Raping me while I was asleep.
Pushing me and saying it was an accident, accidentally squeezing my hand to hard, eventually thumping and head butting me.

Electrascoffee Wed 29-Aug-18 18:20:30

'Sadly, emotion can rule over logic.'

Ain't that the truth?

Wallflowerfire Wed 29-Aug-18 18:30:12

My ex used to have an imaginary penis repellent spray that he told me he used with his ex whenever she said anything that sounded insecure, eg pulling him up on a hurtful thing he had done, the spray was to let her know she was so unattractive by what she’d said that it had repelled his erection.

I should have listened to him, because he then used it on me once - after I pulled him up on him asking yet another question about my ex boyfriends. It wasn’t done in jest either, he flipped out. went on to nastily criticise me and tell me I was ‘mental’ for getting so touchy.

Entitled narcissist, total red flag.

prettygirlincrimsonrose Wed 29-Aug-18 20:56:44

I worry sometimes about my SIL because from the outside it appears like there are some red flags with BIL.

He has a crazy ex, goes on about how awesome SIL is and how he hates being apart from her (she is lovely but it feels like he overdoes it), doesn't really have friends, and sometimes makes references to being really angry (e.g. 'I wanted to punch him' said quite aggressively with clenched fists). The first time we met him we were all out in town at an event drinking, and generally getting on ok. SIL and DH were being silly (basically being siblings who hadn't seen each other in a while) and had skipped off to get some things from DH's workplace instead of waiting for us. I wasn't particularly bothered and was waiting for them to come back but BIL got really annoyed and just walked off leaving me on my own in town. Obviously not a big thing, but he seemed to suddenly snap from fine to really pissed off and it's stuck with me.

But SIL seems really happy and I don't feel like I can say anything. And I might be completely wrong as there's obviously lots I don't see, it's just a gut feeling. Is it enough to be there and try and give her opportunities to talk if she ever doesn't seem happy?

PerverseConverse Wed 29-Aug-18 21:03:57

@prettygirlincrimsonrose you can ask if she's ok and mention the mood swings he has?

PerverseConverse Wed 29-Aug-18 21:06:10

I've resigned myself to being single now because although I'm aware of the red flags I'm too slow to see them, give too many chances, and gloss over the subtle red flags. I no longer trust myself to make good choices.

Electrascoffee Wed 29-Aug-18 21:16:22

Me too PC sad

ohnothanks Wed 29-Aug-18 21:35:16

So many.

Being horrible to his mum and seeing her brush it of as "his bad temper... let him cool down"... erm no, no thank you.

General dissing of women. His mother was mad, and his father justified in having affairs as a consequence. No.

Being mean or needlessly rude to serving staff in restaurants etc.

Angry driver.

Anti-intellctual and MASSIVE chip on shoulder about academic prowess.

Lack of long-standing friends.

Poor attitude to work: people always incompetent or out to get him.

Complete lack of self-reflection and thought about own behaviour.

ohnothanks Wed 29-Aug-18 21:38:49

But above all that... if you hear a nagging, needling question along the lines of "is he good enough for me?" Then theanswer is most likely NOOOOOOOOO.

PerverseConverse Wed 29-Aug-18 21:51:43

I'd been with my ex about 5/6 weeks but I didn't feel comfortable referring to him as my boyfriend and felt weird when he called me his girlfriend and even more so when he said partner which is a term I've never liked. I was happy but I couldn't put my finger on that elusive something that was holding me back. So I put it down to being overly cautious after being hurt so many times in the past. It was my gut instinct telling me something wasn't right though and I wish I'd listened to it back then.

userxx Wed 29-Aug-18 22:21:36

This thread is absolutely ace as it's keeping me strong whilst dealing with someone who has stamped all over my boundaries in the past, today I told him to fuck off. It's also terrifying that so many of us have been involved with these types........ how many of them are out there.

Electrascoffee Wed 29-Aug-18 22:32:29

I'm glad this thread is helping more of us than just me!

Lorddenning1 Wed 29-Aug-18 22:34:41

Bloody hell @Electrascoffee is that all the same guy?

Electrascoffee Wed 29-Aug-18 22:47:54

I'm afraid so 😢 I was just talking to my friend & we agreed he's the worst yet, and I'm not known for finding decent men.

Lorddenning1 Wed 29-Aug-18 22:56:56

confused I'm newly single so this thread is good for me to read, I am prone to losers

rightknockered Thu 30-Aug-18 01:51:27

My ex was always late, never on time. Kept everyone waiting for him, when people complained to him about it, he smirked, I think he enjoyed feeling important enough for people to wait around for him.
Minimised everything I ever achieved, to the point that I now feel apologetic about it all, I split with him over 4 years ago. He'd accuse me of showing off. Yet he went on and on about having a 2:1 and a masters. As if his achievements were more important, and useful.
He belittled any hobby I enjoyed, like knitting, working out, running, art. He had no hobbies that were not tech related.
He liked to tell everyone, at any opportunity, that I was ugly without make up, and only looked good when dressed. And I mean everyone, even the neighbours and at one point ds1's teacher.
He basically liked to humiliate, embarrass and belittle me.

coolcahuna Thu 30-Aug-18 06:41:39

Reading all these and nodding! I dated someone briefly earlier this year

Ex was a witch and was no contact with his daughter. All their fault, not his.

Constantly talking about fights and looking for a fight. Just out and about.

Constantly bigging himself up and boasting about looks and talents. Very vain. Obsessed with social media. Trolled people online for sport with fake profiles etc. Telling me that he was great and everyone fancied him. Then complaining I never gave him compliments. I told him no need mate, you're doing it all by yourself!

Complimentary to me but other women referred as bitches etc.

Didn't work. Very entitled. Wanted the most expensive brands despite not working.

Lazy. Sulks.

I saw the light when I was called a stupid woman and a twat. Done and dusted the next day. I've worked hard to get my home, no-one is going to speak to me like that ! That was the first time he'd used language like that with me.

butterballs9 Sun 02-Sep-18 00:50:20

Also lying on my hospital bed after I had had a c-section, the midwife gave me a leaflet on domestic abuse after that, but I was too afraid to do anything
Also eating my food in hospital,
---

Soon to be ex did this - I hadn't had a c-section but I had just given birth. The young male obstetrician came in and soon to be ex was lying on the bed, eating food. I did notice the obstetrician smiling in a rather wry fashion - no doubt had seen this before. Soon to be ex couldn't stand me being the centre of attention and not him!

One of the things soon to be ex told me early on was: 'No-one will ever love me like I do'. At the time, I found it quite flattering but in retrospect it was creepy, controlling and presumptuous - how did he know? The other factor in it was that I didn't love him in the way that he wanted. Perhaps that was what he really meant: 'you will never love me the way I want you to'.

Queenofthedrivensnow Mon 03-Sep-18 12:28:28

Exh was awful after c section. He would leave me behind as I couldn't keep up with him. Also made me walk fucking everywhere because of the environment.

SocialPiranha Mon 03-Sep-18 12:44:14

Oh god butterball my ex did the same! I didn’t have a section but like most people who have just given birth I was exhausted and in pain! Ended up with him eating most of my toast, ordering himself a coffee (the midwife thought it was for me I think) and having a sleep in my hospital bed while I fell asleep sitting up in the armchair while trying to bf the new baby. Dirty bastard didn’t even remove his shoes. The midwife said nothing except to tell me to never fall asleep holding the baby like that again (I know I shouldn’t). I was dying of embarrassment. Pretty sure ex liked that though. He also wanted a blowjob when I was in labour and on pethidine. “Ahh go on just touch it”. Fuck sake.

userxx Mon 03-Sep-18 17:32:05

@SocialPiranha Words fail me. I'd have bitten it off.

SocialPiranha Mon 03-Sep-18 17:39:08

I was in so much pain and so frightened or maybe I would have. He didn’t get one. But from what I remember I either passed out or zoned out.

The worst thing? It took me til after I left and started the freedom programme for me to realise how fucking awful just that incident was. Before that it was an eye roll type thing. Which in itself seems insane to me now.

FabalaTheGreenGirl Mon 03-Sep-18 17:57:47

I think I'm maybe at the beginning of something new, but I'm not sure if what I'm seeing are 'red flags' or not. I've been in 2 monogamous LTRs since I was 18 (30 now) so I'm probably not attuned to these things.

This summer I ended a 4-year relationship with a wonderful man who I love because it just wasn't right for me. The entire relationship was long distance and he couldn't (wasn't capable) of committing and I couldn't hack the distance thing anymore. Around the same time I met a man at work who I ended up growing very fond of. He seems perfect on paper (intellectual, handsome, funny, we get on great) but there are too many things niggling at me. It's too soon to date him, but he seems to expect that at some point in the future he will date. Full disclosure: the following post does not make me look great.
Possible red flags:

-a few days after i ended it with my boyfriend I was in a really bad place, got blind drunk, sent Work Guy a series of weird texts. He came round (even though, while sober, I'd asked him to ignore any weird texts). We slept together. He seemingly didn't notice how blind drunk I was and seemed to look very guilty about it when I brought it up a few days later.

- even though I've told him i need time to process my breakup, he is ALWAYS there...inviting himself round, inviting himself on cinema trips with me etc. This is my fault, and I don't tell him to explicitly get lost (I hate my libido) and after I see him I usually feel like shit. It just annoys me that I've asked him to back off several times and he just keeps PUSHING. Surely a decent bloke would take me at my word steer clear for a bit until I figure things out?

-he has commented on my appearance, usually positively. But occasionally he will say that a certain item of clothing "just doesn't work for you" or he'll talk about a part of my body in a backhanded compliment way (and here I can't really put my finger on specifics). He knows I have an extensive collection if lingerie and has hinted that he would like me to wear it, and jokingly complained when I haven't.

The real shitter is that we work in the same office and he lives just down the street from me, so I see him all the bloody time. Argh.

What do you think? Are these red flags or am I overthinking it? He's got a kind, nice-boy-raised-well sort of Adrian Mole vibe and I just could never imagine him turning out to be abusive.

FabalaTheGreenGirl Mon 03-Sep-18 18:00:46

Oh, and the biggest red flag with my ex was that in 4 years of dating I never met his family (fair play, they're in Bournemouth, I'm in York, he's in Scotland). But he never even told them about my existence! They pretty much always operated under the assumption that he was single, assexual or gay and secretive about it. I never understood it.

FabalaTheGreenGirl Mon 03-Sep-18 18:05:54

Oh, and sorry for the multiple posts, but I forgot to add love-bombing. While I was figuring out whether to end it with my long distance bf, work guy kept declaring his 'love for me. On one occasion, he told me I was The One. On another occasion he told me that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.

Writing it down like that...that does seem fucking insane.

PerverseConverse Mon 03-Sep-18 18:48:28

@FabalaTheGreenGirl Have you actually read any of what we've all said??!! Run.

FabalaTheGreenGirl Mon 03-Sep-18 19:02:19

PerverseConverse I think I just needed to write it down...

PerverseConverse Mon 03-Sep-18 19:05:21

Apart from all the other red flags flapping in the wind, the one that stood out most is his persistent lack of respect for your boundaries.

Wallflowerfire Mon 03-Sep-18 20:53:06

Need some people to say their blokes have not done any of these things. Do we run any time anyone disrespects our boundaries? How do we know if this is bad or not?! Everyone is capable of being a dick surely.
How bad is bad?

PerverseConverse Mon 03-Sep-18 21:05:28

@Wallflowerfire I think someone upthread or on another thread about boundaries said they give someone one chance after pushing/not respecting boundaries. If they do it again then they are history. Little boundary pushes are the start and then they tend to get bigger and bigger. It tells you they have no respect for you. Once they know you can be pushed because you don't stick to your own boundaries they will walk all over you. And all that grandiose love of my life crap? It's an abuser's script.

RightyHoChaps Mon 03-Sep-18 21:14:44

Hmmm... I spent 10 years with someone that I really should have. He was a twat. 20/20 hindsight.

Warning flags over the course of that relationship and a few others include:

1. Using sarcasm as the only form of humour he can come up with.

2. Using nasty comments as the only form of humour he can come up with "You like <insert tv programme or music here>? What the fuck? They're shit"

3. Repeatedly lying.

4. Cheating.

5. Flirting with someone else.

6. Using me as an emotional dumping ground.

7. Issuing ultimatums.

8. Being overly complimentary... borderline creepy.

9. Omitting certain truths... if you've got something to hide at the beginning, that says alot.

10. If He sounds too good to be true, he usually is. No one is perfect.

10. Listening to my gut... there's alot to be said for my brain or my 'gut' picking up on things I can't quite put my finger on... it has taken a long time to get that working and doesn't always work but it does a damn good job 95% of the time.

I had a 3 month fling I guess. I really liked the guy but from day 1 I knew something was off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it so I just waited until I had something concrete and solid.
After weeks of suspicion, I looked through his phone and got the confirmation I needed. Messaging his ex, complete lies about his past, like everything a total fabrication. Everything. Told me he'd been in the army, he hadn't. Told me his ex's daughter was his, she wasn't (I thought that one was particularly sickening- told me a story about racing to the birth and everything). Told me he wanted to marry me, obviously didn't.
I'm glad I kept him at a distance enough to be able to ditch at the nearest convenience and fuck him right off.
He then continued to harass me on and off for the next few months. Total scumbag. He threatened to kill himself. I told him to go ahead, knowing he was a compulsive liar and emotional manipulator.

Listen to those alarm bells... they go off for a reason!!

FabalaTheGreenGirl Mon 03-Sep-18 21:27:48

I think the point about boundaries is a good one. My fear is that those "little alarm bells" will turn into something louder later on... and by that point, I'll be so deeply in love I might not notice.

How bad is bad? Hell, the healthiest relationship had (together 8 years, engaged) still involved a lot of insecurity and emotional manipulation on his part.

I'm ready to be single for a while.

userxx Mon 03-Sep-18 21:38:38

@SocialPiranha with knowledge comes power. He wouldn't last 5 minutes with you now. Fair play to you 👍

PerverseConverse Mon 03-Sep-18 21:55:05

My ex claimed he didn't know why his wife divorced him. Claimed he didn't know what was on the divorce papers. Bullshit. He was pathologically afraid of blame and failure and didn't want me to know why she didn't want to be married to him anymore. I think I know why now grin

Wallflowerfire Mon 03-Sep-18 22:17:23

@PerverseConverse People like this cannot grow as people! They refuse to accept any responsibility for their actions too. Afraid they might see something inside themselves they don't like. My current is like this.

ravenmum Tue 04-Sep-18 07:56:20

Sometimes people seem to lie just because they enjoy fooling you, no other reason, huh? Met up with an ex the other day and I'm pretty sure a couple of the stories he told were made up, just from the way he said it - but there was no reason whatsoever for him to tell me them at all.

BlingLoving Tue 04-Sep-18 08:09:58

Someone upthread made the point that you can nod at all these red flags but ultimately it's about your boundaries.

I saw this with sil who from the very early days of relationship with her dh, identified behaviour she didn't like. But somehow, she (or he manipulated her) into finding ways to excuse the behaviour or blame herself. What worries me now is dh and I did see the red flags but we somehow kept thinking they needed to adjust to each other ext. I feel bad like maybe if we had said something then, she would have had strength to move on.

For me, him insisting he come to hospit after ds was born, even though he was a new boyfriend and we barely knew him, was the biggest red flag. I was so uncomfortable but somehow he convinced SIL and she convinced me.

AuntieGeek Tue 04-Sep-18 09:36:20

This is an odd one; buying me shoes. Turned out that his fetish for a particular type of shoe was the start of his crossdressing.

I'll never forget feeling utterly repulsed by the shoes though.

Queenofthedrivensnow Tue 04-Sep-18 12:28:37

@RightyHoChaps your number 9. Nail on the head there

Cantgetthisshitoutmyhead Tue 04-Sep-18 17:14:05

@Auntiegeek that is so interesting mines ended up cross dressing too, stretched many of my nice shoes, would turn back my sheets at night and here he was dressed up in my frillies... anyone else's ex or currents also xdress?

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