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Red flags in other people's relationships(28 Posts)
I read lots of threads on here about emotionally, financially and physically abusive men. Once the woman starts to realise what's happening and seeks to escape a common theme is that when she starts talking to friends and family about what was happening, she's surprised by how many believe her. How many comment that they've been worried for a while etc etc.
Made me think. Without even trying I can think of three women with examples of things that for me, as an outsider, jump out as red flags.
1. The woman who having taken her kids to an (admittedly kid friendly) event that had been organised for just adults, couldn't go on for the spontaneous drinks/dinner because she "didn't know if Dh would be home." Not for work. It wasn't that she couldn't go, but that on a weekend she had no idea where he was or when he'd be home?
2. Same woman who is regularly late for things when Dh is looking after kids because he's late to get home.
3. The woman who has stopped going to gym and almost never sees friends unless she's with her DS because her DP "doesn't see me enough and wants to spend more time together" even though both are things she loves doing.
4. The woman who has a wealthy husband, is a SAHM but works in the evenings after the kids go to bed so that she can pay for her personal stuff like hair cuts and clothes. Because those are, apparently, her responsibility.
I haven't even had to THINK about these. They just popped into my head.
Am I the only one who sees these in friends/colleague/acquaintances' relationships?
No, you're definitely not alone and it's both terrifying and sad.
Gosh where to start ...
Something be very dear to me, previously abused in every single relationship she has ever had including her family. Emotional.
Doesn't get to make any decisions about their plans.
Gets told when they will meet and when he is busy. No compromise.
No treats/ dinners/ flowers.
Presents given for both of them to enjoy.. his choice of present. Her prefereances disregarded.
Boys come first. His friends/ hobbies/ sport.
All done with a big smile and a hug and feels like a princess when with him.
The worst kind..
A friend of mine came out for a drink and insisted that we take a selfie to send to her husband because it would be ‘fun’. I know it’s because he won’t let her go out without proof that she’s not with a man. It’s very sad.
Not being allowed out in the car alone. If she wants to go out, husband and 16 year old daughter go too.
He hasnt worked in 20 years but is under 50 but spends all his time on bible study.
The daughter wont spend time alone with him.
Their holidays are always his idea. Always where he wants to go &. with his itinerary.
She’s guilted into not having a car, even with a joint income of £80k. He of course has a brand new car.
His food choice rules.
He does all the shopping.
A friend of mine asked me if I had access to a bank account.
I laughed and said Of course - joint account as well my own of course. Then it turned out her husband said she didn't need an account of her own (and over a few months the rest of the deeply dysfunctional relationship spilled out). He came from a religious background.
They're divorced now - he still hid loads of assets from her but shes happy to be free of him.
Ofcourse you’re not alone, don’t know why you would think you are.
My sisters seeing a man who is clearly married. She doesn’t have proof for sure but it’s the only explanation. She’s choosing to ignore it. I’ve tried to get her to see sense many times but she gets defensive.
Friend's partner telling her that he is more important than the children. He won't speak to her if she speaks to other men. He won't let her in the house if she is out later than him. He tells her that her friends are all the type to have affairs and tries to break up her friendships (and has successfully eliminated all of her single friends). She has to look sexy in the house and has to remain slim. She has to ask him if she can attend events and often won't dare ask him. She has to phone him while she's out. He collects her, waiting outside in the car, even girly weekends away, hundreds of miles away. She just can't believe how much he idolises her and misses her so much when they are apart.
She also thinks every other woman is drooling over him, because he tells her so. He is not a looker, quite the opposite, but she is and he doesn't compliment her at all. There are more photos of him on their walls than of the children. My heart is breaking for her and those kids.
You're not the only one. Sadly they often can't see it, sometimes.. maybe even more often, they choose not to see it. I know a woman who has been choosing not to see it for 3 years now. Engaged, Partner has own home, won't stay the night with her unless it's in a different city to where they live. Partner doesn't let her round his place. Partner 30 years old than her. She stopped seeing her friends and family shortly after they met. On top of that, weird things happening, things going missing, things getting broken without explanation, pets getting suddenly sick/dying. To me it's freaking obvious, to her, I don't know. A big part of me thinks she'll put up with anything just to be ''loved''. It's sad.
I know a girl who had a whirlwind romance, seriously expensive over the top wedding and 3 very quick pregnancies. DH always away working, no one really knows what his job is and why he has to be away.
He idolises her in public and on facebook but the reality is he withholds sex and is highly critical of how she runs the house and kids. She also works but he never gets up in the night for the kids.
Constant Facebook posts about 'making memories' and 'living their best life'. Personally I think the guy is gay and living a secret life, I don't think she has a clue.
My next door neighbours in a previous house. They were late twenties. He worked in accounting and was on good pay. British, but his family not of British origin. She was doing a PhD. Very skinny and meek. (He was obnoxiously loud and overweight). I often heard him shouting (loudly, but not aggressively) to make him food when he was in the study. I assumed it was a cultural thing, as the women in his family's culture do tend to take more of a service role than those in western cultures usually do, so I didn't think too much of it.
But then I found out about his car. It was a bit flash. A poser's car for sure, but not terribly expensive. She passed her driving test but he wouldn't let her drive it, and they only had one car and one parking space, which meant she couldn't own get own car so couldn't drive at all. They went out in the car to collect a takeaway once, and he didn't want the smell of curry in his car, so he made her walk back home carrying the food whilst he drove himself back instead.
I was early 20's at the time so thought it was weird but a bit funny. Fast forward 10 years and now as a mother of a daughter, I shudder to think what else he made her do/stopped her from doing. The driving thing in particular, essentially kept her dependent upon him and trapped geographically.
A friend came to stay a night while her partner was away. She opened up a bit about various things, said she had had a big row with him, and I voiced my concern that he sounded a bit controlling (very controlling but I didn’t want to say that at the time). She kind of clammed up and stopped talking about it so I didn’t say any more.
The next morning I asked casually if she had heard anything from him and she happily told me that yes he was messaging her again and had been doing all through the night, ‘just random nonsense things’. She seemed oblivious to the fact he was clearly just checking up on her and making sure she was replying to his texts, and the nonsense was cos he had to keep the messages coming to keep her replying.
So many. Not much we can do though. Dh and I did have an agreement a few years ago that when I got the middle of the night, "please rescue me" call from a friend in New York I would just get on plane and go.
Never did. Shes still with him. And doesn't even question the odd essence anymore....
A young colleague who told me that her boyfriend flipped out on a night out cause she was talking to a man she used to go to school with. He didn’t hurt her physically but to stop him making a bigger scene, she stopped talking to the man 😢
A good friend whose husband never lifts a finger at home
I think the thing is you can't see it when you're in it and sometimes women think it's normal or not abusive if it isn't violent.
I've always been quite independent and people think I'm confident but I ended up in a long term abusive relationship and didn't realise that was what it was. I thought I was the problem because I was told I was the problem.
I didn't understand the behaviours of these men and the incredibly common behaviours they share.
I think it is important to tell women what they are experiencing isn't normal and isn't ok and isn't something they have to put up with to be 'loved'.
My friend's ex. She told me he was quite jealous. I asked how, thinking that maybe he had been very hurt or betrayed in the past. She said he was even asking questions about the plumber who was due to come around, who she had never met before. Every man, was a suspect.
True, I didn't see it when I was being abused, took me many years and then some more to get out. It's hard to watch others when you know they're in similar situations. It's difficult to watch others making the same mistakes
My friend's now ex was perfectly lovely and normal when she was upbeat, settled, doing well at work etc but she is prone to low mood and anxiety at times (predating her time with him). Whenever she had a low patch this really subtle insidious side to him would come out, he seemed to quite like her being vulnerable and would infantalise her, as if he wanted to keep her there. There was something weirdly opportunistic about it. As soon as she was well again he'd revert to being your average, functional boyfriend which made it very hard for her to make sense of but she did eventually get rid of him.
One friends partner is out and out violent.
One friends partner will not let her have a bank account or her own money
One friends partner will not let her own sex toys because they make him feel insecure
One friends partner cheats constantly and gaslights her that it's all in her head
Yes, far too much. I can't think of one woman who hasn't had controlling to abusive partners. In my younger days, I rented a room sometimes from couples. The men were always verbally abusive.
I get the feeling that most men are more angry, controlling, more than we like to admit.
One friend came out of a relationship with a narcissist (which she recognises) and has now rushed headlong into a relationship with a fella who I can only describe as a total dickhead. She is now stuck with him because she's bought a house with him and can't afford to buy him out.
This guy is a complete dick - he's arrogant to the extreme, addicted to weed, puts her down in front of her kids, slags her off behind her back, doesn't have a proper job, is full on dramatic about the slightest things and causes frequent arguments. She's tried to break it off with him a couple of times but he talked her out of it. I know she wants to be happy with someone but she's made a massive mistake. Because she asked for me for advice about him, she's now disowned me as a friend (maybe out of embarrassment or awkwardness?) and I haven't seen her for months.
Another friend is back with a guy who she split with and moved out of their home to get her own place. This guy has openly said to her he doesn't love her, he frequently drinks and drives, and is totally selfish. We are now in a position that we can't mention him, probably because she is embarrassed and doesn't want to admit she's making a mistake.. So that's another friendship which has fallen by the wayside.
Why are so many people willing to put up with such crap? I'll never understand it.
@RantyAnty yes I think it's a big big problem. But whilst so many women will put up with crap, this is how they get away with it, not meaning to sound victim blamey. Society has almost conditioned us to put up with crap from men 'Boys will be boys' as the saying goes.
Yes - a friend of DH’s from uni who is beautiful, smart, at the top of her game career-wise, a great mum... honestly, she’s amazing. Married to an unemployed scrounger who keeps flying off to exotic destinations for “work” while mum and nanny juggle things at home. DH recently told me they were splitting up and I practically did a backflip off the sofa.
When I was a younger adult I got on with two different people a few years apart but realised I couldn't be friends with either of them due to their partners. Their partners wouldn't allow them to have friends of their own they had to go everywhere with them.
Both had partners who thought it was fun to cheat on them, verbally abuse them and beat them up then blaming them for their actions. The first abuser was male the second was female.
This wasn't the first time I had seen male-on-female or female-on-male domestic violence but seeing the dynamics of these couples, unlike many who post on here, I realised abusive people could be of either sex. Since then seen more of both types as well as female-on-female domestic violence.
I have a friend whose husband spent all their savings without telling her, she then discovered he was having sex with his PA. They're still together. Why, WHY!?!?!