When you start noticing red flags popping up in a relationship, you might want to pay attention and make sure you really know the person you are with. Here, we dive into some stories of people who noticed their partners red flags a little too late in the game.
1. The biggest red flag was immediately after I proposed she said “Are you sure? Because I’m crazy”, then laughed.
There is truth behind most humor. Later she was diagnosed with PTSD from a physically and mentally abusive relationship that she got into shortly after her father died relatively young and unexpectedly.
She has extensive professional experience caring for people with severe mental disorders and in retrospect I felt like she knew how to mask her symptoms well. For example, she let on that she was capable of setting healthy boundaries for herself, and that she was emotionally strong and independent (I am attracted to both of those traits), but the opposite is true.
While she isn’t crazy, she masked or minimized a lot of issues she deals with at first, became dependent, and then threw aggressive and emotional abuse towards me. After she physically restrained me and wouldn’t let me leave a room until she was done screaming at me, I told her physical aggression was a deal breaker, and said if she gets physical again it’s over. She told me she would get physically aggressive again (she sounded almost proud of it actually).
She did. I stayed true to my word. The divorce should be finalized next month.
2. Several lies were told at the beginning but there was always an explanation and a story for it.
Previous divorce but didn’t spend much time with their kids. Caught several times still on dating apps but said they were just friends to keep in touch with. Never admitted to any faults of their own and all of the previous failed relationships were always the other person’s fault. Couldn’t keep the same group of friends. Very charismatic but couldn’t keep a story straight.
3. The pictures.
We had to take a million pictures of us doing stuff.
Everything was on social media with a picture, every post was “my marine…” Every conversation was about her being a Marine girlfriend, etc.
It was all for show, I was a trophy.
When we got married she quit going to school and quit her well paying job. When she’d meet people and they asked what she did she said she was a military wife, etc.
We divorced and she has a kid now and everything is about being a mom. She just changed situations as far as I can tell.
4. The first was ignoring the fact that he was texting this one girl and lying about it.
Yes, I ignored some pretty big red flags and to this day I am not sure why I went ahead with the marriage. The texts didn’t seem too crazy (at first) but he would still lie and say things like I wasn’t texting her or i just had a question about work. Then I also ignored when leading up to the wedding and him leaving for boot camp, he seemed to just not care anymore. He was already starting to get too big of a head because he had lost so much weight.
Then on our wedding day he ignored me pretty much the entire reception. His excuse was I want to hang out with my friends because I am leaving for boot camp in three days. I should’ve just annulled the marriage right there, but I stuck around for another year and a half and it only got worse. Found girls clothes in our room after visiting my family in our home state and then coming back to our appt. He would tell me my opinions didn’t matter because I was nothing but a civilian. Ended after a year and a half of marriage. He still tells people I left him because he was deploying and I didn’t want to wait for him. 6 years later and I am much happier than I was then.
Keep reading on the next page!
5. This was the case with my parents: my mother didn’t discover my father’s mental problems until later.
The why is that they got married way too fast, two months, and bipolar disorders have natural ups and downs. She had only seen the up.
Textbook example of why you shouldn’t marry unless you’ve been with the person for a while.
6. I loved him for who I thought he could be and not who he is.
7. Immediate family relationships were overlooked/ignored.
Her parents were gigantic enablers. Her parents didn’t believe in counselling. Since her father was a drug rep, there was a pill for everything. As soon as we had our first kid, stress and anxiety showed its face. She turned to xanax and ambien. She never learned any coping skills. I was 29 when we divorced.
8. Family relationships were a big one I missed.
She had the type of family that was, “family” no matter what. Didn’t matter everyone hated each other, or Aunt Becky banged Bro-in-law. They were all expected to be there on Sundays, and the fighting would begin. Most messed up thing I’ve ever seen.
Keep reading on the next page!
9. The biggest one for me was finding a condom wrapper in the trash.
It was only my fiance and I living there and we didn’t use condoms. I was heartbroken and when I confronted her later that day she told me that she found one while cleaning our “adult drawer” and wondered if she could put her foot in it.
At the time it seemed to be a perfectly reasonable explanation, or I was just so afraid of the truth and heartbreak that I desperately wanted to believe something that wouldn’t be painful. We married a year later, and after 5 months of marriage I caught her in a web of lies that led to a co-workers house. Even after getting upset with her and telling her it was over I had a change of heart and asked her to see a marriage counsellor with me. She refused and left me for my coworker.
10. The red flags ive learned to avoid from growing up in my house were the following:
– Blaming trivial things on each other.
– A need to physically attack or break something when angry.
– Attention seeking behavior. Seen my father throw himself down stairs or start chugging liquor just to get a reaction from my mom. Especially if its a “Im totally going to kill myself unless you intervene” moment.
– Hiding money, on the flip side needing to hide money because one person spends all of it leaving you high and dry come time to pay bills.
– Prioritizing one’s happiness over everyone else’s. For example planning every vacation around one person’s likes and dislikes. This is a HUGE red flag IMO.
– Total inability to take responsibility for anything. Literally everything bad is someone else’s fault.
– Inversely, taking credit for anything positive.
– Vindictive behavior. Cant count how many times Ive seen my father break my mother’s stuff because he knew it would hurt her.
– Saying things you don’t mean with the specific intent of upsetting someone.
– Treating others like their only purpose is to entertain you.
I basically grew up in a red flag factory.
11. He was never really that into sex, even when we were first dating.
He was okay if we had it, but okay if we didn’t, and he almost never initiated. I put it down to his personality type (very brainy, awkward, introverted) and some cultural issues. I figured we would learn together.
After we had our second child, he indicated that we no longer needed to have sex, now that we had our ‘allotment’ of children; like the whole thing had been such a burden to him. As it turns out, he really, really is not all that into sex. Cue at least 5 years of me freaking out, wondering what is wrong with me, wondering if it is shallow to consider leaving an otherwise ideal life over sex, dying of physical neglect, wishing I was the kind of person who could cheat, him pulling a at because he feels attacked, me suffering horrible self esteem, loads of counselling, etc….
Yeah, he just doesn’t like sex. It’s all on him. It has nothing to do with me. I had to let a lot of resentment go. After some pretty rough times, he is realizing that I still need to feel loved and he is communicating his love to me in other ways. We have been through so much in 15 years that I see his whole worth as a person, not just his value as a sexual partner. Our marriage is swinging back around and I am grateful. I masturbate a lot. It’s really okay.
12. He didn’t necessarily change, but I woke up to an issue.
His mother is overly involved. She wants to come stay weekends with us without warning. When he told her he had proposed she told him he should’ve waited. She was bitchy at our wedding (story continues on the next page).
Keep reading on the next page!
(continued)… And when we told her I was pregnant she also said we should’ve waited. So…basically she has a negative opinion on us. He is a momma’s boy too, so I bet it hurts, but he won’t admit. I just wish she’d buzz off.
13. Yeah, she was really worried about some of my female friends stealing me away from her.
To the point of not allowing me to interact with them. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that I don’t trust her!”
Yeah, she cheated on me.
14. Husband changed completely after we got married, which was a shock since we had lived together for 7 years prior.
He’s bipolar, and an addict, but we were controlling it very well. Just after we got married he stopped his meds and started doing every substance he could get his hands on. Within a few months he lost his company, and hasn’t worked since, preferring to get high and drunk and land in the hospital with psychosis very frequently.
The red flags were there – serious mental illness, past addiction, dangerous behavior – but they were under control. I was naive to think that because they were under control they would always be under control. Not true.
Since we have been married it has been hell. And now I’m stuck.
Take these things seriously, folks. While living “best case scenario” keep in mind “worst case scenario.” Don’t go in with stars in your eyes and hearts full of hope.
15. She cheated to be with me.
No one ever listens, do they? People need to make their mistakes, it seems.
As it begins, so it ends. Always.
16. While dating he was late to things.
It wasn’t in his mind to consider everyone else’s point of view. I love my husband immensely. I am a child of an alcoholic so I over consider. The balance has been good for me. That being said, I wish he would show up on time. If it’s his event for family or hobby he is there early. My family or my hobby he drags his feet. I hate it and its so rude and obnoxious. 23 years of it. He is not changing. I have adapted. It still pisses me off but I put it into perspective. I am no joy either, I bet.
Keep reading on the next page!
17. I realized it was a possibility since I met her but I don’t care because I love her.
She’s extremely emotionally unstable and the recent death of her brother spiralled her into a dark place. From there she was diagnosed as bipolar and now a lot of things from the past make sense. She is compliant with her meds and attends therapy. We are best friends so we communicate well. I love her very much and I’m here to support her no matter what even though she’s an extremely different person now. I’m sure I’m different too, but hopefully in a way that is beneficial to her.
It was a hard lesson for me to learn that love cannot cure someone’s depression, and I’m still learning how to cope with this huge change myself.
People who are married to someone living with mental illness and struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Sometimes your reality gets so skewed living with your partner’s illness everyday, you forget some things are not normal or typical behavior for people who do not have depression or that particular illness.
My fear was that her irrational behavior would become ‘normal’ for me and I wouldn’t see the warning signs if she was starting to struggle again. My own therapy sessions keep me in check.
18. That feeling in your gut, like a silent tug that something isn’t right, but you ignore it because you so desperately want someone to love you and be in love.
Well, that feeling will eat away at you, until it becomes too big to ignore, and the only choice left is to see how things really are; not how you want them to be. Don’t ignore your gut.
19. I think one of the early signs of trouble I missed was when my ex would cook only for himself.
If I was home and he was making a sandwich or something he never offered me one. If I asked he would oblige but he never thought of me.
He turned out not to be a very considerate person. He thinks about the moment and his needs but not beyond that.
Keep reading on the next page!
20. My ex, when we first started going out, would have a little too much to drink every few months.
She would say each time, as I was holding her over the toilet, “Never again.”
Well about 10 years later it was still happening. She ended up meeting some girlfriends that were all of the same well-lubricated frame of mind. Things got very messy after that and I felt that I was no longer an equal partner, but a babysitter. When that happens, there really is no way of coming back.
21. While we were dating, my ex started acting different.
Once the first two years were over and things were thoroughly serious she just seemed to stop putting effort into seeing me. She was always busy and when this happens for a week its fine for a month and you start wondering if she’s making plans on purpose so that we don’t see each other.
So I’d say the red flag is when your loved one stops putting in the effort to continue dating and spending time with you.
22. When I met my husband he was a bit of a neat freak, and that didn’t bother me but I later found out that it was because his first wife was verbally abusive.
She’d make him feel worthless, call him stupid, ugly, etc. I guess he tried to please her by always having things just right.
She ended up cheating and leaving. He and I met shortly thereafter. Well I went the opposite direction, told him he’s perfect, just be yourself and don’t worry about being a neat freak etc.
He’s still my perfect guy almost 20 years later… but he doesn’t clean a damn thing anymore and I almost regret talking him out of that behavior because it clearly wasn’t his natural tendency to be neat!
All’s well that ends well? 🙂