31st July 2022 at 10:27 pm #147842
One of the things I can tell will be a challenge for me going forwards is gaining or regaining perspective on what is actually normal in a relationship. By that I mean what things might be potential red flags and what’s not. I feel as if my radar or compass for these things is off.
I know logically what the main things are that might be concerning. With hindsight I can see the early red flags in my abusive relationship and have been considering why I didn’t see them or perhaps chose to ignore them (things like being too empathetic or giving the benefit of the doubt etc).
Yet, I know that when talking to other people and getting to know them now that I’m out of that relationship, some things might come up that are not obvious red flags and may not necessarily fit the list or profile of what an abuser might initially do or say, but then it gets me wondering if they are things I should be concerned about.
So one of them is this…
If someone indicated to you that they would rather no longer work, would that be a red flag? The reason I feel uncomfortable with hearing someone express this is because in my relationship this was a factor. So for me, it seems like a red flag as why would a healthy person not want to work anymore and how do they propose living or surviving if not by leeching off someone else or the State?
Hope I’m making sense.
1st August 2022 at 11:23 am #147859
I suppose it depends on what they actually mean, was it a joke? A kind of, ‘I would love not to work and just live a life of luxuary!’ But that’s just being silly and fantising.
Or were they actually dead serious, then that is a bit strange.
It’s hard, but I think you have to follow your gut.
3rd August 2022 at 12:49 am #147947
No, it wasn’t a joke. I eventually felt after talking to him that it is tiredness related as this time of year means really long shifts in the work he does. For the moment I will give the benefit of the doubt but I am still guarded.
I think any kind of laziness or man-child elements are a big turn off for me, even if the person is not abusive in any way… it’s just not realistic or attractive.
3rd August 2022 at 9:21 am #147961
Yeah I totally understand the laziness being a huge red flag for me.
But to me, as soon as I read that I wondered why is he not just looking for different work? Does he have no goals and aspirations? Only to moan about his lot and have no solution…
I totally thought I could spot red flags and I could be in a healthy relationship. I thought I had done so much reading, so much therapy and reseach. But no, the first guy I meet was so different to my ex in some ways – like he was self sustaining adult, didn’t have addictions. But he had mental health problems. I fell so easily into the old habits of my past relationship. He did those small comments that straight away had me feeling like I was with my ex. I thought it was just becuase I was with my ex for so many years, ofcourse being with a man will take me back there. But now I talk to people about him, about the red flags that I wanted to ignore and give him the benifit of the doubt. It’s totally kind of shocked me that I fell into the trap so easily, so quickly. I think I heard Womens Aid suggest waiting 2 yrs before dating… I think this may be right.. you need your brain to get rid of those automatic tendancies you developed after so many years in an absuive relationship..
I started not sleeping well when seeing this guy, I was anxious and just not really happy. This is when I didn’t know his state of mind and that we were ok.
I was so so crazy when he ended it, but now I am starting to feel better, I am sleping better. Just amazes me that after only months of dating you can start to form a sort of trauma bond, or maybe my trauma bond from my ex just shifted to him.. I don’t know. But its been a big eye opener for me.
Be safe xx
3rd August 2022 at 4:46 pm #147978
That’s what I thought about not looking for different work. That’s what I suggested. Surely you’d think about changing it up and not just giving up working entirely. It’s so odd. I do wonder about mental health issues.
I’m sorry you had a negative experience of dating/relationships post-leaving. It sounds awful to go through that as well as your previous experience.
I am in a similar mindset regarding the length of time before having another relationship. I’m not really wanting one… Happy to remain single and work on myself and supporting my child in their recovery. I certainly couldn’t envisage living with another man ever again. I realise how much I like my space and being able to feel safe etc.
This man is an ex of mine (just an ex boyfriend not a partner) with whom I remained friends after the relationship ended. We didn’t split due to an issue between us, it was due to circumstances that made us go our separate ways. Then I met my abuser.
I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding being on the lookout for mental health issues. If anything, I’d guess that might be a factor with him.
My abuser had both addiction issues and mental health issues so I totally get where you are coming from and what you are saying regarding that.
I think my concern with that is that as you say, when you’ve been in an abusive relationship and start speaking to men who ‘aren’t that bad’ or don’t appear so because they don’t have the same issues… then it must be easy to think that they are okay and safe. Yet, it doesn’t mean they are not abusive too, just maybe in a different presentation or it takes a different amount of time to surface.
3rd August 2022 at 4:56 pm #147979
It’s so true, hearinv others experiences on here helps to see a wider range of abuse personalities, but then the tactics are normally all quite similar., and to be honest I would happily be single for a very long time. Just I have no children, I had abortion with my ex. So I just feel like I don’t want to wait and miss my chance 😕 x
1st August 2022 at 11:29 am #147860HereforhelpParticipant
Hi, I think it would depend on their circumstances… trust your gut and ask questions, why they do not want to work? How would they support themselves?
Also, like you, when I think back to my relationship with my ex husband, how it was with all the red flags I missed I realise now that I didn’t ask enough questions. I would suggest asking lots of questions and trust your instinct/gut.. if something feels amiss then something isn’t right.
Have you done the Freedom Programme? That’s great for helping to recognise red flags?
3rd August 2022 at 1:00 am #147948
These are good points. Thank you!
I think I accepted answers to easily. So for example, looking back, I was accepting explanations that in hindsight I should have probed further and explored more. I took the things he said at face value and I think also, and this is a big thing, he made me feel as if I didn’t have a right to more information… almost as if I didn’t deserve it so I didn’t feel confident to demand further explanations if something didn’t sit right.
Obviously in hindsight this was because he was extremely shady! He had so much to hide and it’s all coming out now. Yet, there is something to be said for the fact that I allowed myself to feel that I didn’t have the right to more information or clarification. He so quickly asserted a position of dominance that I felt on the back foot.
With the person I posed the question about… I sought further clarification and it seems as if his non-joking comment about wanting to retire is linked to his job being very straining right now as it’s the worst time of the year for him work-wise. So he is linking his exhaustion to all work and feeling as if he doesn’t want to do any. I remain guarded and will be on the lookout but haven’t shut down communication at this point.
My IDVA is supposed to be referring me for the Freedom Programme or one very similar. I have also been speaking to Social Care about my desire to do something along those lines as they are conscious I need that type of input to ensure I do not get into an absuive relationship in the future. I’m 100% on board with any kind of help I can get to educate me so I can spot any abusers… and also hopefully help me to become less attractive to them also!
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