This topic contains 38 replies, has 36 voices, and was last updated by  fizzylem 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #87008

    Can you remember the first red flag? ⚑

  • #87010

    Yeah,there were so many minor ones but the first major one early in the relationship was over an innocent comment I made in the car. He turned really nasty (ranting and full of poison) and it was like sitting next to a different person. It was a total over the top reaction. That’s when I started to feel fearful of him. Why oh why did I carry on?

  • #87016

    Only a matter of weeks into our relationship he brutally raped me. Yet I carried on being with him. Pushed it to the depths of my mind. I was young and I believe he groomed me. So don’t be concerned that you missed any red flags. I had a huge one waved in my face and I still didn’t act x

  • #87040

    Absolutely I can remember the very first red flag clearly. We weren’t living together yet, we were spending the evening at his place, he told me I could use his PC then after an hour he suddenly started screaming at me telling me that’s enough, it is his turn now. No-one had ever screamed at me in such manner before, I didn’t say a word, I took my coat and left. He calmed down immediately, ran after me and asked me not to go, to pls stay, I told him this isn’t fair you told me I could use it and secondly if you wished using it yourself why didn’t you ask me politely? This isn’t fair nor civilised.
    He started to tell me how he wasn’t aware about his voice being too loud and intimidating because he grew up in a household where his parents were always screaming and fighting with each other. He apologised. I went back in.
    Yes I remember that very first red flag.

  • #87073

    Looking back one sort of stands out. I’d been asked to go out with the girls in our group, the men were watching footie or some sport. When i came back he told me I’d wasted the weekend as he’d planned to take me away. none of this was said nastily more in a hurt tone, like you chose them above me. He hadn’t it was because I’d went out. It’s a red flag now but at the time i felt so bad for letting him down.

    • #90151

      This reminds me of something my ex did. During an argument and me once again telling him his words never matched his actions, he threw out that his “actions” we’re looking at rings for an upcoming trip and now I completely ruined it for standing up for myself.

      Strange how 2 weeks prior he was screaming at me for sending him a house for us to look at and how he’s not going to have to keep defending how he’s not buying a house with me any time soon and now all of a sudden, 2 weeks later, he’s looking at rings?

      I’m sure if that argument never happened, I still wouldn’t have had a ring, just like I’m sure if you didn’t go spend time with your friends, a trip away would have never happened either

  • #87078

    When I first met my ex, he came across as self-centred and I detected a slightly superior attitude, but I liked him so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Since then I’ve learned to my cost that self-centredness and a superior attitude towards women are characteristics of abusers.

    In the beginning he love-bombed me, but he also made the occasional disparaging comment which I dismissed at the time because everything else was so positive.

    From now on my mantra is never to give the benefit of the doubt!

  • #87215

    The first one that stands out is when I refused to stay at his house for u know what and asked him to take me home. He did.. at at least 90mph. I was tricking it. Needless to say I felt so bad for not staying over.

  • #87216

    We were clothes shopping, he suggested stealing an item a cant remember what. When i told him it was stealing he called me a stupid fat b***h. And laughed at me for being so stupid to believe he would actually steal. He then stormed off and said dont f*****g speak to me. Stupidly i hurried behind him apologising for thinking he was capable of stealing. He gave me the silent treatment, which looking back was the first red flag of silent treatment which turnt into him getting sex as a form of everythings okay now as I can shag you.

  • #87217
     [email protected] 

    he asked someone for my number and repeatedly called my mum and dads house asking me to go out dancing. i said no four times (i had been dating his friend for a short time and we ended up being just friends) so once he finally got me on that date only four or five hours in he told me he loved me i didnt say it back and thought hmm thats strange should have walked then. the charm is a red flag now too looking back. his infatuation made me feel really wanted. i mistook that for something else i was actually a possession.just a peice off meat xx

  • #87218

    He threw a controller across the room screaming at the top of his lungs and storming out of the room because he wasn’t as good at the game as he hoped. I still remember watching the snow out the window shaking from every joint completely frozen. That was the first of many instances of phisical anger directed at the world around him… A few years later he strangled me because I needed him to help preparing the flat for guests…

  • #87228

    Wow. What a good question and some interesting replies. I wish I’d listened to my head not my heart. On holiday with friends second visit since I’d met him there where he was living. He was performing at a concert I was taking photos and momentarily left my bag unattended and my phone was stolen. It was like world war 3… all my fault I’m stupid and careless, he cornered me in the hotel room yelling at me while I cowered in the corner. I told him I didn’t want us to be together after seeing “that side” of him. Cue the tears and begging and I believed he was sorry and it was a one off. How wrong I was. And now nearly a decade later I’m free of him (almost) in debt to my eyeballs but happier than I’ve been in years. Can’t imagine starting again with another man, I’d find it too difficult to trust. Xx

    • #88005

      My ex used to get in an absolute rage over his PlayStation games! He was so over the top and would storm off. He would play against my son and lose it with him if it wasn’t going his way. I never once thought anything but how childish and especially given he was playing again my son. Awful! X

    • #90152

      Don’t even get me started on the video games. Mine played 8+ hours a day and when I got mad, told me it’s my fault he’d rather spend time playing video games than with me. He CONSTANTLY had outbursts, screaming obscenities when he would lose

  • #87999

    Really good question! My first red flag was when I first met him, out with best mate and her boyfriend, think they were trying to set us up.. as we were leaving the nightclub he was angry for some unknown reason and threatening strangers, saying he just wants to punch someone! I talked to him and tried to calm him down, and next day he was all sorry etc. I was so young and naive!

  • #88010

    I was making an apple crumble and was peeling the apples with a knife. He said I should do it with a peeler instead. I said I preferred a knife because you always end up trashing your nails when you use a peeler. He went absolutely ballistic. …

  • #88012
     Too far 

    There were a few but the first was meeting his family when I quickly realised they we’re all obsessed with cleaning, the kitchen was empty completely (even the kettle was put away once it wasn’t in use!)
    His brother could only use a towel once then boil washed it incase it had skin particles on it! I soon found that my husband was just as bad and (detail removed by moderator) years on his expectations of a clean home are totally unrealistic especially with small children, I’m now constantly reminded of my failures as a homemaker and wife which after (detail removed by moderator) years has effected my confidence obviously and Made me a nervous person

  • #88137

    The first time he coerced me into sex. That was early days…

  • #88156

    Good question. I can see that I glossed over several red flags because I was really lonely, and the rest he gaslighted away.

    The early red flags in my relationship were:

    1. Him saying ‘we can keep texting anyway’ when I’d asked for some space right at the start as I was getting over another relationship. I remember thinking this was a bit strange and I think it’s because he wasn’t actually respecting my need for space – he was testing my boundaries. Most normal men would back off if asked to.

    2. He suddenly stopped texting after a long text message conversation over a holiday period, meaning that I was left devastated during the holiday as I thought he had ‘played me.’ He then suddenly got back in touch again, insisted that he hadn’t heard from me and I found myself apologising.

    3. He made some strange crude jokes on an early date which didn’t seem to match the rest of his personality.

    4. He actually told me he liked violence (in relation to tv etc) on an early date, for some reason I didn’t run at this stage.

    I can see that he gaslighted me right from the start so I was in a state of confusion, because for the most part he seemed like this great guy with these tiny odd occasional red flags above that didn’t make any sense at the time, so they were easy to ignore in my lonely, desperate for affection, love and companionship state.

  • #88171

    We were out at the pub, so it must have been early days because that stopped after a while because he’d accuse me of having affairs with any man I spoke to there. Anyway, pub…he was relating a story of something that had happened, and he embroidered it, also subtly altering it and leaving his part out, to make me look stupid. He brushed off my attempts to interject with the reality.

    When I confronted him later about it, he said I was overreacting, and he’d only told a funny story but it had been me that had done the stupid thing. After a very circular conversation he then said he was sorry I didn’t want to admit to what I’d done and would rather call him a liar.

    Got the silent treatment for a couple of hours and was then coerced into ‘make up’ sex, which I really, really wasn’t in the mood for.

    Ah distance and cold logic. In the eye of the storm all you see is the storm.

  • #88177

    Early on in our relationship about 5 months into it …prior to being the relationship I thought nothing of staying over at friends houses (especially when I had to move in with my parents for a bit) , usually unplanned if we had been out drinking and not really wanting to face a taxi ride home late at night . Well I did this not long after he moved in… Whislt on the night out with friends he kept texting , it was annoying me as I am trying to enjoy being with my friends …but he then got nasty about why wasn’t I responding immediately… I could sense he was getting nasty so I stayed at my friend’s ,I let him know where I was .. but when I got back the next day he was vile to me

    I didn’t stay at friends houses after that . I can’t remember why the hell I stayed after that as I was so fiercely independent , but I think it was at the turn of my 30s and I let him.twisr my mind into thinking women my age shouldn’t act like that

    So sad as I used to be so care free and full of life …. He made me feel I was being immature … On recently counselling I had, the counsellor did have some good advice on that about me needing to have fun and just be me again

  • #88179

    My ex was waving red flags at me from the moment I met him. He was married so was betraying his wife. He always had to be in control over sex. He was horrid about his wife and his mother. He always sulked for Britain.

  • #88298

    Would you date a man who is going through the family court process and has 5 children of primary school age ( two different women – 3 with one and 2 with other) or would your gut say this might not be a good idea?

  • #88300
     Twisted Sister 

    I don’t think having many children is necessarily a red flag.

    I think the circumstances matter, as in, what happened between the first relationship and the second. Whether there was cheating, and whether both mothers were equally keen to have children as him.

    Dig deeper.

    Mine was a sex pest from the getgo. Vile pushy sex pest. Also, his nights out with friends were exclusive, my nights out with friends had to include him or he sulked, and he would say so to my friends who would take pity on him.

    So I gave up in the end.

    Warmest wishes


  • #88305

    I remember the first red flag like it was yesterday…

    The way he spoke to his mother one time when we were first dating, I think I’d only met her one or twice prior to this. We popped in to say hello on our way out and she had some music on, dancing away with a tipple having a lovely time. He shouted at her and swore at her, I have no idea why… I stood there gobsmacked! I almost left right there and then, what a fool I was to stay.

  • #88546

    Mine has been such a slow subtle build up that it’s incredibly hard for me to pinpoint incidents. But there was a big one years ago. I used to visit a male friend and my husband began to get paranoid something was going on (despite the fact that i’d invite him too and he’d sometimes come with me). I don’t remember how it happened but i think he asked me outright if something was going on and i told him no, then he felt guilty and admitted he’d gone through my phone messages. Of course he didn’t find evidence of anything. He apologised profusely and went into ‘honeymoon’ period. I forgave him and actually eventually stopped having male friends because I picked up that he was insecure about them. In hindsight i should have ended it then but I ended up staying with him for about another (detail removed  by moderator) and marrying him. It got worse since marriage properly turned into emotional abuse, manipulation, control, etc


  • #89609

    This is my first post. Searched for this website as soon as my oh left for work this morning.

    Too many red flags, around 5 occasions of violence now. (detail removed by moderator) I tried to talk to him because things have been hard. He told me I was ungrateful and it escalated very quickly. He shut the blinds, grabbed my head pulling my hair to move me from the window, threw my phone (which is now completely broken and I’m on a very old one), kept shouting at me, sitting on me screaming covering my mouth so I couldn’t breathe. He kept leaving the room then coming back in and repeating what he was doing, shouting and making me say I was sorry.

    He hasn’t said sorry.

    My back and arms hurt today but I only have two slight bruises on my arm.

    I know I need to tell someone – but if I do I know that will be the end of the relationship. I can’t go back once I tell people. I don’t know what to do because I love him – but the violence gets worse every time. I thought I could handle it – but I don’t think I can.

  • #89653


    My ex didn’t want anyone to see us out in public, or for me to tell anyone about us. I didn’t realise it then but that was him being in control, controlling me. How stupid of me I couldn’t see. A couple of months after that (at this point nobody knew still) he was cheating on me with a (detail removed by moderator) colleague. Nice.

    Gosh it makes my blood boil how much time I wasted. But never again.

    Shaz x

    • #89773

      Hi Notsurewhattowrite,

      Welcome to the forum. Have you contacted women’s aid? I urge you to give them a ring, they will be able to help and support you. Well done for joining the group, keep posting, it is a really supportive site.

      My first red flag, although not thinking it was at the time, I guess him shouting at me completely out of the blue and overreacting when i picked up a the ‘wrong’ cloth to help him clean the kitchen. Also, threatening the end of the relationship when i didn’t have sex with him for the first time in the relationship, then denying he said it when i brought it up another day, following by him saying he felt suicidal when he thought his last girlfriend was leaving him. This was the proper ‘red flag’ that i really felt at the time. I then felt trapped in the relationship as I was so scared that the person I loved would do something stupid because of my actions

  • #89774

    My first red flag, although not thinking it was at the time, I guess him shouting at me completely out of the blue and overreacting when i picked up a the ‘wrong’ cloth to help him clean the kitchen. Also, threatening the end of the relationship when i didn’t have sex with him for the first time in the relationship, then denying he said it when i brought it up another day, following by him saying he felt suicidal when he thought his last girlfriend was leaving him. This was the proper ‘red flag’ that i really felt at the time. I then felt trapped in the relationship as I was so scared that the person I loved would do something stupid because of my actions

  • #89919

    hello ladies

    My red flag- after a number of years of abuse ( and I can finally say that is what it was ABUSE) it was when i was at my lowest point- he made me tell my children that id cheated on him with a women, i was so low that i did exactly what he asked. They were all very young (and still are) and would have no concept of fidelity let alone bisexuality.MANIPULATION.
    Where my head is at now- i would have never have messed my kids up like that, and i’m having trouble forgiving myself.

  • #90157

    Thinking back my first red flag was before I knew him. He followed me to the shop I was working in and waited for hours for me to come out. He gave up and then went in the next day to volunteer because he figured that I worked there. The day I met him in the shop we ended up going out for a drink and from that day I couldn’t have a day without seeing him. The second red flag was him asking me for a kiss over and over y for weeks untill I gave in he then possisted that we start going out together for months untill I said yes. I didn’t see it back then but I do now I thought it was romantic at the time he was so loving and caring towards me. There have been lots of things over the years that I just did not see. I now feel like I waisted my life with him.

  • #90159

    Cannot recall exactly.
    During college they would appear wherever I was, which I found flattering. Triangulation. We had mutual friends and told me they would turn them against me. Told me early on about his ex and how they had treated him terribly. Received a gift from “them”, which was bought by a relative. Stealing from shops. Smoking w**d. The people they considered friends. Their attitude towards people in general. The “fragility” of their mental health. Threatening to/actually harming themselves orn attempting suicide. Calling me names. Their treatment of relatives.

  • #90718

    I think so… oddly it stands out so clearly, but it’s not anything severe, it was the weekend,I was pregnant but we weren’t yet living together..he had stayed over at mine every weekend since we’d met almost… so I assumed that weekend would be the same. it was my (detail removed by moderator) and we’d been chatting throughout the day about the plans for the evening. I offered to drive to her birthday meal so that he could drink. We went to the meal, had a lovely time then went back to mine where he then proceeded to tell me he was off to his brothers like he’d planned. I was a little taken back because I’d assumed he’d be staying over, especially as we’d been out most of the evening already and he almost always stayed. Obviously The fact that he was going to his brothers wasn’t an issue, it was more his attitude. He acted as if I was stupid for assuming he would stay and proceed to tell me I needed to learn to communicate properly and if I’d wanted him to stay over- I should’ve made it clear… but we’d never had to discuss it before. I went to bed feeling disappointed that he’d left and also stupid for not communicating with him about it. We ended up arguing and he accused me of not wanting him to have a life outside of us which really wasn’t at all the case. I of course said I was sorry and promised to try to communicate better in future. This sort of thing continued to happen often though

  • #90721

    I have been told many many times from the very beginning “you need to communicate clearly”. I got screamed at up into my face for this transgression. First red flag, he took me out if London to the country for a drive, his idea, just a few weeks into the relationship. Stopped for petrol and he had a major outburst for no reason, said I always made him travel further than he intended. (It was a very boring trip to see something related to a hobby of his that is tedious beyond belief but I tried to be interested a you do). No male had ever spoken to me like this before and I was very confused, spent days agonising over what I had done wrong. Second red flag when I was pregnant, he bounced a bottle on the floor and against a wall whilst screaming at me about money, out of the blue. The ring marks remained in the floor and used to make him smile. I was paralysed with fear during that one.

  • #90726

    For me, it was when he walked into the room and, completely calmly, said he wasn’t going to, but he really wanted to hit me. But what should have been a massive red flag, but wasn’t at the time, was when he spent over an hour pressuring me into sleeping with him only a few hours after we’d first met. It was the first time I’d ever slept with anyone, so I thought it was normal until my friend told me it wasn’t.

  • #90761

    My first red flag was my ex partners next door neighbour got really drunk at a garden party we were having so I walked him back home and quickly made up some tea so he didn’t hurt himself trying to cook it when he was drunk. I got home and my partner totally over reacted and flew of the handle about it. He went out got drunk and ended the relationship but soon afterwards apologised and we got back together. Obviously he didn’t have his own way and I was in the presence of another man and he didn’t like it even though I was just doing a kind thing.

  • #90822

    There were lots of circumstantial stuff in the beginning that could be considered odd, but the one first thing that was not right that sticks in my head (all be it a bit fuzzy now) was that i was eating something, he wasn’t and he had been wonderful up to that point, then he called me a fat pig and had a go that i was making too much noise eating (this still happens, but there are pig impressions now too), all with a smile on his face, i was stunned and stuck up for myself but he brushed it off.

  • #90827

    I remember realising he doesn’t appear to mention or miss his son – even though he was only aged two, that this was strange. Also he came to me to moan about paying child support of £30 a month not long after we moved in together – but this was at least 2 years after he’d seperated from his last ex, I remember thinking so you haven’t paid any child support all this time and now you’re moaning about 30 quid?! It didn’t sit with me but I said nothing; I didn’t process it either, never asked myself what kind of a man does this at that time at all, I just thought it’s off.

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