People Admit The Red Flags They Completely Missed In Their Romantic Relationships
HL Mencken famously said, "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?" It's a line that's been often quoted and adapted by many, including award winning actress and singer Cher. Cher also said, "The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing - and then marry him."
The idea of marriage definitely has some detractors, but for many people, it's still a life goal. So for those people, how about a little advice?
Reddit user flyoverthemooon asked "Redditors who realized their spouse is a completely different person after marriage, were there any red flags that you ignored while dating? If so, what were they?"
Here's some of the signs to watch out for in the quest for an everlasting love.
She cheated (on the person she was with) to be with me.
As it begins, so it ends. Always.
Yes, I ignored some pretty big red flags and to this day I am not sure why I went ahead with the marriage. The first was ignoring the fact that he was texting this one girl and lying about it. 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 apt. 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.
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. 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 butt out.
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.
My first wife had an identical twin. Do you want to be a third wheel the rest of your life? Marry a twin.
Take Your Time
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.
Just a Trophy
The pictures. We had to take a million pictures of us doing stuff, any 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.
Sometimes the Most Obvious Explanation...
The biggest one for me was finding a condom wrapper in the trash. It was only my fiancée 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-worker's 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 counselor with me. She refused and left me for my coworker.
Red Flag Factory
I'm the kid of two fairly narcissistic people. The red flags I've learned to avoid from growing up in my house were.
-Blaming trivial things on each other.
-A need to physically 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 it's a "I'm totally going to kill myself unless you intervene" moment.
-Selfishness. Like going out for food and never asking or offering anything to anyone else.
-Drug abuse. Not regular drug use, but using drugs to cope with emotions that should normally be confronted. (Ex. Im mad or I cant deal with the situation so I need to drink/smoke!, etc...)
-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. Can't count how many times I've seen my father break my mother's stuff because he knew it would upset 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.
It Didn't Start Until After the I Do
We lived together a number of years before we got married. We went together really well and I thought it was a good match, almost the day after we were married his family decided to set rules (he bought the house that we all lived in, it was large enough and we had the basement suite) we weren't allowed out after a certain time, his mother and father could berate me as much as they pleased. He himself became very controlling, I wasn't allowed to finish school or work and he would use these to mock and guilt me after saying I was a burden and a leech, a golddigger. They all decided for me that I would have his children and we would all stay in the house together, soon after I was taken off birth control I was no longer allowed out of the house without an escort, I wasn't allowed to see my mother more than once a week. Everyone thought we were the perfect couple, I was isolated and after my mom moved away I had no one to turn to. He gained a lot of weight and started to tell me how fat and unattractive I was, he started looking at a lot of escort ads for Asian women, he brought over 'friends for me' (16 year old girls) he met on myspace and then would drool over them.
I never had his baby, we were married when I was 19 and I was gone by 25. I ran away in the middle of the night. I never tried to get alimony or spousal support, I left all of my belongings behind. He still has made the process of divorce difficult and I am almost 31 now, it's finally going through. He still lives in the basement.
I had no idea what I was walking into and I lived with them all for years before the control started. It was unbelievable how fast they changed.
Is My Flag Red?
Is it a red flag if I never skip these kinds of threads because I'm looking to see if I'm actually in a good relationship? Because I have no f'ing clue what I'm doing.
Vote of No Confidence
Telling her girlfriends personal things about you. I don't mean the size of your (insert whatever here), but the things you confided in her about, like the abuse you suffered as a child or that your insecurities. Always comparing you to her successful friends or family members. Questioning every decision you make. Every single one. Shooting down every suggestion or decision, until one of her friends or family makes the SAME exact suggestion or decision.
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 (in my opinion). 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!
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.
Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde
He was a chameleon.
We dated all through college, and he seemed like a great guy. We had an awesome group of friends, the same interests, his family was amazing. In four years we never had an argument. I thought our communication was perfect. He could be a little jealous, but it seemed endearing at the time. He proposed, I waited for him through Ranger school, and we got married shortly after he completed. We were babies. I was 21, he was 22.
His first duty station was on the other side of the country, and when we got there - it was all new people. He changed completely. What I had loved about him, was the personality he picked up from hanging around other people I enjoyed. It wasn't him at all.
It happened by slow degrees. Small changes which went from an incredible relationship to an abusive one.
Coping is a Mechanism
Same as others. Immediate family relationships were overlooked/ignored. Her parents were gigantic enablers. Her parents didn't believe in counseling. 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.
Run, Run, Runaway
She didn't finish high school.
After we got married I found out that she couldn't see anything moderately difficult through to the end. Including our marriage.
She ghosted me while I was at work 3 years 3 months 1 week and 3 days in. I haven't seen her since.
Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah...
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.
Believe What They Tell You
The biggest red flag was immediately after I proposed she said "Are you sure? Because I'm f'ing 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 (what does that really mean in any sort of constructive sense anyway), she masked or minimized a lot of issues she deals with at first, became dependent, and then physically aggressive and emotionally abusive 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.
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.