Early Wingnut Warning Signs

crazywarningWouldn’t it be nice if every toxic person just came with a giant forehead tattoo? Then you could really sort the wheat from the chaff. But as we chumps sadly know, they don’t. And we have the therapy and legal bills to prove it.

I’m often asked — did you see any signs? What would you do differently? How did you discover you were dating a flaming personality disorder and not a mild-mannered  government employee? (No offense to our hard working civil servants, I mistakenly assumed a 20 year career in a federal bureaucracy meant my ex would be a solid, if dull choice.)

Did I see signs? Yes. But at the time, I had no way of reading them. No wingnut decoder ring. Part of this was my own chumpiness — what signs I saw, I spackled — and part of it was nothing like this had ever happened to me before. To my knowledge, I’d never been cheated on (of course you could argue, I was a chump, how would I know?) It was really beyond me to imagine that some people are predatory and are capable of living a double life. Like most people, I view the world through my own moral lens. I knew about mental illness, but I didn’t really understand personality disorders. And I certainly wouldn’t recognize a sociopath if he bought me dinner.

This blog is mostly a long recitation of Don’t Make the Idiotic Mistakes I Made Once. So, yes, I’d like to think I’m smarter and wiser now. So, for what it’s worth, here’s a list of the signs I would now take as red flags. Please add your own for the benefit of future chumps everywhere. Maybe if we could spot these people earlier on, and more importantly, identify our own chump weaknesses — we could avoid some serious heart break and wasted years.

(Or we could resort to forehead tattoos.)

Anywho, here’s my list. Keep in mind any couple of these could be perfectly normal, but added up? Yeah, I’d take a pass. Without further ado…

1. He moved fast. Infatuation feels great, but after a few weeks of dating him, it occurred to me that he liked me a bit too much for someone who didn’t know me that well. Of course, who doesn’t like to be adored? Kibbles are awesome. But, as I’ve said elsewhere, they’re also junk food without substance. The flattery, the attention, the sex. It’s all very heady. People who study personality disorders call this phase “love bombing.” It was a full sparkle onslaught. After our second date he told me he wanted to date me exclusively. In less than a month he told me he loved me. Within 4 months he talked about wanting to marry me and by 6 months, he was spending a lot more time at my place than his own.

I thought this was okay, because he “wanted a commitment.” But I remember saying at other times “What exactly did I do to impress you so much?” Even to a chumpy idiot like me, it seemed over the top.

But like every sucker, I wanted to believe. The sparkles hooked me. I thought Mr. Sparkles was the real guy. I should’ve slowed it all way down. I’m convinced they can’t disguise the crazy for over a year. He amped up the drama with “needing” to take a job out of state. He pushed for a commitment because of the move. Again, I should’ve not felt rushed. Crazy people usually want to seal the deal and fast. Once I was married, moved, and isolated — then the abuse really began openly.

2. He called too much. It almost seemed clingy. But I see now, as an experienced serial cheater, he was gaging my whereabouts. He wanted to know what I was doing that evening, and the next day. He checked in a lot. I didn’t see him every day, but that didn’t strike me as unusual. I had a full life. But he was anxious to keep me on the line and interested in him. As I later discovered, when the other life was revealed, he was constantly checking in with the OW and other women. How he managed to do work a job or perform life chores was beyond me.

3. He cancelled plans at the last minute. I should add to this, he was strangely unavailable for important dates, like his birthday. Or available to see me after I’d been gone a week out of town. The shady inability to manage his time was the hugest red flag I got. And his anger at ME when HE was the one to bail. I was understanding the first several times. Then I dumped him. He then began a new charm offensive to win me back, and was good as gold (so I thought) until I married him. He never canceled a date again — he just got better at taking his life underground.

4. When I was with him, I felt charmed. When he left, I felt uneasy. I couldn’t even tell you why. I had a gut feeling. Then he would appear again, and charm me and I’d think I was overreacting, or had him wrong. It was me, my issues. Nothing to be paranoid about!

Listen to your gut. ALWAYS listen to your gut. The gut knew.

5. I mistook intelligence for character. He was accomplished. Made a lot of himself from humble beginnings. Had advanced degrees. Earned a good living. I mistook this for character — I read things into that that were not there, like he was a good person, or he knew how to manage money, or he had any common sense. Yes, he was intelligent — and so what? He was a dreadful person. He was disdainful of anyone else’s intelligence. He Knew Best. The dentist, the doctor — they didn’t know their job, he knew more. He had to be the smartest person in the room. The arrogance should’ve been a huge red flag. I stereotyped him — thought he was just an alpha lawyer, a bit jerky. I projected warm fuzzies on to him that were not there. “Oh he’s a marshmallow, deep down.” No — scratch the surface and it was bedrock jerk.

6. He was okay with a lack of reciprocity. I was a single mother who earned a fraction of what he earned. After we were engaged, and he moved in with me for months, he never paid a single bill, never bought a bag of groceries. Reason given — he had his house to maintain, his ex-wife cleaned him out in the divorce, etc. I should’ve noticed how free he was to spend money on himself — and not on our shared life. Big chumpy mistake. I thought my generosity meant he would do the same for me. I assumed. Wrongly.

7. Either he didn’t introduce me to his friends, or he simply didn’t have friends. He was the picture of charm with my friends. To a person (with one exception) they adored him. And while we did group outings with them, he did not have a group of friends that ever invited him (or us) anywhere. He said his ex-wife got their friends in the divorce, and most friends his age were married and busy with family. Seemed reasonable. His close “friends” lived out of state (douchebags I met at my wedding). He had work acquaintances but no real friends. He wasn’t introverted. I should’ve puzzled at that.

8. He was vague about his past. I couldn’t get a real time line on when he was married to wife #1 and #2. When what happened. Over the years, the story always shifted, but I remembered snippets of it, enough, that I was able to track down #2 and get her story (a horror fest, he was a serial cheater — same OW). If you think that’s odd — consider that when it did come up he would go into this convincing sad, spiel about how he’d had therapy and realized He Wasn’t The Best Husband, and wasn’t bitter towards his exes, and he wished them well, etc., etc.

Now, as a chump? I’d see that as total BULLSHIT. He told me they cheated on him. I thought it was painful, that’s why he didn’t bring it up. His narrative was nothing like a chump narrative — all the easy forgiveness, the We All Made Mistakes Here — total crap. But I thought that was the enlightened therapy speaking. He was just very evolved.

9. I mistook sex for intimacy. I thought because he liked to have sex with me, he liked ME. All of me. Dorky me. Not just the sum of my parts, but you know, the parts of me that I like best about myself. I filled in the blanks for him. No, he was just a horny goat. I could’ve been anyone.

10. He was shit at gift giving. They say this is the hallmark of the narcissist — they suck at gifts. (Give you something? Why? What’s in it for me?) He did some grand gestures, but they always involved something for him too — a nice dinner out, a trip somewhere (that we went Dutch on). Actual GIFTS? Once he recycled something he gave his mother and she didn’t like it. (A black shawl. Seriously).

To give a gift well you need empathy. You have to think… what would Tracy really like? (My husband is awesome at this). Pinecone elves! PG Wodehouse! British movies! These things are distinctively my fetishes. To give me these things you’d have to put aside your disdain for 1940s Xmas kitch and buy the pinecone elf because you know it would please me (even though you think it is a dusty waste of $15). Because to please me pleases you.

Narcissists can’t do this. I got a pen for my 40th birthday. I got a tie-dyed license plate cover for Xmas after DDay. I should’ve dumped him for that alone. Forget the serial cheating — a man who gives a woman a license plate cover for Xmas is a man who should be divorced. On those grounds, solely.

Chumps, I should’ve known I deserved better. You deserved better too. Tell me — what signs did you miss? What will you look for in the future so you don’t get chumped again? Let’s make a list!

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

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mgirontree
mgirontree
8 years ago

The biggest red flag was him proposing 4 weeks in to the relationship. I was 24, he was 30. He kept telling me that he is older and smarter, that this is the real thing and once we married I would finally GET IT!!!!. His intensity was scary at first, but I finally gave in after 3 months, over 10 proposals, constant “love bombing”, and what felt like, real deep emotional connection, we got married. I told him “I hope to love him the way he loved me” on the day of our wedding. It took me 23 years of being lied to and emotional and physically abused to finally GET IT!!!!!! I had no idea that he was cheating on me right from the beginning. Every gut feeling I had I would dismiss and think I was I a bad person for thinking wrong of him. He would make sure to remind me that I was bad if I questioned him. The extent of abuse is very severe but I am working with a great therapist and with the help of family, friends, books and this sight I am emerging to a strong, competent and worthy person that I once remember.

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  mgirontree

Yup, ex proposed after not even 5 weeks of dating. We were only 25, no reason to rush.

Marta
Marta
8 years ago
Reply to  mgirontree

I would add :
1. Funky with calls, you can never reach them, they can always reach you.
2. Missing trains, planes, always late, nit being able to comit even to public transport..
3. Annoyed and overwhelmed with having to do anything standard/regular for normal people (like paying bills etc)
4. The GUT ..omg yes.. Theres just always some level of anxiety..which they know how to control, when they push it too hard, next day its as if ‘they read your mind’
5. Not being able to discuss anything that has to do with feelings, difficult stuff, taking minutes to respond to normal question, or not saying anything, changing the subject or making a joke
6. If you look closer you can sence bullshit.. When they talk about feelings.. Its there..
7. Its also there in their stories about their past.. As if theyre testing what os ok and what is not.. They like to reveal stuff..carefully
8. Broken relaahionships (with family and friends)which doesnt seem to bother them
9. Incredible with kids
10. ‘Forgetting’ important dates
11. When at an event, family gathering, staying away, bbquing or sth, never really there ‘together’
12. Not being able to apologize quickly when they fuck up..
Oh my.. I could do this all day..

OutWest
OutWest
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

The same:

1. Not available by phone or text, reading messages that are important and never replying.
2. Not being dependable for others and not caring.
3. Sex and love, not the same thing yep, lived that.
4. Inability to give thoughtful gifts…I’m pretty sure I got the perfume she wears after telling him he smelled weird one night…
5. I mistook his staring off in space and answering questions slowly as being thoughtful, instead he was just absent
6. No longer being asked to be in photos with kids, he quit taking any photos of me
7. He did nothing around the house, dishes, yard work, repairs, etc…
8. He didn’t show up for kids events
9. Asked “why the fuck would you go back to grad school?” instead of supporting me
10. Was incredibly angry when I received money from my family that was not put in the joint bank account and he couldn’t control it.
11. Insisted on putting everything in his name: house, cars, bills, credit cards….and controlling it all
12. showing up to go on vacation 2-6 hours late and belligerent when I dared question him

Good grief, so many signs….so much disrespect. His parents were the same. I won’t raise my kids this way!

Marta
Marta
8 years ago
Reply to  OutWest

Yes.. Photos.. Over 9 years he maybe took 3 photos of me (and hes a cameraman..)he didnt like being on photoa either. We had exactly 3 nice photos of us as well. One from the day we met, one from the day we got evgaged and one from friends wedding. On other photos hed always mage a funny or ugly face, always mimic sth, just to make a photo a joke. Youre right. So many red flags, but they serve it after youre all in, and serve it one by one intercutted with nice days..theyre master manipulators.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

I totally agree with being annoyed about having to do normal tasks and chores that are a part of adult life. I knew that my ex didn’t like to do things that weren’t “fun” and I accepted that when I chose to marry him. No one is perfect, I thought. I usually did all those unfun things in the relationship. I figured I was good at responsibility and he was good at making sure we had fun. Turns out I was responsible for US, and he was making sure HE was only doing fun things. I didn’t get that him feeling he shouldn’t have to do very normal things and being burdened with the boring parts of being an adult were major signs of entitlement….and I certainly didn’t understand that entitlement pervades every aspect of someone’s life and decision-making process…including how a person would treat me and the relationship…

Sausalito
Sausalito
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Yes, anything considered “menial”, my cheater was much too important to do. Any type of housework, paying bills, mowing the lawn, etc. He would throw stuff in the trash and recycle bin until they overflowed, but could never be bothered to take them out. Grrrr. And I know there’s a meme for this, but he was incensed that I wouldn’t make him a sandwich for lunch on the weekend when I was up to my eyes with kids’ activities. It takes five minutes to make a damn sandwich!!

DramaFreeMe
DramaFreeMe
8 years ago
Reply to  Sausalito

Right, but he wanted you to use your 5 minutes. 😉 I remember my STBX walking in one Sat morning from work (he was working nights at that point), sitting down to take his shoes off, and shooting me this evil look. I was on my way out the door to run the kids to practices. “You know I like a cooked breakfast” he hissed at me. According to a friend, he told her that was one of the last straws…I didn’t have breakfast cooked for him. That, and I had fallen asleep the night before while texting him. When he worked nights he wanted me to stay up all night to talk/text. I have three children to take care of and two jobs…I do need to sleep lol!

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

OMG – 1 – 12!! Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding!!! Were you married to my Ex?

Marta
Marta
8 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Could be.. Did he also took long shovers? ?

Marta
Marta
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

Oh ! And did your ex also took 50 min showers or washed dishes for ages especially when you needed to address some issues?

PucksMuse
PucksMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  mgirontree

I find people who target partners who are significantly younger than they are to be extremely sketchy. To me it says that they are so insecure about themselves that they don’t think they can attract someone of their own age. They have to choose people with less life experience so they are easy to impress. And they seem to want to lock down the relationship as quickly as possible because they don’t want the younger partner to outgrow them or experience enough of the world to realize how little the older partner has to offer. And of course, he has to remind you of how much younger/less knowledgable you are than he is, so you should just defer to his judgement, even if its about whether you’re unhappy.

I am so sorry this happened to you.

TheClip
TheClip
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

Idiots GF (Tweeny) is only eight yrs older than our 13 year old …. Its so fucking disturbing.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Frankly, it’s pathetic. These guys think they have some trophy GF that makes the rest of the world view them as mega-studs for being able to attract young meat. But the rest of the world views them as sad little men caught up in near-pedophilia for the sake of their supposed image and their dicks.

My X had numerous APs in their 20s when he was in his 50s, and my daughters think that is so creepy that the youngest won’t even talk to him. I was already 12 years younger than X, but apparently I was old goods. X also just bragged to my former SIL (with whom I am still friends) that his current GF is “younger than Tempest.” She wasn’t impressed, she simply thought he was disgusting for trying to be Peter Pan.

Maree
Maree
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, it is the “near-pedophilia” that has eaten away at me for a very long time. I always thought there was something amiss and now I think I know what it is. When you consider that our daughter is 36 years old and our son is 33 years old and he has chosen a 23 year old. She has 2 sisters of 35 and 44 who may be more age appropriate!! But no, he has chosen the 23 year old. My kids accept this without batting an eyelid. It is wrong on so many levels.

Happily never after
Happily never after
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

Bingo! I believe I will win this. 40 yrs difference in age and a million miles in SES, demographics, upbringing and all that jazz. I asked him WHAT DOES SHE SEE IN YOU. His answer? I dunno. Can u say $$$$$$$$$?

Maree
Maree
8 years ago

Happily never after … I draw with you, not that it is a competition, sorry! My ex is 40 years old than his Cambodia girl and he is so in love, I think it is the very first time that an old man that age has been truly swept of his feet. She sees $$$$$$$$$$ signs and nothing else. He is supporting her and her 2 little boys of 5 and 7. What more could a girl ask for?
PS – He is 63 and she is 23. Sickening to say the least.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Maree

Let’s face it Maree they are both using each other. I can’t tell you how demeaned the OW must feel pretending she is attracted to him. He enjoys the power he has over her. We are so fortunate to have these asses out if our lives.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

She doesn’t care, except for the dollar signs, Donna.

Maree, I was thinking of you the other day, when I had a patient at work relate to me a story about her travels in South East Asia. She mentioned that she travelled to Cambodia, and she saw first-hand that outside of the cities, pretty much everyone lives in slums and are beyond dirt-poor. I thought of your story and realised just how incredibly fucked up your ex is – to WILLINGLY walk into that and accept it as ‘pure gold’. He’s truly disordered and delusional. And so are your children to allow it – they’re ignorant as fuck.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Maree, (Responding here because no reply button!)

More like, they wouldn’t let his 2-dolla whore into the country because she’d be an immigration risk and would try to stay illegally.
He comes home to watch football and play golf? Why, don’t they have those activities back home? Bwahahaha.

Maree
Maree
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Ladies, he has made a flying visit into Melbourne for a week to see ‘my’ children, go to the football and play golf. He couldn’t bring the ‘family’ because the boys paperwork was not lodged correctly, so therefore the poor little mite he calls the love of his life had to stay at home with the kids. Funny, he never took me and our 2 children anywhere and now it is open slather. My sister is worried that if I run into him the street I might end up in gaol. No way would that happen. I will be keeping well and truly away from the city until he is gone next week.

PS – My kids are very aware of how angry I am with them and their weak behaviour.

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Lania – I totally agree with how these kids whose mom loves them SO much could be accepting their fathers’ lifestyle. I’ll never understand children leaving their mothers. I lost my dear mother far too young and over time I wake up in the middle of the night screaming – I’m calling for Mom. (maybe she’s calling me,, I dunno). I HATE what Maree has gone through with her ungrateful children.
Let’s just hope some of your character wore into the fabric of your kids at some point…and maybe they will be back. If the adults kids see Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, etc – they already know what the hell is going on there.

Sex does not equal Love.

Maree – I think your kids may be feeling guilty, if they have any sense, of grasping what their father has done with his easy and fast lifestyle. They may have adopted it and you are just Vanilla and Sad and Unadventurous to them.
You tried your best raising them, but when you’ve got the tide of the devil and evil guiding their lives right now, I really don’t think you want them in your life until they understand and GROW the F UP!

Blessings, respectfully submitted. She chump

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Maree – there is only one way a woman that young (or man, for that matter) would be attracted to a 63 yr old. That would feel like my Dad – ugh. Of course it’s the $$$ and I wouldn’t be too far off if I said she was probably a paid slave. That is a very poor country and he probably met her off the child/slave channels. Sick indeed.

tossedaway
tossedaway
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

My STBX’s latest AP is 15 years younger than him and I think he likes the fact that she is receptive to all his suggestions (changes he wants her to make). Plus it makes him feel like a stud to have a girlfriend in her 20’s! He has always been jealous though, never wanted me to go anywhere with my friends. Although it’s ok for him to only have female friends because he thinks most guys are ignorant, jerks! I can only imagine how jealous he is for her to go anywhere alone since he thinks she is such a perfect, wonderful catch!

dptsxmd
dptsxmd
8 years ago
Reply to  tossedaway

Yeah OW is 10 years younger than stbx. I’m several years younger, but we’ve been together 10 years and prior to me he’d mostly dated women a bit older than him. OW is by no means blameless – she’s still old enough to know better and she’s “poof”ing on her husband too, but I also think she is just totally, naively swept up in everything.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

Wellll, there’s a huge red flag. I’m more familiar with women pulling this, not as much with men doing it–but there you go. When someone says that they get along better with the opposite sex than with their own? Because their own sex is [list of negative generalizations]? Huge red flag. They love the attention. Same sex folks smell the dysfunctional competition, and that’s the real reason they have no same-sex friends. Bet on it.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Not always. I can’t stand most females, but thats simply because I don’t subscribe to the status quo of women around my age being glued to their phones texting incessantly, Facebook-whoring, and reality TV. I find I have more in common interest-wise with men, to be honest.

Almost all of my friendships are with men – HOWEVER, I have a very strong set of boundaries that are used between said friends and my partner. Also, probably half of those friends are mutual between my partner and I. One of the big boundaries is “Do not tell any major or minor life experiences, personal news or feelings-based stuff to anyone except for your partner first of all. And with the second two, ONLY your partner”.

I think thats where the boundary lies, and probably the only time its not a red flag.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Hi OtherChump. (I’m responding this way because no reply button)

I have very few friends too, and the few I tend to have are online for the most part. However, these friends I consider to be very close to – and share similar interests. (I’m excluding work colleagues from this list for clarity’s sake, but even at work I’m an intensely private individual and while they know the basics of my life, they do not know the details, nor will I ever share those to them).

I can’t handle the vapid nonsense from most women these days – as a result a lot of them likely think I’m ‘weird’. Also, the ones who judge because I’ve cut all ties to people I once went to school with, for example. Thing is though – why would I want to talk to, or associate with, people who think its their lifelong dream to get married to someone who’s uneducated and unworldly, and pop out a few kids as fast as possible, while living in the shadow of abuse? Certainly not myself.
To be frank, I don’t care – I’d rather be weird and sit quietly at home with my hobbies, than to be getting trashed at a nightclub and pick up strange men. I don’t hate women – but some of the drama queen nonsense, irrespective of gender, I’ve seen through the years just disgusts me.

I’m ISTJ, haha. However, and this is very odd, with all 4 of those traits I’m almost 50/50, so could very easily fall into any of the 16 combinations. I always found that very bizarre. Hope this doesn’t mean I’m disordered or something (multiple personalities!) 🙁

OtherChump
OtherChump
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Lania, I’m a lot like you in this respect. Although now that I’m older, I find I’m friends with more gay men than straight men (I still have very few friends, which is how I like it). I like it to be very clear that there is no chance for a sexual relationship to happen, I guess! Okay I’m kind of kidding, but I do feel more relaxed with gay men, I suppose because there’s no worry that my friend will misread my actions and vice versa. I have some women friends, but a lot of women I’ve met seem to be very concerned about makeup, hair, what society thinks of them, having a boyfriend, etc. etc. While those things are nice, they are not my cup of tea. And for a lot of women, when they’re in a relationship, and you spend a night out with your friend, the talk inevitably turns to the man. I’m okay with chatting for a few minutes about your relationship, but the whole night? No. I do have a feeling that I would get along quite well with a lot of the chumps of CN though. I think we are similar sorts of people (hence why we were targeted by narcs), and I think I just don’t meet very many women like me. Thus, it’s not that I “hate women” at all. But I am INTJ, and a lot of people are not.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

X BRAGGED that she knew he was married. He said, ” she knew I was married and didn’t care”. It was if he just won the lottery. I don’t believe a married woman who is cheating with a married man cam possibly be naive.

dptsxmd
dptsxmd
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna – Ugh that’s so disgusting! You are probably right that she’s not totally naive. She’s clearly got her own issues, so they’ve got their work cut out for them!

kb
kb
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

I think it’s about power imbalance. The people who tell you that their greater age confers greater wisdom on them than your age confers on you are not only insecure, but are also devaluing your insights and experiences.

I do think that when people are younger, there are greater differences across certain kinds of life experiences. An 18 year-old, for example, has a significantly greater experience of the world than does a 13 year-old, but if we fast forward later in life, the 38 year-old’s experience is not so much greater than the 33 year-old’s experience.

A 24 year-old is a grown adult, and her experience should be respected. If you get someone waltzing into your life, telling you that you need someone older and wiser, that’s definitely a bad sign. They’re not looking at the relationship as a partnership.

KJ
KJ
8 years ago

I wish I’d paid more attention to my husband’s jealousy. I used to brush it off and secretly think it was quite sweet. But now I’m convinced that he cheated to ‘teach me a lesson’, after years of secret resentment at constantly being told (by others, NEVER by me) that I was ‘out of his league’ and that I was ‘the catch’. He denies this, but I think it’s true.

Buddy
Buddy
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

I, the chumped, was a bit jealous early in my marriage, but in one sense, that jealousy, while perhaps a form of insecurity, turned out to be somewhat based in truth: she was still seeing someone else during our intense courting period, she did flirt with older, more powerful men, she had had sex with most of her orbiter boyfriends who became our friends. (OK, on that last one, I suppose sexual history shouldn’t matter, but now looking back, she may have slept with one of her friends before she had left her previous husband.)

See, I’m being petty and jealous right now 🙂

But yeah, some of those things were red flags. I did find about about the other guy she was seeing before I proposed, but tacked it up to “well, she’s an attractive single woman, so just like Scarlett O’Hara in GWTW, a single young girl can have many suitors”. Found out later, the dude still called her even after we got married, but I shut that down. And that other guy was married and about to leave his wife, but guess what, he is still married to that same wife.

starlight
starlight
8 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

‘Orbiter’? It sounds like a Red Pill thing to say.

Buddy
Buddy
8 years ago
Reply to  starlight

That is probably where i got it. In my “amazon chump” research phase of learning all I could about infidelity, I did run across the “manosphere” blogs where they talked about “beta orbiter” – guys who were in the friend zone.

In that sense, the word probably wasn’t a good choice.

But if/when I date again, and the girl I’m dating has slept with all her current buddies at one point or another, I’ll probably take that as a red flag.

Nord
Nord
8 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

I feel sorry for that wife. You should drop a dime on that situation.

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

Buddy–thanks for ‘orbiter’. Excellent choice of a word to describe the slores XBF kept in rotation.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

Yes! The weird jealousy and one-up manship. So unhealthy. I felt it from the cheater and he would sabotage my efforts in supporting me to complete my personal goals. He would tell people how much he ‘supports’ my efforts and then never make good on the so called support.

He just recently revealed that he was jealous of my ability to acquire foreign languages and than my fluency made him feel inadequate. This was news to me this year.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Oooh, a polyglot? Thats awesome!
Kinda hits home with me, I’m trying to learn the basics of a new language, its hard work and moments of frustration where I want to throw in the towel, but I’m determined!

HM
HM
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

Yeah, I think my ex cheated to ‘get one over on me’ too. It was like some sort of weird power play. Only he didn’t think he’d get caught so…how does that make sense for a power play? Beats me. I think it was all in his mind. Like he felt so beaten down and pathetic in his own life that he needed to do this to know inside that he had. Stupid fucker never thought I’d find him out.

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

Of course, “teach me a lesson after years of secret resentment that I was out of his league”, that’s it !!! Why haven’t I thought of this before ?
Thanks KJ for putting this into words ! It sounds like the naked truth suddenly exposed !

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

I relate to this too. M-F’n HUGE red flag was whenever something good happened for me he could not be happy for me at all.

TwinsDad
TwinsDad
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

Interesting KJ. I never thought of this as a particular red flag for me before, but my ex was insanely jealous. I never have been. I never really figured out if she WANTED me to act jealous or what that was about. Completely done trying to unwrap the skein of you-know-what.

magicrain
magicrain
8 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

thats funny because my ex was only jealous of my best friend who was a male. other than that he didn’t think highly enough of me to be jealous that way. He was, however, EXTREMELY jealous of my relationship with friends, our kids, my family,

Sad in Seattle
Sad in Seattle
8 years ago
Reply to  magicrain

Mine never had even the average, healthy, typical twinges of jealousy about anything to do with me, except where money was concerned. Then if I spent anything, he’d want to spend too.

But otherwise, he’d watch other men hit on me from afar with a detached amusement. He had no real attachment or feelings for me so of course there was no expected feeling of an infringement either. He just didn’t care. That was a bit of a red flag, told me I didn’t have value to him.

There were many other flags: a general feeling of detachment when we’d have sex. He wasn’t attracted to who I was but what I could do for him. There was never any depth or emotional connection in the bedroom – the rare times we did sleep together (another red flag unto itself).

There was also his inability to keep promises, how I was barred from knowing his colleagues and friends, my growing sense of uneasiness in my gut about our relationship through the years, missing pieces in his family history, his inability to manage money, how I always fell to the bottom of his priority list, his detachment from his mother, his dozens of phone calls to me daily in our first years together, his secret transsexual porn collection, and so on.

He’d never commit when it counted either. He had no follow through when times were tough. He loved fun and parties and attention and success but wherever real life got in the way – bills, sickness, death, job loss – he couldn’t be counted on.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Sad in Seattle

Mine actually took a picture of me in lingerie, then put it on Adult Friend Finders (without my permission) so that other men would f*** me. I thought it was some weird phase he was going through, and spackled over it. Slap, slap, slap to my younger self. Should have left then.

CocoVoe
CocoVoe
8 years ago
Reply to  Sad in Seattle

Mine couldn’t keep a job, he got fired all the time, but it was never his fault. I was the responsible one. He had no male friends, his excuse was they might hit on me. He was always friends with really young girls or older ones. The OW is 12 years younger and he saved her from an abusive relationship!

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  Sad in Seattle

Mine was the same, Sad, never jealous of other men. I was simply of so little value to him. He only ever expressed jealousy or maybe better termed resentment of my affection for our pets and our youngest son. So sick.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

Disdain. I have seen a couple of marriages crack open because of it. Using perfectly norlmal words but in a tone of voice that shows disdain. When you get your feelings hurt,or you become angry, the response is to belittle you. They tell you to pay attention to thier words, not their tone. You then feel petty. It is so subtle that you never can get a handle on it. One of those people in a bad marriage takes pride in being sarcastic. She is now separated.

dptsxmd
dptsxmd
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

YES. Or contempt, I guess largely they’re manifested in the same ways. There’s a study out there that my therapist refers to about some researcher who could pretty accurately predict whether a couple would divorce by whether a partner (or both) displays contempt in their interactions. That can be an issue separate from infidelity, of course, but my stbx is really good at being dismissive when you try and confront him with something.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

Ah, yes, the contempt. I ate 3 course meals of his contempt.

On one occasion, I drove the MFer to the airport for a conference. My 4 year old daughter had made me 3 paper peonies for Mother’s Day, which I had hung over my rear view mirror. X contemptuously remarked that it made my car look like a “rag and bone man’s cart.” I was so furious, I told him not to bother coming home after the conference. And then he talked his way out of my fury again.

OutWest
OutWest
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

oh, disdain, that look with a curled lip, little microagressions about my hair, my clothes, how I pronounce words, everything I did. I forgot about that. I’d catch him looking at me with a look of utter contempt.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

I think you might be referring to John Gottman’s research that looked how couples communicated with each other and predicted divorce with surprising accuracy. They covered this on an episode of NPR’s This American Life called “The Sancity of Marriage.”

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Northern Light – just downloaded the 1 hr program from Amazon for $0.99. Good investment – thanks.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

His stuff is good (though he doesn’t always indicate that “Defensiveness” might actually happen because someone IS being attacked/criticized persistently. Here is a Gottman link: http://www.azgrowth.com/4Horsemen.pdf

dptsxmd
dptsxmd
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Oh yes that sounds familiar, I think that’s it. Thanks!

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

A lot of these red flags weren’t in my relationship, but distain/contempt is basically the hallmark of his interaction with me and … really anyone in his path. “I said I was sorry” with laserbeams of malice coming out of your eyes is not remorse, or respect.

(He even admitted in therapy that one of the reasons most of his cheating was done online was because no one could hear the tone of his voice, so they would more easily think he was sincere. Now from everything I’ve read, that’s a pretty impressive amount self-awareness from someone with NPD!…Also, please gag me.)

Nicole S
Nicole S
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Interesting. I feel like my stbxh talks to everyone with disdain- his coworkers, his “friends”, even his kids. He wasn’t always like this but he has been like this for a couple years now. I can’t help but think it is disdain or contempt for themselves that they project onto others.

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Yes! I remember always answering “it’s not what you say, is how you say it”. This really pissed her off. I think she knew I was getting a clue.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

“Their” words. Proofreading helps.

Kelli
Kelli
8 years ago

All of these match my wingnut experience perfectly! Love bombing? Check! Going Dutch? Check! What did I get for my 30th birthday? A set of serving plastic utensils that came in a cheap stainless steel container. Like spatulas and slotted spoons. Seriously.

I’d have to add excessive excuses to the list. Always an excuse! Didn’t matter the situation. From splitting up chores or splitting up bills or splitting up parenting duties, always an excuse.

Come to think of it, ACTUALLY splitting up, I heard some humdinger excuses.

For example:

Why can’t we take your car? Uh… I think my AC is going out.

Hey, can you pick up the kids from daycare, I have a meeting at 4:30? Uh… Well, I told [random coworker] I’d help them with [random task].

Can you stop and pick up milk on your way home? Uh… I am running low on gas, and can’t stop. (WTF dude, the gas station sells milk!) Uh… Yeah, but it’s like a dollar mor than it is at the grocery store.

Idiotic little twat… So. Glad. We’re. Divorced.

starlight
starlight
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

Going Dutch? Yes!! He earned 3x more that I did but expected me to pay half of everything.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

I hear you, Kelli. The lack of thought or caring is revealed in their choice of gifts. Or in my case, the lack of gifts. In almost 30 years of marriage, I received maybe 3 gifts for my birthday, and maybe a total of 4 Christmas gifts. All cheap, insignificant stuff–like a new hot pad for the kitchen (seriously). The rest of the time, he panicked and stressed and made it all about him because he was “trying so hard” to decide what to get me. Which of course, he never actually got around to. One Christmas, he told me he had ordered a new set of stainless steel cookware for me, but he was afraid it might not make it to our house in time for the actual gift giving. He wanted me to know, though, that the gift was on the way. Nope, didn’t come for Christmas. January, February, March–no gift yet. He kept saying, they must be backed up with orders. In April, he sheepishly admits that “maybe” he forgot to actually order the gift after all. Classic, just classic. And any disappointment I showed just proved what an angry person I was. I should have seen the red flag when I had to purchase my own wedding ring. (We didn’t do an engagement ring). They do suck at gift giving. Making decisions is so “overwhelming” for them. Can’t we see and understand how difficult it is for them, how stressful? They are TRYING you know. Chump that I am, I tried to “help” him with this problem by making up throughout the year a list of things I would like to receive. That way, he could just choose something off the list and still be able to surprise me. He thought it was a great idea. So I gave him the list, and off to the mall he went. Twenty minutes later, he calls, and says he lost the list. Can’t remember anything on it. Doesn’t know what to do. This is the same man who “lost” his divorce papers within 20 minutes of me having him served. Never did find them, I guess. Never did respond. Never got himself a lawyer. Too bad, so sad. My kick-ass lawyer knew what to do with that.

This story ends well, because I left the cheater and am currently traveling the world on his dime. Can you say, “Early Retirement?” Loving it! Thank you CL and CN!

Natalie Can Have Him
Natalie Can Have Him
8 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

I agree about the bad gifts. One year, after he’d started cheating but before I knew it, he gave me this set of wall plaques featuring schmaltzy scenes of children doing country things like fishing, all in glorious early eighties decoupage. (Sp.?) It looked like he’d stopped at a Kmart on the way over and picked out the first “gifty” thing he saw. We had gone through a lot that year, had our daughter and were struggling to stay focused on our schooling in the midst of life struggles and emotional changes.

That shitty gift should have told me all I ever needed to understand about our relationship.

My BFF and I had free fun one night a few months after, getting wine drunk and throwing things at the stupid plaques, still in their box, whilst shrieking with laughter.

Marta
Marta
8 years ago

I once got paper towels for my bday. He said its cause I have a ‘phobia’ of keeping everything dry.. Try and beat that ??

OutWest
OutWest
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

No card on our wedding anniversary, not even an acknowledgement…D day was the next day.

srfrgrl
srfrgrl
8 years ago
Reply to  OutWest

My D day was actually on our anniversary!

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

Nothing. For Valentines Day.

Annastine
Annastine
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Oh Valentines! I completely forgot this even exist. For 9 years he’d say “people who are truly in love celebrate every day” UBT : I don’t want/need to buy you anything so I just give you this shit sandwich and wrap it in a nice paper. I can’t believe I was being so stupid.

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  Annastine

Exactly what I got Annastine. We don’t need anything. If you do, you know you can just go buy it yourself. So, that made Valentines’ easy all right. He didn’t believe in that day because he felt ‘forced’ to buy roses. So, since he doesn’t like be forced..no flowers – EVER, not even on my b’day. Feel petty saying that but some guys just don’t realize how really important flowers (especially roses) mean to people like me. When he was dating me, he started with a dozen white roses, then went to yellow, and then finally to red when he proposed. My mom figured out what all the colors meant (I had no idea there was a meaning-ha)
White – Purity
Yellow – Friendship
Red – Love.

Oh, such a love-bomber back in those days. Rarely seeing another Rose since, after 35 yrs..

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Marta

A box of copy paper stolen from the office and wrapped for Christmas. He was pissed when I didn’t seem over-the-moon thrilled.

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago

Marta and Chutes—

I.JUST.CAN’T……..There are no words to describe those two spendthrifts 🙂

Annastine
Annastine
8 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

yeap.. he thought it was funny, so was the flag he bought me for my next bday :);), last year, he apparently ran out of funny ideas cause he chose to forget the date 🙂

Eve
Eve
8 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

I got no gifts but recycled birthday cards he took out of the drawer where I was sentimentally saving them. Finally, the kids noticed and thought it was hysterically funny so he stopped giving me anything at all. What I really wanted was some flowers but he thought flowers were a waste of money, as they just died. No flowers in 27 years of marriage. Divorced 2 weeks ago – bought my own damn flowers!

Kelli
Kelli
8 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

Good for you! I found out from my step father that my engagement ring was fake after we separated. Like I thought it was a real, 3 stone, princess cut diamond ring. Nope! It was precisely $167 from the Home Shopping Network.

Also, I feel ya on the “losing things.” Idiotic Twat fought me hard on custody of our two toddlers because he *really* didn’t want to pay child support. He “lost” his new patient papers for the psychologist when we did our custody study. In the 21 page report, the doctor actually says (for the court) that in all his years of performing custody studies for the courts, he has never had someone who repeatedly lied and said “paperwork is in the mail” only to never sent it.

Considering that I had to file contempt because he literally *refuses* to pay child support, and at the contempt hearing he says he “lost” his job, I’m pretty sure Idiotic Twat just didn’t want to turn in paperwork for the court with his employment information. I suspect he had quit is job to get out of paying such high child support, and took a job making about 1/4 of what he made when we were married.

Luckily, the judge suspected the same thing, and now I have sole custody, and he is in big trouble with the judge. Hate it for him.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
8 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

I should add, he also sucked at planning anything, vacations, dates, outings, anything that required a decision. He would much rather that I make the plans, and then he could criticize freely if he didn’t like them or they didn’t work out.

Lauren
Lauren
8 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

OMG!!! Exactly my situation. I would make the decision after asking for help making the decision to later be told”I never agreed to that”
Nope, can’t wait forever!

Ohana
Ohana
8 years ago

Mine was terrible at gifts, too. Was always histrionic over the need for me to put things in my Amazon wish list for him. Ironically, before the final DDay, he took some recommendations from a friend and got some more personal things (books I’d never heard of and loved). I still wonder, why then? Was it to impress the friend (reading by proxy)? It seemed a sign of hope at the time. I should also have noticed the very first major gift he gave me was a style I never wear – but apparently it was “what a person gets” from the family jeweler. This was after a year of being together. Should have given that more weight. Live and learn.

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

My X never gave me any gifts over the 24 years of marriage, except 1. After 14 years of marriage he got me a sewing machine for my birthday – so I could repair his cloths properly like his mother would have done I suppose, rather than by hand. So glad to be free

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

Oh dear. I’m sure it’s one of only a multitude of reasons you’re happy be free of him!

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

My ex was often out of town on my birthday. Even though I threw him parties for his milestone birthdays he never reciprocated for me. If I got upset about him being gone on my birthday he acted like I was being a baby. His family didn’t make a big deal out of birthdays.

Once, for Valentine’s Day, he drove to the dime store and told me to wait in the car. When he got, back he pitched a sack with a card in my lap and said “Happy Valentine’s Day.” One Christmas he did give me a beautiful ring and I was so happy, I thought “he finally understands me.” Later I heard him bragging about it to some friends and acting like a big spender. That kind of tarnished it for me.

magicrain
magicrain
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

pisses me off that he did great gifts for OW. but yea i got pots and pans, stuff for the house,

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago

Asking if I wanted him to get up when I went into labor with my first baby. Mind you, it was 7:00 p.m., not the middle of the night. He was napping. Fast forward 7 years–Asking if I wanted him to come home when I called him at work to tell him my mother died. Selfish much?

Kelli
Kelli
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

YES! At 26 weeks, I was admitted to ICU because of complications from preeclampsia and placenta abruption. I call him from my doctor’s office, hysterical, saying I was being admitted.

He asks, “Do you think I should leave work?”

Well, jackass, my placenta is ripping itself from my uterus, my blood pressure is 180/110, and my kidneys are shutting down… Nah, go ahead and finish returning those emails.

Digbert
Digbert
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

Mine left me in ICU to go home and get some rest…it was okay the nurses said I was stable i.e. it was their fault that I continued to haemorrhage, had to have nearly 26 units of blood, and nearly pegged it en route to emergency surgery (hysterectomy) I will never forget the head surgeon shouting at the hospital staff ” where the f@ck is her husband?” before they whisked me into theatre, I should have said ” the f@ckwit is at home resting”

Oh, and apparently he suffered more trauma than me ‘cos I was whacked outta my head on morphine…………….and he saw blood on the surgeon’s boots……….HE could never get over it….. asshole 🙂

SDEE
SDEE
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

So sorry Kelli, I know the sense of abandonment this leaves you. I recently posted in the forums about driving myself to hospital and my partner failing to show ….. It was our 2nd child so had a toddler to also deal with … Lucky for a best friends and family to pick up the slack…. Once again I feel both pain and relief I am not alone In my experiences

Kelli
Kelli
8 years ago
Reply to  SDEE

Thank you all! I appreciate your kind words. All of that was 4 years ago, and I truly am at peace with it now. He sucks. Epically.

He’s the guy who left town on his daughter’s second birthday to go to a concert. When she had chicken pox. And ended up getting his girlfriend at the time pregnant. That child is almost a year old now, and he’s only seen it a handful of times. He does not pay child support for my children nor that one. He’s been held in contempt of court, he’s lost custody, the judge yelled at him, and his lawyer withdrew from his case. He doesn’t care. You can’t make people like this care.

Luckily, I got two amazing little girls out of the deal, and (almost as good) the only contact I have with him is a text every-other Saturday asking what time he can pick up the girls for his supervised visitation for 6 hours. He never comes to dance class or doctor visits. He doesn’t call the girls during the week to talk to them. He is a seriously disordered narcissist. I’m glad to be rid of him.

And, my girls are too. I am very careful about talking about their father to the girls–even in age appropriate ways. I’ve been accused of poisoning the girls against their father many times. But, when they ask where daddy is, I simply say “I don’t know, baby, but I am here, and I always will be.” When they tell me that he has done something to them–like lock them in a closet for time out–I tell them that we will tell Mimi (my stepmom/lawyer), and she will take care of it. Now, all they say is that they are so glad that they do not have to sleep at daddy’s anymore. They are only 3 and 4, but they know that their father is not right.

OutWest
OutWest
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Mine left

1. Anytime we had to move
2. When I had our first child he dropped me off at home and went to work…it was our wedding anniversary
3. When I had our second child
4. When I had sugary
5. When I had a life threatening injury

When….I guess the point is, he was never there. I often wondered how I would feel if he had a heart attack. NOTHING, RELIEF.

starlight
starlight
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Oh my god! There’s a special place in hell for these people.

Kelli
Kelli
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Digbert, he left me in ICU too. Said he couldn’t sleep in the tiny room with all of the machines and nurses coming in all night long.

Let’s see… I was admitted at 4:30pm on a Monday, he slept at home on Monday night, worked Tuesday–even after my doctor told me that my kidneys had completely shut down by 6am Tuesday morning.

He came by Tuesday evening for a little while, but “couldn’t handle” seeing me so sick and hooked up to the machines, so he left again Tuesday night.

He worked Wednesday, even after my liver failed, and I had to start blood transfusions. My doctor said, and I quote, “We will keep you pregnant as long as possible, and let this go just to the point where we can’t bring you back.”

At 3pm on Wednesday, the doctors decided it was time to do the emergency C-section. They waited on him after getting me prepped and giving me the epidural. He got in, they did the C-section. He’s in the medical field, so he watched the C-section, and never spoke to me. After my daughter was out, he went with the nurses who were taking her to the NICU. He left me alone in the operating room while I was getting closed up.

He said that the nurse who was intubating my 14-week premature child (who weighed 1lb, 6oz at birth) for her respirator was “doing it wrong,” so he stepped in–just in case she failed again on the third try, he was going to take over.

He stayed only Wednesday night with me in the hospital, but went to work on Thursday. Our baby wasn’t expected to live 72 hours (she did, and is just fine). He worked every day I was in the hospital. When I was discharged, my first full day home from the hospital, I started running a fever of 103 degrees. He was at work, of course. I had to drive myself, with an emergency C-section incision that was a week old, to the emergency room. I had an infection in my incision, which had to be opened and cleaned, and re-closed.

I had to drive myself home from the hospital afterward. Why? Well, my car was already there, anyway, and it would be such a hassle to have to go back to the hospital to get it later. I needed to just be a trooper, and drive myself home.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

Oh, Kelli. Words fail me. What an ogre. Chumps are too strong for our own good sometimes.

Digbert
Digbert
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

Delayed response Kelli here…….. big time difference ‘down under’, what a selfish shit making you drive yourself home, you are well rid of him!

You know what mine did when I eventually got discharged ….bought himself a new car ‘cos of the stress of the whole situation….yup I am left infertile, dazed and struggling to shower and bend down to pick up my pants for weeks ‘cos of my invasive surgery (no keyhole option for me then) and he is worrying about treating himself.

Asswipe……….he made a big thing of going into work the morning the day after the drama and crying to his colleagues about how he nearly lost me…..had to take 2 weeks off work to care for me..errrrrr in reality he came to visit late afternoon bought me a coffee and left before 6.30pm..but everyone thought he was a fucking martyr……

Oh and he brought me a portable dvd and comedy dvd to watch in hospital – yeah, major stomach surgery you know you much laughing hurts…….

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

That disgusting prick….how on earth did you not completely lost your shit at him? Thats fucking heinous!
Fuck these bastards. Seriously.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelli

Kelli, that is horrible! Asshat tried the, “I’m on staff at this hospital” thing to try to go into the OR when it became apparent things were going south and I was getting an emergency C-section. Because I was under general, no dice. He did sleep through most of night and half the day while I laid there being lectured and harassed by rude nurses (there were also wonderful ones too). Then he asked to run home to set out some donated football tickets for his best friend to stop by and pick up. Because they couldn’t come by, get the keys and find them in our house? Later that evening, he asked if he could turn on the Super Bowl. Luckily, the drugs were not all out of my system so I could ignore it. Hmmm, his best friend and his wife did ask if it was okay to stop by the next day (and it was). They were quiet, used the hand sanitizer on the way in and stayed only for a few minutes. I just remembered, having blocked it out, that Mother Asshat and Sideshow Clod stopped by. Resplendent in feces covered farm clothes/boots, without ‘washing up’ and grabbed the baby. Had I not been hooked up to tubes, I’d have throttled them with the IV pole. And Asshat just let it go.

Oh, another warning sign I think is having different rules for different people. You can complain and demand that some people be clean but then let your mother spread any manner of zoonotic disease to a newborn. It’s so sad that his nurses’ husbands go out of town and leave them with older kids. But he turns around and does the same to me and it’s okay bc i should suck it up and deal bc he busts his ass for my ungrateful one.

I cannot believe he made you drive yourself home! :facepalm:

Natalie Can Have Him
Natalie Can Have Him
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Oh my, hahaha! He saw blood on the surgeon’s boots, and was never the same! I am not meaning to laugh at your expense, but that’s just priceless. Mine was/is a doctor, so no squeamishness over blood and such, but other things affected his delicate sensibilities, such as the freewheeling way my family and I would joke around. He didn’t think much of our relationships. His family was from a foreign, more formal culture, yet when I met them, they turned out to be way kinder and down to earth than he was.

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Our nearly 13 year old German Shephard was seriously ill one morning when we woke up. Did the crap weasel offer any help? No – he has to get to work becasue he is SOOOOOO important. Could he take our kid to school that morning? NO, even though it is on the way. Life cant interfer with his morning routine of coffee drinking. So, I take my daughter to school and take dog to vet. Vet tells me the dog has bloat and at his age nothing can be done and dog is in extreme pain. They give the dog pain killers but say that it is cruel to keep him alive for more than an hour. Bastard X knows dog was very sick and I try calling, leaving text messages, email etc telling him if he wants to say good bye he needs to come to the vets office within the hour. No response. I’m alone in a room with my dying dog in my arms and I finally get a message 45 minutes later saying that it was inconvenient for him to come over now ( 9:30 am and only 5 minutes away) couldnt they postpone putting the dog down until 2:30 this afternoon when he had a break in his schedule? He is a bloody professor – what could possible be that important? I was so dumbstruck. I was pissed at him, flabergasted, grief stricken about hte dog. But for me, that was the first time my gut told me something was really wrong. Unfortnately I didn’t act on it and leave the basterd, instead he left me 4 months later.

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

MommyChump – your story is horrible and I feel terrible for you going through such a serious condition with your dog with Bloat – it is an extreme emergency and I cannot imagine not being right there, waiting, to see if the surgery works or not…and holding my beloved’s hand. It’s a terrible moment. I lost mine to bloat because I was too far from a vet and we had a 1-1/2 drive down a mountain to get to one. (I called 911 and got this vet to come in from his Memorial Day vaca) Pulled into parking lot and he died in my arms. An extremely painful 1-1.2 hrs for the poor guy.

That dog meant everything to us – and us dog ppl could go on all day, but THE X totally abandoned ALL of our dogs the day he abandoned me…the emotions we shared with that dog’s bloat was the closest we ever were. A mere 5 years later, he couldn’t bring himself to come and say one last good-bye to another dog that was ALL his. Didn’t seem care at all when I told him he passed away.

And, for the reason the he never looked back at this ‘family’ of ours once after he left…I will forever never forgive him. The dogs suffered his loss too.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to see this happen to your children, which so many of you write about. I would be so raging angry. Dogs are different – kids are human.

nothin'left2lose
nothin'left2lose
8 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

Our 18 year old cat was in kidney failure and I nurtured him for months. Finally, the day came where he had to be euthanized and yes, the fucktard wanted it done based on his schedule. That did not happen. The kids & I said our goodbyes. I kept strong for the children – comforted them. That evening we retired to bed & I started to speak to the asshat about it, crying a bit. He responded by saying “I hope you’re not going to get hysterical” and promptly turned over and went to sleep. At that point I wish the vet had euthanized him instead.

k
k
8 years ago

Just the typical stuff. Longer and longer work hours. Then working out of state on business and week ends. Upgrading to a BlackBerry phone as his flip phone didn’t do everything he needed. Texting ALL the time. Eventually showing little affection and becoming distant. Coming home late from work and then not eating his dinner (often complaining it had too much pepper or the steak I grilled had too much fat on it and etc.) The in laws became obviously distant as well as he started paving the road of his “unhappiness” to them but not me. When he was home he’d just sit in his recliner and not engage with any of us. I could go on and on……

TJ
TJ
8 years ago
Reply to  k

Very familiar right now for me. Not sure if counseling will do any good but determined to at least get some answers!

Crimson Comet
Crimson Comet
8 years ago
Reply to  k

Exactly the same as my ex.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  k

Sounds very familiar…

mom9193
mom9193
8 years ago

I met my STBX at work and I couldn’t stand him. I thought he was incredibly arrogant. Eventually he became part of the younger team and he was fun and he took an interest in me. Within three months of his joining the firm we were dating and 3 weeks later engaged. He had broken off a previous engagement before the invitations went out. Her name was Susan and I was Susan. She lived on Mason St and I lived on Mason Dr. I thought it was kismet. We married about a year later (only because my sister was marrying before us). He was a love-bomber and did everything you described above. I was with him for 30 years and thought our marriage was just fine. But now that he’s hooked up with his old college gf and she’s moving in with him I see the same scenario being repeated. Since he found her again, he’s love-bombed her and called her his fiancé. Interesting….

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago
Reply to  mom9193

What is it with them and jumping for an old high school flame they reconnected with on Facebook? It’s been 32 years! It’s just so pathetic. I guess my XW was looking for her Glory Days again. Sad.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
8 years ago
Reply to  mom9193

mom9193, I didn’t like my ex when I first met him either! I was out with friends and he came up to talk to me. I blew him off and asked them to take me home. They did but they went back out and ran into him again. They told him where I worked and he showed up there. I blew him off again. They invited him to their house and then invited me without telling me he would be there. I was pissed but they insisted that I give him a chance. Wish I hadn’t listened to them!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

// , I hope better friends came your way.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Same here, with my ex a long time ago. They insisted I give him a chance: “hes a nice guy” – and because I was relatively new to the area, I didn’t have any reference point to base it off.

Turns out the two women who said that – had slept with him, and were STILL sleeping with him. And, of course, he was pushy for sex (and virginal me said HELL NO) – when I said no, he of course cheated on me – for an obese hag.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Me neither. I didn’t even really take notice of him at all. I wouldn’t say I didn’t like him, but he never registered on my radar.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Same here. I thought he was attractive but full of himself. Talk about ignoring your gut.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
8 years ago

Same here. I was interested but I thought he was arrogant. Wish I hadn’t ignored that first reaction.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

My first impression of my ex when I met him was that he was arrogant too. I didn’t really like him at first. Interesting that others had that same experience. Anyway, he once told me that he was intrigued with me because I didn’t fall all over him like the other girls did.

OutWest
OutWest
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

LYN

me too. He was arrogant and unapproachable. I was unafraid and naive. Little did I know I was walking into the wolf den.

Blown Away
Blown Away
8 years ago

I will give this serious thought today as this list is just as important for our future. What screams at me the loudest at this moment is he was a HUGE FLIRT when we were together in college eons ago. He chose me, but really didn’t want to be with me, if that makes sense. When he did focus on me, the LOVE BOMBING was just incredible. I look back over the long term marriage and remember thinking even when young and oh so naive, that I was never enough for him. How right I was!!

PucksMuse
PucksMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Blown Away

I see that in a marriage in my family and I worry about it. The husband was a major player in college and at first, my relative didn’t fall for his “flirting.” He really didn’t seem to like her. He just seemed to hate the idea that she didn’t fall all over him. He didn’t want her, he wanted to prove he could conquer her. Which he did, with major love-bombing. And now they’re married with a baby on the way. And he is completely checked out.

PucksMuse
PucksMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

(Relative’s sisters did try to talk her out of marrying him. She wouldn’t listen)

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

My therapist once paraphrased Jung, “Don’t worry about giving bad advice, no one takes it anyway.” (same goes for good advice, I’ve found!)

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago

Huge red flag…..they are ALWAYS the victim and it’s always somebody else’s fault.

Two days after we got engaged X-hole went to court to let the bank foreclose on his house (not ONE word was mentioned prior to that morning) and….of course it was his “ex-wife’s fault”. His explanation…. “she wouldn’t sign a paper saying he was caught up on child support (which he wasn’t) and he had even PROMISED to pay her and get caught up with the equity he received.” Truth… she did refuse to sign, he was behind on child support on top of never paying her what he owed her from the divorce or the shared debts he was supposed to pay off. She KNEW she couldn’t TRUST him AND he was still living in THEIR home WITH the AP he had cheated on her with (who moved in 2 weeks after she and 3 kids left). This is the woman he was living with when I met him and we started dating the minute she moved out, I had told him I would not get involved romantically with any man who lived with someone. She was gone a week later…. I remember it bothered me that it didn’t bother him…. but she was truly a wretched person, I had met her many times, so I chalked it up to that and spackled…..

Same thing with “why” their marriage ended…she “threw him away” “stopped wanting him”. She says “in a way I suppose he’s right, I did….but only after finding out he had been cheating on me for 3 months when our youngest was 6 months old. It was the final straw.”

Took me 7 years to stop lying to myself and actually ASK her if he had cheated on her??

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

My ex and I met when we were 18 and married at 22 years old. Every ex-girlfriend of his had done him wrong in some way – he was the victim; he was betrayed by them. He even had coined a stupid acronym about girls being bitches – his friends all knew it and they all called me by that name…(It was so immature!) Basically anything that went wrong in his life was due to the fault of someone else. He rarely ever apologized for any wrong-doing on his part because he was never at fault.

NCstevie
NCstevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

Yep…never ever wrong and always turns it back to something I did or someone else did. He and his ex wife were together for at least 12 years and she says the exact same thing. You just could NOT talk to him, he was never wrong and never ever sorry. Dick.

k
k
8 years ago

Oh and I forgot to mention, my bog birthdays 30th &40th …yeah , he just “forgot”.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
8 years ago

This is a great post. Warning signs I missed:
— The ex-wives / ex-fiancees thousands of miles away. With (conveniently) only him here to fill in the narratives.
— The fact that only one or two of his friends from years spent in those other places thousands of miles away every called or kept in touch.
— Still being married while pursuing me, and me letting him explain it away with all kinds of Sad Sausage talk (cringe. I KNOW.).
— Professed to share my same faith, but hated actually practicing that faith and would avoid study, service work, or any kind of faith-related discussion at all costs (unless it was a good opportunity to have all eyes and ears on him in the room. THEN he was all about it).
— The piles of unpaid bills on his desk. Yikes.
— Uncomfortably lavish gifts and meals that made me feel weird while we were dating (of course, all financial contributions whatsoever stopped the instant we were married).
— Me being flattered, but my closest friends being VERY suspicious, about the intensity with which he was coming on in the beginning (and all the love bombing, etc.).
— Talking about buying huge luxurious things though he made zero money and we were in debt, and brushing my “uh, what are you thinking?!” aside with “Oh I’m just dreaming.” Then going ahead and buying the thing.
— Pressuring me to solely take on more debt and more lines of credit for his growing expensive habits, because I had “better credit.”

And countless more things. But. You know, that was just the beginning.

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

Yes! Unpaid bills, mounds of debt while spending on luxuries, having me “co-sign” for his car because (here comes the grooming) I had such good credit, I should be proud of myself…, which somehow morphed into me getting the loan with his name just added to the title… OMG… Shame on you, former self. Wake up.

NCstevie
NCstevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Yes!! ^^^^THIS^^^^ How, how, how do they push this out of their minds??? Pretend that everything is just absolutely terrific???

X-hole is, for all appearances, “living the life”. Competing in bodybuilding shows, traveling, hotels, supplements, gym membership, fun expensive activities and dinner every weekend that he has the kids….. all while not paying the rent, utilities, child support, insurance, income taxes……. it is disturbing.

Lulu
Lulu
8 years ago

He blamed all of his life’s failures and misfortunes on other people. Nothing was ever his fault.

If there was one flag out of the million that I wish I’d taken seriously, it would be that one.

OnTheMend
OnTheMend
8 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Amen, Lulu. Always everybody else’s fault. Right now, it’s mine. Maybe after the divorce is final he’ll blame somebody else … hopefully his lawyer.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

This. Anything mine accomplished was due to his greatness, but any job he didn’t get or anything else he didn’t achieve was because “it’s all politics” or “you gotta know somebody.” They’re delusional.

Deedee
Deedee
8 years ago

These personality disordered wingnuts all have uncannily similar MO s in the beginning of a relationship.They lovebomb…constant contact,attention,flattery.They like to cement a relationship quickly,telling you they love you,they never felt like this before,you are amazing,unique,blah blah.If you google the words idealise,devalue,discard a lot of very enlightening stuff comes up.Chilling stuff but helpful on the road to meh.Once I realised I was dealing with a sicko something shifted inside me.Check out Kim Saaed ‘Let Me Reach’,Melanie Tonia Evans blog and Psychopathy Awareness.They,along with this site,helped me move on emotionally and psychologically.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  Deedee

Yes Deedee exactly how ex got me. Promised everything, couldn’t live without me, I’m the one, never felt like this before, blah, blah, blah, wife no. 1 told the same thing. Me no. 2 told the same thing. Whore. No. 3 same thing. We are all disposable and of no significant qualities. We were all the one he was meant to be with. Well asswipe no. 3 will find out. Fucker!

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

I got the same, told me I was “a keeper” “you ain’t seen nothin yet” (referring to our future together), told me he has never loved anyone like me including his own family (now that I did find weird at the time). Flashed money around, big bills to impress me, turned out he did’nt have much of anything else. He like others here was never around when I needed him, if I was sick or hospitalized, he’d actually send his Mother at times. Another weird thing he did is he always had to find someone to go on errands with him, a guy, he hated to ever be alone, makes me wonder how he’s making out now alone at our house. He’s always been irresponsible with money, never discussed big purchases with me, showed me after the fact and bought on credit the majority of the time. He was always a BIG flirt and checked out women in front of me, top to bottom. Told him many times it hurt me, he did’nt care and kept on doing it all throughout our marriage.

Here’s another weird story, he was vehicle shopping one time and testing out vehicles, he finally finds one and comes home to show me it, his comment was “Now this one gives me a hard on” I just shook my head and rolled my eyes. BTW, I always got the shitty old vehicles to drive, he got the newer ones, yet we both worked full time and my job is a traveling salesman. He had the reliable one and I got stuck with the crappy one, his reasoning, “you put too many miles on a vehicle”, no concern for my safety.

Another flag was we lived in a modest suite above our business for a few years, he would always call it the penthouse when telling people where we lived. His grandiose behavior was an embarrassment to me at times and I’d make excuses for it or downplay it.

On my 50 birthday in 2014, we went to NYC, I was so excited to see it for the first time in my life, When we got there the first day, just an hour or so after the flight, he spotted people wearing New York Ranger Jersey’s all over around our hotel, he asked some strangers when the game was and found out it was that night in a couple of hours; he looked at me right then and said, “we have to go”. I agreed it would be fun except we had one problem, we had no tickets, he said “no worries, a scalper will have some, we just have to go over to the stadium and hang around outside and ask”. So I followed along with his plan and we did that, now when we got there he ended up talking to the shadiest looking people ever asking were he could get some tickets. Some guy tells us to follow him, I was really reluctant by now, gut was screaming I don’t like this person we’re to follow. Well I kept going stupidly and he led us down to the subway below the stadium, then told STBXH to follow him into the men’s bathroom, by then I’m freaking and saying to X I don’t like this, what if he wants to rob you, stab you? He laughed at me and said everything will be alright, quit, panicking.

So I wait and he finally comes back with two tickets that cost 400.00 cash. Again, I can’t believe this, but okay, it’s the start of our trip, I’ll continue to go along with this. We go into the stadium and stand in line and finally get to the entrance to the forum, well lo and behold, those tickets, they’re COUNTERFEIT!!! No good, 400 gone. So now STBXH decides to make a little bit of a scene over this, embarrassed again I am. Well a couple of nice guys come up to us and tell us it’s happened to many, then they ask why we bought from a scalper anyways? Because guess what? There are still tickets available to the game at the gate, yup! There was. So asshat still wants to go, I just went along again, wtf can I do at this point, ruin my trip before it starts? So we go to the gate and tickets are, another 400, so we buy them (on VISA this time) and go watch our 800 game.

There’s a reason I shared all that above story, a couple days later I asked him if we can go out to a nice higher end restaurant for my birthday celebration. He said okay, then we go walking looking for a place, some of the higher end places have menus posted outside the restaurants showing prices, the few we looked at he kept saying that’s too expensive, so we’d move on and on looking and finally I snapped at the last one, I said “I want to eat here!” My feet were sore, I was tired and I was hungry. I won the argument, we went in for dinner, but I really did’nt win it, he sulked the entire time, ordered next to nothing because of the cost he kept saying. He basically ruined dinner, I have never felt so alone sitting with him in my life and for my 50th birthday. You know what the bill was for dinner? A little over 200. He was well into his affair on this trip, we did’nt have sex in NYC, my birthday trip I was so excited about. I want a re-do one day with someone else!!!!

Elisa
Elisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate50

What a selfish piece of crap he is Kate.

tossedaway
tossedaway
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

My STBX love bombed me like crazy in the beginning too. And he moved super fast telling me he loved me and wanted to marry me. Once he had me all that slowly ground to a halt. No more flowers, poetry, no more “I love you and can’t live without you.” He saved that for his AP’s, he would love bomb them, fall “in love”, tell me he was leaving, then they would break up and I would stupidly take him back. I found the love letter between him and his latest OW and it is all the same stuff he did to win me, I’m sure he used the same lines on the other ones too. This time I finally decided I deserve better than being his plan b, got a lawyer, moved out and filed for divorce!

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  tossedaway

Yes, the love bombing is a HUGE red flag! After years of therapy and spending time here on CN and some of the sites mentioned above, I realized that my marriage to STBX isn’t my first time at the narc rodeo. The one thing each of them had in common was crazy love bombing at the beginning, followed by subtle and then obvious attempts to devalue, and then finally the discard.

Looking back, each of them let the mask slip just a little bit once they thought they had me reeled in, but not enough that a little spackling couldn’t overcome. The example that sticks out most in my mind with STBX was that after weeks of engaging in intense conversation about our mutual intellectual interests, one day I looked across the table from him and realized he was both distracted by and impatient with what I’d been saying during a discussion about a subject I felt most passionate about. It felt like a slap in the face because it was so uncharacteristic, but of course I assured myself he was just tired or stressed and that it was a one-off.

And it was . . . for a while. That’s what’s so insidious about love bombing. It creates such heady feelings that you will endure just about anything to get those feelings back, including waiting out long periods of them being totally checked out, all with the hope that things will eventually get back to where they were, until one day you realize they never will. Unfortunately that day took me nearly thirty years to get to 🙁

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Apologies, that post above was meant to be filed under Other Kat!

Marci
Marci
8 years ago

Tracy’s list captures many of the hints I would have included. Also:

1. If they ever admit to having cheated on anyone in the past.
2. If they insist on keeping ex girlfriends as “friends” whom they need to meet without you present.
3. If they admit to having had a regular fuck buddy arrangement in the past. Those people are never far away and secretly wish they were his partner. He goes back to them for a rendevous whenever he feels hard done by, ignored by you or jealous of you.
4. Love bombing. I had a guy tell me he was “in love with me” on the second date. Then said I was cruel to decline any more dates.
5. Any tendency to petty crime…I dumped a kleptpmaniac who claimed he couldn’t help it vecause he had aspergers.
6. Anyone who blameshifts and your reaction is WTF?
7. They tell you long after the fact that something you said hurt their feelings, instead of addressing it.
8. They are not your intellectual or educational equal. It just rarely works because at some point you will make them feel inferior.
9. They tell you their way of dealing with ex-partner problems was to sulk.
10. They say you are “out of their league”. This is a big one. Their buddies are placing bets on how long you will stick around.
11. You met them online and they are still in the habit “just to make friends”
12. Their friends are douche bags.
13. They have no close friends.
14. They treat other family members badly.
15. They tell petty lies.
16. They do something knowing it will upset you, but think doing then apologising later is OK.
17. They mention a female work colleague more than twice, particularly if their comments are derogatory.

Ugh can you tell I dated for five years post divorce. I counted ’em…14 different guys, longest one 1.5 years, he cheated too!

Dee
Dee
8 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Wow, Marci, numbers 5, 13, 15, and 17 were very true in my case. I really believed that he did not like his assistant (eleven years his junior). Now they are engaged….

starlight
starlight
8 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Check on all accounts!

DoneNow
DoneNow
8 years ago

The red flag not on this list that I should have paid attention to: a few other people tried to warn me early on that he was not what he seemed. I should have looked into that. I should have been open to the idea that I didn’t know him very well and they might be telling the truth. I had a new friend who came to me and told me about a few bizarre things he’d done when I wasn’t around. He dismantled her with such skill! He mocked her, made her look stupid, said she was coming on to him and was insanely jealous. He claimed she’d made it all up. So he ended up sounding reasonable, and she looked crazy. Gaslighting-I didn’t know what it was then.

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

YES, DoneNow!! Take heed if your friends and/or family try to warn you. Really listen to what they have to say. They are blinded by love and can see things you might be missing.

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

Correction: They are NOT blinded by love….

Sherri
Sherri
8 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

He accused me of cheating. Looking back, I’m certain he was getting some on the side every time. And, the histrionics! Called me at work to say he had lost his hearing in one ear and Dr. Said he might never get it back. He was out of town and it kept him from flying hmmm…..His job depends on good hearing, so like the good wife I was, I worried terribly. Later was ” just an ear infection.” A different call at work to say he” might have to have his nipple cut off.” Makes me laugh now. When I broke my wrist in three places, He couldn’t leave his bowling team. It was a big night, after all! My boss came to the urgent care to make sure I was cleared to drive home. How embarrassing!

NCstevie
NCstevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Sherri

X-hole claimed to be getting a biopsy on a growth on his back, turned out that he had a subaceous cyst on his back, which he had had one before and they do NOT need biopsies. Asshole just made that shit up I’m guessing because I had just had my final breast reconstruction surgery. Dick.

Marci
Marci
8 years ago
Reply to  Sherri

Sherri,
Haha, this made me remember another one. Mine suddenly developed serious bowel/ digestion “issues” that could only be solved by a quick stop at the public toilet when we were out shopping. He used to take at least three pit stops each time we went out. I felt sorry for him, but didn’t ask for the gory details. Once when he emerged from a half hour pit stop I asked how his stomach felt. “Fine!” He said before remembering the story. It was then that I knew these stops were so he could call/ text OW.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago

The Heartless Bitches (yes, thats an actual website) have a red flag list, which actually gave me the impetus to leave my abusive ex. Realising that he had probably dozens of things from that list that he did on a regular basis, was scary as hell.
I don’t have the link but if you google “red flag list” I think it pops up as one of the first hits.

Nicole S
Nicole S
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania
Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Thanks for posting the link! I found this list was a goldmine of info when trying to extract myself from my abusive ex – and it explained some of the behaviour behind previous ex’s too.

TiredChump
TiredChump
8 years ago

Prior to affair, husband was always self-centered, and not very thoughtful/great communicator/creative – but very smart and loving – quite willing to please if you pointed out what you wanted…However……he became different person in past 5 years as he achieved financial success and started company with some people who all have rather wild, indulgent lives (escorts/trophy wives/kids out of wedlock etc.) Fun people to have an occasional night out with, but not folks like me…..

Signs during past 2.5 years of affair:
Password protecting and guarding his phone with his life
Never being available by phone (which per above was always with him!)
Coming home late due to “work” – he ran the company and somehow couldn’t delegate
Three hour “bike rides” on weekend – didn’t always look sweaty
Need to go into work every weekend – when he wasn’t “bike riding”
Being defensive and obnoxious when I asked him to be courteous and let me know he’d be late so I could make other plans
Telling me he was done with kids – that you only needed to parent til 14 – after that if you gave them nice house, good school district, paid for college – they could make their own choices and if they wanted to screw things up, they would learn
Drinking more
Smoking pot ?
Telling me he was on a business trip the weekend we broght oldest son back to college and going to a Los Vegas bachelor party with his low life business colleagues – I found out at the wedding when all the male guests already “knew” him
Not going on our vacations and criticizing me for planning things that weren’t “fun”
Falling asleep downstairs in chair vs. in our bed, etc, etc

But the most outrageous:
Avoiding sex and telling me he was freaked out because he though he had “performance issues” being over 50 but was too embarrassed to talk to DR., ( i felt sorry for him)
and.
Telling me that I always complained and frequently saying when I made completely logical and fair requests: “Stop Whining.” (Or course I started to whine and get clingy – I was being mentally screwed over and super crazy/confused/paranoid as my gut was flashing danger and I couldn’t spackle fast enough to stay sane)

Looking back – I have never accepted such terrible treatment from anyone in my life. But it happened gradually and as I became afraid to rock boat (he’s got a temper) I accepted worse and worse. GRRRRR

Chumpita
Chumpita
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

OMG…I got the inability to perform and mid life depression excuse. I found some condoms in his drawer (and we never use condoms) but I stupidly didn´t ask him about it. There is one funny anecdote: he had prepared Viagra pills for a trip to Europe when he was supposed to meet me for a vacation and on the plane he confused the sleeping pill with the Viagra! I don´t know if this actually happened or not (I was already in Europe) but I thought it was hilarious that he made that mistake…of course, the excuse later was that he didn´t have anymore Viagra pills and couldn´t function with me…asshole!

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpita

May all lying cheats who get Viagra for their AP’s benefit have the Viagra Karma fairy give them priapism 😛

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Let’s all give a solemn prayer for priapism, shall we?

On the flip side—

The XBF was hyper sexual—fuelled by natural testosterone at the age of 56. My solemn prayer is that he starts to NEED viagra cos he constantly bragged that he didn’t need it. When he is no longer able to get a hard on at a second’s notice, it will crush his empty soul. hehehehehe

Taking the other path
Taking the other path
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

Exact. Can’t believe I felt sorry for him over the inability to perform. Intercepted (accidentally) his mail order Viagra, waited and waited for signs he was giving it a try. Turns out he does use it, just not at home. I don’t hear that I’m whiny…just hear “relax, why are you so insecure.” Firmly denies that cheating is abuse…

Digbert
Digbert
8 years ago

Here are my red flags:

Family are f@ckwits- particularly MILs devoid of empathy and FILs who speak and treat women like shit

OCD behaviours e.g. rearranging cutlery (I have mentioned this here before)
organising tins, bottles, f@cking everything in cupboards!

Inability to deal with day to day emergency situations like e.g.

Cat gets sick
Noise in the middle of the night (I investigated every time!)
Car breaks down
Heating breaks down
Man beating dog (I stepped in to stop it..XH kept walking…..cowardly shit)

Never standing up for you in an argument when you are actually correct- but agreeing that you were indeed ‘correct’ later on when no one was around……

Not introducing you to his workmates when you accidentally meet at lunchtime

Can’t deal with spiders, daddy longlegs or flying moths (cat loved catching them)

Procrastination about every DIY chore

Shit Presents – under the guise of ‘trying to pick a really good present ‘ but spent so long dithering that they end up with a shit present

Collector of toy cars

X Box player – like for hours on end………………….

Not well read – porn mags do not count

Splits bills 50:50 or else very happy for you to pay, like ………..all the time!

Very critical, judgmental, actually a renowned food critic ………unless they are cooking!

Materialistic

Vanity, ‘man’ scaping, a ‘man’ bag, ‘man’ mags

Talks about what ‘they’ want all the time

Last minute cancellation of plans for no rhyme nor reason

All Sparkly ‘life and soul of the party people’

Someone who hates people who have affairs and is very vocal about cheaters- I mean they would never do that…….geez

I had better stop now………………..

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Wow! I can relate to many of the traits on your list, Digbert!! My ex was the Cowardly Lion about so many things… He was too afraid to go to the door one night when our doorbell was rung at 3 a.m. (Sausalito, I had to grab the baseball bat and see who it was!! He definitely would hide behind me or throw me to wolves if it was between saving my life or his!)

Sausalito
Sausalito
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

The “noise in the middle of the night” made me laugh! Mine was too scared, I had to go downstairs with a baseball bat. He was also too “uncomfortable” to tell his mother that his dad had ordered $100 worth of PPV porn while at our house. Don’t worry, honey, I’ll take care of it…

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Something that sticks in my head about the XBF—whenever we were watching a movie and a character’s heart would be broken by ill treatment (ie: cheating), he would get all “awww, baby, that’s terrible. How could they do that?”

I would sit there silently seething ‘MOFO–you did that to ME and you had no regard for me but you have great empathy for a character in a movie???!?!?!?!?!!?’

Can’t make this shit up.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Omg you were in a relationship with my XH,

I really need to know what is the obsession with the fucking toy cars. Our long term plan was to extend our home and then display our stuff. DIY hell no, extensions planned three times in ten yrs never happened, XH now lives (officially) with XMIL and in her tiny lounge/dining/ kitchen is a glass display cupboard with all his toy cars. Aargh

TiredChump
TiredChump
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Please don’t stop. Funny and so relatable…..there must be a cheater gene

Arlo
Arlo
8 years ago

The biggest red flags for me (only in hindsight, somehow it all seemed ok at the time or at least just the normal kind of stuff you put up with to keep the peace)
1. He had to know where I was at all times. Even in the days before cell phones, I had to call him whenever I got somewhere or he would just flip out. When cell phones came along, it was worse. Once a friend of mine pointed out that it was not normal at all for me to be so anxious about texting him every time I arrived or left somewhere….I broke out the fancy Spackle for that one…
2. He ran up debt over and over. Obviously I had a part to play in this too, but generally I was being talked into something I didn’t really want to do, and then it was always my herculean efforts that got us out of debt, only to be sucked right into the next scheme. This is the one that makes me feel the dumbest.
3. He couldn’t finish anything. Nothing! In a pathological way. He never finished a book. Would open a new carton of milk when there was still some left in the previous one. Would stop mowing the grass with one strip left to go. You might think I’m exaggerating about this, but I can’t tell you how ridiculous it was. Never. finished. any.thing. It was a big joke for years – but really one of the most hurtful things when I look back.
4. He was hypersexual but extremely sensitive about how I initiated, and then withholding and punitive when I got it wrong. If I started too early, too late, too fast, too slow, too much touching, not enough touching, it was always changing, and no matter what it was something I did wrong. The blameshifting on this was epic, and the area of our relationship where I was the chumpiest.
5. He was an alcoholic. I knew that was a problem, but I kept industrial strength Spackle on hand for that.

Oh man, if only I had been able to see and learn from a list like this when I was twentysomething years old and building my life around him, but I don’t know that I could have accepted it then. I was so sure of myself…

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Arlo

Mine was always unhappy about sex after the kids came. He thought I turned him down too much. As soon as we’d finish having sex he’d start complaining again. I stopped listening to him because he never was satisfied, sometimes I felt like he was just using my body as a stress relief doll. I think he was frustrated that sex wasn’t like it was before we had kids, but our kids were so sick. I was getting up all hours of the night with them and for 5 years I never got more than a few of hours of sleep at night. I got sick from the stress and ended up with some serious, life-threatening illnesses. That’s when I first found love notes in his pocket, etc.

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

I can relate. The second we were finished, he would begin whining about when how he wasn’t getting enough sex and pushing for more. It was kind of like the folks who light their next cigarette with the one they are smoking. Nothing was ever enough and I was always portrayed as this withholding woman who bregudgingly “gave” him sex. In fact, the exact opposite was true; there is nothing wrong with my sex drive, but his narrative had to be that I did not enjoy sex. It was maddening!

To me, though, the biggest red flag was his need to always be the center of attention. It always had to be about him. Whenever we would be in a crowd of people, it woud literally take him seconds to turn the conversation in his direction-his work, his accomplihments, his upbringing, his world view. He was and is a very articulate guy and a good conversationalist, so people really ate it up. But for me, having to hear the same stories over and over again became torture. He never once felt the need to include anyone else in his monologue. Why should he? Obviously, no one else had more interesting stories to tell. His AP was exactly the same way…the sparkliest narc in the room. Now, whenever I meet someone who always has to be the center of attention, I immediately run for the exit.

Chumpita
Chumpita
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Ditto…same here…I was so exhausted and sick those first years of childhood and working full time. I don´t know how I survived. Meantime he is blaming me for being a prude and not partying with him…I now look ten years younger and have never been healthier!

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Arlo

OMG SarBear! My first order of business when Narkles the Clown moves out is to finally get 2 of our 3 bathrooms working again, one half functional and one ripped apart for ten years! Can’t wait!

TP
TP
8 years ago

He came from a good family.

He came from a family where the parents were still married, Catholic raised, Catholic school, sisters were both married with children, raised with morals. That doesn’t mean he has any of those values. In fact, he didn’t have any of them. He resented his parents for many things. He was entitled to have a better life although they provided him with a great childhood; it was not enough. He obviously didn’t value marriage because he cheated, cheated, cheated. He had a laundry list of standards that I needed to abide by but they didn’t apply to him. An entitled jerk can be a byproduct of a great family.

kb
kb
8 years ago
Reply to  TP

I think this is the risk. Anecdote suggests that people from families where FOO issues predominate are people who probably have loads of their own FOO issues, and that families with disordered parents are likely to have disordered children. Not always–which is why we need to look at individuals–but it’s a red flag worth noticing.

But perfectly healthy, wonderful families can have offspring who have loads of problems, who have poor moral character, etc. Again, we need to look at the individuals. The family may not have raised any red flags, but we have to be alert for when the individuals themselves raise red flags.

In my case, the family had loads of FOO issues that I, as a person from a fairly healthy family, didn’t pick up on. What I should have picked up was that STBX’s family always said that STBX was “emotional.” It was only much later, after I got married, that I realized that “emotional” meant that he’d fly off the handle without warning or cause. And then he’d be fine and wonder what the big deal was.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  kb

Oh jesus. This just kinda triggered something for me.

Just thinking back – one of my ex’s (not abusive ex, this particular person is an ex I think may have cheated, but never had any concrete proof on. A ‘visiting cousin’ had me ringing alarm bells – I suspect she may actually have been an OW, with the death glares she was giving me when she saw me with ex) actually used FOO issues and other related things as one reason to break up with me. Claiming “Your parents don’t do ‘x’ and I don’t want that for our relationship”. But, this is the same guy who, on the other reason for breaking up with me, was “I failed all my studies whilst studying here, its all your fault” despite my warning that the course he was pursuing at that particular university was rather high stakes and didn’t pull its punches.

6 months later, after the breakup was done and dusted, he failed everything again. Surely can’t be the relationship’s fault, can it then? 😀

dptsxmd
dptsxmd
8 years ago
Reply to  kb

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since my D-Day six months ago was that while FOO issues are no guarantee, it’s not enough to simply not want to be like them. There’s a level of self-awareness and capacity for critical self-reflection (not to mention a willingness) that is required to say, “Oh, my family is kind of messed up in xyz ways, and I don’t have these skills to be in healthy relationships or to securely attach and achieve emotional intimacy with my partner.” My stbx has nowhere near that.

NCstevie
NCstevie
8 years ago
Reply to  dptsxmd

X-hole, as with pretty much ALL of these Cluster B’s have ZERO capacity for “self-reflection”. Blame-shifting is their “go to” response for anything and everything that isn’t right with them, every failure, hurt, mistake, personality trait, etc.

At least I can look at myself and know where I need to iimprove. Normal people can admit to problems.

TP
TP
8 years ago
Reply to  TP

And another…

He was a funny guy, but usually at my expense. Subtle jokes or statements. If I got upset he would say, I was only joking. You need to lighten up. However, if a joke or statement was ever said back (one to his twenty). He would get very upset. He certainly could dish it out.

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  TP

I now believe that there are two sentences that, if you hear them from someone, you should KNOW you’re dealing with an abuser;

‘you’re too sensitive’, and ‘it’s just a joke’

People who are caring don’t dismiss hurt feelings or upset like that, they just don’t. Especially because they recognize that if we actually SAID something, it’s a big deal or has been going on too long.

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Exactly!!!

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
8 years ago
Reply to  TP

TP, yes with the jokes at my expense too. And very sarcastic toward me but played it off as humor. When I said it wasn’t funny, he say I couldn’t take a joke and blame me.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Same here. Also, he would whack me on the hip with his hand and it made me feel like a horse. No matter how much I’d tell him I didn’t like that and ask him to stop he’d just laugh and do it again. He’d say “you need to lighten up.”

Schmetterling
Schmetterling
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

RED FLAG ! My boobs were too small for him. (They are just fine and luckily I never felt conscientious about them ever), but he would constantly make a joke about my boobs and pinch them or touch them in a degrading way. Redder than red flag !I Too much porn watching, there was no way I could measure up with his porn stars.
One day I finally had enough and got down to his immature level and in return pinched his nuts really hard and told him that I think his Dick is way too small. (I really could have cared less about the size of his penis but I had enough) After that he shut up about my boobs. Touche’ Pussycat !

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Schmetterling

Schmetterling—BRAVA!!! Turnabout is fair play and you played that very well, indeed!!!

TheClip
TheClip
8 years ago

I left a response to this column when it originally ran. I didnt go back and review what I put down because at that time I saw things differently. My perceptions still blurred by a lot of anger and maybe even still a little hopium on board. Now that I weaned my self off the Hopium , a la Chump Nation Recovery Program … I see a few things differently.
What stands out as a Red Flag for me now is how he slowly isolated me. I was already 2000 miles away from my family and friends and in a po dunk town. He said’ we dont need anyone. We have eachother. This is where I feel comfortable and my best.’ I recall joining a running group and he mock and ridiculed so much that I eventually dropped out. Then I had to listen to ‘ you never stick to anything’ If I had a dime for everytime I head that. Anytime spent on any activity other than him he would sabotage in some way and i would just walk away from it to later here I was a quiter. He would stand with our daugter and say ‘ look Mom would rather sit and do that instead of spending time with us’ He fucked with my head so much that it could be considered a sperm bank.
I think revisiting these posts is very therapeutic and demonstrates to yourself how far you have come out of the fog. Very much like the school activities where thery ask u ‘ what did want to be when you grow up’ and u look back at your first grade response and then yr fith grade one… Finally the HS. There will be some similarities which shows that yr personality is set fairly early on but you also see the growth.

Ashley
Ashley
8 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Yep, that’s it for me too. I quite my ladies night out group, book club, withdrew from friends, all to avoid his temper tantrums. That he only threw because he loved me so much, right?

nancyhesby
nancyhesby
8 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Happy to hear you stayed true to yourself and didn’t stick with him either..;)

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago

At just over 4 months out from D-Day I still don’t have the ability to sit back and analyze properly, as every day he is in my house my mental energy is spent just making it through the day. (Court order means he has to be gone this weekend-YAY)
But I will say, yes, so much of this list, yes, especially Number 10!!!!!! WTF? Narkles the Clown bought me the same gift two years in a row. I never used the first one so I guess he thought I needed another one?

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

A-OK, be careful when the actual ‘leaving’ date looms. I suggest having family members or people you trust, there with you, if possible. Also, make sure the sentimentals and valuables are out of his theft-reach – because these fuckers will steal that stuff or just try to destroy it, on the way out. The mentality of “If I can’t have it, no-body will!” and “You’re not the boss of me!”

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Mine used to buy me the same gifts for Christmas every year–it got to be so bad that our children would joke, “And here come’s Mom’s annual teapot.” They weren’t even teapots that could be considered collectible, just the same basic teapot for years in a row.

He would also buy me the same books more than once. Or printed socks and scarves each year, even though I don’t wear either and always took them back. Kicker was he’d buy them from a local boutique I never shopped at and that would only accept exchanges–to this day I probably have credit there that I’ll never use.

nuclear tuna
nuclear tuna
8 years ago

How do I spackle thee? Let me count the ways…

– Lots of intense eye contact on our first few dates, but they were dead shark eyes. A beautiful shade of blue, dead, shark eyes.

– Told me all about him (the good, fun stuff), but didn’t ask much (anything? I don’t recall) about me.

– Brought me a single red rose on our second date (the next day). Also on the second date, when I commented on how serious he seemed, his sparkly response: “You have NO idea.” I got butterflies about that for months. Now it makes my skin crawl.

– Disclosing a “small” lie he had told me a day or two before, all the while disclaiming he didn’t even know why he had lied in the first place because we were so evolved, lies weren’t necessary. He was checking to see if I would spackle. I did. The lie, by the way, was about going to a motorcycle rally just for fun (but really, just happened to take pictures of women’s tits. Lots of womens’ tits.)

– Telling me after two dates that he was falling in love with me, and coaxing me to say it back.

All of this while I was working out of town for two months… a long distance fling with a couple of dates in the middle. When I came home, he was waiting in my driveway, and stayed four days.

So many red flags. And the part I work so hard on is forgiving myself for interpreting those as red hearts and roses rather than warning signs.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  nuclear tuna

Yes to the intense eyes and staring. Before my now-ex and i had started talking he had been staring at me. I had been checking him out too (with less intense glances!), so I just figured we were both intererested. But there was this one moment, before we knew each other personally, that I remember distinctly thinking that if he didn’t seem so nice/normal, the intensity of his staring would make me think he was a stalker. The other “eyes” vivid memory that stands out was on dday, when he had cold, dead shark eyes with no emotion towards me. Maybe that “stalker-ish” feeling I had from his look before we even had gone on a date was a glimpse into who he really was/is, and I just didn’t understand?

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  nuclear tuna

Ugh, nuclear….him “admitting” a small lie to gauge your trust levels and ability to be manipulated!!! Makes me skin crawl knowing that they calculate their actions like this….

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

I recall reading somewhere that they test our limits very early on (like first meeting). I know it happened on my first date with the XBF. He was so damn charming, handsome and all around sparkly, I was blinded.

NCstevie
NCstevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

I believe this 100%. Back when he was love bombing me and feeling me out for chumpdom I missed a LOT of red flags, I was hooked immediately. Had he said some of the shit he and OWhore have said to each other (via text policing) I would have dropped him pronto, super weird childish crap. She actually asked him once “how many tests will there be?” Wtf?

Thanks to CL and Let Me Reach and other various sites I can decipher the codes of disorderly conduct now.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

*makes “me” skin crawl…lol

PucksMuse
PucksMuse
8 years ago

This can go for either gender, I’m just using male pronouns.

-Is very vague about his finances. They’re always waiting on a settlement check or a big business deal to go through and then they’ll be rolling in dough! And then they’ll take care of you in style, like you deserve. They just need you to be patient and cover dinner, the bills, his credit card payment, for now. If they manage to get some money, it shows up unexpectedly (as in a sudden windfall, not an expected paycheck) and it disappears just as quickly.

-Is very vague about family. He is estranged from his family or has a few close family members that maintain contact with him, but he has very little contact with extended family. (Most likely because he has burned them with unpaid loans, ruined holidays/special events with his antics, and generally treated them horribly.)

-Is very vague about past relationships. Uses sweeping generalizations or cliches to describe break-ups or the condition of the relationship. “We just grew apart” or “She walked away.” Please note that it will never be his fault, it’s either the ex’s fault or formless circumstances that tore them away from each other.

– Is very quick to want to “pool resources.” He wants to buy a house together, open a business, get a joint checking account, co-sign loans, NOW NOW NOW. And somehow, his part of the pool never gets filled up.

– Grandiose claims about college, job training/qualifications, military service, past or current profession. He holds a law degree from Harvard, but lives in his mom’s garage. He hints that he was a Navy SEAL, but had to retire because he was so good at his job, his family was in danger. (His belts are also in danger, from his beer belly.) He was being considered for the Space Program, but his inner ear problems prevented him from launch. He is a fully qualified ninja, working for the CIA. His past is very dramatic and exciting, but he has no medals, diplomas, income or other trappings that would back up these claims.

Here’s the thing, people who work for secret government organizations, DON’T TALK about working for secret organizations. Also, you can’t date a ninja, because they’re so fast and quiet, you never see them.

– All of the trappings of wealth and status, but mysteriously, none of the resources. A flashy suit? An expensive watch? A luxury car? Sure. But somehow, his credit card gets declined at dinner. He’s between estates at the moment and living in a studio apartment while he’s looking. And he seems pretty familiar with repo laws.

– Makes grand promises about the future in a short amount of time. Most people wait until they’ve known you a week before they promise to sail around the world with you on a yacht made out of lollipops and happy thoughts.

– You find out important details – things that most people would share on the first date – in passing conversation. And they act like it’s no big deal that you’ve been dating for six months and they never mentioned that they have three kids. Or that they served time in prison for “sheep bothering.” And they want to know why you’re making such a big deal about it.

– There’s a conspiracy against him. His boss, the court system, the world at large, are so intimidated by his intelligence and charisma that they do all that they can to keep him down. His family never really loved him or appreciated him. His former girlfriends took him for granted and only wanted him for his money. You don’t want to be like THEM, do you? He deserves so much more consideration and patience and speshul privileges because of what he’s been through. And you need to make up for that loss by showering him with attention, money and gifts.

– Idealizing or demonizing others. People are either greatest human beings who have ever graced the planet, or they are the devil incarnate. Very few people are just “ok.” And the people who are idealized/demonized switch positions, going back and forth between being declared awesome or awful.

– By contrast, his friendships are very intense or non-existent. Either they have a group of committed devotees, who all think he’s the greatest person who ever lived. Or he talks about his good friends (usually name-dropping people of great wealth and status) but they never seem to materialize.

– Seems to define himself by some high-status, nebulous detail that has very little to do with character, i.e. he played football in college or he was in a garage band in high school.

– Defines himself as a “dreamer’ or “innovator” or “artist” – some undefined, but very special quality that makes him more sensitive and delicate than everybody else, less suited to working hard to provide stability and security for you, and somehow makes you responsible for supporting him while he chases his vision.

GotTheTShirt
GotTheTShirt
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

Utterly on point PucksMuse…wish Id had this list 20 years ago! You are so on target its chilling…

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

My ex was a drummer in a band when I met him in college… He lived for the attention from the ladies and the admiration of fellow musicians. But, he picked me, pursued me… I was sooo lucky to be the chosen one. (Gawd, his lovebombing blinded me!) He also bragged about all the sports he had played in high school and how popular he was…

starlight
starlight
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

“Here’s the thing, people who work for secret government organizations, DON’T TALK about working for secret organizations. Also, you can’t date a ninja, because they’re so fast and quiet, you never see them.” LOL!!

Sausalito
Sausalito
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

Hahaha, “sheep bothering”, love it! And mine did the conspiracy thing too. That’s why he could never get promoted at work: they were too intimidated by him…

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Sausalito

“He hints that he was a Navy SEAL, but had to retire because he was so good at his job, his family was in danger. (His belts are also in danger, from his beer belly.)” OMG, freaking hilarious, the entire post, PucksMuse, but that especially. And all very insightful, too.

HM
HM
8 years ago

Never appreciated anything in his life – constant complaining (about normal, everyday things)
Any kind of put-down AT ALL….especially those said in a “joking” manner [Newsflash: put-downs are NOT jokes!]
Never included me in anything with his friends or family
To second someone else’s comment: his friends were douches. Friends reflect a lot about a person.
Any lie at all, ever. One lie should be the only one. If you catch someone lying to you, no matter how seemingly inconsequential…leave right now. There is never cause to lie.
Lying to others – see note above. Shows little regard for truth, honesty, trust, integrity. You will at some point be on the receiving end of those lies.
Saying something nasty to you. I stayed way to long and endured so many nasty attacks…for what? I should have left after the first one. But he would apologize, say he didn’t mean it, he was angry, etc. Looking back…I just shake my head I what I put up with.
I think I will stop now. There are plenty more but that’s enough for today. Good riddance you bastard.

HM
HM
8 years ago
Reply to  HM

Oh, okay, one more:

Telling me how great he is. Having to brag about yourself on social media. You shouldn’t need that much external validation. I am great, I already know this. I don’t need to inform others of it. They either see it and believe it or not. But that’s on them.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago

Oh my, do you have all day? I’ll give just the most important ones to save time:

-crippling insecurity in the first year or so (which I also struggled with)
-jealousy in conjunction with the insecurity to the tune of literal delusion, he would claim that he “saw me gazing” at my best guy friend and he could tell I really wanted him
-volatile, explosive type fits of rage when drinking in the first year and a half, this was a glimpse into his actual personality that he was unable to conceal while drunk
-ability to consume massive amounts of alcohol but appear and claim to be sober, I will NEVER scientifically comprehend this one
-impersonal gifts or “I owe you” gifts, like the song he wrote me that I never got to hear & the portrait he had painted of our daughter and I that I’ve never seen
-that instinctive uneasy feeling that I got about him that I blamed on my anxiety, which could’ve easily been to blame
-lack of affection from day 1
-horrible planning & time management skills
-horrible finances
-his impeccable ability to remain calm & unresponsive in circumstances that would make most people react
-his lifeless, cold stare when confronted with any issue in any way with any tone, my approach made no difference…his fury rised then he would check-out to go numb
-him having no problem with moving into my parents house with me, rent free and never once offering to help in any way for their hospitality
-him wanting to go dutch all the time
-his underemployment
-me always having this weird feeling that he was lying to me…like, always…which he was, about everything
-his fiercely critical nature towards others when they weren’t around (which sadly, I also did when I was younger and unhappy with myself)
-he put down many of the things that were personally important to me & found flaws in each of them; many friends, my family, the area I grew up in, the state my family is from, my hobbies, much of my musical taste…he always knew better and had better
-the strange silence that came over many times while with his family in that first year & a half; I told them excitedly that I was taking him out of town to a resort for his birthday, dead silence. Their biggest issue is someone swooping in and taking one of their own away from the family. So I learned that you’re either all in with them, or you’re against them

I could go on forever but I have to add in that my chumpiness, insecurities, immaturity, inability to view the world through a realistic lens, ability to ignore the obvious and cover it in hope had much to do with this creep staying in my life, marrying me and me having a child with him. It took 4 years for his full blown negativity to begin and 2 additional years for me to pull the plug. Right when I got pregnant and was at my most vulnerable, he began his relentless neglect, then the daily abuse kicked in when I refused to ignore the neglect and then the rapid decline of any level of humanity in those last 8 months…all while I was caring for a baby, managing everything we shared and supporting him going back to school. In the end, he was likely having multiple affairs of some sort, I was likely the OW to a girl he had been dating before meeting me, I gave him the ideal image he wanted to display to the world and he the likely met his Shmoopie while in school while I was at home taking care of all the thing she refused to do. I’m wiser now, I think. I pray I am.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

“-horrible planning & time management skills
-horrible finances”

I have always maintained Asshat can’t tell time, much less manage it. He is unrealistic, always running late and just an idiot about estimating the time it takes HIM to do anything. I randomly told him he ruined years’ worth of memories by being angry, rude and nasty to us. He asked for an example, bc of course none of it is true, so I brought up an instance when we went for a fantastic hike with Little Elf last Labour Day weekend. He was evil and I almost told him to go blow off steam but I persisted. Then he mumbled an insincere thanks for a fun plan when it was over. He claims it was bc I never planned or packed the car. The car is packed to go to the lake in the summer. Always. Is it my fault the fatfuck feels the need to pack a ton of cold soda? He also blamed Little Elf for getting dressed too slowly. He was 6. How about you stop fucking texting Florence and get your fat ass moving and help us?

Asshat didn’t have horrible finances but they were inexcusable for any responsible adult. He could paper the whole house with all the disconnect notices and back tax letters he has received over the years. But it’s not really his fault bc he is busy. And not a deadbeat.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

*doing all the things he refused to do

I’ll also add that his inability to apologize or even appear to feel sorry for anything was a missed red flag and his lack of emotional response to others pain was scary. He faked caring well to others but when it was just the two of us and I would cry, his response was always anger. Emotions infuriate him and are weaknesses to him.
He’s a tyrant….
I needed this today, thanks for reposting, CL.
We all have our flaws and quirks and I’m really struggling not to make mine bigger that they are.

LiningUpDucks
LiningUpDucks
8 years ago

Most helpful? The red flags that are apparent in the dating stage. Those early glimpses behind the mask, while there’s still time for the chump to get out/move on.

Another one for me (that hasn’t been mentioned above) is signs of mania. Not everyone with mania issues is a wingnut, but in my ex’s case it was a sign of an untreated personality issue.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago

“they tell petty lies” I think this one is huge and an often ignored red flag. I only just realized in the last few years how much my stbx does this. We all tell little white lies sometimes like turning down an invitation to something you don’t want to attend by saying you have plans, but this is a different sort of lying. He lies about shit that doesn’t matter. Lies that don’t benefit him in any way. Like lying about how much he paid for something to make people think he got some great deal, master negotiator that he is. But of course he would lie to me about how much he sold something for so he could hide money, while telling friends he made more than he did. His friend wanted him to go out and he was tired because he got called into work at 4:00 a.m. and worked 13 hours on about 4 hours sleep. He tells the friend we have a thing at our daughter’s school. Why not just say I went into work early and I’m tired? He’ll never admit he has a cold unless it’s to get attention from me or his mommy. He conceals the fact that he takes medication for gout. He exaggerates things that don’t matter. When we got married, he didn’t know how to do laundry or pay bills or grocery shop. To this day he doesn’t have a check book. Mommy did everything. I had to teach him the basics. But then when talking to his mom, he would slip into the conversation how he had done laundry, or what he got on sale at the grocery store, and make it sound like he did these things all the time, even though I can count on one hand how many times he did anything like that.

I’m kind of rambling, but I guess my point is if lying is second nature to them and comes so easily, watch out.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

I totally agree. Pathological liars tell lies and withhold information because of its power–they have information other people may want and aren’t going to relinquish it. Mine would lie even when the truth would have served him better (but damn, he was good at the convincing lies).

Gera
Gera
8 years ago