We’ve all learned that hindsight is 20/20. Probably the worst time to learn it is when you’ve already made some kind of commitment to a relationship. Most of my clients are able to look at the faults in their current partner and see that there were clues that faults existed from the beginning.
If you’re committed to a marriage or a relationship you don’t intend to leave, you’ll have to work through these issues. Enlist the help of a licensed counselor or therapist if you cannot work through them yourself.
If, however, you are in a position to move on, you can make very good use of what you’ve learned. I have my clients make a ‘red flag’ list. Keep a list of all those things your ex did in the beginning which should have alerted you there was a potential problem. Write them down and head for the hills. When the next guy you date exhibits the same behaviors you’ll know to let go early.
Below is a list of just a few of the behaviors which are commonly put on my client’s red flag list. Maybe they should be put on yours?
Your partner is controlling or jealous and doesn’t appear to trust you. Maybe your partner was cheated on by an ex. Maybe your partner’s parents were poor role models. Whatever the reason, the behavior your partner exhibits tends to be possessive and controlling for no reason.
Here are a few examples.
Your partner doesn’t like you to spend time with your friends or family.
Your partner gets mad if you don’t answer their texts or phone calls immediately.
Your partner gets upset if other men talk to you or look at you.
Your partner doesn’t like you to go out after work with your friends.
You know very little about your partner’s overall life. Maybe you met online or at a bar. You feel you know your partner well. However, there some important parts of your partner’s life which your partner appears to be resistant to sharing with you. For instance:
You’ve never been to your partner’s home (He’s Married).
You can only call your partner at certain times (She’s Married).
You haven’t met any of your partner’s friends. (Friends can tell us a lot about the person we are dating.)
You haven’t met any of your partner’s family.
Your partner can become verbally, physically and psychologically abusive when angry. Although you know your partner loves you, they do very hurtful things when angry or in a bad mood. Your partner always feels very sorry and tries to makes up for it.
Your partner has pushed you when angry
Your partner calls you names when angry.
Your partner admits to a history of violence with an ex.
Your partner doesn’t value your opinion.
Your partner demeans you in front of your friends.
Your partner has volatile moods.
You partner does not communicate well. Your partner’s communication does not appear to be honest and open. Although there doesn’t seem to be reason to lie, your partner appears to do it anyway. For instance.
Your partner won’t tell you where they goes when they go out with friends.
Your partner avoids any communication about your relationship.
Your partner becomes moody and silent when you want to discuss a sensitive subject.
Your partner avoids discussing anything about their past.
Your partner doesn’t call when they says they would.
Your partner appears to be cut off from important people in their life. Although you are aware your partner has parents, siblings and extended family in the area, they refused to talk to them, about them, or to see them.
Your partner is irresponsible, immature and unpredictable. Although your partner avoids talking about it, they do not appear to take care of important aspects of their life as a normal adult would. In addition, you end up taking responsibility for some areas you don’t think you should have to.
I am very responsible with money but my partner doesn’t even pay their bills..
Your partner seems to never have cash or their wallet so I pay for everything.
Your partner moves often and sometimes doesn’t even have a place to live.
You partner says he has a job but doesn’t appear to go regularly.
Your partner lacks the ability to commit to the relationship. Although your partner is spending most of their free time with you, there are some hints that they are not as committed as you may have thought.
Your partner still has a close relationship with their ex.
You’re ready for a serious relationship and your partner is not yet divorced.
After a month of dating, you aren’t allowed to leave anything at your partner’s apartment.
You suspect there maybe a drug or alcohol problem. Many couples start their relationship going out and having a drink or two. However, when the relationship continues and a drink is always necessary to have a good time, you may want to consider there maybe a drug or alcohol issue.
Your partner uses drugs on a regular basis.
Your partner appears to have to have a drink wherever you go anytime of the day.
One drink leads to an entire day or night of drinking.
Each of my clients, after years of dating different people, comes up with a very diverse and long list or red flags. In doing so, they become much better at letting go of someone quickly who exhibits traits they are not willing to tolerate. Eventually they are able to find the right person to spend their life with.
It can be so hard to be attracted to someone and see their best qualities and overlook their not so good qualities. However, the not so good qualities can become a real issue in the long run. Look back on your relationship and assess what didn’t work for you. Make your red flag list and consider it when you date someone new. You may find the right person by not falling into the same patterns as before. You may want to include the 8 red flags I have include above as a start.
Choose wisely! It’s best to see clearly before a commitment is made.