Over the years as a divorce attorney I’ve seen hundreds of relationships falling to pieces in a variety of creative ways. Time and again people come up with new ways to screw up their marriages. But too often my clients knew they shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place! Rather than walk down the aisle, they should have run the other direction. Here are three serious red flags that you shouldn’t stay in the relationship (or heed my warning: your story will end the same way!)
- He doesn’t see his child. He’s got a thousand reasons why he won’t spend time with his kid: his ex- “poisoned” the child’s mind against him; the court would only give him “bogus” time when he has to work instead; the kid prioritizes cheerleading or any other activity over her dad. I’m calling his bluff: active dads will fight to the bitter end to spend time with their kids. They are every bit as Momma Bear as, well, a momma bear when it comes to being a good parent. You may not believe good dads are out there but I know them and they are real! Good dads will not buckle under the pressure and work that having a child requires. He will change diapers, do midnight feedings and dishes, take her to the doctor, fold her baby clothing and fiercely protect her when needed. If your guy has accepted that he just won’t see his child, ask yourself how much he’ll prioritize a child he has with you. And then run, don’t walk, the other way.
- He’s hiding assets from his ex-wife. Just because he’s divorced isn’t a strike against him. But the danger zone: he hid money during the divorce to keep it out of his ex-wife’s hands – girl you better run! He blames his behavior on his ex-wife of course, because she was so terrible and “money grubbing,” he had to funnel money to family members. He just had to put assets in his sister’s name and make withdrawals from accounts so as to move cash to another bank or another country. Really. Whether he confided in you that he hid the marital money, or worse, you met him during the divorce and watched him hiding his money, the odds are strong that he’ll do the same in your own divorce! Not running yet? Consider that the odds are high you will be getting a divorce: statistically he’s at an increased risk for a second divorce (65% or more of second marriages fail); AND he prioritizes money over honesty and people; AND he does not take responsibility for his actions. Get out your running shoes!
- You were the one he cheated with. The logic follows that if you were the one he cheated with, later you’ll be the one he cheats on. Once a cheater, always a cheater? Maybe not. But I have to tell you that I’ve had more cases of women who told me they “should have known” he would cheat on them, because they were the affairs that broke up his first marriage! They never seem that surprised when they discover he’s been cheating. “The signs were there,” said one client, I’ll call her Sasha. “The late-nights at the office and sudden trips canceled or re-routed. Unexplained expenses including cheap jewelry. This is what he did with me to end his first marriage!” At the time, Sasha said her affair seemed wildly romantic so she didn’t listen to that nagging feeling – it seemed like fate but he was just married to the wrong person. Or maybe he just has huge commitment and honesty problems! Lesson 1: listen to your gut. Lesson 2: Karma is a b*tch ladies, so watch your back (or better yet, run from this one!)
Did you know the relationship was doomed from the start? Discuss in the comments.