After blogging last week about some of the warning signs of a doomed relationship that ladies should not ignore, several gents have point out several relationship red flags that they failed to see until divorce was imminent. So men, here are the top three serious warning signs that you shouldn’t take her to alter (or you may end up in a nasty divorce later):
- She’s never worked. She wears a Gucci jacket and carries Prada bags. Her red-soled (read: $$) high heels accent her legs and those diamonds in her ears. But she’s never paid for anything or worked in any job that might become a professional career. This is a red flag that she’s been supported by one man or another. She isn’t looking to change that equation just because of you. In fact, you may be her next source of income! “But she was a single mom when I met her,” said a client, we’ll call him Pete. When Pete met his wife she had two kids from two other failed marriages and she was living off child support. Now, faced with a divorce and paying support for his own kid, Pete could see the signs. “She always said she wanted to work but she’d never look for a job. It turns out she’d rather get her nails done instead.”
- She needs constant family input. She’s a family girl and you felt that her constant involvement with her family was a good thing. Until you realize that she cannot make a decision without consulting with and receiving approval of her family members. “I wanted a close-knit family and thought her bond with her mom was a sign that we’d raise a tight family,” said Tim. Flash forward ten years and Tim felt like his wife’s family had driven a wedge between them. When her mother’s approval of Tim eventually soured, the fights in the marriage soared. “The constant need for her mom’s approval has caused so much drama in our marriage,” he said. “When I tried to set limits on her mother, she turned on me.” An involved and caring family is one thing, but there is such a thing as setting boundaries. If she can’t set clear boundaries with her family now, it will only get worse – especially once kids enter the picture.
- She hit you during your first fight. Physical violence is never ok in any relationship from any partner (and ladies this includes you too). Several of my guy clients have become victims of increasing violence from their wives that started early on with a shove or a slap. Don’t rationalize that she was just “agitated” because it was your first real argument. Don’t let this eat at that male voice in your head that tells you to “man up” or that “she can’t really hurt you.” That first shove will lead to her breaking a plate (or laptop) over your head, throwing your car-keys (or scalding coffee) at your face, and using those manicured nails to inflict some serious injuries. In fact, one in seven men over the age of 18 has suffered abuse from a spouse or partner. As the violence gets worse it becomes harder to talk about or report because this isn’t “supposed to happen to men.”
Did you have warning signs you ignored that the relationship was doomed from the start? Discuss in the comments.