Sometimes, your partner is not all that they seem to be. The partner, who seems like Mr Right, or Miss Right, could be so wrong for you after all. The interesting thing is, the other party involved in the relationship would be able to know if their partner is not the right person if only they make a conscious effort to watch out for the ‘red flags’.
Watching out for red flags is not necessarily ‘fault finding’ – some people feel it is not proper to look out for faults in their partners, especially in budding relationships.
That might be true but we could prevent a lot of problems if we could only critically assess the situation before committing to marriage. Being honest with yourself doesn’t mean that your marriage won’t work out – it is usually the only reason why it works out in the first place. But if you ignore the warning signs that point to your marriage being a complete failure, you are not doing anyone any favours.
There are several red flags that will point to the fact that marriage with your partner will not be a success. The warnings signs may take some time to notice but that does not mean you should ignore them.
Here are some red flags, or warning signs, that you should look out for before committing to marriage with your partner.
How they treat other people:
Pastor Bisi Adewale, a seasoned marriage counsellor, advises that you should not necessarily judge your partner just by the way they treat you. According to Adewale, how your partner treats other people is the most accurate way to ascertain their true nature.
“Don’t judge a guy or a lady based on your relationship with him or her alone. You should consider their relationship with other people. How they treat others shows their real personality,” Adewale said.
He further added that people in relationships, who are thinking of settling down, should also watch out for rudeness on the part of their partners. According to him, rudeness, in most cases, leads to physical abuse and battering in marriages. Adewale also admonished that parties in a relationship should consider how their partners treat their parents, especially their mothers. “When a man does not respect his mother, definitely he will not respect his wife,” he noted.
In most cases, at the start of every relationship, people are always at their best behaviour. In fact, many people will go out of their way to act like the perfect person for their partner. However, if the difference between how the person is treating you and how they are treating others is too great, then there is cause for alarm. Giving a sugar-coated impression is one thing, pretending to be a completely different person is another. Pay close attention to how your significant other treats others around them, especially those they deem inferior, like waiters, caretakers, etc. If you don’t like what you see, consider breaking up with your partner because it’s only a matter of time before you are subjected to the same treatment.
If they always talk about their ex:
This might seem harmless – after all, there are people in all our lives we used to date and are still friends with. However, if your partner is always mentioning their ex way too often, there might be a reason for that. Determine the type of relationship that existed, or still exists, between them and make sure you are comfortable with it before moving on. If it seems that they might get back together (frequent calls, emergency situations where your partner is a shoulder to cry on, and so on), take heed. If that is the case, consider parting ways before you invest too much in the relationship.
Adewale stressed that constant reference to an ex is a serious red flag that should not be ignored.
“When a partner in a relationship is always referring to their ex, it shows that there is a problem somewhere. In such cases, they keep on saying things like, ‘When I was with Tony’, ‘When I was with Rita’. The other partner should take note of such constant references to the ex,” Adewale added.
When your boundaries don’t seem to concern them:
Most of us have boundaries and there is nothing wrong with that. Boundaries are simply a way to make sure we always feel safe and in control of our own destiny. Some people like to keep aspects of their lives private – a situation at home, or at work, or why they are not comfortable going out to crowded places and so on. It takes time to earn a place in someone’s life, to earn a right to be inside their comfort zone. When someone sidesteps the process of easing their way into your life and starts demanding information or starts demanding things to be as they want, they are violating your boundaries. It can seem trivial at first – pressuring you to go out when you would rather stay in after a long day at work, but these things add up in time and can cause real problems down the line.
Adewale describes lying as a major red flag that most people, unfortunately, ignore before going into marriage. According to him, lying is the source of many other problems that come up in marriages.
“One of the major red flags people ignore is lying. When you are with somebody and they are always lying to other people in your presence, one day they will lie to other people about you,” he said.
Partners that have shown signs of unfaithfulness in the course of courtship are unlikely to be faithful after marriage. “Unfaithfulness is related to lying. When you are with somebody who cannot be truthful, they are likely to be unfaithful,” he said.
People avoid labelling when they are unwilling to clearly state the nature of their relationship with their partners.
Adewale identified this conduct as a major red flag that anybody that is thinking of getting married should not ignore.
“When somebody is fully committed, they will always tell people that you are their fiancé or fiancée. But when they are not fully committed, they always introduce their partners as ‘my friend’. Anybody that is involved in such a situation should be careful,” Adewale said.
They bully you into submission with guilt:
So you missed one date three weeks ago and now you’re reminded of it every time there is a discussion? You are getting served with a classic guilt trip. It takes various forms: it can be an outright accusation that you don’t care for them as much as you should, or as much as they care for you, or it can come in form of the silent treatment. Either way, it is a red flag that should not be overlooked before marriage.
Adults communicate their fears, wishes, concerns, and aspiration in a structured manner and without throwing a tantrum. If you are doing things in your relationship just because you are feeling guilty, it may be time for you to stop and get out of that relationship.
Your core values are extremely different and no one is budging:
When your core values in life are different from your partner’s, a marriage between both of you will experience serious disagreements. Such differences should be discussed as soon as you realise the relationship is getting serious. This is not something that can easily be changed, so you ignore differing values at your own peril. If you are completely incompatible with the person, it is better to acknowledge it early on and say goodbye while you are still not too heavily emotionally involved.
They are not happy being themselves:
Somehow, you seem to be the centre their life revolves around. While this might be flattering, it is also somewhat troubling. People can’t exist in a happy relationship alone – they first have to be happy outside of that relationship, by being themselves. If your partner is not fulfilled in and of themselves, if they are leading an unhappy life and need to cling to you to get any sense of self-worth, it’s a sure sign you are heading for disaster.
Sooner or later, your relationship is not going to be enough for them; they will start to paint it black as they do everything in their life. At that point, you might end up being sucked into that same black hole. Best piece of advice you could get in a situation like this – get out while there is still time!
They don’t seem to be interested in your opinion:
Adewale warned against being in a relationship with anybody that does not respect your opinion, views and thoughts about anything. He identified such attitude as a major red flag that should not be ignored.
If your other half is doing most of the talking and your opinion is of no value whatsoever now, imagine how it is going to be down the road. This tends to get worse over time. If your opinion doesn’t count for something with the person you are with, then it’s time to find a different person!
Always blaming others, never accepting fault:
“It is a serious red flag if they are always refusing to accept responsibility when they are at fault, or always blaming others for their mistakes,” Adewale said.
Adewale, in the same vein, also advised intending brides, or grooms, to watch out for laziness and dirtiness on the part of their partners. “If the man or woman is lazy, the family is likely to dwell in poverty in future,” he said.
It is easy to make excuses for people we feel attracted to, however, it’s wise to watch out for these signs in relationships before we decide to go into marriage. meetmindful.com