Disclaimer: Partners in Men’s Health and Tar Tales — Change for Children.

No one goes into a relationship wanting a partner who is mean, manipulative, and controlling. In most cases, the partner seems fine in the begging. They may be rough around the edges, but the good sometimes outweighs the bad.

Then, their true selves begin to show. They become plain insufferable! You’re soon in a relationship with someone for a long time, and ending things is just hard.

While you can’t always see the real face of your partner until a long time has passed, there could be subtle red flags early in the relationship that may indicate that they are not relationship material. You should reconsider whether or not you want to devote your life to them. Here are some red flags to look out for. Seeking professional help from an online therapist (PMH)can be effective in talking you through red flags in a relationship.

You Must Justify Their Bad Behavior

Your relationship shouldn’t consist of writing apologies for your partner. Sometimes, there is a reason for the undesired behavior, but often you are trying to take something inexcusable and use mental gymnastics to excuse it. If you find yourself doing this, it is a red flag.

Your Family And Friends Don’t Like Them!

The cliché of the overly critical parent has made some people brush off any criticisms family members may have of their partner. Still, sometimes, they might be onto something. If you generally respect the opinions of your family or friends, it’s worth examining how likely it is that they’re completely wrong about disliking your significant other.

This isn’t to say that you should break up with your partner just because your parent or friend doesn’t like your partner. However, you should listen to their words and try to look at them objectively, as your family and friends could be hinting at smaller yellow flags that could become one major red flag down the line if you ignore them.

They Don’t Want To Take Responsibility

No one has their life fully together, especially if the two of you are young. If your partner is in a bad situation, such as not having a job, it doesn’t mean they are not worthy of having a romantic relationship with you. However, if they are always making every excuse under the sun as to why they haven’t had a job yet or won’t change another problem they have, they may not be worth dating and could be a deal breaker. You’re in a relationship, not babysitting. A lack of accountability is always a relationship red flag!

They Just Can’t Apologize

One of the cornerstones of a good relationship is apologizing and compromising. Couples will get into fights or be wrong about things, and apologizing is a great way to hold accountability and help repair the problems you will inevitably face.

However, if your partner won’t ever admit they were wrong or apologize for something they blatantly did, then this may be a sign of a bad relationship. Some people have a hard time admitting fault, which can make your relationship’s future more complicated.

How can the two of you grow if one refuses to admit their flaws?

What To Do When You Experience These Red Flags?

We are all flawed people, and your partner will likely have some flaws or traits you don’t like. If you experience a few red flags, it may not necessarily be a reason for you to cut ties just yet. They may not be aware of their behavior, and what you perceive as a red flag could be an honest mistake and not deliberate. If they’re willing to make a change, they will spend time listening and trying to improve their behavior. If they get aggressive and attend therapy just to break up then maybe it’s time to end the relationship and try to find someone who does want to grow with you.

1. Know Your Boundaries

Trust your gut if you think you’re in an emotionally (verbal or psychological) abusive relationship. Know when it’s time for your partnership to end. Certain circumstances are intolerable, and a deal breaker and these relationship red flags are one of them.

2. Watch Out For Manipulation

Some people want to manipulate you. Overtly verbal or emotional abuse is wrong. You could be spending energy trying to fix something that will stay broken. Some people don’t give others respect, and that’s an issue and one of the most common red flags in a relationship.

Sometimes manipulation might not appear negative on the surface, however. Love bombing is a common strategy used in unhealthy relationships by manipulative and abusive partners, too.

You need to focus on your mental health, and a person who negatively wields power over you is not healthy. Unfortunately, some people are out to hurt others. You can find someone who treats you well and doesn’t have anger management issues or manipulate your feelings for their gain. If you’ve told someone multiple times to stop doing the behavior and they don’t listen to your boundary, that’s a problem. It can even involve silent treatment! A manipulative person lacks integrity, and they might not even realize what they’re doing to you, but their excuses do not justify behavior that makes you feel bad about yourself.

Speak Up!

It can be difficult to speak up when you feel unheard. Some people are focused on their voices and forget to listen to others. If you’re in a relationship where your partner isn’t listening and lacks self-awareness, it’s okay to point out that you have things to say. If you advocate for yourself, you will probably feel more empowered. It can contribute to your personal growth. If you find that your partner brushes you off every time you stand up for yourself, that’s a red flag that something isn’t right. It’s crucial to speak up for yourself.

Everybody has a story to share. That is why we created the TAR Tales website, where you can share your experiences with the rest of our community and help us raise awareness of the victims of domestic abuse. We invite you to speak up and share your survival and recovery stories. Why? Because it is beneficial for your healing and will become the foundation of international public health, educational, and awareness campaign.

Sharing stories is the only way we can connect as humans.

Learning more about someone and their story enables us to understand them on a different level and form a deeper connection. For those of you who are struggling to open up, remember:

Safety is not the absence of the threat, but the presence of connection.

Guilt Isn’t a Reason to Stay.

Guest Post Disclaimer: Any and all information shared in this guest blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog post, nor any content on CPTSDfoundation.org, is a supplement for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers. Thoughts, ideas, or opinions expressed by the writer of this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of CPTSD Foundation. For more information, see our Privacy Policy and Full Disclaimer.