From isolation to manipulative helpfulness - Red flags women ignored in toxic relationships

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images

We spend so much energy trying to find a partner who will love us. For some, love is the only thing they look for in a partner, without taking into consideration other characteristics that make up a healthy relationship.

However, it is important to take red flags into account, especially at the start of a new relationship.

According to psychiatrist, Abigail Brenner the one effective way to identify red flags that could lead to a toxic relationship is knowing yourself.

“It’s essential to get to know yourself in every possible way before you move into a committed relationship,” she says.

READ MORE: A questionable fashion sense, rudeness, and more relationship deal-breakers single women consider

After knowing yourself, the next thing to do before committing to a relationship is to ask the hard questions soon after you meet someone new.

Psychologist, Marie Hartwell-Walker, says sometimes, red flags can be a source of individual growth and increased couple intimacy if the couple doesn’t ignore them and rather takes the next step — talking about them.

Communication assists in getting to know a person thoroughly, finding out how their previous relationship went and why it ended.

READ MORE: 'He showed up drunk, tried to sell his phone to the restaurant manager to pay for our dinner, then he fondled me' - Cape Town woman on her Tinder date

Instead of giving you a list of relationship red flags you should look out for, we gathered Reddit comments from those who saw these red flags but ignored them:

A would-be-father-in-law's warning

His dad coming over to my house unannounced and asking to speak to my parents privately. Apparently his exact words were ‘my son is not good for your daughter.’ We dated a year after that, and turned out to be abusive.


The way he talked about girls before we dated should have made me walk away, but we dated anyway and he beat me. Luckily I’m not around that anymore.
When he could no longer get it up without some sort of violence. It went from consensual BDSM type stuff to him punching me & calling me names during sex, videotaping me during all of that, and sending pics of me to his male family members. It then advanced to raping me on a daily basis. That was definitely the first red flag though.


Within the first week or two of the relationship: "I'd kill myself if you left me."
Whenever I would get upset with him about something he never verbally apologized just bought me things and I was dumb enough to accept them and keep pretending like I was happy.


Constant silent treatments as "punishment" I mean for several days at a time, and then being told I'm wrong for expecting a response when they're upset. And ok that's fair but not for 5 days straight a few times a month.

When he isolates you from loved ones

I was with him from about two years, easily the worst relationship I've ever been in. It began with isolating me, every day was an "Us" day until eventually no one bothered with me because they thought I was a flake. Less time was being spent downstairs with my family and more and more time was spent in my room. Not even my female friends were allowed to sleep over anymore, especially not in my room because that was "OUR" room.
Anytime I hung out with other friends she would have a horrible tragedy of some kind she needed comforting about. She would purposely take huge risks and tell me about it when I didn't go drinking with her, and then call me later crying and needing comfort. It got to the point where I was totally conditioned into doing what she wanted me to do without even realising it. Anytime I didn't hang out with her, something terrible happened!

When he controls and dictates your behaviour

They used to tell me what I could and couldn't buy when we went shopping together and dictated what I could wear when we went out on nights out. Tbh it was easier just doing what they wanted me to do so I spent a lot of time (10 years) just going along with what they told me to do.
It should have been obvious to me that he just needed someone to cling to after his wife left him. But I was lonely, and allowed a clingy, bitter, troubled person into my life.

Manipulative helpfulness

His “helpfulness”, a.k.a. how he took control of my entire life by driving me everywhere (making my car redundant), doing ALL the cooking, taking care of our finances, etc... I was only 19 when we got together, I had everything to learn about life and I only did when I was 40 years old. Within 3 years, I’ve learned that I was able to live an autonomous life, cooking, driving my kids around, budgeting... all things I had been told for 21 years that I was too clumsy/stupid to do them.

What are some red flags you ignored in a toxic relationship? Tell us here.

SOURCE: Reddit

Follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24