30 Times People Noticed Something Was Off About Their Friend’s Significant Other And Were Proven To Be Right Later
Very few things can make you as thrilled to bits as those early days of a new relationship. You get stirred up by the idea of love. You feel like walking in a fog of bliss and can’t stop thinking about the person. But an apparent match made in heaven can potentially cloud your judgment and make you ignore or miss the bright red flags waving directly at your face.
Luckily, seriously negative behaviors are obvious-looking from afar. And if relationship warning signs somehow go over your head, friends and family members are on a mission to keep an eye on things. So Redditor Nameshavebeenaltered decided to reach out to these attentive people to ask about the moment they realized there was something off about a loved one’s SO.
Thousands of members of the Ask Reddit community flooded the thread with responses about how their gut instinct proved to be right. From less-than-pleasant girlfriends with a taste for threats to boyfriends shamelessly lampooning their partners for everyone to hear, Bored Panda has picked out some of the worst relationship horror stories from an outside perspective. Continue scrolling and be sure to share with us what you think about them in the comment section below.
Whenever she would be having fun, he would pull her to the side and whisper lecture her about how she looked stupid. For dancing, laughing too loud, s**t like that.
Spoiler: Six years later and the divorce is finally underway!
He called her because the baby woke up and the baby is her responsibility. He went off about how she wanted the baby so it's not fair that he has to wake up and change a diaper. It was her first night out in months and he wanted her to come home to change a diaper. She hung up on him.
We were out to dinner. I told them a story about my ex GF about how she never got a job after we moved, spent all my money, forced us to get a luxury apartment and, as soon as she did get a job, started f*****g some dude at her job. I literally came home one night and found them in bed. After hearing all this my friends GF said "wow, she sounds really resourceful. She took you for a ride and got away with it. Good for her."
As soon as she was in the bathroom I told my friend to break up with her.
Sundy Gilchrist, a relationship coach and founder of Sublime Relationships, explained that we often turn a blind eye in those early days of a relationship. "Two things tend to happen when we first meet someone and take those first steps into increased intimacy with them," she told Bored Panda.
"One is that we tend to be on our best behavior and behave in ways that we think the other wants, so it ends up with two people wearing masks and pretending." When the facades finally come off, and the real person steps out from behind the pretense, "it can be a shock to find that the person you fell in love with was just a story."
Another thing that often happens in new relationships is that the "love drug" takes over and "can have us in a mild to severe obsessive-like state with a lack of appetite, sleep, concentration, and an overwhelming desire to be with the focus of our desire, sometimes to the exclusion of all else," Gilchrist said.
Someone 'hacked' a friend's boyfriend's computer and posted a bunch of very sensitive photos on 4chan and other similar websites. But for some strange reason nothing else (like his bank records, email, etc.) was compromised. How odd that this hacker would **only** be after her nudes.
I immediately said "It was him. He's the one posting the pics online." She spent so much time saying what a great guy he was and how it couldn't possibly be him because he had an important job (working for a major politician) and that he wouldn't compromise his dream of a career in politics.
A few months later, she finally came to realize that he was an emotionally abusive psychopath and dumped him. Then he started posting her name and address (and pics) on fetish websites, claiming that she had a r**e fetish and wanted people to just barge into her apartment and r**e her. She got a restraining order, he kept doing it, and eventually he got prosecuted and is no longer allowed near a computer. I still think he got off way too easy.
I met them as an already married couple and everything seemed fine until she went into labor at my house. It was her second child so she knew it was early labor and decided to rest on our couch while we hung out. We were going to watch her older child when she went to the hospital anyway and our house is 30 minutes closer to the hospital, so it made sense for the three of them to hang around our house until "go time." That's when my husband and I started noticing her husband's strange behavior.
He was a very charming guy and a very good father to his son, but he started making fun of his wife during contractions. He would roll his eyes and tell her to shut up if she even made the slightest groan. He joked that she was a p**sy and was overreacting. The whole situation got so awkward that my husband insisted he go home to get their hospital bags, just to give the poor woman a break from her crappy husband.
A few months after the birth of her second child, he hit his wife with his car while she physically tried to block him from leaving during an argument. He disappeared for days and didn't come home until she proved to him that she hadn't gone to the hospital or contacted the police. Thus began systematic abuse that continued for two more years and she hid from me like an expert. He would hurt her and then threaten to withhold money for groceries if she said anything to anyone.
I knew he was a d**k and I knew she often needed me to pick her up to get food from food pantries because "he was bad with money," but I had no idea he was hurting her. She finally left him after he threw her through a window while she was eight months pregnant with their third child.
Well, she's 20 and he's over 10 years older. Six months into their relationship she tells me he wont let her touch his phone, but gets mad if she doesn't let him touch hers. A year passes and she's never been to his place, met his family, and the only time they see each other is at work.
Dude is either married or has kids
Just to clarify some stuff
I don't believe age gaps are bad, my friend is very mature for her age, but I'd never date my boss.
The phone thing isn't bad, i dont check my bfs phone, but it's kind of weird if you forbid your partner from ever looking at your phone
They've been together for more than a year, he doesn't want to meet her mom, they don't go to his place (i haven't asked why because she gets mad)
And no, having kids is not bad either, but being lied to about having kids is not okay for some.
She won't let me meet him, or see him because he doesn't want to (they dont take pictures) but I've heard him on the phone
Im not saying this means the guy is a bad person, but it feels off and i felt like it fits here
We also managed to get in touch with Katherine Baldwin, a love, dating and relationships coach, and the author of How to Fall in Love. She told us that one reason why we miss, overlook, or even override red flags when we do spot them is simply that we’re too excited.
"Our hormones are all fired up and it's easy to let our passion and our desire for the relationship to succeed to blind us to the other person's less-than-ideal qualities or any red flags," she said. "That's why it's so important to date in a healthy, grounded way, with our eyes wide open, instead of dating with a deep craving."
Negative behaviors can turn an apparently romantic relationship into an ugly partnership if they are ignored. And the deeper you get, the more painful it might become. "Red flags we miss or overlook at the start of a relationship will always be there, and unless they're addressed and resolved, they can develop into serious issues that sabotage the relationship, causing hurt and heartache," Baldwin argued.
Whilst out at a uni party, I ran into my friend's SO. He was out of town at the time. She started dancing with me, getting closer by the minute. When she was about to start grinding on me, I asked "what are you doing?" To which she replied with "it's okay, *** likes it when I flirt with other guys." Uh, no he f*****g doesn't. He's one of my best mates, I know him pretty damn well. We eventually convinced him to end it with her, and he's much happier for it.
The second time we met she cornered me in the bathroom and threatened to cut me if I spoke to her boyfriend again.
He showed abusive and manipulating behaviour from day one. But it was fine because she loved him and she could change him. A year later he had cheated at least once and was constantly threatening to kill himself if she left him. It was fine though because really he loved her but didn't know how to express it.
Year two and he controlled her facebook and phone, and he decided who she could and couldn't talk to. It was romantic though because he just really cared about her.
Year three and he'd cheated at least 4 times and he'd also pretended to kill himself and break up with her multiple times each, after one of which she tried to kill herself.
We had a whole intervention thing while she was in the hospital and she agreed to leave him.
Two weeks later they were back together. He spent $800 on my birthday gift, how could he NOT love me?! Oh yeah and I cant talk to you anymore squeakypop because he says I shouldnt.
Shes still with him
Gilchrist added that control can be one such red flag. "Control of another, often has its roots in feelings of insecurity, sometimes manifesting as jealousy and possessiveness," she said. "What can initially look and feel like care, attention, devotion, togetherness and belonging, can change into realizing that you have no say, no freedom, and feel controlled to some greater or lesser degree," she explained.
Luckily, our friends and family are on the lookout for such harmful behaviors. But our affection for another person can be so strong that we might disregard their warnings. "It can be very painful to hear criticism and judgments of someone we have fallen in love with, and love can indeed 'make us blind' to their behaviors," Gilchrist told us.
We played DnD with him and it seemed like every week he'd say "rule number 1: don't touch the kids!" (He was a teacher) he always meant it as a joke, and it always made sense in context, but it didn't sit right with me. For one thing, no one thought it was that funny the first time, so why call back to it? Also, the regularity with which he said it made it almost seem like a mantra to me.
They arrested him last year for allegedly snap chatting with an underage girl he met over the internet.
In hindsight there were a bunch of other warning signs too, but that was the one that initially weirded me out.
When he started trying to pick fights with me in order to separate me from my cousin. We were in our mid teens, he looked 17 or 18, very clean cut and geeky in a boy band sort of way, you know, the "sensitive one" with the glasses. He was well mannered, respectful to our moms, but he seemed predatory to me. I didn't have the best people around me growing up, so I learned to recognize potential threats early, and this guy set off all my danger bells. Just small things, like watching too closely to see how people reacted to him, and the way his smile never reached his eyes. I wasnt rude, but i didnt fawn over him either. Once he realized that I wasn't charmed by him, he started avoiding me, telling her he didn't feel comfortable around me, and she'd have to see him alone. He tried bullying me any time he saw me, while still bragging to me that he was her protector and her white knight.
Found out a few months later that he was actually in his mid twenties, and had a record for stalking and and assaulting underage girls. Too bad we didn't know this before he gave her herpes.
My best friend started to date this girl about a year ago. She was awesome always seemed so nice and was very fun to be around. About 3 months into the relationship and every thing was going great. Then he asked her to move in with him. The day comes to move in and I go over to help move the heavy stuff and low and behold she shows up with a 5 y.o. When he ask who it is she said her son! We were blown away. She never mentioned it, said anything about having a kid.
Her Facebook had 0 pics of her kid, no one mentioned her kid. It was a big cover up and she basically just wanted someone to support her and her kid. He noped outta that one right then and there.
Sometimes, our minds play tricks on us and convince us we can change our loved ones, or that they are going through a phase, or give them some other excuse to explain away their behavior, she argued. "If more than one person, who you know loves you, is saying the same thing about your partner, then it’s time to take notice of that, as painful as it may be."
Baldwin agrees it's a good idea to take on board what our friends and family members are saying about the relationship. "They have our best interests at heart and can often see red flags that we are oblivious to because we're so caught up in the thrill of the relationship."
"Of course, it's important to make our own decisions, so listen to other people's advice and then listen to yourself, to your truth, to your intuition. In order to do so, you will need to come down off the pink cloud and see the relationship for what it is rather than look at it through rose-tinted spectacles," she added.
First time I met him, he told me he had the biggest crush on her for two years before they started dating, but he was waiting for her to lose her virginity and turn 16. He was 33.
*Edit: We're in Canada and age of consent is 16. Still f*****g gross.
me and my cousin grew up together like brothers,
I immediately knew his new girlfriend didn't like me from the looks she would give me or how blunt she was when I tried to engage her in conversation.
A few months down the line and I try and arrange a meal with my cousin, asked him to bring his girlfriend along so we can break the ice. everything was arranged, I showed up at the restaurant and they didn't. I was stood up.
they are now married and have two kids. I wasn't invited to his stag night or his wedding I was (and still am, gutted)
I met my wife and invited him to my stag do, he was all paid up and I couldn't wait to see him again. it was the thing I was looking forward to the most..... he didn't show... again gutted
he and his wife showed up to my wedding and acted as if there was no problem, it was quite strange but I didn't care as it was great to just spend some time with the man I had considered my brother.
we kind of kept in contact via text but never met up, even though I tried to arrange it a few times.
Then my son was born, I was desperate for them to meet each other and bent over backwards to meet up.
I agreed to meet at a play area so his daughters could tag along and go play and he got to meet my son (who is named after his brother who passed away)
I sat there for an hour before he messaged me to say he wasn't coming.
as a final attempt to salvage some kind of relationship I invited his family to my sons christening, I got a message an hour after it had finished to say he wasn't going to make it as his wife had arranged to do something.
that was 4 years ago and I haven't heard, seen or spoke to him since.
still makes me sad but as long as he is happy, then that is all that matters.
EDIT: Just to expand a little, I have tried to contact him many, many times, via text, phone, facebook message but I haven't had a response.
I don't believe he is happy, but I don't know enough about his relationship to pass comment.
He has cut me off and there is nothing I can do to change that, I just hope that one day we do get a chance to sit and talk it through, just so he knows I don't hold anything against him or her. if he wants me to be part of his life then great, if he doesn't, then at least he knows I still love him.
She was super friendly, but I’d catch her looking at me out of the corner of my eye with… not a nasty expression exactly, but not a friendly one either, sort of wary (I’m also a girl) …
She’d also casually say odd little details when talking about her life that made it seem like she had a pretty skewed idea of relationships and gender roles (she went to an all girl’s [boarding] school, and even though she was 24 she was the first of all of her friends to ever have a boyfriend) like saying “it’s ridiculous to expect a woman to change a lightbulb on her own haha!” or making out that some things were a big deal in relationships, when they’re really not, as if she’d got all her knowledge from rom coms… Just really tiny things that wouldn’t be significant on their own, but added all together it really set me on edge.
She ended up going full on psycho and not letting him see any of his friends or do any of the things he enjoyed for two whole years, because she was basically jealous of every single other woman in the world, even his male friends’ girlfriends. It took his brother to come round and have good long chat for him to realise she was a control freak who was ruining his life - it was a timely escape too, since she was starting to talk about babies.
To avoid finding yourself in similar situations, the love coach advised you to write a list of potential red flags to know what to look out for. Baldwin suggested taking some time to understand yourself and your relationship behaviors. That way, you can break unhealthy patterns and establish new ones, "So that you can fall for emotionally available people rather than unavailable people, for example."
Throwaway for obvious reasons.
I always knew, from the very first time I met him, that he was a bad person. Charismatic, charming, affectionate to her. But his eyes were...empty?
They married 14 years ago, when she and I were in 11th grade. She just turned 18, had a horrible home life (she unofficially lived with us, my parents being more of parents to her than her own). He was a bit older and had enlisted in the military, this was during the height of the Iraqi war.
A month before he deployed, after they had moved 3,500 miles away, he beat her in a drunken rage after she discovered he was having an affair.
While he was deployed, he won her back thru emails and phone calls.
He came home far more damaged than before. Things seemed OK for a few months, until she walked in on him in their bed with another woman while their infant son slept in a bassinet beside the bed. She naturally threw the chick out before trying to make him leave as well. He broke her phone and her jaw. She was still thousands of miles away from me but I packed a bag and drove 4 days to get to her.
She ultimately took him back and things seemed to stabilize. 3 more children and many years passed without incident.
When their youngest was 2, he beat her again, this time in front of their children. Police were called and he played the role of victim, using his PTSD and other post-military diagnoses.
She has no job, no high school diploma (she dropped out to be a military wife), and no family to fall back on besides me. We offered to have her and the kids move in with us temporarily until she got on her feet. But she chose to stay.
Recently, she and I drew up a notarized document stating that I am to get their children if something were to happen to her caused by him.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it never comes down to that.
The three of us were cooking food for a school project and he jokingly splashed us with water. We splashed him back and he proceeded to have a temper tantrum and sit on the couch in the other room for an hour.
Was friends with this guy for a year while deployed overseas in the UK. His wife was always just plain mean to him in front of others, like on everything ie calling him stupid, talking about their failing sex life in front of him to friends, telling "a real man would earn more money for the family" let alone she was also calling her two year stint in the UK her vacation from work. She also refused to stop hanging out with his male friends (who she always would stay with even overnight). After one nasty comment she said to him in front of our boss at a retirement dinner, i said in front of him, "dude, your wife is a b***h".
A week later, while he was at work and thinks shes in the states visiting her mother, he comes home to an empty home. Everything was gone from couch, bed, even his laptop and video games. He calls the cops thinking hes been robbed. Turns out the his future ex wife came back with her family and movers, cleaned out the home, his savings accounts...everything without a word. He lost his home and was forced to move into barracks.
I just said to him, im sorry dude, but your wife is still a b***h.
Once the love glasses fall off and you end the relationship because of your partner’s negative qualities, you may end up with another person that showcases the exact same red flags. "This shows us the personal growth work to do," Gilchrist said and added it might be wise to seek help from professionals.
"We tend to think that the other person is the one with the problem and needs to change, and whilst this might be indeed true, what’s truer is we need to change too if we are to have a great relationship where red flags get to be used as indicators for transformation, rather than just things to look out for and avoid," she said.
He made her stop being a vegetarian. He would slip meat into her food or outright force her to eat chicken nuggets.
He is genuinely concerned that I am going to turn his girlfriend gay. He goes on and on about it, well beyond a joke, and she just rolls her eyes. No idea what it is based on, but he's obsessed
Long story. Best friend was adopted as a kid. Adoptive parents killed in a car accident when he was 11. He was in the back seat. He survived.
Became even better mates. Same schools and college. He decided he was gonna marry this girl. I was happy for him but I had never met her as I lived out of the country at the time. So wedding is in 6 months. I fly down to see family and end up going with my the girl friend and some friends and we all meet up at a local restaurant.
Meet his fiance. She seems nice and welcoming. She flirts subtly with me. Nothing major but talks about my appearance quite a bit. In front of her fiance. I think nothing much of it.
Later in the evening I go to the bathroom. I end up walking to a cubicle and as I enter she jumps in front of me and closes the door with me inside... I ask her what she's doing. Her response is anything I want.
I immediately push her out. Sit down and in shock have no idea what I'm supposed to do.
I go back to the table. I'm quiet. I realize that I should tell or say something to him.
I pull him outside and tell him what happened. He is too in shock. Ruins the whole evening and next day I flew back to my home town with my girlfriend to see my family.
We don't speak for months until the wedding. I'm his best man.
Whole family was off to me. Bride hated me. We don't speak anymore but I know what happened and friends support my decision to tell him. He claims she says it was all a misunderstanding due to being drunk. I know what I saw. I know what happened. I know what she was trying to do. I feel bad because I have probably lost a friend but my conscious is clear.
Good luck Philip.
However, Baldwin would also like to remind you to be aware that we might see red flags where there aren't any. "We might put barriers and blocks in the way of relationships because we're scared to love. If this resonates, it's time to explore your fears about getting into an intimate relationship," she concluded.
He had a full-on, toddler-level temper tantrum twice at a group game night. Once because during a trivia question he couldn't remember the planets in the solar system. Then, in the same night, he got pissy playing Uno, threw his cards down and stormed out. We all kind of looked at each other and at our friend. That was when we knew he was.. 'off.' My friends and I were all in our mid-20's and he was over 30, so it was definitely not acceptable behavior.
A couple weeks later was my friend's birthday, so we all went out for the night and ended up at our neighborhood bar. He threw another temper tantrum (I think it was over scoring for darts or something equally ridiculous...), stormed out and peeled away in his car, leaving us with no ride home. This was pre-Uber/Lyft and none of us wanted to spend the money on a taxi, so we sobered up on the ~two mile walk back to my friend's house.
Thankfully...she broke up with him not long after. She is now with a wonderful guy who not only knows the planets of the solar system, but also treats her a lot better.
My friend's SO in high school had a skinned cat hanging on his wall!! I knew right then that he was f*****g crazy. Thank god she isnt with him anymore!
Edit: He had just graduated. I was hanging out with them in his room, look up and see this pelt with head and everything. I obviously ask "What the f**k?" He then brags about how he killed it and skinned it himself. I love cats and was disgusted and horrified at the same time. I dont think I ever left a place so fast in my life. He seemed like a normal dude, but my first thought when seeing this poor kitty was "serial killer"
Edit #2: It was just your average house cat.
When he installed some kind of app on my best friend’s computer so that he could control the mouse with his phone. I think this was two months after I met him - 6 months into their relationship. I thought that was real [messed up] but “haha it’s only a joke, why do you think it’s weird gan1lin2?”
About a year later, he asked her to sign into Facebook to ‘see if Facebook was working for her’. Later that day she came over worried and asked me if he could’ve saved her password even if she told Chrome to not save it. We kind of bounced ideas around that “no, I don’t think so... I mean unless he put a keylogger on his computer? But that would be messed up.” And sure enough, that’s exactly what he did.
Notable favorite: After breaking up, he also tried to pose as me on kik so he could talk to her. He used a username that was like “gan11in2” so it was easily mistaken.
The whole relationship was a mess.
The first time I met him was at her birthday party. He shook my hand then proceeded to try and grind on me in front of her and her family. Then when I called him out on it everyone said I was the problem and was just jealous. A year later, it turns out he had been cheating on her continuously and had gotten 2 girls pregnant while dating her.
When my husband and I were helping them move and he would only speak to or answer my husband. I had an idea of how to move some stuff up the stairs and the guy just blew me off. So I told my husband to casually mention the same damn idea and poof! It was an awesome idea so we had to try it right then and there. This always put her down and she would just take it. In the end HE broke up with her because he felt she wasn't thin/pretty enough for him. Then would get mad at her for trying to move on and tried to sabotage every relationship she tried to have. I ended up ending the friendship because I couldn't stand listening to her complain about how he was treating her and she would keep going back.
My best friend's ex boyfriend walked like he was trying to intimidate people. And every time he asked someone a question about someone's opinion (hey what do you think of that statue, do you like sauerkraut) he'd respond to their answer with "I had a feeling you were going to say that." It seems harmless but it was every single time, and if you called him out on it (you couldn't possibly have known I was allergic to x!) he lashed out in anger. Every time she tried to break up with him he cornered her and wouldn't let her leave the room until she relented, and even their couple's therapist thought she should leave him for her own safety after two or three sessions. He would wait for her shift to end just sitting in his car in the parking lot and if she didn't come out fast enough he'd storm into the building in a fury, but if she came out on time he'd just leave. He wasn't there to pick her up, just to monitor her... which he also did through a gps tracker he put in her car.
She now has a restraining order and has moved twice. He broke into her apartment with a gun while she was deep asleep and just snuggled up behind her with the gun between them as if it was his d**k, and that was how she woke up. There are other things but this is getting long.
edit because people are ~~nosy~~ curious about other things he did:
-helped me move, but only to find out where I lived. After their breakup he came to my door several times looking for her, and when she was generally Not Here he settled for monitoring my house
-extreme fitness nut who was obsessed with telling people whether or not he could bench them (hint: usually not)
-lots of gaslighting, don't remember the details
-insisted on changing her cat's name, which didn't stick
-wouldn't let her *not* watch tv with him even though there are a hundred things she'd rather do than watch tv at any given time, up to and including a pap smear. This inspired multiple fights
-charmed her parents so successfully that they insisted she go to couple's therapy to "work out their differences" which were "I don't want to be constantly monitored, also your general controlling behavior is creepy" vs "you have nothing to hide if you're doing nothing wrong"
-ultimately their breakup was supervised by the couples councilor , who had building security waiting in the lobby and her hand on a panic button (who knew she'd have that)
-stormed into her work when she quit (post-breakup) because he decided they fired her and his plan was apparently to threaten them to get her her job back
-took her to court to argue against the restraining order. Judge looked at friend's documentation and how she was leaning away from him even on opposite sides of the room and he was making kissy faces at her and granted the order
-made very public posts on some weightlifting social media thing about what a crazy ex-girlfriend he had and *linked her profile in his own profile*
She messaged me to let me know she wouldn't be on her phone until she got a new one bc the one she has is busted. When I pressed a little, he had thrown it and stomped it when she complained about it dropping calls and having a s**t battery. So, typical best friend I'm like, I would make the bastard pay, blah blah. Fast forward a few hours, he is on her Facebook messenger, reading our conversation, trying to justify it to me. It gave me the w*****s to have him read our conversation. He has also thrown a remote through their plasma tv when he was mad. I know that he will be violent with her one day, if he hasn't already and she is just keeping it secret. It makes me sick to my stomach.
He hated her spending time with me. Snide jokes about lesbian lovers and wondering about the true mature of our relationship. The day we met finally, he told me that m**f-munching can't compete with a good hard dicking. Then he started insisting that I was closeted and obsessed with her, my boyfriend was just a beard. Funny thing is, I was meeting this girl after 5 months. He was scary controlling and insecure.
4 years later, they are sadly still together. I have given up at this point.