3 Reasons You Missed the Red Flags and Got into a Abusive or Unfaithful Marriage

It's not your fault.



People may accuse you of ignoring the warning signs before the wedding.
You might be kicking yourself right now, saying "I should have seen that my spouse had issues." Or "I should have taken it more seriously."
But of course, hindsight is 20/20, and it may not be your fault that you missed (or ignored or excused) the red flags. It's not your fault. A lot of nice religious brides and grooms don’t see any red flags and warning signs of danger, or they don't walk away and break the engagement. Why?



1) Perhaps there weren’t any warning signs or red flags.

Some people are just very good at hiding their bad character traits. They fool everyone, even the pastors and parents and counselors. Often abuse or betrayal first happens on the honeymoon, or during pregnancy, or during an illness, or some other time that the abused or betrayed spouse is vulnerable.




2) Perhaps there were minor warning signs.

There may have been small things that bothered you, but they were brushed off as typical immaturity. No one thought the problems would grow to this level. Sometimes their behaviors take on an ominous shadow immediately after commitment (engagement or wedding or first child). Sometimes they are latent and don't emerge until years later when the stress of life and disappointments crop up. Then we were told by others that they were "normal" ups and downs in marriage. We were told that we must try harder, pray more, and be more agreeable.


Why do kindhearted women and men see minor warning signs and stay optimistic about their future spouse?

    • —The woman had never been taught what a "red flag" was. (I hear this a lot.)
    • —The man felt "bothered" about his girlfriend's behavior but was told, "It's okay." And he had no one to confide in.
    • —The woman was told that her "feelings" were not to be trusted. Feelings went up and down. She had to ignore her feelings and make the decision to "love."
    • —The man was told, "It's not that bad."
    • —The woman had been told that marriage was God’s best way of maturing a man.
    • —The man met her at church and was taught that God could make any marriage between two Christians turn out well.
    • —The woman was told that he had truly changed. And if she really loved him, she would “stand by her man” and give him the support he needed to change for the better.
    • —The man was concerned, but when they were dating, she had told him it was “all in the past" and she just wanted a "second chance."
    • —If the woman is devoutly religious, she was told all her life that her good example would inspire her future husband to be a better man. (Yet notice what the Bible says, "Your kindness to the wicked does not make them do good. Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong and take no notice of the LORD’s majesty."
      —Isaiah 26:10
    • —Often the man was told that the love of Jesus in his life would fill the holes in her heart from childhood issues.
    • —The woman had been told that marriage was God’s best way of maturing a man.
    • —The man wanted to show his girlfriend what a truly loving man is like because she had a toxic father.
    • —The man was told all his life that his stability and good example would provide the solidity his future wife needed to be a better woman.
    • —The woman had been taught to “forgive and forget,” so even if she saw issues, she was taught to smooth them over, not speak of them, and stay silent because marriage was the chief goal.


Here are some examples:

Dangerous Red Flag Traits How we Reinterpret These into Good, Safe, and Pleasant Traits
• Spendthrift, overspends He/she is generous
• Jealous He/she is protective and really cares about me
• Possessive He/she is concerned, devoted, loyal
• Arrogant, conceited He/she is self-assured
• Immature, childish He has boyish charm; She’s so cute
• Stubborn He/she is persistent
• Dominating/controlling He/she is strong minded
• Insecure He/she is vulnerable
• Uncompromising He/she is self-disciplined
• Tightwad He/she is conservative, economical in finances
• Fastidious He/she is discriminating
• Compulsive He/she is faithfulness, persistence, steadfastness
• Abusive/likes to fight He/she is competitive
• Moody He/she is emotional
• Critical He/she is analytical minded
• Non-demonstrative He/she is stoic, calm, tranquil, not easily ruffled
• Hothead/ irritable He/she is excitable
• Instigator He/she is motivated
• Nosy, intrusive He/she is inquisitive minded, he/she likes me and wants to know me better
• Suspicious He/she is concerned

3) Perhaps there were warning signs or red flags...

Perhaps there were warning signs or red flags, but the couple, or their parents, or their church were so excited about marriage and so over-confident that marriage would mature both parties or that religious commitment would guarantee success, that they went forward anyway.  The pastors saw the issues but deluded themselves and said it would all go away. But just because all the boxes were ticked, doesn’t mean the marriage will be safe, loving, and respectful.




Maybe you missed some signs, but perhaps your only "mistake" was being a loving, kind person who wanted to give yourself sacrificially to the institution of matrimony. You trusted in God, believed in miracles, had faith in your church teachings, were filled with hope, and were optimistic about marriage. How can anyone fault you for that?


Now stop blaming yourself, and stop listening to others who blame you.

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Start Here



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