(Shellie Here: This week, we’re going to explore *personal responsibility* a bit and so I was thankful that one of the contributing bloggers was willing to share some of the red flags that she saw but ignored and now, years later, to say that her marriage is “challenging” is a bit of an understatement. When we see a red traffic light, it’s telling us to *stop*, to not move forward and to assess what’s going on around us. After reading Jael’s Hammer’s testimony, I encourage you to share in the comments section some of the red flags that you’ve seen in either your own past or current relationships and if you’re not paying attention to them…*why*?)

Now Jael’s Hammer has the floor…

I would have to admit I saw them.  But I blew them off as just my own paranoia and that surely, I could “turn him” from a red flag bearer to a torch carrier.  I was wrong.  Early on in our courtship, I noticed a few things that now, looking back with some maturity, were tell-tale signs of abuse or abusive possibility or tendencies.  Here we go:

1)  He was quick to “reprimand” his own mother, even in public. What was even more odd was that no one, including his father, came to her rescue or defense. They all sat around dumbfounded.

2) QUICK to anger, about small things. What usually follows suit, especially for those co-dependent ones of us, is that we “run” to “fix” it, which quickly turns into the “walking on egg shells” routine pretty quickly.  Ahhhh, but when we’re “in love/lust” we ignore these things and write them off as something our “love” can change about them.

3) “Everyone” was an idiot, to him. Apparently he was the only one who possessed common sense and he was not shy about making this known.

4) Rigidity.  Everyone adapted to him and his wants, and he would just excuse himself if the crowd didnt want to do what he wanted to about 70% of the time.

5) Critical. Critical of his co-workers, members of his own family but MOSTLY (over time) critical of my family.  This starts out small and works its way into bigger and bigger criticisms until you lose yourself, or what was once you, to this small, beaten up pile of self-worthlessness.

6) Blaming nature. He blamed everyone and everything for every sour circumstance he was involved with. While he would occasionally take the blame, he had to give an Nth percent of his own blame to someone else who “made him do it” or “made him think this or that”… yada  yada.  Avoiding taking any responsibility or hurts or misconduct is very common.

7) Resentful nature.  He re-lived past hurts, resurrected old wounds as though he got some energy or power from re-living the hate and the hurt.  Like it gave him strength to continue or something.  Just remember, he or she may be complaining about OTHERS for now, but soon it will be about YOU.