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Do men always "show who they are" when you're dating them?

Posted by Anonymous
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Question: Are there always signs of him being an abuser, cheater, won't keep a job, whatever?




other, explain in comments

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Total Votes: 249

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I keep seeing this reply when a woman complains her ex was a cheater or an abuser.  

I don't think so, not by any means.  

First husband was the perfect boyfriend.  Not only did I get flowers, cards, or balloons each and every date, he showed up at random times with them.  He opened doors for me, pulled my chair out at the table, went out of his way to make me feel like a princess.  We never argued, not once, while dating.  5 years of friendship and dating, I thought I knew him.  30 days after we got married, he beat the living shit out of me.  It was at that point he told me if I ever tried to leave, he would kill me and my whole family.  I truly believed him and put up with not only his abuse but his cheating for 5 years.

DH was a lazy boyfriend.  Didn't really put much effort into the whole romantic dating thing like exH did but he was a good man, and the things he did (helping pay bills, household chores, etc) meant so much more.  He made promises to never hit and to never cheat.  His ex had cheated on him many times.  He knew my ex had cheated and abused me.  It took nearly 20 years of marriage, but he cheated in 2012.  It was a short fling, lasting about 6 weeks.  It has crushed my world.  I am trying to move on, but it isn't working.  The fact that he did this has shaken my inner core and I now question everything.  His cheating devastated my trust in him and I wonder if anything he says is the truth.  There has been NOTHING in the 23 years prior that would make me even think he would be contemplating cheating, let along act on it.          

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM
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by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:40 PM


by Platinum Member on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:41 PM
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Sign might have been too good to be true. A lot of times men SAY exactly what they mean. I wasn't there but there might have been small little things he said but were ignored because he DID a bunch of superficial things you fell for.
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by Cat Herder on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM
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I said "other" because some people are very good at telling you what you want to hear. This is one of those situational things.
by Anonymous 2 on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM
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No....sometimes there aren't signs people go along like normal then a flip switches and they abuse or cheat...

There are other times though that you do get those red flags
by Emerald Member on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM
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I think that if you spend enough time "dating" and don't rush into moving in together, kids, marriage..etc, then yes. 

I've only dated two men in my life and both are exactly how I expected them to be. I've been married 11 years, no surprises because we knew each other very well before getting married. 

by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM
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Honestly sometimes men put on a good show, some women as well.

by Not-a-felony on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:44 PM
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I voted no but was wanting to also vote other. I am a firm believer that others show us only what they want us to see. Often, a perpetrator can't even explain why they did-what they did. My point? Some people don't even really know themselves can others expect to know them?
by Platinum Member on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM
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I said other only because every situation is different.  I think that there are always clues, but we just don't always see them.  The longer we know a person, the better chance we have of recognizing these clues.  And then sometimes people can be so conniving and manipulative that they put on an act 24/7. 

by Anonymous 3 on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I think it is totally possible.  Some people are very good at manipulating.  Some are good at hiding things.  Some have a 'game face' they put on and take off at will so to speak.  DH was a completely different person in some ways once we were married even though we lived together before...some things started literally on our honeymoon, other things did not come out till we had kids.  There were no 'red flags' or 'warning signs', and most of the things he does are not typical abusive behaviors but are applied in a way that is abusive.  That probably sounds like it makes no sense but it does if you are living with it. 

by on Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM
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I think they do show you, but a lot of the time you see a red flag as a green one.

Aw, I would think about an now-ex, it's nice that we talk so much all the time, and he does this and that all the time, but if I were who I am today it would have made me wary. He called too much, he did too much, if he couldn't reach me it was too much, under the guise of concern.

If I was angry at him for something he went over the top to make me forgive him, like enlisting friends and family to talk to me or help him with a surprise. Sounds cute at the time, but it really isn't. I basically had a group of people around me making me feel bad because he was obviously SUCH a good guy, why couldn't I forgive him?

There were other hints he gave me to make me realize I was not #1 in his life, though, like talking about an ex too often and spending time with another female friend, but for a few reasons I rationalized all of this. (The ex had a brother he was very close to, the female friend was the child of his parents' friend and often at his home with them. I found out long after our breakup that he had been cheating with the friend.)

If I kept going I would be here all day, but like I said, I think men do show you who they are, but we don't want to see it or misinterpret it.

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