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Is it a red flag if a woman has been 3 or 4 times and says all the marriages were abusive?

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Question - (16 February 2017) 16 Answers - (Newest, 17 February 2017)
A male United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

well asking a question, if a woman, a man started dating, tells you they been married three or four times, is that a big red flag, my own opinion is that they all couldn't be bad,one or two maybe,an if they say all three men were abusive

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2017):

Honestly I wish it was as easy as that 'Andie's Thoughts'. You really don't know the signs by the second one. It took my third relationship to even realise that it WAS abuse!! Never mind being an expert on judging people who are expert at manipulation, persuasion and coercion without you realising for a long time. Abusive partners all use different tactics you see, so if your last partner called you all the names under the sun and your new one doesn't, you don't always twig. They are VERY clever people and pretty ruthless and prepared to wait for years before showing their true colours. Often you are committed to them by marriage or children before the first HINT of anything!! So please don't judge people for saying they should know by the second one :-) It is NOWHERE as easy as that!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2017):

Some people do end up marrying 3 or 4 times, but you have to wonder why they've had that many failed marriages. All could have been abusive and that's why she left but then you also have to wonder..

Did they marry too quickly? Did they ignore red flags or incompatibility? Do they have a problem with being single or in a relationship, but unmarried? Do they have poor judgement? Are they never happy in a marriage or never marrying men they're happy with and sacrifice too much?

One example of this is my aunt who has had a similar number of divorces as the lady your dating and she's now in another marriage with a man who isn't sexually compatible with her and isn't open to her having a lover to satisfy her sexual needs. Normally I would say that opening your relationship is risky but you shouldn't stay in a sexless relationship if it's not something you both want and my aunt stays with him because she loves him. I know it's her choice but why waste your life with someone not sexually compatible with you who won't let you get it elsewhere either??

Back to this lady you need to find out why she chose to marry or ended up marrying so many abusive men. Being in a relationship with an abusive person is easy to fall into but you dont fall into 3 marriages with them all..

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (17 February 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntMultiple abusive relationships is common because it's what they fall into.

Multiple abusive marriages is different because it's committing to someone before seeing their true nature or knowing they're abusive and ignoring/accepting/hoping to change it.

I don't think you should pre-judge her on it, but I do think you should ask her gentle questions about how she ended up marrying "3 or 4" (which one is it?) abusive men.

It's possible that she married and divorced 3 or 4 abusive men, but she'd have known the signs by the second one and hopefully not have married them, but she still did - raising concerns about her mental stability and choice in men.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2017):

I've been in three abusive relationships. I realise that this is a pattern for me and as my father was abusive I think that might be why.

I have been married once and engaged once. Both men I left. Neither wanted me to go and both tried to make me stay. I may not be perfect, obviously I'm not, but I've never had a man leave me.

Just because one might have issues doesn't mean you're gaga and a nightmare.

And just for the record, DeadEyeDick's story about what his granddad said is SO wrong on SO many levels.

Firstly, YES that's exactly what happens in abusive relationships. The more you try, the MORE you are abused. Abusive partners are NOT logical or compassionate.

ALSO your grandfather's story is insinuating that if a man comes home to a woman who hasn't cleaned the house, got his meal and pleased to see him, that that's when she gets beaten? And THAT'S JUSTIFIED AND EXPECTED AND OK????

Jesus Christ.

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A male reader, olderthandirt  +, writes (16 February 2017):

olderthandirt agony auntThere's an old saying...'It takes two to tango" So maybe not a RED flag but at least a pink one. Walk softly and proceed with caution. Good luck.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2017):

What it says is that if you decide to proceed with this relationship, do so at your own risk.

She's going to be a handful.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2017):

Run, my friend. Run for the hills. And maybe change your number.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (16 February 2017):

Ciar agony auntAnd who the hell is married '3 or 4 times'?? She's not sure?

Nevermind the abuse, someone with that many divorces under their belt has some issues to work out.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (16 February 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI think it's VERY common for a woman who has been in abusive relationship to continue that cycle. NOT because she WANTS to be abused, but this is twofold - she ATTRACTS abusive men (they see an easy target for them) and she is (like, Youcannotbeserious said) FAMILIAR with abusive behavior and abusive men.

Personally? I think it's a VERY big red flag that she has entered into 3-4 marriage and ALL were abusive. Either she JUMPED into a marriage without taking the time to see what kind of man she had on her hands, or she ignored all the warning bells going on.

Men (and women) rarely BECOME abusive out of the blue. It's a learned behavior. Often from watching their parents or family in general.

And I think, people in general who have been in an abusive relationship wouldn't know a good relationship if it bit them on the rear end. I have read about people who WERE in the abusive relationship ending up BEING abusive when they finally find a partner who is NOT abusive. Because ABUSE is the norm for them. Especially the people who NEVER seek counseling or take the time to figure out WHY it keeps happening.

It is possible that she DID have 3-4 abusive husbands? Sure.

Is it possible that she paints her ex-partners with an ugly brush? Sure.

And lastly is it possible that she is mentioning the past abuse to make YOU want to treat her like she was made of cotton candy? Fragile, handle with care. Again sure. NOT to dismiss her experiences at all.

I had an ex-bf who would ALWAYS mention all kind of negative things about his ex-gf. And at first, I felt like "Well I AM never going to do that or be that way" until I realized he used it as a tool to manipulate ME and others with.

And in MY experience someone who talks a LOT of smack and negativity about an ex-partner in the early stages of a BRAND new relationship is NOT over the past and hasn't DEALT with the past, but they are also in one form or another trying to manipulate the new partner or extract compassion.

Now I'm NOT saying that survivors of abuse are manipulative. AT ALL. I think it more of a "survival instinct" to be honest. You have to accept that IF she has had some rotten experiences she might FEEL that by telling you about them she somehow can prevent it from happening again. And it might be her way of trying to establish boundaries already. The thing is IF a new man she is dating ARE/WERE an abusive kind of man SHE couldn't prevent ANY behavior IN you. If you know what I mean? Which in turn could also be WHY she has been through THAT many abusive relationships. She thinks by mentioning it, it won't happen - when really SHE should look out for the red flags herself.

So proceed with caution.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (16 February 2017):

Ciar agony auntI would consider it a red flag.

Either the woman is damaged goods and is drawn to such men or she paints herself to be a victim to gain the sympathy and special considerations of others.

I'd move on.

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A male reader, DeadEyeDick United States +, writes (16 February 2017):

DeadEyeDick agony auntThis sounds a little in the pig Dept. But it's what my grandpa told me as a little boy about these situations, he said a man comes home from a back breaking day at work, to dinner on the table, and a clean house, to a wife who loves him and is glad to see him, and beats the hell out of her, he asked me if that sounded right, of course not I told him, he told me never forget, things are never as they seem, and there's always 2 sides to every story, now in this day and age that outlook is a bit dated, but I know from personal experience, when a girl seems to have a long list of "abusive ex boyfriends" there's generally a reason this is the case, never assume anything, cause she may be the sweetest soul in the world, and just had some shitty luck with men, but I'd never put all my money down on that being the case, u may want to approacb this one carefully, much like I am responding to this, lol! Good luck

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (16 February 2017):

You know how it's said that there are two sides to every story? Well, personally I think there are THREE side, especially when it comes to marriages: HIS side, HER side and the truth.

If all her marriages were truly abusive, then she may just be drawn to abusive men. This could be something to do with her upbringing and family life. Abuse could feel "familiar". She could find herself bored in the unfamiliar grounds of a healthy relationship.

The other possibility is that, in her own head, she has decided the marriages were abusive. They may not have actually BEEN abusive. She could be saying they were because of how they ended, or because she feels this will attract sympathy.

Do you have any mutual friends? Or know anyone who has known her for a while? Can you ask them if they know anything?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (16 February 2017):

It might be a warning that she is drawn to men likely to abuse her; and that she may need some serious mental-health therapy.

Multiple failed-marriages of and in itself does carry a caveat. It leads to a lot of questions. Why did so many marriages fail? What part did she play in the failure of these marriages? Why was abuse always the reason for the divorce? It might even raise the question; why is she attracted to you?

If you have to wonder, you should steer as far from this as you can. You really don't need to know why. It's better to avoid all the probabilities and consider the odds.

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A male reader, Been there Now over it United States + , writes (16 February 2017):

I don't remember ever talking to anyone about their divorce and them not blaming their spouse. I recently talked with both husband and wife who were recently divorced, and they had very different stories, not even recognizable as being from the same marriage.

"Abuse" can be a rather vague term that can include a lot of things. Actually, it would seem that most if not all divorces are a result of someone having "abused" their marriage duties. My caution lights and radar would immediately go up if someone told me that their various divorces resulted from abuse by the other party.

You are right to question the circumstances behind a person's multiple divorces. Before I'd invest in a relationship with such a person, I would want to know a lot more about what actually happened. That will mean getting some information from an unbiased source. I'm not sure how much public information is available on divorce proceedings, but a trip to the County Courts and Recorder should educate you as to what you can get.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2017):

It probably is a red flag. Another red flag is if you keep finding yourself emotionally attached with women who are abused and then dump you to go back to their abusers. Just saying as your punctuation is really familiar.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2017):

It's a possibility that they were indeed abusive, but it's pretty unlikely. Most people don't have that many marriages under their belt unless we're talking about celebrities.

I would say it's a pretty big red flag.

Tread carefully.

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