A Very Important List

Once a year or so I post the following list on my blog. I have a history of some different kinds of abuse and so when I have friends or family looking for advice I always dig up this list again. I wish I’d seen it before my first marriage, I’m not sure I would have payed attention to it like I should have but I still wish I would have known. I’m glad my ex-husband has taken care of his demons, it’s a hard thing to do and I’m truly happy for him. I believe however that everyone should approach relationship cautiously, especially being LDS and having such an eternal viewpoint. Eternity is a long time to struggle. Even basic respect is so important. I believe that if someone is showing some of these signs then it is a clear reason to step back, stop or at the least slow down. They obviously range in severity, but even some of the most simple can be very harmful.

After the divorce I had a really hard time becoming “Bobbie” again. I was constantly reminded by those that knew me the best that I wasn’t myself. I’d become a shell of a person and very submissive. I am sure many of you are laughing at the thought but after all was said and done, I felt like nobody, and that nobody would ever think I was somebody. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, dealing with the “after” was at times worse than dealing with the actual abuse itself.

Jeremy also had to be very patient with me. He loves me unconditionally and that’s a great thing to know, but I had to learn it because I couldn’t trust at first. I struggled a lot while we were dating and during our first year of marriage. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I learned that in a healthy and loving relationship things can be very different. The trials I had in my life before have helped shape me into the person I am now. I am thankful for all the Lord has helped me through. I hope that you all read the list, share it, and keep it in mind always. You never know when you could be the one to help change a life for the better, or even save a life.

Nussbaum’s List of Red Flags:

  1. He pushes too far, too fast, planning your future together right away.
  2. He hates his mother and is nasty to her.
  3. He wants your undivided attention.
  4. He must always be in charge.
  5. He always has to win.
  6. He breaks promises all the time.
  7. He can’t take criticism and always justifies his actions.
  8. He blames someone else for anything that goes wrong.
  9. He’s jealous of your close friends, family members, and all other men.
  10. He always asks you where you went and whom you saw.
  11. He has extreme highs and lows that are unpredictable.
  12. He has a mean temper.
  13. He often says you don’t know what you’re talking about.
  14. He makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
  15. He withdraws his love or approval as punishment.
  16. He pushes you to do things that make you feel uneasy, like taking the day off from work or even breaking the law.

8 thoughts on “A Very Important List

  1. That list was something that created a good conversation in our family! The girls found it interesting. Thanks. But on a lighter note, I sure if you had a way cool faucet light then life would pretty good, huh?

  2. Thanks for the list Bobbie. I shared it with a friend after I saw it on your blog and she was surprised that 9 out of the 16 fit her husband. She is worried, but didn’t really understand the gravity until I showed her the list. Thanks for sharing the things that you learned. You are an amazing person!

  3. It’s crazy the things you don’t think about in a relationship. I’m am happy that Michael fits not a single one of those criteria. And that I could learn from the experiences of my siblings. love you.

  4. Strange that you should write this… The man before Eric just recently contacted me. You could tell he was needing some closure and apologized for his behavior with me. Crazy-17 years later… 🙂

  5. We did a thing once in YW’s to help them idenify abusive relationships and the many kinds there are. Moms and daughters came and a sister from another ward who volunteered at a women’s support group/safe house was our guest speaker. What was amazing, and saddening, to us was that most of the YW present either had already experienced these red flag behaviors, or she was close to someone who had an abusive boyfriend, parent, etc. Anyone in youth callings should consider sharing the list from Bobbie and having a professional guest speaker address it as well. If we can help them identify the red flags and possibly prevent one person from the pain Bobbie, Holly, and others have gone through… Thanks Bobbie.

  6. My sister has started internet dating and almost all of these flags have come up. Especially the “moving too fast” one. Since the guys she’s trying to meet are LDS and 30 or so, they seem to be in a rush to meet and marry. It’s downright creepy sometimes.

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