Heeding The Red Flags

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HEEDING THE RED FLAGS

We’ve all experienced them at one time or another in our lives. Our mate may say something that just does not sound right. Something that may arouse the little voice in our mind and the voice may say, “That’s a horrible thing to say.” We may fill uncomfortable around this person because of what has been said. Maybe our heart hurts or it may fell heavy. If these feelings come up for you when you are around certain people, then it’s time to listen to that little voice.

Perhaps that wonderful person you’ve been dating for a little while may say to you, “I can’t stand to talk to my mother for more than five minutes because she drives me crazy!”. Or, you might hear, “I love my kids, but after two hours with them, I get bored. Or still yet you may hear “I love what I do for work, but it’s boring.” In my opinion, hearing a person say degrading remarks about a love done is the red flag that should be taken very seriously. Someone once said, “If you are undecided on whether you should date a person, then make it a point to listen to what he or she has to say about their family.”

I still recall the very first experience I had with the shall I say, “The Red Flag Syndrome.” It happened with my boyfriend. We met in the mid-seventies. We were both employed at an area nursing home where we worked as nursing assistants. One day, my boyfriend came home from work and told me that he had been fired from his job. I was astounded! It seemed to me that he truly loved his job and got along very well with his co-workers and especially with his patients. I asked him, “What happened?” At this point I had to sit down because I was in such a state of shock when he gave me the news. He began to tell me that one of his patients had been incontinent of urine and he had to be changed almost every hour. Finally, after so many hours of this my husband got very upset with this patient that he rubbed his face in the sheet that was wet with urine and got caught doing this, and as a result of this he was fired.

Well folks, that should have been a huge red flag for me, but it wasn’t. I chose to ignore it and instead we made wedding plans and were married not long after. And then the problems began. We moved to his home town and he acquired a job as a carpenter. Not long after that he began not only verbally but physically abusing me. I went through the abuse(thinking it was a normal occurrence) for years. And, 12 years later we divorced, but the damage was already done. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and body pain if I would have heeded that red flag. But as the saying goes, live and learn. And, that is exactly what has happened to me. I can not and will not tolerate any type of abuse today; it doesn’t matter where it is coming from.

Today, years have past since the last red flag. I have been alone for almost 20 years now. And I have made many crazy choices since then. In the beginning of my story

I quoted words from a man I dated in the 90’s . I met him through a dating service. Well, for him it was love at first sight. I told him please don’t tell me you love me, we just met! How can you love me; you don’t even know me? Red flag! But in a twisted sense I was flattered. Well, I guess it doesn‘t take a lot to figure that one out.

So, we carried on in our relationship. Every time he came over, he bought me a gift. Of course, I was flattered! But herein is the bait; the gifts is how they latch on to you. And then they move in for the kill. But there is one problem. The first time there is an issue in the relationship, they pull away. And then you hear something like I said above: Oh, I love my kids, but they drive me nuts after I am around them for awhile. (This man was divorced), or I love my Mom, but I can’t stand to talk to here for more than 10 minutes; she drives me nuts! So, put 2 and 2 together here. If they drive you nuts, what am I going to do after we are together for a time? Red flag! But did I listen to this? No, I did not. I kept dating the man and not long after he just dumped me after he promised we could live together. Looking back now I certainly am glad that this happened when it did because I would have lost my apartment and everything in it. However since then these statements have helped me tremendously with the decision on whether or not I care to date or just be around certain people. Well, these are just a few of the “red flags”. Stay tuned in for more!

Now, let’s talk about the real dangerous “red flags”. For instance, a partner may tell their mate what they can or can’t wear, or they may dictate the time that they need to be home. Maybe, the mate is only going out to do something simple as have lunch with a friend or shop. Or, maybe they will try to keep their mate away from people in general, or they may not allow them to have any friends at all. All of these “red flags” should be heeded and taken very seriously.

It has been my own experience that when I hear that little voice in my mind saying, “This is not normal! This does not sound right! Then, this is the time for me to take action and get away from that person just as fast as I can if I value my own life and have any love for myself at all.

I still recall the very first experience I had with the shall I say, “The Red Flag Syndrome.” It happened with my boyfriend. We met in the mid-seventies. We were both employed at an area nursing home where we worked as nursing assistants. One day, my boyfriend came home from work and told me that he had been fired from his job. I was astounded! It seemed to me that he truly loved his job and got along very well with his co-workers and especially with his patients. I asked him, “What happened?” At this point I had to sit down because I was in such a state of shock when he gave me the news. He began to tell me that one of his patients had been incontinent of urine and he had to be changed almost every hour. Finally, after so many hours of this my husband got very upset with this patient that he rubbed his face in the sheet that was wet with urine and got caught doing this, and as a result of this he was fired.

Well folks, that should have been a huge red flag for me, but it wasn’t. I chose to ignore it and instead we made wedding plans and were married not long after. And then the problems began. We moved to his home town and he acquired a job as a carpenter. Not long after that he began not only verbally but physically abusing me. I went through the abuse(thinking it was a normal occurrence) for years. And, 12 years later we divorced, but the damage was already done. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and body pain if I would have heeded that red flag. But as the saying goes, live and learn. And, that is exactly what has happened to me. I can not and will not tolerate any type of abuse today; it doesn’t matter where it is coming from.

Today, years have past since the last red flag. I have been alone for almost 20 years now. And I would like to say that things have gone well and my choices have been wonderful, but they haven’t . For the most part, out of these years, I have only been in a few relationships. But it’s the latest one (after being alone all these years) that truly broke my heart. The pastor of the church I was attending thought it would be a good idea if I had a husband. So, he introduced me to his good friend. I am going to leave names out here. Here is part of the bait, because he was a pastor, I trusted him, and fell for it. But all the while God Almighty was screaming at me from within my spirit not to marry this man. But did I listen? No. The bait was set once again; he had a good trade and income and he would take real good care of me financially. Well, after we got married, he recanted everything he had told me. He said we could get a house, have a dog and such. Then said no, that wasn’t going to happen. Three months after we were married he asked me for a divorce. This crushed me terribly, but worse than that believing in Jesus and being of the faith that we have divorce is not in the picture; at least not for the reason of not getting along. So, weeks passed and he had a change of heart which brought us back together. However, 6 months later he asked me for a divorce again. Although I pleaded with him, he was adamant. And 6 months later, we were divorced. So, you are asking now what was the red flag there? Well, the biggest red flag was God almighty screeching not to do it but my free will overrode the voice of God. Because of that I paid dearly. The other red flags were that we just did not get along from the beginning. But now, as I look back, I can see that I fell for the bait again. Meaning the gifting, and believe me, there was a lot of gifting here. Thousands of dollars spent on a ring, honeymoon, beds , jewelry, etc. And of course the same pattern, he chased me, he got me, and when he had a hold of me, he didn’t want me anymore.

The moral of the story is this. Please ladies and gentlemen, heed the red flags. If you are dating someone or you are thinking about it, listen to how they talk about their family for one. Secondly, listen to the inner witness of your spirit. Does it feel right? Or are you uncomfortable around them? And oh, most importantly please don’t think that you can change the man or the woman , because you can’t. Most of the time, (unless God is truly a part of a persons life), what you see is what you get. Meaning that God almighty is the only one that can change anybody, and as I said earlier, He needs their permission and cooperation to do so. With all of that said I will leave you with this one question: Are you heeding the red flags in your life today?

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