I remember writing a story about Halle Berry in college that included a mention of her abusive marriage. “Leave smoke” running away, she said at the time recounting her mother’s advice on handling men who mistreat women.
For whatever reason, that quote always stuck with me especially as I learned of friends dealing with unhealthy relationships. Back then, I wondered why they stayed. But as I got older I began to understand, especially when I became one of those women who stayed waaaay past a relationship’s expiration date. And like many other women, I made excuses and didn’t know when enough was enough.
Over time and with the help of friends and family who’ve been through similar situations, I learned the major deal breakers to look out for. Yes, we’re talking MAJOR.
Here are five red flags that give you the green light to walk away, even when you’re not 100 percent sure you’re doing the right thing. (Spoiler alert: You are.)
1. He Gets Violent, Even If He Doesn’t Hit You.
You may think this is a no-brainer but honestly it isn’t. Most women I know who’ve been in abusive relationships have immense strength, only to shut down in the presence of her partner’s anger and violence.
As a strong woman myself, I froze when a guy I’d been dating went into a rage one night, throwing things, damaging property and calling me names. I knew it was a deal-breaker because even though he didn’t put his hands on me, he scared me. No healthy relationship can be built off a foundation of fear because you never know when his actions may escalate.
2. He Cheats.
Many people will say this point is debatable because lots of couples who have fidelity issues repair their relationship and end up in a better than where they were pre-cheating. But it’s not the act of cheating that’s the deal-breaker here; it’s the disrespect, broken trust and significant risk to your health. (Hello, STDs!)
With all the risks that hang in the balance for just a tiny bit of pleasure, it’s entirely inconsiderate and selfish when a man cheats on you. Do you want someone who puts his wants before your needs, like security and trust? I don’t which is why I’ve said BYE to cheating men.