scorecard'Who TF Did I Marry?' — the 50-part TikTok that provides a cautionary tale about ignoring red flags
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'Who TF Did I Marry?' — the 50-part TikTok that provides a cautionary tale about ignoring red flags

Julia Pugachevsky   

'Who TF Did I Marry?' — the 50-part TikTok that provides a cautionary tale about ignoring red flags
LifeScience4 min read
  • "Who TF Did I Marry?" is a viral, 50-part TikTok series from TikToker Reesa Teesa.
  • Teesa details the red flags she missed in her relationship with her ex-husband.

In part one of her viral series "Who TF Did I Marry?", Reesa Teesa calls the story of her ex-husband "the United Nations of red flags."

"It is so many red flags, that, I mean, you would've thought I was colorblind because I ignored all of them," Teesa says to the camera.

@reesamteesa Who TF Did I Marry- Part One #pathologicalliar #reesateesa #fypシ #fyp ♬ original sound - ReesaTeesa

Since the first post on Valentine's Day, the 50-part series has garnered over 2 million views per video, with viewers dissecting the fast speed of the relationship and the multitude of red flags Teesa uncovered in retrospect. After a little over a year of being together, she learned nearly everything about her ex, from his career and finances to his relationship with family members, was a lie.

Kaytee Gillis, a therapist who specializes in relationship trauma and psychological abuse, said the interest is understandable — we're all fascinated with scams, and desperate to avoid them — but cautioned against using Teesa's experience as relational scripture.

"There's this false hope that if we can learn all of the red flags, we can somehow protect ourselves from getting into that kind of situation," Gillis told Business Insider. "That's of course not true, because red flags can look differently in different people."

If Teesa's story resonated with you, or spooked you, get up to speed on the circumstances under which it's easiest to be lied to. Gillis shared the reasons a person can overlook red flags in relationships, especially in ones that move quickly or start off as too good to be true.

Understand your upbringing — it may influence how you interpret red flags

There are many reasons people can overlook alarm bells in their relationships.

Gillis said that she has worked on red flag literacy with people who grew up in dysfunctional families and people who were raised by emotionally immature parents. "Our formative years really shape who we are and who we are as a partner," she said. Someone who grew up with gaslighting, for instance, may pick a partner who resembles their parent, and may also struggle in listening to their instincts.

If you are a people-pleaser who goes with the flow, you may ignore signs that something is off, Gillis said.

Your upbringing can also impact how long you remain in a relationship. "If you don't have a really good support system, you're probably more likely to stay in an unhealthy relationship because unhealthy support is better than being alone or having no support to some people," she said.

Love bombing makes you reluctant to see the bad

One of the standout details in Teesa's story that viewers latched onto is how quickly the relationship with her ex progressed. According to Teesa, the couple started dating during the early days of the pandemic and married within less than a year of knowing each other.

Gillis said the speed of the relationship alone is enough to give her pause. "I always tell people if the relationship is moving super fast, question that," she said. "Because in this day and age, there's really no need to. It's not like in our grandparents' generation where we couldn't cohabitate."

If someone showers you with 24/7 attention and affection, professes love within weeks, or proposes very quickly, it could be a sign that you're dating a narcissist or dark empath because they're love bombing you.

"The love bombing in the beginning sets the stage for further manipulation because they're always kind of using that as a base," Gillis said, adding that if a person is blatantly unkind from the start, you're less likely to overlook bad behavior going forward. But when someone is doting and tender when you first meet them, it makes it harder to see later red flags as anything but misunderstandings or hiccups.

It also makes you less inclined to open up to friends or family about warning signs in the relationship. "Saying it out loud makes it real," Gillis said. "But if you don't, you're still in that safe little denial bubble."

It's always easier to spot red flags in hindsight

While Teesa admonishes herself for missing so many red flags, Gillis highlighted that it's natural to spot all the red flags after a breakup.

"It is so common to look back in hindsight; "Oh, here are 120 red flags that I missed," Gillis said. "People want to be in love. They want to have the person love them. They want to believe them and give them the benefit of the doubt."

"I was excited to be the woman whose husband is like 'I'm taking my wife to London,'" Teesa says in part 50 of her series. She reflects on having her "radar broken" and yearning for the same loving, healthy relationship she often saw depicted on social media. "At the time, I wanted it to be my turn," she said.