What Are Your Relationship Deal Breakers?


relationship coachingAs a Relationship Coach, one of driving reasons for the work I do is to help couples heal their relationship, rather than see them throw in the towel and walk away from each other.

I am a big believer in perseverance. I feel strongly about making the effort, about fighting for love, and moving away from the disposable thinking that too many people have about their marriage or partnership.

I believe my stand on these things comes from not only being a child from a family of multiple divorces and the chaos that followed, but also from having been divorced myself and then fighting for my next relationship, to get it to the amazing place it is today.

Love can be hard work, and a marriage or long term relationship can be even tougher.

Melding your life with another person’s can be fraught with challenges, and yet it’s what so many of us yearn to do, and go out of our way to make happen.

An important part of my business is Singles Coaching for this very reason. We want love, we want to get coupled up, we want to have that person in our lives who we adore, who adores us, and who we can live happily ever after with.

Except it doesn’t always go that way.

Every day I work with people who feel like the dream has ended. They feel hurt, stuck, frustrated, out of love and ready to walk away. All the love they started out with seems to have faded, life has got in the way, and it’s usually only a last ditch effort that brings them to me, to see if their relationship is worth saving.

Most of the time it is. But there are times when my professional opinion is to move on.

It doesn’t happen too often. It’s amazing the changes that can occur with commitment, the right support and a damn good dose of effort. Out of love couples can, and do, find themselves full of love all over again.

So how do you know if you can be one of those couples, or if you should you walk away?

While all relationships are different, and every combination of people, events, values and the level of trouble really mixes things up, in my experience there are 3 definite indicators that you need to end a relationship, and 3 red flag situations that could prove fatal, but could also be an opportunity to take your relationship to higher ground.

3 Deal Breakers

Mental, Sexual or Physical Abuse

At no time, under no circumstances, should you accept any form of mental, sexual or physical abuse.

If you are in a relationship that involves any of these forms of abuse, please seek help immediately.


Addiction is a complex and difficult journey to be part of. I have loved and lived with an addict and, despite loving him deeply I had to walk away.

In the absence of any acknowledgement of the problem or attempt at recovery, you should step away from a relationship with an addict.

Loss Of Self

If you feel that you have to be someone you’re not and don’t want to be, to be in a relationship, then that loss of self should be a deal breaker for you.

Being controlled and having to relinquish your truth, your essential self, to gain approval of another, or to avoid negative consequences is not part of a healthy, loving relationship.

3 Red Flags

One Sided Effort

Maybe you’ve been trying to save your relationship for a long time. You feel like you’ve done all you can and yet, it just never gets better.

If the effort in your relationship is completely one sided, without any attempts to improve the situation from your partner, then there may come a point when continuing to fight for the relationship is no longer healthy or beneficial for you.

Strong Conflict Of Life Choices, Morals Or Values

If your partner has morals or values that are in strong conflict to your own, and you are unable to at least see and respect their perspectives, there are bound to be ongoing struggles that will slowly deteriorate your relationship. Likewise, if there are life choices that you disagree completely on, like whether to have children or not for example, the attempt to compromise could leave your relationship in a damaged state.

Repeated Betrayal

A single instance of cheating, lying, or any other kind of betrayal is hard enough to get through for most couples, but up the stakes with repeated, constant instances of these behaviours and you’ve got a tough road ahead.

Repeated betrayal with no signs of remorse or intention to stop is a very strong indicator that a relationship is probably terminal. In some extremely rare cases a couple might make it through, but at some point self respect should prevail, and have you put your walking shoes on.

Still Unsure?

Of course, we could add many other common relationship woes to these lists, but while you or I might consider troubles like constant fighting, financial concerns, a lack of communication or intimacy problems deal breakers, it depends on the severity of the issue or behaviour and how strongly the other person feels about these that makes them workable, or the end of the line for a couple.

What truly matters, when it comes down to moving past even the most difficult of problems you face in your relationship, is a mutual interest in overcoming them. If both of you are committed to working through the issues, to doing things differently, then you have a chance of coming through the storm to the other side, and seeing just how incredible love can be when you fight for it.

So what are your deal breakers? What wouldn’t work for you, that might work for others? I would love for you to share your comments below.

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  3. Annette

    August 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I was in a relationship with a noncommittal (addict/alcoholic) man for over 7 years. He has dependent on me for the first 5 years while trying to get his medical license reinstated. We had been friends for over 20 years so I thought he was sincere in our relationship so I hung in there thru recovery/rehab and all of the job rejections. In the last two years he finally got his medical license back and is now practicing medicine. He went from being penniless to making almost $600,000 a year.
    During the last several years he started getting more and more verbally abusive. We are now split up because the last cussing was so bad that after he went to work I left. I was driving 4 hours a week extra to keep my full time job as I did relocate to when he moved to his new job. I have no intention of going back to him. Two days after we split I heard he was on match.com and in touch with his previous girlfriend. When we were together, every time I would bring up something he did with regard to inappropriate conduct he would cuss me out so bad with terrible words and tell me I was crazy, delusional and psycho and that if I didn’t change my attitude I could get the ——–out. I could never prove anything but my instincts were so strong that he was cheating on me that they would wake me from a dead sleep. He constantly pushed every weekend to know exactly what time I was leaving on Sunday and if I talked to him any time after I left he was always hateful. The majority of the time he was so good to me, kind and giving with all of the gifts, trips, dinners at the club, etc., etc. After we split, he said for me to get counseling and let him know how it went and then we could discuss things because I needed it for me insecurities. He said he was sorry for “raising his voice” but I am delusional. I wrote him a long letter and just let him have it about how I had sacrificed the time in my life, my kids and grandkids and all the support/money/time off work to help him, etc., I have been doing no contact (we split 10 weeks ago), but last night I received an email from him stating again how he wishes the best for me but I am not taking responsibility and I need help.
    How can he possibly justify all of this? I am so hurt and so sad as I can’t believe after 7 1/2 years a man would just walk away, see other women but in the same breath say “I love you more than anyone I ever loved but we can’t live like this until you get help.” I can’t quit thinking about it all the time.

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