The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Marriage Deal Breakers!

What are your Deal Breakers in marriage or relationships? Affairs? Abuse? Or is it something else?

What are the Deal Breakers in Salt Lake City?

As therapist with many years experience working with couples, I think I have some inside information regarding deal breakers in relationships. While perpetual laziness, no advanced college degree, being a jerk, etc., are all significant, I’ve found others to be more key.

For example, affairs can be a deal breaker for many people. However,  having treated sex addicts in the Salt Lake City area for the past half dozen years, even affairs,  soliciting prostitutes, receiving intimate massages, etc., don’t have to  end the relationship. Healing is possible, relationships can move  forward…sometimes even stronger than before. It’s tough…but worth it!

Specifically for women, I believe that men who are emotionally cold and  unwilling to change can (and do!) drive a woman out of the relationship.  Why? Simply because women look for that emotional connection as verifiable evidence that he cares, is committed to the marriage, and…isn’t going  anywhere. Emotional aloofness dissuades all of these and then some.

Meanwhile, women who shut their partner out sexually are in a similar boat. That is, he’s going to feel neglected, unattractive, and that she doesn’t really get who he really is. It’s not all about sex…physical  affection doesn’t have to be sexual. But! Physical touch and sexual  connection is really how men are wired to connect. Pushing that aside typically wrecks marital connection and sends the relationship on a quick  road to being blah and subpar.

Abusive relationships can and are deal breakers for some…but not others at least initially. Women who are abused physically or emotionally can  leave relationships…sometimes for their own safety. If he’s not willing to change, seek counseling, etc., staying in the marriage is likely fool hardy for her at best, potentially lethal at worst for a classic Domestic Violence perpetrator.

Lastly, men who abuse their children either physically, emotionally or mentally may be total deal breakers. No woman should have to experience  their husband or partner abuse the kids…someone who she’s inherently programmed to love and protect. Hope that makes total sense. Wow, how  important are safe relationships!!!

More on Deal Breakers

I’ve worked with people that struggle with addictions for many years. For example, people that struggle with sexual addictions tend to lie (often!) about the extent of their addiction and their level of recovery as well. This means that his wife or partner can become overwhelmed/exhausted by the lies and deceit. This can reach the level of a deal breaker as she mourns the loss of the relationship she thought she had. I’ve blogged on this key subject many times. Check this out

Other items such as not being as fun loving as he once was, not landing the job he’d promised, etc., will likely vary person to person regarding bailing on the relationship. However, one thing that I believe has happened is that people are less likely to commit to relationships these days. Why? There is an inherent risk in committing to relationships. They take work, focus, and ultimately simply may not work out. Thus, I think people are finding deal breakers to be more common than just a generation ago. Sad but true I think.

Lastly, I’ve talked to men who are on their 2nd, 3rd or even 4th divorce.  I’ve asked them the rather obvious question…what have you learned about marriage from your multiple divorces? One man who had experienced 3+ divorces told me unabashedly, “I should have stayed with my first wife.” “It’s been my fault.” Nice insight! Just a bit late.

Avoiding Deal Breakers

If you believe that your marriage or relationship has experienced a deal breaker, think twice before making the decision to end it.  Check it with a close friend, talk with a Priest/Pastor/Bishop, or perhaps your mentor.  Consider counseling as a means to help you make a more grounded, less subjective or too quick decision.  Above all, think it through well.  Ending a relationship can have life long implications…particularly in marriage.

Michael Boman, LCSW writes and blogs often regarding relationships in Magna, Tooele, and the Salt Lake City area. He welcomes your comments at [email protected]