What'S Your Theoretical Dealbreaker ?

Below is listed 'my' version of potential dealbreakers, in 'my' version of severest to least severe.

1 - Physical Violence
2 - Threat of Physical Violence
3 - Financial Abuse / Irresponsibility
4 - Substance abuse / Addiction
5 - Verbal abuse
6 - Cheating
7 - Emotional Withdrawal

"Lack of sex" doesn't make my list, because if any of these other 7 dealbreakers are present, it is a given that there will be sexual dysfunctionality as a symptom of the underlying dealbreaker.

There is a school of thought in ILIASM that sexual withdrawal is enough all by itself to constitute a dealbreaker - and whereas I agree with that as a theory, I'm not convinced that the scenario painted where "everything is great bar the sex" is ever a true statement. Inevitably, there is a deeper driver than 'just the sex'.

I'd be interested to see what you guys reckon. I'd imagine YOUR list of dealbreakers might look quite different and / or be ranked in severity differently.

For my own part, I reckon if you have the "intimacy averse" situation, then you have a dealbreaker there and then. After that, you have the driver / cause of the behaviour (known or unknown) as the cherry on top.

Tread your own path.

bazzar bazzar
56-60, M
16 Responses Feb 10, 2013

I agree that if you have "intimacy averse" situation, then you have a dealbreaker there and then. However, I am not sure that all the reasons for this lack of intimacy should be listed and neatly categorized. (Aging, mental and physical illness are notably missing here) Whatever reason, the result is the same. What was the term that someone just coined "companionate" It's wonderful to have a companion, a family member, friend or a pet. But that is not the same as having a full relationship with a spouse or partner.

<p>Baz's 1-6 were always on my list. # 7 is on it now.<br />
<br />
My deal-breaker list also includes committing/being convicted of a crime or violation of professional ethics (unless I was very, very sure the conviction was wrongful). It's a matter of trust and respect.</P>

With my (soon to be ex) wife, any of those, apart from cheating, would have been a deal breaker if they went on for long enough. But I would have known that I tried my best to support and help her before I threw in the towel. With cheating, that was, and always will be, an immediate deal breaker. For me, that signified she no longer wanted to be partners, a team, to work things out together and so I left her to it. Once the trust is gone, so am I.
With any future girlfriend, I'm likely to be a lot less tolerant and so all of those things would be an immediate deal breaker. No questions asked, I'd just walk.
I agree with you too that lack of sex tends to be a symptom of another problem, rather than an actual problem in itself.

Well, this is another thought provoking thread Baz. Shewww makes my head hurt because I really need to map out my deal breakers at this point. Kind of don't want to but I need to.

For me at this point cheating, again, would kill my marriage in a heartbeat! Always thought it would be a deal breaker if it ever happened, but that did not hold true as I have stayed steady for the fight post affair. Never dreamed I would do that.

Repeated physical violence I know would definitely be one. I know you all are thinking repeated what the heck. Well, I have stayed, something I never thought I would not do if he had an affair so I don't know what I would endure because I've endured a lot throughout the affair time frame. (So has he) I think I probably would endure of couple, well maybe only one physically violence outbreak. Through all of this he has never been physically violent and there have been times I really pushed his buttons pushing him, throwing things and even hit him. I am ashamed to say it but it is true. He would be such a smart *** and so sarcastic, not that this behavior merits or that it justifies hitting or any physical abuse, there were a few times that I over stepped boundaries and he really had ever reason to strike back.

We are really close to this one if something doesn't change and that is substance abuse. He is drinking way to much and it is effecting any kind of rebuilding of intimacy, trust, basically our marriage at this point. This has to change.

He has always taken financial responsibility and taken care of his family so I don't fear that or see that as an issue. I think he will always take care of his family including me if we end up divorced. He is just that way and he has said he would and I believe him. I'm sure some will think I am naive but I am not with this issue. I would have it in writing for sure.

The emotional intimacy has to come back, withholding information to punish me has to stop, honesty and being open with me, communicating with me these are all deal breakers. I need him to want my trust again. Oddly enough I still have respect for him, but if the trust issues are not resolved then we are in huge trouble - Deal Breaker!

So I guess this is my current list - it could change as time progresses

1) Cheating
2) Trust
3) Honesty
4) Substance abuse
5) Connection
6) Commitment
7) Being invested in marriage

When I look at this list they all go hand in hand and it scares me because its a lot to overcome. Do I feel hopelessness, no I don't yet. I still have faith that it can work, that love can conquer all with God's Devine hand of healing and grace - a little miracle wouldn't hurt, and I believe it could happen. Might not, but I'm not down for the count yet. I've seen some change toward positive lately. This has been thought provoking for me and I needed this. It's is something I may share with my husband, the Deal Breaker List and I might get him to compose one too. Thanks for the challenge to face this.

I reckon most everything in your list would irritate me to the point of shooting a horse. It is odd though. I suppose because I'm a big giant man, but the emotional withdrawal is the part that hurts me the most, and which is the biggest deal breaker for me.

There are spiritual concerns I'd have also. I'm finding more an more that being someone's soulmate is just science fiction if you don't share things at deep, foundational levels.

I'd also say that learning your mate / potential mate was involved in harming others would be very difficult to swallow - *********, that sort of thing.

1 & 2. All of the above if it went on long enough. I can be patient and stick with someone for years while they improve, but if there's no hope and they do not grow, it's time for me to go.

This is really an issue for me. The only thing I know would be a deal breaker is physical violence. Addiction also, but only because I would not have that around my kids, I personally would probably tolerate someone who drank too much. Somewhere I know I should have higher standards for myself but...

Here's what my dealbreakers actually WERE:

1. Ignoring my needs
2. Not being trustworthy, in terms of doing what he promised, being honest about it, and how that would impact me
3. Irresponsibility
4. Passive aggression, though I didn't understand that's what it was until recently.
5. Not dealing with his issues, or even admitting them
6. Not working on our marriage
7. MOST IMPORTANTLY: not taking responsibility for the consequences of his decisions, i.e. blaming everyone/thing in the world for his life.

They are all basically the same thing, in fact. It's all about him in the end.

Baz...a good list and an interesting question.

For me, the number one thing, the last straw, the most painful thing encountered that was indeed the "deal breaker" was INDIFERENCE. The human spirit can withstand almost anything on your list, but for anyone who encounters true indifference - they will know their marriage is dead and cannot be revived. Any healthy fulfilling relationship is based on love. Indifference is the opposite of love. I suspect that anyone who is subject to true indifference will leave the relationship because you cannot have self respect if you stay. If you have no self respect...your spirit is dead.

So....for me....INDIFERENCE over rides everything on your list.

I first walked into my marriage armed with my list of deal breakers. And I'd remind my spouse constantly that if A were to happen then B would follow. Recently I changed my attitude to a more accommodating and forgiving stance; I now try to say if A were to happen then we'll just have to figure what our B will be. Together. As long as we both want to keep trying to make our interactions more harmonious and satisfying then I'll remain committed to our pendulum of marriage.

ive had all those from my wife except number 6

but they aren't dealbreakers ??

5 and above are deal breakers. 7 is already done and 6 is welcome!

1. Abuse of any kind ...Physical , Emotional, Financial, Substance Abuse
2. Attempts to Control another person, through thought, word or deed
3. Indifference and Neglect : (Includes refusal to seek help, whether psychologically, or medically
4. Lack of Respect for another person's wants, needs and desires

Over 44 years .....

Losing trust.


My deal breakers, funnily enough i always thought it was a lack of sex that would end it for me but as it turned out it took infedelity for me to finally pull the trigger.

Also i will probably put emotional withdrawal and verbal abuse above financial & substance abuse but you will probably find that where there is one there is the other in a fuc..ked up relationship

Stay Strong & Good Luck

My deal breakers. . . Mmmmmm?? The ones you state rate high for me. I would add Control - which is part of emotional abuse. Selfishness on a long term basis - ditto.

But at this time, some four years after leaving my marriage, I would say "an inability to find a workable compromise with my partner" - be that in any area of life. And that isn't "his" fault, or "my" fault . . . it is simply "what it is" (or was!).