Many of the issues that tear relationships apart are not actual deal-breakers. Instead, most divorces and breakups result from one or both partners’ unwillingness to learn from the conflicts in all primary relationships. But some disputes and differences are actual deal-breakers.
- Having Children: Mary and Cal met when Mary was 38 and Cal was 47. Cal had been married before and had two adult children, while Mary had never been married. Cal made it very clear to Mary that he did not, under any circumstances, want more children. Mary seemed to accept this but secretly hoped to change Cal’s mind once they were married. A year after they were married, Mary brought up the issue of having children. Cal was appalled. Mary begged and pleaded, hoping Cal’s love for her would soften his position. But he stayed committed to his decision not to have any more children. This situation has an unfortunate ending. Mary was devastated. She loved Cal, but having children was extremely important to her. She didn’t want to leave him, and she couldn’t let go of wanting a child. Mary had to decide what was more critical- Cal or having children.
- Work: Rhonda and Fred fell in love in their late 30s. Each had jobs that they loved, which was very important to them. Fred was the vice-president of a large company, while Rhonda had a flourishing practice as a pediatrician. They both lived in Los Angeles. All seemed fine until an incredible opportunity opened up for Fred, which he had always dreamed of. The problem was that it meant moving to New York. Fred’s work became a deal-breaker. Some people can commute and maintain a relationship, but this was not realistic for Rhonda and Fred since they wanted to have children. They realized that they would feel very resentful if either of them gave up the work they loved. They had no choice but to end the relationship. Even though they loved each other, they recognized that their relationship would soon erode if one of them gave themselves up.
- Betrayal: Dishonesty and infidelity can often be deal-breakers, depending upon the situation. Some people can learn from and grow through these difficult situations, while the wound is too deep to repair for others.
Most conflicts about communication and control issues can be resolved when both parties are willing to determine the specific problems. Having a safe space to talk and establish good communication is vital to better understanding each other. Depending on the situation, it is best to consult with a relationship counselor to discuss further and understand the case. Indeed, there are many factors leading to a breakup or divorce. There’s more than what meets the eye, so check before you wreck.
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-By: Warrnette Lewis