The Deal Breakers That Threaten Your Relationship

Is Your Relationship Threatened by a Deal Breaker?

Here’s my advice for how to handle the most difficult dilemmas

Every relationship faces hurdles. The couple that claims they never disagree are great big liars! But there are certain relationship "deal breakers" that can destroy even a seemingly strong relationship. These challenge the very core of your hopes or expectations. Here's how to handle the famous four deal breakers:

The Baby-Boom:

The Deal Breaker - Having a baby together is pretty much the most important thing you two will ever decide to do - or not. There's practically no dilemma more heart breaking then when one partner would love a child and the other partner doesn't. This can tear a couple apart with both feeling incredibly bitter. Neither can understand the others’ feelings and terrible rows are frequent.

The Deal Maker – It’s best early on to discuss your feelings towards children. But if you've left it - and you're in love - it's time for complete honesty. It's essential to keep calm over this emotive issue. Tantrums or tears never help.

Give each other the time to express why you do/don’t want children. Don't ridicule their reasons - try to understand them. The more understanding and patience you show the more likely you'll sway their point of view.

Often the partner who doesn't want children has an anxiety/anxities around being a parent, say, that children ruin relationships. By exploring they often can be solved.

You should both agree to spend time with friends' and relations' children. Of course it's not the same as having your own children but time spent around children may help bring you together over this.

Then revisit the discussion in six months. Don’t harp on about it; take this as a period for quiet reflection.

Ultimately if you can't agree, do some real soul-searching about whether you'd always be bitter about not having children - or giving in to having children. A word of wisdom - if you leave your partner to find someone who wants children you may never meet that person. But if having children means the world it may be worth the risk. Believe me, much smaller issues than babies have broken up millions of relationships!

Money Matters:

The Deal Breaker - Yes, when it comes to relationships money is the root of practically all evil. On the face of it money may not seem so important but it’s cited as a reason for separation in one in three divorces. The crux of the problem usually lies in one partner being a big spender and the other partner a thrifty saver. Such couples face constant arguing as the monthly bills come in, purchasers have to be made and any extra money either has to be spent or saved for a rainy day.

The Deal Maker - Don't underestimate how emotionally-charged attitudes to money/spending can be. Because of this it's important to get very practical in your discussions. You'll be surprised how successful your discussions can be when you take “feelings” out of your finances.

List all incomings and outgoings. If you’re in the fortunate position where you have something left over each month, agree a compromise between saving and spending it. You may decide to do a 50-50 split or what I think is most helpful is a three-way split - 1/3 to be spent, 1/3 to be saved/invested, and 1/3 to go into a "planned expenditure" budget for big items.

If you have a shortfall look at how outgoings can be trimmed on both your parts. If the shortfall is due to one of you overspending, having seen it in black and white they should recognise the need to adapt better budgeting.

Finally if an irrational need to save or spend is destroying any compromise that partner needs to address underlying insecurities driving their behaviour.

No Place Like Home:

The Deal Breaker- There may be no place like home but whose home are you talking about? Problems usually occur for one of two reasons. Both partners have places and want the other person to move into their home. Or one is a determined city-dweller and the other a country type.  

The Deal Maker - Sometimes practicalities solve this dilemma, e.g., your jobs are in the city and one of you wants to plan a future in the country. But when it's not straightforward couples should look to that magic word compromise. For instance is there a suburb you could move to that "feels" less urban that is still accessible to the city and would satisfy both of your needs? Can you find a way of spending weekends in one area while living the week in another?

Can you agree that point in time you will stay put with a view to moving in a set period of time like three years for adequate planning.

Meet The In-Laws:

The Deal Breaker- It's a real crisis when your parents don't approve of your partner without good reason. Obviously they’re going to be upset if you're with, say, an abusive partner. But if it's simply an issue of personal preferences then you are literally piggy in the middle.

The Deal Maker - Begin by addressing your parents’ anxieties. Whether they think you can "do better", or your partner doesn't try hard enough, or they don't like his/her politics you can rationally impress on them why their concern isn't important to your happiness.

At the same time let them know the positive things you share that may not be so obvious.

Try to find common ground that your parents and partner share like an interest or hobby. And get them all together to do it.

Be strong and don't wobble to their pressures so they see you’re committed.

Enlist your partner on a charm offensive in a tactful way. Don't tell them your parents "loathe” them, instead say your parents are very protective and simply need a little persuasion.

Published in The Express Newspaper

Did you find this article interesting?

Enter your details below to join the monthly mailing list.


Does your partner really know you? Check this out! How to get over that first awkward relationship bump... Going through a break up? Tips for an online clean up... Getting Together Again? Affair-Proof Your Relationship The Ultimate Christmas Relationship Survival Guide... Understanding and Overcoming Your Pre-Wedding Jitters and On-the-day Nerves... Getting Together Again... Excuses at the Ready ... How to Re-light Your Fire - And Make the Second Time around a Success! Two People, But One-sided... Some thoughts on people with love Plan-Bs Passion Fatigue... How to Walk Away from an Unhappy Relationship... Subconscious Sabotage... Whatever Makes You Happy... Money does matter... Body Image Nightmare... Understanding and Overcoming Your Pre-Wedding Jitters and On-the-day Nerves – Age-gap anxiety... Friends Connected at the Hip & Dating... Marriage SOS... Dating Again after a Breakup... Laughed straight between the sheets.... Too Good to be True... Beware the Mention of the Exes... Murder on the Dance Floor.... Lusting after Another Love... The Rise of the Plan B Pact... How Romance Can Be like Extracting Teeth... Credit Crunch Couples... Christmas time advice for struggling couples... Third-Party Interference... Opposites That Don't Attract... The Female Self-Destruct Button The Convenience of Compartments... Unlikely Apologies... Masculine Confidences The Chill Look of Contempt... He/She Isn't the Person That I Settled Down With.... Dating at a Distance... The Imperfect Perfectionists... Why He Doesn't Ring When He Says He Will... The Curse Of The Competitive Couples... It Seemed So Right, Now It’s So Wrong.... I married my mother... Never Under-estimate a GSOH... Don't Get Too Comfortable... Why Not Indulge Him? Bickering Versus A Good Old Barney.... Pre-Wedding Jitters? Join the Crowd... Do They Really Mean It? Never Underestimate The Power Of Affection And Touch ... The Facts About Flirtatious Behaviour... He Has A Nose Like Groucho Marx What Do We Lose When We Gain A New Lover? When your partner reflects on you... How to Get Things Started When You Meet Someone New Advice for struggling couples:... A Guide to Having A Happy Engagement ... Use the days between Xmas and New Year to recharge your relationship How to Get Back into the Dating Game Whose Chat-up Line Is It Anyway? 10 Steps to Overcome the Green Eyed Monster How Love Unrequited Links so Many of Our Hearts How to Breakup Amicably... Beware of the Love Pirates...Here is a warning about the lads who will capture your heart Love is in the air - seven signs that say he's attracted to you! The Best Dating Tips Ever... Whirlwind Weddings – Too Much, Too Soon! Adultery and betrayal, here are some things you might want to consider Does Your Relationship Need Resuscitation? Welcome to the crowd... Has Your Man Disappeared into His Communication ‘Cave’? When the Internet Comes between You Kissing tips that work! Bridge That Glaring Age Gap Try these love challenges (3) The Ultimate Couple's Communication Guide QUIZ: What's Your Love Profile? Try these love challenges (1) Understanding Men A Few Points About Some Male Personality Types - Try these love challenges (2) Become An Action Woman To Find Love Single Women - Personal Growth Try these love challenges (4) "Couple time" at the weekend is crucial! When you "down date" The key to looking interested not desperate when dating! Top speed dating tips! Couples - put your relationship through an MOT! Some top dating tips! More thoughts on first dates! First dates - some dos and don'ts! Beware - the problems with Internet dating! Dating "firsts" Finding love and fun on holiday! When You and Mr Right Want Different Things Relationship damage-limitation: quick fix communication tips - The three tell tale signs you aren't quite over your ex Some points about men who might give you "mad cow disease" A Few Thoughts on Successful Relationships Five Top Tips for Long Distance Relationships The Stages of Relationships A few top communication tips! Dating after a break-up Keeping positive when you want to start dating again! Notes on when to talk about BABIES - When He Pays Too Much Attention to TV, Computer Games or gadgets! Making Compromises or Being under Someone's Thumb? Some Thoughts on Adolescent Relationship Worries A Few Thoughts on Broken Hearts Are You Staying with Him or Her Because of Your Lifestyle? Some Questions And Things Men Wonder/Worry About From platonic relationship, to one night stand, to affair Do You Recognise Yourself in These Romantic Profiles? My Thoughts on Pre-Marital Counselling Dating tips for MEN - Surefire Ways and Where to Meet Women Dating tips for WOMEN - Love at First Sight Dating tips for WOMEN - The Wise Woman's Guide to The Art of Flirting Dating tips for WOMEN - What to Do When Things Go Wrong Dating tips for WOMEN - Capturing His Attention Dating tips for MEN - Don't Be a Romantic Loser Dating tips for MEN - Your First Date, First Phone Call and First Kiss An Affair Doesn't Necessarily Spell The End Nine Things You Should Never Say To Your New Love! Get Some Va Va Va-voom for Valentines! What Happened To The Innocence Of Valentine's? QUIZ: What Every Woman Who Wants To Marry Should Know! Christmas-proof Your Relationship For The Fraught Holiday Season! Why Mismatched Couples Should Beware! You Can Get Out Of An Abusive Or Violent Relationship! Just How Manly A Man Do You Want? Understanding The McCartney's War Of Words When They Divorced Toy Boys - The Latest Celebrity Girls’ Fashion Accessory What's the real meaning behind his Valentine's gift to you? Guys - some top tips for buying her a fabulous present! Stop Worrying About Your Wedding! Beat those wedding-day nerves! Dating tips for MEN - The Secrets Of Her Body Language Are You Too Needy In Relationships? A Warning Call To The Lonely And Single Generation! The Secrets of Seduction Prevent an Affair! The Ten-Minute Window in Relationships Has Your Relationship Suffered Over Summer? Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Partner The Nine Signs of a Non-committer The Unique And Quirky Guide To Finding Love In The New Year! Why Do You Have Repeated Relationship Failures? Thoughts on Why Infidelity Is on the Rise Four Fabulous Steps To Improve Your Relationship! MEN: You behaved badly - what to do! Suspect He's Cheating? Seven Secrets of Successful Long-Distance Relationships Find Love For Valentine's Day! QUIZ: Is It Love or Is It Lust? How To Decipher Male- Versus Female-Speak QUIZ: Are You A Man's Woman Or A Woman's Woman? How Marriage Changes Through The Decades Relationship Guaranteed: 10 Little Tricks To Stay Together Marriage SOS – Seven steps to save your relationship! QUIZ: Are You Marrying For The Right Reasons? The Great Matchmaker Guide Prevent A Mid-Life Crisis In Your Marriage The Millisecond Marriages – Too Much, Too Soon! Money, Men And You Seven Secrets of Successful Long-Distance Relationships QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Man? QUIZ: How Likely Are You To Have An Affair? QUIZ: How Insecure Is Your Love? Could He Be A Natural-Born Cheat? Top Relationship Tips For Preventing Christmas Stress Some crucial tips to avoid money related arguments! The New Dating Dilemmas - And How To Cope With Them The Deal Breakers That Threaten Your Relationship QUIZ: Don't Ditch Your Relationship Too Soon! Warning - Divorce Is Dangerous To Your Health! The Fabulous Flirt Guide QUIZ: Great EX-pectations - Is Your Ex Jeopardising Your Relationship? QUIZ: Harness Those Wedding Day Doubts And Nerves QUIZ: Are You Still Haunted By The Ghost Of Your Ex? Beware - Your Broken Heart Should Come With A Health Warning! Heal Your Xmas Holiday Break-up! A QUICKIE FOR YOU: My top five tips for a long relationship Separated But Still Under The Same Roof! QUIZ: Are You Bored To Tears With Your Relationship? Couples: Be careful what you bicker about QUIZ: The Great Guide To Having A Second Go! Seven Ways to His Heart You Probably Haven't Thought Of! The Seven Deadly Signs Your Relationship Is In Trouble Six Signs Your First Date Could Signal Love! Find Love In A Few Weeks!