4 Minutes B4 Marriage – Deal Breakers

Last week I asked you to evaluate yourself in several areas to assess your readiness for marriage. Next, if you are in a relationship, you considered the same questions about your beloved. Now I’d like to focus more carefully on the deal breakers that would call you to refuse commitment, no matter how deeply you love. You owe a wise, though difficult decision to yourself and your future children.


  • ADDICTIONS – These include substance abuse, such as alcohol or drugs, as well as gambling. You may love the person deeply, but until they are in recovery and have been for a good long time, they cannot love you enough to give you a happy, healthy relationship. They do not have the free will required to commit fully to you. They may be a wonderful person apart from their addiction, but they can’t help being more committed to the addiction than to you.
  • DISHONESTY – A person who does not respect the truth will lie to you as easily as you observe him or her lie to someone else. A healthy relationship relies on trust and this person cannot be trusted.
  • UNFAITHFULNESS – As much as he or she declares love for you, if there is a history of cheating, you are naive to think you won’t be hurt the same way. Be grateful you learned about this character flaw before you married.
  • UNCONTROLLED ANGER – If this person cannot control his (or her) anger and strikes out in a way that hurts himself or someone else, run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. Even though you have never seen the anger focused on you, you will. If people hurt others intentionally, even with words alone, they are not going to be part of a healthy relationship.
  • DISRESPECT FOR YOUR FAITH – Our spirituality is an integral part of us. If your faith is ridiculed, an important side of you is not respected. To be healthy, all relationships need mutual respect. Think ahead to how his or her opinion would influence your children and their faith life.
  • CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR – A person who wants to make all decisions and who doesn’t respect your independence and differences of opinion is not a partner. Their need to be in charge will intensify with time, possibly to the point of becoming abusive. This behavior may be difficult to recognize from within the relationship, but below are some warning flags taken from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm 


Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?


Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?
  • humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?


  • ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR – It should go without saying that you must not continue a relationship with someone who hurts you. Yet, abusers can seem very loving when they are not abusing and so people remain in a dangerous relationship. If you have ever been intentionally hurt by the other, no matter how sorry he or she was later, end the relationship. If you are afraid of ending it, seek help from friends, family, or professionals. If you’re afraid for your immediate safety, call 911. For help and advice on escaping an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224.


If a person you love falls into one of the deal breaker categories, this may be the hardest, yet most important decision of your life. Break off the relationship. You deserve a healthy beloved and you cannot single-handedly (nor is it your responsibility to) overcome these dangerous behaviors.

In his book, Love Smart, Dr. Phil McGraw says, “Trust me, if you’re dealing with a guy who is broken in some major way, tell him to get help, give him the name of a good counselor but don’t take that on when you still have an option to choose wisely. That may sound harsh, but you are looking for a healthy, functional partner who is uniquely compatible with you. […] It’s the most obvious rule in the world: Don’t pick the one who is broken.”

(Note – we are all somewhat broken but we are talking here about serious incapacity to love well.) Know that God loves this broken person and He will work to help him or her. It is even possible that losing you will be the impetus this person needs to find help and choose to grow.

I hope you are all headed for healthy, happy relationships, but if you find yourself in any of the trouble listed above, please be brave and seek help.

This was a heavy subject this week, and a bit depressing. Here’s one of my favorite verses from the Bible to perk us back up:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

My prayers are with you,

Betty Arrigotti

  • By get your ex back, March 16, 2010 @ 2:10 am

    I thought that this would be bad relationship advice, I was completely wrong, i applaud you for this information.

  • By Betty, March 16, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    Thank you. Not all exes are healthy to get back, unfortunately.

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