7 Mistakes That Instantly Kill Relationships

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couples in conflicts

Maintaining relationships can be difficult business, and it only grows more complicated as the time and emotion you invest into a partner increases.

As expected, you won't always get along. There will be plenty of arguments over finances, the clashing personalities of friends and family as well as over little things like how he always leaves the quart of milk in the fridge with not even enough for a bowl of Special K. If your relationship is strong enough, it will breeze right past the small stuff, but sometimes even the strongest relationships will find themselves at a point of no return.

What do you do when a particular situation leaves you sleeping next to the enemy, or even worse, transforms the person you've grown to love and trust into a total stranger? What changes in a relationship make it not even worth salvaging?

We all have a breaking point and while some women can forgive something like infidelity time and time again, there are many others who are willing to call it quits after the first ignored text message. Which of the Seven Deadly Sins of Dating do you think ends a relationship…permanently?

Here are 7 mistakes that kill relationships:

1. Infidelity

Whether it's infidelity of the emotional kind or a full-on sexual involvement, infidelity is one of those things that can easily kill a relationship. People cheat for a variety of reasons that don’t always include being attracted to or interested in someone else and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, there are relationships that can withstand the occasional wandering eye (or lower organs).

Cheating is at times a response to something that is lacking within the relationship, more than it is about greed, convenience, or indecision. But cheating is often more work than it’s worth. If you are unhappy in the relationship you're in, just leave. It's easier said than done most times, but it really is just that simple. 

Too often, there are women who stay in relationships where they are repeatedly cheated on and try to convince themselves that all is forgiven, but will use the incident as ammo every time a disagreement occurs. If you say you're over it, be over it. If you can't get past it, move on to the next.

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2. Abuse

It's obvious that when a relationship includes physical violence or deliberate emotional and mental belittlement, it's time to serve those walking papers.

Unfortunately, I've witnessed many situations where partners are oblivious to the fact that they bring out the worst in each other and too many times their interactions escalate until irreparable damage occurs.

Anyone who takes your temper to a point where it's unrecognizable is probably not your match made in heaven and until you can control your emotions in a healthy way, a relationship is probably one of the last things that you need. When personalities conflict, sometimes there's no one to blame. And any relationship that is harmful isn't worth the tears spent on it.

What people sometimes don't take into account is how dangerous it can be to get involved with someone who is also abusive to them.

When someone is actively engaged in drug or alcohol abuse, it can be difficult for their partner to see that they're not really in a relationship at all. They're playing the side chick while the main girl is the substance. Someone who doesn't love themselves or has unhealthy personal issues is definitely not equipped to offer someone else what they need in a relationship. 

3. Dishonesty

While most of us would be packing after the truth is revealed about something major (e.g. discovering he has a wife or a girlfriend), what about all of the little white lies? Sometimes the small fibs can grow to be more of a problem than the big lies.

Exaggerating about a pay rate, or not revealing that his best friend was once his bed buddy before you came along when combined can lead to the realization that you don't truly know the man you're falling for. You can't build a stable foundation for anything long-term if it is embedded with little cracks of dishonesty.

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4. Disrespect

An ex once accused me of not taking his feelings into consideration. He said I would often dismiss problems that bothered him if I didn’t think they were relevant. Once I laid my ego to rest, I discovered he was right. 

Disrespect can take an obvious form such as a man calling you out of your name or blatantly flirting with other women in your presence, but sometimes a failure to take your partner’s concerns seriously even if you think they are foolish is just as disrespectful. Just because you may not understand where your partner is coming from, doesn’t mean their opinions shouldn’t be validated.

The thing about disrespect is that often more than not, once someone sees that you’re willing to accept being treated any type of way, the disrespect often gets worse. You can make clear what’s acceptable behavior in your relationship from the opening gate without scaring a man away.

5. Lack of support

One of the biggest reasons that people enter relationships is for companionship and support. So what’s the point of being in one where your partner is condescending, and critical and doesn’t defend you or your actions?  Shoot, there are frenemies who’ll at least tell you WHY you may want to re-consider questionable actions instead of just putting you down.

I once dated a guy who could never celebrate my accomplishments without A) trying to convince me that opportunities weren’t results of my work or talent, but merely good luck or B), riding my coattails. 

He could never celebrate my success without finding a way to shine some light on the moves he was making. It’s enough that you have to break other people’s backs in order to avoid getting thrown under the bus in this world, but the home is no place for competition.

Being alone and loving yourself beats being with someone who makes it a point to try and top you every day.

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6. Failure to communicate or listen

Have you ever questioned how great of a listener you are? Do you appropriately communicate your needs and concerns in a relationship? Relationships can deteriorate fast without effective communication. 

Too many times partners assume that they don’t have to say exactly how they feel because their mate should “just know.” I’m sure you’ve witnessed at least one couple in your life who doesn’t know how to have a mature conversation. 

Everything is either aggression and yelling or passive-aggression. Some couples even manage to stay in relationships in which they don’t communicate at all. Miss Lauryn Hill said it best, “Miscommunication leads to complication.” Want to destroy your relationship single-handedly? Fail to take their opinions and thoughts into consideration and watch that thing start to sink quicker than the Titanic.

7. Lack of dependability or confidentiality

Don’t mistake dependable for predictable. The older I become the more I believe that the best relationships are somewhat routine and steady.

Many people get entertained by the extremes of being at one another’s throats all the time followed by being in one’s another’s pants, but what happens when it is time to concentrate on the boring real-life stuff like paying bills and making sure the kids have dinner?

When you’re building a life with someone it’s important for partners to be assured that one another is doing their fair share of the maintenance without the other having to constantly remind them or clean up after them. Your partner should be just that, a partner, not a replacement for your mother or father.

It’s also difficult to discover that you and your partner aren’t the only ones in your relationship. 

Venting to family and friends about annoyances is understandable, but no one other than you and your partner should have the play-by-play of what’s going down in your bedroom. 

Allowing others to repeatedly have a say in what you should do or be doing in your relationship, is like letting them drive your Benz with no mirrors: They’re only getting one view of the story and steering a relationship that doesn’t belong to them.

What is something you absolutely cannot move past in a relationship?

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Toya Sharee is a community health educator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. 

This article was originally published at madamenoire. Reprinted with permission from the author.