In my capacity as agony aunt for Women24 I deal with hundreds of questions every month. “Does he love me?” “Is he cheating on me?” “Should I leave him?” are the most popular type of questions. As I always tell the readers – I’m not a psychic. I can’t tell you if your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife loves you or not.
But I can read the warning signs, and I have to tell you, in the words of the ever immortal Bruce Springsteen, sometimes love just ain’t enough.
So I’ve compiled a list of the top five dealbreakers. Those behavioural patterns where I’d say walk away. In fact, run. Here they are:
• If he lies to you constantly.
Everybody lies. That’s okay, in fact, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But the type of lying I’m talking about is the lying about important stuff. Because when someone lies to you about important things it breaks trust. And a relationship without trust isn’t a relationship at all. It’s a play.
• If you suspect that he shows the slightest sexual interest in your children.
It’s a fact that most abused children are abused by their parents’ boyfriends (sometimes girlfriends) or their stepfathers (sometimes stepmothers). It is your responsibility as a mother to be vigilant, to look out for the interests of your child, and to get rid of someone immediately if you suspect they might have designs on your kids. Remember, it’s NEVER the child’s fault. You must protect your child. Don’t let a lover hurt your children.
• When he is violent and physically harmful.
Men who beat women are in need of serious psychological intervention. You can’t fix them, and it always gets worse with time. I repeat: you can’t fix him. Get out before he kills you or harms your children.
• When he breaks you down to make himself feel better.
This is often a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder and it is a massive red flag. A relationship is a place where you are supposed to feel safe, special, appreciated and happy. If he degrades you to feel superior you should RUN LIKE THE WIND! Not only does it make you unhappy, but what does it say about your chosen life partner.
• When he is pathologically jealous, possessive or controlling.
My mother always used to say that there is nothing more dangerous than a jealous man. And she was right. One person can never belong to another. You may give each other your hearts to keep safe, but no-one should dictate what you wear, where you go, who you speak to, how much money you should get and what you do for a living.
What is your deal breaker? Tell us what makes you head for the door, in the box below...