Relationship Killers: 17 Things that will Destroy a Relationship

By David Small •  Updated: 05/09/14 •  12 min read

If you have ever been in a relationship that came to an end, then you must have been a victim of one or more relationship killers.

On the other hand, if you are in a relationship, you should know what causes them to fail. Either way, knowing what makes relationships fail is basically a lack of understanding of the killers in the association.

 Relationship Killers

Research done by different studies has shown there are at least 17 major relationship killers in the world today. These are evident in different types of relationships.

The association may be business, friendship, intimate or family. Whichever the case, a union will be affected by the causes of bad relationships. Knowing and understanding the killers can help you improve any association you have with an individual or otherwise.

The following are the 17 Ultimate Relationship Killers. Please get to know them and keep them out of your relationship.


1: Lack of space

A very common, but deadly mistake is expecting your partner to share everything with you. This is especially the case when the relationship is between a man and a woman.

For example, some people assume they should explore every activity together. Activities such as watching football going shopping can be shared often. However, doing this together every time may put a strain on the relationship.

Relationship counselors have discovered that frustration may be experienced by one partner when they do everything together. For instance, if one partner loves watching football and the other is not a fan; the one who does not enjoy the game may feel frustrated.

This is due to the fact that they will be forced to participate in an activity that they do not enjoy. With time, the frustration may lead to a dislike of the party which will, in turn, lead to other problems in the association.

It is therefore wise to ensure your relationship offers each party enough space to do their own things.

 2: Trying to change others

One of the unspoken rules in life is you should never endeavor to change others. A person can only adapt and try to change themselves on their own. In life, you may find that your partner may be doing things that annoy you or disappoint you.

Talking about the issue is one way to handle the problem. Alternatively, you can opt to avoid being present when your partner is doing something you do not like.

A common mistake people make when they are in a relationship is trying to change their partner through various means. It is not unusual to find a person using malicious behavior and cruel words in a bid to change their partner.

Though it may be a solution for the moment, the long-term repercussions are catastrophic. The party being changed may end up resenting their partner with time.

At the same time, changing a partner using this method will lead to exhaustion and frustration for both parties. This is one of the reasons why relationships fail.

3: Changing yourself

In as much you should never try to change your partner, you should also not try to change yourself. To a point, changing yourself for self-improvement is good. A good example is where you find you have bad habits such as substance abuse.

In such a scenario, your relationship will not last as long as your partner is not a substance abuser. Changing yourself to stop substance abuse is a good thing in a relationship.

A mistake people make when they are in a relationship is changing their appearance to make their partner happy. It is not uncommon to find people changing their bodies in a bid to impress their other half.

This is mostly done by women. They will decide to go for surgeries such as liposuction, breast augmentation and so forth. These procedures should only be done when you feel that you are doing it for your own good. If not, just live your life the way you feel it makes you happy.

These procedures should only be done when you feel that you are doing it for your own good. If not, just live your life the way you feel it makes you happy.

More on the topic can be found in Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships by Robert HemfeltFrank Minirth & Paul Meier.

 4: Taking for granted

There are some cases whereby one partner is the perpetual receiver and the other is the perpetual giver. The giving partner is mistreated while the receiving partner expects the moon and stars from their partner.

While the receiving partner may think that the union is solid and happy, this is not the case.

Eventually, the association comes to an end and in the majority of cases, the giver is left with emotional scars. The meeker partner in this situation piles up dissatisfaction to the point they end the relationship.

5: Lying

Lying in a relationship is one of the main causes of failure. It is a serious breach of trust despite how little or trivial the lie may be. Such a union becomes pointless when one or both partners feel they have to lie to each other.

6: Money

If you are going poorly in all your earnings in a joint account there is a problem with your finances. At the same time, if you do not divide responsibilities for expenses, there is a problem.

Find out if you are going to treat every expense as a family expense. Decide if there are some expenses that can be classified as individual expenses.

When you do not clearly set rules about handling finances, especially before marriage, there is a high risk of the marriage being strained or failing.

Decide if there are some expenses that can be classified as individual expenses. When you do not clearly set rules about handling finances, especially before marriage, there is a high risk of the marriage being strained or failing.

7: Forced commonalities

You can spend the whole day with someone, but there are some things they wouldn’t do even if their life depended on it. You may be into instrumental classical music and that’s all you listen to.

Your partner, on the other hand, may never have listened to that genre of music and would find it boring. Forcing each other to change their preferences so that you are able to ‘share everything’ is the beginning of

Forcing each other to change their preferences so that you are able to ‘share everything’ is the beginning of a disaster. This is the kind of blunder that you should seriously avoid. It will strain the union so badly that you will end up breaking it off.

8: Isolation

Giving up your past current relationships with your partner is a no-no. You may hear people saying that their boyfriend doesn’t like their best friend.

In such a scenario, the best friend will last longer and understand you better than your boyfriend of a few months. It is, therefore, crucial to air the value of your best friend. If your partner insists that you stop seeing your best friend, he has a problem and your relationship will not last.

Every important or crucial relationship in our lives offers us vital emotional support and connection. One should never be a replacement for the other.

It is a proven fact that ending previous relationships for your partner will cause your relationship to suffocate and eventually cause its demise.

9: Unspecified needs

“I initially wanted humor, verve, and intelligence in a man. Now I realize that sharing household chores is quite an equal or much more important criterion for me.”

This is a common statement by women who have unclear needs. They will tend to not be sure of what they want in their relationships. Such women may find themselves in relationships that do not last.

Such rude awakens are more common in relationships than you may think. The more people you meet and get close to, the more you will gain knowledge of your needs from a relationship.

Take note that it is not always possible to know all your needs before you decide to be in a relationship. However, it is advisable to have some basic criteria clearly defined.

 10: Life goals which are unclear

Your partner wants to settle down in their cozy hometown while you prefer working and living on five continents. The problem is that you are already engaged.

This is an issue that arises mostly when two people get together without knowing each other well. Relationships 101 by John C. Maxwell states meeting a person and getting engaged within a week is not always a good choice.

Though there are some relationships of that kind that have lasted for decades, most don’t.

Before getting into any serious commitment, each of you must have some basic knowledge of what you want from life. At the same time, you must know how much you will be willing to sacrifice for the relationship.

A healthy relationship can only survive if you have each of your limits clearly defined.

11: Parents

No one can be the same as another individual in this world. This is what makes each of us unique in their way. Furthermore, your relationship with your parents is the most special relationship in your life.

Remember you can never replace your parents. Expecting another person to be the same as your parents and it is unfair and unrealistic. Instead, view them as friendly acquaintances that deserve respectful treatment from you.

12: Interference from parents

Some people, depending on their background, are extremely close to their parents. That is very wonderful as long as the parent-child relationship does not affect other relationships.

Mother-son and father-daughter relationships are quite strong especially in a family that has strong religious values.

If you find your partner’s parents are always part of most of your decision-making processes, then you are in trouble. Too much interference caused by parents of either side is a common deal-breaker.

13: Untimed marriage

Nothing kills a marriage faster than doing it when the other side is not ready. We have all heard of marriages that last a few hours, days and weeks. The constant in such situations is that one of the sides was not ready to get married. There is no crash course in learning a person.

The best way to know if you have found the right person is by spending at least a year with them. To minimize the risk of a failed relationship, take time to ask the right questions and assess your mutual compatibility before making a decision.

14: Divergent values

If you read Sidney Sheldon and she reads biographies, you can still make the union work by offering each other space. However, when your sense of values such as right and wrong are divergent and you hold conflicting morals and beliefs that is very bad news for your relationship.

The differences may not always be discovered immediately. They can only be known when you spend a lot of time together.

15: lack of a social life

The statement ‘as long as we have each other it will not matter if we do not have any friends’ is a sign of disaster.  When the first step of a relationship feels that way, know it is doomed even before it begins. It is paramount to cultivate common friendships and create an active social life together.

One of the ways of preventing an association from becoming claustrophobic is by enjoying the company of others while you are together. It will give the union a new dimension.

16: Obsession

Never put your partner at the very center of your life. Some people do this by thinking and acting as if their lives are always revolving around their partner.

“I would leave my dream job just to be in the same location as my partner.”, or “I no longer indulge in my hobbies so that I can spend more time with my partner.” are relationship killers.

Keep in mind that even though your partner is a crucial part of your life, they are not your life. If you make them the center of your life, you will be brewing the ingredients to a disaster.

Further information is found in Getting the Love You Want A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition by Harville Hendrix.

17: Searching for ‘perfect’

You may know someone who has had several relationships in the past year. You will find that such a person is still single. No one is perfect in this world. No one will be the man/woman of your dreams.

A perfect relationship can never be made by people who are perfect for each other. It is only made by two people who are willing to make their union perfect despite the imperfections of each partner.

A working strategy for finding lasting love is having a rough list of basic criteria. Once the list is made, let your heart take the lead the moment the basic criteria are satisfied. This is a proven and workable strategy for a lasting association.

If you are searching for perfect, you will grow old and lonely. This does not mean you should go for the first person you find who meets your basic criteria. It just means that setting high standards is a sure way of having a failed relationship or no relationship.

I hope my article 17 Relationship Killers has helped you to observe the things that destroy relationships.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Keep Reading

error: Content is protected !!