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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

30 Relationship Destroyers

Have you ever wondered what a therapist is thinking about while you talk about your relationship woes? While I can’t speak for all therapists, I do look for specific factors that can determine the success or failure in any relationship. When an area is revealed, such as a pattern of lying, it needs to be therapeutically addressed or the relationship will suffer. Successful relationships identify these factors and eradicate them as soon as possible.

This list is my compilation of the many ways a person can destroy their relationships. Use it not for your partner, but as a self-checklist to see if you are misbehaving. Then pick one topic at a time and work to fix it.

  1. Pride: an unwillingness to admit being wrong or apologize for mistakes.
  2. Stubbornness: needing to be right all the time even at the expense of your partner.
  3. Selfishness: insisting that everything be about you to the exclusion of a partner’s wants and needs.
  4. Rigidity: refusing to change or grow; being so stuck in your ways that your partner’s perception becomes invalid.
  5. Arrogance: thinking you are better than your partner in intelligence, appearance, influence, or personality traits and characteristics.
  6. Dishonesty: not willing to tell the truth; continuing pattern of lying about large and/or small matters.
  7. Apathy: not caring enough to confront, manage, or resolve issues.
  8. Deception: intentionally hiding the truth from your partner; being secretive.
  9. Exploitation: taking advantage of your partner to get your way regardless of the hurt it causes your partner.
  10. Abuse: harming your partner physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally, sexually, financially, and/or spiritually.
  11. Manipulation: twisting reality/truth to get what you want.
  12. Domination: viewing your partner as inferior (not seeing them as on the same level as you), and viewing yourself as superior.
  13. Controlling: micromanaging your partner’s thoughts, feelings, or actions; telling them how they should think, feel or act.
  14. Disrespect: talking down to your partner or belittling them.
  15. Money: putting money above the relationship.
  16. Bitterness: holding onto past hurts, refusing to let things go, and reliving painful moments.
  17. Addiction: making drugs, sex, gambling, porn, alcohol, work or other substances the primary relationship.
  18. Adultery: having emotional or physical affairs with people outside of the relationship.
  19. Depravity: doing immoral behavior at the expense of your partner whether they are aware of it or not.
  20. Withholding: not willing to be intimate with a partner, withholding parts of self or sex.
  21. Overreaction: your partner can be worn out if you take everything too seriously or if you overreact to small matters.
  22. Minimization: being dismissive of your partner’s concerns is equally exhausting as overreacting to them.
  23. Punishment: unwilling to forgive your partner’s mistakes; this is not about forgetting a mistake instead it is about not allowing the mistake to be put aside.
  24. Intolerance: having no or little empathy for your partner.
  25. Inflexible: resistance to compromising and coming to some agreement.
  26. Jealousy: constantly worried about your partner’s fidelity.
  27. Impatience: insisting that things happen immediately, not waiting for your partner’s timing.
  28. Nagging: nitpicking your partner apart over little things; done slowly over a long period of time.
  29. Abandonment: leaving your partner without warning or explanation.
  30. Cruelty: blaming your partner for all errors, mistakes, misunderstandings, and problems.

With determination, persistence, and courage, any of these areas can be removed from a relationship. It is never too late to do something better.

30 Relationship Destroyers

Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Christine Hammond is a leading mental health influencer, author, and guest speaker. As an author of the award-winning “The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook,” and more than 500 articles, Christine has more than one million people downloading her podcast “Understanding Today’s Narcissist,” and more than 400,000 views on YouTube. Her practice specializes in treating families of abuse, and trauma, with personality disorders involved which are based on her own personal experience. Her new book, Abuse Exposed: Identifying Family Secrets that Breed Dysfunction will be published in 2020. Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor by the State of Florida, a National Certified Counselor, Certified Family Trauma Professional, with extensive training in crisis intervention and peaceful resolution. Based in Orlando, you may connect with Christine at Grow with Christine (


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APA Reference
Hammond, C. (2018). 30 Relationship Destroyers. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2020, from