Relationship expert Tracey Cox: Signs you should leave your partner for good

Publish Date
Friday, 24 March 2017, 12:24PM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

How many chances are too many chances? Is Katie Price wise or foolish to keep giving her (many) partners the chance to redeem themselves?

Is MIC’s Binky bonkers or romantic for having a baby with JP when they’re had such a notoriously turbulent relationship?

Everyone makes bad decisions now or then - but when’s the cut-off point? If you’re deeply in love with someone, it’s hard to be objective about their behaviour.

This article is designed to help you look at the situation sensibly and logically.


First up, check with a close friend or family member, whose opinion you trust, on whether you’re over or under reacting to what happened.

This checklist will also help you decide how serious the offence is. 

A first-time offence may just be poor judgement. That’s not to say it’s acceptable, but it could be down to communication problems.

A common example of this is not spelling out your expectations of monogamy early on in relationships.

As far as you’re concerned, you’re exclusive but your partner may be slower to commit.

A drunken kiss in the pub might seem acceptable to them if they aren’t sure just how much you value the relationship.

Repeat offences are more serious. 

If your partner knows something upsets you but continues to do it, that means they don’t care if they hurt you or they can’t control whatever it was they did. Either scenario isn’t great. 

Was it a mistake or something planned and deliberate?

A mistake is usually a momentary lapse of judgement – something happened that was spontaneous rather than thought through.

More dangerous is anything that’s been pre-planned, with things in place to hide evidence and what sound like rehearsed stories prepared should you question what they’ve been up to.

Still not sure?

This list is by no means exhaustive but it should give you an idea of where your partner’s offence falls in the general scheme of things.

MAJOR BETRAYALS: One strike and you’re out

Physical violence One literal strike and you should be on your way to the police station.

Major betrayal Coming home to find your bank accounts have been drained without your permission, for instance, is a reason to leave without asking questions.

Serious drug or alcohol addiction Whether you walk or stay for the long, painful rehab depends on how long you’ve been together, whether you have children and how much you value your relationship. But don’t kid yourself it won’t be hell.

Sex addiction The jury is still out on whether sex addiction is real or not. Most of the time sex addiction actually means the person simply can’t resist the temptation to cheat.

Constant lying over a long period We’re all guilty of small, white lies but lying about major areas of your life is not normal behaviour.

Emotional abuse Someone who constantly puts you down, threatens you or belittles you is not worth a second chance.

REPEAT OFFENCES: Two strikes and you’re out

Having a one night stand – again. Once could be a mistake, twice is a pattern of behaviour.

Emotional cheating Once you’ve flagged up that you aren’t happy with the ‘friendship’ your partner is having, they should make an effort to include you or end it.

If it’s continuing, chances are something really is going on.

Affairs Couples can and do survive long-term infidelity but only if there’s no contact. Contacting or seeing the person again is a definite deal-breaker.

Porn addiction that’s seriously affecting your relationship.

Research suggests 99 per cent of men (and a fair share of women) watch porn. But there’s a difference between watching now and then or glued to a screen for a few hours a day.

Not coming home for the night and being completely uncontactable during this time.

Never putting you first and never taking into account your needs and wants reeks of narcissism and selfishness. Continuing to treat you badly means they really couldn’t care less what you think or feel.

Severe jealousy problems A little bit of jealousy is flattering. Someone who questions your every move and flies into rages for innocent things is not.

IRRITATING BUT PROBABLY FIXABLE: Worth hanging in there and working through

  • Smoking and other health issues like over-eating etc
  • Swearing
  • Mild flirting without intent
  • Overspending
  • Not doing the chores
  • Forgetting special days
  • Talking over you
  • Being generally bad tempered
  • Saying something nasty now and then
  • Drinking too much now and then
  • Working too much
  • Snooping out of insecurity
  • Constantly running late

As I said, this list merely scratches the surface of things your partner could do to hurt you but it’s hopefully offered a few clues as to whether you should be seriously worried or concerned.

This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.