Monday, January 31, 2011


Though I have been single a good portion of my adult life, I was engaged 3 times. Just could never pull the trigger after my failed marriage. This is about one of those times.

Bill was a friend of a friend. He was a known player and heart breaker so my friend some how thought he was the perfect match for me. Pretty sure that wasn't meant to be flattering.

I was also notorious for ducking in and out of relationships whenever they got serious. My marriage had really made me leery of a lifetime commitment. I do believe there were side bets when he and I met whether we would fight fiercely or find love.

Bill had finished law school but was now a career Marine. I guess he just loved service life as he had been raised in the military. Since he had a law degree, he was made a Marine Corps Judge Advocate. His job included military-specific cases, such as courts-martial, assaults, minor crimes , or perhaps personal legal counsel to fellow servicemen and women. Nothing nearly as exciting as the TV show JAG portrayed.

Marine Corps Judge Advocates are Marine officers first and lawyers second. Besides lawyer activities, in the Marines they also do things like lead infantry units. It's the officer equivalent of the "Every Marine is a rifleman" ethos. As a result, they're not "in an office" all day. Bill was definitely a Marine first.

We did hit it off with sparks flying. He was smart, quick witted, surprisingly gentle, considerate, and strikingly handsome in uniform. We were inseparable for about three weeks when he asked me to marry him. Perhaps it would have gone slower but he was on leave and anxious to make the commitment.

He was smitten and I was equally smitten so I said yes and started envisioning my life as a military wife. Being raised almost like an army brat myself, the whole idea appealed. We set the date for the following year, realizing we needed to get to know one another just a wee bit more.

Then he went back to Camp Lejeune. He bought me a Siamese kitten to snuggle with at night, wrote and called constantly. I missed him so much but he was able to get regular time off so it wasn't like I didn't see him at all. During this time, we learned about each other.

We discovered we had sharp differences regarding politics, religion, race and were poles apart in child rearing methods. In the beginning of a relationship, passion paints all those differences a bland, non-threatening color. Surely they will work themselves out is the mistaken path of new love.

Then the deal breaker happened. Have you ever had a potential mate, say or do something so startling that just wasn't tolerable? One day when Bill was on leave, he was bemoaning the fact that he was serving in peacetime. To my shock, he said that he wished America would go to war. I was a bit put off and asked him why.

“Because, I have been trained to kill and I may never get to.“ he said with total sincerity and more than a little vigor. This was not a kid but a 30+ year old.

Sometimes guys, what may impress your buds, just turns off your gal. We just do not have that warrior gene. I am pretty sure this was not a hidden serial killer impulse. It was warrior thinking that I thought had been bred out of the human race.

Any fool knows men killed in war, I just wasn't aware that some actually wanted to. That desire lived in Bill and for some reason, that changed my feelings for him that day and I could never get them back. Perhaps adding this to our many differences, was just what tipped the scales. It was my deal breaker.

As far as I know, he never realized his dream and spent entire his military career uninitiated by serving in peace time or was too old to go to the front when war did come. Today he is selling real estate in Florida and I am sure is a delightful fellow.

When you were dating and before you met Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful, what did you consider to be a deal breaker?


  1. I can assure you that would have been a deal breaker for me as well. I was engaged twice before I met mr. kenju. The first guy was a handsome but hopeless case of arrested development, and although he had been raised with every opportunity, he was lazy and traded on his dad's success. He also had a problem being faithful and I decided he would probably continue that into a marriage. I sent him packing on September 15, 1962, after 7 years of off and on dating.

    The second guy was gorgeous, but too much of a mama's boy for me. He was the baby of 4 boys and after meeting his family, I could tell he would always defer to his mom. There were other problems too; such as he neglected to tell me he was on lithium. I broke the engagement and his momma ran to his rescue.

  2. I was never out there, in the "dating world"...married my high school sweetheart 47 years ago...have known each other 51 years, since I was 15. We haven't experienced any deal breakers yet!

  3. I think I was the one who owned the deal breakers in my relationships.

  4. I am a bleeding heart liberal, and conservative political views are a total turnoff for me. I dated a guy once who was very open about his conservatism, and I was open about my liberalism, but we still had fun together for a couple of years. There was never any doubt that we would split up, and it was amicable.

  5. I'm afraid to comment too much on Bill's desire to murder and will say only that it was no surprise to me to read him lamenting peace. I used to think we would be better off if women were in power, then Palin, Bachmann and their ilk came along.

    My Dad fought hard in WW II and would rarely speak of it but I am certain it almost destroyed him. I think some of these guys don't realize the horrors until they see it and watch our guys on the receiving end of the bullets/bombs. And sometimes that only makes the desire worse.

    Deal breaker for me, had there been such a case would have been extreme religion and conservative politics. Thankfully it never was an issue.

  6. Before I discovered how much more lucrative it was to waitress, I babysat my way through school. I adored my 4 regular kids. One a first date, right after telling a guy this, he replied that he hated kids. He was surprised when I wouldn't go out with him again.

  7. Several years after my husband died, I went on my "first date". We had a lovely time and then came back to my place to watch a movie. I put the movie in and sat on my recliner, he sat on the sofa. My loving, beautiful, gently lab walked over to him. She licked his arm. He back handed her...I could hear her teeth rattle. I came out of that recliner like a bullet, yelling. He was directed to the door. He made one last comment, something like, "she's just a dog". Then I made one last comment, not to be repeated here.

  8. Shortly after Martin Luther King got shot, I was talking on the phone to a boy I was dating and I mentioned how shocked and saddened I was. He said - and I'll never forget it - "I'm glad that n***'s dead." It was an absolute deal breaker. That was it. I'm still appalled that I knew someone who thought or talked like that.

  9. I was young. I don't think that crossed my mind. I also do not understand this desire in some men to kill others in time of war. Personally I think our military would be better off without those people.

  10. After my first failed marriage (of 20 yrs)---it took me another 20 yrs. to even think about dating again... I guess I gave it enough time --to get over the first marriage... BUT--I did have a long list of what I wanted in a man. SO--I never thought I would find the perfect man. Lucky for me, I DID... George is everything I could have ever asked for. We have like beliefs; we were both raised in good, Christian families; we had mutual respect for each other; and we just enjoyed being together. We only dated a few months before getting married --but nothing happened (nor has happened since-over these almost 10 yrs) that would have been a deal-breaker for me. Thanks be to God. I never dreamed that I would find so much love in my 60's.... Wooooo.... Sorry that you never found your perfect man, Patti. It still can happen though...

  11. Ah, I didn't have much experience before Mr. Right. I have met friends who appeared so perfect for a while; then, something got in the way of the friendship, and we went our separate ways. Either something I did or say, or vice/versa. The deal breaker for me would be mean/spiritedness.

  12. Wow, once again a great telling of a part of your life. I am married to someone I have known all my life. But before Sweet Man, I was in relationships that had deal breakers on both sides. The one that stands out the most is a young man who had so many different faces that it was hard to tell who he was. One way for his folks, another for his boss, another for his peers and yet another for me. I just sat back and watched for awhile, unable to fathom how one person could be that many differnt people. Falsehood is my deal breaker, I can't abide a liar.
    I knew someone like your Marine, a friend from high school. Unfortunately for him, he got his chance in Vietnam, he came home very different and wounded, not in body but in spirit. His gung ho attitude was a curse for him but probably also a cover for fear.
    TOB, Linda

  13. I agree with you, that was a deal breaker.
    I could never be with anyone who did not respect and have compassion for animals. Hubby is as much an animal lover as I am. Also, I would consider extreme views in religion or politics as deal breakers.

  14. That's quite a story. Reminds me of Arlo Guthries' Alice's Restaurant, when he started shouting, "I want to kill. I want to kill." That would definitely be a deal breaker for me.

    When my mother was widowed at 67, she was introduced to an 82 year old man as a potential date. She told us the first thing she said to him was, "If you're a republican, I'm not interested." He said, "I'm a lifelong Democrat." They married six months later, and were together until his death at 94!

  15. Deal breakers, hmmmm. Certainly faith issues would be first, smoking would follow closely, and lazy would be something I would run from. :) blessings, marlene

  16. That was a doozy of a deal breaker, Patti.

    I didn't have any pre-marriage deal breakers, but after eight years of marriage and 4 children, there sorrowfully came a day that the deal was off! I remarried seven years later and, while we had our ups and downs, we stayed together until he died.

  17. I'm the same way about someone who is too conservative, especially if the person is mean spirited or just mean.

  18. There were too many to remember what went wrong in each case; sometimes I dumped him, sometimes he dumped me.

    I tend to fall in and out of love very quickly.
    Only the last relationship is meant to be for life., mine is.

  19. You saved yourself from a whole slew of dealbreakers over time, me thinks. There would be been sparks of a different kind.

  20. My last deal breaker was when I found out the guy was already married and have 5 children. I left the state I was living in and moved to Arkansas and the guy followed me here. My dad met him in the driveway one night with a shot gun and told him to leave and never come back...never saw him again.

  21. Finding out he was already married was definitely a deal breaker for me. Too bad, he sure was cute!

  22. kenju,
    I'd say those deal breakers saved you a ton of grief. Think I met one like the first one. Seven years was a long time. Being unfaithful would have done me in.

    Somehow I would have thought that of you. How wonderful to have known and loved each other so long. When you find what you want, why look further.

    I'm sure my former fellows could wear you out telling you about mine.

    Me too, especially today. I may have been more forgiving younger. Makes you wonder how Matalin and Carville survive.

    Most women, Palin excepted,don't have that warrior complex. Would like to see what we could do. Maybe someday.

    Wow, he sure didn't intend to impress did he? That would have done it for me also.

    I don't blame you one bit. What a jerk and I am just sorry your dog didn't bite him where it would hurt the worst.

    Well, he certainly didn't try to hide his feelings. I'd have been gone in a heart beat also. I remember someone saying the same when Kennedy was shot. Impossible to understand that mentality.

    I am pretty sure these are the kinds of guys who give our military a bad name in some countries. It just takes a few.

    I just love your's and George's story. Come back Thursday, I have a story about a friend that you can relate to and will like.

    That would do it for me also. I can't stand that. There just is no sound reason for that.

    Linda in NM,
    I'm with you about liars. Trust is so vital.
    I can understand a bit the very young bragging about fighting in war, no one I have known that came back will even talk about it.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    I can't imagine anyone sharing my house that didn't care for animals. To me that shows the depth of their hearts. Lucky you, think you have a keeper.

    I love that story about your Mom. I am laughing and cheering for them at the same time.

    You know I used to smoke and suppose that was a deal breaker for some fellows I dated. Today as a non-smoker it would be for me also. Now, I can't breathe around the stuff.

    I am so sorry you found out the deal breakers too late but if you hadn't married him, you wouldn't have had those great children. Glad your second was better.

    Story Connection,
    Welcome to TNS and thanks for commenting. I totally agree about conservativism, especially today when we are so polarized. Just can't do mean either.

    So glad you find one that you were happy to stay with. He must quite be special.

    mary lee,
    Me thinkith you speaketh the truth fair maiden. We had a lot of problems, his desire to kill was the end.

    That is a bit scary. Sure glad you had a father who was packing. Guess he finally got the message.

    Oh dear, I had one of those. A real turn off when you find out. Sadly, they usually are great looking.

  23. Yes, his comment was a real deal maker. I also knew a military man who had that same mind set. He would brag about being a trained killer. He made sure he didn't get sent to Viet Nam and then was too old to serve in any of the other wars. I always wondered why he would brag about being trained to kill, but then made sure he never was sent to battle. Unfortunately, I married this guy. He was my first husband. That and many other comments like it were deal breakers that I didn't hear until after the marriage. I wish I'd been as wise as you.

  24. OMG....I certaily agree with turquoisemoon. Back hand my dog and never cross my threshold, ever.
    After my Narcissist husband, I saw all the red flags. I. coming on too soon with a permanent relationship. 2. Catching him in tiny little lies, at first. 3. Phone calls that hang up when I answer. You know all the red flags. I was always looking for them...
    Love and peace

  25. Wow, Patti, you ask some provocative questions.

    The best part about your experience (in my mind) is that you recognized the deal breaker, that which many would have ignored... smart lady! I admire you for knowing who you are, for unless you do no relationship can really work/last.

    My biggest deal breaker was from one who abused; unfortunately I was married to him and when we married I was too young to know any better. Following a divorce and after spending many years alone following that, I realized that I was a pretty good person and didn't need to kiss too many frogs and repeat that mistake.

    Then one day an old friend (of over 30 years) called, and it has been 18 years now, and he's the best guy I know.

  26. Girl,
    You shure rattled some cages, some almost literally. My first marriage was not a good one. I was blinded by the light, lust, and "luv". The first give away was the night I woke about 2am and he was not sleeping next to me. I was worried out of my mind, but figured he would be home soon or something. I wasn't too bright at 16. Anyway he had been out with the boyz fooling around. That was the first of many sad stories ending in him leaving me with 2 babies the week my mother died. That was the final deal breaker. We were Catholic....I'm not anymore. This was before Vatican II when you couldn't get a divorce because you would go to hell. I realized I was living in hell anyway so whatever.

    My husband now is totally opposite and even though we have differences, they aren't enough to leave one another over. The good outweighs the bad or sad with him. Most of the time if he says something weird, I call him on it and it fizzles. We've been married 46 years, this time. We had to regroup and start two kids were nearly a deal breaker for him. He was an only child and having kids all the time was quite a shock to him...then I got pregnant again. God works in mysterious ways. I had to have a hysterectomy so no more children and he was very frightned he would lose me and he nearly did. I'd stayed out of hospitals for 40 years until last spring when everything went all wonky at once.

  27. Interesting post. Thank goodness you were wise enough to realize what deal breakers were.
    Been down that road a time or two.
    Have enjoyed all the posts by those that found a good compadre later in life. Gives me hope for a brighter future.

  28. breaker - that's a good one. I was nineteen - let me see... I was boy and she was girl. That about covers it.

  29. Retired English Teacher,
    Hum, wonder if those were the same reasons Bill didn't get to fight.
    Sorry you didn't catch them with your first husband but neither did I with my ex-husband. We are so easily blinded when young.

    I know how you felt. After my failed marriage, I used to provoke my boyfriends to make sure they didn't have the same problems with jealousy and controlling my husband had. Once burned----

    It was the failed marriage that taught me to be more thoughtful. Prior to that, I knew nothing. I am so glad for you that you found the right one eventually.

    Amber Star,
    The lessons we learn may be painful but they do help us in the long run.
    I am so happy you found your prince.

    Yes, there are a lot of followers who have bounced back from pain to find a really good guy. Sure gives one hope.

    Thanks for the PLOL. (Prolonged laugh out loud.) That sure makes it simple from the male view point. We women sure do a lot of thinking don't we?

  30. Hah, Ultimate deal breaker for me was the beer drinking type becuase my father was an abusive alcoholic so anyone who fell in that realm was done! When I told my now husband that I didn't 'approve' of drinking whenever we were at his parents or out, he'd ask if it was okay to have a glass of wine...I knew right there he was the one!


    However, I think in your situation that would definitely have been a deal breaker! NO DOUBT!!!!

    a fun post and can't wait to read the other answers :)

  31. I never date much. Liked one boy from 8th. grade till I was a senior in High School. He graduated and went off to the Air Force, said he thought we should date others while he was gone. Found out later, he had been doing that all a long anyway. Dated about a total of ten boys. Had a date with Abe, he supposedly was a good friend of the boy I liked from 8th. grade still I was a senior, Abe and I date about 12 days, he gave me a diamond, and the rest is history. Three months later, I had graduated and we got married. That will be 56 years this coming July. Have I ever been sorry, no, but there have been times I would like to smack him up side the head with something. LOL, But then I'm sure he has felt the same way. You can't live with someone that long without feeling that way, I remember at a wedding shower, this one woman, who always acted like she was a little better than anyone else said, Bob and I have never quarreled a day in all the years we've been married. I leaned over to the woman sitting next to me and said, apparently one of them is dead. LOL She died quite a few years later, and it sure didn't take him long to remarry.

  32. Oh, your story reminds me so of my dating in the Viet Nam era. I was living in Hawaii and dated Marines who were on R&R. Some couldn't wait to get back to the fighting. Most were broken and soulless. The deal breaker was if they called the "enemy"--(I didn't have any enemies)--gooks. It was goodbye, Sam.

  33. Sounds like he was an early Rush Limbaugh :), he probably would have crumbled had he actually had to go into battle.

    Racism, neo-con views and the judgmental "christians" that are so quick to decide who is and isn't going to heaven would be a deal breaker for me. And the lady who had a date that actually hit her dog! That would be one huge deal breaker for me, I am quite certain that guy went on to hit the women in his life.

    I think you were wise to break the deal unlike me who had to marry a couple of them before I discovered the deal breaker, :) but am now married for 24 years and have not found any deal breakers with this one.

  34. one guy I was dating started picking up my girlfriends when we were all seated together and thought nothing of it; another guy was bisexual, another was a swinger; luckily I met Gary and we agree on most things so we get along famously.

    I think turquoisemoons deal breaker is bad, very bad - probably would be wife beater too. then the liers, cheaters and those already married and those wanting to kill just to kill, well not good either.

    Oh I just remembered one other guy I dated he was always saying, well "she" wouldn't do that or she looked like this or - always referring to his girlfriend he had just broken up with. He still loved her so I could see it was hopeless, I'd never measure up to her.

  35. Tracy,
    Sure can understand how that would be a deal breaker and am glad you found one that passed all tests.

    Wow, Abe was a man of action and seems like you made a good decision. Don't think any two people can live together with out occasional urges to " smack them up side the head"

    I too grew up in the Viet Nam era and know what you mean. The men who come out of that war not messed up are so special. I think what hurt them the most was that they weren't fighting "for" anything.

    Iowa Gardening Woman,
    Me too. I know some who have married political or racial ideal opposites and don't know how they make it.
    So glad you found your keeper.

    Linda Starr,
    My, you kissed as many frogs as I did. So glad you stumbled on Gary and snagged him off the market.

  36. Well, this would be a deal breaker for me too. I am a pacifist and don't like war and fighting at all, let alone the cruelties committed to P.O.W.'s. You did well to refuse to have a life with this guy!

  37. The deal breaker for me forever is infidelity. ANd my definition is not justa sexual act. It is a much deeper definition.

    I must agree with several you certainly had an abundance of weirdos.

    Yet he is the embodiment of my dilemma about the combat soldier. We teach them to kill; they go to war and do as taught for x number of years. We bring them home and expect a sweet peaceful, would not hurt a fly blend into society. IMPOSSIBLE in my thinking, and I bet the source of many a divorce

  38. A chauvinist would have done it for me.

  39. All the things you mentioned that you and he disagreed on--before the "I want ti kill" remark would ALL be deal breakers for me. And it is probably one of the easons I never married.....To be so far apart on so many essentially important things in this life---Well, I could never have hooked up with anyone in a serious way---and didn't, if these fundemental things were so polarized....!

    Infidelity. This breaks trust and I don't believe you can ever get it back. I admire those people who are able to 'make peace'..but I could not do that. So, I've been alone a lot more than I've been with someone...And that's okay.

  40. Boy honey that was a real deal breaker for sure. lol
    I think mine was anything prejudice against another person would end my friendship really fast.
    As always honey I just love reading about your life. You always entertain me.
    Hope u are staying warm

  41. For me, it's a deal breaker when someone I'm with is rude to someone else when I'm with them. I dated a guy for a long time and then one night he asked the person taking our food order if he had a social security number. It was blatantly bigoted, the young man blushed. I could have crawled under a rock.

    Deal breaker....I never went out with him again!

  42. Reader Wil,
    Thanks Wil, my feelings exactly.

    Have to agree, I guess what disturbed me was his desire to kill.

    Linda Myers,
    They are still around aren't they.

    You are right Naomi. Think that is why that comment was so powerful, it was the last straw.

    Me too Maggie, intolerance is intolerable.

    Rocky Mountain Woman,
    Good for you, I put up with one of those types entirely too long.

  43. It's quite interesting how thing tend to have a life of their own! I didn't meet my Hubby on FB, but we did meet on the internet. Then I moved 8000 miles away!