7 Deadly Relationship Sins to Avoid at All Costs

These behaviors can ruin an otherwise healthy partnership

Feminista Jones
Published in
5 min readFeb 25, 2020
A photo of an African-American couple standing back-to-back, discontent.
Photo: Strauss/Curtis/Getty Images

RReal talk: Humans mess up, and regardless of whatever spiritual faith or religious tradition you adhere to (or don’t), some behaviors are almost universally understood as more intense in their severity. You may have heard of the “seven deadly sins” as part of the Christian tradition — the cardinal sins are considered more serious infractions than other wrongdoings. According to tradition, lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, greed, wrath, and envy are the main “sins.”

I thought it might be interesting to apply them to intimate partnerships. When you think about it, these things can be severely detrimental to the overall success of our partnerships, and if we’re not careful, they can ruin the otherwise happy, healthy life we’ve built with someone special. Let’s consider each one, look at some examples of how they manifest, and talk about ways we can avoid succumbing to them.


Sexual desire is healthy within a relationship and arguably one of the defining connectors in intimate partnerships. With the exception of asexuality or other health-related limitations, most people revel in the lust they feel for their partners. However, lust can be misguided and even weaponized. If you’re in a monogamous relationship, your sexual desire for your partner should be your primary focus; don’t succumb to the temptation of acting on any desires you may have for others. If there’s something lacking in your sex life, it’s your responsibility to communicate that to your partner and make every effort to improve it. If you do end up cheating, whether because you’re unfulfilled at home or you simply can’t say no, own up to it, and don’t blame your partner for your infidelity. Maybe try ethical nonmonogamy in your next relationship if you need more sexual variety.


Though often used in the context of dietary matters, gluttony also speaks to being habitually excessive in your behaviors. One way this shows up in relationships is in what we now consider to be “toxic” behaviors, like being controlling, possessive, and demanding. Wanting to monitor your partner’s behaviors online, over-the-top reactions…



Feminista Jones
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