Breaking Promises In A Relationship (8 Unthinkable Reasons)

Last updated on June 5, 2022 by April Maccario

Broken promises, no matter how big or small  corrodes trust, according to psychotherapists. Trust is an essential prerequisite for any relationship, and if absent, leaves it at the mercy of insecurities. It is, for this reason, very important to date someone you trust, this is because every healthy connection is built on the foundation of love and trust

However, one of the most proficient terminators of trust in any healthy marriage is a broken promise. This kills trust just as fast as cheating and lying does, imagine promising your partner that you would never text your ex again, only for him to go through your phone and realize that you’ve been texting him, he may never trust you again. 

The damage a broken promise does is not easily fixed, it leaves the other party untrusting and insecure of you. It makes it difficult for them to ever believe you again, and, above all, it creates a vacuum, which if not well managed, can lead to a breakdown.

In this article, I will outline the possible reasons people break their promises and include some tips on how to keep to your word. 

2 Simple Ways To Keep Promises

1. Let your word be your bond

In any relationship, be it romantic, business, or official, it is very essential that both parties trust themselves and keep to their part of the agreement. It would be a breach of contract if you agreed to pay a certain amount of money when a particular commodity is delivered to you, and end up not paying at all. 

One of the goals of nurturing romantic relations is building trust with your partner so they can believe what you say. More so, it doesn’t always end in keeping promises you make, but also, not making a promise you can’t keep. It could be the little things like promising to help with the dishes or maybe a promise to stop smoking, you have to be sure you can actually do what you have said. 

Furthermore, experts have argued that keeping to your words in a has a way of making the other party treat you with respect, which in turn sustains trust in the relationship. 

2. Good communication is key

Poor communication between two parties in a relationship can cause it to break down. More so, when a person is always shying away, or not giving enough verbal information as possible to the other party, this can lead to a gradual but swift decrease in trust. 

It is very essential for couples to establish a good and healthy communication link, as this will help eliminate any doubts and insecurities lurking within.  If you have to sleep out with your friends, it is necessary to communicate that to your partner soon enough. 

If you missed his call, return it and give a good explanation as to why you weren’t able to answer the phone when it rang. Fast-tracking back to the business of the day which is on why people don’t keep to their words, the following reasons should be of use.

Reasons For Broken Promises In Relationships

1. Lack of character

 It is important to note that every individual has a different stream of characters that make up his/her personality. However, the lack of it can be best seen in how disrespectful, arrogant, and especially how badly they treat people.

Experts in the study of human behavior have argued that lack of character can be caused by faulty thinking, faulty premise. This is explained to mean the false belief that words don’t really matter. It is very difficult for a person who lacks character or integrity to put much thought into the things they say.

This is because, he thinks words do not really mean much, therefore, when he tells you he would never drink again; never talk to his ex again, or never lie to you again. There is a high likelihood that he is going to break that promise as soon as he gets the chance to. 

2. Self-deceit

This is another reason that is common for broken promises, no one with a good conscience or integrity wants to break a vow they have made. People make a promise with the intention of somehow getting it done, but they might simply get carried away by other trivial things and end up not fulfilling that promise. 

These individuals are known for their immaturity and poor sense of integrity. Usually, during sex, these types of people can promise to buy you an airplane – which of course, is impossible.  

3. Circumstances beyond their control

Most times, people end up being unreliable to one another, and it’s honestly not intentional but due to critical circumstances beyond their control. Your boyfriend may promise to take you to go see a movie on Sunday night, however, on that day; he calls to cancel the outing. As a reason, he states that his mum has been throwing up all day and he cannot leave her in that condition; talk less of going to see a movie. 

Or maybe, he had promised to come to watch a performance of yours or help re-decorate your apartment, but unfortunately, on his way back from work, he got caught up with traffic. It could be that the traffic was moving so slow, so he decided to beat the red light, just then, the police pulled him over. 

Circumstances beyond their control

These scenarios are very much uncontrollable, hence why it is important for you to be understanding because he had no intention of not upholding the promise. 

4. They don’t know how to say no

 As one of the reasons why people ‘’lie’’ or hastily make a promise that they can’t keep is because they aren’t assertive enough to say no, or ‘I can’t.’ In this situation, they genuinely love and care about their partner so much that they would do anything to keep them, so they’ll accept so much responsibility, they won’t be able to keep up. 

You ask him to help you drop something off at your parents, he says “absolutely” so you're confident he’ll get it done. However, he knows his boss said it would be a full day at work that day, and there’s really no way he can get there early enough to drop it off. 

If you know your spouse or partner is the kind of person that can’t say no or tries to overly please you, maybe take it a little easy on him, especially when you can clearly see he’s dealing with a lot. Maybe before asking him to get something done, first ask how his day or schedule is, so you’ll know if he can do it or not. 

5. Personal issues

Everyone has their fears or tasks they would rather not do, and although they know them, most times, they may not be vocal about such things. Although this is really no excuse, because the earlier a person communicates their fears or limitations, it helps the other party understand him better. 

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like swimming, or he is afraid of heights or does not like animals. You will notice that each time you both make arrangements to do any of these activities such as, going to the beach, swimming, flying, or going to the zoo; he will always feel reluctant and end up making excuses for why he cannot make it. 

Oftentimes, he will agree to do it, but later change his mind and fail to show up. This is typical for people who are probably trying to be braver, more social, or even helpful but are not just there yet. 

Frustrated that he doesn't pay you as much attention as he used to?
This is one of the most common issues our female readers face.

It makes you wonder whether he actually likes you or not.

Take this free quiz to see if he actually likes you!

6. Dealing with an introvert

If you are in a relationship with an introvert, you should be ready to get a lot of disappointments when it comes to social gatherings and events. And if you’re yet to be in a relationship with them, you should also be ready for any surprise cancellations. 

Introverts are known for their uneasiness with socializing. Don’t get me wrong, when you all meet up and become friends eventually, they are cool. However, in the talking stages, when they aren’t so free with you yet, expect a lot of drama.

You can make plans for a dinner date on a Friday night at 8 pm, only for them to call at 7 pm to say they can’t make it, “something came up'’. This happens a lot when you’re dealing with some introverts.

7. Self-esteem related issues 

One of the reasons why people break their promises in a relationship is most times, not unconnected to self-esteem issues. If you’ve been chatting with a guy you met on tinder for a while now, and you arrange to meet up Sunday evening at a designated restaurant. 

At that moment,  he may agree, but maybe a day before, he calls or texts to say that something came up. This is clearly a case of low self-esteem because he’s probably worried about you seeing him in real life. He is worried that he might look different from his pictures on his online profile. 

This reason has led many to break promises they made, however, it is important to note that in most cases, these promises were made with a genuine heart, and there were no intentions whatsoever to break or not keep to them. 

8. Feeling independent

Some people do not like the idea of being controlled by someone else, and so, they act in a way that pleases them alone. These types of people are pretty bad at doing things for others. However, they may not publicly come out to say they will not do it. 

Imagine, asking your spouse to not drink tonight when he goes out with the boys. He agrees to it while at home, but as soon as he is with the boys, he immediately throws that promise to the bin, simply because he is a man and should not be told what to do by a woman. 

Bottom line is, a guy who thinks you’re bossing him around, manipulating him or pushing him to do something he’d rather not do, is more likely to break that promise. 


How do you deal with a broken promise in your relationship?

As one of the most suitable ways of managing a broken promise in a relationship, it is important that you evaluate the motivation. This action will give you more clarity as to why the promise was broken in the first place. 

It will give insight to the other party’s reasons for not keeping to their end of the agreement, and also, answer some frequent questions in your head; was it a mission impossible? Did they really want to do it?  Would it happen again? Should they be forgiven? 

What happens if you break a promise? 

Every good and healthy relationship is built on the foundation of trust, where there is no trust, it gradually breaks down. Keeping to your promise in a relationship is critical to the existence of the trust. The moment you start breaking promises you’ve made to your partner, you realize that her trust for you eventually starts declining.

Why does he make promises and then breaks them? 

Experts have identified a couple of reasons why men make promises which they eventually do not fulfill. One of these reasons could be that he is a man with a false personality; has a personality different from what he’s showing to you because he does not want to be judged. Another reason is that he may lack character or integrity. 

People like this usually do not care so much about their words, as well as other people’s feelings. Another is the fear of being rejected, men often jump to making promises even if they know they won’t keep it. They do this so you won’t think that they don’t love you or care about you.

What do you call someone who breaks a promise? 

The best and most renowned name for one who breaks a promise is, promise-breaker. This term is used to describe one who says or promises things he cannot do, or keep to. 

Is it ok to break a promise? 

Breaking a promise is by far, one of the easiest and effective ways of destroying trust and credibility. Keep it in mind that you have worked so hard to gain her trust and now you are about breaking all of it. It is never smart or wise to say something you cannot keep to. It is better not to promise at all than to promise and not fulfill it. 

In A Nutshell...

Just as water is essential for the daily smooth-running of any living thing, trust is equally necessary for the maintenance and growth of any healthy relationship. Therefore, keeping to your promise is one of the ways through which trust and credibility can be attained and maintained. 

I hope this article was helpful to you? Please feel free to share it with friends if it was. 

Do you hate it how everything seems to always revolve round him while you just seem to be an afterthought sometimes?
We hear this all the time from women that contact us asking for help with their relationship.

It almost makes you wonder whether he actually likes you or whether he's just stringing you along.

Why don't you take this quick free quiz to see if he actually likes you!

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.