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    23 Devastating, Difficult, And Complicated Reasons People Had To Walk Away From Their Marriages

    "I found his collection of panties he'd stole from his conquests, including mine from when we were together the first time. Some were labeled from after we were married."

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who have been divorced to tell us the moment they knew their marriage was over. Here's what they shared:

    Warning: Post contains mention of contemplated suicide.

    1. "There were hundreds of reasons I knew my marriage was over, but the final straw was in 2019 when my grandma was given only a few days to live. I said I wanted to see her one last time, and his response was, 'So, you're gonna go see her, come back, then go back for the funeral? No, you can wait until she dies.' Two days later, when she did die, I fell to the floor crying. I told him my grandma just passed and he goes, 'Okay, well you knew it was gonna happen,' patted my back, and went back to playing video games. I started researching divorce attorneys that day."

    —Angela J., Facebook

    2. "I found his collection of panties he'd stolen from his conquests, including mine from when we were together the first time. Some were labeled from after we were married."


    underwear laid out

    3. "It was over for me after finding out for a second time that she was continuing her affair. I had initially found out around Thanksgiving that she had been having an affair with a coworker. We had decided to go to counseling together, although, looking back, she never put in any effort at all. She had moved back in after a month or two of staying with her parents. She hated that I wanted to look through her phone or that I always asked who she was going out with if she was leaving. Long story short, she wanted to go out to a coworker's birthday party, and I agreed because I didn't want to seem unreasonable since we were 'working' on things. She came home around 1:00 a.m. and fell asleep, and I decided to look through her phone."

    "There was a message thread from the person that she was having an affair with telling her to make sure she didn't get tagged in any photos so that I wouldn't know they were both there together. I immediately woke her up, told her to get out, then put her stuff out on the front lawn for her family to pick up."


    4. "I was recovering from surgery and got an infection. I had to wait until the next day to follow up with my doctor for treatment. I was in so much pain that I could barely move. I spent most of the afternoon on the couch trying not to move so it wouldn't hurt as much. Around dinnertime, my daughter, who was 6 at the time, was hungry and wanted something to eat. I asked my husband if he could make it since I was in so much pain. He said he was too busy. I asked what he was doing and he replied that he was trolling people on Facebook. I got up, made my daughter dinner, and decided right then and there that I was done. I did not want to be married to him anymore."


    pills spilled out of the bottle

    5. "I knew my marriage was over the day I decided to cheat. I had never cheated on anyone, and I knew in that moment that I couldn't turn back and I couldn't face my husband with that guilt. That cheating turned into a two-year affair before we finally divorced, but he never did know."


    6. "In the middle of a hurricane, there was a boil water advisory. While the wind was blowing all of my doors open and breaking the hinges, I accidentally knocked a stack of good-quality pots and pans onto my foot, breaking most of my toes. I blacked out from the pain and came to pretty quickly, and my little daughter was on her knees pushing my hair out of my face and trying to dry tears I didn't even know were there. When I asked where her daddy was, she said he went outside. He went to organize the back of his work truck in the middle of a hurricane to avoid being there for me while I was in pain. That's when I knew, but it took two more years before I gave up."


    trees blowing violently in the wind

    7. "I will never forget. I should have known it was over, but I didn’t. I got into a car accident — flipped the car seven times and slid upside-down in the car on the pavement for 20 feet. Emergency personnel had to use the jaws of life to get me out of the vehicle. First thing he said to me when he got to the hospital was: 'How is my car?'"

    —Cameo V., Facebook

    8. "After almost a year of fertility treatments, no luck, and heartache month after month, in a mild disagreement/argument, my partner said the reason we hadn’t gotten pregnant yet was because I 'wasn't trying hard enough.' A week or so later, when things were calm, I asked him what he meant by that or if he just said it in the heat of the moment. He stood by his statement. I knew right then."


    negative pregnancy test

    9. "My ex-wife and I were finally over after some hints of cheating on her part and 12 years of marriage. Though I just so happened to overhear a conversation with a booty call one night, apparently the affair had been going on for a few months. She played the victim and told everyone it was my fault and that I was the bad guy. We were having problems, but I was blindsided because she wasn't the type to do such a thing. Well, I was wrong. Only common sense, patience, and our two kids saved me from going down the wrong path. I don't hate her anymore or even hold a grudge toward her. It's only made me stronger and taught me patience. It's not just men who destroy marriages and families."


    10. "I was sick with a raging kidney infection and the urgent care doctor couldn't determine whether I was just super dehydrated or septic based on my racing heart rate and super low blood pressure. My now ex-husband screamed at me in the middle of the street when I asked him to take me home while waiting on prescriptions when I could no longer stand upright because he was late for a party. I literally spent the weekend alone, crawling to the kitchen to try and rehydrate with bullion, and keeping my door unlocked so my neighbor could help me if needed. He spent the weekend in Napa partying and didn't once check on me. It took a while to get back to the person that I was before I ever met that schmuck, but now I'm divorced and happier than I've ever been."

    —Cari S., Facebook

    woman curled up on the couch

    11. "We'd been having issues just before we got married and were fighting more. I thought it was just the stress of the wedding, but it continued. Then, I thought it was the stress of living with my parents because he wasn't legally allowed to work yet. So, we moved out a year and a half after getting married. The fighting got louder. I tried to admit I was done, but he wanted us to keep trying with counseling. But, closing in on our fourth anniversary and during a conversation about what we each did in the marriage — chores and such — I really knew I was done. I packed and left. I wasn't happy and hadn't been in years."

    —Vanessa J., Facebook

    12. "After being faithfully married for 10 years, the day after my son was born, I got a call from the county health department saying I needed to go in for STD treatment because my spouse was named by another individual who was positive for an STD. That was enough for me."


    test tube and cotton swab

    13. "When I took a class in school that challenged me to examine my beliefs, I realized the only reason I was still with my spouse was because religion said it was the right thing to do and divorce was sinful. I realized I wasn't having a spiritual experience, but actually abiding by archaic patriarchal rules designed to limit women. There was a whole laundry list of reasons, like him not paying any bills, refusing to get a steady job, bailing on me during graduate school, opening credit cards behind my back, losing our kid, etc. I thank my professors to this day for opening my eyes to a better life for me and my child."


    14. "When he tried to move his girlfriend into our home. He couldn't understand why I objected! Our kids were 4 and 7."


    moving boxes stacked

    15. "I have a really great job and my husband had a job in a field he loved, so even though I earned twice as much, we were both happy. We decided to have a kid. He was the one who first brought it up, and I said I wasn't going to be a stay-at-home mom. We decided on a nanny after my year of maternity leave. Nine months after our son was born, my husband lost his job because he was negligent and cost his company money. It was a bad time. For three months we were both home with our son, but he did nothing. I warned him when I went back to work we wouldn't get a nanny until he also went back to work. After my second day back to work, I came home early and my son was sitting in a dirty diaper, crying, and still in pajamas. My husband was playing on his computer."

    "I asked him to leave because he wasn't staying with us while neglecting our son. I hired a nanny. Five years later, he still chooses not to take care of our son, even though he likes to brag about him to anyone who listens. I'm in a happy relationship now, and my son is happy."


    16. "I knew the week before our wedding I actually thought to myself: 'I have $100 in my account. I need to spend it on what I want now because he won’t let me after we’re married.' I should’ve run, but I didn’t. 20 years and 10 kids later, he came home from work and said, “I’ve got a girlfriend and we’re having a baby.' It took six weeks to get everything in order, pack up the kids, and leave. Seven years later, my kids and I are still healing, but we are all healthy and living happy lives."


    woman at an ATM

    17. "I knew my marriage was over with after my ex-wife started saying stuff to me that no wife should. She went as far as telling me I was useless, worthless, I was hated by everyone, and that I should just kill myself. She would consistently bring up things from my past that happened long before she had entered my life. She talked badly about me, my siblings, and my parents. She consistently lied to me and was always argumentative. For me, it had gotten so bad that I almost ended up following through on committing suicide. I was constantly defending her to my family members and friends, but there was so much hatred between us that I didn’t even want to come home at night. She had kicked me out of the bedroom because she said I snored. She constantly complained about the fact that I didn’t make what she considered to be 'high-end' dollars, and she often talked about wanting to be rich so that she could simply stay home and be on Facebook."

    "Looking back, after my divorce and doing some research, I realized that she is a narcissist. We tried marriage counseling at least twice. While we were married for almost six years, we never once consummated our relationship. I had a gut feeling after the first year, 'the honeymoon phase,' that the marriage was in trouble. I worked very hard to try and save my marriage, but no matter how hard I tried or what I did, it was never good enough for her. She consistently needed praise and adoration, as well as attention."


    18. "When my husband, very suddenly, started paying way too much attention to me. He would leave work early sometimes to see if I was home and what I was doing. It didn't sync for me until he literally started accusing me of cheating or possibly cheating. Something kept telling me to check his phone because I was so confused by his demeanor. It turned out he was cheating on me!!! I left him quickly. I was so broken."


    hands taking off a ring behind the back

    19. "After an evening of my husband and I screaming at each other, I went to tuck our 8-year-old into bed. When I did, he asked me when we could be happy. I asked what he meant. He responded with: 'When can we leave dad and be happy?' I knew then that staying together for the kids wasn't working. I quickly made my life ready to be a single parent. I have never regretted leaving. We are better apart than together."


    20. "When we started living like roommates seven years in. We were together for 20 years and married for 11, and it didn’t bother him! His kisses were nice but became more of a passing graze I could live without. The romance was non-existent and any sexual effort/encounter could be wrapped up in less than 5 minutes. No amount of therapy helped. Talking was too much of a bother for him and the three kids that came from our 20 years together were the deal breaker! I figured I put in my time and you can’t fix what someone else doesn’t see as broken. Long story short: it’s 20 years I can never get back."


    hands taking off a wedding ring

    21. "We had been fighting more than not for months, maybe years. During one argument, I shouted at him, 'Do you even think of me and the kids when you're not with us?' His answer was a deadpan, 'No, not really.' Although I had known it for a while, that one comment was all the proof I needed that my children and I deserved so much better. It was the beginning of a very drawn-out and acrimonious end to the marriage."


    22. "When I caught him kissing a friend of ours in our kitchen when they thought I was asleep. Karma plot twist: her husband was also cheating on her with someone else."


    zoom in of a woman putting her hand on a man's knee underneath a table

    23. Finally: "My husband went on a trip to see his 'mother' and never came back. That's when I knew our 25-year marriage was over. LOL."


    Thank you for sharing your stories, and I hope you've found nothing but happiness and healing. I know your stories will help others who are in similar situations, so I commend you for your honesty and vulnerability.

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386.

    If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.