We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they knew it was time to get divorced. Here are 29 reasons why people decided leaving their marriage was better than staying in it.
1. "When he told me that he had been keeping a secret diary of all the things I did 'wrong.' He told me he cheated on me and the only reason he married me was because he needed help with rent."
"We went to therapy and our therapist told me to end it and get as far away from him as possible."
2. "I knew when I finally applied for and got my dream job, which was in a different city. He got angry and said there were jobs in the city we already lived in."
"It gave me perspective to see how abusive and controlling he was. I had been making excuses up to that point as to why he did the things he did to me and that it wasn't so bad because he rarely hit me. I believed it was always something I did. After eight years together, nearly two married, I waited until he was at work, packed up my dogs and left. I've met my dream man now and I finally know what love is."
3. "When I thought to myself, 'If I never see my family again, I'll be okay, as long as I can be with him.' That's when I knew it was unhealthy and things needed to end."
4. "I knew I needed to get a divorce when I said out loud, 'I really wish he would just cheat on me so I can leave...'"
5. "When he told me during therapy that he had been purposely withholding sex and communication because he knew it would make me sad. If I wasn’t being nice enough to him, his logic was to take away things that made me happy. It pretty much killed any hope to fix things after that."
6. "When the only answer I was allowed to give in a fight was, 'You’re right. I did this, it’s all my fault, I apologize.'"
7. "When I realized he wanted a mom and not a wife."
"I was unhappy, in a toxic relationship where everything was my fault. He was constantly bringing me down and comparing me to his mom. Thing is, he did not let me leave. I'm finally happy with an amazing job and man. Don't let anyone tell you you are not enough or worth it."
8. "The first red flag was when he called me a selfish bitch in front of everyone on our wedding day because I didn’t want to dance at that moment..."
"I brushed that off as a combination of too much booze/wedding day stress, but I wasn’t happy. Then I really got the hint when he drove me to my parents house, knocked on their door, dropped me off and said, 'I’m sorry' and left ON OUR ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Turns out he had been sleeping with a co-worker for at least six months of our marriage."
9. "When my husband came home and told me he’d always love me, but he was going to start sleeping with other women and I’d just have to learn to deal with it."
10. "When I realized the only way I was able to have sex with him was by imagining being with a girl."
11. "When my son was three, his dad came home from work yelling at me in a bad mood. As I sat on the floor with my son jumping on my knee I thought, 'If I stay here, my son is going to grow up thinking this is how you talk to women and one day he's going to talk to me like his dad does and that'll break me.'"
"I started making plans to leave at that point. Eight months later I moved out and the marriage was over."
12. "I knew when he told me he couldn’t continue to live like we were after I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. It made me realize how he was mentally abusive."
13. "I knew when I hadn't seen my husband in almost a year and I wasn't eager to."
"It wasn't that I didn't love him or that he was a bad guy, I just needed more. He'd always been clear on who he was and what he could provide me with. I felt better off alone. And he got a better life out of the deal, too!"
14. "When I found out my wife was sleeping with not one, but two of my closest friends."
15. "When I didn't want him to join our daughters and me on a family trip to the zoo. And when I found out the same day that we had gone to the zoo (without him) he was out dancing at the bar with other women and I didn't feel a twinge of sadness."
"It was the best decision I ever made for me and my children."
16. "When he kissed me goodbye on the cheek on his way out rather than on the mouth. It was the first time he had ever done that. It was kiss that you would give your mom or sister. It showed me that he no longer saw me in that way and it was the end."
17. "He mentioned something about 'our' retirement plan to our neighbor and I realized, 'I cannot grow old with this man.' It felt like a life sentence."
18. "I realized I was killing myself trying to take care of his needs over mine and whenever I asked for his help his response was always, 'I can’t.' I was staying in it for the kids, but when I saw how his self-centeredness was also impacting them, I knew it was time."
"After eighteen years of marriage, I have been single about a year now and I’ve never been happier. Even though I’m a single working mom of three kids, I have more energy than when I was married. It’s been awesome."
19. "We moved to a new city and he told me I didn’t need a GPS in my car because he had one in his and 'we’d never be apart.'"
"A year and a half later, guess what I got AS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT."
20. "I know it sounds corny, but it clicked in my head when I heard Dr. Phil talking about being in love with 'who you wish they were' instead of who they really are."
I was in a bad marriage, but I kept putting a spin on it that it would eventually get better. Dr. Phil woke me up from my denial of what I wished was going on, and helped me gain the strength to leave my horrible situation. So glad that I decided to divorce him and never look back. Now I really am living my dream life with a man who treats me like I deserve to be treated."
21. "After seven years, I knew it was over when I realized the biggest fears I had if we separated were who was going to fix my car and help me with things around the house. I wasn't going to miss who he was as a person, but I was going to miss what he did for me."
22. "I knew it was over when my husband continued to put his mother before me. It seemed like she always had the final say in OUR marriage. He even let his mother rearrange our apartment because it made him feel 'more at home.'"
23. "One day I spent eight hours cleaning the house from top to bottom with my only request from my husband being to wash the dishes. At the end of my cleaning rampage, I found the sink to be as I left it at the beginning of the day, full of dirty dishes. That was the last straw in in a pile of problems. I told him I was done, packed a suitcase, and headed out never looking back."
24. "When I realized I was OK not having kids because I saw how unfit of a father/person he was."
25. "When he made me feel like a monster for not wanting to go to church anymore."
26. "My ex-husband was a bad alcoholic and one day I needed to stay late at work and while I thought he had been at work the entire day, he had actually been out drinking. When I got home, I sat in the recliner for twenty minutes and realized I didn’t want to live my life like that anymore."
"I packed up everything and left with my 2-year-old. He never questioned where we went. In fact, he didn’t realize we were gone until a day later. It was the best decision for me and my daughter's life. Leaving isn’t easy, but can be done, and when you do, you'll flourish."
27. "On our honeymoon when I was annoyed at every little thing he did. I didn’t want to spend time with him, so I would go off on my own and experience it for myself without him."
"I asked for a divorce six months later, we tried to work through it, and then asked again after a little over a year of marriage."
28. "When I realized I didn't have a husband, I had a second father."
"I've never regretted my divorce. I feel more fulfilled in my relationship now than I ever did the entire eight years of my previous marriage."
29. "When I realized my worth. I was tired of making excuses for him and forgiving transgressions that I knew deep in my core were not forgivable. I knew I was worthy and deserving of more. I had to stand up for myself and show my young daughter that no one should take away your self-worth."
Cheers to these individuals for having the strength to move on to healthier and happier lives!
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.