Reddit user u/HM333XOXO recently posed the question, "What made you realize the relationship was over?"
1. "The doctor said, 'I think you have stomach cancer. I want to scope your stomach at 5 a.m.' I was terrified. I just went home and sat stunned on the couch with the dogs for hours until she got home from work. I asked her to sit down and told her what the doctor said. I told her that I’d need her to take off work the next day because I wouldn’t be able to drive afterwards, and I needed her to drive me. 'But I don’t want to miss work,' she said. That’s the exact moment I knew our marriage was over."
2. "I found out I was pregnant close to our five-year wedding anniversary. When I asked what he wanted for our anniversary, he said an abortion. When I miscarried three weeks later, he threw a party. The irony of it all is that we got a divorce because he knocked up another woman, who didn't want an abortion because she was Catholic and needed to be married to him. He is miserable in another marriage, and I have been happily divorced for six years now."
3. "When he gave me an STD after 16 years of monogamous marriage, then blamed me!"
4. "I'd just come home from another 12-hour shift at work. The baby's diaper was dirty, the house was a mess, the sink was stacked with dishes, and my ex was goofing around on the computer like always. I remember thinking, as I grabbed the baby and changed his diaper, 'I can't wait until he leaves for his business trip. He's no help; it's easier to do this alone and not have him AND the baby messing things up.' Lightbulb moment: IT'S EASIER TO DO THIS ALONE."
5. "When our power was shut off, but he'd just purchased a new 'fun car' for himself (three weeks after totaling his other fun car). I had no idea we were so behind on bills because he insisted on always being in charge of finances since I 'just stayed home and didn’t work.' I opened up my own bank account the next day and put the $20 dollars he'd given me for groceries in it. I started cleaning houses during the day while my mom watched my kids and left six months later."
6. "I was recovering from a serious car accident, and my recovery was an agonizingly slow process. While staying with my mom during my recovery, I had a breakdown, screaming and crying out of frustration. My then-boyfriend could hear all of this happening from downstairs and came up into the room, where my mom was crying at the state I'd gotten myself into. Every fiber of my soul and being wanted him to cuddle me, not even say anything, just hold me for that moment."
7. "When she told me she cheated on me. There's a lot I can forgive, but cheating is one of the lines where crossing it is an instant deal-breaker. Even if she was drunk, I don't care because it wasn't just one mistake. It was a series of stupid mistakes. She went to a house party with a few friends and got tipsy. She started to flirt with another guy."
8. "His mom kept saying stuff while no one was around, but he wouldn’t believe me. Then, she would change her whole story when even one witness was around, and I looked like a fool. This had been happening, and then, his grandmother died. His mom told me and my parents that we shouldn't go the funeral. She kept insisting, so we didn't go. Then, she started telling everyone we knew about what a crappy daughter-in-law she had and how crappy my parents were for not even going to the funeral. My ex-husband knew what had happened, but not once did he call his mother out."
9. "When she referred to our kids as her kids. That crushed my world, and in an instant, I completely fell out of love with her. I'm no Georgia peach by any means, and I share blame for the arguments. But at that point, I knew she didn't love me that much anymore. That was just the last thing that needed to be said to know it was slowly unraveling."
10. "When my oldest daughter asked me why daddy and I hated each other. I didn’t think our problems affected her up until that point. I knew I couldn’t let her grow up in that kind of home."
11. "We went 24 hours without talking to each other. Not a text message or a phone call, not seeing each other in person. Zero communication whatsoever. I don't think from the day we met that we ever went 24 hours without at least a text message between us. Things weren't great in the few months prior, and I'd had a feeling we were headed to the end. But that day, I knew."
12. "When I woke up three days post-surgery — there had been a cancer scare and complications — I whispered to my husband, 'Could you get me some ice chips?' Mind you, I had not been out of bed or eating/drinking, much less awake. He said, stone-faced, 'Get them yourself.' Not at that moment, but when I processed it later, I knew I could not grow old and be vulnerable with him."
13. "I hated hearing her car pull in the driveway when she got off work."
14. "We went to counseling. First session was productive — we were given 'homework.' The second session, the counselor asked how we did. When it was discovered she didn't do her homework, the counselor called her out on it. We left her office, and she said, 'I don't want to do counseling anymore.' That was when I knew."
15. "My ex would taunt me with the idea that he would have proposed had I not (insert latest error on my part here). It really hurt as he knew how important marriage was to me. Then, I heard via a friend that he was actually intending to propose during our upcoming summer vacation, and I just felt dread. I ended it that weekend."
16. "The words still resonate in my head. 'Either you move out, or I'm moving out. I haven't loved you for the past year.' My first thought was, 'Wait, that was all fake?!' as I thought about all we had done together over the past year. I moved out, and she filed and finalized the divorce. Three months later, she was at my door, crying and saying she wanted to get back together because apparently, the guy she'd been having an affair with wasn't that great after all."
17. "When we were in a counseling session, the counselor asked me why I was so unhappy. I said it felt like I was the one to have to make the adjustments, compromises, and sacrifices throughout our entire marriage while my husband refused to give up anything. She said that was a powerful statement but probably not accurate, then turned to him and asked how he felt about what I said. He just shrugged and said, 'She’s right. I didn’t feel the need to sacrifice anything. And she always gave in.'"
18. "When my ex would state — 10 seconds into every argument, which became more frequent — that 'maybe we don't belong together.' I think it was her way of guilting me into ending the argument and switching to comforting/assuring her. But one time, she said it, and I was just like, 'Well, maybe you're right.' I knew right then that we were done; there was no walking that back, and I felt so much relief."
19. "Caught her in one lie, a few months later caught her in another. This cycle went on for about a year and a half (we dated for three years). Each time, I chose to forgive her, but I was already worried what the next lie would be. She would then get mad at me for being worried that she was lying to me. That’s when (I now realize) I should’ve stopped loving her. She wound up cheating on me, and that was the last time I let her lie to my face. It hurt so much because I really thought that she was the one."
20. "When I would go down in the basement and pretend to do laundry to get time by myself away from her."
21. And finally, "I got pregnant right when our marriage started going to hell. We had been married for seven years. He left me in the hospital after I'd just given birth and told me he'd be back in a little while because he'd gotten his vehicle stuck and needed to go have it towed. I knew that I was not going to see him there again. He left me in the hospital with a brand new baby."
Have you ever been in a serious relationship that didn't work out? If so, what was the moment you knew it was over? Share your experience in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.