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Exes Are Revealing The "Wake-Up Call" Moments When They Realized Their Former Partner Did Not Actually Love Them

"It dawned on me one day: Not only was he not sleeping in our bed anymore, but he hadn't in two years. I realized that we'd become just roommates who coparented."

So many movies during this season like to show two people who realize that actually, they are in love. However, it's also necessary to present how people realized their exes did not truly love them and that they needed to break up.

Zoey Deutch and Ray Nicholson break up in "Something From Tiffany's"

And when I asked the BuzzFeed Community about their own "wake-up call" moments in realizing their partners did not love them, there was an overwhelming number of responses. Here are just a few of your own stories of realizing that a past love was going on longer than it needed to:

1. "I was going on holiday for 10 days and gave my now-ex keys to my place in order to feed my cat. I got back from vacation and my cat was meowing and whimpering so much. He was very, very thin and starving. He'd only survived by drinking water out of the toilet bowl. Ex claimed he 'forgot,' although I reminded him several times. I knew he visited because he ate some of my food, but the big bag of cat food remained unopened."

Taylor Swift with her cats

2. "I was having a health crisis. It wasn't immediately threatening enough to call an ambulance, but it was bad enough that I couldn't drive myself to the ER. I called him and asked him to take me there. He took his time to pick me up, and when we were halfway there, he pulled off the highway to make a stop — he left me in the car while he spent a full hour chatting with a friend who was visiting from out of town because 'he was heading out and [he didn't] know when [he'd] see him.' He eventually did take me to the ER, and stayed with me until I was admitted, but I knew then that we were done. I broke up with him the day I got out of the hospital."

Empty hospital waiting room

3. "I knew my ex-husband never loved me when he called me fat — I've struggled with an eating disorder my whole life, and he was mad and wanted to do what hurt me most. So he called me fat. And I was six months pregnant with his second child. That pooper-scooper doesn't even know what love is."


4. "I realized he could never love me the way I needed to be loved because he didn’t love himself. He could hardly take care of himself, let alone our whole family. To love means to take responsibility, to work hard, to sacrifice, to be patient — I did all of that without question. He couldn’t do the minimal daily things, let alone bigger events and issues. He never healed or attempted to try to heal from his childhood pain, so he was stuck as a damaged child in an adult body. He hurt me in every way, except physically, for almost eight years. I loved him the best I could, but he didn’t love me. He would never have been able to."

"We are divorced and I am healing."


5. "I knew when my ex-husband said I was 'too stupid to be a career woman but too lazy to be a housewife,' and went on a long speech about all the things he hated about me. It was, thankfully, a short-lived marriage. I also should’ve realized that he didn’t really love me when he’d get so drunk and mean that I started hiding a bug-out bag of underwear, contacts, and other essentials near the front door just in case I needed to leave quickly."

Woman waits for the subway

6. "I severely injured my lower back and was stuck at home, bedridden, unable to walk unassisted, waiting for a surgical procedure that was postponed due to COVID restrictions at the time. My husband of 10 years was helping to look after me. Despite being in agonizing pain, I constantly found myself thanking him for every little thing and even apologizing for needing him. I'd go for hours without asking for help to go to the restroom or for something to eat, even when I really wanted it, because I didn't want to bother him too much. After my surgery, my mom picked me up and I went to recover at her house. He didn't check on me for three days. We barely spoke after that. About a month later, he came and told me he didn't want me to come home. But I already knew. 'In sickness and in health,' my ass."

Camila Mendes in a hospital bed in "Do Revenge"

7. "I realized after our son was born. We'd been together just over two years, lived together, and were engaged. I had trouble sleeping during my pregnancy, so he would sleep on the couch so he didn't disturb me. After our son was born, he continued to sleep on the couch to 'give [me] room to co-sleep and breastfeed.' Then it dawned on me one day: Not only was he not sleeping in our bed anymore, but he hadn't in TWO YEARS. We were not intimate whatsoever. We did not go on dates or even run errands together, despite my best efforts. At that point, I realized that we had become just roommates who coparented. I told him I couldn't do it anymore, and he seemed completely surprised. I broke it off. He moved out and met someone else a few months later."

8. "I knew when he told me."


9. "It was such a tiny moment compared with the huge issues we were facing, but the moment I realized my ex-husband didn't love me is when he didn't text me when I wasn't home. We were working opposite shifts, so there were only a couple of hours in the evening when we had time together. I didn't want to spend my evening cooking and cleaning for him one day, so I went straight from my workout to dinner with some friends. Hours passed. I knew he had to be up and getting ready for work, and I was wondering why he hadn't reached out to me to see where I was. Well, turns out that if I wasn't there giving him all of my attention every minute, he simply started looking for it elsewhere — he started texting another woman instead of seeing if his own wife was okay. I know because that woman happened to be sitting next to me at the dinner table. I saw it all. And that was when I realized he didn't love me. He just loved being loved."

Zendaya as Rue scolds Hunter Schafer as Jules in "Euphoria": "You love being loved"

10. "I realized my husband of 24 years did not love me when I broke my ankle at work, and the only thing he cared about was how to get my car home. He threw such a fit that I ended up driving home on my freshly broken, unbraced (urgent care ran out of braces) ankle. Things had been rough between us for a while, but I would never have treated him that way if he was injured. I moved out nine months later, filed for divorce, and never looked back."


11. "It was the moment when he asked me for a divorce and told me I wasn’t worth fighting for. Turns out I am, and he can go fuck himself."


12. "My ex and I worked at the same location for the same company doing slightly different jobs. During the pandemic, his hours got reduced to one day a week, while I was still stuck going in five days a week. I didn’t mind and was thankful we both still had our jobs, given how things were at the time. I realized he didn’t love me when, during all his days off, I’d ask him to do minor tasks like move a load of laundry to the dryer or help clean up around the house, and those and any other tasks never got done. His video games were clearly more important. I moved out and got a divorce lawyer."

Man faces away from his partner

13. "I'd just gotten home from the hospital after having surgery, and he said he would only come and visit me if I paid for his bus fare (we didn’t live together). I was too infatuated at the time to see it, but in hindsight, that was shitty."


14. "I found the camera he was hiding in our shower to videotape me, without my knowledge or consent, and for 30 seconds I was relieved I finally had a reason to leave him. After that 30 seconds, I went back to feeling guilty. It took me a while, but I finally figured it out and left him."

kristen bell as "veronica mars" stares at a hidden camera in a ceiling fan

15. "I'm not proud of this, but it took reading Twilight to realize how bad our relationship was. My husband at the time was out of the country when the first Twilight book had just come out, and I wanted to see what the hype was. I knew Edward's behavior toward Bella was not healthy, but it was the overall infatuation and devotion between them that made me realize I never had that with my husband. Not even a little. And I wanted it. After three days of crying, it finally dawned on me that he was acting like such a jerk to me because he wanted me to break it off with him. Absolute coward. Why was I so hell-bent on staying with someone who didn't want me? It gave me the courage to accept the end of the marriage, and we moved forward with a thankfully amicable divorce."

16. "There were millions of signs he didn’t love me before the last straw. The last straw was when I confronted him about not liking me and mentioned that he never laughed at any of my jokes. He said, 'Why do you have to be funny in that way? It’s embarrassing. Why can’t you find a different type of humor to use?' I realized then that he just purely didn’t like who I was. I realized I was done being in a marriage with someone who hated everything about me."

Phoebe Wallers Bridge looks at the camera in "Fleabag"

What's your own moment of realizing that your former (or current) partner did not actually love you? Share your story in the comments or through this anonymous Google form if you wish to remain private. Your truth could help someone else move toward a love they actually deserve.

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