"I Realized I Was Happier Without Her": Men Are Revealing The Moments They Realized They Needed To Break-Up With Their Exes

    "Not being able to share humor with the person that you're with is such a deal breaker for me."

    Note: This post contains mentions of domestic violence and emotional abuse.

    As many of us have probably realized in life, breakups can be complicated, and relationships can be heartbreaking.

    While that's not always the case, of course, u/lukegum69 reminded the internet of this when they asked men, "What made you realize your girlfriend isn’t the one for you?" Many men responded, so here are some of the responses that really stood out:

    1. "My last ex always wanted to go do her own thing, and expected me to just drop my life and go with her wherever it was. If she wanted to move across the state for a university, she expected me to come along and get an apartment close-by, or I could stay behind with no guarantee it would work between us. She never asked how I felt about her plans. It was just her way or no way. I always had this feeling that if I didn't give her attention every ten minutes that she'd want to get it from someone else. I didn't treat her wrongly or act as a controlling guy by any means, it was just a gut feeling I had that I hated."

    Ripped photograph of a heterosexual couple

    2. "She invited me over to cook for me, and instead ambushed me with her 8 friends to interrogate my feelings in the relationship."


    3. "I had an ex girlfriend who tricked me into meeting her parents. I would gladly meet them if she invited me, but she faked a panic attack so I would take her home and her parents were in on it. Seems silly but looked like a sign of deeper issues so I walked away and, seeing the kind of relationships she developed with other guys after me, I’d say it was the right call."


    "My ex did this to me, too. She told me to come hang out with her one weekend. I was like, cool — a day of watching Star Trek, good food, and some 'afternoon delight.' I show up and her entire extended family was there. They made me hold a baby. I'm naturally very awkward around new people, so they all thought I was weird. I could tell my girlfriend wasn't very happy about the poor impression I made. Well, there's a reason I didn't want to meet your family dude."


    4. "When she asked for a dude's number at a party while I left for a minute. I caught her in the act and she still lied about it..."


    5. "I started to realize I was happier when she wasn't around."


    6. "Shortly after waking from anesthesia from a major surgery, and after being administered a high dose of oxycodone, I was discharged from the hospital. As we got to my car, she turned around and asked if I wouldn't mind driving and threw me the keys. Being completely under the influence, I obliged. I drove us the 45 minutes home. After the drugs wore off, I realized she's not the one."

    Young man with his hand in his head outside the car window looking worried

    7. "She told me she never, ever wanted to meet my kids. She came up with a plan that once we moved in together, she could stay at her parents house during my weekends with them. At the time, we had only been together for little over a month. I broke up with her before she took her next breath."


    8. "I grew out of a certain genre of music and moved on to other genres that I reckon she didn't really like. She asked 'Why can't you still like folk and country?' It struck me then that she didn't really love me for who I was. She liked me because I fit this archetype of what she wanted in a partner, and instead of growing herself, she chose to be mad at me for breaking what she wanted in a partner. She ended up cheating on me, with the dude that I gave my old CDs too."

    9. "I dated a girl for two years, and nothing I ever did was good enough for her. She became very controlling and did not want me to hang out with my friends, unless she was there. I finally got tired of the negativity and broke it off. Turned out all my family and friends hated her with a passion and were so happy when it ended."


    10. "I had an ex-girlfriend refuse to watch one of my favorite movies with me, because I had watched it with my ex-wife at one time. This was about a month into the relationship, and it was a movie I originally saw before even meeting my ex-wife."

    Close up of man crying while watching movie

    11. "I realized she could never be supportive or be there for me when I needed her, like when I had to put my dog down. An hour after it happened, she freaked out at me accusing me that I tortured my dog because I had wanted to take the night to see if things would improve. Obviously that wasn't true, but her anxiousness made her react that way — that was how she reacted to anything that wasn't rainbows and sunshine. She basically accused me of torturing my best friend right after losing her. Felt real good."


    12. "My friend was helping me fix my car and saving me a ton of money in the process. It was a hot summer day and we were both stranded until it was running again. I asked if she would bring us by some lemonade or whatever, and she said, 'No. This isn’t the 1950s.' So I said, 'We don’t do things for each other? I would do that for you.' And she hit me back with, 'Well that’s traditionally the woman’s role, so I’m not doing it, and I’m unhappy you asked me to do that. I’m not something you can control for your friends.' That hurt because I always went out of my way for her."

    The undercarriage of a car with a pair of legs at the rear of the vehicle

    13. "My ex once grieved for two years over her childhood dog dying. I was there for her and never minimized it. But when my dad died, it was only a few months before she was saying, 'It's been six months already!'"


    14. "She treated waitstaff, cashiers, and all other customer service people like shit. It was embarrassing how rude and condescending she could be. We didn’t last long at all."

    Couple on a date at an outdoor restaurant, and the women is complaining to the waitress

    15. "Anger issues are one thing but having a full-blown screaming temper tantrum when she didn't get her way was the last straw for me. The first time it happened, it lasted almost an hour and it only subsided because I called her dad and had her speak to him. That should have been the warning flag I needed but I'm patient and chill and believe in second chances. She apologized for her behavior too, so I thought maybe she would change. Then a few months later, temper tantrum again. This time a full out screaming match with both of her parents that lasted for over two and a half hours. I wasn't even involved but I knew at that moment I didn't want to be involved with a woman or a family that communicates like toddlers. Fuck that. My life has been so much more stress free since. She had a lot of great qualities, but that was one I couldn't overlook."


    16. "She faked a pregnancy scare just to 'test' me."

    17. "When she came home from work, the sound of the front door opening made me feel annoyance instead of happiness. I realized that I'd felt this way for months and it never dawned on me. We broke up a few weeks later."


    18. "She didn’t want to come to any of my family functions, and she stopped sleeping in the same bed as me. We had sex maybe ten times in a span of the three years that we lived together. The last straw: apparently we started 'buying our own groceries' — I opened a new bag of bread that she bought and she snapped at me, even though I was paying 80% of the rent and utilities."

    Sponge cake with 'hands off' sign on a post-it note

    19. "I kept waking up with a gut feeling that I shouldn't be in that relationship. Every morning and every night, a gut feeling screamed at me. I couldn't explain it, but I understood what I was feeling if that makes sense. It's not that she did or said anything wrong. It was just a natural gut feeling telling me what I didn't want to hear: that I couldn't see her in my future."

    20. "My ex made fun of me for pleasure reading. She would lay in bed next to me watching Jersey Shore or some other reality TV show, then would complain that I was wasting time reading. She even went so far as to make fun of the books I was reading and me for reading them."

    21. "I broke up with someone after two years because they would always drink and drive. I couldn’t take the thought of them killing themselves, or another person. I hated never knowing if they were safe."

    Young woman staring into space behind the wheel of a car with her nose resting on the wheel

    22. "When my grandma was diagnosed with cancer and I needed someone to talk to, she blew it off to talk about a party she was going to instead. I called someone else and they talked me off the ledge. I realized then that my girlfriend was selfish, self-absorbed, and emotionally unavailable. I broke up with her three days later after six years. There were plenty of other signs along the way, but that was the straw that broke the camel's back."


    23. "After maybe a year or two, it just kinda felt like things had run their course. There wasn't much excitement anymore. We discussed some issues we were having, but didn't really change to fix it."

    A boyfriend washes the dishes in the kitchen as his annoyed girlfriend storms out

    24. "Having to explain all of my jokes because she just didn't get them. Not being able to share humor with the person that you're with is such a deal breaker for me."


    25. "I had been dating a women for about three months. One night she said to me, 'Even when I’m wrong, I’m right.' I laughed because I thought she was joking. She was deadly serious. That exchange opened my eyes to just how manipulative she was, and we broke up soon afterwards."

    Couple sitting close together, looking disconnected

    26. "She'd get drunk and throw adult temper tantrums. She caused scenes at parties constantly. I'm the opposite and a very happy drunk. It was just bad energy."


    27. "I caught her cheating, twice, with the guy at work she started talking about a lot every day after work. Like, a lot. She'd talk about how he said or did this funny thing, blah blah blah. I caught them sexting because she left her laptop on and connected to WhatsApp in Firefox. I had the day off of work and it was dinging over and over."

    Opened Laptop Notebook On Black Table With Mobile Phone And Notes Against Window At Home

    28. "She convinced herself that she's one of those people who should be alone. 'Forever.' She punctuated it just like that in a text, 15 minutes before breaking up with me."


    29. "She tried to drown me in a river. We were drinking by a river and the boys conspired to steal the girls’ alcohol cooler. My friends made a distraction while I grabbed and ran off with the cooler. Sprinting in waist-high water is exhausting. Once I managed to get the cooler to the boys’ raft, I was completely out of gas and just sort of laid down into the water. Where I was at, the water was chest-high. As I was coming up for air, I felt her hands on my face and chest holding me under. At first I was like, 'she’s joking, she’ll let me up soon.' Then I started to run out of breath. Under normal circumstances, I would have been able to throw her off, but my muscles were starting to go limp. She was super angry because, unbeknownst to me, the cooler contained the only kind of alcohol she could drink because of her mild gluten allergy."

    High angle view of people on boats in river

    30. "We took shrooms together and it amplified some feelings of doubt I had about her. The next day we called it quits."


    31. "She cooked all of my food without spices to make me think I had COVID so I wouldn't go anywhere."

    "The Bear"

    32. "I go to a support group every Tuesday, and one night I was famished coming home so I picked up some food. I also ordered some for her too because y'know, I wanted to be nice. I came home, gave her the food I brought her, and she went ballistic. 'Why didn't you dine with me?! Do you not love me anymore? Why don't you think of me!!!' What is so wrong with me wanting to dine when I'm hungry? And then another time, she woke me up in the middle of the night to say that she checked through my messages and didn't find anything incriminating."

    "We haven broken up yet, but I know I will sometime soon."


    33. "I met the family of my significant other. Suddenly, the otherwise easy-to-ignore weird personality traits got huge once I saw them writ large on similar-looking people."

    Man rolling eyes at the table while his girlfriend and her mother are talking behind him

    34. "She always wanted people around. Like someone would call her or text her and she'd invite them over. Someone would come over to watch the game, and she'd invite them to stay the night at our house. Or a cousin of a cousin of a friend of a cousin is getting married, and my ex would want to host a wedding brunch even though she only met this person once eight years ago at some random labor day cookout. A new co-worker moved to our city for the job and even though they don't work closely with my ex, she'd invite the co-worker, his wife, kids, and pets over for the weekend."

    35. "When I got divorce papers in the mail while I was living in a blown out building in Samawah, Iraq, guarding two bridges so the 3rd Infantry Division could cross to go to Baghdad. She was pregnant with another man's kid. We were together for four years."


    36. "She wasn't able to compromise or apologize. I spent years dwelling on the thought that I was responsible for the decline of our relationship, but I realized the things that were happening to me were early signs of emotional abuse. I still try to forgive and move on by keeping what happened in the past, but often when I talk to her, I get reminded of the things that were happening and could have happened for a lifetime."

    "Don't let anyone demand that you put aside your needs for them and then make you feel like you're at cause."


    37. "I was at my cousin's wedding and looking up at the altar and tried to picture my partner and myself there. We had been dating quite a while, it was the end of college, and I knew that marriage would be the next step soon. But I just couldn't see it. It didn't make sense to me. And that was the end."

    Jack Quaid as Ben looks at couple getting married as Alice, played by Maya Eskrine, rests her head on his shoulder

    38. "I wanted to go hang out with my friends for a couple hours. At that point, we had been in the same apartment for two months and were always with each other. As I was about to leave, she made sure I could hear her crying. I ended up not seeing my friends again before the COVID lockdown."


    39. "She never initiated sex. And when she did accept my advances, it was kinda obvious it was a chore for her."

    Shirtless man on bed sits far away from his partner, looking dejected

    40. "She enjoyed doing just about everything, but wasn't passionate about anything. Like we could talk, but it was never in depth. There was no excitement. Over time, I realized it was because she wasn't a critical thinker. She wouldn't dig into an experience and analyze it. She'd do something, experience it, and move on — she didn't want more or less from it. She was a great person, super chill, but I lost interest in talking to her because there were never any further questions or insights."

    41. "When she tried to delete the message thread of my friend that passed away because I spent too much time 'thinking' about him."


    42. "My relationship with the mother of my kids was never, ever that great for multiple reasons, including her overspending and our lack of intimacy. We stayed together for the kids. But eventually, it got to the point where I would come home from work, and she would immediately leave so she could go out with her friends to clubs, spending what little extra money we had, while I stayed home watching the kids. We're talking three or four nights a week. We never went out together because we didn't have money and couldn't afford a sitter, and I couldn't ever go out myself, because 'it wasn't fair that I left her with the kids.' Finally, I found multiple notes from guys with their phone numbers on them. She said, 'Guys give me numbers at the club all the time, but I never call them.' A quick check of her phone history when she was in the shower proved that wrong. I ended it right there."

    Couple arguing on the floor in front of the couch as the wife holds her phone

    43. "I had an ex that kept telling me I was bad in bed. There was always something wrong. At first it was, 'your dick's too small,' then 'sex doesn't last long enough,' and so on. Always complaining. She wanted us to see a sexologist, and even the sexologist was like 'Well, you are having orgasms...' Anyways, I'm glad she's an ex."

    Hand of woman holding baby carrot

    44. "She misspelled my name on her Christmas card to me. I'd known her for over a decade."


    45. "This wasn’t my relationship, but I was involved. I have a best friend; we’ve known each other since the third grade, and now we’re both 26. He’s basically family. Three or four years ago, he started dating this woman, and we all liked her at first. She was funny, stylish, and could hold a conversation in our friend group. They seemed legit happy. There were times where I didn’t get to see him as much, but I was easy to brush it off. Then, out of nowhere, she blocks me on all social media. I assumed they had gotten into a fight and were on the verge of breaking up, and she was worried we'd take his side, so it was preemptive. Turns out that after nearly seven months of dating, she couldn’t handle him being friends with gay guys. She found out I was gay in a conversation with him, and it activated her bigotry. She gave him an ultimatum — either her or me. And my best friend broke up with her."

    Hands of a group of people of different ethnicities with an LGBT flag bracelet

    46. "I was with one woman for seven years, and she completely changed the way I dressed, my hair, the music I listened to, I even stopped playing video games which I loved. I would see my family for 15 min on a Sunday morning, then spend the rest of the entire day with her family because she found my family ‘loud.' She was mentally abusive, to say the least. Every time I ‘annoyed' her, she wouldn’t talk to me for days on end so that I had time to ‘think about what I'd done.' After seven years together and arguing weekly, I walked."


    47. "I realized she couldn't make a decision without running it by her mom first. Anything more complicated than where to go to eat or what to do for date night, her mom was consulted. And nine out of ten times, she did what her mom said. I finally left when we were about to move in together. After going on our eighth apartment tour, we picked a place we liked and applied. Then, she backed out because her mom said she didn't think the place was a good idea."

    Senior mother interfering with couple having argument at home sitting at table

    48. "When all my friends and family were telling me to get out of the relationship. My ex is a good person and we had a great two years together, but I increasingly found myself making big sacrifices while she never moved out of her comfort zone."

    "If all your friends are telling you to break up with someone, listen carefully." 


    49. "It took finding another person who I felt a stronger connection with to acknowledge it, though I probably knew she wasn't 'the one' for a long time beforehand. So, I’m the bad one in that relationship that wasted her time."

    Young groom getting dressed on his wedding day in a traditional Indian wedding outfit

    50. "My girlfriend I was living with expressed interest in wanting to do an adult film. I told her it was fine as long as I was involved, but she insisted it had to be shot legitimately — out of state, with a film crew, and with another guy as her partner. I told her I couldn't support that. She kept bringing it up, and we kept fighting for about a month. Finally, I told her that if that was something she needed to do, then she should do it. But I wouldn't be there for her when she got back."

    When did you realize that it was time to break up with your own partner? Which of these responses resonated with you? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

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