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"I Regret Nothing": Women Are Sharing The Real Reason They Abruptly Left Their Long-Term Partner

"I regret nothing."

Note: This post contains mention of domestic abuse and violence, rape, emotional abuse, and assault.

After reading a post on a dating subreddit by a man complaining about being ghosted by his girlfriend of multiple years, u/Gwerch took to r/TwoXChromosomes — a subreddit intended for women's perspectives — to reflect on the many men in the comments commiserating over wives who moved out while they were at work or girlfriends who fell off the face of the earth while visiting their parents. More specifically, she noted that they talked about how ghosting is a "shitty" way to end a relationship and how "the women are cowards" before revealing, "I did that, too."

u/Gwerch's post from Reddit

"Women aren't cowards. Men are dangerous," she wrote. In response, her post received more than 15.5K upvotes and 1.1K comments. While some women discussed the topic itself, others shared their own experiences of "ghosting" in order to escape abusive partners. Given the prevalence of the inclination to mischaracterize women escaping domestic abuse as "ghosting" — to u/Gwerch's point — and in an effort to amplify its prevalence, here are some of these women's stories below:

1. "He was never physically violent, but he had a bad temper. I walked on eggshells most of the time. The relationship seemed fine, and we had fun times together, but there was always something off. The same conflicts would come back and never get resolved. I'd be made to feel small like I was the difficult one and my mental health was the problem. It was frustrating. For the longest time, I didn't realize how much it was hurting me — until he'd go away on trips and I could finally breathe. I opened up to my friends and family, and they helped me get out. I took all my stuff when he was at work and moved into my own place. When he came home, he said he was blindsided. 'Why didn't you communicate how you felt?!' Because talking to you always resulted in me being invalidated, interrupted, fumbling through my words, breaking down into tears, and thinking I was the problem. Our mutual friends don't really understand why I left how I did."

uHaul truck

2. "My ex told me that his girlfriend — who he'd been with since high school — moved out while he was at work one day with no explanation. I should have known then what a problem he would be. When I left, I took the kids and went to a domestic violence shelter. I had to be medicated for night terrors and PTSD. That was followed by years of restraining order violations and continued trauma at custody exchanges."

"Statistics show that most women who die unnatural deaths do so at the hands of a romantic partner. Additionally, the most dangerous time for battered women is when they leave. These dudes need to shut the fuck up."


3. "My friend moved out when her husband went away. She told him for over a year things needed to change and she wasn't happy. He ignored her and would tell her they were happy. He just decided everything was fine and gaslit her into thinking she needed to work on herself to figure out why she thought she was unhappy. Every time she was frustrated or sad, he'd tell her she wasn't and if she was, she needed to fix herself as it was obvious they had a happy marriage. This went on for ages. He was fine with that. All his needs were met. She fell into a deep depression that he ignored. When he went away on a business trip, her mood lifted. That's when she realized. The moment she heard about his next trip, she began to fantasize about leaving. I told her to do it. Her mood brightened as she made her plot. He left, and so did she. When he came home, he said, 'It came out of left field,' and asked why she didn't stay to have an 'adult discussion.'"

moving box in empty room

4. "I was living at my ex's place. At some point, our relationship went downhill, and he was like, 'It's not working. You should move out.' I moved out the next day. Later, I found out from mutual acquaintances that I 'ghosted' him and didn't want to work on our relationship."

"Like, bro, what?"


5. "My husband looked me straight in the face and said, 'I'm not in love with you anymore, and I think you should leave.' My mom then bought me a same-day plane ticket, and my infant son and I left. (He knew I wouldn't leave without our kid and didn't want to be a dad or husband.) After I got dropped off at the airport, he said to his friends how awful it was that he had to start all over again because I left him."

seatbelt light on plane

6. "I left my ex-husband in the middle of the night. When I first left him, he loved to tell people I stole his son and left without notice. I actually did tell him, but he didn't take me seriously. He also doesn't give a fuck about our son because, despite having a visitation agreement, he hasn't seen our son since I left almost 17 years ago. When he tells people these things, he doesn't include that he was forcing me to have sex with him — forcing me to get on cam for other men and on the verge of forcing me to have actual sex with other men. He doesn't include that he was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusing me when I wouldn't comply. He doesn't include that he already was seeing another woman from work who also happened to live in the house behind us. I found out she was pregnant after I left."

house exterior with lights on inside at night

7. "A male coworker complained to me that two now ex-wives ghosted him. Both of them packed up their stuff in the middle of the day while he was at work. Both of them also brought their dads and brothers with them just in case of a confrontation. Clearly, he was the villain here. Even his side of the story made him sound horrible. And yet, he still claims to not understand why."

"How do two separate women leave him in this way, and he still doesn't know he's the bad guy?"


8. "I ghosted my first husband. I was 20, and he was beating the shit out of me. I put up with it for about six months. I left because I started to think up plans to 'get rid of' him, and I knew he was not worth going to prison over. While he was at work, I took all my clothes, packed them in my car, and moved across the country. I then joined the Navy. He found me while I was in boot camp. He also found me at my first duty station and called the Red Cross to report me as 'missing.' I had to sit down and defend myself to my Command Master Chief."

person's arm holding the steering wheel while driving

9. "I moved out when my boyfriend left for work. I had the neighbor and their friends come to help move me and my dog as fast as we could. He stalked me for years after that. I slept with a gun under my pillow. Finally, I left the state, but he found me again in 2007 and called me. It was the scariest phone call! He called me by his pet name for me, and I told him to never contact me again. It still disgusts me. I changed my phone number and no longer have my business phone number online. I've never heard from him since."

woman carrying a box to the trunk of her car

10. "My husband was drinking heavily (24/7) after he was fired. He then opened his own company so he wouldn't have to work for idiots. Due to the constant drinking (spanning more than 10 years of our 20-year marriage and being fired from three high-paying jobs), he could not remember anything spoken, so I communicated with him via email and text just so he'd have a record. One day, I emailed him to request that he be home the next evening for a serious chat. He replied, 'Send me an email.' So I did: 'I'm leaving you. Movers are coming in 48 hours. Please find a lawyer.' His reply: 'What do you mean leaving? You can't leave the marriage home. Is this even legal?' I shit you not, he actually said that in an email. I still have it, lol. I replied, 'Slavery and serfdom ended a century ago.' His response: 'I'll make you regret it.' And he did. Oh, he did."

email account screen

11. "I had to ghost someone after a few years together. I was rebounding from a divorce, and my self-esteem was in shambles. He love-bombed me hard. I took the bait, and of course, he eventually pulled the old switcheroo. He was incredibly emotionally abusive and made me feel so much worse about myself (which I didn't think was possible). I broke up with him more times than I can count, but he'd briefly go back to being perfect, and I'd get suckered back in. Every time I'd dump him, he'd get increasingly dramatic to get me back. The second-to-last time, he threatened to kill himself. I took him back to defuse the emergency and quietly plan how to get us both out of that nightmare safely. There was a specific day when his work was going to get really busy for a few months, so I waited until that day and ghosted."

dark living room with light coming in from the window

12. "My mom left an abusive marriage to my former stepfather in a 'ghosting' fashion. Their finances were always separate, so she was able to rent a small place without his knowledge before gathering help to move out while he was at work. (He owned the house prior to their marriage and consistently reminded my mom that it was his home and the rest of us were merely tolerated.) The dude was flabbergasted that she'd 'throw away 10 years of marriage like that' and — gasp — just didn't know why she'd do that to him. He put on a really good show of being this stand-up guy, but he'd flip a switch the second other people weren't around. She left that way because he was a physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive piece of shit who threatened to kill her if she left him. She knew he'd interfere and/or get violent if he was there. She wasn't a coward. She legitimately feared for her life."

empty bedroom

13. "My ex told me this story like he was a big victim — that she left and he knew nothing for two weeks. Poor him. He thought she was dead, and they weren't even fighting that badly. It took me way too long to realize she left because of abuse. I didn't put together all of the pictures on social media of her in a cast after 'she fell' until I 'fell,' too."


14. "I also left my boyfriend when he was asleep in bed. I just grabbed my things and left. My dad had died a week prior, and I'd been asking for support all week. Instead, I got arguments. He then violated all my boundaries, came to my house unannounced, and started another huge argument."

side-view mirror on car reflecting a highway

15. "I 'ghosted' my ex-husband while he was deployed. We had been married for five years. I knew it was a shitty thing to do, but if I tried to leave when he was home, I would have ended up in the hospital or worse. I regret nothing."


16. "Yes, I 'abandoned' my ex-boyfriend after he cheated on me with a sex worker, lied to me about it, and tried to choke me when I attempted to leave him. You know what? I think I'll just sneak out when you’re not around."


17. "The third time I tried to leave my ex-husband, he told me I'd have to leave our houseshare — that we lived in with my friends who, I found out later, secretly hated him — and move back in with my mom. I had a job and was going to school. He spent his days smoking, playing video games on my dime, and not showering. He also love-bombed the shit out of me. We eventually left the houseshare, and three months after, I decided enough was enough. I needed an exit strategy. By the end of that week, I'd secretly packed all my belongings (told him I was reorganizing) and moved out with the help of a friend while he visited his parents. I left him a letter, details about the utilities and how to pay rent, and my wedding band. It was the scariest thing I'd ever done. He then sent me a long-ass message saying that he still wanted me in his life, that I betrayed his trust, and that it'd take a long time for him to forgive and forget, but 'he'd try.' LOL!"

coffee table in a living room

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.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.