For some couples, the realization that the marriage isn't working is a slow one. Others might say there was a distinct moment that showed them it wouldn't last.
Reddit user u/TCKline01 recently asked the community, "Divorced men of Reddit: When did you know your spouse didn't want to be with you anymore, or you didn't want to be with them?" Here's what people shared.
1. "I caught her staring at our wedding picture. It wasn't a happy stare. At that moment, deep inside, I knew we wouldn't stay together, but I probably denied it at that very moment. It took us another two years to divorce."
2. "I caught my now ex-wife cuddled up with the guy she cheated on me with in my own house while caring for our sick infant son. He was supposed to be a friend. I was helping him out as he had been made homeless. That same night, she tells me: 'I don't love you, and I'm not sure I ever did.' So I moved out. A few months later, she told me she was moving out, so I told her I wouldn't let her move my son away. She says, 'Not a problem!' and asks if I want FULL CUSTODY. My son came to live with me full time at age 2; he's 22 now, and she decided to go no contact for the last 20 years. Here's the kicker: I raised my son to have a strong work ethic, to be courteous, polite, and to have high moral standards. She had three more kids, and they're all little shits! I'm so glad I gave up everything to care for my son. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat."
3. "I texted her from work one Monday morning, asking how her day was going and if she was feeling okay, as she was a little distant the night before/not very affectionate. She agreed she hadn't been, then abruptly ended the relationship. We had been together for about six years and married just over a year. We spent the next two months or so living together but alternating who slept on the couch or bedroom before I moved in with a coworker who needed a roommate. She very swiftly entered into a relationship with this guy she had known for years. I suspect it started well before we split. He made her dreams come true: He was very well off, and she didn't have to work anymore, and I don't think she's had a job to this day 10 years later."
4. "She decided she no longer wanted the responsibilities that come with being a parent. She ended up moving across the country, and I have full custody of my boy. It's been over a year now since she left and two since we divorced. My boy is finally starting to come back around to being the happy kid he was before she destroyed everything around him. He’s 10 and my best bud."
"It sucks because the first five years of our marriage/relationship before the baby were great, and she was so convinced that she wanted to be a mom and have three kids, etc. Once it actually happened and she had to step up and do the job, she became depressed and insular. Every roadblock in his rearing, she would just give up. I know I have a long road ahead of me as a single dad, especially in the career department. I had to step back and take a less important role in being able to have the schedule I need, but I cherish every day I get to spend with my son."
5. "She told me she wasn't happy anymore after coming home and running directly into a shower, crying the whole time. We separated but went to have dinner each week to deal with things logistically. I asked her point blank on one of the last ones, 'Was there anything I could have done to have avoided this.' And she replied, 'No, this has been building in me.' Was much easier to separate after that."
6. "When I realized I'd rather be at work than home with her."
7. "She was gone for a work trip. I was in the kitchen when she came home. I saw her through the sliding glass door walking up. My first thought was, fuck, she’s home. That’s when I knew. I realized how relaxed and happy I had been while she was gone."
8. "When I was blindsided with a letter and email from her lawyer. I was working from home, and I checked the mail and my email. It hit me hard. I wanted to reconcile and fix things. After therapy and finding a coaching program, I realized that I needed to fix myself. I was the asshole."
9. "I was in bed for five days with both the flu and pneumonia. She never came into the room to ask how I was feeling. I got out of bed on the fifth day and saw my 2-year-old child, who immediately wanted me to hold her. I could not for fear of infection, and of course, she started to cry. My then-wife scolded me by saying, 'I wish you were still sick. Life was so much easier without you around.' That was 10 years ago, but I’ll remember it for the rest of my life."
10. "The slow shift in saying, 'I love you.' First, it was equal saying and responding. Then, me saying and her responding. Me saying and her silence. My silence and her silence."
11. "She wanted to be with women. Nothing I could do about that."
12. "When they continued to choose drinking from noon to 2 a.m. literally every day of the week over seeking help. Refusing to even admit that it was a problem. I love that woman to death, but she was killing herself with alcohol, and watching it happen day after day was destroying me from the inside out."
13. "I was working away in another part of the state when she sent me a text ending our marriage of 10 years. I found out she was fucking someone else. It was pretty shitty, but a bullet dodged, it seems."
14. "For me, it was after I gave some serious thought to the questions: Do I want to have kids with her? If something happened to me, and she raised our kids, or her family raised our kids, do I think they'd grow up with the chance to be decent people? I knew the answers were 'absolutely not' and 'zero percent chance,' so I knew that was the end of things."
15. "After years of struggles and thinking she was the best thing ever, even though we both were going through shit, I found out she had been chatting with dudes online. I tried to make it work, but one day I looked at her, and she was no longer beautiful to me. It sounds super pretentious, but it's the truth. I was no longer in love."
16. "I knew I wasn’t happy being with my ex-wife. We had seriously grown apart and had less in common than I realized. She was a bit less than honest and had shown 'interest' in some things I was interested in. Not surprisingly, these things faded with time. My dissatisfaction and unhappiness continued to grow. One day, I was driving to work, and a song (I forget which it was at this point) came on the radio, and I started bawling my eyes out. When I got to work, I called my sister and told her I was absolutely miserable. Her reply? 'Oh, I know. Mom and I have known for years.' Gut punch."
17. "When she started sleeping in a different room."
18. "I caught my ex-wife on a date with another man after she said she was on her way home (15 minutes away) from drinks with coworkers. After 45 minutes of her not showing up, I used Find My iPhone, worried about her, to see she was two towns over. I confronted her when she got home. She said she was on a date because I wasn’t meeting her needs emotionally. After trying to rekindle the relationship and spending six months in therapy, I finally realized she just didn’t love me anymore."
19. "The moment it became physical abuse instead of just emotional."
If you're divorced, was there a moment when you realized your marriage wouldn't work? Share, if you feel comfortable, in the comments below.
Note: Some of these entries have been edited for length and/or clarity.
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.