Some couples just have that one defining moment where they realize they're better off on their own, rather than staying in a toxic relationship.
Hitting Him After Dental Surgery?
“I endured a physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive relationship for over six years with my first wife, four of which we were married. There were many, many instances that should have caused our marriage’s demise.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, though, was eight days after I had major dental surgery. Due to a freak medical occurrence, I had to have 28 teeth cut out and two holes drilled into my sinus cavities from top of the back of my gums.
She and I were in a grocery store parking lot, and I asked her not to start an argument in the store because it’s a small town and I was so tired of being ‘those people’. Her reaction was to backhand me in the mouth. Six times.
Or at least I counted six times because I’m pretty sure I lost consciousness. I just remember waking up when we were pulling into our driveway while she’s freaking out because my face is against the window and blood is coming from my mouth like a fountain.
I had to get sewn back up, and the recovery clock reset when she did that, but it was strangely worth it. I’m now happily married to the love of my life, have two beautiful kids and just found out there’s another on the way. I’d go through every bit of that stuff again to get here.”
Thank Goodness For GPS Tracking!
“15 years in, and I find texts on her phone. Completely blindsided, no clue she had it in her to cheat. She told me it was just texting and begged for forgiveness. I caved.
A month later, I checked the phone bill to find that it never stopped. SO I confronted her again. Cue more begging and more denial on my part that she would let the life we had built go down in flames. This went on for a few months. So many promises.
One night, I caught her on the phone when she thought I had left. Suddenly it’s not just texts, it was also phone calls too – just a friend she could talk to that she let things go too far with. She promised to break all contact and even swore that it was never physical.
Then I found emails.
She detailed things that made me sick to read but also included descriptions of his house. She broke finally but swore it was all just in the line of duty. That’s how she met, you see? Visiting nurse service, and this guy was a client. She promised she was done and loved me, you see? No chance she was going to let 15 years go like that.
I wasn’t buying it anymore though. She announced she was going out one night with a work friend and promised they were only going to the bar, then she’d be home, maybe late, but not too late. She had taken over her own phone account by then but wasn’t bright enough to understand that Google Latitude was still showing me where she was, and I wasn’t about to show my hand. She kissed me goodbye and bee-lined right for his house and was there until the wee hours of the morning.
Once I knew where she had headed, I called her dad and my best friend to keep me from doing anything dumb. I will love them both forever for keeping me calm while my world went freakin’ insane all around me. My father in law offered to stay with the kids and wait for her to get home.
Around 3 am, while couch surfing at my buddy’s place, she sent me a nasty text asking where the heck I thought I was. I texted her a screenshot of her little GPS dot at her boyfriend’s and let her know I’d be sending her some paperwork soon.”
Lies Of Her Husband’s Deployment…
“My wife at the time told me that she had called a local radio station, which often discusses hardships that military families go through and sometimes gives away $1,000 to a family in need of help.
She said that she informed the radio station of my deployment and how I didn’t come back the same, and she told them about our daughter (2 months premature and only 8 months old at the time) who had numerous health problems.
My wife explained to me that the radio station hadn’t given away the $1,000 in quite a few weeks so they were going to give us $10,000 for her telling such a heartfelt story. She called me while I was at work to tell me what had happened and I was really excited, I even asked my financial planner to help me draw up a savings plan and figure out which debts should be paid off first, etc. Things were looking up.
I get home that night and rather than being greeted with an enthusiastic hug, she points to the loft and mouths, ‘Not now, I’m on the phone.’ So I go upstairs and wait for her to finish. While I was waiting I could hear her saying things like, ‘Yeah I can get those papers to you’ and ‘No problem, I can have that ready by tomorrow.’ Hmm. Maybe they need identification and proof of my deployment or something, whatever.
Fast forward to later that night and like usual, I’m having trouble sleeping. I decide to get on the computer and listen to the podcast from the radio show.
After a few searches, I find it and start listening to it. This is where my blood starts to boil. She told the DJs that she was a single lady living on her own and that her sister married a Marine and they had a child named Marie (our daughter’s middle name). She goes on to say that Marie is now in her custody after the Marine husband was killed in Afghanistan and the mother was killed in a car wreck and Marie was now my wife’s responsibility.
Hundreds of people called in and offered to help, many of which owned business and wanted to offer things like baby supplies or completely furnishing a nursery for her.
Literally, thousands of people had heard this fabricated story, including some of my coworkers. It was the radio station she was on the phone with and they were asking her to provide death certificates and a birth certificate for Marie, which is why I was shooed away.”
Why He Ate His Anniversary Dinner Alone
“I’d been married for 14 years. We split up the day before our anniversary.
I was freaking tired. When I had something happen to me, it wasn’t a problem, but when something happened to her, it was ‘The Worst.’
One example is a year-long cardiac issue on my end – arrhythmia, stress tests, Holter monitors, specialist appointments, that sort of thing. On her end, one time she choked on some too-hot food and hit her head when she passed out. Those were, in her mind, equivalent.
There are other examples.
When I lost my job and told her I was having trouble mentally, she told me, quote, ‘Just try harder,’ and that was the sum total of emotional support I got in fourteen years of marriage.
By surprise one day, I found out I was seriously ‘sensitive’ to a medication. I passed out for a couple of days, did a lot of vomiting, my body kept throwing errors when I tried to wake up (it’s the best way to describe it) and I was more than a little disappointed when I didn’t wake up in the hospital.
I lost 8 pounds in a couple of days and she was mad that I’d lost weight.
She went on vacations every year with her teams and clubs. She thought of my work trips as equivalent to vacation, so I never got any time off.
Conversations were a nightmare.
If I phrased anything imperfectly she’d hold it against me for years. I told her that sleeping together was a way to feel an emotional bond or something like that, and she kept bringing it up, ‘That’s how you feel love?’ So it was nearly impossible to say anything important about anything at all.
I couldn’t relax at home, I felt like I couldn’t say things or do things without it being recorded (mentally) and thrown back at me. It was like being on camera all the time and it felt like she was just trying to trap me with any given conversation (she still does this; trying to get me to agree to oddly specific phrases or bringing up old issues over email after they’ve been resolved, like the time I caught her stealing money from the children).
In the last year, she just kept asking me, weekly, daily, if I was cheating. She’d been refusing any kind of physical intimacy and told me to stop asking, and when she initiated anything I’d have to guess exactly what she wanted, no questioning from me, and any mistake ended up with her crying. It was dreadful.
So, I kicked my own butt to get into better shape. I went from pear to V and lost a bunch of weight and put on a bunch of muscle.
In counseling, she’d said that she never asked me to do any of the fitness stuff, and my inside voice was screaming, ‘Yes, you did, every time you said I wasn’t attractive enough’ (I ended up losing a total of 90 pounds from the time we met to the time we split).
Then she started accusing me of cheating on her…again. I tried to explain that, ‘Look, if I won’t eat leftover dessert from the kids’ plates, what makes you think I’d be comfortable with cheating?’
I discovered later that there was a very high likelihood that she had cheated on me, and more than once.
In all honesty, whatever, I don’t care about her anymore other than I hope she’s healthy because we share custody of our kids and I don’t want to go to her funeral until the kids are a lot older. She looks terrible though, easily up more than 300 pounds. I hope she gets better.
So what was the final straw?
When I realized that she wanted all the time in the world to fix any problems that she was facing and that I had to face all of mine, alone, and fix them overnight, or sooner if possible.
In the morning after the last counseling session, she asked me if I thought it was okay to lie to people that you’re in a relationship with.
I went to the anniversary dinner alone. The waitress comped my meal.”
He Was Putting In The Most Effort
“She had lost her job, again, after quitting a decent one because she didn’t get along with her boss.
Anyway, a few months go by and I’m doing everything: cooking, laundry, dishes, yard work, etc. I’d ask the kids what does mom do all day and they said she plays on the computer all day.
So the final straw came when I came home from work and had to wash dishes so I could make dinner. Dinner is made so I tell the family it’s ready. She comes to get a plate and serves herself first instead of our youngest child, who was four at the time and couldn’t serve himself. As I watched this unfold it dawned on me: ‘If I’m going to do all the work I might as well do it by myself or find a partner to share the load with because she clearly didn’t want to be on my team.’
I will admit that at the time she was on medication for depression and we went to counseling after the birth of one of our kids as she had postpartum depression. At this time she stepped out on our marriage with at least three guys. I finally got proof with hidden caller ID and a voice-activated tape recorder hidden under our bed. Yep, got to hear them sleeping together. I also need to add that she was never good with money. Blew a small inheritance in record fashion. She would give me money for joint bills and I was handing it back over so she could put gas in her car or she had a bill of her’s due. One year we got a nice tax refund and she promptly tells me she owes her stepdad $2,000.00. Still stayed through all of that, but realizing she was not on my team, well, that was the last straw.”
Self-Reflection At His Favorite Ocean
“We met and spent the first seven years of our married life on the West Coast, then moved East.
Five years later, I took a job back on the West Coast, but it was the middle of the school year, so I went out ahead and lived on my own until everyone could join me.
Things hadn’t been very good between us for a while, but I hadn’t articulated it to her—or even myself—beyond vague feelings of dissatisfaction.
One weekend, out there on my own, I decided to take a day and drive to one of my favorite towns, a town in which I had lived long before I knew her, a town we had visited often while married. It was late afternoon was about to head back to my hotel when I realized that I could visit a particular beach that had special meaning to me from my earlier life there.
I stopped at a convenience store, grabbed a drink, just as I used to do on that beach, and drove out there. I hiked out to a specific spot I remembered, sat down, popped the drink, and looked out over the ocean. And it hit me that I hadn’t done that in over 20 years. Whenever we’d visit the area, I’d suggest stopping at the beach, but she wasn’t interested and would always veto the idea.
This may seem like the tiniest thing, but it was the catalyst for me realizing just how completely dissatisfied I was with our relationship. I think from the time I sat down, I knew it was over within maybe 10 minutes. Just sitting there, sipping my drink, looking at the ocean.”
The Family Dinner That Ruined All Hope!
“The final straw for me was the ex’s family. Her mom, dad, sister and her husband and their 3 kids and me and her were all going out to eat for her birthday dinner at a medium scale restaurant. No big deal, she and I had been fighting the entire time up to this, we actually took separate cars. At the dinner, she doesn’t even sit by me. I end up sitting next to my/her niece and brother in law, and she refuses to look at me. The dinner ends with me paying some $200 for the meal. Well, I heard about it when I got home of how I was making her dad look bad and how I should have let her parents pay and so on.
Her dad is the mid-upper manager for his company making $100k so I didn’t see how I was making him look bad. I gave her her present, a new printer thing, that she’s been wanting for months. She hated it, even after I had to spend hours getting her laptop to even work with it.
That night my dog and I were asked to sleep upstairs on the couch. The dog did because I’m sure he just felt bad. But after 10 years of dealing with her controlling behavior, my not being good enough at anything, and starting fights, I just had enough. I was tired of dealing with it. Not to mention she cared more for the guy she’s with now than she ever did about me.”
Taking Her Anger Out On The Cat?
“My ex and I were always having ups and downs.
She would cut up my clothes when I was out with friends, cut my hair when I was asleep, random violence and have screaming fits, ya know, the usual.
We did the normal things couples were supposed to do and it seemed to prolong the episode for a time. We bought a house for example.
Well, after we had the house the next thing we needed was a cat.
She loved it very much when it was a kitten but as it grew up it became more independent (it’s a cat, duh) and she couldn’t take this and became aggressive towards it.
I remember walking in one day and she picked up the cat and threw it up in the air, it bounced off of the ceiling and then I threw her out of the house bouncing her off the curb.
I still have the cat.”
Silence In Couples Counseling?
“The ex-wife started working at a job with people that were close to her age (25 – 30) instead of a job where her coworkers were in their late 40s – early 50s. She wanted to go out and hang out with them rather than come home and be with her family (myself and our at the time 2-year-old daughter and a godforsaken cat that she just had to have).
There were a lot of other little things that added up over time, mainly her desire to drink and drive (without our daughter in the car thankfully). There would also be 4 days a week of not coming home until 2 or 3 in the morning and not telling a soul where she was or what she was doing.
After a month of that, she said she wanted a divorce. I fought it with everything I had for 3 months.
We decided to go to counseling, where the counselor asked her: ‘Ex-Wife, in your mind in this marriage already over?’ After a literal 5 minute silence, I had the answer I needed. Separated a week later and divorced a year later.
We’re still civil for our daughter’s sake, but I will say that after the initial shock of actually going through a divorce, after us both proclaiming to do whatever it takes and never getting a divorce, I will say I’m much happier now.
I was able to save up and buy a house for my daughter and me, which I would never have been able to do had I stayed married.”
She Never Ended Up At The Dance Club…
“When I caught her lying about going out to a dance club with her friends from work.
It turns out, she’d been dropped off by those friends, at her manager’s house, and they left town together for the weekend.
I’d been working 16-hour days and was pretty wiped that week. She wanted to go dancing with her friends in Houston and stay over the weekend, which I was fine with. However, I had my suspicions, because of texts that previously popped up in the middle of the night. Once, I reached to turn off her phone and saw a text that said something like, ‘I’m glad I kissed you.’ I dismissed it out of exhaustion.
Well, our phones had the family locator enabled, so I checked her location that night she went to Houston. She said she’d be downtown. She was actually way out in west Houston at a hotel. I texted her and asked where she was. She responded by telling me she was in a loud club and couldn’t talk. I called a few times and she finally picked up.
I asked again where she was – she deflected the question, but when I told her what hotel she was in and asked her if she was sleeping with her manager, she started laughing. That really hurt.
So I hung up, drank a few shots and went to sleep.
I started the divorce process the next Monday.
Best decision ever – met an awesome girl a few years later that builds theme park rides. We’ve been married for about 18 months – kid on the way.”
All Those Years Wasted With A Lying Cheater…
“My ex was one big disaster.
However, I stood up by her and tried to work with the hand I had been dealt, so to speak, because she was my wife.
I discovered she was cheating on me. I expelled her from my house.
As the rage subsided, we started talking again. I convinced her to move back in and we agreed, as she had suggested when I first confronted her, to go to therapy together. She promised to never contact the guy again.
Five months later, as I am finally facing the fact that she lies to me constantly and about all kinds of things (besides the usual ‘not putting up with her share of the effort’, ‘expecting me to foot the bill on everything’, ‘not sharing stuff she should be sharing with her husband’, etc.), I discover she’s talking to the guy again. So, she keeps cheating and I don’t trust her word one bit. I’m done here.
Now, we had a kid together, and this was in late November, so I chose to extend my misery for seven more weeks, so I wouldn’t ruin my son’s Christmas. I counted the days until January 15th, when I kicked her out for good. Those weeks weren’t that difficult, actually, because she had made me miserable for years, and this period at least had a clear ending date.
Divorced now, and still bitter about all the wasted years with that undeserving woman.”
It Was A Mutual Decision To Split Up
“My ex-wife and I divorced after sitting down on the porch one night and literally having the same thought in our head – we are better friends than husband and wife, and our lives are kind of drifting in different directions now.
I wanted a family, she did not. She focused on her career, I was driven but wanted to spread my focus on family.
After 16 years of marriage, we mutually decided we were giving each other the opportunity to pursue what we wanted in life, which meant ending a chapter and beginning a new.
We’ve been divorced for some time now and I literally see her as my sister in life now.
She has my back, and I have her back and she is one of the biggest cheerleaders to my new relationship that I have been in for almost a year now. It’s crazy to think that my ex-wife is one of my best friends, but I suppose that is what we always were, we just wrapped a marriage around it thinking that was what we were supposed to do (we were teenagers when we married), and in the end, I value her MORE now than I ever did within our marriage, and she’s said the exact same thing to me (which is sad in a way, but also very awesome now).”
Ditched At Baggage Claim…
“My now ex-wife and I flew across the country for her sister’s wedding. She didn’t say a word to me the entire time since we had parked at the airport.
Once we landed at our destination, we walked to baggage claim (absolute silence preceding for several hours now).
At the carousel, I picked up her bag when she took it out of my hand and calmly stated, ‘None of my family knows you’re here–I told them I came alone.’ She walked out of the airport and left me there.
I didn’t go to the wedding. BUT I did rent the nicest hotel I could find and the nicest rental car available and had the time of my life alone for the rest of the weekend. You see, she actually texted me earlier that afternoon and told me she didn’t want me to go. I spent the whole day thinking about it and decided this wasn’t about me, or her, or us–it was about her sister and honoring her new union. I wanted to make sure I was there to support them. I leave work early to catch our flight and my wife’s hanging out at our place with one of our good friends. She pretends like everything is normal, packs my suitcase (that she unpacked while I was at work), and without mentioning a word to me asked her friend to drive us to the airport. It was once we parked that my wife decided to ignore me the rest of the night and pretend like I didn’t exist.
We’re currently in the middle of the divorce process. This experience was just the cherry on top. We lasted 2 years (she moved out the day before our second anniversary). For several months, she would wake up in the middle of the night and scream at me about how horrible a husband I was until sunrise. She’d lie to me about getting blackout wasted when I wasn’t with her, gaslight our every conversation, and verbally/emotionally abuse me to just about every extent imaginable to make sure she always had her way. I never was told why she left me in the airport, but from what I’ve gathered it was so she could get completely wasted at this wedding and hide her problem from me. When she flew home a few days later, she explained that all of this behavior was for me and my best interest (riiiiight).
A few weeks after Airport Abandonment 2K17, I packed my bags and left the apartment for several days to get my head on straight. I text her saying how disappointed I was, how unhappy she had made me, how she didn’t care to put our marriage first, and how I really need her to think about our future because this was the final straw.
You know what her immediate response back to me was?
‘Did you take the car?’
Narcissistic Personality Disorder made for some really fun scenarios.”