Marriages don’t just fall apart overnight. They often end after months and years of both spouses trying to stick it out, firm in the belief that they can work out their issues and sustain their marriages.
Once it’s over, though, most divorcés can look back and pinpoint one exact moment — one overblown argument or one instance where their spouse showed his or her true colors — that should have signaled to them that the marriage was damaged beyond repair.
On Tuesday, divorced men shared the moment they realized their relationship didn’t stand a chance. See some of the most interesting responses below.
1. When he got tired of her outbursts.
“I had a car accident. Lost my job. I was still depressed about family member passing away. My wife decides she really wants a gold watch that costs $999. I tell her I can’t afford to spend money on something like that in our current situation. She shuts herself in the bathroom to cry. That was the first time I didn’t react to that tactics. She comes out few hours later and asks me outright if I want a divorce. That wasn’t even on my mind until that point, but that was the moment I knew.”
2. When the trust was gone.
“It was when I caught myself photographing street signs on my 25-minute journey home from work so that there would be a timestamp of the entire route to disprove constant accusations that I was cheating on her… After that, I just left.”
3. When his wife became a glorified roommate.
“The last year together we felt more like roommates than lovers. She stopped being interested in spending time with me, we stopped showering together and began sleeping at opposite times. She was generally unhappy all of the time. I really wanted to salvage the marriage, but I knew it was over when she finally told me that she just didn’t love me.”
4. When the math didn’t add up.
“Came home from a seven-month deployment overseas to find a five-month pregnant wife. I’m no mathematician but I figured that one out.”
5. When he was suffering from depression and she laughed it off.
“I was telling her about how depressed and hopeless I was feeling. I described it partially as an existential crisis. She laughed at me. She literally laughed in my face regarding my pain. That was the day I realized I didn’t really matter to her.”
6. When he realized she didn’t believe in his dreams.
“Five years ago, I told her I wanted to get out of the military and study to become a doctor. She’s a scientist but she acted like it was the most ridiculous thing I could ever try to do. Her exact words were, ‘You can’t just decide to be a doctor.’ Imagine researching and thinking about something for an entire year and then telling your best friend your hopes and dreams and they just look at you like you’re silly … I started med school four weeks ago. I’m not bitter but she’s going to be really f*cking surprised if she ever decides to do some Google stalking.”
7. When he disagreed with her on how they’d raise their future children.
“When my wife stated that any children we had would be homeschooled by her (she never graduated high school) and weren’t going to get vaccinations. This was non-negotiable. I was young at the time and honestly, it never occurred to me until we had that discussion how much it meant to me. I (naively) figured it was a given.”
8. When he became indifferent to the cheating.
“The precise moment was a few months ago when her long and frequent infidelities stopped making me furious. The anger switched off and I realized, it’s finally over, thank God. I can now plan the end of this toxic marriage.”
9. When he decided to put his daughter first.
“My second wife and I got along great, but over time the relationship she had with my daughter from a previous marriage got worse and worse. I tried not to blame her; she just wasn’t ready to be a mom to someone else’s child. It was hard to accept that, though. We tried counseling briefly but she felt counseling was for ‘crazy people and she [wasn’t] crazy.’ Eventually, my daughter and I left. I hoped she would change her mind and decide to work things out with us, but it didn’t happen. I had to do what was right for my daughter even if it hurt.”
10. When he realized that having hobbies of his own was off-limits.
“My ex and I were watching ‘Knocked Up.’ It came to the scene where the wife is tracking the husband down to catch him while he was ‘cheating.’ Turns out, he had just snuck off to go to a baseball draft. My ex turned to me and said, ‘See how terrible and selfish he is for sneaking around like that?’ I looked at her and said, ‘See how terrible she is for oppressing his hobbies and dreams so much that he has to resort to sneaking around in order to enjoy them?’ I realized right then that she’d done that to me. She had oppressed me, chained me with guilt over my hobbies being immature and childish. She guilt-tripped me because my hobbies took time away from her. Meanwhile, she would never take up any hobbies or interests of her own despite me encouraging her.”
11. When he had the commute from hell and she didn’t care.
“I had to work late one dark winter night, missed my regular train, took a loooong bus and had to walk home a couple of miles from the bus stop in the freezing cold. She couldn’t be bothered to come pick me up because she didn’t want to leave her yoga class early. It had been 20 years of bad stuff, but that was the night I decided it was over. She realized what she had done later, but it was too late then.”