Breaking up is never easy. After so much time of getting to know another person, caring for them, depending on each, the moment they exit your life is a tumultuous moment of discontent. While its difficultly can not be understated, the transition from taken to single can, at least, be softened, especially if you expected it.
The heartsick loners who narrate the following stories (edited for clarity) can certainly relate. They shared to Reddit the one moment that convinced them their romance was on the decline. For better or for worse, they knew what they had to do. Perhaps you can relate, but hopefully not too closely.
"I was leaving the gym and told her I would be over to her apartment in about 45 minutes after I showered. I kid you not, at the 45-minute mark, she was texting me upset that I wasn't there yet. I apologized and told her I had to go to the bathroom so it was taking a little longer, but I was on my way and almost there.
Showed up at about the 50-minute mark. She would not open the door beyond leaving the security latch attached, and only to tell me to get stuffed. So, after about five minutes of trying to reason with her to let me in and her responding that she didn't want to hang out anymore because I took too long because I was probably talking to 'some floozy at the gym,' I decided to leave.
When I got back to my apartment, I figured might as well entertain myself and play some video games. About 40 minutes later, she showed up to my place banging on the door. I happily opened the door thinking she changed her mind! She saw that I was clearly playing video games and enjoying a glass of red. She walked over, picked up the glass, and threw it on the ground, ticked off that I found something to do other than stare at the wall because she didn't want to hang out with me.
She saw how in shock I was at her reaction and tried to brush up the broken glass with her bare hands. She was bleeding and crying. I was in shock and pleading with her to stop because she was tearing her hands up. I suggested she left and that was the last time we were in the same room together. What a whirlwind of a relationship that on was!
In hindsight now, it is obvious to me that I had just about had enough of her crap at that point. The choosing to play video games was kind of a big deal since I was NEVER allowed to play video games throughout our relationship. She definitely had some major trust issues, as well as a temper and stubbornness. But aside from that, she was a very nice and considerate person. She treated everyone with respect and was very outgoing and hard working. But, for some reason as far as our relationship went, she was a very different person and we did not work well together. Three years of that was too much.
Don't pity me. Pity the poor guy she married about three to five months after the day I described here in my story."
"He and I had this moment, lying on the bed, listening to some music in my room while the sun was setting, the city buzzing away below us, after a long day. I felt this wholesome feeling, like I knew where I belonged. And right then and there, he looked at me and said, 'If you ever leave me, I'm gonna make your life a freaking nightmare.'
I guess I belonged far far away from him.
As to whether he actually fulfilled his promise: the break up was ugly (as expected) and painful (we did love each other at some point), but it was the right thing to do, as I was unhappy and could not see a future together. During the break up, he changed from begging me to stay to calling me every name in the book, threatening suicide etc.
In the year after, he continued to write emails from different email accounts he created (even under MY name!? That was freaking weird) to stay true to his words. I didn't read most of them and at some point he stopped. My life after the break up was beautiful, though, like a huge burden had lifted. So I guess he did not fulfill his promise, but he tried."
"She started calling me Daddy everywhere. It was awkward after a while, especially when she started saying things like, 'Kiss me, Daddy' in public.
It is one thing to do it while making love or in your home once you are married. It is entirely another thing to do when you are 23 and in public."
"Seven hours before I had a big test, she wanted to argue. There was no 'not' arguing with her. If you stayed quiet, she kept going. If you disagreed, she kept going. If you took her side, you were lying. Two hours into the fight, I tried to ignore her and go to bed. She told me to admit we were through.
Might this be a way out?
I said yes. She started questioning if I was serious, so I had to lay it out: 'Yes. We're done. I'm sick of this. We are done. We're over. You're moving. We're done. Now go pretend to sleep on the couch for 15 minutes before coming back in here and yelling more about how I didn't come rescue you from the couch... Yes, I know you that well and I'm sick of all your crap. Go sleep in your freaking car. I don't care. We are 100% done. I'm going to sleep before you ruin my final tomorrow. WE ARE DONE!'
I freaking killed the final like a BOSS. I felt like I was 10 feet tall and free. So, I went to my favorite Mexican place and then killed a burrito, too. All in all an awesome day.
I could insert a classic 'Get stuffed, Karen' type comment, but I won't. My ex had many legit problems in life that I hope she was able to work out. Last I heard she was engaged to someone else 6 months later, and pregnant shortly after. Maybe she learned something from losing me?"
"It had been a short, rocky, abusive relationship. She had been physically fighting me. One time in particular, we had been arguing all day and I said something that struck a nerve with her. She assaulted me I defended myself and fought back. In this crazy sparring match, she had taken my phone from me to prevent me from calling 911. I regained control of my phone, and while I was distracted by calling 911, she bit down on my arm, wrapped both her arms around mine, and took me down.
I remember it hurt so bad, and her bite force was so strong she locked her jaw almost and I was afraid she was going to actually rip a chunk out big enough I would need stitches. I tried to push her face away from me. She was literally in a state of psychosis and she had, like, superhuman strength. She seemed possessed. I could tell she wasn’t gonna let go, so I cut my losses and pulled my arm as hard as I could.
She had bit a huge chunk of my arm out. She spit it out like a sunflower seed shell and smiled all creepy. Her teeth were tinted with my blood. I knew then that there was absolutely no help for this relationship and I was 100% disgusted and no longer loved this person.
She was actually living at my place, and I kicked her out. It was a month long battle to get her to leave then. After that day, I had to truly defend myself against her, and I was much stronger than her. I stopped cowering whenever she would 'come at me' and instead I stood up for myself and that 'turned her off.' Me not being scared of her made her not 'want' me anymore. I was no longer controlled by her, and it wasn’t fun anymore for her.
Now, the scar is almost completely faded, but if you press gently you can feel a lump under the skin still. Instead, I say I got bit by a dog. It’s easier to explain and people usually just drop it after that. It’s completely visible whenever I’m wearing a T-shirt, and people often ask because it’s in a strange spot.
It’s quite embarrassing to me that I had fallen for this crazy person. It was very confusing. Like, do you love me or would you love to eat me?"
"We were together for over a year. He told me he had to go to Minnesota for a couple months on business. He flew me out to visit a couple weeks after he left and took me to do all the fun things. He pointed out all of the great job opportunities in the area, and the great schools for kids.
A few more weeks, I visited him again and it was the same thing, but he had lined up an interview for me at a brewery he knew I liked this time and told me he thought we should move there. I told him there was zero chance of me moving to Minnesota. He freaked out and told me he already bought us a house.
He decided I should move to the other side of the country without ever consulting me. He lied to me for months and tried to change my entire life with zero adult discussion. That's very controlling and manipulative and if you don't see that as a red flag, you should maybe rethink a few things in your life.
I've fully moved on. Still irked, of course, but not sad anymore. I moved to L.A. this past October. I have a great job at a cool brewery and a lovely little house of my own now."
"I was dating him for about 10 months. He was on a five-day bender ignoring every single one of my messages until I said, 'I'm leaving you.' Then, he said he was going to kill himself if I left him (something he said every time I tried to leave). I accepted his threats for a while before, but something just clicked in my head and I couldn't take it anymore.
I simply said 'OK,' blocked him, and sent an ambulance to his house. As much as he was a horrible abusive person, I didn't want to let him die.
When the ambulance got there, his 'friend' sent me a ton of abusive messages saying, 'Why the heck would you do that?' etc. It turned out that the paramedics walked in on her going down on him."
"She started telling me how she had to defend me to my friends after I had to miss watching the Super Bowl with them to go into work. I went to talk to them and apologized for having to leave. My friends told me that wasn't true and she spent the entire time badmouthing me.
They told me the whole story. They had wanted to give me some time to chill after work before they dropped it all on me. It turned out that they didn't like her very much and were hoping she would get mad enough to dump me. I broke up with her that night. Now, the biggest drama in my life is getting my dog to poop in the morning. Totally worth it.
Listen to the people who have been telling you you're in an unhealthy relationship for months. They see what you don't."
"I was standing in the kitchen early in the morning trying to work out if I would get told off worse for taking my boyfriend's tea up in the wrong mug (not his favorite one), or for making a noise while washing up his favorite one.
'You're hanging things up to dry all wrong' was a previous line of his. They were drying. They weren't touching. They were going to be ironed anyway. We had long conversations about how I should close my lips after putting a chip in my mouth, to keep the sound in, before closing my teeth on it. It was easier to just give up chips.
Have you seen Sleeping With The Enemy? It was rather like that. Freaking narcissist control freak with misophonia."
"It turned out that my ex kept a cat locked in the attic for several years.
I only saw him on Sundays because he lived an hour and a half away. The cat was usually quiet so I had no idea she was up there. All of her supplies were up there as well so there was no evidence of a cat existing. He went on vacation for a weekend and asked me to pet sit, that's when I learned about her. He changed the litter boxes about once a month and gave her food and water every couple of days.
He didn't really give a crap about her. He didn't have AC, so went I went up to check on her. I was pouring sweat and had to leave within five minutes. I confronted him about her treatment and got the response, 'It's just a cat.'
I don't know why he even had her in the first place. I told him the next week that I was taking her to give her a better home and he pretty much said do whatever, followed by, once again, 'She's just a cat.'
She's 20 years old now and lives with me. She was hesitant of any signs of affection at first, but is now the sweetest thing. It's amazing that they still have the capacity to love after the things we put them through sometimes."
"We were at a food festival, standing in line for, like, 10 minutes for some French toast thing. He ordered first and got his food, but when it was my turn, I realized it was cash only, but I only had my debit card. He turned to me and basically yelled, 'Wow, what are you going to do?'
After being together for 10 months, co-habitating, and splitting everything 50/50 even though his salary was double mine, he wasn't willing to spot me $5 for French toast, and he had to call attention to it loudly in front of the whole line. Then, we walked away from the vendor with him chomping down on his French toast and me empty handed.
It seems trivial, but if I had just stood in line with someone I love or even a good friend, I would have just covered them. It gave me the impression that he never really had my back. I could never see him the same after that and we broke up the next month."
"Two months after my 17-year-old son died in a car crash, he told me his death was my fault because I'm such a witch. Then, six months after that, I don't even remember what we were arguing about, but it was heated. I'm sure I mentioned to him how awful I thought he was to have said that about my son. He went into the kitchen and made himself a plate of food for dinner. I was cleaning up my things in the house and he saw me and, to tell you the truth, I don't even know what triggered him.
He threw his plate of food on the ground. Upon seeing this, I about faced and headed to our master bathroom. While I was trying to lock the door, he burst it open, hitting me in the arm and head, knocking me down. He froze. I got up and locked myself in the bathroom and sat on the toilet completely paralyzed with fear, no phone, trapped. He tried to break the door down.
All the while, in my most calm voice I told him, 'This has escalated rapidly. If you break the door down, there is evidence for the police that you got violent with me. Just leave the room. I will quietly leave the house for the weekend.'
Nope. I saw his hands reach underneath the door as he tried to pry it open that way. Well, crap. What do I do now?
No time to think, he picked the lock, and opened the door. I about soiled my pants in fear. He picked me up by the arm and tried to embrace me, saying how sorry he was. I walked away from him, packed a suitcase, and went to a hotel for the weekend. When people ask me why I left him, I just say, 'He crossed that one line. And that's all you need to know.'"
"My first wife was the one who finally bailed due to her mental health issues. The scary part was that she shot my dog because she 'did not like him.' I heard later she shot her next husband's dog because it got out of the yard while she was late for work and didn't have time to chase it. Both Husband #2 and I just concluded we were both lucky we got out of relationships with her alive.
Years later, I happened to run across her again, and in random conversation over coffee she stated, 'I don't do dogs.'"
"I got really sick out of nowhere and doctors initially thought it could've been colon cancer. I was only 23, so this obviously had me shaken to my core. They expedited everything and, a week after I first went in for my symptoms, I was getting put under for them to take a closer look and get biopsies.
My girlfriend knew what time the procedure was and roughly how long it would last. When I came to, I turned my phone on and was blown up from friends all over the US (and the world, so it was the middle of the night for them) asking me what the results were and how I was doing. No text from my girlfriend.
About an hour later, she texted me saying, 'Are you freaking serious?' and I asked what she was talking about. She responded that someone dinged her car door at work. I didn't respond. She then asked me how the procedure went and what the results were. She knew I was upset and said she figured I'd just tell her later.
With my symptoms, the doctors told us if it was colon cancer, it would have to be pretty bad at this point, but yet she was fine with waiting an entire day to hear how I was. Luckily it wasn't cancer. I broke up with her not long after.
I'm happier than ever since I left her. It wasn't a bad relationship honestly. It just also wasn't good. Not everyone is super emotionally available or there. That being said, she saw the gravity of it and saw how destroyed I was for an entire week. It doesn't take an emotionally adept individual to at least semi be there for someone, especially the person you're supposed to be the closest to.
Either way, I want someone who is more there for me than that. It sucks it took that to figure it out as we had been together for two years. However, better late than never."
"His friend died and he showed no sadness. He shrugged his shoulders and went, 'Eh, people die. Did you like him or something?' This was the guy he enthusiastically introduced me to as his 'brother.'
I thought really critically about him then and realized that he had already become pretty abusive toward me. It is like this incident opened my eyes to what was happening to me. The constant negging and jabs at my weight when he was fatter than me. The forced intimate acts that would happen consistently, but he'd convince me it wasn't anything because he wasn't 'hurting' me. He was just laying on me with all of his weight and wouldn't get up until I stopped fighting him, even when I couldn't breathe."
"She drove to my house at 5 am, wasted, and threw stuff at my windows. When my mother answered the door, she proceeded to yell at her and tell her that she hoped my brother did not end up like me, that she is a terrible parent, etc. Mom asked her if she'd like to come in for some tea to calm down and she told her to 'back off with her sarcastic comments.' She then threatened to kill herself and waited outside my house for two hours until finally deciding to leave.
What started this? I didn't come out for the evening with some other friends because I hurt my foot and couldn't walk. That, on top of the fact I wouldn't delete one of my female friends (who I had known longer than her and has a boyfriend) off my Facebook. Later on, after we had been broken up for a while, she tried to run her over, twice.
How old was she? 22."
"He was out of town for Christmas visiting relatives. He called Christmas night, inebriated. I told him that I was sad and depressed because I was alone on Christmas. I also had the flu and my family lived hundreds of miles away.
He told me, once again, that my depression was bringing him down and that he was tired of me being sad all of the time. Then, he told me that I was boring. He got home on New Year's Eve. That's when I decided to break up with him. After four years of him trying to control my emotions. Done.
The kicker: we still work together so I have to deal with him every. Single. Day."
"My then 4-year-old drew a picture. He drew three stick figures. One was angry, one was sad, and one was in a corner by itself. I asked him to explain and he said, 'It’s Dad yelling at you and you’re crying and I’m sad.'
I was in a relationship I was scared to leave, but that was the moment that made me realize that my nightmare was my son's reality and with having a newborn in the house, something needed to change. I told him how I felt that night. A couple weeks later, he left and disappeared for four years. He abandoned his kids and went on a massive binge of illicit substances.
I don’t know that my now 10-year-old knows that he saved us all that day, nor do I think I’ll ever share that with him. What I CAN say is life is so incredible right now. I’ve lost 110 lbs since that day, held a steady job with steady promotions over the last six years, and we're getting ready to welcome a beautiful baby girl into our family!"