Redditor u/wimpyhunter asked a perfect r/AskReddit question, one guaranteed to elicit strong, varied reactions that are as entertaining as anything on the internet: “Divorcees of Reddit, when did you know your marriage was over?” The post has thus far attracted over 2,200 comments.
“When i would go down in the basement and pretend to do laundry to get time by myself away from her,” read one reply from u/effectivelysingle, an apropos handle for this particular thread.
And that is one of the less upsetting stories.
“Medical issue. Hemorrhaged all over the bathroom floor. He was at work, I didn’t bother calling because I knew he wouldn’t bother coming home,” wrote u/DataPlenty. “When I did tell him later that day, I might as well have told him I’d had a minor headache for all the interest he showed. Yep. I’m much better now.”
Wow. That goes beyond “grounds for divorce” to “grounds for experiencing karmic retribution,” as do the actions of the dude in this story.
“When after my double mastectomy the doctor recommended that we sleep in separate beds for 6 weeks so I could heal,” u/imaginaryfriendgirl wrote. “After the six weeks, I said I was going to sleep in the master with him and he told me not to bother since I wasn’t really a woman anymore. We’d been married less than a year.”
As you might imagine, plenty of people shared stories of infidelity like this short and sweet one from u/Banluil: “When I came home early from a field problem in the Army and found another guy in my bed…”
“My wife wanted a break, so I moved out. I came back to collect some items, and I found there were a couple of condoms in the trash. Honestly, she did me a favor,” wrote u/Koma79.
Another recurring theme of these stories: the desire to protect children, to not “stay together for the kids” but divorce for their benefit.
“When she began screaming at our 3-year-old son to shut up. I was willing to take her abuse. I couldn’t stomach her doing it to our son,” wrote u/Shades_Janae.
Another user, u/Dysteech, knew it was time to split “When my oldest daughter asked me why daddy and I hated each other. I didn’t think our problems affected her up until that point and I knew I couldn’t let her grow up in that kind of home.”
There are plenty of other examples, from the guy whose wife called him his brother’s name to the woman whose husband gave away her horse because he was jealous of her. Because while there are definite themes, the second half of the Tolstoy quote — “each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” — is definitely true of these divorce stories.