Unless you've been seriously lucky in love, you've probably experienced a relationship breakdown at some point in your life. Breakups are emotionally draining and inevitably difficult, but they can vary wildly in their specifics. Some are dragged out over weeks, even months. Others happen in the blink of an eye. Some splits involve a third party, while others happen simply because the couple in question have drifted apart. There's no 'typical breakup': just as every relationship is unique, so are their endings.
Still, some relationship breakdowns are a whole lot more scandalous than others. The most shocking splits of all often come to pass because of a split-second event or realization. Sometimes, the truth about somebody really can dawn on you suddenly and painfully. You might catch your partner in a compromising situation, or have a conversation that makes you realize that they aren't the person you thought they were. Luckily for us, the people of Reddit have shared some of their craziest instant breakup moments to make us all feel better about the circumstances of our past splits. You might think that dramatic make-or-break moments only happen in TV soaps, but trust me, they take place in real life all the time. Here are just a few confessions from people who can pinpoint the exact second that their relationship was over.
21 "I had a seizure... She spent the whole night trying not to come to the hospital"
It sounds like this Reddit user is way, way better off without his girlfriend. Having a seizure is a terrifying and often dangerous experience, especially if you've never had one before. In such a stressful time, you'd obviously want your loved one there beside you, and you'd expect them to care about you enough to rush to your bedside. This clearly wasn't the case in this former relationship. Like, when your boyfriend is so unwell that he's ended up in the hospital, surely you'd drop everything to go and check that he's okay? This girl didn't think so, apparently. You can't blame the guy for pretty much instantly dumping her for this, especially when you read why exactly she didn't want to come to the hospital: she was too busy having fun at a party! What?!
The story only gets worse when the next morning rolls around:
"My best friend and brother showed up from about three hours away to show me support at about 8 AM... and she didn't bother to come the two block walk over until about 3 PM."
... Yeah, that relationship was doomed.
20 "When another girl stopped by and she cuddled with him on the couch as they ignored me and played video games"
This has to be the most brazen example of cheating we've ever seen. This guy invited his side chick over to spend time with him, WHILE HIS GIRLFRIEND WAS IN THE SAME ROOM. Of course, she was totally furious and got out of the relationship pretty quickly. This girl's ex was clearly just too cowardly to tell her up front that he'd met somebody else. He let his actions do the talking, and they conveyed a pretty shocking message!
Unfortunately, this particular split-second breakup gets even worse when you read more about the relationship's context:
"My SO and I was long distance (about two hours apart). I'd drive up to see him every weekend. For several weeks in a row, he'd just play video games and ignore me... The final straw was that another girl stopped by and she basically cuddled with him on the couch as they ignored me."
Okay, so she drove hours to see him every week and got that kind of treatment in return? No wonder she ended it...
19 "When he said he was gay and dumped me"
Well. This is the kind of revelation that definitely would immediately end a heterosexual relationship. To find out that your partner is gay must be a bit of a blow. Of course, everyone should be able to live as their true, authentic self, but it does suck when another person gets caught up in it. For this girl, the situation was made even worse thanks to the genuinely strong feelings she had for the guy in question:
"I had liked him for so long, and was so overjoyed when he finally asked me out. We had a great month-long relationship, and then bam... Funny story, he dated a girl a year later, broke up with her six months after that, they wanted me to date him again. I currently have a boyfriend... I just wish he'd never left me in the first place."
Well, this story is definitely a rollercoaster ride. Is the guy actually gay or not? Is he bi? Why is this Reddit user still with her current boyfriend if she still wishes she was dating her possibly gay ex? So many questions that are left unanswered.
18 "I heard rumors that he was seeing a girl young enough to be our daughter"
This Reddit post was actually penned by a woman who's clearly in the immediate aftermath of realizing she needs to leave her husband. To find out your partner is cheating is an awful feeling no matter who the third party is. However, it stings that little bit more when you've been traded out for a younger model. While this user is still technically married to her philandering spouse, it doesn't sound like it'll be the case for much longer:
"I've been with my husband for 22 years and we have three children together... He cheated on me early on in our relationship. I forgave him and told him that if he ever does it again. I heard rumors that he was seeing a girl young enough to be our daughter... Last night, I found videos of them getting intimate. I'm done."
Well, they do say that once a cheater, always a cheater. This leopard clearly didn't change his spots, and it sounds like his wife will be better off without him.
17 "When my mother was in the ICU... and he emailed me to say it was over"
This woman's ex-boyfriend clearly didn't realize that there is a time and a place to break up with someone. Doing it while their mother is in the ICU - and in a coma, as the original post explains - is not that time. Doing it via email and not in person was also a bad move on his part. Basically, his entire way of dealing with the situation was pretty poor. It sounds like he didn't care about this woman enough to spare her the pain of a split when she was already going through a difficult time. Unfortunately, things only got worse from there:
"Mom died 45 days ago. When I got back to my place I kicked him out. He had eaten everything in the house, hadn't paid the gas bill, and had jacked up my phone bill with long-distance charges. A peach he was."
Way to add insult to injury! Behavior like this definitely made it clear that the relationship needed to end.
16 "When she admitted she didn't even ask for time off work to come and see my play"
An important part of any relationship is supporting your partner in terms of their hobbies and interests. If they play a gig, you go see it. If they're in a sports game, you go watch it. It's a kind of crucial way to show that you love the person. However, it seems that this guy's ex-girlfriend didn't share this view. It would be understandable if she didn't make it because she had to work... But she didn't even TRY to get the day off. That seriously shows a lack of care towards her boyfriend! Luckily, things worked out for the guy in question:
"Almost five years later, I'm engaged to someone else. She's my best friend and we've got our lives together. Breakups suck, but they happen because they're supposed to happen."
Some wise words there from this Reddit user! Even though the end of a relationship may feel like the end of the world, things will get better. Everything happens for a reason.
15 "He didn't give me a birthday present. Not a card or cake or anything"
Okay, this is cold. While demanding a huge amount of expensive birthday gifts is a red flag in itself, you'd at least expect some level of special treatment from your partner! Even if you're both short on money, they could get you a card! Or a cake! These things don't break the bank! In this case, it sounds like the Redditor's partner didn't neglect to buy gifts because he was struggling for money, but because he just didn't care about his partner enough to do it:
"That's when I realized he didn't care about me... We're in the process of breaking up now (we live together)."
Ouch - a breakup is even harder when you live with your now-ex. It's especially terrible when one or both of you can't afford to move out of your shared home. Hopefully, this Redditor has managed to get away from her uncaring ex-boyfriend and start a new life surrounded by people who truly appreciate her. Hey, maybe she'll even find a partner who will buy her a birthday gift or two!
14 "When, in the middle of an argument, I realized I didn't care who won"
Apathy is a guaranteed relationship-killer. If you simply don't care about the outcome of your relationship, it's not going to last. If you're not willing to fight for its survival, you should just let it die. In a way, this is why having arguments is a really healthy aspect of any partnership. The way you deal with them shows whether you actually give a toss about your relationship, or whether you're willing to let disagreements finish it off. If fights with your partner upset and anger you, it's a clear sign that you care about your other half. Those feelings of sadness and fury come from the fact that you want things to work between you.
However, if you find yourself in this person's shoes and don't care about the outcome of disagreements, you've probably emotionally checked out of the relationship. Walking away is the best thing this Reddit user could have done. Everyone deserves a partner who feels strongly about them - both in times of love and times of conflict.
13 "When he went out of town on business and I was glad"
This is one confession that's short, to-the-point, but pretty self-explanatory. While every couple needs space from each other every now and again, this can be achieved by seeing friends separately or even chilling in different rooms. Being relieved when a partner goes away on business is a whole other issue entirely. The correct emotional response here would be to miss the person and look forward to their return. If you're actively glad that your partner has gone away, there's probably something very wrong in your relationship.
We don't know exactly why this user was pleased to see the back of their boyfriend. Maybe they'd been fighting, and the business trip came at just the right time. Maybe he was abusive, and his partner needed a break from the physical or emotional pain he was inflicting. Either way, you can see why this experience was the death knell for their relationship. Actively wanting to be away from someone doesn't exactly suggest a climate of love and happiness.
12 "My grandfather passed away and she was an hour late to support me and my family"
When it comes to this particular breakup story, the devil is in the details. At first glance, being one hour late to be by your partner's side in a time of need might not be a dealbreaker. Maybe she got stuck in traffic? Maybe she was in an important business meeting that was impossible to avoid? There are some situations where this kind of admittedly poorly-timed lateness is excusable.
Unfortunately, this example was not one of these situations. As this Redditor explains, this now ex-girlfriend's selfish actions were pretty unforgivable:
"A Friday morning, my mother called me and informed me of my grandfather's declining health. I immediately called my girlfriend... She said she'd be at my house by 7. At 7, I called her, and she informed me that she was going to be here by 9. She wasn't, and my grandfather passed away shortly after 10. I cried that night because I emotionally broke up with her."
The whole story is made worse by the reason for the girlfriend's lateness: she was too busy out having fun with her friends. That's definitely a case of misplaced priorities...
11 "He started flirting with another girl right in front of me"
It sounds like this Redditor's ex-boyfriend was doing everything he could to end their relationship. Why else would he have brazenly flirted with another girl right in front of his partner? You're just asking for trouble there... Or angling for a breakup. On the bright side, at least this poor girl didn't find out about her guy's flirtatious behavior from a third party: she was right there to witness it all herself.
Still, this guy's actions were pretty cowardly all things considered. If he wasn't happy in his relationship, he should have just been straight up and honest with his girlfriend. Letting her know it's over by humiliating her in public probably isn't the best way to go. On the bright side, it sounds like this breakup was for the best, all things considered:
"In hindsight, he was a narcissist with a raging narcotics habit so he probably did me a huge favor."
He sounds like a real catch!
10 "She saw me and said, "Hi, Matt"... My name isn't Matt"
Rule number one of being in a successful relationship: try to remember your partner's name. It seems obvious, right? Well, this girl clearly didn't get the memo. This Redditor had put a lot of effort into his relationship, only for his girlfriend to be a bit preoccupied with another guy called Matt...
"I was completely dedicated to keeping this relationship going but she wanted space. I was doing my best to give it to her... We passed each other in the quad one day after not talking to each other for a couple of days. She said, "Hi, Matt". My name isn't Matt. That's when I knew."
Poor not-Matt. He obviously gave his now-ex so much space that she completely forgot his true identity. At least it happened early on and not years down the line... That would have been incredibly awkward.
9 "The simple thought of knowing I'd have to say "I love you"... It was too much"
While it's a sad thought, some relationships do end simply because one or both of the partners have fallen out of love. It can't be helped: sometimes it just happens. The best approach is to be honest with your soon-to-be-ex-partner, and fast. Stringing them along when you know that you no longer have feelings for them is a pretty cruel thing to do. You both deserve to be in happy relationships with people who you love - and who love you in return.
It sounds like this Redditor did at least do the honorable thing and break things off as soon as they realized that their feelings had faded:
"Before going on a date, I had to cancel last minute - when I was showered and ready to go - because the thought of saying "I love you" like I had done for weeks without really meaning it... It was too much. I had the instant realization that it was the right thing to end it now."
It must have been a difficult choice to make, but it was ultimately the right one.
8 "My now-ex had married a man 27 years older than her that afternoon. It was a bit of a surprise"
This story is a rollercoaster and a half. The last thing you'd expect to happen literally straight after a breakup is for your ex to marry someone else. However, that's exactly what happened to this guy mere hours after his girlfriend left him. He sums the whole affair up pretty succinctly in his Reddit post:
"I came home from work on a Tuesday to find all of her stuff cleared out of my house, a 'Dear John' letter on the table and then her family calling me that evening telling me she'd married a man 27 years older than her that afternoon. It was a bit of a surprise."
'Surprise' sounds like a bit of an understatement in this case! The story leaves so many questions in our minds! Who was the woman's mystery older groom? Had they been having an affair, or was this a split second choice? How did the Redditor in question not realize just how badly his relationship had clearly deteriorated? Whatever the case, you can't help but feel a bit sorry for him. Imagine trying to get over a situation like this.
7 "When I realized the last thing I thought about before falling asleep every night was someone else"
Even though this Redditor doesn't seem to have physically cheated on his ex, he certainly engaged in some emotional cheating. He clearly had feelings for someone else while he was dating the ex in question, a horrible situation for everyone involved. At least he was honest enough to end things before any actual cheating occurred. Sometimes, relationships do end thanks to the dreaded "I've met someone else" line: it's a fact of life. However, if you find yourself falling for someone that's not your partner, chances are your relationship wasn't actually that strong in the first place. While we all get minor crushes on people from time to time, they don't develop into full-blown love if you're truly already in a happy partnership.
While this Redditor probably put his ex through a lot of pain due to his emotional cheating, at least the breakup wasn't all for nothing:
"The girl I was thinking about was someone I met online 12 years ago... After my breakup, we finally decided to make meeting in person a reality. Two years later we are still together and will be getting married next year."
Looks like the girl he was thinking about was the one he was truly meant to be with!
6 "When I regretted telling her that I loved her"
While we all have regrets, telling our partner that we love them probably shouldn't be one of them! There are plenty of reasons why this kind of regret might occur, and none of them bode well for your relationship. Maybe you only said those three words because you felt pressured to do so. Maybe you wanted to make things better after a fight, so dropped the L-bomb to distract from the negativity. However, neither of these scenarios suggest that you're in a stable and long-lasting relationship. Basically, unless you're saying "I love you" because you truly mean it and actually have those feelings, you shouldn't be saying it at all.
This Redditor's partner was probably a bit confused when they got dumped straight after they heard those three little words for the first time, but ultimately, it was the best thing for everyone involved. We all deserve a partner who actually loves us, and doesn't just say they do for whatever reason. "I love you" is not a phrase that should be taken lightly!
5 "When he told me he was thinking of proposing and my first thought was "oh God, I can't marry you"
There are a number of reasons why this Redditor may have felt intense dread at the prospect of marrying her ex. Unfortunately, none of these reasons suggest that this relationship was ever going to go anywhere. For one, it could be the case that this person simply didn't believe in marriage at all. Not everybody does - it's all a matter of personal preference! If marriage isn't for you, hearing your partner talk about making it happen is bound to trigger alarm bells. Maybe this couple wasn't compatible because of their differing views on commitment and wedlock.
Alternatively, it could be that this Reddit user was more horrified at the thought of marrying that man specifically. That probably made for a pretty awkward breakup: "I want to marry somebody someday... But that guy won't be you." Sometimes it can take a grand show of commitment like a proposal for someone to realize that they're no longer happy in their relationship. It makes the reality of the situation hit home. If the thought of spending the rest of your life with your partner triggers nothing but negative emotions, you should probably just bite the bullet and break up with them. They're looking for the kind of commitment that you just can't offer.
4 "I realized that she and I hadn't talked for two weeks and I hadn't noticed"
Frequent and honest communication is a vital ingredient for any successful long-term relationship. That's not to say that you need to text or call your SO 24/7. They'll probably get sick of you very quickly if you do. However, the occasional "checking in" text is crucial even for couples who like to keep texting to a minimum. If you don't talk to each other for long periods of time, how can you even say that you're in a relationship? Like, acknowledging each other's existence from time to time is the absolute bare minimum of what you should be doing!
In this Redditor's case, his breakup came after realizing that he and his girlfriend hadn't spoken for two weeks. It doesn't sound like this silence was due to a fight, either: they simply forgot to talk to each other. That wouldn't happen if you truly cared about your partner. Still, you can't help but feel a bit sorry for the guy when you hear a bit of background about his former relationship:
"It was a college relationship and it was summer. I thought I was going to marry her when summer began. When summer ended I was really shaken by the realization that she and I hadn't spoken for two weeks and I hadn't noticed."
Yeah... that definitely signals the relationship has run its course. But just how did he go from wanting to marry the girl to totally forgetting to talk to her in the case of one summer? That's quite the turnaround...
3 "When he yelled at me for waking him up... I was in the hospital. It was two hours after I'd given birth to his child"
There's selfishness, and then there's this. Look, getting woken up when you're in the middle of a good night's sleep is irritating. We all know that. However, there are some situations where you should just let it go, roll over, and go back to sleep. A great example of this is if you've been woken up by a woman who has JUST GIVEN BIRTH and is getting up for a good reason...
"I had apparently made too much noise getting up to feed the baby."
Listen, dude. You played a role in bringing this baby into the world. The baby has basic needs. If you didn't want to get woken up at various ungodly hours because it's feeding time, why did you even agree to have a kid in the first place? Everyone knows that interrupted sleep is par for the course when you're a parent! Plus, maybe show some sympathy for a woman who gave birth so recently that she's still in a hospital bed. While it's sad that this relationship ended so soon after the couple had a child, it sounds like it was maybe for the best.
2 "When he picked me up from the airport after a two-week trip to England and he didn't hug me... And I didn't care"
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but that clearly didn't happen in this case. In fact, this Reddit poster going on a trip away seems to have been the final straw that led to their breakup. When you're in a happy and stable relationship, you expect to have physical contact pretty regularly, even if it's something simple like hand-holding or a hug. If your partner is reluctant to touch you, that's probably a sign that something's wrong in your relationship. Likewise, if you've stopped physically engaging with your partner and you don't even care that it's the case, it's time to walk away. That's what this couple did, and it seems to have been a mutual decision:
"I knew we were both done."
It might be painful at the time, but letting go of a relationship that's fizzled out to this extent is always for the best. Hopefully, both partners can go on to meet someone who's better suited to them!
1 "When I read the messages between my best friend and my husband. They're both exes now."
This story sounds like something out of a soap opera, but it was unfortunately real life for one poor woman. It sounds like this Reddit user lost her best friend and her husband in one foul swoop. While she doesn't specify exactly what was in the messages she discovered, it's pretty clear that a massive betrayal took place. The most obvious conclusion is that her BFF and her spouse were having an affair. If that's not enough to give even the most open-hearted person trust issues, I don't know what is.
While being cheated on is horrific no matter who the 'other woman' is, this particular situation must have really stung. Your best friend is supposed to support you through tough times, not be the cause of them! It sounds like this person is better off without both this 'friend' and her husband in her life. In a way, both of them revealing their true colors was a blessing - this Redditor can now work on rebuilding her life without these toxic influences impacting it.