Ask a newly divorced person what went wrong in their marriage and you're likely to get a polite, pat version of the story: We simply grew apart. We wanted different things in life. I couldn't live with him anymore.
It's not every day you get to hear the frank, no-holds-barred version of what led someone to divorce, but earlier this week, divorcés on Reddit revealed those details. The answers were as honest and unflinching as you'd expect from an anonymous forum.
Read 12 of the most revealing responses below.
1. She couldn't imagine having kids with him.
"I realized that I wouldn't trust him to take care of any kids we might have someday. And then I realized, if I felt that way, why would I trust him around me?"
2. He married a narcissist.
"We divorced because she knew I had her figured out. She couldn't manipulate me and control me anymore. Once I understood narcissism, it was over."
3. They really did just grow apart.
"We were married for eight years. I think we both knew it wasn't forever. I loved her dearly and she loved me. However, there was always something we couldn't provide each other. We just ended up growing apart and fell into gap that was never going to close. I have no regrets with the marriage. I have two wonderful girls, one of which I adopted that was hers with another man. We are still good friends and talk daily. We have our arguments but for the most part, we get along great for ex-spouses and people are always impressed by it. I still spend the holidays with her family even though she is in another relationship. I get along great with him, too."
4. She cheated.
"We found out that I couldn't have kids without some expensive science getting involved. She couldn't handle that, and took matters into her own hands and got pregnant by someone else. I was prepared to forgive her behavior up until that point. She wanted to come back later, but burned bridges and all..."
5. They got married too young.
"I was too young (married at 23 to a 30-year-old) and we simply couldn't make it work. We became different people from who we were when we first met and had a fairly amicable split. One of our main problems was that we had never really discussed the future properly (in detail, not just 'oooh, won't it be nice when we're old!') and I think we both assumed a lot about each other's priorities. For example, I am very urban and he wanted us to move to the countryside. Neither of us was 'wrong,' we simply weren't right for each other."
6. He was too dependent on her.
"During the 10 years we were together (married for six), he never held a job for very long. At first, I believed his excuses -- it was never his fault -- and I tried to be supportive. But it got to be too much. I got tired of him never taking responsibility for being late or for being lazy. The last two years we were married, I was working two jobs (one full-time and one part-time) and he was unemployed for about a year. Did he help out at all around the house? Nope. I'd get home at 11 p.m. at night after having been gone since 7 a,m. and he'd demand dinner. He never did the laundry or cleaned anything. He spent all day playing video games and draining our bank account. I finally got smart and left."
7. They realized they had married for the wrong reason.
"We got a divorce because we never should have gotten married in the first place. But we wanted 'the dream.' It's amazing how many people of my generation this happens to. Thankfully, we realized it for ourselves before children were involved."
8. He couldn't trust her.
"For one, a lack of trust (on my part). I caught her in too many lies and ended up second guessing everything she told me or failed to tell me. Basically, I ended up reading too much into everything she did because I never knew or trusted what she was saying or her motives. She got sick of it and left me."
9. She could no longer stand the criticism.
"We stopped wanting the same things in life and I grew tired of constantly being criticized. I didn't think the commitment [of marriage] required me to feel broken."
10. He wanted out for the kids' sake.
"I married her when I was young and my mother had just died. I felt I needed someone. It was a marriage of convenience for the next ten years. It was when we had kids and were forced to interact with each other that I could not stand it anymore. I asked out of the marriage when the kids (twins) were 3 years-old because I felt if they were any older it would affect them too much and I would not be able to leave. I am very happy I did it. Although the financial strain of child support and alimony has been difficult, I feel it was the best thing for me and the children. I remember actually thinking that I have one life to live and there is no 'do over' unless I did it when I did."
11. He grew up. She didn't.
"We were incompatible on an emotional level. I kept hoping she would grow up. She didn't. She stayed the same person I married. Go figure. A year of couples therapy, six months of personal therapy for me, 15 years and three kids later...we got divorced."
12. Their marriage was virtually passionless.
"I had a comfortable and 'nice' marriage for 11 years. I'm not sure if we were ever passionate, but by the end, we were much more like good companions who had maintenance sex once a week. The she had an affair with a co-worker and I realized I wasn't really in love and happy anymore."