13 Women Are Sharing The Devastating, Freeing, And Unbelievable Reasons Why Their Long-Term Relationships Ended

Finding the strength to leave a situation that no longer serves you, whether it be a job, a relationship, or even a party, is a vital life lesson everyone has to learn at some point.

Shot of a young woman resting on the sofa at home
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So, when Reddit user u/Upstairs-Fox917 posed the question, "Why did your 5+ year long relationship end?" in r/AskWomen, I knew it was going to be a real testament to that important life lesson:

1."He cheated on me with the woman he spent years telling me I wouldn’t need to worry about. At first, she lived 3,000 miles from us. She was his ex, but he referred to her as his 'best friend.' They really were just friends, I think, for the first six years of our dating, but then she needed help moving out of her 'abusive boyfriend's' place, so he convinced me to move to Alaska and get a place with the three of us (which turned into five with her sister and another of her friends)."

A man and two women sitting on a bench, with the man holding hands secretly with the woman beside him

2."We had different aspirations. His only dreams were professional, and he had no plans for us as a couple — he didn't want kids, didn't want to travel, move, or build something [for] the two of us. When I asked if he saw his future differently with me or without me, he said no. So I realized that staying together would mean I had to sacrifice on things I didn't want to sacrifice on. So I left. I have no regrets."


3."I always felt lonely with him in my life. It was hard to leave because he's the father of my child. He was lazy and not motivated. I was making more money (not a big deal if other things were equal) and pretty much a single mom in a relationship. I cleaned, cooked, took care of bills, etc. I was practically single, taking care of a man-child. He threatened me that if I ever left, he wouldn't bother with our child anymore."

A man sits on a sofa looking at his phone while a woman vacuuming carries a child

4."He didn’t want to change. He walked all over my boundaries, refused to hang out with family, and never wanted to talk about issues with the relationship. I stayed too long with someone who didn’t want to work together on anything. I finally ended it when I was questioning why I was even with him still."


5."He postponed our wedding three weeks before the date. We were planning on rescheduling for a later date, and we were starting IVF at the time after an infertility battle. The night before we were supposed to start IVF, I looked him in the eye and asked him: Is this what you want? You’re sure? We’re in this together? He looked at me, held my face in his hands, and said: 'There’s no one else I’d rather do life with. Thank you for being so patient and for loving me. I’m all in.'"

Two people sharing a kiss on the beach

6."My dad died, and a year later, his mom died. Shortly after that, our relationship died."


7."He tried to get me to buy into his religion when that hadn't been an issue before. Part of it began when he didn't want me to be allowed to grieve a very dear loss because on his spiritual path, suffering is optional, and when it happens, it's exclusively beautiful and transformative, and you can't even act like it's difficult and ugly."

A couple having a serious discussion on the couch

8."He never, EVER made me or us a priority, even though I moved states to be with him. He was emotionally stunted due to family issues that he was not working on, so he couldn’t give anything to me. I just always felt bad around him. One day, after the millionth time of him ignoring me at a family hangout — around the people he truly prioritized over me — we came home, and I simply said, 'I can’t do this anymore.' He moved out within a few hours."


9."I cheated. We had this on-again-off-again-love-hate dynamic for years. He gained 100 pounds, and I felt ignored and unappreciated. Basically, they are all the same excuses you always hear. He was angry and reclusive, and we were never actually suited for each other; we were just very attracted to each other physically. With that gone, it was constant conflict. Eventually, I acted out because I didn’t know how to be alone or take responsibility for my part in the dynamic."

Two people sitting apart on a couch with tense body language

10."We were together for approximately eleven years and married for around seven or eight years when we divorced; it was over. We had grown and changed as people, and the context and situations that brought us together were no longer present once we left our hometown and moved away."

"We were fairly compatible if we only considered the people who grew up in our home county as options. However, once we left that pressure cooker of expectations and obligations, we each blossomed into who we wanted to be without those constraints and those people. We weren't compatible any longer."


11."I wanted to get married, but he kept dangling the carrot. I would meet a goalpost, and he would set another one. Five and a half years into it, his parents came from China to visit. They didn't speak a bit of English and took over the house for a month; it was so stressful. Two months after they returned to China, I got an email saying that I was not a good fit for their son and that we were not allowed to continue our relationship. He would not be allowed to marry me, and we should not waste any more time on each other."

Person sitting on floor by bed, head resting on knees, displaying body language of distress or contemplation

12."He said I didn't ski as hard as the other girl he had been flirting with after he moved out to a new state a few months ahead of me. Luckily, he broke it off before I moved. Looking back, I realized he had kind of used me like a doll that had to be perfect at every sport, sexy and beautiful to ridiculous standards, and other weird expectations so that he could get validation from other men."

"At the same time, he nitpicked and belittled me at home over every little thing (he told me I didn't take my socks off right at one point). I was devastated by the breakup, but looking back, I am amazed that I ever gave someone that much power to make me feel small. I loved him immensely, but I never could have loved myself in that relationship, and I'm proud of how I have grown since then."


And finally, this person shared their short, maybe not so sweet, but very to the point realization:

13."I stopped loving him. It was really that simple."

A couple having a difficult conversation

Did you leave a long-term relationship and want to share your story? Let me know in the comments!