When you look back on your marriage after a divorce, you can usually pinpoint a few moments that should have signaled it wasn't going to last. Maybe it was when your spouse forgot your anniversary for the second time, or when you finally got that big job promotion and they didn't seem to care.
The writing was on the wall, even if you didn't realize it at the time. We recently asked our male readers and HuffPost bloggers to share the moment they knew their marriages were over. See what they had to say below.
1. "I actually realized my marriage would not go the distance while talking with a friend over breakfast. My buddy was lavishing praise on his wife and said something to the effect of 'She always has my back.' Suddenly, it hit me: I got the complete opposite from my wife. I received disdain, disrespect and disinterest. It was a few years before we separated, but the path was set that morning." -- Barry G.
2. "I knew it was over when I got home from another long day at work and my kids told me that mommy took them out to Burger King to eat and told them they were moving to Canada and Daddy wasn't going with them." -- C.D.
3. "After my Hollywood writing career hit a sudden wall, I got a job with BMW Design to write a movie about how they design cars. When I arrived in Munich, they gave me a brand new convertible sports car and said, 'Take it up to the Alps for a few days and come back when you feel like you understand the car.' Speeding through the snowy Alps, blasting music, roof down, heater fan blowing, I had this revelation, 'I’m happy! This is what happiness feels like.' And then I had a second revelation: 'If my wife were here, she’d tell me to slow down. Turn down the music. Put up the roof. And she’d be complaining about smelling cigarette smoke from passing cars.' In that moment, I realized I had forgotten what it felt like to be happy in my body." -- Adam G.
4. "The moment of revelation for me was when I told my now ex-wife, 'It's OK to see the man you've been seeing on the side. Once you get it out of your system, I'll be here in the marriage when you come back. Do what you need to do.' She didn't respond -- she just sort of sighed. I really knew it was over when she finally agreed to see a marriage counselor and he convinced my ex-wife to tell me she wanted a divorce." -- Chris B.
5. "I knew my my relationship was over when I got on the computer and saw a copy of a signed lease for my wife's new house. I obviously knew nothing about her plan or that we were even heading down that path. The previous day she had hung up some Valentine's Day paintings I made for her. Little did I know she had been planning to leave. A complete shock." -- Tony T.
6. "After my wife told me she was pregnant with someone else's child, I made a vow to raise the unborn child as my own. In the beginning, she was on board. Later, the harder I tried, the quicker she'd run back to the other man. Then one day, the best couples therapist money could buy asked her, 'Do you want to make it work?' Her answer was no. That was the moment I realized I'd done everything I could to save the marriage." -- Vidal C.
7. "After exactly two years of couples therapy, trying desperately to find the tools to fix a broken marriage, I realized that my wife and I were still having the exact same fight and that therapy had no such tool. It was then that I realized the purpose of the therapy was for me to find the courage to leave a toxic relationship and finally see that I would be a better father apart from my children's mother." -- Michael H.
8. "I had two moments: I knew it was over when she moved out of the master bedroom and when she actually saw a lawyer and filed for legal separation. The divorce isn’t what I wanted and it hurts every day of my existence but I know it will get better." -- Mike F.
9. "I knew my marriage was over the day I got arrested for protesting and trying to prove my life mattered as a black man. At the time, I joked with friends that my wife would probably divorce me for protesting. We laughed, but deep down there was an unsettling reality to what I had said. Safety and security meant everything to my wife and she wasn't happy when I told her I wanted to protest. As a black man married to a white woman, it was extremely difficult to describe to her that my sense of security rested in my humanity -- something that wasn't being acknowledged by society. I thought she wouldn't want to stay around for this part of my life. She could choose to ignore it because of her race. The reality for me was that I couldn't." -- Gregory C.
10. "I knew the marriage was over when I realized I was the only one attending couples counseling.” -- Al D.
11. "We were watching fireworks on July 4th. My wife and I had bickered that day over how many hot dogs our sons should be allowed to eat. 'Eating hot dogs on the 4th of July is a birthright of all Americans,' I’d said, less than half in jest. 'You have no idea what’s in them,' she’d said, 'Except nitrites. Which cause cancer.' 'It's a hot dog!' I responded. Then the battle shifted to condiments. After that, we watched the fireworks. Initially, the fireworks were silent. Light travels faster than sound so you see the light before you hear it. Then it struck me that this was happening in our marriage: I could see it exploding." -- James B
Some quotes have been edited and condensed.
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