Heartbreak

Women Share The Tiny Moment They Knew Their Relationship Was Over

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sad woman

I knew my marriage was dead in the water the evening he huffed, puffed, and stormed out of the café, leaving me and my elephant belly to find my way home. And all that for something so silly.

When I finally managed to get my heavily pregnant body home, I found him cozy, watching the telly. I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. Suddenly the fog dissipated and I saw the beginning of the end.

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These significant moments are life-altering because they set the stage for the trajectory of a woman’s life. However, when something like this happens, it’s not that there haven’t been other little annoyances going on before this.

It’s that something just snaps. A line is drawn in the sand. She knows it’s time to call it.

On Mumsnet, women share the exact moments they knew their relationships were long dead, that it was time to cut their losses and walk.

Some knew they’d have to heal broken hearts. Others knew they’d have to scale down on their lifestyles. Others knew they’d have to have difficult conversations with their children.

But they knew they couldn’t afford to continue waiting for men who would never show up for them. Unrequited love was no longer going to cut it for them.

One woman says the laughter she heard from her husband as he chatted with their next-door neighbor said everything she needed to know about the state of their marriage.

It was a different kind of laughter. A laugh she hadn’t heard before.

At times it’s something as “insignificant” as a peal of laughter. Other times it’s a particular look or a sigh. But it can be loaded with a big revelation. Sometimes the writing is on the wall. We just don’t look close enough.

Another woman recalls her husband dragging in a massive, brand new smart television. And as she helped him mount it on the very house that had chipped painting and broken furniture, she knew this was it.

And I get it. On the surface, the simple purchase of a telly seems innocent, but the mismatch of priorities is glaring from miles away.

When it comes to building a life and raising kids, if a couple’s priority list doesn’t align, not only will it be a stream of conflict, but there will always be one person who feels dragged behind.

Back in my first marriage, I saw myself transform into someone I didn’t recognize or like. My drive and passion kept dwindling, and I quickly lost sight of the person and destiny I’d hoped to arrive at.

This is what happens when you find yourself married to someone who pulls you behind, and the best way to know this is through mismatched priorities.

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Another woman introduced her fiancé to her kids; they initially got along well. But one day, she came home and found her nine-year-old starving. He hadn’t been fed his usual after-school snack.

Reason? He had disobeyed his mom’s fiancé. And just like that, she knew this was it. Another mom ended her marriage after her husband hit their daughter in the head.

Look, I’m all for punishing bad behavior because when a parent lets too many little things slide, one day they wake up and have to deal with the monster they fed and nurtured.

That said, it’s not what you do; it’s how you do it.

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When a man walks into a woman’s life, he needs to realize he’s walking into her kids’ lives too. And this means he has to learn how to walk the thin line between winning their love and banishing bad behavior.

When he takes things into his hands so soon, it backfires. As moms, we’re super protective of our babies, and whether it beats logic or not, we will not sit back and watch you push our kids, even when they kinda deserve it.

So what to do? Patience. Patience. Patience. This is how to carve a spot in the heart of a mother and her kids. Once you’ve won their trust and affection, exerting some authority is easier.

Then there was the lady whose father had to hunt her boyfriend down because she had gone into labor, and he was nowhere to be found. This one really hit me. I was so mad.

It’s not like you wake up one day and realize the baby wants to come out. It takes at least seven months for this moment to arrive.

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However, some men don’t feel the burden of what comes with childbirth. They see it as a woman’s responsibility, and sadly some women have accepted this as the norm. Ladies, there’s something very wrong with this picture.

Thankfully, the smart ones among us know that if a man doesn’t share this burden with her, she will probably carry many more responsibilities alone.

If a man goes missing — unless he’s been abducted — during such a crucial, life-changing moment in your relationship, it means he can never be relied upon to show up for other less significant moments.

You might as well get your gear on because you, darling, are going to have to do this alone.

Oh, there was also another lady who, on the sixth day of the silent treatment from her man, knew she couldn’t go on living like that. Sixth day. It finally clicked that she deserved better.

But hang on, these moments don’t just happen.

There’s not a single woman out there who doesn’t recall the day everything shifted in her. However, each of these women knew they were dangling at the edge of a cliff as far as their relationships were concerned.

Usually, a woman puts up with so much until she can’t anymore. The hurricane is usually brewing far off in the ocean.

She forgives lies and cheating despite finding notes and phone numbers in wallets. She looks away to keep the peace. She sweeps her suspicions under the carpet to avoid ruffling feathers. Rarely does a woman walk because she’s having a bad day or due to a slight disagreement.

However, when the moment comes, it’s usually the tiniest of triggers that push her off the edge. The hurricane makes landfall. At times, it’s something as trivial as a peal of laughter.

Some of these women leave right away. Others take time to plan an exit and organize their lives post-marriage. Others carefully plan how their next move is likely to affect their kids' lives. And some never look back. Though I’m happily married now, I have friends who have chosen singledom and are having a ball.

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Leah Njoki is the author of Relationships Truths: Everything You Wish You Knew About Love. Follow her on Medium

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This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.