People Share How They Realized They Married The Wrong Person, And Hindsight Is Definitely 20/20

Deciding to end your marriage is an enormous and difficult decision, but part of that decision is figuring out that you need to leave in the first place.

Signing divorce papers
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Reddit user u/AccordingClassroom58 recently asked, "How did you know you had married the wrong person? What did you do when you realized it?" Here are a few stories:

1."When I would sit in my car reading a book for an hour rather than go home. We divorced after 8 months."


2."It was after my second child was born, and he suggested she might not be his. She was 8 when I finally got divorced. At that time, I tried everything to get us to a point of being healthy. He would put no effort in. I divorced in 2020 with the solid knowledge that I had tried everything. If I had to go back, I'd get divorced at least four years ago. I knew it was over but didn't want to be a 'failure.' Society needs to quit talking about marriages failing. It's not a failure to leave an emotionally bad situation."


3."After we were married, I would lay in bed and keep wishing I could 'go home.'"

woman lays in bed next to man

4."I think it was a subconscious thing. When we first met, I was 18 and I wanted kids. After we were together a few years, I didn't want kids anymore. After I left him, I realized I didn't want kids with him. He basically treated me like a child, which I accepted (he was older). But I didn't want him treating our kids like that. I think there was a moment where I realized that if I couldn't accept him treating our kids like that, why did I accept him treating me like that?"


5."When I would be so happy when he left for work and so miserable when he came home. I stayed like that for over a year, but we called it quits four years ago."


6."I knew when I cried so hard thinking I was not ready to marry him...before marrying him. I told myself it was okay because his parents told me that we were made for each other. We weren't. I didn't realize it until I started wanting attention from other men and just felt disgusted at his lack of effort. He just shoved any issue he had with me under the rug and expected me to love him endlessly. I left him, and I feel so much better now."


7."He turned out to be not just slightly boring but staid, placid, and a middle-aged man (in his early 30s) for whom life was finished/fulfilled now that he was married. I left within the year."


8."Once we were at the wedding reception, I realized that my opinion suddenly no longer mattered because what he wanted in life was to check off the box of being married, and once that happened, he didn't really care that his wife was me. He acted like a much nicer and more compassionate person until we exchanged vows. Once we got to the reception, I had a miserable time because the music was so loud that even across the room from the DJ, I could barely hear any of the guests that I was talking to and had to basically scream for them to be able to hear me. But according to my now ex-husband, it would've ruined everyone's time if I asked the DJ to bump the volume down slightly to be more comfortable, so I was supposed to 'just deal with it.' After years of similar behavior, I finally realized that I wasn't getting the pre-marriage version of him back because that had all been an act, so I left."

table setting for a wedding reception

9."As I walked down the aisle thinking, 'This is the biggest fucking mistake of my life.' I was pregnant at 19, and I caved to family pressure to 'do the right thing.'"


10."I married a man that I had dated for less than a month. He proposed after two weeks, and I said yes, not thinking it would really happen. Once my parents found out, the wedding was ON! We were living in Alaska, and they were planning on moving back home. In 1976, they didn't want to miss the wedding even though we wanted to wait at least a year. If at any point anyone in my family had thought to ask if I really wanted to do it, I would have said no, but I didn't know my own mind at the time. I had even had a clear vision of what a bad match it was and what marriage to him would mean, but I didn't want to stop the wedding because my parents were so excited about it. On the way to the wedding, I had a weird feeling that I had forgotten to tell my groom something important. On the way back home, it came to me. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell him that I don't want to get married."

"Just married" sign on the back of a car

11."When we were on our honeymoon. I looked around at all the happy couples and wondered when it was my turn. We went to couple's therapy, and I also went to individual therapy to sort out my feelings. We divorced two years later."


12."First, let me say, I was in my 20s. We had no kids and no real estate. I knew 10 months into the marriage when our tax refund never showed up. He had a gambling problem. We divorced a month later. I didn’t sign up for that."


13."I realized it was over when I started standing on the outer ends of the row in family pictures of his, thinking it would make it easier for them to crop me out later. I didn't immediately leave because I had a hard time getting used to the idea. Eventually, he cheated, so the decision was kind of made for me."


14."I was skiing up at Whistler with a good bud. She used the word 'adore' when talking of the love and care she felt toward her husband. I realized on the chairlift that I had no such deep connection or love toward my husband. That’s when I knew it was done for me. Not due to a comparison, but because I finally could see there just was no true spark or connection."


15."When he told me he wouldn't have gotten married if he knew 'it would be like this.' I felt the same. I felt stuck until things completely broke."


16."I was 11 months into my marriage, and a friend said that it must be nearly my anniversary and asked if I had anything planned. I realized that I couldn’t receive a single good wish from anyone honestly because I was so miserable. I immediately drove to where he was and ended it. That was over 30 years ago and definitely the right decision for us both."

Anniversary event on calendar

17."In quarantine when we both started working from home. I left! I'm so happy I did."


18."My lightbulb moment was shortly after a fight, and I was venting to a friend. I said that I was going to 'become a person that was worthy of his respect.' There was a moment of silence, and my friend was like, 'You’re married to a man that doesn’t respect you?!' That was the moment I gave up, truly. That was January 2017; got my financial shit together, and I served divorce papers in November 2018."


If you've ended a marriage, when did you realize that it was time to go? Tell me in the comments.