The most common reasons why couples in long-term relationships split
Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.
And some things really are too tough to forgive. A Reddit thread discussing the reason couples in relationships lasting 20 years or more sheds some light on the heartbreaking reasons couples call it quits after decades of marriage.
1. Not enough in common.
Sometimes, after more than 20 years, if you don’t have any similar interests, you stop trying.
2. Someone (or both) cheats.
“Parents divorced after 22 years when my mother cheated,” TheVBnerve wrote. “Dad felt bad and hurt but acknowledged he might have been part of the problem (emotional distance) so he wanted to work through it with therapy and stuff. She agreed to work through it and then cheated again a week later. The divorce was messy...”
“My parents were married close to 40 years and divorced,” one wrote.
“Dad is definitely on the spectrum, and just doesn't understand ‘normal’ emotions. Without children in the house to buffer their interactions, my dad's behaviour became increasingly bizarre and inappropriate, and my mom’s physical and emotional health started deteriorating, so we encouraged them to go their separate ways. I'm happy to say they are now divorced and living their own separate but fulfilling lives. Mom is devoted to caring for her grandbabies, and dad to his trophy wife.”
4. It gets too hard.
“Married 16 years, together 18, so close enough. Had a solid relationship that was incredible. Job changes, family dramas (sister tried to kill herself), and it was like we were a team that could take on what life handed out. But then we had the year to end all years - lost 3 out of 4 parents (her Dad had died a long time ago) in a single year, moved to a new house that was still being renovated, and she went back to school to start a new career. All of those combined were like a perfect storm and everything just collapsed. I still don't understand what happened....”
5. The kids grow up.
“This is the case with more than half of the families we know. In it for the kids. Both parents have relationships on the side but raise the kids with their marriage partners. Not a clue how you explain that to the kids,” wrote FLBoyZ06.
6. Money matters.
”Friend of mine not me. Married for over 20 years. He was the main earner,” writes Heartless_Gloater. “She brought up the kids. When the kids left home she went out to work for the first time in their marriage. At the end of the first month he expects them to put both their respective wages together to pay the bills. She abjectly refused.
“Said it was her money. She brought up the kids and now having this extra money is her due/reward. This just eats at them both really and pretty soon they argue daily about this extra money.”
7. Taking the other person for granted.
”My husband and I will be divorcing soon. He doesn't know yet, even though I've been vocal about how our marriage isn't great, and clear about what changes I would need to see to stay,” meowhaha said. ”Once I asked him if he thought he was a good husband. His reply? "Well, I don't beat you, or drink, or gamble or sleep around. I think I have a right to a little bit more in a husband than that.”
8. One person forces your hand.
“My girlfriend got divorced after 20 years. About 10 years in he started to drink more and then more as time went on,” Tess47 said. “She picked up the slack he left and tried everything to turn it around. 7 years she worked on it because ‘my husband is my best friend and you don't abandon your best friend when they are in trouble’. She tried all she could and he drank more and more. He became a shell of a mean man and she left when the youngest could drive. She is still sad. He died 120 days after the divorce was final. Now she feels the guilt.”