Relationships are extremely delicate things. We put all our heart and soul into them, yet they still often lead to heartbreak and disappointment. Even knowing the likelihood that our relationships won’t end well, many of us are still willing to go along for the ride, just in case. So what exactly does it take for someone to make the decision to actually end a relationship? Here are 42 stories of “last straws” that caused people to make that difficult decision.
1. Cooking Up A Storm
The last straw in my most recent relationship was when my then-girlfriend told me that I was a “cheap loser” because I wanted to cook for her one evening instead of taking her out for dinner at Texas Roadhouse. I was so excited about a new recipe that I was hoping to try out and surprise her with. Any person with that little sensitivity to other people’s feelings is not a person that I want to be spending my time around.
2. Getting Himself Into Hot Water
I was dying of the flu and asked my boyfriend to get me some soup. He came back with one can of a 69 cent soup, then sent me an email request for a $1 fund transfer because “Money is tight right now.” As if that wasn’t bad enough already, he then came home with an $80 bottle of scotch for himself just three days later to celebrate Election Day.
When the big day actually came, he never even bothered to vote because he was too loaded. At that point, there was no doubt left in my mind that this relationship was over.
3. Cutting To The Chase
I ended my last relationship after I realized that my girlfriend was legitimately bonkers. How did I come to this conclusion, you ask? While we were arguing over some stupid little insignificant thing, she suddenly pulled two knives out of the kitchen drawer and started to caress and hone them by grinding them at each other like some killer in a horror movie would do.
4. My Time Of Need
I decided that I did not want to be with my girlfriend anymore when I saw that she couldn’t be there for me while my mom was losing her life to cancer.
5. Three’s a Crowd
I caught my girlfriend cheating and was bummed out about it. I was deep in contemplation for a day or two, but then she dragged me into a call between her and the dude she was cheating with. His profile picture was his shirtless back. I had to sit there while she tried to tell me how bad I was and the new guy just sat there agreeing with her, using only gang slang and trying to act tough by insulting me.
Three days later, she called me and asked if I still loved her. When I said “No,” she went dead silent for 10 seconds and then said, “…..what?” She then left the call and sent me a message about how she felt like her soul just left her body. Boy, was I desperate in hindsight!
6. She Saw the Light
Technically, my girlfriend was the one who ended it with me. It went like this: She ambushed me one day, stating that she had just found religion and that therefore we would not kiss anymore, she wasn’t going to go out with me anymore, and she was going to spend a lot of her spare time at the church. This all came AFTER she had cheated on me with at least two guys in the last year and a half.
We were together for a total of five and a half years. Obviously, I got very mad and told her a lot of stuff that made her end the relationship. Then, I tried to apologize, but she refused to get back together with me. As more and more time passed, I realized that she had prepared the ambush to anger me on purpose. I guess it was the best for me after all…
7. Special Delivery
My ex-girlfriend had been trying to manipulate me by constantly threatening to break up with me. So, one time after she did this, when I went to pick her up as I normally would, I instead dropped off all of her belongings and ended things right then and there.
8. Let’s Get Away From It All
I dated my last boyfriend for 5 years and he lived with me at the time of our breakup. I forgave him for cheating on me just a month prior, which I know I shouldn’t have, and I was still having a really hard time with trust and everything (duh). I told him I was going to stay with my mom for a couple of days because I was struggling.
His response to that suggestion was, “Which stupid friend of yours put that idea into your head? I know you would never be strong enough to come up with that on your own.” Who says that??!! Yeah, get the heck out of my house. Now!
9. The Wrong Thing To Say
My mom had borderline personality disorder and was shot point-blank by her brother 10 years ago. While having a fight with my then-boyfriend, he blurted some something I’ll never be able to forgive him for: “If your mother was half as freakin’ crazy as you, maybe she deserved what she got!” That was the end of that relationship. I knew I’d never be able to look at him the same again after that remark.
10. His Health Care Policy
I was having a health episode one night and, since it wasn’t an emergency, I texted my boyfriend to let him know. When I didn’t hear back from him, I figured he was probably asleep. My best friend stayed up with me all night, taking care of me. When I called my boyfriend in the morning and asked why he did not call or text me back in all that time, he said, “Your health is not my problem.”
And I knew that it was all over as soon as those words came out of his mouth. There was no way he could ever fix that.
11. Age Isn’t Always Just A Number
When I was 23, I dated a gorgeous 47-year-old Spanish woman. We had zero problems, we connected so well with one another, and every part of our relationship was perfect. We enjoyed almost 2 years of pure bliss and heaven together. Until she said I was too old for her…and dropped me for a 19-year-old.
12. Anxiously Awaiting Her Return
My ex had severe anxiety due to his parents’ divorce, and wouldn’t allow me to hang around other guys even in a group setting. I dealt with it for 3 years because I loved him so much. I eventually ended it after my best friend graduated and I was told that I wasn’t allowed to go say goodbye to him before he left for college. I did it anyway, and came back to find my boyfriend having the worst panic attack I have ever seen in my entire life.
It’s been 5 years now since we decided to stop dating. We’re still great friends to this day. I never stopped feeling that he was a great guy. He just needed help and refused to get it, which I couldn’t handle dealing with.
13. The Perfect Soundtrack
I ended things with my girlfriend when I found her curled up in the middle of our bed, falling asleep listening to the songs that another guy had written for her. Turns out she had been sleeping with him for 2 weeks. For the record, the songs were awful.
14. A One-Way Street
My boyfriend’s gradually expanding lack of effort is what caused me to end to my previous relationship. I think he stopped trying about six months into the relationship. I spent the next several years shouldering the entire burden of the relationship on my back, thinking that the spark would eventually come back somehow.
I had a lot of serious conversations with him about where our relationship was going because all he ever wanted to do (and did) was sit around and do nothing all day. All he had to do was say was that he loved me and let’s keep trying, and I was like a loyal dog and stayed around thinking that this time it would get better.
I was delusional—and it was only going to get worse. I wanted that affection back so badly. Conflict management, dealing with all of my pain and sadness alone so it wouldn’t bother him, and then breaking down and eventually telling him that I needed help and communication from him, I did all of it. We were best friends for a long time but when we finally got into a relationship, it was as if he had won the prize he’d been working towards all along and decided to give up on the rest of his life because he knew that I would take care of everything from then on and never leave him.
Finally, I realized that the rest of my life WOULD be just me taking care of everything while he complained about being tired and acted like a holy saint for helping me wash the dishes once every few months. It was the most painful and heartbreaking thing I’d ever had to do in my life. I tried everything to somehow find a way to help us grow.
He just couldn’t bring himself to contribute, but I guess he also just liked the convenience of being in a relationship.
15. You Needed Me
I ended things with my last boyfriend because he was a narcissistic sociopath who took pleasure in putting me down and playing games. I was so hooked on wanting his affection, yet he made me feel like absolute garbage, told me no one would want me, etc. To make a long story short, I was forced to hang out with a guy I knew from high school for a few hours one night.
He made me feel wanted and needed. It was so different from hanging out with my boyfriend and it made me realize how wrong his behavior towards me was. We flirted and even cuddled a ton. I wasn’t technically in a relationship with the narcissist anymore at this time, because he had temporarily broken things off with me a few weeks prior.
Nevertheless, I had still been desperately trying to win him back at that point. That one night with my high school friend gave me the courage to finally walk away for good. The following day, the narcissist asked me for a ride to the store. He had no car and hardly any money, so he often tried to take advantage of my niceness.
On the way there, I told him that I was done with him forever. He started to get up and exit the car, and said, “If you’re really done with me, then you won’t be out here when I come back out.” I sat in my car for about two minutes contemplating, then drove off and never looked back. Oh, and that guy from high school who saved me by showing me that I was wanted? We dated, got engaged after 3 weeks, and got married 4 months later. We will be celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary on the 30th of this month.
16. The Clock Is Ticking
I decided to end my relationship when I looked at the calendar and realized that I was sitting in the dark crying over the same problems that I had been sitting in the dark crying over a year before. 365 days and nothing had changed. That was when I realized that this relationship could not continue.
17. Losing It
I was going through a lot of abandonment issues. My girlfriend ended things with me after I hid her phone to keep her from leaving, so that she would spend some time looking for it with me. It was obvious that she hadn’t misplaced it; she was attached to her phone as most 19-year-olds are. This led to many arguments, as I was so afraid of her leaving me that I would always distance myself or try to manipulate her. Looking back at my psychotic behavior over the years, it was hard for me to live with myself.
But I realize that back then I had zero self-awareness and that I can be better in the future now that I learned my lesson.
18. Silence Isn’t Always Golden
My boyfriend and I talked a lot every day. He was very outgoing and always wanted to know what I was doing that day. He always started with a “good morning” and an inquiry about the day. As nice as this may sound, I realized pretty early on that if I spent any time with anyone else, I got the silent treatment from him the next day.
I would be reaching out, seeking, and barely getting anything from him all day. It took me about 3 or 4 months to understand what was going on. He was trying to show his disapproval at my giving attention to anyone but him. I honestly don’t even know whether he did it on purpose. One day, I babysat my neighbor’s kids for an hour and found myself not wanting to tell him because I knew he’d be upset.
The next day, another friend asked me to watch her kids for an hour. That time, I did tell him and, as I had feared, I got the silent treatment the next day. For watching an infant and a one-year-old for an hour while my friend got her older child’s hair cut… Later that week, my sister and nieces came into town and so we went to see a movie together.
When my sister asked how things were going with my boyfriend, I told her about the whole silent treatment thing and predicted that he would be ignoring me the next day. He did. The same thing happened the day after Thanksgiving. The tough part was that he seemed like such a wonderful guy otherwise, but now that I’m away from the relationship I realize that he had such a tight grip on me in other ways as well.
Finally, I decided that I’d had enough. On one of his silent treatment days, I chose not to reach out to him either. His first comment was “Why are you so cold today?” But truly, the cold shoulder was his. I encouraged him to read through our texts to see that I hadn’t been cold at all. I just hadn’t said much, and neither had he.
He blew up and demanded to talk right then. I declined because I was in the middle of watching a movie with my niece. He got even madder. He said we had to talk the next day. That was it for me. I love a cooperative relationship, not a hostage scenario. The next day, my friend’s baby was hospitalized. I let my boyfriend know that not only was I unable to talk because I was helping my friend, but that I actually didn’t want to talk either. And that was the end of our relationship.
19. Choking Up
I knew that it was time to end things with my boyfriend when he tried to choke me.
20. The Final Paw
I had to put down my childhood cat, Darwin. Shortly after, my boyfriend laughed at me for crying over something that reminded me of his fur. What happened was that I didn’t want to sit alone in the empty house with my thoughts, so I went to the yarn store the day after with my mom. We ended up finding a yarn that looked and felt exactly like his fur, and I burst into tears.
When I got back home and told my boyfriend about it that evening, he just kinda laughed and said it was a stupid reason to cry. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I distanced myself from him for a week after that, because I didn’t trust myself to not just explode on him over it. Honestly, I was having a hard enough time without that kind of treatment. I’m 100% serious when I say that the moment that he made that comment, my remaining feelings for him immediately died.
I broke up with him a week later when he went off on me for “not being involved in the relationship” and “never wanting to do anything” because I was too busy crying my eyes out and fighting the urge to kill myself to talk to him while, again, grieving my best friend. I have an unfortunate habit of letting myself be walked all over. However, the moment you disrespect my baby (the one reason I even made it this far in life), you are immediately dead to me in every way, shape, and form.
Also, side note: I have a very nice cat scarf that my mom made me out of the yarn I cried over. It’s a nice reminder of my boy.
21. Nobody Messes With My Dog!
I was staying the night at my parents’ place because I was about a day away from a mental breakdown and my parents (knowing the signs and how to prevent it) made me come to their place to get a good night’s rest. I texted my boyfriend to tell him I was going to stay the night at my parents’, and reminded him to please walk the dog.
He didn’t ask if I was okay or anything, even though I told him in the text why I was staying there. I woke up at 4:44 in the morning, and something just told me to check his location. Turns out, my gut feeling was 100% right. He was at his female coworker’s house. I drove back to our apartment and asked our roommate if the dog had been walked that night. She hadn’t been.
I started packing all my things up and I guess our roommate called him and told him I was leaving because, while I was in the middle of packing, he stumbled into the room, totally loaded. He claimed that all of his coworkers had been at this woman’s house for a get-together and that he had just innocently fallen asleep while watching a movie with them.
The joke was on him, though, because I was going to leave him either way that night. I wasn’t just mad about him being at his coworker’s place. I was also mad that he didn’t walk the dog. He didn’t prioritize the one thing that I had asked from him that night. He didn’t prioritize something that we had both agreed to love and take care of for the rest of her life.
Mind you, he was the one who just showed up with the dog one day even though we had both agreed to wait a bit before getting one. But nevertheless, he didn’t walk the dog. As I continued packing my stuff, he gradually went from screaming to crying to threatening, and then eventually back to crying. I just kept repeating, “You didn’t walk the dog, Ryan!” until I was finished packing.
I went back to my parents’ house and back to bed.
22. Moment Of Epiphany
I was married for 9 years, with two kids. He cheated on me at least twice. He confessed the first time, which occurred only a week after we got married. I forgave him out of fear of being alone and pregnant. The second time, he didn’t confess. He just came up with some wacko excuse. We had two kids by then. Not too long ago, he started acting suspiciously. I know full well that he had cheated on me again. It was just a gut feeling.
But I had no proof. So after all that, we continued to stay together. Then, I finally woke up and just realized one day that I didn’t need him anymore. The straw that broke the camel’s back was him threatening to kill my dog. I chose the dog over him.
23. Woman’s Best Friend?
I ended things with my last girlfriend after she told me that whenever we would sleep together, she would imagine that she was sleeping with a dog. She also made me watch some less than appropriate videos to illustrate precisely what she was imagining.
24. Living Life To The Emptiest
My first marriage ended. He was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. We didn’t have health insurance on him, and I was still in school. So, I quit school and got a job with health insurance, and we went through the long process of getting him brain surgery to remove the tumor. Once that was over, he was different. Not completely different; more like the person he would have been if he hadn’t had some voice telling him that he needed to be responsible.
His neurologist called me up a year after the surgery and scolded me for “letting” my spouse get away with doing the opposite of what the doctor had told him to do. I felt like garbage. He had been scheduling appointments for times when I absolutely was not able to get out of work, so I thought he was doing everything he was told to do. That’s what he told me he was doing, anyway.
For example, he told me they wanted him to get his mobility and dexterity back since the surgery had caused him to be temporarily paralyzed on one side of his body. He already went to physical and occupational therapy, but okay. What else did he have to do, I wanted to know. Oh yeah, he said. “They told me I should golf every day.”
So, he got a membership at the local country club. He did golf every day, so I thought he was doing what they wanted; but looking back, I always kind of wondered how that was going to help him get back to normal. Back to that fateful phone call. I was told by the doctor that he would no longer be treating my husband and that we would have to find someone else from now on. This was because, among other things, he had apparently told my husband that he needed to get a JOB.
He said that this would be the best exercise for his brain and for his body. Naturally, that phone call was a complete shock to me. When we sat down and discussed the entire year from surgery to that present point, I asked my spouse how he was going to improve his life if he didn’t want to do what the doctor had told him to do. I also asked if he really believed it was realistic to just golf every day for the rest of his life when we couldn’t even afford another year of a country club membership.
A few days later, he told me that he’d made up his mind. He had been thinking really hard and he’d decided that he wasn’t going to change. He said he had almost died the year before and, therefore, he would have died never having done all the things that he really wanted to do. Things like being a National Geographic photographer and a professional snowboarder.
He also missed the band he had been in before we had to move for my new job with health insurance. So, he announced that he would be moving back to our hometown so that he could be in his band again. Did I want to be married to a professional snowboarder who had never yet even tried snowboarding? No. But I thought he would change eventually and go back to listening to that voice telling him to get a job and be in the band in his spare time. I gave him all the money I had saved up ($4,000) and told him he had six months. If he didn’t come back to me in six months, I’d file for divorce.
He took the money and drove back “home” with the full support of his bandmates, who apparently had trouble finding a new bass player in his absence. He promptly got someone pregnant. That was the last straw for me. Six months later, I filed for divorce. He filed some paperwork asking for alimony, but he never showed up for court; so I was granted the divorce and didn’t have to pay him anything.
I regretted supporting his little sabbatical, but I also didn’t want a miserable spouse. We had always been blissfully happy until that surgery, even with all of the challenges that we faced. I was committed to taking care of him and our household. I thought we were soulmates. But I think he got scared when the doctor called me. He didn’t want responsibilities. And maybe I was getting worn out?
Eventually, I moved on and graduated college. It took me a while, but I finally had to accept that there may be more than one acceptable partner out there for each one of us. I no longer believe in soulmates. I believe that if you want to be in a relationship, you will stay in it no matter what. It’s been many, many years since this all went down. I am now remarried, happy, and stable.
I know that if something ever happens to my spouse, I will have the strength to carry us through it. Also, which hadn’t occurred to me before, I know that if something ever happens to me, my spouse will do the same without question. And that is why I don’t regret a single thing.
25. They’re People With Values
My girlfriend’s parents demanded that I buy a house before we could get married. The funny thing was that I already owned an apartment, but the value ($400k) was not quite as much as the value of the house she owned ($600k)—so, her parents being the snobs that they were, I had to get a house of at least equal value to hers in order to even our assets out. Unfortunately, she decided she would side with her parents over me on this one, even after I pointed out the absurdity of it.
And that was the end of that!
26. Cutting Things Down To Size
My brother was involved in a serious accident and almost lost his life. The trauma to his brain was so bad that they had to remove a portion of his skull to relieve some of the pressure. In doing this, they had to shave his head. I was at the hospital every moment I could be to support him. My girlfriend only showed up once.
When he came out of his coma, a group of friends and family all got buzzcuts to show our support. My girlfriend LOST HER MIND over me shaving my head and supporting my brother. Things escalated from there, which also brought up some underlying issues that led to me ultimately ending things. It just wasn’t meant to be.
27. Going Our Separate Ways
I loved her deeply. We met doing Teach for America, which was an insanely difficult chapter in my life with some truly dark lows. As compatible as we were in many ways, we were, more than anything, a refuge for each other in an otherwise awfully challenging time. We kept each other’s heads above water. I couldn’t have made it through those years without her.
However, we were from different worlds. She was from a blue-collar family, had aspired to work in education after a few years in the “real world” working retail, and her own difficult life had already made her strong (and angry). She was tough, which is a huge part of what drew me to her in the first place. On the flip side, I was spoiled and naive.
Yet another overprivileged future lawyer, banking on some Americorps experience and my Ivy League credentials to carry me forward in life towards “bigger and better” things. I grew up a lot just by watching how she moved through the world, and eventually, I started figuring out how to want things that actually made me happy (hint: not being a lawyer) more than just acquiescing to what was expected of me.
However, that growth only cemented my understanding that we weren’t just from different places, but we also wanted our lives to go in entirely different directions. To her credit, she was 100% invested in making our shared city at the time her new home, putting down roots and going all-in for her adopted community. She wanted a small house, the white picket fence, the honest, hard work as an educator, and a family of her own.
I didn’t want any of that, not at all. Once I recognized that fact, it became cruel to do anything other than break up with her. When you love someone, you want what’s best for them—even when that’s no longer you. So it was hard, but I don’t regret it for a second. I wanted her to be happy more than I wanted her to be “mine.”
I miss her sometimes, and I still find myself asking “What would SHE do?” when I am trying to find the courage to be brave in a scary situation. You always carry the love you had for them. It becomes a part of you. But time heals all wounds, and I’m happy knowing that we made the hard choice for the greater good.
28. Not A Pretty Picture
I decided to end things with my boyfriend when I imagined us having children together and instantly realized what an absolutely horrifying nightmare it would be to have him as a co-parent and life partner.
29. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
For me, the last straw in my relationship was when my boyfriend screamed at me in front of my mother. She is the woman who brought me into this world. Going through that made me experience a whole new level of anger that I had never felt before. I always took the constant shouting and putdowns. But when he disrespected me in front of my mother, there was no turning back.
30. Living In The Past
My relationship ended when I realized that he still didn’t care about me as much as he cared about “the one who got away.” He didn’t even argue when I asked him if we should break up. It still sucks.
31. Timing Is Everything
My girlfriend and I went on a weekend trip to go see a Calvin Harris concert. It was almost like one last effort to make things work between us. We were together at the show the entire time except for three minutes, when I had to go to the bathroom. The second I walked away, he played “Sweet Nothing,” which had always been our song as a couple.
When I got back to my girlfriend, she was crying because it really felt like a sign from above that things were officially over at that point.
32. A One Track Mind
My buddy once described to me the moment that he knew it was finally time to end his last relationship. As a last-ditch effort to solve some of the problems they had been having, he and his girlfriend decided to have a romantic dinner in front of the fireplace with some soft music going.
“So there I am. The drinks, the food, the fireplace crackling over the nice music. And there’s Sheila with that beautiful body of hers, lying mostly naked on the plush carpet in front of the fireplace with that ‘I love you’ look in her eyes. Yet all I could think about was how much I wanted to grab the fire poker and shove it through her skull. That’s when I knew it was pretty much over.”
33. Thanking Her For Her Disservice
For years, she verbally attacked me. She belittled me in front of my friends and family, accused me of cheating on her almost daily with anyone and everyone we knew, and often went into fits of rage when I wouldn’t agree with her on absolutely every single thing. Fast forward 6 years. I’m deployed. I had asked her to send me my Kindle so that I could have something to read when my convoys were stopped and we were waiting around for hours.
I only ever used it out on convoys, so I never had it connected to WiFi. After about 5 or 6 months, I’d read all the books that were on there and I decided to take it to the WiFi tent and get a few more. As soon as I connected to the WiFi, a bunch of old Facebook messages came through. She had apparently been using the device at home and it was logged into her Facebook account as a result.
Nevertheless, I didn’t realize this at first and assumed that the messages coming through were for me. When I saw what they said, my blood ran cold. I could see that they were from two very good friends of mine, so I opened them. I looked at the messages and discovered that she had been sleeping with both of my friends. I couldn’t believe that after everything I took from her, this was how our relationship ended up.
I called her up, told her that I knew and had seen the messages, and demanded a divorce.
34. Taking My Time
My relationship ended when he texted me and I didn’t bother to respond until 3 weeks later. I think we both realized that the interest was gone.
35. Coveting Thy Co-Worker’s Husband
The last straw for me was when my former girlfriend tried to make me feel jealous by threatening to sleep with my co-worker’s husband. I don’t tolerate that kind of nonsense.
36. Conflict Resolution
I ended things with my boyfriend when it started to feel like there was more conflict between us than happiness. I saw it coming months before, but I just thought that we could resolve it somehow. In the end, we couldn’t.
37. So Close, and Yet So Far Away
What ended my last relationship was distance. My girlfriend moved to Scotland, while I’m still here on the east coast of the United States. I was the one who broke it off, and the decision still haunts me. I don’t know how to get her off my mind.
38. Doin’ What Comes Unnaturally
I knew that it was time to end my relationship when my phone vibrated and I didn’t hope it was him anymore. By that point, I had to make a conscious effort when talking to him and it didn’t come naturally anymore.
39. Sorry Not Sorry
The last straw in my relationship began when my boyfriend’s brother was being rude to me at the dinner table, to which I politely responded, “I’m not sure I agree with what you’re saying, let’s just leave it there.” His entire family’s response was insane. The brother then stormed off in anger and I was banished from the house until I agreed to apologize to their father and all of their brothers for “disrespecting” a man in their home.
My boyfriend told me that I had to do this in order to be forgiven. I didn’t want to, so he ambushed me on Valentine’s Day (4 months later). He told me that we would be having a “special night in” and then locked me in a room with his brother until I apologized. I apologized just so that I could get the heck out of that room (and that relationship) as quickly as possible.
40. The Perfect Time To Drop A Rhyme
When I first met my most recent boyfriend, he was very sweet and full of potential. Towards the end of our relationship, he became toxic, rude, and lazy. He dropped out of college to focus on becoming a Soundcloud rapper. God, how I cringe at my choices! His decision to quit school put me on the fence in terms of how I felt about the relationship, and then I eventually discovered that he was cheating.
But that’s not nearly the worst part: I confronted him about said cheating, and he started freestyle rapping to me about how sorry he was. This happened mid-argument. And it was TERRIBLE. He legitimately thought that this was going to change my mind. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. On the bright side, I instantly lost all feelings I had ever had for him on the spot and walked away laughing!