Everyone dreams of a happily ever after. However, sometimes your Prince Charming is really a villain in disguise, and the princess you were hoping to live your fairy tale with turns out to be the wicked witch. What do you do then? Stick it out and try to make it work, or cut your losses and get out of it immediately?
Common sense would say, definitely the latter. Here are some stories of people who married who they thought was their dream partner but divorced within a year when their spouses showed them their true colors.
1. Give Me The Money!
My dad got remarried after being divorced for five years. I would have been all for it, but this didn’t feel right. He met this woman in another state on a business trip and would travel up to see her every weekend. They knew each other for six months before getting engaged. The engagement only lasted three months. My brother and I tried telling him about all the red flags, telling him to take his time.
My dad is very well-off financially, and we kept trying to explain to him that things were moving too quickly, and she seemed like a gold-digger. She moved her whole family from their hometown to the city my dad lived in, including their elderly grandmother who needed constant medical supervision. Before they were even married, the pantry was full of branded food from Whole Foods, instead of the unbranded things we got from the local grocery store. He bought new furniture and had the house repainted, all at his bride-to-be's request.
The marriage lasted all of two weeks. Apparently, my dad's new bride had the gall to ask my dad to leave everything to her in the will and write me and my brother out. Only then did he realize she was in it for the money. The next day he had the marriage annulled.
I was in an on-and-off relationship with this girl for a while. I never wanted anything serious, then disaster struck. My mom was killed and I went into a deep depression and this girl was there for me. Her mom had died of cancer about a year earlier and I guess we really bonded over that. It pushed us much further emotionally than we ever should’ve gone.
We ended up doing a courthouse marriage. I knew within the month that I had messed up. But I didn’t want to just give up and get divorced. Once the emotions of my mom’s death passed, I realized how toxic she really was. She was an incredibly unstable person and ended up just taking me into an even deeper depression.
We divorced about a year ago (after being married for about ten months), and I was immediately much happier. Marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly, but people also shouldn’t force themselves to be in unhealthy relationships. We all make mistakes. Don’t waste your life with someone that doesn’t deserve you.
3. Not a Nice Man to Know
My sister had a civil marriage. Then they moved extremely far away—to the middle of nowhere—because he got a good job there. My sister never finished college and he would remind her about it. She would get super depressed and he wouldn’t believe her. She got sick once and he told her since she didn’t go to the DMV that day she wasn’t allowed to go to a theme park we were planning on going to that weekend. He would demean her whenever she couldn’t get a job or even an interview, and she applied to practically everywhere within a 50-mile radius.
He called her stupid in front of me and when I confronted him, he told me to mind my own business. If he wasn’t twice my size I would have decked him. She left him after about a year because he’s obviously a raging maniac. When she left, he told her she has nowhere to go and if she went to stay with our mom she would just be a burden like me. I was like 19 and in college at the time. He’s a rude idiot but at least she got the car and the dog.
4. It Isn’t You, It’s Me
My friend’s sister got engaged after eight months of being in a relationship, and got married four months later. Everything seemed fine for the first five months, but after that the husband started acting differently. He wasn’t chatty, his good morning/goodnight kisses became dull, etc. His wife would ask if everything was okay and he would say “I’m fine” every time. She didn’t want to push him, so she waited for him to talk about what’s bothering him.
One evening after eating dinner, the husband said he wanted to talk about their relationship. Before he could say anything though, he started crying. He cried for a few minutes and then told her he’s gay. The girl filed for divorce and after the divorce was settled, she wasn’t mad at him anymore, so she went to see him and forgave him. They became good friends and she helped him become comfortable with his sexuality. She even helped him come out to his close friends and then to his family.
Five years later, the girl is now engaged to another man and expecting their first child. Her ex-husband is now very happily married to a man for almost a year now.
5. Hands Off!
I knew it was over the day after we got married when he slapped me across the face (hard and completely out of the blue). No argument, no conversation leading up to it, nothing. He said it wasn't that hard of a hit, he was just kidding around, and I was being overdramatic. He had never gotten violent with me while dating, but as soon as we got married it was like a switch flipped and he was a COMPLETELY different person. It got worse very quickly, and I ended up filing for divorce 73 days after we got married.
6. Marrying a Stranger
My mother-in-law got married the first time when she was very young. She left him a month later when she found he was a raging alcoholic. She had no idea because her family was extremely over-protective, and they were never allowed to spend time together alone before they got married. Who knew spending time with someone could be the key to knowing if they are a good partner??
7. Holiday Fling
I was blindsided. We lived together for a year, about an hour from my hometown. We relocated, upon her request, to my hometown prior to our marriage so that when we had kids, we'd be close to family. We had a house we loved, a dog we loved, jobs we both loved—or so I thought. We got married in October.
Less than a year later, she went to visit her sister over the Labor Day weekend, and I couldn’t attend due to work. She came back the Tuesday after Labor Day and told me she’s living a lie and someone else’s dream, so she needs a divorce. I had no idea. Our divorce was finalized in January. She married someone her sister was friends with, who she met on that trip I was unable to attend in September.
8. The One with the Dodgy Teammate
We weren’t divorced in a year, but after about 18 months. She was constantly complaining she didn’t have friends after moving in with me. She joined a local soccer team, and she talked about one teammate nonstop for months. I had a bad feeling about it from the get-go, but she assured me they were “just friends” and “how dare I not trust her.”
I thought I was going crazy because my gut told me something wasn’t right but I was punishing myself for being a bad husband and not trusting my wife. Turned out it was all true, she had been cheating on me with the teammate for months. She most likely cheated on me with someone else during our engagement. We split amicably officially as of last week without any mess, thank god.
9. (Don’t) Meet the Parents!
We grew up on a ranch. My brother’s girlfriend came from the city, but during visits to the ranch, she would dive right in, helping our mom around the house and participating in all the stuff we did—horseback riding, ATVs, etc. She claimed (and appeared) to love it. My brother was so happy his city gal was compatible with the ranch lifestyle he grew up in, even though he was working in the city and their life would be in the city, but he just loved that she was able to connect with him that way and more importantly, with his family. They dated for about 18 months, made many visits to the ranch, and all seemed well. She insisted that she wanted to have her wedding at my parent's home, and my folks went all out, had both families there, and everyone had a great time.
The next morning, we had a send-off breakfast for the couple, and they headed to the airport for their honeymoon. My mom and the bride's mom were visiting later, and the bride's mom mentioned she's glad my mom had no hard feelings that her daughter and my brother would no longer be coming out to the ranch. My mom's jaw dropped. She was like, “What do you mean?” Bride's mom said, “Oh, I thought ‘Laura’ told you that having the wedding here was her gift to you to have your son home one last time with all his family here.” My mom went as white as a sheet. We all were stunned. We were confused as to whether my brother knew this, and more importantly, had agreed to it. My other brother (who had his own history of family drama) texted our big bro saying, "Is it true that this is your last time visiting mom and dad?" And big bro texted back, “what are you talking about?” Middle bro said, "Ask your new wife."
Needless to say, the honeymoon never happened. It turned out that his wife had been hiding her belief that that man leaves his family behind and becomes part of the woman's family. It was fully her intent to never visit my parents again, to spend all holidays at her parents' home, to have any future children only have relationships with her family, and on and on. My brother literally had no idea these were her beliefs/desires. To this day I don't know if she was evil or just clueless. They remained married for about a month until the divorce was final, but my bro never saw her again after the day-after-wedding-day.
10. I Quit!
My dad got back from his honeymoon, with his first wife, and went back to work. He came home and something felt off when he walked in through the door. She wasn't there when he got home from work, which was very odd for her since she got off work earlier than him and was always home when he got back. When she got back, he mentioned that it was out-of-the-ordinary that she had been out and asked if she went somewhere. He wasn't accusatory, just curious because it never happened, but she dodged his questions at first. Eventually after he got suspicious of her dodging a simple question, she admitted that she'd quit her job, and when he asked why, she said she didn't need to work.
So, she was planning on using him as her cash cow. He doesn't remember how the conversation went exactly since it was 30 years ago. He tried counselling and asked her to get her job back, but she always brushed him off and never took him seriously. He threw in the towel seven months later and she started trying to fix things, but it had been seven months of him trying to fix things and she had shown no interest. He filed for divorce and went on to achieve his lifelong dream: he dated and then married his middle school crush, my mom. They are now 28 years strong.
11. “Traditional” Husband = Chauvinist
A female friend of mine got divorced about four to six weeks into her marriage. Her husband at the time basically spent a few years prior to marriage being a bit of a salesman to everyone. But behind closed doors, the truth came out. It turns out that he was very traditional. They both had fast moving careers, and while he was okay with her making money and having a career, he also expected her to cook, clean, take care of the dogs, and never lifted a finger. He would just come home and pound drinks until dinner.
12. Why Cheat When You Can Break Up?
I knew it was a mistake about two months into our engagement. I even broke up with her for a week but didn’t tell anyone other than my parents. Something just didn’t feel right, but she was begging me every single day to rethink my decision and I felt so bad that I got back with her. We pretended like it never happened. Got married nine months later and she ended up cheating on me a little over a year into our marriage. I still don’t understand her logic behind all that but whatever. It’s done and I’ve moved on, but I’ll never understand why she wanted me back so badly and cheated on me not even two years later.
Less than a year into actively trying to get pregnant, my husband got discouraged, gave up and started staying out until 4:15am with his "coworker." He posted selfies on her couch on snapchat and even went as far as asking her to marry him once he could get rid of me. He had two biological children (my step-children) that he abandoned at home with me while he was out doing this.
But that's not even the worst part. The icing on the cake was that on my favorite holiday, while holding my brand-new baby nephew in front of his entire family, he told me he wanted a divorce. I was gone in two weeks, left everything to him, and vanished. New number, new address, everything. Best choice I ever made.
14. What a Creep!
I think I knew for a while, but I finally admitted it after I had left. He was abusive and it happened so slowly that I didn’t see it. It’s almost like being lulled to sleep. It started emotionally before I married him. Then, about six months later, the physical stuff had started. Shortly after, it progressed to intimate mistreatment as well. Long story short, a close friend saw some bruising. She was concerned and went to my parents.
My dad confronted my ex and basically forced me to leave with them. At the time, I was so brain washed I didn’t get it. It’s scary to look back on how out of it I truly was during that period of time. It almost feels like I was an observer of my own life. Seven years and a lot of therapy later, I am in a much healthier place and in a happy, healthy relationship.
15. Err…Living in Denial Much?
My sister didn’t see anything wrong with her husband moving to another state, leaving her to stay at my parents’ house, and only seeing him when she flew to visit (he was in the army). She didn’t see a problem when girls would post Instagram and Facebook photos of her husband completely drunk at a party when he told her he was at work. She didn’t see a problem when he made huge purchases (a sports car, a four-wheeler) that they couldn’t afford without telling her. She also didn’t see a problem when he told her she should get breast implants. Nope, never saw a problem. She didn’t realize it was a mistake until he sent her divorce papers. They were married less than a year.
I for one wasn’t surprised. I tried to tell her a marriage that started with a proposal when both parties were in relationships with DIFFERENT PEOPLE was doomed to fail but she didn’t listen.
16. Red Alert!
A friend of mine had been married about six weeks. She had just moved in when they returned from the honeymoon, and she was rearranging furniture, organizing closets and doing other such chores one day while he was at work. She started pulling some of his boxes down from a closet shelf to make room for her things. Suddenly, a box fell down accidentally. Its contents were utterly disturbing. It was filled with hundred of explicit photos. Even worse, they were of kids. She divorced her new husband immediately and reported him to the military police (they were both in the military).
17. The Heart Knows What it Wants
I knew something was off before the wedding. I even made a joke the night before that worst case I get divorced right? Kudos to my Pops. He said if I wanted to, we could just say call it off, but I thought I was being irrational. A year later I left my ex and never went back. On our one-year anniversary I wasn't putting out fast enough, so he tried to assault me, changed his mind, then threw me into a wall. Lots of emotional abuse before then and there was a lot of gaslighting.
So, lesson learned. But that was a lot of years ago. I got divorced, went back to school to get my degree and got counselling. Now I'm married again. This time I didn’t have any second thoughts at any point. Marrying my current partner is the best decision I ever made. I felt I had to add the happy ending here.
18. House of Cards
I knew things were off when we were looking to buy our first house and he basically wanted to buy the first place that had four walls and a roof, while I wanted us to take our time and find the right place. When I put the kibosh on a house that was overpriced and flooded four times in the past he pouted and gave me the silent treatment for a week. Finding out he was chatting with other girls and confessing his feelings for a co-worker behind my back was just the icing on the cake.
19. Outted by Pie
A friend of mine was married to this guy for six months. He seemed like a nice guy. He had a violent history and spent a few years in jail, but she claimed he had changed. After six months, she learned that she was so, so wrong. He threw a knife at her because she didn't want him to eat a pie she had just baked. Later, she learned that he was also regularly poisoning her dog. The dog survived and is fine, but the marriage, not so much.
20. If I May
I realized it was a mistake when I started to see that I was "supposed to ask" before I went and did anything. Like, at all. Anything that did not involve being at home or going to work, I had to make sure the wife was okay with it. I lost a lot of friends in the year we were married. I started to do things for myself, and it just became awful. I am, thankfully, in a much better place now. I am still un-learning a lot of stuff that my ex bored into my head, but things are progressing. Slowly, but surely.
21. Too Late
I knew this relationship wouldn’t work after probably four months into it. We had some discussions about him being home late without letting me know, which made me worried, and I'm not the jealous type. One day he just didn't come home all night and I was worried sick. I couldn't sleep all night thinking something bad had happened to him, but also started gathering all my stuff. There was no excuse in the world that I could accept if he was okay.
He called me at like five in the morning and said he went to a friend's place (male friend) and forgot to call. So, I took all my things and left to a friend’s (female) house too. That was the beginning of the end. This happened seven years ago. Now I've been with someone wonderful for five years. Feels like closing a chapter.
22. Karma Chameleon
He begged me to have kids. I wasn’t ready but I thought he loved me. We had money, insurance, he was my high school sweetheart, seven years together, first year married...so I thought, why not? Two miscarriages later, I caught him sending explicit messages to his best friend’s girlfriend. As I read through the messages, my heart broke: The first one started with how horrific my miscarriages were.
He thought I was infertile and was looking for a way out. Turns out there were issues on his end not mine.
I talked to him a decade later and he thinks God punished him for what he did to me and that’s why he never had children.
I have a daughter now. Karma is real.
23. Can’t Change, Won’t Change
First time we ended it because she refused to acknowledge the fact that I had been doing all the housework, most of the income was mine, she was verbally abusive and she blamed it on her mental health BUT refused treatment because "it was for insane people." She kicked me out for pointing all that out. Two days later she called me in tears, saying she wanted me back and was willing to go to therapy, so I went back (man, I was dumb).
The second time I ended it was after she had tried to fix things for about two weeks. It was evident nothing had changed. She was even worse: more abusive, more helpless, etc. I called her out on it, she threatened to hurt herself and I got out of there. Blocked her number, her social media, changed all my passwords and became horribly depressed for several months, since I didn't know if she was fine. Therapy and company helped me get through it all.
Bad times, man. But even worse decisions to begin with.
24. Not You, Just Your Green Card
My uncle got "green card married" to a Mexican woman he met online, convinced that by the end of the two years before she could become a citizen, she would fall in love with him and want to stay with him. She made it very clear that wouldn't happen—she just wanted to bring her kids over and needed a good samaritan to help. Well, once she started dating people after their marriage, he realized he was wrong, and they divorced.
But that was just the beginning of the wife's troubles: she and her kids got sent back to Mexico. Honestly, my uncle is 100% at fault. He's a misogynistic neckbeard who tricked a woman who was very clear with her intentions into thinking he was a supportive friend and ally. In reality, he just wanted to make her dependent on him and force a relationship on her.
25. An Italian Affair—Or Not
Honestly, before we even got married but there was a great deal of denial and fear surrounding the relationship, and we thought of ending it months before the wedding. HOWEVER, there was a definitive moment when I realized this was not the man for me. About three weeks into our honeymoon we had been traveling through the British Isles and had finally made it to Italy. I really wanted to stay in a remote village and be immersed, he did not. We settled on Florence.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely there but it’s extremely touristy and I didn’t feel like I was getting the full cultural experience in a big city like that. I asked our host at the Bed and Breakfast, what their favorite restaurant was, something only locals knew about. The sweet man drew me a little map and even told me it would look closed and was very small and had very specific hours, which he wrote down for me.
The next day, after some searching we found it in an ally way off the beaten path. It was like a dream come true. Only Italians, no English translations on the menu, no couple from Florida at the table next to us. It was packed and smelled so amazing. They squeezed us in on a tiny table, got us menus and said what I imagine was, we’ll be back in a bit. I was awestruck, finally feeling like I was in my home country (I’m of Italian descent and every American Italian dreams of visiting Italy).
For the first time since landing I truly felt like I was in Italy. My husband looked at me and said: “this is too cramped. I can’t eat here.” I looked back at him and he just got up and walked out. I had to hold back tears realizing that he just walked out on me when I had found the happiest place on our honeymoon. The waitress came over confused and I just apologized as I stammered out of the restaurant. Embarrassed and heartbroken knowing this was not the kind of man I wanted to share experiences with. I knew at that moment I had made a huge mistake.
26. Sunburnt and Stupid!
We dated for five years but on the honeymoon we had a big argument over my liberal use of sunscreen. She refused to wear any because of ‘chemicals’ and I liberally use it due to my pale skin. We seriously argued over this for a good hour and she refused to even go into the pool with me because of sunscreen chemicals. After a scuba adventure together, she could hardly walk because she got so burnt on her legs whereas my skin didn’t change.
She then tried to convince me that it was all my fault because I didn’t force her to wear the sunscreen and that the honeymoon was ruined! It was then I realized I picked the wrong person. After a few more psycho arguments (mad at me because of something in her dreams, mad because I didn’t remind her to bring an umbrella) I had to call it quits. I can’t stay with someone who constantly blames me for their own problems.
Luckily no kids and I got back everything I brought into the marriage.
27. Bringing Down the House
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers, only to learn she had vandalized and abandoned our former home in response to my leaving.
I went over to find almost all of my clothes had been bleached, along with our new living room set. The new dining room table and chairs had been gouged. Weeks worth of trash and raw food had been left out. The refrigerator had been turned off, leaving hundreds of dollars worth of food to rot. The whole place smelled like death.
She had also taken all of the electronics (probably to hawk), my passport with stamps in it from around the world, and the painting I had inherited from my beloved grandfather who had passed away (she knew this would hurt me the most).
All said and done, there was $7,000 in property damage and another $1,500 in stolen property. I filed a police report but sadly, not much was done about it.
28. John McCry
My mom and dad split when I was 4 years old. When they finalized the divorce, it was a week before Christmas when I was 8. My dad got custody and after Christmas dinner and stuff, he put me and my sister to bed.
An hour or so later I could hear my dad crying. I went out to hug him. He was watching Die Hard on TV. I sat and watched with him. So now every year, we watch Die Hard together.
29. The Last Straw
I divorced him when I realized that no matter what I did he was never going to change. I let him walk all over me and cheat on me for years and kept thinking if I just did more, was more patient, a better wife etc, he would realize his mistakes. Example: He would cheat. I would catch him. A huge fight would break out.
He would manipulate me into it somehow being my fault he did it. You don't love me enough, you'll never trust me again, you didn't sleep with me that one time back in 2006 and I felt rejected. Somehow I would have to make it up to him and prove to him I trusted him. I'd forgive him and work my butt off to be happier, nicer, more understanding.
But after a few months I would just catch him all over again. The last straw was when he convinced me he had really changed. He wanted to be a family, the whole package. Of course I ended up pregnant. It turned out to be high risk and I was hospitalized often. Only allowed home with bed rest. Even then he wouldn’t stop running around on me.
I lost 45 pounds, my hair started falling out, I was too weak to even walk. My own family thought I was dying. He didn't even care. So at one point I was sitting by myself and I just realized. I was done. He was never going to change. And it wasn't my fault. I couldn't fix whatever was broken in him and I was done trying.
It took six months after the baby was born before doctors would let me go back to work. I moved out. Spent a few years alone, swearing off men. Now I'm with a fantastic man that loves me. The divorce is still dragging on. My ex tried a lot of dirty tricks when he found out I was leaving. I laughed in his face at every one.
He doesn't get it. At one point I seriously thought I would die. I thought my kids would be left alone with only him to take care of them. After going through that, nothing he could do could bother me. Ever. So anyway. That's my story. Hope it helps.
Back in the early 1980s, I was engaged to a young lady three years my junior and had a bit more than $20,000 in savings. Everything looked promising with a new career in the Army and a new family life. The wedding went off without a hitch. I was looking at a vacation of about three months between exiting the Navy and entering training for the Army.
But when my recruiter contacted me over my security clearance, things went south. My credit report did not match my questionnaire. There were three credit cards with a $14,000 balance I hadn’t mentioned. Turned out my wife opened up a charge card at our bank, then got a couple of store cards around town. She purchased some serious clothes and jewelry, but the real kicker was that she bought a horse. She took lessons as a child and decided this was going to be her new thing. There was the price of the animal, riding gear, saddle and tack, vet bills, stable fees, and so on. I ended up dumping a big chunk of my savings into paying down these cards, then amending my questionnaire responses.
I treated this as a bump in our relationship, but things got dark very soon. My ship date was coming up and things had to be done before I started training. I was in good physical shape, but I was facing Boot camp, AIT, Airborne school, ranger school, warrant officer selection and advance training—basically 18 months of utter insanity. If I got through it, I was a Warrant Officer, but if I dropped the ball along the way, I would not only be enlisted, but junior enlisted in a job they would decide for me. In theory, I could end up a line cook in some chow hall at Camp NoWhere.
About a week later, the phone rang. It was about the horse. No one was taking care of the animal or cleaning the stable, or even feeding the poor thing. The stable had covered down for the sake of the animal, but now were charging $350 a week for the extra services my wife was supposed to be doing. She was leaving our apartment every day, and I assumed it was for riding and care of the animal, and for the first week she was. The second week, she was lawyer shopping. She wanted out. She must have gotten wind of what happened at the stable and didn’t come home that night. The next day I got served with papers.
Total marriage time: 47 days.
So, I ended up with an apartment with four months on the lease, no car, and a horse. I found a new home for the horse. I had to defer my ship date and it took 14 months to settle the divorce. My security clearance was approved two days after the papers were filed. I shipped the next day. In the end, I had two pair of pants, three shirts and a pair of shoes that had no business on anyone’s feet. I was working two minimum wage jobs, 14 hours a day, paying down debt, lawyers fees, rent and sometimes eating only to get by.
In Airborne school, I met a cadet. We’d get together on holidays, between training, long weekends. When I finished training and got my warrant, she flew across the country to give me my first salute. I gave her a silver dollar as per tradition. Two months later, she received her commission, to which I saluted her, and returned the silver dollar. Married that Christmas.
We’ve been together 31 years.