“Till death do us part” may be one of the most famous sentences spoken during a wedding ceremony, but it certainly isn’t always true. Many people put everything they’ve got into their marriage, but others tend to be a little more lax. For reasons ranging from the mundane to the insane, some marriages were just clearly never meant to be. Here are 42 stories about some of the shortest-lived marriages that have ever taken place—and why they fell apart.
1. Keeping a Tally
Upon my return home from Afghanistan, my new wife of less than a year admitted to me that she had slept with 23 different guys while I was gone. Needless to say, our marriage ended real quick…
2. Enjoying the Music a Little Too Much
I work as a clerk at a family courthouse. One bride slept with the DJ who was working at her wedding. This literally happened during the reception. It was a new record for our office pool. The divorce was about two months after the wedding, when the husband was finally told about it by the maid of honor.
3. Meeting Expectations
My wife started to feel “trapped” just a few months into our marriage—as in, my expectation of monogamy was too much for her to handle. So she discovered polyamory, decided that she wanted to be polyamorous with her boss, and retroactively decided that our marriage was an open one. She was pretty surprised when I divorced her.
4. A Slight Change of Plans
A relative of mine was forced into a shotgun wedding because he accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant. Then the bride had a miscarriage, so they got a divorce a month later.
5. The Highway to Hell
My cousin and her first husband got divorced after about a month because one of them lived in Houston and the other in Dallas, and they had never really agreed to how they were going to deal with that little problem. I’m sure there were other things going on behind the scenes too, but that was the official story.
6. Well, Someone Clearly Miscalculated Something…
One friend’s recent marriage abruptly ended after her husband had an unsolicited outburst at a family dinner, in which he shouted out “I KNOW THAT YOU GUYS KNOW I DO DRUGS! AND YOU ALL NEED TO GET THE HECK OFF MY BACK ABOUT IT!” Turns out, his wife had not known that; nor had her dad, or anybody else in her family. That is, at least until now!
7. A Slightly Important Detail to Leave Out…
Years and years ago, my uncle’s girlfriend planned a wedding for the two of them, sent out invitations to all of their friends and family members, and then didn’t even bother to tell him about it until the week of. As in, he was not even aware that they were getting married, let alone that everything had already been planned and arranged.
I don’t remember the whole story about what made her decide to do this, but he ended up going through with the ceremony just to avoid the embarrassment. He then quietly got the marriage annulled and broke up with her immediately after.
8. Getting Straight to the Point
I know two couples who got married for the sole purpose of being able to have sex with each other, since they were both very religious and didn’t believe in premarital relations. Both marriages lasted a combined one year.
9. The Joke’s On You!
Some friends of mine who had been dating for a few months got married in Las Vegas as sort of a drunken joke. The girl then found out that she would lose a lot of her trust fund if she got married. A gaggle of four lawyers were flown in and got a very quick retroactive annulment on her behalf. The marriage lasted a total of a whopping four days, although legally it was declared to have never happened at all. They dated for three more years after this incident, and then eventually broke up.
10. There’s Always Collateral Damage to Marital Strife
My dad and his second wife did not even make it a full four months before she left and I never saw or heard from her again. She said that she was going to give me an old Nintendo 64 for my birthday. She never did…
11. Off to a Great Start
My husband decided to start having an affair within three months of our marriage. I found out about six months later. He still maintains that he did absolutely nothing wrong, because he had just thought that it would be long over before I ever found out. Oh, and we had a 6-month-old baby at the time. What a catch of a man! I started the divorce proceedings at the first possible moment after waiting the one-year minimum.
12. The Price of Admission
One of my friends from college filed for divorce just 10 months after her wedding. They were never really a good match for one another, and everyone except for the two of them was always able to see that from a mile away. Honestly? I think that she just wanted to have a wedding and be a “princess for a day” in front of all her family and friends. Once she realized that she actually had to then keep the guy around, she quickly started having second thoughts.
13. A Honeymoon They’ll Never Forget
A relative of mine had a marriage that lasted for less than three weeks. They had been together for a couple of years and had even gone to premarital counseling at their church for a few months to get ready for the big change. Their wedding was super lavish and it was clear to everyone that a lot of prep and money had gone into it.
At their wedding, they announced that they were expecting their first child. Everything seemed great. Unfortunately, the whole thing blew up as soon as the wife discovered that he had been cheating on her for almost their entire relationship, and with multiple different women. She found this out while in a foreign country on their honeymoon, four months pregnant. I know from her mom that she had complications in her pregnancy that they attribute to the stress of all of this.
14. Worth It for the Souvenir
My marriage lasted just a little over a year. I’m a soldier, and I had married my girlfriend of four years right before getting deployed. She didn’t have any job or hobby to keep herself busy while I was gone. Unfortunately, she ended up getting into drugs during that period of time, and then I got her pregnant during my two week leave in the middle of the deployment.
She felt so trapped by all of this pressure that she had talked me into agreeing to give up our child for adoption once she was born. I was so blindly in love with her that I would have agreed to darn near anything that she suggested. She ended up leaving me a week after our daughter was born and canceling the adoption, taking our child back from the adopting parents.
To make a long story short, she then soon got back into drugs—which I’m pretty sure she wasn’t on while pregnant with our daughter—and had two more kids with whoever her dealer was at the time. After a while, Child Protective Services ended up stepping in and giving me full custody of my daughter. Not a day goes by when I don’t look at my daughter and wonder what in the world I was thinking when I agreed to my wife’s original plans. I’m so glad to have this wonderful, crazy, little girl in my life.
15. I Guess She Saw It Coming
My former next-door neighbor got married not too long ago. Less than two months later, she moved out and said that he was abusive and a drunk. Then, just a couple of weeks later, he shot and killed their new neighbor through his front door after an escalating feud involving the neighbor’s dog allegedly getting shot by a bow and arrow.
16. Hogging the Attention
I used to work at a wedding venue. At one wedding, the groom was from Arkansas, and the bride had specifically asked that there be no “Call of the Hogs” during the wedding speech. For those who don’t know, “Call of the Hogs” is a traditional cheer that’s popular at the University of Arkansas, and it has become a fairly common custom for many alumni to perform the cheer at their weddings.
In spite of the bride’s clear request to the contrary, one of the groomsmen proceeded to do the cheer during the ceremony anyway. The bride was absolutely furious and started storming back towards the bridal party. Before she was able to make it away, her would-be husband slapped her across the face in front of everybody, and said that they were going to be getting this marriage annulled the next morning. Honestly, she might have not dodged the slap, but she definitely dodged a bullet.
17. Not What He Signed up for
When I worked at a college, I saw this one couple get married because the girl was pregnant and she wanted to have the baby in wedlock. They quickly got an annulment three months later when the baby was born a different color than either of his parents…
18. You Make Me Feel So Young
My next door neighbor got married when she was 19 years old, and got divorced when she was 20. Her parents had gotten divorced while she was dating the guy, and so she moved in with him a couple of months into the relationship. They had been together for less than a year before they decided to tie the knot. Super young couples together for such short periods of time almost never work out.
She didn’t learn her lesson though, because she got engaged to someone else barely a year later. Not surprisingly, though, they called it off and broke up before actually getting married in the end. Sadly, that’s actually the happy story of their family, because her younger sister got pregnant at 16 to a guy in his 30s, and then a couple of years later got pregnant by him again and married him. He’s currently in prison for statutory assault of a 13-year-old. It happened while they were together, but they’re still married with two children and she defends him on social media all the time.
19. He Can Take It, But He Can’t Dish It out
A guy and a girl met on vacation and had a brief romance, then decided to keep it long distance for the next few years. There were a ton of red flags right from the start, but it all got exponentially worse the second they got married and moved in together just a few months ago. Basically, he didn’t do anything around the house, and he also didn’t work—she earned all of the money and paid for all of his stuff.
On top of that, he then squandered her money on a regular basis, even when she specifically asked him not to. She actually had to put a limit on his phone contract at one point because he just would not take any of her requests seriously. I don’t think he had planned to leech on her, I think he’s just an inconsiderate jerk. They’re currently waiting it out because she’s too nice to send him back, but I have a strong feeling that this guy won’t be around too much longer…
20. Things Are Seldom as They Seem
One week, a couple of friends of mine seemed like the perfect, happily married newlyweds. Then, next thing I know, the wife has shared a pic of herself on the beach in a wedding dress being lifted in the air by some Goth-looking long-haired dude, described in the caption as her new groom. No idea what happened.
21. For This Couple, It’s the Least Wonderful Time of the Year
My friend married this woman after years of dating. They had only been married for about six months when, on their first Christmas as husband and wife, he bought her a present and she got him nothing in return. Later that night, she left their house without an explanation and didn’t come back until the next morning. Apparently, she had made an account on some dating site earlier that day, met a guy, and slept with him that same night. She came clean to my friend the next day, and that was the end of their six-month marriage.
22. A Very Worldly Woman
A girl who I went to high school with has four kids from her first marriage. They got divorced when they were in their early 40s, and she then decided that she wanted to get married again. She wanted a religious family man, and she somehow became convinced that Nigeria was the place to go to find that kind of a person.
So, she starts chatting up Nigerian guys all over Facebook. When she finally found one that she liked, she arranged to fly over there. She then actually went through with marrying this random guy she had only ever spoken to a couple of times through social media via her Facebook husband search. After a few months of her sending money to him upon her return home, she is unable to afford to do so one month because she has four kids to worry about.
He freaks out, and they wind up getting their marriage annulled. But wait! There’s MORE! A year later, she’s on her way back to Nigeria again because she has found another guy to marry online. This time, she goes over there once to visit, comes home, and then basically tells the guy, “I am not giving you any money until we have been married for a year.”
She goes back over again within six months to marry him. A month after getting home, she finds out that she’s pregnant. All is well, but she now realizes that she will not be able to send him any money, because she now has four kids to take care of, as well as TWINS along the way, who obviously have to come first. He gets upset and they quickly wind up divorced.
She later finds out that he had been chatting up other women from around the world online, and getting money from all of them, the entire time that they were together. She also found out that he was only planning to use her to get a Green Card so he could move to the United States. I honestly don’t feel bad for her.
I do, however, feel bad for her six kids who have had to witness their mom repeatedly making such outrageous and stupid decisions. I have no idea how the heck she was able to afford all of those expensive plane tickets halfway across the world. Either way, she has since given up on her grand Nigeria strategy. Instead, she now has her sights set on Jamaica. So, I am pretty sure that, before too long, we’ll all be invited to see a shotgun wedding in Jamaica. Can’t wait!
23. His Bark Was Bigger Than Her Bite
My uncle had married someone after just three months of dating them. He had two dogs and two cats. On their first day living together, she demanded that he get rid of the dogs and replace them with two new ones of her choosing. They were divorced within two weeks.
24. Going All out, Without Being All in
My neighbor’s daughter got married and threw a huge wedding day bash for everyone that she knew to attend. She spent a total of about 50 to 70 thousand dollars on the event. Then, not even two weeks later, she got divorced. She had been cheating on her husband throughout the engagement, but still wanted to experience her “special day.” I heard later on that she had asked her mom whether she would actually have to live with her husband after they got married. That definitely should have raised some red flags.
25. Having Second Thoughts
I’m not sure how long it took for the divorce to technically be complete, but I once went to a wedding where the bride didn’t go home with the groom afterward. There wasn’t any cheating, she had just decided over the course of the evening that she didn’t actually want to be a military wife and live that kind of potentially hectic lifestyle. They were together since long before he enlisted, so I think that part of it was that she just wasn’t ready to move away from her family. It did suck, though, that she waited until that day to finally tell anyone about how she felt.
26. Making Some Repairs
A friend of mine bought a house in a small town with his new wife, and he continued to commute one hour each way to work in the nearest city. She worked part-time in the small town. Around the 10-month mark of their marriage, she cheated on him with a local mechanic. That was about five years ago. She’s still with the mechanic to this day, but he doesn’t want to commit. Given her track record though, maybe a commitment wouldn’t be as big a deal as he thinks.
27. A Long Distance Divorce
The shortest-lived marriage I have ever been aware of was my own marriage in 2004. I kissed my wife goodbye for a three-month deployment to Pakistan in March of that year. I never saw her again. After two months of being there, she told me that she wanted to leave me. At the time, there was a loophole in divorce law that one website was exploiting.
It was called Quicksimpledivorce.com, and it basically meant that lawyers in Guam were legally allowed to process uncontested divorces way quicker than it would ordinarily take anywhere else. So, I paid them $800 and sent her the paperwork. We were living in Germany at the time, and she had already signed everything and left for the US before I even made it back home.
The divorce was finalized in August of 2004. What caused it all? I don’t know really, but I honestly feel like she may have been somewhat unhappy even prior to my departure. We had only been married for less than a couple of years, and we kind of rushed into the marriage back in 2002 when I first received orders to go to Germany.
28. Keeping up Appearances
My cousin married a pregnant woman. Almost immediately after she gave birth, she divorced my cousin and told everyone that he was abusive to her—but I’m pretty sure we all knew that she just didn’t want anyone to know that she had gotten knocked up out of wedlock by someone other than my cousin.
29. A Sudden Change of Heart
We had friends from way back when who moved back to their home state. They were on Facebook, but did not post updates very often. One day, there was suddenly a photo of her marrying someone else. Apparently, she had told her first husband (who was totally clueless) that she wanted a divorce just a few months after they got married, and then she was suddenly remarried to someone new less than a month later.
They had been middle school sweethearts. They got married right after high school. He joined the military and she was going to follow him around the world. Then, seemingly completely out of the blue, it all just changed one day as if none of that had ever happened. Apparently, she wanted to live a stable life and had had enough of the stress of the military, even after such a short time.
30. Too Much to Handle
My ex-wife and I lasted about seven years together, but her first marriage to someone else had ended pretty much right at the one year mark. They were both 19 years old and she was pregnant, so they got married and tried to make their life work on her husband’s $8-an-hour income—with her as a stay-at-home mom with no money, no car, and no friends in the same stage of life that she was in. Day in and day out, the stress drove them apart until they just couldn’t take it anymore and got divorced.
31. Thinking Ahead Is Always a Good Idea
A relative of mine got married, and then got divorced a mere six months later. It turns out that they had never seriously discussed whether or not they wanted children prior to getting married. One adamantly wanted children and the other adamantly didn’t. This single issue completely drove them apart. They were together as a couple for three or four whole years before getting married, and somehow never managed to even discuss this a single time.
32. At Least They Had One Thing in Common
In this case, the actual legal divorce is still in progress due to some visa issues. Nevertheless, for all intents and purposes, the relationship between two newlyweds that I know fell apart within the first nine months. Basically, they got married and everything was fine at first. Then, about a month later, she began to get weirdly quiet around him and started acting like she didn’t want to be with him after all.
One thing led to another and, a few months later, he told her that he now thinks of her as more of a sister than a wife. So, I guess they both realized that they didn’t actually love each other after all. That’s always fun…
33. Short but Sweet
The love of my life and I were together on and off for 11 years, until we finally got married on our 11th anniversary. That was August 23. On December 22, she passed away in a car accident. The oddest part may be that my father had previously lost his wife on the exact same date when he was the same age as me. Either way, those few months that we were married for were the happiest days of my life.
34. What a Way to Go
My mom’s marriage to her first husband lasted for only about a year, or a year and a half at most. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he said that he wanted to marry her before he died. So, they got married and took a honeymoon to Hawaii, because they had both always wanted to go there.
35. Coming in Second Place
My ex had been previously engaged to a man with a terminal illness. They were together for many years, but he eventually broke it off “for her own good.” She was also abused by her father as a child, and there was a lot of baggage that came along with that too. We were very good friends in high school and reconnected again over 10 years later.
She was completely open with me about everything, so I knew was I was getting into when I started going out with her and when we eventually got married. With a broken heart, and a broken family, she found comfort in an old friend, and what I feel happened was that she mistook safety and normalcy for love. She was way out of my league by many standards, so I tried to give her everything that she could possibly need to make her happy.
Regardless of all that, she was dealing with a lot of mixed emotions. Because of her history with abuse, she very rarely enjoyed intimacy and so she always felt like she was letting me down as a wife. Even though I told her that I knew about this going in and never expected anything or pressured her one bit, she still couldn’t shake these negative feelings.
When she needed space, I gave her space. And when she needed somebody to talk to, she always knew that I was the person that she could come to—or, at least, she did at first. After a little while, she started to realize that I just didn’t have the history with her that her ex-fiancé had. So, she would begin to call him in the middle of the night for long heart to heart talks when he was at his third shift job.
At first, I tried to be understanding about it, but it hurt. A lot. I knew that she still loved him. We struggled, and even tried separating after a little bit. It was an emotional roller coaster. Things were looking like they were back on the way up when, while lying in bed one night, she asked me “Is it worth it?” I felt my heart drop.
She was referring to all of the ups and downs we had been through over the past year. I said, “Of course it is, I love you. And as long as we love each other enough, it’s worth it.” She looked back at me with a look of enormous guilt, and that was when I realized that she didn’t feel the same way. Not another word was said. I just got up and slept on the couch.
I left for the final time the next morning. That was eight years ago. I’ve been in a few relationships since, but I never remarried. I don’t know if I ever will, but as of right now I am still too emotionally damaged by all of this to even consider attempting to put myself out there like that again. At least we didn’t have any kids or any jointly owned assets, so our divorce was basically just a breakup with a little paperwork.
36. Gone Too Soon
I had dated my girlfriend for a few years and eventually decided to move in together with her roommates. After living together for a little while, we finally got engaged. The same year that we did that, she got diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our original plan was to get married during this upcoming summer, but her oncologist suggested that we move it up to a sooner date. We ended up getting married this past September. She passed away in December.
37. Fifteen Hours of Fame
My cousin was married for only 18 hours, or something ridiculous like that. From what I understand from having heard her tell the story a few times, there was some kind of really apocalyptic argument on their wedding night over where they should go from there with their lives. This sounds too ridiculous to believe, but it’s all true.
The moral of the story appears to be that before you get married, you and your potential spouse should make sure that you both have at least a roughly compatible idea of what you’re looking for out of a marriage—you know, things like how many kids you want, when you want to have them, where you want to live, whether you both want to work, money issues, etc. I hate to break it to you, but none of that is stuff that can just work itself out magically over time.
38. I’ve Got a Little Secret
It happened to my college roommate, who was one of my closest friends at the time. He met a girl in junior year that our ENTIRE group of friends thought was wrong for him. But, alas, love is blind. Fast forward to summer after graduation, and they are planning to get married in the fall. I am asked to be part of the wedding ceremony.
The two of them ended up being apart for most of the summer, as he was busy working while she was still finishing up school and working on putting the wedding together. Finally, the summer was over and the big day arrived, so we all converged on her home town in Colorado. The wedding went down, as did the big reception.
LOTS of money clearly was clearly dropped on this one reception by the two families. We see them off to the honeymoon, and I return to my home sweet home in St. Louis. A week later, I get a call from him asking if he can come stay with me. Despite my confusion and many questions, I said sure. I picked him up at the airport.
He was by himself. At his insistence, we hit the nearest bar, and I immediately got to hear all about how he had just found out that she cheated on him over the summer, but went ahead with the marriage anyway because she had felt pressured by how much her parents were spending on everything. But it the story got even worse from there.
She told him about this pretty much as soon as they were alone together, right AFTER the ceremony. She did not choose to tell him about it at any point during the week to 10 days that they were alone together for BEFORE the wedding. She insisted that they still go on the honeymoon to “work things out.” Nevertheless, she refused to be intimate with my roommate, as she still had feelings for the other guy.
So he left and never returned to her. He then had the marriage annulled within six months.
39. A Matter of Trust
My sister was only married for two weeks. Originally, she was married to a really crazy jerk. She stayed with him for too long, and the divorce has been bitter. Her ex-husband was convinced that she had some kind of a secret trust fund that she was living off of, and he was demanding half of it. There is no such trust fund.
I mean, in what will hopefully be many, many years from now when our dad dies, there may be some money from his trust fund—but he’s very much still alive, so this guy was in no way entitled to any of that. Anyway, a little bit of time passes and my sister hooks up with another guy, who is apparently friends with her ex.
The ex decided to tell his friend about her mysterious “trust fund” and, intrigued by it, this new guy somehow convinced my gullible sister to marry him. New guy was clearly hoping that he would be more successful than his friend was in getting access to the trust fund—you know, the one that doesn’t actually exist.
Within days of marrying my sister, this new husband brought his ex-girlfriend and his child to stay with them—his ex who supposedly needed a place to stay since she was in an abusive relationship. Very shortly after, we learned that new hubby has secretly still been with baby mama for the entire duration of the relationship with my sister—and the guy only went out with her because he thought that she was a trust fund kid.
So, within just a couple of weeks of the nuptials, they were both at each other’s throats. He then threw out a bunch of her stuff, kept all of her expensive belongings, and filed a restraining order against her so that she couldn’t ever come back to the house—despite it having been her house all along. I’m not saying that my sister deserved all of this, but she does have a bit of a habit of stretching the truth.
Let’s just say I’m not fully convinced that these guys just got the idea that there was a secret trust fund out of thin air. Anyway, that’s the story of the time my sister was married for just two weeks!
40. A Cell Phony
I went to a wedding where the bride got drunk and the groom picked up her phone to discover that she had been sexting a coworker throughout the entire wedding. He told the officiant to not file the paperwork. This occurred towards the end of the reception, as they were leaving to go to the honeymoon suite. The story is that she was very drunk.
Her phone kept getting notifications so he decided to pick it up for her. They did not go on their honeymoon and they returned the gifts to everyone. The guests weren’t told about what happened for a couple of weeks, as the bride was trying everything she could to save the relationship. Regardless, it was a great reception!
41. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
When I was in the army, my wife and I were good friends with a newlywed couple that lived a few doors down from us. One day, I got home from work to find the guy sitting on his front door step. I said, “Hey!” He said, “Dude, you gotta come see this.” So I walked into his house, and it was completely empty. There was not even a single scrap of paper or a bag of trash.
To make things even weirder, every single cabinet door was open, as was every refrigerator door and every drawer. If it was supposed to be closed, it was open. He said that the front door was wide open when he got home, and every faucet was turned on, too. There was no note or anything whatsoever. His wife was just gone without a trace, and everything in their house was gone with her.
Strangely enough, my wife and I had just dinner with them, at their house, the very night before. We were all laughing it up, drinking wine, and having a great time, with not even the remotest sign of anything being wrong. He said that the first thing he did after making this discovery was to call her parents’ house.
As soon as the phone rang, her father answered the phone and—before the poor guy could even ask if he knew anything about what was going on—he just said: “Bill, you need to let it go,” and hung up on him. Remember that line from True Lies when Tom Arnold says that his ex-wife even took the ice cube trays? Well, this girl really did take the ice cube trays.
She also took all of his uniforms and other clothes. He literally only had the clothes on his back and whatever was in his pockets at the time to his name. I never did find out what the motivator was; she was just gone forever.
42. Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Just to warn everybody, this one is kind of messed up. It happened to a friend of mine. We were both deployed to Okinawa. My friend married his girl prior to the deployment. Then, he found out mid-deployment that she had cheated on him. Now, finding out about something like that is bad enough as it is—but the way my friend found out about this was the part that was the most messed up.
He had checked his Facebook messages one day and suddenly saw a message from some dude that he didn’t know. The guy straight up told him that he had slept with his wife. Apparently, she had never told him that she was married and, when he eventually added her on Facebook, he realized that she was married to my friend.
After making this discovery, he felt so guilty about the whole thing that he decided he had to message my friend and let him know. My friend wasted no time and divorced her while still in Oki. I’m not even sure how that was legally possible, but I definitely remember him doing some kind of legal paperwork the very next day after getting the messages—so I guess he found a way.