Fairytales aside, is there really such a thing as “happily ever after”? These days more often than not, we hear of high divorce rates, regrettable marriages, and a strong support for prenups. Yes, there are the occasional stories of cute old couples who look at each other with longing eyes filled with the youthful spark of true love—but these almost seem to be the exception, not the rule. What seems even more unlikely, then, are the stories of couples who broke it off…only to re-marry once again! What unearthly force could cause such a drastic change of heart? Let’s untie (retie?) the knot, and get to the root of these double agents of love.
1. For the Love of Sports
My mom and dad married out of high school. When they were 26 years old they got divorced. They divorced because of the stress of three kids. My dad was in the air force and was deployed all the time, and while neither parent has confirmed it, based on some jokes I believe my dad was also unfaithful and in general he was just very immature. My mom left him because, in her words, she had “Three kids to take care of, grad school to get through, and didn’t have time for his nonsense.”
They both went on to have different relationships and lives. They barely saw each other unless it was to trade us kids off. Then around the time my sister and I started playing sports, my dad started to come around more to watch us. We lived about six hours away and mom let him stay at the house when needed. He went from sleeping on the couch to her bedroom within a football season.
They got married again the next summer after 6-7 years apart. Been together ever since and practically do everything together.
2. Puppy Love
The wife and I got in a year-long fight. We married young at 22 years old and were not on the same page about being married. She wanted to sow her wild oats and I wanted us to start growing up and take on more responsibility. We ultimately got divorced at my urging because I wanted to move on. About a month after the divorce was final, we started talking to each other like adults. We had some hard conversations about what wasn’t working. We started dating after cautiously considering if we were freaking crazy.
A year later we got married in Vegas. It’s been 16 years since the divorce and we’re happily married with two great kids. Our journey has taken some wrong turns but it’s our journey and we wouldn’t change it for anything. The lesson we share with everyone who asks is that getting married young isn’t for everyone. Don’t rush into a relationship.
Make sure to make time to be yourself and appreciate your partner for who they are, not who you want them to be.
3. Space and Refocus
I see mostly tales of premarital woe here. I’ll offer you a positive rebuttal. My mom and dad split when I was five years old and my sister was seven. They were young with two kids and incredibly broke. I don’t know the full story or all the details but I’m sure those things all just caught up to them in the end. It was a really rough divorce, especially for us kids. They were separated for three years or so. Lived in separate apartments etc.
My mom started seeing a new guy—although we never saw my dad with anyone, I’m sure he was seeing people too. Some years passed; their rebounds came and went. They both got stable jobs and started seeing each other more. Showing up at Christmas together; attending soccer games together. When I was nine years old or so they decided to rent a house.
One year later they found out they were pregnant with my little sister. They got remarried about a year after my little sister was born. That was 21 years ago. They are sincerely one of the happiest couples I’ve ever been around. You never would have thought it 25 years or so ago. Sometimes space and refocus is actually all you need!
3. The War Veteran
My great aunt and uncle did this. He was still suffering from the trauma of his WWII service with the marines in the pacific when she had a stillborn child and was told she’d never have kids. Things just imploded. They got divorced, and my aunt traveled to Asia and the Middle East for like nine months; while for him it was more or less the wake-up call that he was STILL messed up from seeing his buddies get blown up.
She came back, and he had completely changed, and they completely reconnected. Keep in mind, this was the 50s, so the thought of a 30-something marine vet going to therapy and being in touch with his PTSD triggers and stuff was pretty freaking life-altering. Her next planned trip was Europe, and she asked if he wanted to come along.
His response was, “I figured they’d send me there to fight, but I guess this works too.” They called my grandma from Gdansk maybe two months later to let them know they had gotten remarried in the church my great-grandparents had gotten married in, and were together until Aunt Betty died about three years ago.
Uncle Frank died a year after her, and used to tell us all the time that he “missed his girlfriend.”
4. Back and Forth
My parents got pregnant in their senior year of high school and married over the summer on my mom’s 18th birthday because she wouldn’t ask her parents to sign the marriage certificate. My brother was born a few months later and they stuck it out for a year before divorcing. Then my dad got drafted into Vietnam, and when he came home 19 months later, he went straight to my mom to see my brother. They remarried, trying to do the right thing. All they got out of that marriage was me. They divorced a few years later before my first birthday.
They’ve always remained civil, even friendly, but I have no idea how they stayed married as long as they did. They’re very different, non-compatible personalities.
6. Psycho Love
We never got married, but were together for seven years. We broke up because I was planning to move out of the country after graduating (I was 29 years old at that point). We were best friends and stayed best friends throughout it, though. But circumstances made it impossible for me to see the plans through, and I went coocoo for coco puffs and landed in the psych ward (like you do). He drove me to intake, stayed during my admitting, and came to see me every single day. He’s everything good in this world. Needless to say, we got back together two years ago and we’re in it to win it.
True love isn’t what movies make it out to be. True love is bringing someone socks that actually fit their ridiculously tiny feet when they’re trapped in the psych ward.
7. Father Issues
My mom did this, with my now-former stepfather. I can say for certain that it was father issues. Her father died when she was young, and it left her with an unresolved terror of loneliness and abandonment, so she kept getting sucked back into a toxic relationship wherein both she and I were getting abused. It took her a long time to begin understanding her own root causes, way too long after the fact, but at least she finally and completely kicked him to the curb.
8. The Rehabilitated Man
I knew a guy whose wife and kids left him because he was an alcoholic. Kept getting arrested and couldn’t hold a job. He finally decided to get sober and quit drinking. Started his own rental property management business. Got his feet on the ground and started to reach out and help other alcoholics. Eventually got back together with his ex-wife and they got remarried.
The sad part is that he died in a freak accident fixing their RV a few years ago, then his son died a few months later in a school shooting.
9. Irreplaceable Love
My first husband and I married pretty young after college. We were generally happy, but it seemed like our lives were moving in different directions (geographically and metaphysically). We split up. We dated other people: went through the motions, mechanically—loved other people, sure; but without the sense of destiny and certainty we had with one another.
Finally, over a decade after breaking it off, we got back together and have never been happier. Now we have the life experience to know that what we have is irreplaceably special. The stupid small things that seemed problematic back then, we now know to be non-issues. We’ve seen so many other couples fight and struggle for what we have naturally. We’re so, so lucky.
10. Original Love Story
A family friend did this. They split up the first time because she was cheating on him and they both remarried. Original wife then cheated on her new husband with original husband, and the original husband left his new wife for the original wife (to make this even worse, the new husband of original wife hung himself when she left him, and new wife of original husband had a nervous breakdown…).
They re-marry. Everyone is counting down the days until it goes wrong. Original wife then cheats on and leaves original husband. They divorce. Again.
11. Immigration Marriage
This will be a sweeter answer than expected. Not me, but a client of mine was working to get citizenship. They had been married back in their home country and had immigrated to the US. Because they weren’t sure if their country’s marriage was legally recognized in the US, they decided to get divorced and then remarried in the US.
12. Mental Health
I dated my girlfriend for about 5 years before we split up. We had been living together, but her anxiety and my depression led to a pretty terrible situation. After being apart for one and a half years, we had both worked on our mental health and gotten good jobs. We both realized that we liked just talking to each other more than being with anyone else.
We got married in 2017 and are still going strong.
13. The Martyrs
I have two friends whose parents have done this, or at least divorced and got back together even though they didn’t remarry. In both cases, their moms filed for divorce and made the decision to return when their ex-husbands’ health was failing. One dad sadly passed away and the other dad is in remission, still with his wife, but doesn’t realize the Catholic Church has her listed as a widow. I find some similarities in the two families, both mom’s show narcissistic tendencies with favoritism and martyrdom.
My husband just reminded me of friends of ours who divorced after raising kids, and then recently got back together after splitting up ten years ago. Raising their kids was super stressful for my friend because he woke up for work at 2 am, and so after 6 pm his wife had to keep four kids quiet. His chronic lack of sleep meant he was super particular about the tidiness of the house and by time they got the twins out of the house they had been ready to split for years.
Ten years, grandkids, and wisdom later they decided they really did still like each other and that the situation they’d been in just wasn’t ideal.
14. The Poverty Problem
Not me, but my friend did. They got a divorce when their baby was under a year old. They divorced because my friend lost her job and couldn’t find another that paid enough to cover transportation, child care, and even groceries. They were struggling but because they didn’t meet certain poverty lines, they were denied government assistance.
When they divorced, she said she was a single mother and they did get some assistance. They married again after her child went to school.
15. The Multi-Marriage Story
My dad was married four times; twice each to two women. He married his first wife and divorced. He said they married a second time as an excuse to get drunk. Divorced again eventually. No surprise. Married my mom and had me, and then divorced when I was eight years old. She ran up a whole ton of credit card debt and was going to go to jail for lying on the credit card applications saying she was married. So, my dad married her so they could do a bankruptcy.
I found out later he also married her because he knew she was a loser, and he wasn’t going to remarry again so he wanted her to have his generous pension and social security so she wouldn’t be a burden on me after he died.
16. Double Down
Dude, my mom has done this with two different men. First was my dad. They married young, like 19 years old, and had me and my sister. They got divorced when I was four or five and remarried less than a year later. I think that marriage lasted a couple years. Fast forward 15 years, (and one failed marriage) she meets a guy in AOL and married him.
They were together for about five years and split up. I had a child, and the guy was like a grandfather to him, so he was always in our life. He and my mom just spent a lot of time together and then got married again about ten years ago. I often wonder if my mother has magic private parts or something, to get men to make the same horrible mistake over and over again.
17. The Glue That Holds a Marriage
My parents remarried each other for the third time when I was 11 years old. The first time they had a big church wedding. Second time around my mother wore a short dress. The third time around she wore a pantsuit. The city hall officiant was very confused at their last wedding. He settled on me being my father’s child from his first marriage.
I imagine that I was the glue that held them together. On a side note, my father’s last girlfriend before my parents got together for the final time was a hairdresser. She ended up doing my mother’s hair for years afterward.
18. Slowly but Surely
I left my ex when he started doing drugs. I got full custody it was so bad. He got sober after losing his kids. I got sick. Years later I was so sick, I couldn’t deal and he let me move in with him. Then I bought a house and he moved in with me. He’s 49 years old and keeps getting hotter and hotter. No grey hair. Dad bod.
Dating in your forties as a female sucks, by the way. Most men are questionable at this point. He’s super in love with me and a great provider and dad. I’ve been fighting it but it’s been slowly becoming a thing.
19. The False Execution
My great grandfather was convicted of murder and executed in Kentucky. He had three kids at the time. Then my great grandmother moved to Oklahoma and re-married, and had two more kids. My grandfather was one of the first three kids. One of my close cousins’ grandfathers is one of the Oklahoma kids. But a long-standing family legend is that great grandpappy Jim actually was never executed, and got to Oklahoma and re-married his “widow.”
So, a few years ago our grandfathers had genetic testing done, and they’re full siblings. I’m not sure what company they used, 23 and Me or some other. Apparently my great grandfather did indeed kill a man, escape execution somehow, and re-married his own widow. He lived to be 98 years old, I met him once when I was two.
20. A Fever Dream
We weren’t married in the first place, but living as such. I got pregnant at 20 years old, and I’d been with the guy a month. I was told at 15 that I could never have kids and I’d always been reckless and didn’t use contraception, so I was like…right, I’m keeping this baby. I told him I was moving to a different country to be near my mum, he could stay or come with, choose to have contact with the kid or not, I even said I wouldn’t go after him for child support.
A month after I had the kid, he arrived in my new home country and we began living together. We had been together under a year at this point! Well, we decided we would like another kid eventually, and I assumed it would take a long time. I was wrong. When my daughter was 15 months old, I had my second daughter.
We had never had time to work on our relationship, or even really date. We fought all the time, I got post-partum depression and just picked fights over everything. So, when my youngest was about to turn one we separated. We barely spoke at all, just a “hi” when I dropped the kids off for visitation. He had an awful girlfriend who hated my kids so he saw them less and less, I was so mad at him.
Two years down the track, I got really ill with an infected gallbladder and pancreatitis. I was in the hospital for two weeks. I woke up from my gallbladder surgery and had this sudden realization that I loved him and wanted him in my life. I messaged him and told him my feelings, but that I understood he had a girlfriend, I understood if he hated me, and would like to just be friends.
He messaged me back saying he didn’t hate me, but he did have a girlfriend so that’s all he was going to say. I was sad but I understood, he had moved on. The next day he texted me and told me he had broken up with her, and when were the kids and I going to be able to come for a visit. We started back slow, just all visiting together, then eventually staying the night.
Five years ago, we moved back in together and he proposed. I have worked hard on myself, quit drinking and got help for my mental health. He has worked hard on himself too. We are super strong now. We have just gone through a year of living in a caravan with the kids, the dog, the cat, and a lizard, while we build our house, and we have hardly fought at all.
Nowadays when we disagree, we talk about it, instead of me being angry and going psycho. I love him so much and can see being together forever.
My husband and I did. We got married the first time after knowing each other for five months. We were young, had no idea what we wanted in life, had no idea what we had. After five years, we split up. We were apart for about a year and a half. We both went through a period of growth and self-reflection, and eventually, we came back together.
We’ve now been back together for six years, remarried for three.
22. The Song and Dance
My great-grandmother divorced and remarried my great-grandfather three times. As far as numbers two and three go I’m not certain (although he definitely cheated on her on a number of occasions, so there you go), but I know number one was because my great-grandma wouldn’t go down on him “like the French girls did” (he was in France during WWI, so there you go). They were divorced when he finally croaked, but they were working on getting married again—no doubt they probably would have been doing that song and dance forever.
As an added curiosity, during that final divorce he’d shacked up with an heiress of the Gamble (the second half of Proctor & Gamble) fortune. He’d planned on marrying her (no doubt to get at her money), and they’d gotten far enough along with that that she’d written him into her will. As it all stands, she died, he inherited the money and promptly died himself before he had a chance to amend his will which set my great-grandmother as his beneficiary, and he ended being good for something.
So, there you go.
23. The Re-Connection
Not at all the same thing, but my wife and I met in middle school. Lost our virginities to each other at 14 years old. Dated for a year. Broke up. Did the whole Facebook thing where you say “we should totally catch up for a coffee one time” and never did. Sort of said that for years. One time we actually did meet up though on a whim.
We each had different partners at the time. The attraction was immediate. Been married eight years. Have three kids. Pretty great overall.
24. The Power Trip
My father did this with my stepmother. They met in the military, but she left to pursue teaching. He left her after he cheated on her because he said she lacked the motivation to earn real money. He would only be with someone who could provide and assist him with the comfortable life he wanted. So, he met someone just like him, money and power-hungry.
They bought a house, multiple cars, and had a kid in under two years of being together. Ultimately, they butted heads way too much and he left her, but lost his home, full custody of my sister, and most of his things. The only person who was there for him was my former stepmother. So, they remarried. As far as I know, they are both very happy with the situation.
25. Old Habits
This happened with my parents. They got divorced when I was around three years old. In their years apart, they both eventually remarried other people. My mother ended up marrying a polygamist (unbeknownst to her) who drained all of her savings, she left this guy after finding out the above information. My dad married a raging jerk who would occasionally get physically abusive towards him. He can be a jerk himself, but was hesitant to leave her. She eventually cheated on him and he finally divorced her after that.
After both going through horrible marriages after their first, they realized what they had wasn’t that bad by comparison. They ended up remarrying when I was ten years old. They are divorced again now. They stayed together for 10 years the second go around. Eventually, the habits and mentality that ended their first marriage ended the second.
26. Anger Management
My grandparents did. My grandfather suffered massive PTSD from serving in the military and would get so angry he would black out and forget what he did. He was very abusive to my mother while she was growing up. My grandmother divorced him and it was a wake-up call for my grandfather and he got the proper help he needed. After about eight months of anger management sessions and seeing a psychologist on the regular my grandmother got remarried to him.
Also, my mother and grandfather’s relationship is great now and he is a very calm individual. I’ve rarely ever seen him angry and when he does it’s definitely not violent.
27. Unwanted Guests
I did this with my current wife. We were married for three years and had a child one year into it. My job at the time involved a lot of travel. I was immature and cheated, which led to our divorce. We tried a marriage counselor and stuff but nothing could get us back to where we were before. We were divorced for two years.
We shared custody of our kid and I made a little business while she excelled in her profession. I guess I matured some during this time and she saw a change in me and my priorities. We dated a bit and when my son found out he was super happy his mom and dad were back together. One thing led to another and I asked her to marry me again.
She accepted and we had a low key wedding the second time around. I think we had both talked so much trash about each other immediately after the divorce to our friends that we were kind of sheepish to be back in love.
28. A Long and Winding Road
My parents, while never officially “divorced” have gone through it. They knew each other for 2 months when my dad was drafted to join the military. He quickly proposed to and married my mom. A year later here I am, and I cannot tell you the amount of times they split apart growing up. The most recent was a few years ago, when divorce papers were filed and ready to go (no one was happy.) They lived apart and we would visit between the two (I have three younger siblings). I moved out at 18.
They got back together and seemed to be managing (still not happy) up until this past year. A lot of bad stuff happened. I had an engagement fall through (and honestly it brought us as a family closer together.) Dad lost his job of 23 years and his dad/my grandfather passed away. My mom and dad grew close and actually fell back in love.
Now they’re both genuinely happy for the first time I’ve ever seen.
29. Bipolar Love
A mutual friend and former coworker of my husband did this. A military couple go adventuring into the swinger’s scene, and the wife (1) left the husband for another wife (2). She then cheated on her with wife (2)’s husband and THOSE two run off together. After about three years of marriage to second guy, she cheats on him with the FIRST original ex-husband and THEY run off together only to be remarried, with her blaming the whole fiasco on bipolar disorder.
They are still together to this day.
30. Worked Out in the End
My parents did this. They got married in 1987 then divorced a few months later. My mom found out she was pregnant with my brother. They still went through with the divorce and stayed apart. My grandfather was very old school and basically told my dad he was dead to him if he didn’t get back together with my mom. Thanks to my bully of a grandpa they got back together and had my brother in ‘88.
So also, thanks to my bully of a grandpa I came along three years later. They stayed married 13 years more. She got remarried to a great guy and my dad never remarried. He said two marriages to the same woman was more than enough for him. They had a pretty messy and miserable divorce, but are actually the best of friends these days. Worked out, I guess!
31. The Ex’s Parent Problem
My ex’s parents got divorced when he was about 23 years old. I entered the picture when my ex-boyfriend was 28. His parents were hanging out a lot and I thought it was kind of weird. I was sure they were on their way to getting back together. They’re both kind of messed up toxic people (always really nice to me though!).
Mom is an alcoholic that can’t adult, and dad is emotionally needy, codependent and super lonely. Eventually, my ex began to think they were going to get back together too. Then mom started sleeping with some married dude at work that she thought was her boyfriend (spoiler, he wasn’t) and telling everyone about it. Dad went back into being lonely and depressed and hating her.
My ex has to take care of both of them in their own ways and it would just be easier for him if they DID get back together!
32. A Commitment of Want
I did this. We got basically eloped at 20 years old and he was military. Got pregnant quickly, left the military, joined real life and it was hard. Money was tight, we lived far from family, and we both have PTSD from our childhoods. I chased and smothered him and he ran from me. He coped with video games and I didn’t cope at all.
I had PPD for about two years and we just drifted, lost and angry. At about four years of marriage, we separated and I filed for divorce and got a job for the first time in years. We reconciled but by the end of the year it wasn’t working and so we finalized the divorce and split. I think what helped us most was that we split custody 50/50 though he paid child support because he made significantly more than me. The split was amicable and we ended up living in the same apartment complex.
We became friends and started living separate lives. We discovered that we actually liked each other as people without having the expectations of marriage to bind us. He would walk over and we would just watch a movie or talk about life or how we should parent our son together. Eventually this led to us realizing we missed each other and so we made another go of it. Moved back in together, still had some growing to do but we did it.
We got remarried this year (three years post-divorce) and are expecting our second child. It’s miles better. My first marriage is dead. It was an awful period of time in both our lives where we were immature and angry and had no clue who we were without each other. Now we are a team and I love and understand him more than ever.
Basically, we found that we could live without the other but decided we didn’t want to. It’s a commitment of want, not need.
33. The Long Haul
I met my husband at 13 years old. We started dating at 14. Married at just shy of 18. He joined the service just before our marriage. We spent three years in Germany and had our two sons. When he left the service and we came home in the mid-80s, things were hard and we were divorced. We went to the proceeding together and lived together on and off through our five-year divorce.
We were seeing each other at the time but the high cost if childcare sealed it. I stayed home. He worked. We got remarried and had a daughter who is seven years younger than her brother. We have been remarried for 30 years. We count the first one though. Which would be 37 years in 2020. Our “he asked me out” anniversary turns 40 in 2020.
34. The Rehabilitated Marriage
My husband’s aunt and uncle got married, divorced and then remarried. They’re a cute and pretty goofy couple, however my husband’s aunt is an alcoholic. The marriage was able to carry on despite that, since it was just the two of them and their dogs. Her alcoholism became an issue real fast after they had two kids (definitely one, but perhaps both of them have FAS) and my husband’s uncle pretty much had to take care of everyone. The relationship fell apart and they divorced.
Throughout all of this, the wife acknowledged she hit rock bottom and went into treatment. Even after their divorce, they still loved each other. The husband told his ex-wife that if she was able to stay sober for over a year, he’d reconsider their relationship. They remarried and she’s been sober since.
Their second wedding was adorable and I totally cried seeing it.
35. Post-Partum Progress
My wife and I were divorced for a year after four years married. She had post-partum depression something fierce, though neither of us knew at the time. It was astonishing how bad it got. I remember one time she got mad at me for an answer I gave to some ridiculous question. Then I gave the other possible answer and she was still mad.
It didn’t matter what I did for almost a year, I was always in the wrong and I was growing increasingly sick of it and lashing out in rebellion. She got her first career job when the economy picked back up, and after months of counseling with no progress, she asked me to leave because she felt like she didn’t need my support anymore and could take care of herself.
Three counselors suggested to her maybe she was the problem (in a professional way) but she’d just ignore it and scream at me for manipulating them against her. It all sounded so insane to me and I knew something was wrong because I literally didn’t talk for six sessions and it still looked to be her issue. We split with no attorney, 50-50 custody of my kid and off I went.
A year goes by and I took her out with our kid for her birthday because I was determined to show my kid what a good man is in life and she told me she was sorry. She’d been seeing a counselor that finally cracked the problem and she diagnosed her with post-partum on top of it. We reconciled two months after that day and I saw this new counselor too to discover my own deeply hidden problem. It took 20 years for the right counselor to crack it for me. At 32 years old.
We’ve been remarried almost three years, with our remarriage exactly six months from our first. We celebrate both, and just welcomed our second child. The post-partum is back but she recognizes it and is really actively fighting it this time. Marriage isn’t always easy, but I just couldn’t imagine it with anyone else but her.
We both dated other people while apart, and her ex was what prompted the counseling. She had a long history of only dating emotional abusers before me, as well as after. It was a pivotal discovery for her that changed her outlook on things and helped her grow. I discovered my own insecurities and have grown from them as well.
36. A Rooster in a Hen-House
My grandfather was married seven times. My grandmother was wife #1 and #4. My grandfather was very popular with the ladies. The very last place he lived before passing away in his 90s was a retirement community where women outnumbered the men by at least 10 to 1. His fridge was always filled with cellophane-covered plates of food from the ladies who lived there.
He was a rooster living in a henhouse. I’d never seen him happier.
37. Holiday Epiphany
We divorced because we were being selfish. Well maybe it was just me. At this point, I really only reflect on making sure I am never that woman who hurt him. He focuses on making sure he’s the man we know he can be. We ended up back together after a few years when we spent the holidays together for the kids and we realized we really changed and grew up.
We loved each other in a more truthful way. For who we are as individuals.
38. Bob and Grandpa
My grandparents married young. He joined the army and went off to war. They divorced and grandma married a man named Bob. Grandma and Bob were married a few years, five I think, and they had two girls (my aunts) together. Grandpa came back from the war and looked grandma up. Grandparents had an affair, leading Bob to divorce grandma.
Grandparents then remarried and had three additional children (my mom, uncle, and aunt). They remained married over 50 years until grandpa died (2014), grandma is now 90 years old saying she’s ready to be with Bob again.
39. Love like an Ocean
My mom and dad spilt when I was about three years old. They had been together since they were teenagers, got married fairly young and as they approached their 30s, neither had stable jobs and were incredibly poor. At the time my dad also had a pretty bad drug habit. My mom, feeling underappreciated and sick of my dad spending all their money on drugs, dumped him. Once he moved out, both my parents started seeing other people.
About five years later or so my mom, her boyfriend, and I went on a trip to Hawaii. We’re from a very cold place, so it was the first time I had ever been swimming in a body of water. I remember looking up to the beach where my mom stood watching me and crying as I played in the ocean for the first time. When I asked her why she was upset, she told me that my dad should have been there to see how happy I was being in the water for the first time seeing me.
This triggered her to break up with her boyfriend that night (day one of a five-day trip, talk about awkward) and my dad moved back in with us right after the trip. For about a year, my dad lived in a separate room and he and mom co-parented me while working on their relationship. Both my parents got stable jobs and my dad quit drugs and went to grad school.
Eventually, they officially got back together and had my little sister. Now they own their business and have never been happier. It was a really sad time in all our lives, but I think it they needed that time apart to figure out who they were and how to be better partners.
40. A Tale of Two Dads
My mom and non-biological dad were like this. They had my big brother at 19 years old, split by late 20, then my mom remarried my biological dad (different than the aforementioned “dad”) then when she realized he had an entire other family—wife included. She left Egypt where he had us staying. We found out he had us there so he could fly between us and his Saudi Arabian family easier.
When I was born though, my brother’s dad was there. He held me and cried, and admitted to mom he wished I was his. When mom got back, the first thing she did was contact my brother’s dad. Two years later, my mom tells me I was calling my brother’s dad “Dad.” She said to him, “You know….she ALREADY calls you dad…just saying.”
They were remarried a few years later, had my baby brother, and I’ve never in my life ever known another dad and I’m grateful for him stepping in. They were married for another 16 years before his alcoholism took over. Infidelity on both sides (he cheated first as I understand it) and a drunken suicide attempt later, dad finally filed for divorce. I haven’t seen either of them in the same room since like four months before the suicide attempt.
I’ve maintained my relationship with them both though. I don’t want to be dad-less. He got me a TON of stuff today, and I got him a fancy grilling set. Merry Christmas to me.
41. After the Funeral
My parents did this. Not sure why they divorced, it was a few years before I came along. They had stayed friends after the divorce, so when my grandfather passed away, my mom made the drive back to my dad’s hometown with him for the funeral. They get to his grandma’s house, just for her to say they aren’t sleeping in the same house, even though they were married just months before.
My dad’s cousin made a joke that they could just go to the courthouse and get remarried. So that’s exactly what they did. Time passed, I was born, and a few years later when looking for paperwork or something, they discovered their lawyers never filed the divorce papers because they “knew that they’d get back together.”
42. The Traveling Family
My friend had a kid with her high school boyfriend. They got married and had three more kids. They divorced as they were hitting their 30s. It seemed like they went through a crisis about missing out on experiences from going from teens to needing to grow up and raise the kids. They still remained friends for them to co-parent and still do family things together, instead of everything split up. I respected that they did birthdays and holidays together still.
They were maybe split for three years and slowly in that time began falling back in love. They did a cabin trip for Thanksgiving with their kids and their families and came back and announced they were together again. Then a few months after that they had an elopement wedding with just their kids. Their kids are all grown in their 20s and they restored an RV and have been traveling around the US.
43. A Weird Feeling
My parents did this! My dad has gone through a lot of big life changes (in four years his mom died, he got married, his dad died, and I was born) and wasn’t handling it well; he began using alcohol. My mom needed to get out. Obviously, they saw each other a lot when dropping me off at each other’s houses. I think one day they realized that they were right for each other, so they got coffee and decided to go to counseling before they let me know what was happening.
It was so weird to me to have my parents be together. I was three when they divorced and don’t ever remember them together. Obviously, it was cool but it was so weird.
44. The Frat House
My aunt and uncle did this. They had two boys very close in age. The dad/my uncle was a workaholic and not around much; the boys grew up to 6-foot teenagers and were generally rowdy and out of control partying. My aunt tries everything, but my uncle is not really on board and I think some part of him liked living in basically a tiny frat house.
So, my aunt throws up her hands and leaves them to it for a couple of years. Eventually, the boys emotionally mature a bit more and move out, get girlfriends, get married etc. Aunt and uncle either remembered why they love each other, or more likely, decided they could at least live together so they didn’t get lonely as they got old.
45. Sweethearts ’til the End
I have friends who are in their 80s now. They were high school sweethearts. They dated, then almost married, but split instead. They both got married and lived separate lives. Then they end up going back to school as adults and run into each other at campus. They end up being sweethearts again. Both of them were already divorced so no issue there.
They have now been together for 40+ years!
46. Happily, Ever After
I’m friends with a lovely old couple. They were married young, and divorced because they were both “married to their work.” Husband got remarried, new wife passed away years later in her 60s. After they both were retired, they got remarried. Happily, ever after so far. Husband just turned 90 years old.
47. You Had Me At “Okay”
We met in 1986. I was 18 years old, he was 21. We knew each other two weeks before I moved from Alaska to California. He was in the Air Force, stationed in Alaska. Two and a half months later he was reassigned to California. Two weeks later we married. We were married seven years, had two children, but both of us really had a lot of growing up to do.
We divorced in 1994. After Christmas 2001, while I was waiting for the kids at the airport for their flight back from Alabama where they spent the holidays with their father, he and I were talking on the phone. I asked him if he wanted to get back together and he said “okay.” In May 2002, we got back together. In 2011 we got remarried on what would have been our 25th anniversary.
Here we are 2019 and we are still together and for the most part happier than we’ve ever been.
48. The Stroke
I actually have a really heartfelt story about my aunt and uncle. They originally were high school sweethearts, married young, had two kids, were together for 25 years. My uncle had a really bad drinking problem, and they were constantly unhappy so my aunt filed for divorce. My uncle’s drinking got worse, and he basically drank himself to death.
He ended up going to the hospital and was really sick. They detoxed him for two weeks and he never touched a bottle of alcohol again. He was sober for two years and had a stroke. It really messed him up, and he hasn’t fully recovered from it. This caused my aunt and uncle to get back together though. After his stroke, she would visit him every day in the hospital and eventually had him come back home so she could make sure he was taken care of and safe.
He could barely walk, and his swallowing was affected, so there was a high choking risk. He eventually recovered to the point he could take care of himself but they are still living together and sleep in the same bed again, although they haven’t remarried.
49. The Traditional Family
A bit late, but this is the story I got over Christmas. This all happened recently. My stepdad’s cousin divorced his wife 10+ years ago. He has one daughter with his ex. He dated around a bit and finally found someone he liked enough to buy a house with. During the house hunting period, his daughter announces she’s pregnant and she’s realized she wants a traditional family, so she asks her parents to get back together. Meaning her dad would need to bail on his girlfriend, who he was about to purchase a home with.
They freaking agreed to it! Her parents said okay, dad dumped his girlfriend (who is apparently very nice) right before the holidays, and grandma and grandpa-to-be are now readily available for babysitting duties. It’s crazy.
50. A Point to Prove
My ridiculous coworker divorced her husband because he said something like, “You can’t live without me.” She divorced him to prove a point, but then remarried him so I guess he really proved his point.