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Marriage takes WORK. If both parties aren't willing to put in the effort things get bad pretty fast. The fairytale lie we've been fed of happily ever after has made it difficult for people to grasp what real long-term relationships look like. News flash: it gets messy!


When Redditor CrisP_bacon asked the question “Long term (10+ years) married couples of reddit, Whats was the worst low you've had and why didnt you leave?" the online marriage veterans were glad to share their struggles, and their triumphs.

“I left the Mormon church.”

“I left the Mormon church.”

“For Mormons that frequently means divorce. Temple marriage and the priesthood are a big deal and she assumed that if I was leaving the church it meant I was leaving her too. It was incredibly stressful.”

“I had been pretending to believe since we got married and I figured finally telling her all my feelings would actually make her leave me, after all, no more eternal marriage, broken covenants, "inactive" father to our children, how would she be treated by neighbors/family/other members, etc.”

“I was working two poor jobs at the time and in college. We were barely scraping by even with a good deal on our rent, I was always stressed, and often gone. Our families weren't supportive about my decision. Our neighbors judged. My wife was judged and pitied on every Sunday she went alone.”

“I didn't leave her and I never planned to. She didn't leave me. My wife respected my choices, supported me, and ultimately she ended up leaving too, a few years ago now. I was at the lowest point I had ever been in my life due to the church and leaving it was the best thing I ever did for myself.”

“It will be fourteen years married and sixteen years together this year. We're happy, we're doing well, and our children are thriving.” victorioushack

translate joseph smith GIF by South Park Giphy

​They came out as a conspiracy nut, yikes! 

This week. Finding out my wife of 22 years is an anti vaxxer. Her family is religious and there has always been quirks, but she has gone down a full nutcase rabbit hole, fueled by her idiot mother.”

“Sounds like just one thing, but I'm having a hard time imagining getting over it. We've got kids and she's choosing conspiracies over protecting herself for their sake.”

“Edit - why didn't I leave? This is happening in real time. We've got 3 lovely kids and a pretty good thing going. I hope it doesn't end here.”

“Edit - there were clues in the past but I didn't know (not sure she did either) that she was an anti-science, anti-vaxxer until recently. She and her mom share false YouTube videos of "evidence" and wind each other up.” notmyrealnam3

Burnie Burns Conspiracy GIF by Rooster Teeth Giphy

“I was about to destroy my marriage with their mother for a piece of a**.”

My wife and I were going through a real funk. We were stressed out, and not getting along very well. Money was a big issue. Things were down to almost nothing in the bedroom. I was just sick of the relationship.”

“And then out of the f*cking blue an old high school crush PMs me on Facebook. We get chatting... we start getting really flirty... a week goes by, and we're talking dirty and planning to meet.”

On the day we were supposed to hook up - literally hours before our rendezvous- Unsteady by X Ambassadors comes into the radio and I suddenly can't stop thinking about the kids, and how I grew up with no dad in the picture.”

“I felt so stupid and selfish. I was about to destroy my marriage with their mother for a piece of a**. I called it off, went home and asked my wife to sit down. I told her everything.”

“She was upset of course, but we began talking about our problems and they got a lot better. Now we're doing amazing, and I'm so glad I didn't f*ck up. Every time I hear that song I'm reminded of it.Kajiit_hairball

People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday

Poverty is a huge stressor...

21 years this July. I think it's a mix of good times and bad times. Honestly, the worst moments have been when money's been scarce. That brings he worst out of people. We actually separated once about 9 years ago, we were arguing non-stop and my wife ended up feeling trapped and decided to move out with our youngest.”

“We got over it by working on ourselves and rekindling our relationship, took several months to fix it. On my side, sometimes I too feel trapped for some reasons, like pulling too much weight at home, being the one taking care of more stuff than her, but in the end it's just stupid things.”

“If I left I don't think I'd ever get what I have now. A marriage is not roses always, it takes a lot of effort, compromising, respect, and communication. And lots of sex, not joking.” demoniodoj0

“Grabbed his cup of chips out of his hand and dumped them on the floor at his feet...”

“We're coming up on 10 years and have had only a handful of arguments and verbal fights throughout our marriage, but the most prominent one happened right after he pinned on captain rank (O-3) in the Air Force.”

“When he was an O-1 and O-2, he had been sh!t on quite a bit by higher-ranked officers in his unit, so he himself began to adopt that power-trip attitude as soon as he was promoted. I personally despise that kind of ego especially in a partner, and the more I witnessed him treating other people rudely for no reason, the angrier I got.”

“It came to a head when we were at one of the casinos in Vegas, and he started talking down to and belittling a cashier when she tried to explain why he couldn't cash in his chips at that particular window. I was so appalled and infuriated by his behavior that I snapped right there.”

“Grabbed his cup of chips out of his hand and dumped them on the floor at his feet, snarling that he'd better pick them up to pay for a divorce lawyer because I was done with his sh*t. We had never, ever mentioned divorce before, and it was a bit of a taboo word for him because he was still traumatized by his parents' messy divorce right before we'd gotten married
.”



“So for me to bark it at him in public, which is so out of character for me because I never like to make a scene, was the wakeup call he needed.”

“He was stunned and speechless. After a few awkward seconds, I muttered an apology to the cashier and headed back to our hotel room upstairs. It took another few minutes for him to follow me after retrieving all his chips, and by then we were both extremely upset with each other.”

“Many furious words were exchanged--he couldn't believe I would even bring up divorce and I couldn't believe he didn't realize what an ahole he had become--which ended in both of us in tears. It took another few hours, but we managed to talk through the issue. He promised to check himself and take a step back to reflect on the influence his workplace had on him.”

“That was six years ago. He is now an O-4 and the one that all the junior service members in his squadron elect to go to when they need advice or someone to confide in about work. He has gone out of his way to mentor several airmen who asked for his help in preparing for various programs and schools.”

“Every time I attend a squadron function, I see how well-liked he is by his colleagues. I'm proud and relieved that he reverted to being his regular kind self. Now whenever he has an ahat commander rotate into his group's chain of command, I quietly point out that that could have been him if he had continued along the path of douchebaggery, and it makes him shudder.” OrifielM

Some people need to mind their business...

“Is 9 close enough? Was about a year in, and I ended up taking off for a hotel for a few nights. Why? Because I had my toxic, abusive parents and their cronies constantly calling me and telling me how awful my wife was.”

“They'd tell me how she was sick in the head and keeping me from them (I'd cut them off) and that she was abusing me. It got in my head and she suggested I take a few days away, without my phone, to calm down.”

“I made it til 4am that night, realized my parents were terrible people and my wife was wonderfully supportive of me. Called her and went home immediately. Been going great ever since.” tempthethrowaway

“I'm ashamed now...”

“Married 24 years now. Fifteen years ago, my depression got bad. Usually it manifests as dark humor and swearing; that time, it was fury, frustration and vicious emotional aggression.”

“My wife put up with it for a year. I remember my then-young son asking, "are you angry again?" with such a sadness that it tore at my heart (and reinforced to me that I was worthless, not helping the depression).”

“I was never physically abusive, but I'm ashamed now at the brutal pleasure I felt when she cried. Finally, finally, I listened to my wife and talked to my doctor. They eventually got my meds right, or anyway close enough that I was back in my right mind.”

“We stayed together because my wife is stronger than you would believe, and she knew that her real husband was hidden under all that cruelty. She kept us together. I've been grateful ever since.I'm blessed beyond anything I could deserve. Nowadays, I think that I treat her as she should be treated, like a treasure.”

“I wrote this in part so that people in a depression can see how very, very dark it can get. I was controlled by it. I was d*mned near possessed by it. If you get taken by depression, think of this and get help way sooner than I did.” Vox_Popsicle

​Not the dog!

11 years married. Worst low was he was being a complete AH (Screaming at 8 y/o) to one of my younger kids and when daughter (18) stood up to him he tried to sell her dog as punishment. Didn't leave him because I recognized a PTSD episode and got him help. I think it's important to recognize why a behavior is happening. “

“This was NOT his normal behavior. He's former police officer and this was when he had to walk away from a career he loved. It was HARD, but he was willing to accept help and has stayed in therapy for 2 years now." Suspicious_Sassafras

Mental health can be serious.

Been together since high school (in our 40's now). Our lowest time was after our kid was born. The company I worked for was closing down. I was applying for jobs like crazy and he just didn't.”

“We ended up moving in with my parent for about half a year. He got a job and was fired 2 weeks later. I got a job but had to commute 4+hours each day. I did all of the night wakings with our baby.”

“There were times I was sleeping in 45 min chunks and then waking up at 5 am to get to work by 9 am, leaving work, driving home 2-3 hours in bad traffic, dealing with a super clingy baby, eat dinner go to bed, rinse and repeat. I did this for 3 months before we found a place to rent near my job.”

“We moved, he got a job, was fired 6 months later. Got another job, fired. We had to move out of our nice apartment into a crappy 1 bedroom apartment that was falling apart due to finances.”

“All this time I was doing all the daycare pick ups and drop off, working 40+ hours and doing all the baby care. I even did this when he didn't have a job because I didn't want to lose our spot in daycare. He didn't clean, didn't cook, didn't interact with our kid when I was home. He was always in a bad mood. I got medicated and my depression got slightly better.”

Things did get better with some help...

He got another job, almost got fired, got a slightly better paying job, got fired, was unemployed for a long time, got another job, got fired. I stayed because I had such bad PPD and anxiety that I could only react. After he got fired the last time I was going to get a divorce. I was done. He was then diagnosed with bipolar.”

“It's been a year and a half since the diagnosis. He is now medicated and did therapy. We are in a much better place. He got a job but the pandemic closed his location. He has completed stepped up and changed.”

“He handles all schooling for our child, cooks dinner, cleans. I make enough now that we can get by on one income until the pandemic ends. We are friends again and I now like spending time with him. We are still healing from the years of crap but we are in it for the long haul.” darksideoftheday

An emotional affair.

“l caught my wife in an emotional affair that likely, would have turned physical but I'll never really know. I was going through a weird depression and had been pretty physically and emotionally distant for about a year so it's not exactly shocking that she developed feelings for another person but it still completely crushed my world and my stomach still gets in knots sometimes randomly 2 years later.”

Any time I've mentioned this on Reddit though I get a bunch of comments telling me I should have left her and she will do it again, and it's just not worth it. For the record, we're doing great now and oddly enough the entire awful experience and very nearly ending our marriage made our marriage stronger and I trust her that she'd never want to hurt me like that again and I'm determined to never make her feel lonely or ever allow that kind of space for another person again.” BigBicNic

​“I caught him googling divorce statistics and how to get a divorce.”

“Married almost 14 years. Having babies was not good for our relationship. We had three kids in quick succession. My hormones were out of whack for about five years, and he wasn't great dealing with small kids. There were times when I was counting down the days until I could go back to work and save enough money to leave, and I caught him googling divorce statistics and how to get a divorce.”

“We worked through it. Even on our worst days, even when I wanted out, I just kept thinking how much I'd rather have him in my life than out of it. I don't know why he decided to stay.”

“And even though 2020 was rough financially (he was laid off twice and I wasn't working much), it actually seemed to bring us closer. I'm so glad that we stuck it out. Things are never going to be perfect, but I'm very grateful to have him.“ Bay-Area-Tanners

Sometimes all you can do is cry over a beer. 

Just over the 10 year mark. Our worst period came just after the birth of our daughter. She was born with duplexed kidnies and urethra. That's quite common, but she had the worst of it, and for the first three years of her life was in hospital for at least two years; constant UTIs, countless bouts of sepsis, and few critical care stays, four bouts of major surgery, including serious heart problems caused by that."

“Me and my wife were like chalk and cheese during those years. I had my head buried in the sand and put all my eggs in the doctor basket. My wife had that same faith, but read up on absolutely everything."

“As she was living in hospital with our daughter, I was at home with our son. It was a very odd time, where we were like ships in the night. We were both depressed and struggling to cope. You don't see it at the time, as you just take each day as it comes... But when you stop and look back at what you've been through, it can be overbearing to put it all into context."


"Had many a full on breakdown whilst out with my best friend having a beer during that time. That entire period was a strain on the two of us. I think it's fair to say there were quite long periods where we absolutely hated each other."

"There were points I know she had contacted divorce lawyers, and at least a month where we officially separated. We're over that period now, and whilst my daughter is still on medication, she's not had any serious complications in several years now, so all is good."

"It was one hell of a storm though." hellsmk2

​Abusive employers are still all too common.

Sorry, this got long! But I guess the story of a good relationship is rarely short ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Been together almost 12 years. About 3 years ago we were going through a terrible time. We had just finished college, his parents coerced him into turning down a good job offer in his field to help run their business.”

“They gave him some pretty lofty promises.Instead, his father drove the business into the ground and spent the family into astronomical debt before drinking himself into an early grave. Because he lied on his insurance forms about his health, the family got nothing. Despite his many flaws he'd been more like a father to me instead of a father in law, and it was devastating.”

“I was working absolute garbage, grunt jobs, getting paid minimum wage. I was trying to get a few years experience in my field in order to work my way into a better place, but it just wasn't enough money. I barely made enough to cover my own bills, putting a lot of financial strain on my husband.”

“Eventually I had a mental breakdown and had to completely quit because my job was so abusive I couldn't take it anymore. I went on unemployment, which paid less than I was already making. A lot of other things were going on during this time, but the bottom line was I felt unsupported emotionally, and very bullied by him. He felt that I was not being an equal partner to him, that I was living like a teenager in our home while he was the parent who had to take care of everything.“

“I honestly stayed for reasons that are not healthy.”

I wasn't trying to pull my weight because I was severely depressed and hurting. It seemed no one in my life cared about the terrible things that had happened to me at my former work place, and I just felt abused all over again by everyone around me. No one even asked me if I was ok, not even my husband."

“I felt like no one cared about me at all. He didn't care what I was going through because he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders, he couldn't take on any more. It took a lot of fights, a lot of listening, swallowing of hard pills and apologies from both of us. Also, healing and growing aren't linear."

“Even after acknowledging our hurts and faults, we both relapsed into our toxic behaviours several times over the past couple of years. Forgiveness isn't linear, either. Sometimes you really have to work at it, and point out to yourself the difference between holding a grudge and seeing a pattern."


"My husband worked his @ss off and not only got the family nearly out of debt in just a few years (we are talking in the hundreds of thousands here), he's got the family business positively blooming. I have done a lot of hard work of my own. I've kept the same job for years now, and I'm going back to school for something more profitable that I will enjoy."

"I've also been working on some side hustles that are going well. We have a beautiful, happy home, and we're both trying every day to be our best selves. Why did we stay together? TBH, from the outside looking in, I probably would have just told myself to leave."

"It wasn't working and there wasn't any sign that it would get better. I honestly stayed for reasons that are not healthy. Mostly because I felt like I couldn't leave, I'd been here and with him for too long. I hated the idea of him moving on with someone else, it fuelled my toxic feelings which kept me trapped."

"I don't know why he stayed, other than that he loves me and so remained hopeful that we could fix things. I guess we were both just lucky that underneath it all we are reasonable and kind people, so we were able to crawl out of the mess." poisonergranny

When tragedy struck...

34 years married here. Our lowest point was when our 9 year old son was hit by a car. I went into a deep depression after his death and couldn't cope. It really brought out the worst in both of us. We handled it differently and really struggled to make sense of it all. It was a few really tough years but we stayed together and tried to work through it all.”

“My husband finally recognized my behaviours and lack of interest in anything, including the fact I left my job, as depression and found me professional help. It was a long road, but we made it through and grew closer after. When things go bad, you have to really fight to hold a marriage together, but it's worth it. Don't give up.” cardixa00

Needed some connection.

“16 years coming up soon. The darkest moment was probably the first year of marriage. New city away from her family and friends, stressful job, and I was working during the day and going to school at night for a masters degree.”

“She cried. A lot. But we made it and we have been forever grateful for the time we have together, knowing how awful it was when we couldn't be together.” billionthtimesacharm

GIF by AM to DM Giphy

​“It was a painful refresher class.”

F married to M for over 25 years. When my son was 10 he got diagnosed with a brain condition. I became obsessed with taking care of him. Three years later he was diagnosed as stable and it was the first time I felt he wouldn't need surgery.”

“That's when I realized how neglectful I had been to my husband. He was kind. He still loved me. But he thought I didn't love him anymore.”

“We separated for a while, but everytime I brought up divorce he would say no. I wanted him to move back, but he would say to give him time. We didn't talk for about two months. And then he contacted me, begging for my forgiveness. We began to date again, eventually he moved back home.”

I'm telling the facts, but the emotions were flying high. While apart, we would talk for hours on the phone. We became closer and got to know each other really well again. It was a painful refresher class. I hope we never take each other for granted again.aubor

​Sometimes it’s the quiet moments.

We have been married over 20 years and had a lot of stress and times when everything around us went wrong. But the lowest point was a time when there was nothing really wrong in our lives, but we grew apart, and each of us seemed to feel that the other person was the enemy. But we were able to work our way through it because I think we both knew it was the best option for us both.​“ Ok_Huckleberry6820

​Therapy should not be stigmatized, it helps. 

“Married 9 but together 13 so I think this counts. Both of us had sh!tty childhoods and plenty of baggage left over from them -- but not the same exact baggage, so over time you start getting annoyed at the other person for not understanding your crap, because their crap-handling technique is different and you know they don't like how you handle yours."

“We eventually got into a nasty dysfunctional cycle where everyone feels misunderstood and no one feels taken care of, and no one feels safe to be themselves because 'being yourself' apparently sets off the other person, and it's really hard to break out of that when everyone feels angry and no one wants to stuff their feelings about it anymore, and so on."


"We started doing EFT couples work (emotionally focused therapy) during the pandemic -- online therapy is a lot easier to wedge into our schedules than in-person. We are working on hard stuff. I spend most Wednesdays feeling drained. It is 1000% worth the time, money, and effort."

"I was never actually considering leaving because I always knew I could throw the 'that's it, we need to do some actual couples work' card, and that that would probably improve things. I think any couple where the partners come from a tricky background will run into a patch like this and will need to do this kind of work. People like us, our default attachment mode does not lend itself to happiness by default. I am very happy that we are working on this sh*t." withbellson

Relationships take work, dedication, and self reflection from both parties. Hope these couples continue staying safe and in love.

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