Breakups suck. Even when they're the best thing for you and everyone involved is good with it, they're still kind of sad. It's so much worse when you realize the breakup was a huge mistake. One Reddit user asked:
What was your 'oh sh!t' moment when you realized you shouldn't have broke up with your ex S.O.?
The responses were rough, honest, heartbreaking, and eye-opening. The sorts of things that make people realize they were wrong were shocking. Some of the breakup reasons were really petty to begin with, and Facebook factors into more than one story. In all of that, though, lots of lessons were learned. Brace yourself, some of these stories are really sad or infuriating. But it's not all bad. I made sure to give you at least one happy ending.
Merry Christmas, Mom
My mom left my step dad. She was always traveling back and forth 2 states over to take her grandma to chemo and during that time his father passed away and they just couldn't reconcile. They loved each other but life, you know?
He got remarried to a great lady and is super happy now. My mom told me recently that leaving him was the biggest mistake she made because he was the only good man she ever really knew. We all have Christmas at their house (seriously he and my mom divorced and he's still grandpa to my sisters kids and we call his new wife our step mom. They're awesome) but my poor mom has to watch them being happy together every year while she lives alone.
It really f*cked me up when I broke up with my fiance ten years ago because I realized I could never be the same person I was with him, with anyone else ever again.
That sounds emo, but we had so much backstory, so much history, so many inside jokes, so much shorthand for everything. We'd known each other for 15 years.
I had to mourn the loss of a part of me, a whole side of my personality, that I would never get to be again. Besides just losing him.
Obviously you can build history and jokes with new people, but it's not the same of 15 years of history from age 16 to age 32. Those are formative years.
Regardless, it was the right thing to do to leave him. Realizing what I had lost made it even harder. But it was the right thing to do for many reasons that aren't for here.
The Wedding Photos
My friend dumped his girlfriend of 12 years because he'd never dated anyone but her, they were struggling financially, and he wanted the chance to experience more relationships. Right after the breakup, she finished her PhD and started making six figures. She found someone else then got married within a year.
My friend tried dating a couple of people, but none of them have worked out and he still misses her. He said the moment he realized that he made a huge mistake was when he saw her wedding photos on Facebook and started crying.
I left her for someone else because I'm an idiot. The other girl turned out to be a jealous, mentally and physically abusive psychopath who eventually ended up in a psychiatric hospital. My S.O, quite rightly, refused to take me back.
An old friend left his wife because he felt the sex was awful and he wanted someone who he felt he could have great sex with. Wife pleaded with him to stay (no kids) but he refused and filed for divorce.
Divorce is finalized about a year later. This guy dates lots of women, but still finds the sex unsatisfactory.
Meanwhile, ex-wife meets this other guy about a year after the divorce and they have that type of whirlwind romance that truly is from a rom com. She marries this new guy, they have kids and the perfect marriage. She tells everyone that the divorce was the best thing that ever happened to her and can't believe how happy she is and could never imagine that a marriage could be so wonderful.
The guy, who is my friend, is more miserable now than ever. Constantly says what a mistake he made leaving his wife. Doesn't even go on dates anymore and has not had sex in years.
That's a rough way to find out you are bad at sex, but believe me he now knows it's HIM who has work to do in that department. The evidence is irrefutable.
Changing The DJ's Set
I broke up with a woman I was head over heels in love with over something that on reflection was fairly minor. Spent half a year progressively dropping into a deeper and deeper funk. Wouldn't admit it to myself at all that I'd made the wrong choice.
I was hanging out with a friend when she pointed out to me that she had never seen me as happy as I'd been when I was with my SO. Another friend pointed out that same week that the music I'd been DJing had become much more depressing over the past few months and asked me if something was wrong. That woke me up and made me realize how special she had been. It took another year for me to realize she was the first woman I'd really loved in the way you come to love somebody for who they are, rather than what you imagine them to be.
I never saw her again. I wish I'd never left her. We only would have had six years together, as she came down with cancer that eventually killed her. It didn't change how I felt; I'd take those six years in exchange for all the years I have left.
The Happy Ending
When I saw her at her birthday party with another guy.
It was kind of a mutual-ish breakup; it was my first relationship so I found it kind of oppressive.
Weeks later, I took her to dinner and told her I thought we had a future together and that I would be more committed to the relationship.
We've been married for 11 years now :)
We were on a break cause I was being a dick. In order to get a reaction I ended the relationship on Facebook. That was the end of the friendship and all. Regretted it ever since. It's only added years of misery to my life
Overwhelmed And Suffocated
I pushed her away because I got overwhelmed. I don't know if it's an oh sh!t moment, but I miss her.
I have this habit in relationships where I always end things whenever I feel overwhelmed. I really, really loved her. But little things start to pile up. I don't say how I feel because I just don't like confrontation. And then one day I just didn't love her like I used to. I don't know why. And with her, I fell back in love with her for a while and I opened up to her about it. She tried to get me to open up to her more regularly about how I'm feeling, but I just...can't.
I fell out again and ended it. She tried so hard to figure things out with us, but it just...I didn't want to try. It didn't seem fair to her to continue this when I'm just going to keep feeling suffocated. And when she tried to help, I felt trapped.
I don't know why I'm like this. And I know she really cared and loved me. Part of me wants to reach out to her again and really mend things, and figure out how to not feel so suffocated anymore. I don't think it's anything she did, she was really understanding...it's just me. I don't know how to deal with me. And I miss her.
I checked out his new girlfriend's social media accounts and saw how they were living exactly the same kind of life we had, and also living out things that my ex and I had planned. The difference is she seems so, so happy about it. Her captions about him shows how she treasures him and thinks highly of him, like she's so lucky to have him. He is indeed a good man. But during our time together he hadn't really figured out stuff yet. I felt like I always had to encourage him, to motivate him. I felt that I was always going to be the captain and cheerleader in the relationship.
When I read his current girlfriend's captions, it wasn't an 'oh sh!t' moment exactly, more of a disconcerting feeling of 'Was I wrong? Should I have been happier with that role? With what we had? Should I have not wished for more? Is there even a 'more'?'
But ultimately, I am happy for him. I don't think I'd ever be loved like that again tho.
Missing What's In front Of You
Because I was a very stupid young man who wasn't thinking at all. I had dated her for a little bit before I broke up with her, cause another girl who I thought was hotter showed a lot of interest in me. And it got really messy after that before we simply stopped existing to one another. That girl I left had been my longest steadfast friend who cared about me way more deeply than I ever deserved. Every relationship since then has exposed very deep flaws in me as a person and allowed me to make very fucking stupid mistakes that I wish had never happened. Every so often I think what if, but I'm not dwelling in the past. She now has an amazing man and I wish them the utmost happiness in this life and the next. I have worked tirelessly to reform myself so I never hurt anyone or make the mistakes I did, and also so that if I meet a girl like that again, I don't mess up again.
"I Don't Blame Her"
One of my Ex's I just never made time for. She was a great girl, we got along well, I just had different priorities at that point in my life.
She brought it up to me twice, she put in effort to fix it, tried scheduling dates, sat down and talked to me and explained why she was feeling hurt. And I'd change for a week. But I'd go back to my old ways. I just wasn't committed. I had other focuses namely my career. Finally she just said she still enjoyed my company but couldn't call seeing me once a week for a 2-3 hours a relationship. Even after she tried to stay friends but time between my responses got longer and longer until eventually I looked at it and her last text was from over a month ago. I felt too ashamed to respond, I probably should have.
But I don't blame her. She had needs I was not paying attention to. So I guess it's more she broke up with me, but she didn't want to. I forced her hand by just not being around.
The important thing was I learned from it. I learned I needed to pay more attention to my partners. I learned that just because I am very long-term focused that I cannot ignore the more immediate concerns and justify it with "It'll pay off in the long run". And that is a lesson that has lead to success since then.
Not me, but a friend of mine dumped his girlfriend of 5 years because he'd never gotten to have anal sex, and wanted to try it, and his girlfriend wouldn't do it because she was in remission from her fibromyalgia and she was afraid that the pain would cause a relapse. His girlfriend came from a wealthy family, and was supporting him financially at the time but apparently anal was just that important to him.
He dumped her and realized almost a year later when he finally met a girl who was willing to let him do anal that he was completely repulsed by the reality of it. He had been in denial that he'd made a mistake before then, but really broke down after he finally did the act. He was broke, and basically homeless (couch surfing). He missed his original gf, she'd been the only woman who'd had the patience to handle his eccentric personality for more than a couple months. He tried to get back with her but she'd moved on. He's never fully recovered in my opinion, he's still essentially homeless and has developed an alcohol problem in recent years.
Should Have Listened
One of the last things she ever told me was "you're going to be single for a long time." It's been 2.5 years. She was right. Not that I necessarily want to be with her again, but she was right that it would be hard to find someone again who'll give me a chance.
When I was 16 I briefly dated a girl who was 17. She wasn't in my peer group; she was an "outsider". But she was nice, had curly blond hair. I liked her. She had an old 1970 Cadillac and she let me drive it. I had never driven before so maneuvering that giant boat on the narrow streets of town was...fun. After a few months my friends were bugging me about why I was wasting my time with this girl. She didn't smoke or drink or listen to hard rock. So I let us drift apart. She turned 18, graduated high school and then won the New Jersey state lottery for $6M. I should have stayed with her. My friends were all bums.
With Friends Like These...
The break up was kinda mutual (didn't want to break up with him but, I had no choice.) A few weeks after we broke up, I started to catch up with some friends - all of which tried to take advantage me. The first guy wanted nude pictures of me, the other tried to get me into bed. I felt very sh!tty and disgusted, and couldn't help but remember how gentle and careful my ex was with me.
A Mile Down The Road
I hope she sees this.
When I got about a mile down the road after packing all of my things, I truly regretted leaving. We tried to hang on for a month afterwards but it didn't take. She couldn't handle that I just left instead of staying and trying to work on things. It's my biggest regret.
I was too wrapped up in myself to really see what was causing all of our issues, I only wish I could've seen it sooner. I tried to talk to her about it, to show her that I know now what I could do to help mend everything but I caused too much damage and pain.
I hope to see her again one day, but all I can do now is work on becoming the best person I can be. I'm currently working on all of my issues that caused all of these problems. It just saddens me because I know that down the road I'll meet someone new who will have this version of me that I will have put a lot of time and effort into. But in my mind's eye my ex is the one who deserves all of that work from me.
Mean What You Say
I wasn't the one the broke up with my ex, but breaking up was always a topic that was there due to long distance. We were talking about the future one day and she was pretty adamant about pursuing her career, which meant she wasn't planning on moving back with me. It turned sour really quick and I threw out a "maybe we should start thinking about breaking up."
The next time I visited her, she told me that she decided - and we broke up. I guess the "oh sh!t moment" didn't hit me until a month after when I tried to win her back by flying out to her (I had to give her stuff back, at least that was my excuse). But it didn't work and might have been even more painful cause it seemed like she had someone else already.
When I got home I sat on a bench in a park and couldn't stop crying. I felt like what I just lost was equivalent to losing my best friends that always followed along with all the dumb childish ideas I had, losing my mom with her undying love and loyalty, losing all the vibrant colors that are in the world that made everything seems so beautiful, losing my dreams of possibly one day having kids (I never really liked kids but I always thought if we had kids they would've been awesome), and then some.
The "oh sh!t moment" lasted for about a year, and I still remember her fondly with no resentment because I was dumb. But I take the advice "say what you mean, and mean what you say" pretty seriously now.
Mental Health Crisis
I left my girlfriend at the bottom of a debilitating mental health crisis. I guess I just ran out of energy for it and figured if I was good enough to get her, I was good enough to find someone easier and healthier to be with.
Nope. Coming up on five years. She recovered completely, no other woman has shown a shred of interest since then. All I had to do was stick it out.