When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
But it's much different when you are the one in the relationship. Time already invested, love once shared, and logistical factors all contribute to a kind of cloud that sways our judgment of the situation.
And yet, if and when the relationship does end, we look back and feel the same clarity that all of our friends once advised from. We can see that we stayed far longer than we should have.
Ideally, witnessing the dynamics helps us practice more clarity in the future. But to be honest, we always hope no more of our relationships will wither again.
Some Redditors offered their own experiences.
mrwednesday33 asked, "People who have stayed with someone they no longer love, what's your story?"
A handful of Redditors had nothing to regret. A dangerous or concerning situation forced their hand. The safety of themselves and others was the driving force behind the decision to stay.
Although it was upsetting to stick around, it would be difficult to imagine handling the situation any other way.
Enough Was Enough
"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."
"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."
"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."
"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love
"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."
"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."
"Years wasted though."
A Bare Bones Story
"Short version: domestic violence."
"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."
"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."
Tipping Over the Edge
"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."
"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."
"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."
For others, the pull to stay in the relationship felt just as intense, but not nearly as physical.
In these cases, a social dynamic or deep emotional complication was at the heart of the choice to remain in a relationship that was doomed to fail.
"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."
"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."
"I proposed to my ex in august 2020. A month later everything started to become pretty awful. A lot of mental abuse and fights, that would make everything chaotic, if we stayed together."
"She and her family think they're something special, while everyone knew they're nothing. She tried to convince me to stay together, but I told her, that it was either now or in 1-5-10 years, where kids etc. Are involved. Big no go."
"Here almost three months later I feel way better and don't have as many headaches as earlier."
"This isn't mine but my friends mom stayed with her husband because he has MS and no one else to care for him."
"He got diagnosed right before she was going to leave him but after finding out she stayed."
Avoiding Something Worse
"Bad situation at home. Stayed with a BF I wasn't in love with for 2.5 years just so I had a safe place to live. Stopped having sex many times, the last time it was 6 months."
"He let me stay with him because he didn't want to sent me back to my home life. I finally left him last month and just dealing with my home life anyway."
Always a Reason to Stay
"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."
"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."
"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."
"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."
"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."
"Neither of us had good childhoods."
For the In-Laws
"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."
"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."
And some people stayed because it was the simplest thing to do. They swallowed a lack of passionate love in exchange for the daily comforts of a well-kept home with a familiar person.
That is, until playing house became unsustainable.
A Sudden Shift
"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."
"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."
"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."
"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."
"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."
"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."
"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."
"Dated an ex for ~3.5 years, the last couple of months I stayed with her because I was comfortable and the sex was great. I think a big reason why people stay with ex's is because of comfort as starting new relationships isn't exactly easy. I found her to be very dishonest, unreliable, and extremely selfish."
"I caught her texting another guy and I caught her lying to me while hanging out with another guy. I would have left her right then and there but we had a non refundable cruise booked so I stuck around."
"Knowing that I was leaving her was a big weight off of my shoulders and I met someone else that I started talking to."
Just Humming Along
"Kid, career, looking up one day and realizing that there are parts to your life you recognize, but most of it doesn't. Then you begin to realize what you've accepted in place of facing the truth."
"One compromise becomes always compromising, and you realize your the doormat. Double standards you 'overlooked' to keep the peace are now the foundation of your relationship. All the small foibles you forgave because 'it's not worth getting into it over' now crowd you out."
"It's the stark realization that all the times you bit your tongue has led to a situation where you're just not happy, and you know the next step is just going to suck."
"Or as I call it, Monday."
Wise, But a Little Sad
"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."
"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."
"Fear. I realised three months into my first real relationship that not only was this a bad idea, I was probably asexual."
"But I was already too afraid to leave, and stayed for four years, until I managed to leave him by moving a long way away where he couldn't find me."
Here's hoping that the relationships of all reading this are full of passionate intensity and presence of mind. But we know that's not true.
Somewhere, love is dying in a relationship. In which case, hopefully, both partners carry the strength to move on as soon as the time is right.
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When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.
But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.
More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.
Redditor PadWanKenobi was curious to hear what people felt were the tell tale signs they were in the company of a possible genius, leading them to ask:
"What’s a sign of extremely high intelligence?"
"Ability to intuitively and quickly understand complex systems and how lots of parts relate in a coherent whole."
"Like I work with some people who just keep tons of concepts in their head and easily integrate new information into their understanding of those concepts."
"They immediately know what questions they should be asking to better understand."
"And these are things they're currently working on, not like things they spent time studying in school over years."
"They just have a very strong ability to synthesize new information into their understanding."
"I sit in meetings distracted and confused having forgotten what we talked about in the previous meetings, and these folks just consistently have a solid handle on everything."- Ok-Control-787
Innate Problem Solvers
"They know when not to solve a problem."
"This took me a while to understand but the smartest people I know do this."
"It could be a really simple thing like ignoring emails from people asking for help."
"The supervisor or boss might have a quick and easy solution for the situation but instead of just handing it to the person that asked they let them figure it out on their own."
"They know who they can do this with and when to do it."
"If they did that with all of their underlings it would just create a mess."
"Another example that I can think of is planned chaos."
"Some people can predict exactly where things will go wrong and they could fix it before it creates a problem."
"They don't because nobody ever notices what's going on in the background when things are working perfectly."
"Once things fails then everybody notices and if you are the one person that fixed it you become the hero."
"They can also use then chaos to reach a goal they couldn't get before if things were working correctly."
"There's many examples of this in every day life that I didn't see before until I realized what was happening."- atapesGiphy
You know what they say about people with small hands
"If your hand is smaller than your face."- FallofTheKnight
The all knowing glow.
"When someone asks you a question and you push your glasses up while light comes out of it and covers your eyes for some reason."- JonEregor
Those giveaway behavioral quirks
"Wearing glasses and saying things like 'ah yes', and 'I see' while you pensively rub your chin."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2Thinking Reaction GIF by ABC TV + IVIEWGiphy
"When they explain something they make the people around them feel smarter, not dumber."- redkat85
Being one step ahead.
"The capacity to understand complex things, see patterns where regular people don't."- Ostepop234
"They have this tendency to make you go 'Ohhh, why didn't I think of that?' when listening to them talk."- did_it_forthelulzWhy Didnt I Think Of That Cillian Murphy GIFGiphy
An endless love of learning
"A passion for knowledge and expanding understanding of complex concepts."
"The plumber can be just as insightful as the scholar."- KatatoniK94
Of course, one shouldn't always be fooled by what they see.
As many people are masters at appearing much smarter than they are.
In fact, one important sign of super intelligence is being able to separate those who appear smart, from those who actually are.
With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.
This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.
Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.
Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.
"Men, what advice do you have for men whose wives want to bring a third into the bedroom?"
Make sure you want to do it.
"You need to be completely honest with yourself, ask if this is something you want and could live with."- Dame87
Proceed with caution
"It’s like frolicking in a mine field."
"You both better be SUPER into the idea, you can’t have one person who’s reluctantly agreed to go along with it."
"And established rules."
"A threesome sounds like fun and games until you’re watching your partner make faces and sounds that you only thought were for you in your most intimate moments together, and a burning jealousy comes out of nowhere and breaks your heart."
"I’m not saying it’s automatically a bad idea and I know people do polyamory successfully, but dear god be careful."- coleosis1414
Make sure you're an active participant
"I had an ex that was adamant that she wanted to be a swinger or whatever."
"The one time I decided to roll with it, I hit it off immediately with the other dude's girlfriend and had a blast hanging out with her all night."
"The other dude was a total creep, though."
"Also, my ex could not handle the fact that someone else was giving me the slightest bit of attention."
"So, needless to say, that didn't go anywhere."
"Turns out she didn't want to be a swinger, she just wanted to have sex with other people behind my back, which she had no problems whatsoever with."- Ted_Denslow
Look out for ulterior motives
"Just remember that if you bring this up and your husband is against it, that could be the beginning of the end of your marriage."
"For a lot of people their partner saying 'I am seriously considering having sex with other people and I'm checking with you if it is ok', is a deal breaker."- gamerplays
Consider a test run?
"Go to a bar together separately."
"Watch them flirt/interact with someone else."
"If you get jealous, it's probably a bad idea to bring in a third."
"If it turns you on, go for it."- SinSlayer
Query people with experience.
"It’s something my wife and I have talked about."
"We both agreed that opening the Pandora’s box is not the way we want our relationship to go."
"While it sounds fun, we have seen way to many relationships derailed because of it."- DarthDujo
Consider going whole hog.
"Bring a 4th."- xxemrgmi
Evaluate your relationship first.
"Make sure you and your partner are secure in your own relationship before having another person join."
"Have boundaries, and no secrets."
"From my experience it doesn't usually work out in the end."- Thick-Procedure455
"Don't do it."
"For a long time, my ex harbored a fantasy of watching me have sex with another woman."
"Hey, who knows why any of us are wired the way we are?"
"After contemplating the idea together for a while, we decided to approach one of her more attractive co-workers, who had made a series of flattering comments along the lines of "you're so lucky" and "he's so good-looking'."
"She enthusiastically agreed."
"Our first meet-up was of course awkward, but the second, third and following were pretty good."
"In fact they got progressively hotter, as we all got more comfortable with each other's boundaries, erotic likes and dislikes."
"However, over a few months these occasional kinky weekends transitioned into the co-worker asking more frequently and aggressively to be invited over."
"We tried to explain that we had intended these threesomes to be rare and exotic highlights in our sex life, not regular occurrences, but she didn't take the message to heart and instead became increasingly insistent, bordering on smothering."
"After being turned down one Friday, that night she unexpectedly showed up at our door anyway, carrying a weekend bag and wearing nothing but a raincoat, stay-ups and heels."
"While that was quite a sight, it definitely creeped us out, as it made us finally realize the whole arrangement was descending into 'play Misty for me' territory."
"My ex and I agreed that her unexpected and unwelcome appearance signaled the end of future three-ways, at least until we were able to cool our own selves down, reassess, and perhaps later find a less demanding and insistent third."
"Things subsequently got very sticky at work for my wife, as her co-worker, with whom she had to interact closely, strongly resented being permabanned, and kept demanding to know 'what she'd done that was so awful'."
"Coworker eventually asked to be transferred to another office, but by the time that process was over and done, the discomfort / guilt / pressure / confusion my ex was suffering both at home and at work had begun to take its psychological toll."
"I must confess it didn't help that our own sex life was simultaneously going through a rough patch."
"Long story short, we ended our decade-long relationship less than a year after breaking off the threesomes, chiefly due to trust issues and growing sexual incompatibility, both perhaps triggered by our experimentation."
"Ever since, I've regretted agreeing to that first three-way."
"If I hadn't been so damned eager to take a bite of forbidden fruit, we might have kept our relationship intact."
"But I guess this can also be put down as what sometimes happens when you ignore that old advice, 'don't sh*t where you sleep'."- theartfulcodger
When venturing into the unknown, it's always wise to gain some first hand experience, to hear a variety of pros and cons of what you're possibly getting yourself into.
That way, deciding whether or not it's for you will become increasingly clear.
It's also important to remember, that it is always ok to say "no".
People Share Their Best 'You Either Die The Hero Or Live Long Enough To Become The Villain' Experiences
"You either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain."
Though not necessarily a universal truth, all of us have witnessed unfortunate moments in our lives where we've seen this saying become a reality.
Be it seeing our favorite public figures take a serious fall from grace, someone we know and admire eventually disappointing us in a devastating manner, or even seeing ourselves turn into someone we promised we'd never become.
One Redditor was curious to hear people's examples of this saying coming to light, either from a personal experience or seeing it happen to a well-known, public figure, leading them to ask:
"Who is your example of 'you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain'?"
"He originally stood up for civil rights when it was really unpopular."
"Was hospitalized and accidentally placed in the black ward."
"When the doctors found out, they tried to move him, but he refused."
"Then he became a cult leader and used his power and influence to end the lives of a thousand people."- Crvsby
Earning a position of power
"Working in restaurant kitchens."
"You either burn out young, or become the boss that everyone hates."
"There's exceptions, but that's the rule."- grandpas_old_crow
"Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver."
"Made up a bunch of untested uses for it, treating people having asthma attacks, and drowning victims were the two I remember that he publicly talked up."
"Later, he funded an experiment that involved injecting people with Malaria to see if it would treat other conditions.
"The experiment was found to be unethical by American review boards, so he conducted them in Ethiopia." - User Deleted
"In WW1 he led the French to victory at Verdun, one of the worst battles in human history."
"In WW2, after France was beaten, Petain was the head of state of Vichy France."
"Guy went from the Lion of Verdun to the biggest Nazi collaborator in France."- arthuranymoredonuts
"Every organ until it gets cancer."- SuperBaconjam
"He had the whole country behind him here in Ireland at one point bar people who thought combat sport is grotesque."
"He was witty, original, backing himself up and having a Hollywood like rise to stardom."
"Now he's someone who the whole country is ashamed of, goes punching old men, clearly sleeps around on his wife while she's at home with the kids, just a walking caricature of himself."
"He didn't listen to his own advice."
"Get out."- StephenPigot2020
Turning into our parents
"My dad used to annoy me by calling my Pokemon cards 'Pokey-Mans'."
"Now my kids have them and I do the same thing and it annoys the sh*t out of them."
"Thanks for the (Pokeyman) gold!"- rumpel4skinOU
"Almost died during the revolutionary way, if I recall correctly, and if he had he would have been remembered a huge hero, and a martyr."
"Instead he lived and changed sides, and is remembered only for his being a traitor."- uniqueperson22
Be it someone we knew quite intimately, or someone we admired from a far, it is always heartbreaking to see someone evolve from someone we love, to someone we utterly hate.
Sometimes we do things that have to be done.
And some of those things live in life's gray area of right and wrong.
What comes as a surprise to some is when we don't care if we're wrong.
We may still technically be in the right.
But morally and ethically, there may be some issues.
But still, many people don't care.
Redditor BirdyPizzawanted to see who would fess up about some of the worst things we're responsible for but have no shame.
"What is the darkest thing you have ever done and don’t regret?"
I've stolen from department stores that overcharged. I was arrested. I didn't care. So there...
"Five years ago my dad suffered a catastrophic stroke. Left paralyzed and robbed of his speech and ability to communicate he was a shell of the once vibrant, charismatic man he once was. He was moved into skilled nursing where he lived for nearly two years, he was miserable."
"On my last visit I told him it was okay if he wanted to leave us, that we would miss him but he should go. A week later I received the call that he had passed. Instead of immediate grief I felt relief. Relief that he was finally free. The grief came later and I still miss him every single day."
"Got into a car accident and had to stay with my mom for a couple days to figure out what to do. Went back to my apartment (I had two roommates) and everything was missing from my room. Long story short one of my roommates had everything hidden in her room."
"I called and told her the things were missing from my room and she came up with a lie that a couple girls came to look at my room (I was moving out bc of the accident, long story) and that they must have taken my things. She had everything I owned. Including my grandmothers perfume bottles, stuffed to the back of her closet, under her bed, behind her dresser etc."
"So I packed all of my stuff up. Then took a giant black garbage bag and stuffed as much of her closet in it as I could. Took it to the middle of nowhere, dug a hole and burnt it. She called screaming at me that her stuff was missing. I told her the two girls must have come by and taken her stuff too."
"I hit my uncle left right and center when he was trying to choke my father to death. I was 16 years old at that time, a very skinny girl. I beat his face neck and every part of him that I could target with so much intensity that my knuckles turned blue the next day. I had an animalistic rage that day trying to help my father get away from his death grip. I hate my uncle even today."
"I got anger issues because of growing up around him. And I don't regret beating him that day at all. He was physically abusive to his wife as well. One fine day, his wife retaliated by beating him blue with a stick. And he stopped being physically violent towards her post that."
"A neighbor like 10 years ago was neglecting their dog badly in the heat. The dog escaped often and ended up at the shelter a lot. One day she jumped the fence and got her tie-out cable stuck on the fence. (She was not in danger of choking.) Neighbor put her on a 3-foot-long cable tied to a doorknob, no water, 90 degree day. I let some kind folks steal her, watched the whole thing and said nothing to stop them."
"When my father was dying and in pain I was the one who told the doctors he had been through enough and we couldn't see him suffer anymore. Doctor injected him with something, I assume a morphine mega dose and he passed peacefully moments after. Euthanasia may not be legal in UK but compassionate doctors know what's what. I don't regret it because my pa made me promise I would have his back when he got sick or old. I'm sad he got sick and never got to get old."
That is a lot of mess. But sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
"One of my ex best friends in high school was a real narcissistic lunatic. Had so many egotistical fantasies about what he deserved but I remained his friend because we met through my close friend (his girlfriend). As I started realizing what a terrible person he was I convinced him to go after his fantasy of a harem by asking to add a 3rd to their relationship, that led to a fight between his gf."
"I called her about it and asked how she felt about him adding someone to their relationship and about him sleeping with her. She said she knew nothing about that and started crying because he cheated on her. I basically helped orchestrate their breakup and have no regrets. She is happy with her first child now and he is in a toxic af relationship with 3 kids, 2 of which aren't his and his partner is 8 years older than him."
"Had to make the choice to take my dad off of life support after he got Covid this year. He was sedated for a couple of weeks and one of his lungs collapsed and I couldn't watch him fall apart anymore. My dad was a bulky dude. Constantly did a lot of outdoor work and to see him bone skinny and have no muscle left killed me and I knew even if he somehow got through it, he would have been so miserable and depressed in that state he was in. I don’t regret it. I think it was the right thing to do by him. I’ll never not miss him though. That was my buddy."
"Turned a close friend into the fish and game. He would poach mountain lions and bears. His whole family would literally shoot them and leave them. He would brag about it. I couldn’t stand it and felt that I needed to stop him. He’s in prison and so is his uncle. I know I ruined his life but he was literally killing so many mountain lions and bears."
"In middle school, there was this group of boys that would corner me in the hallway and try to scare me. I was the perfect target for these little b**tards. I was short, skinny, and had (and still have) and anxiety disorder. One day I just had enough, and asked a friend if I could have an extra pencil, sharpened it as much as I could, and when I saw one of them in the hallway, I stabbed the hell out of his leg. Sh**head got what he deserved."
Wow... we really are a dark and secretive people.