Internet Users Talk About Why They Got Divorced After 20+ Years of Marriage

Unfortunately, even happy marriages sometimes end in divorces. And it’s not only young couples that get divorced, but also those that have lived together for several decades. Reddit users have come up with several hundred of stories about how marriages, that lasted for more than 20 years, ended. The reasons were pretty serious: spouses who got rid of pets, the meddling of other relatives, stealing family money, putting trackers in each other’s cars, getting lost on the internet, and others even sending their partners to psychiatric facilities.

We at Bright Side have read all the stories and want to share some of them with you that moved us the most.

  • My husband’s parents weren’t happy for a long time. These 2 could not get along for anything and they hated each other. At our wedding, we had to take separate family pictures with the dad and new wife and then with the mom and my sister-in-law. Insane! Cut to about 2 years after our wedding and I get a phone call from my father-in-law’s wife of 10 years, she is in hysterics. She caught him in bed with my mother-in-law. That was over 10 years ago. My in-laws both divorced their partners and have been together ever since. My mother-in-law has all their old family pictures on display everywhere and acts like they never got divorced. © s0much2say

  • My father was a despot. He gave my mom an ultimatum: “It’s your brother or me. You gotta choose.” My mom, trying to hold together a family, chose my dad. My uncle was broken about it, because my mom was forced to shut him out for reasons he didn’t even understand. Fast forward 6 years and my older brother, now in college, develops an outside view of our family and begins to understand all the terrible things about my dad. So my brother called my dad and gave him a full piece of his mind on what he thinks about him and how he’s done petty things out of fear. That was 5 years ago and he’s been living separately ever since then, but my parents are still legally married due to joint-owning a lot of assets. A year ago, however, I found out that my dad has been dating a 25-year-old for over a year (he’s 60). The scary thing is that my mom knew the whole time, but she didn’t tell us because she feared how it would make us see our dad. My mom is still very broken up about the fact that it was my dad that left her, despite him having toxic and manipulative behavior toward her, me, and my brothers for the latter part of their 25-year-long marriage. © Mister-Fisker
  • 23 years together. I had lied to her several times over the years, and she always forgave me. The last time I lied to her about accruing a severe amount of debt due to my gambling addiction. I think she might have forgiven the lie, but she couldn’t forgive the addiction or the chance I’d start gambling again. I started attending Gambler’s Anonymous after I told her, but it was too little too late for her. On the plus side, I haven’t gambled in almost 3 years. © Vharaek

  • My parents got divorced after my father’s stroke and forced retirement. For certain reasons, it was the only way to save his pension and prolong his medical insurance. Without it, my parents wouldn’t have been able to pay off their mortgage and get insulin for my dad. Fortunately, the insurance agent is our family’s good friend, he found some loopholes that still allowed my parents to live in the same house. It took 2 years to fix the situation. I still remember my father’s words, “The church still considers us a married couple and that’s the only thing that matters.” © bumblebeesnotface

  • I worked at a law firm that only practiced family law (divorces, child custody, wills & estates, etc). At one time, we had like 8 clients getting divorced after 20+ years of marriage and they were all high ranking military men whose wives came out of the closet after all their kids had grown up and moved out of the house and the guys were getting ready to retire. I thought it was so weird, but I guess for whatever reason the women thought that their duties to their husbands and families were coming to an end and they wanted to live for themselves. © AfghanHokie

  • My parents split up after nearly 30 years. My dad was a bad person my entire life, so when they finally divorced when I was 18, it came as no surprise. He’d been cheating for years and I think he was the one who finally asked for it. I think my mom stayed because she couldn’t afford to start over. She spent her life putting my dad through school and wasn’t educated herself. She had no family or anyone who could help her either. © thepettypineapple

  • My husband began surreptitiously going to strip clubs. He stole about $200 a week from various accounts and a business I owned to fund these activities. He lost his job because he went there so often at lunch and would just stay. We had young kids and so I stayed after he got some therapy. He was never honest with the therapist. About a year ago I learned that he was doing it again and on top of that he was texting strippers. My youngest kid graduates high school this year. I’ve done what’s best for everyone else for 20 years now. This September was 21 years. I don’t anticipate having a 22nd anniversary. I don’t hate him. I feel sorry for him. I know he will feel very sad and lonely when I’m gone. But being near him feels like having my soul ripped from my body every day. © msscahlett

  • When I was in high school, my father got injured at work and needed surgery. My mother, knowing that we were already falling behind on vehicle and house payments, decided to find a part-time job. She worked while us kids were in school. My father immediately believed that she was cheating on him. He installed a tracker and tape recorder in her car. He showed up at her workplace and caused a scene multiple times. He questioned her coworkers. He spent most of his time at the house drinking. This was not an equal partnership, and it really never was. You should have seen how hurt he acted when my mom finally asked for a divorce. But he rebounded really quick. All he had to do was tell some woman his sob story, and he moved right into her house. He spent a couple of years treating her and her children horribly before she kicked him out. It only took him a couple of weeks in a hotel to find another woman to let him move in. © bumsydinosaur

  • My parents were high school sweethearts and were married for 22 years. Then they got divorced when I was 6. My dad remarried, had another kid, and got divorced again. My mom never did. Fast forward about 30 years. I got married. My parents were in the same room for the first time in 30 years and were flirting like teenagers. I have a video of it. It really is pretty amusing to watch. Until I remember it’s my parents. They have been “dating” since I got married. That was more than 5 years ago. They are virtually living together, and both of them think it’s funny to share their life events on social media so that I’ll be embarrassed. Which still works, despite my age. © RoboOverlord

  • My mom is very family-oriented and was adamant that we never move farther than 40 miles from Chicago. Well, when I was going away to college, she bawled to my dad, telling him to force me to go to a school closer to home. It also doesn’t help that I’m fairly certain my mom became (undiagnosed) depressed once her mom died. All she would do was do her bare minimum at her job (a school bus driver), come home and sleep, finish her route for the day, cook a hamburger helper meal for the family, and then play Angry Birds on her iPad. It’s really weird seeing your parent’s divorce in your 20s. You’re adult enough to speak candidly and neither of them likes what you have to say about them during or after the fact. The silver lining out of it is my sisters and I know how not to behave in a relationship. © acewing

  • My mom filed for divorce after 27 years with my dad. At first, I was hurt, but as I’ve gotten older now, I completely get why. My dad prefers routine over excitement and had a habit of saving us poor when he didn’t need to. At first, it was a financial requirement, then it became an obsession. My mom wanted to travel and experience new things in her later years. She deserves that, and my dad deserves to live how he wants to, too. Today I see 2 happier people, and that makes me happy. © depthandbloom

  • A friend of mine was married for nearly 30 years with 2 kids. There was always a good pragmatic reason for them to stick together, they co-parented effectively, they actually liked each other, they kept saying their marriage was probably better than a lot of people’s. They just stopped loving each other. They got a lawyer to make everything legit and a few months later, they got divorced. My friend’s ex-husband rented a house a few blocks away so that the kids could easily walk between mom’s and dad’s house. About 6 months after the divorce was finalized, my friend’s ex-husband set her up with a new boyfriend. They go on double dates, they go to parent-teacher conferences together. © TheBrontosaurus

  • My friend and her husband had been married for almost 30 years. She was the stay-at-home mom, he made the big bucks, etc. Anyways, once the kids both started to grow up and stopped wanting to come home, they realized that when left alone together, they didn’t have much in common. I think everything would have been fine if not for the husband’s dad getting sick. Turns out the old man had nearly $4 million to his name and was giving it all to the husband. So, dad consults a lawyer who says that since it’s an inheritance, if he’s divorced before he gets it, he can keep all of it... And as such, he divorces her within days. © KarateKid1984

  • 19 years married, together 21. Now that the kids are older, self-sufficient, 2 of the 3 are driving, don’t need their hands held for every little thing, it will be a lot easier on them. It’s all I can do to get 5 minutes of her attention in a day. She has her head down in her chat app from the moment she gets up to the moment she gets back home and goes to bed. She’s been meeting guys (“Just friends, I swear”) from this app “for lunch” and getting a lot of massages with her therapist at weird hours in the evening. Of course she’s cheating, although she swears she isn’t. She turns her iPhone location services off most of the time she is out. 6 months ago she started getting her lashes done, brows done, she tans, goes to the gym, walks for exercise, and gets massages 3-4 times a month. She gets pissed when I text her asking what she’s doing, when she will be home, or if she will be home for dinner. So after all this time, it’s clear she doesn’t want time or anything else from me, so might as well let her go do her thing. © TheDadVan

  • I was married to a wonderful woman for 27 years. One daughter, a perfect little family. Then I had an affair, and it broke her heart. We are still good friends, and I see her at least once a week, but I wish I could go back and undo the terrible damage I did. Now I’m 60, I live alone, and all I have left are memories and regrets. © ch1959

  • My husband killed the dog. She was getting older and if left alone for more than 7 hours, she would pee in the basement on the cement. I would check daily and mop if needed, but we were in the process of buying a new house, and he decided she wasn’t coming with us. Rather than discussing it with me, he took the easy route and made her disappear while I was at work. Having to console my young sons that evening, and seeing their trauma was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. My heart closed to him instantly. © attpoizen

  • 47 years of marriage, and my wife went off the rails, screaming at me hundreds of times, finally getting me imprisoned in the intake room of a mental health ward in the hospital. Came back home after 48 hours to no car, no dog, and a note saying, “Can’t take any more.” Can’t take what? So, at 71, I am alone. Her family does not believe me, and I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas by myself for the first time since we married in 1972. My only hope is that there are more women than men at my age. © oldrocker99

  • I have been married for 20 years, and we are on the edge. The answer is that life changes you. When you start out, the relationship is its own thing, it is cultivated and grows. Then over the years add some children and full-time jobs, and there is less time (or none) to cultivate. You end up becoming life partners that run a household, and wonder why you are even together. Since there are no good times, all that is left are arguments and bad times. This is all normal, and on top of that, you are both going through the personal struggles of living. To be honest, staying married is tougher than most people think in an age without Divorce Social Stigma. The kids do keep you together, hoping somehow that you can rekindle something that once existed. And this is in a situation with 2 good people trying to do the right thing, and not a toxic situation with abuse. © luckyleighton

  • Didn’t get divorced, but started the process after about 25 years. Stuck it out for a few more years for the kids and ended up falling in love with her after the kids moved out. Relationships follow cycles, so glad I stuck it out. © murmathon

Do you know any stories about people that decided to change their lives dramatically and got divorced after 20 years of marriage?

Preview photo credit s0much2say / Reddit
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