We Asked Divorced People To Share The Fight That Ended Their Marriage


We Asked Divorced People To Share The Fight That Ended Their Marriage

"That night, that fight, was the last time I saw him as the man that I would spend the rest of my life with.”

We Asked Divorced People To Share The Fight That Ended Their Marriage

It’s a rare divorce that does not have some long simmering anger and tension behind it. For most couples arguments build up and soon enough you are one fight away from throwing up your hands and shouting, “I have had enough!”

Recently we asked divorced writers to share the one fight they consider the last straw in their marriages. Here is what they said below.

The Fight About Therapy

“Our last fight occurred during marital counseling. 4 years later the topic is both hazy and generally meaningless what has stuck with me to this day is how the impasse felt so overwhelming in the moment. It was almost as if I had an out of body experience witnessing us both remaining so stubborn: He was frustrated by my impassioned display in front of a 3rd party. I was disgusted by his refusal to try to see my point of view.

We reached this pinnacle and could never recover from it simply because in the midst of the fight our verbal and nonverbal cues indicated we lacked any respect for one another. The love was gone and a mere tolerance for one another was only hanging by a thread. For me the fight was so metaphorical. Hitting our most hopeless point in 5 years of marriage while in the company of one of the city’s most renowned marriage counselors was both ironic and striking.” Nicole Lavery

The Fight About Lunch

“Money had always been a hot button issue between my ex-wife and I. She stayed at home with the kids while I was working. What I could not seem to understand was how such a predictable schedule could be so unpredictably expensive. From my midtown office I could feel our credit card getting heavier with every passing day. We fought about it a lot. It seems so immature in hindsight but it was the tug finally unraveling a 7 year marriage.

‘How can a lunch for 1 be that expensive?’ I asked one day. It was not just for her she also paid for a friend she said. ‘Who was it?’ I asked. A friend does it matter? That is when I lost it. The conversation quickly disintegrated into accusations and threats which abruptly ended with us bringing up divorce. She then grabbed her keys purse and headed out the driveway. The next 4 months would be a whirlwind of attorney visits legal briefs court dates and a few failed attempts to reconcile.

If you are wondering I finally learned the identity of the friend. Sometime later my kids were talking about mom’s boyfriend’s birthday dinner. I asked where they ate. His favorite restaurant of all time, they said. I discovered the truth there: I had an old credit card receipt to prove it.” Kyle B.

The Fight About Paris

“The Louvre was closed somehow that became my fault. I was supposed to look up the hours and had gotten them wrong. My husband and I were in Paris for a long weekend and since he had never been there he had a list of sights he had to see. Each day felt like a scavenger hunt designed to collect points for some mysterious game I didn’t want to be playing. By the end of the 1st day I had blisters on my feet. I wanted to relax in a cafe sip espresso and people watch all day. But my husband did not drink coffee. And once it was clear he was going to miss the Louvre he became more inflexible about his list.

I followed him from one neighborhood to another trying to ignore the realization that after ten years of marriage we no longer enjoyed the same things. It was less of an argument just a sense that there was no us. And when you are in a foreign country not to mention the most romantic city in the world that’s a very lonely feeling.” Tammy Letherer

The Fight About The Phone

“The last big fight in my entire marriage was about my phone. My husband took it and kept it because it was taking time away from him. I was furious. My whole life was in that phone of course and it’s how our kids were communicating with me too. I think although it was just a phone it represented something much bigger to me. I could no longer tolerate the attempt to control me in so many ways.

I am an educated adult woman who was many things: a wife mother worker and lover. It became clear that my husband’s insecurity about our attachment and my disinterest in constantly reassuring him about it would end our eighteen year marriage. It’s really sad and there was so much loss on many fronts for us and our children but when married people don’t grow together, it’s very hard to reconnect no matter how hard you try.” Cherie Morris

The Fight They’d Had 50 Times Before

“The last biggest fight we had before we decided to separate was the same fight we had 50 times before that. We went over the same things as always: I’m always with these kids. I am the only one bringing in an income. You don’t appreciate me. You don’t respect me. You have changed. We have nothing in common anymore. Are you cheating on me?

The issue with our marriage was that we didn’t know how to communicate effectively and we both decided to check out. There was no trust and definitely no respect. The seven year marriage never had a chance in my opinion because it seemed hopeless. There were just too many problems and an unwillingness to get help both individually and as a couple. I mean real help. We tried marriage counseling but it touched the tip of the iceberg and I think we both felt it was better to cut our losses early.”  Jackie Pilossoph

The Fight About The Blended Family

“My wife and I were lying in bed ready to sleep when I told her I was going to say goodnight to my girls. We were a blended family and my 3 daughters were all sleeping that night in the same room. When I returned my wife asked me if I also said goodnight to my oldest daughter which I responded Of course I did. She screamed at me If you said goodnight to the oldest then I am done with you. She stormed out of the room to go sleep in another room on the 1st floor. I knew I couldn’t allow her bad treatment of my oldest daughter and her treatment of me regarding it to continue. I knew this last episode was the final straw in many years of unacceptable behavior.” Matt Sweetwood

The Fight About Spending

“My last fight with my ex-husband was not original. It was the one we had over and over again: about money. He liked to gamble lease a car we could not really afford and emulate success through spending. I’m a saver and come from a poor background and so we could just never relate to each other on finances. Anyone who is divorced knows that it doesn’t happen overnight and that the fights you have in most cases you have had over and over again. Money is too important a part of marriage to have completely opposite viewpoints on. And so just like that I knew our nearly 3 year marriage was over at least 6 to eleven months before I left.” Susie Moore

The Fight About Discipline

“During what seemed like a picture perfect evening my husband and our 2 young children sat around the dinner table to share a meal. The kids were enjoying having their daddy home and I was enjoying watching all of them together. Our daughter wanted down and like most toddlers she squirmed and twisted until she was able to free herself. Her chair and her plate of food plopped down right along with her. My husband instantly stood up and yelled at our 2 year old followed by a swift swat. She burst into tears. At first I was really stunned unable to move. There was a glimmer of a moment when it first happened that I thought he was going to console her and tell her that it was going to be OK. He didn’t. It wasn’t long before the old familiar knot tightened in the pit of my stomach.

If I was honest with myself I really was not surprised by his reaction. From day one we had very different ideas about how we would discipline our children. As I was comforting our daughter I could hear him say Spare the rod spoil the child. It wasn’t really the 1st time he had yelled at the kids and I at him for doing so. But that night that fight was the last time I saw him as the man that I would spend the rest of my life with.” Carol Schaffer




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