25 Times Couples Tried To Save Their Relationship And Made It Worse Instead

Published 2 weeks ago

Relationships require effort, communication, and sometimes a little creativity to keep the spark alive. However, not all attempts to reignite romance go as planned. Recently, a Reddit user posed the question, “What did you do to reignite your relationship with your partner, but instead ruined it?” The responses were as enlightening as they were cautionary. Here are some of the most memorable answers.

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Image source: catsareprettygood, Karsten Winegeart / unspalsh (not the actual photo)

I took a solo trip across the county for 6 weeks to reevaluate my life/relationship by taking a step away from it. realized how amazing my partner was and how lucky I had it. Came back and was broken up with :/.


Image source: ImaJillSammich, Edward Cisneros / unspalsh (not the actual photo)

Tried a new church.

He was advised by his boss that it would be better for our relationship to be closer to God. The sermon was themed “Better Together”. It got me thinking that I really didn’t think him and I were better together. On the drive home, I initiated a conversation about some boundaries and things I wanted to change, otherwise it just wasn’t going to work anymore. The sermon apparently had the opposite effect on him, and he felt that God was telling him we should stay together but keep everything exactly the same.

We broke up before we even got home and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


Image source: Prestigious-Wall5616, Anastasiia Chepinska / unsplash (not the actual photo)

After a mutual decision that our family was complete, I had a vasectomy at her insistence after being told it was the only way anything would be happening in the bedroom. A year later, she left to have another child with someone else. Because the vasectomy reversal which she demanded I should have was unsuccessful.


Image source: redditreader_aitafan, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

Maybe this isn’t the right answer, but here goes. We were having serious problems in our relationship. I decided I can’t change him but I could change me, so I tried to be the perfect wife. I read several books and did everything they said even when I thought it was stupid. I didn’t get angry about anything, I did everything myself so I didn’t have to ask for anything, I took care of everything. For 3 years. All it did was make things so much worse. It’s like he needs me to be angry with him at all times so he intentionally does dumb s**t he absolutely knows I hate or other malicious things so that I’m angry and he’s the poor victim who tries his best and falls short of my unreasonable expectations. He ramped it all up during the perfect wife phase. What could have previously been explained by ignorance or incompetence or selfishness now can only be explained by intentional malice aforethought. Our relationship is ruined, it can never be fixed.


Image source: 030117, Hannah Olinger / unsplash (not the actual photo)

We both wrote about 3 things we wanted to change and to bring our relationship back to life. Hers were things about me that I hadn’t done in over a year – when questioned, she got really defensive and insisted I still do it and then talked about a situation (that happened a year prior) to prove her point.

My main one was asking for one date night a month. When I told her mine, I basically had to fight tooth and nail to just get her to consider it. We never had any dates, rarely ever saw each other, and I was asking for 2 hours of her time once a month.

After that conversation, I really had to reflect on whether this is what I wanted or not. I was kind of glad when we broke up a couple of weeks later.


Image source: Lost_soul1981, Outsite Co / unsplash (not the actual photo)

My ex moved out to give us space to figure things out. A few weeks later our 11 year old son commented that the house was so much more peaceful without mom around. A couple weeks later ex was let out of her lease because of maintenance issues and the thought of inviting her back home made my stomach instantly hurt. Now a divorced and healing single dad.


Image source: M0FB, Alex Green / pexels (not the actual photo)

He wanted to open our marriage, encouraged by his polyamorous therapist, which was the tip of a s**t iceberg.

After much back and forth, I apprehensively agreed, and I was in a spiteful “f**k around and find out” frame of mind. The marriage came crumbling down when I not only could score my own pursuit but his as well, meaning it was my fault we failed. The funny part (in hindsight) is I only flirted, whereas he aimed to go further, and he framed it as though I cheated.

It’s given me a vehement hatred for open relationships. There is no question after that experience that I am a staunch monogamist.


Image source: Jollyyyyyyyyyy, Wesley Tingey / unsplash (not the actual photo)

We got a girlfriend. He convinced me we were in it together, but I was an obvious third wheel and we’ve since broken up. They’re still together though.


Image source: KiriDomo, Peter Hansen / unsplash (not the actual photo)

We went on a swinger’s cruise.


Image source: fromyourdaughter, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

Allowing my then husband and then best friend convince me to become “poly” with them.

It haunts me to this day that I told my ex, “This goes one of three ways – I lose you, I lose her or I lose both of you.” But they told me I was paranoid and was excluding the possibility that it would work. I also made the rule that if one of us was uncomfortable or not into it, we’d stop. He agreed.

He did not stop. I was also very obviously not poly minded. I knew them both. She has a lot of broken parts that make her emotionally hoard people – she has like 7 other partners. My ex is emotionally narcoleptic and would never be able to do two relationships, esp when ours was already failing. I knew enough about myself. It was never going to end well.

I left him a year after when it was obvious he wasn’t ever going to choose me. That they both were essentially gaslighting and abusing me to get to one another. I’d asked them to end their relationship 10 months earlier, they lied and said it was done. It was not – I found out years later and my ex’s face when he let it slip about their anniversary. It’s the day he told me he’d broken up with her.

Anyway, don’t do poly and don’t let your husband f**k your best friend.


I sprayed perfume on his pillow because I saw someone do it on a film and they said it made the guy love them more. He said it was aftershave and I’d cheated on him, he then printed off old nudes of me and put them all over the neighbourhood telling everyone I was a cheater.

Image source: noughtieslover82


Image source: HellblazerPrime, Josef Wörle / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Not me, but I had a pair of friends who got married when they were 19-20 and both virgins. 24 years later they decide to open their marriage and “sow the wild oats” they “never got the chance to”. This involved them both dating other women, but no other men for her. About a year into it he meets a woman, falls in love with her, and she ends up moving into their home as “their girlfriend”. Three years on from that, they’re divorced now. And notice I said I *had* a pair of friends; their marriage was far from the only relationship that got ruined in this s**tshow. EDIT — Before I read this thread I was worried I was putting in too many specifics but now I’ve remembered how incredibly common and almost boilerplate this kind of thing is. Opening your relationship doesn’t work, kids.


Image source: ResolutionNumber9, Kateryna Hliznitsova / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Therapy and medication for her depression. Fixed her depression, but not our relationship. She finally figured out what she enjoyed doing, and it wasn’t for me.


Image source: leo_says_things, Breno Jesus / unsplash (not the actual photo)

We tried both an open relationship and to manage a threesome. I pushed for that stuff and I regret it so much. If only I’d let it die out like that I could have moved on sooner, but all that useless stuff we tried, all the leaving and coming back, all the ups and downs ate us alive.

Today after much time I finally am back on my feet, but the damage we (but mostly I) did during three yrs together will haunt me through all my future relationships, so my advice is to not try anything, if it has to end, let it end.


The series “Californication” ruined two of my relationships. I love that series, so I wanted to introduce it to my boyfriend at the time. He loved it too, and began to think “hot damn, what else is out there?! I am in no way ready to settle down yet!” And because I hadn’t learned the definition of insanity, I started watching it with my next boyfriend, who got the same itch. These relationships would’ve likely ended anyway, the show just was the catalyst.

Luckily, my current boyfriend has already seen the whole series and gotten it all out of his system.

Image source: the_crystal_onix


Image source: scorpiozip, Arlington Research / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I got a job at the same office as her. She asked me to apply and I wanted to be able to see her every day. When we had our blow out fight she said that She started to resent me because I didn’t have to work as hard as her to do well. I started to resent her because she never wanted to hang out anymore. I left the job after 4 months. Didn’t talk to her again for 7 months. We hooked up one last time and that was that.


Image source: 0x962, Jonas Leupe / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I had a falling out with a close friend. It was mostly because of this girl he started dating that I genuinely thought was a terrible human being and only there to take advantage of his stable income, being quite incapable herself. I figured it was bad enough for him to deserve a conversation and it didn’t go well.

We went a few years without speaking to each other, and one day I see a post online that suggests he’s getting married soon. I notice it’s not the terrible human girl, and reach out to him to congratulate him. He’s happy I did, we talk like it hasn’t been 5 years, I’m excited for him, and we’re making plans.

He shares pictures of the engagement and what not, and I exclaim “thank god it’s not her, I really thought you’d marry her!”. Turns out it is her, she’s just gained weight and changed her hair.

“It is her” is the last thing he said and I was blocked shortly after.


Went to therapy. Thought I was “fixing myself.” Discovered that what I’d believed was normal was actually abusive; drew boundary lines like “I said no to sex earlier and you spiked my drink and I woke up in the middle of the night to find you having sex with me; not being able to repeat my no isn’t consent and therefore I will not drink with you anymore.” Things like that!

We divorced when I found out about the photos/videos obtained without my consent that were being shared with his buddies.

Image source: EfficientBelief


Image source: Garblin, Marisa Howenstine / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Not me, but I’m a couples therapist and I can name three I see too often:

1) having kids

2) opening up / trying out ethical non-monogamy

3) cheating

The only problem having kid ever solves is the problem of wanting kids. Similarly, the only problem multiple relationships ever solves is the desire for multiple relationships. Both of those two *can* and frequently are very fulfilling things, but neither of them really makes the existing relationship better beyond potentially making the people in the relationship feel like they’re living the life they want to live.

Cheating of course is an entire s**t-show, I only mention it because often folks justify it to themselves as something that is helping their relationship in some way (ex; partner has low sex drive so I’m getting my needs met without bothering them).


Image source: GoliathBoneSnake, Ron Lach / pexels (not the actual photo)

My ex convinced me that moving back to her s****y little hometown would fix everything because it would be cheaper and less stressful and there’d be no temptations, etc.

Barely lasted 2 months before she f****d some guy she had crush on in highschool, and I was homeless.


Image source: axelthineaxe, Darya Ezerskaya / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I had been telling her that it made me uncomfortable she was still texting her exs when I had to dump my good friend whom I dated back in middle school. She blew up and broke up with me two days later.


I didn’t do it. My ex did.

We were years into long distance because of college and he was cheating on me blatantly for years and I was trying to be the “cool understanding girlfriend” and rationalized that if I just took his word for it about the other girls not meaning anything he would choose me in the end… I finally grew some self respect and the writing was on the wall so he proposed. I said absolutely not in front of a good number of folks who were total strangers. It was awful.

Then he told his entire family that I left him because I was gay. ?.

Image source: Angsty_Potatos


Image source: JamUke, Vicko Mozara / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Went on a beach vacation. She just wanted to watch tv and smoke pot like we always did. Realized it wasn’t gunna work without change and we broke up a few weeks later. It sucked.


Image source: platitudinarian, Daniel Moises Magulado / pexels (not the actual photo)

This is what my partner did, but I am sure he wanted it to revive us: he proposed. It ended the relationship within a month, not because he proposed, but because he did it during an absolute crisis in our relationship, on a ski vacation where he barely said 2 words to me for 4 days until the proposal: he also had no ring and said if I said yes, then we would go shopping for one. I felt so awful, but my gut reaction was so strongly negative that I just felt like I couldn’t possibly say yes and that our relationship was definitely over. It would have been so much better to have had a really deep, open conversation about what was going on with us.


I bought us plane tickets to Prague. The plan was for us to have some intimate bonding time after my work in other parts of Czechia concluded. Prague is one of my favourite cities and it would’ve been his first time in Europe. Despite the disintegrating state of our marriage, I was excited for it.

He wound up rage-quitting the trip after blowing up at me for no reason and saying things that really couldn’t be taken back, after which he kept trying to get me to invite him back on it. I said to ask me after a particularly stressful event concluded, but he ignored this and kept pestering nevertheless while gaslighting me throughout (“I didn’t rage-quit, I *volunteered* not to go so you could have some time for self-care”). Yeah, right. I’m not an idiot and have this thing called a memory.

On my last night in Prague I called him over FaceTime to divorce him and kick him out. Hung up when he began fake-crying and begging me to accept an “alternative arrangement” where we lived as platonic roommates but I continued to provide for him anyway. No thank you.

Image source: Glittering_South5178

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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