What causes long-term relationships to end?
December 17, 2005 10:17 PM   Subscribe

What causes long-term relationships to end?

Recently, someone I know broke up with their boyfriend of six years. The first thing that came to my mind was "what makes you realise that the relationship is no good after six years, that you couldn't have known at, say, 3, 4 or 5 years?"

Apologies if this is too dumb and open-ended a question, but at my age (20) and lack of life experience, I just can't get my head around it. I'm currently in a year-long relationship, and it's bizarre to think that in 2 years it's possible that we'll hate each other. Excluding the obvious betrayals such as infidelity, what the hell would cause that?

I understand that the responses will be varied, and it's the range of experiences that I'm interested in hearing. The issue(s) that ended the relationship -- did they arise unexpectedly? Or did you always sort of know? I have this morbid curiosity to know what can make something really really good evaporate into nothing.

My friends are too young to help me with this, and I'm too impatient to wait three heartbreaks and a restraining order to find out myself.
posted by teem to Human Relations (42 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
"something better"


"too young to commit"

"switching teams"

"you're not who you were"

.. etc ..
posted by kcm at 10:19 PM on December 17, 2005

I guess what I meant is that all of those are common and that people change. They change a LOT over the 20-25 years as far as I'm concerned. Each year you kind of reinvent yourself unintentionally. People realize they do and do not want things they thought they did - looks vs. stability vs. "nice" vs. outgoing, and so on. Nothin you can predict, other than adapting and understanding between the both of you if you're still committed.
posted by kcm at 10:24 PM on December 17, 2005

Take a look at all human relationships and ask why they don't stay exactly the same forever. Some people are close to their siblings when they're young but not so when they're older. Why? Why do friends fall out of touch? Short answer: change. Life is full of it.

So you might as well ask why long-term relationships ever stay together. And as near as I can tell, the best answer to that question is: kids. It's strange, but we feel the need to give kids a stable upbringing and shield them against the change that comes from their parents splitting up, just like we shield them from everything else in life.

It usually requires moving heaven and earth to keep a relationship together (before you dispute this: come on, it's work, isn't it?). And not everyone succeeds. Change is, in fact, the natural tendency of the universe. Study up on entropy.
posted by scarabic at 10:24 PM on December 17, 2005

See this thread.
posted by epugachev at 10:26 PM on December 17, 2005

My general New Age-y view: Most relationships (romantic or otherwise) exist at a certain time, for a certain reason. My past relationships all taught me hugely important things, but once I had completely absorbed those things, the reason for the relationship sort of dissolved. I assume the same was true for my partners -- I filled a certain need for them, but once they internalized whatever it was I was giving the, that was more or less the end.

More concrete: From my last boyfriend, I learned how to be more flexible, learned what benefits come from going with the flow. Given that I've always been a very rigid person, these skills were important to add to myself. After a few years, however, his intriguing ability to be plan-less turned into an annoying tendency to be shiftless and unemployed, and I'm sure that my appealing habit of keeping things moving forward turned into, for him, a godawful tendency to nag him to get off the couch and *do* something.

But I think we did learn something for each other, and became better people for having known each other. We were just likely to destroy each other after a certain point, after those lessons were learned.

I assume this is what is meant by "outgrowing" each other. I think of it like a year at school: You needed 8th-grade English, presumably. But you don't need to repeat it for the rest of your life. Sometimes relationships exist so that you can work through certain issues, and then... that's it.
posted by occhiblu at 10:35 PM on December 17, 2005 [5 favorites]

Epugachev: Argh, I always just assume there's no point searching the archives for these "vague question/answer" human relations questions. Thanks for that link.
posted by teem at 10:39 PM on December 17, 2005

I'm going to wager that a break down in communication, understanding and activity would play a large part.

I don't really like to think what occhiblu says is true, I think that viewing a relationship as a learning tool cheapens your emotions and effort. Learning from a relationship is fine, but viewing a person/relationship as a phase or personal growth necessity sickens me. I hear that belief from women more and more, and I hate to believe that all young women are flawed and need to go through many relationships to become decent girlfriend material.
posted by mhuckaba at 10:49 PM on December 17, 2005 [1 favorite]



This happens once in a while. After that, love may or may not t ake over.

I'm not trying to be a dick, But, I'm a huge optimist about reletionships
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:56 PM on December 17, 2005

Having been on the end of a few LTRs with the end result of "being used for all I'm good for", it hurts badly to be thought of in that way. It may be true from her POV, but I suppose the dissonance between our approaches may have proved that we were not meant to be after all. I wouldn't try to change that, as much as I dislike it.
posted by kcm at 11:10 PM on December 17, 2005

I was in a relationship for almost seven years. I started seeing him before I turned 17, and he was 24. Without getting too into it (because it's a LONG ass novel), I was very sheltered growing up. I wasn't allowed to do alot of stuff, and I didn't know about alot of stuff, either (the amount of stuff i knew about sex would fit in a mouse's thimble). I was very much a child then.

He was my first real relationship. I was so excited that someone had actually liked me that I overlooked a lot of things. We didn't have sex regularly - maybe twice a month or so - but I didn't know that that wasn't normal. It was almost like I lived with my older brother. There were no signs of affection at all - he said he loved me, but I think he said it because he felt he had to. He didn't hug me, didn't kiss me, and the sex wasn't really that great.

This may sound very naive, but no one ever told me that I could leave if I wasn't happy. I knew that if he beat me, or talked down to me, or whatever else, that I could leave - I knew it was ok then. But no one ever said to me, "You can leave because you're unhappy."

The "straw" was when I suggested staying with a friend for a month or so to decompress (i had been unemployed for a while, no car, no money, no sex in a long time, no intimacy, depression, that sort). His response - and I quote - was "but how will I pay the bills?" Nevermind that I wasn't bringing in any money anyway... but he never said "I love you - please don't go" or anything mentioning the L word. I knew then that I couldn't stay at all. I moved out a week later. I would have stayed if he said "I love you", so I suppose it did work in my favor that he didn't say it.

Long story short - we were two completely different people at the beginning, and we grew apart. It also didn't help matters that he was my very first ANYTHING, so I looked to him to be a teacher/mentor/lover. And at the same time, he just wanted a girlfriend. To this day, I still can't tell you if he loved me or not. But I did love him. I wouldn't trade that whole experience for anything.

Don't be scared of taking a chance because you're scared of heartbreak. Yeah, heartbreak hurts like hell... but if love was the same slow tempo throughout it's course, you'd get tired of dancing after the fifth song and go find another club.
posted by damnjezebel at 11:17 PM on December 17, 2005 [2 favorites]

I assume this is what is meant by "outgrowing" each other. I think of it like a year at school: You needed 8th-grade English, presumably. But you don't need to repeat it for the rest of your life. Sometimes relationships exist so that you can work through certain issues, and then... that's it.

I think that occhiblu'sis a very apt description.

Reading it made me feel pretty depressed, though.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:22 PM on December 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

To clarify: I certainly don't mean that I set out to "use men for all they're good for." I just think that certain people can only help each other so much, and then their various neuroses/hangups/emotional-blockages get in the way of continued growth (I *said* this was New Age-y!).

I think it's more of the Freudian/psychological view -- you're often attracted to people who re-create dramas or problems from your childhood, in an attempt to rewrite or "fix" those former problems. So you either find someone who does, in fact, fix them -- in which case you hang on to them -- or you realize that you're simply re-creating those same problems and stuck in the same cycles you're trying to outgrow.

When I realized that my ex had more or less turned me into his mother -- the constantly nagging, feminazi woman against whom he wanted to rebel by underachieving -- well, I don't think that dynamic had much to do with my "using him." We were drawn to each other for reasons that weren't, in the end, healthy.
posted by occhiblu at 11:26 PM on December 17, 2005 [2 favorites]

insolvable problems ... such as living with a woman who became a crack addict ... and didn't work on her recovery

and then marrying a person who unknown to me had serious psychological problems that has so far managed to keep her from accomplishing much of anything, including holding a steady job

the conflicts in both of those relationships were tremendous and doomed them

sometimes people don't pick up on the warning signs until it's too late ... and it can be quite awhile before it becomes obvious that the relationship can't continue
posted by pyramid termite at 11:41 PM on December 17, 2005

(Serial posting...)

....which is not to say that we couldn't have worked it out. But his being completely unaware of the dynamic, combined with my resentment at being cast as a character in his childhood drama rather than being treated as a person separate from his former traumas, pretty much doomed us.

He saddled me with all the anger he felt at his mother, and I couldn't even fight it because most of what he was mad about had very little to do with me and much to do with "women" in general.

Had he been willing to "grow up" a bit, and tackle these issues for himself in whatever way he found effective -- in other words, had he been willing to grow together -- things may have been different. But he was stuck, and I wanted to move forward, so.... yes, I outgrew him. But that's not in any way the same thing as using him.
posted by occhiblu at 11:42 PM on December 17, 2005

My general New Age-y view: Most relationships (romantic or otherwise) exist at a certain time, for a certain reason. My past relationships all taught me hugely important things, but once I had completely absorbed those things, the reason for the relationship sort of dissolved.

Add me to the list of people who find that depressing. I hope the people I am in relationships with don't look at it that way.

I don't think relationships are fate or a string of learning experiences or happen for a reason or whatever. I think you make a conscious choice to throw your lot in with someone emotionally and ultimately financially and in various other ventures (child raising etc) because you decide that you like them better than anyone else who is available to you. I also think that constantly adding conditions and qualifying that choice is foolish. A relationship is an investment: choose wisely but if you go for it, don't do it half-ass.

Ultimately I think most people who have not simply fallen out of love break up because one or both partners are not willing to compromise. Some concessions are too much to make and that's it. I think a lot of people go into relationships nowadays assuming they will break up which makes it easier to do so down the line too.
posted by fshgrl at 12:07 AM on December 18, 2005

To clarify: I certainly don't mean that I set out to "use men for all they're good for." I just think that certain people can only help each other so much, and then their various neuroses/hangups/emotional-blockages get in the way of continued growth (I *said* this was New Age-y!).

See, I don't expect my SO to help me grow as a person at all. I don't see that as their responsibility.
posted by fshgrl at 12:11 AM on December 18, 2005

dame totally nailed it here, btw

It's kind of answers the opposite question: why did people ever stay together their entire lives? The reason so many marriages end in divorce is that divorce is the best option for a lot of people. It's always unfortunate when it hurts children, but in all other respects, there isn't any reason why a relationship *shouldn't* end if both parties are satisfied that they're done.
posted by scarabic at 12:47 AM on December 18, 2005

Weird. About the only thing I've learned from my wife is complete love.

We've both changed remarkably over the past twenty years. Whatever my changes, she loves me wholly. And I love the ways that she has changed: she has grown to become a very good person. Heck, I support her in changing, and encourage what I feel is good, so it's rather self-reinforcing: I love what I have and I have what I love.

It takes a lot of work.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:54 AM on December 18, 2005

what the hell would cause that?

A lot of things. Sometimes people simply mis-read each other from the beginning or sometimes they project idealized models on each other than can never be lived up to. Then life circumstances change that reveal these situations and it's over.

My general New Age-y view: Most relationships (romantic or otherwise) exist at a certain time, for a certain reason. My past relationships all taught me hugely important things, but once I had completely absorbed those things, the reason for the relationship sort of dissolved.

Peope are not static, finite, or entirely knowable. One of the secrets to a long term relationship is realizing and respecting the fact that you will never in a single lifetime completely figure out the other person. Only an extremely superficial relationship may be explored to it's 'end'.
posted by scheptech at 1:19 AM on December 18, 2005

Well. Now that I'm completely unconfident about my 2+ year long relationship...
posted by sian at 1:50 AM on December 18, 2005

Sometimes, there's difference that you hope can be compromised on, but that doesn't work out the way you blindly hope that it will.
posted by ascullion at 3:33 AM on December 18, 2005

The longest relationship I was ever in lasted about three years. It ended because I just finally couldn't take his emotional abuse anymore. I was turning into a vicious, angry, argumentative person to try to counter his attacks, because being nice and trying to reason with him never worked. In one heated argument, I broke a dish of his (irreplaceable, given to him by a grandmother), and I felt just sick about what I had done and what I was turning into. I didn't want to be that sort of person.

And our daughter, about 18 months old, was starting to point at us and yell at us to shut up when we were shouting... I didn't want her to grow up in a house full of anger. And I realized I deserved better. (Plus, he didn't love me anymore and frankly I doubt he ever did).

So basically, some fundamentally dysfunctional relationships end when one partner just grows too weary of putting up with the other one's bullshit and abuse.
posted by beth at 3:59 AM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

fshgrl's got it: Ultimately I think most people who have not simply fallen out of love break up because one or both partners are not willing to compromise. Some concessions are too much to make and that's it.

I broke it off with my boyfriend of three years a month ago because I finally got tired of all of his passive aggressive not-completely honest about anything slacker bullshit. I stayed with him because I was in love and we had some great time together, but eventually it became time to shit or get off the pot, as they say.
posted by youcancallmeal at 4:23 AM on December 18, 2005

I agree with occhiblu.

I believe that the people we attract into our lives are like mirrors; they reflect back to us an aspect of ourselves that needs our attention. We can use that as an opportunity to grow (and sometimes, sadly, outgrow), or we can choose not to.

I recently ended a nine-year relationship and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

Even though I realised we had problems six or seven years into the relationship, ending it earlier wouldn't have worked; we still had things we needed to experience together, I still had much to learn about myself from the "mirror" he was holding, and - if I'm completely truthful - I was a scared shitless of leaving such a comfortable place.

I certainly wasn't using him, I was just finding my way through my life journey, stumbling around, making mistakes -- just like him and everyone else in this world.
posted by Lleyam at 4:55 AM on December 18, 2005 [3 favorites]

Well, as a more romantic view of this all.

Adulthood is filled with a heck of a lot of changes, they just happen less frequently than in childhood or adolescence. Sometimes the two people in a relationship are flexible enough to grow together, sometimes not.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:16 AM on December 18, 2005

So many reasons. Sometimes people enter a relationship with an unrealistic or mistaken view of who the other person is. You'll be surprised at how long it is possible to maintain such comforting illusions when. But when they crumble, a relationship will end.

Sometimes people have no such illusions but simply get bored with the very things they initially found so attractive in their partner, and insupportably irritated by the things they used to be willing to overlook. This is common. That sweet little habit she has? Man, that gets old when you're seeing it in year six. Those charming, witty, entertaining personal anecdotes he told which so seduced you in the early years? Damn, they're pretty boring the fiftieth time you hear the same one. And isn't it pathetic the way the details change slightly with each re-telling? The guy obviously makes much of it up. How sad. And will you for Christ's sake stop whining about your damned job? I know it sucks. You tell me every damned day. For years.

Sometimes people put off properly discussing things which are absolutely vital to know before entering a long-term relationship. Do you want kids? Ever? "Maybe", isn't good enough. "Probably" isn't good enough. You have to know, or a crunch will occur several years in.

Peoples' ideas of what they want from life can change - especailly at your age. In fact, when we're in our teens and early twenties it's virtually guaranteed. This is why so few of our early "serious" relationships last for life. In our twenties we're still figuring things out, still feeling our way into life. If we're lucky we can do that with a partner, although it'll take some pretty major accommodations on both sides, typically. But more often we're likely to move apart. Talk to any 40-year old and ask them if they're still with the person they were serious about when they were 21. The vast majority will not be.

And sometimes people fall in love with someone else. This is easy, because a new person has all the fascination and freshness which made you fall in love with your current partner... before it became tired and thoroughly familiar. It's nice to get that crazy rush again. Irresistible, to some people.

Relationships are hard, and luck plays a much bigger part than most of us like to believe.
posted by Decani at 8:30 AM on December 18, 2005 [2 favorites]

i find occhiblu's account disturbing because it seems so one sided - the other person couldn't solve their problems while occhiblu "outgrew" them. i wonder how much of that is true, and how much is the kind of story we tell ourselves to avoid darker truths.

i'd say relationships break up because we fail to uncover and resolve our darker aspects before they tear us apart. i'm using such picturesque language because that's necesarily vague - if there were only one or two "dark things" life would be easy.

if you start adding new-age hippy blather about how you are the beatiful blossoming flower while they are the conflicted, failing, drudge, then i think you're pretty much doomed. it's better to think of the relationship as a third, quasi-external entity, that needs care and feeding from both sides. that, if anything, is the flower. not one side or the other.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:37 AM on December 18, 2005

See, I don't expect my SO to help me grow as a person at all. I don't see that as their responsibility.

Yes, but I mean that sometimes the relationship becomes a stumbling block to *either* person growing, and not that I'm some above-it-all adept on the path to nirvana and others are merely my stepping stones.

I was keeping him in an unhealthy dynamic, and he was keeping me in one. Once I recognized that, and fought like hell to change it and make things work and yet nothing changed, then it would have been totally foolish to keep banging our heads against walls.

When you realize that the person you're in a relationship with is actually destructive to your sense of self, and that you're actually destructive to his, then I think it's time get out. I'm not sure why that's getting me labelled as selfish, uncompromising, or insufficiently committed. Sometimes, things just don't work, and I'd rather walk out of a relationship keeping the things I've learned as part of who I now am, rather than just saying, "Huh. Who knows what happened there? Guess I'll just find someone else" and making all the same mistakes with a new partner. *That's* what I mean by learning from people.
posted by occhiblu at 8:46 AM on December 18, 2005

Also, yes, I was certainly re-enacting bad habits from my own past, and when I tried to break out of them, it triggered more shit from his side, which triggered me, ad nauseum. I completely hold myself accountable for my own half of the mess that happened.

Geez, folks. I was trying to give an example, not give you the whole psychoanalyst's-couch spiel of my doomed relationship!
posted by occhiblu at 8:49 AM on December 18, 2005

posted by andrew cooke at 8:51 AM on December 18, 2005

(It's fine -- it's just kinda funny. Everyone who knew this guy -- including his mother and stepmother -- told me I was better off without him, and that I deserved someone with some emotional maturity (that line came, really and truly, directly from the guy's own mother), so it's a little weird to see a bunch of people who don't know either of us defending him to the death here!)
posted by occhiblu at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2005

others were agreeing with you, and i was arguing as much (more so, perhaps, since i indeed know nothing about you, but do have as much as idea as anyone else here on the general problems we all face) with them as you.

(but the question was a bit more general than why you broke up. if your relationship was so clearly one-sidedly wrong, then perhaps it was rather exceptional, and not that good a model for understanding why others fail? - but again, the responsibility is more on those that echoed approval/recognition)
posted by andrew cooke at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2005

It wasn't clearly one-sided -- I *chose* to be in that relationship, so obviously I was getting something out of it, and actively contributing to both its strengths and weaknesses... in any event, I was trying not to make this all about me, which is why I just included one example of what I was talking about, but I obviously chose that example poorly, since it shifted the focus of the thread more than was in any way necessary, and has turned me into a too-many-posts babbler.

But I don't think what I'm talking is all that exceptional. My rendering of it may be, but I see other couples facing the same thing all the time -- they've gotten to the point where they've almost turned on each other, asking for things that the other person can't give and blaming for things that aren't really the other person's fault. There are certainly ways out of that, if both partners are committed to finding them, but many times that's when the towel gets thrown in, right or wrong.
posted by occhiblu at 9:16 AM on December 18, 2005

I had an experience similar to occhiblu.

I remember my mother telling me when I wanted to reconcile: "Well, if it's what you really want, go ahead. Maybe you haven't sufficiently learned what this relationship had to teach you. I'm sure he will teach you again."
posted by Marnie at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2005

Never, never underestimate the importance of good mental health. I'm not referring to major affective disorders here, but day-to-day mental health. It's this stuff that kills a relationship - is your partner an angry person, a blamer or someone who doesn't take responsibility for their life situation? Could you imagine spending the rest of your life with someone who is just generally cranky and irritable?

Once the blinders come off in a relationship and people are not on their best behaviour, this is when the mental health issues come to the forefront. It actually surprises me that more relationship breakups are not framed this way. "We argued a lot", could really mean he/she was an angry, controlling perfectionist.

Always remember that relationships should generally be a source of joy. Even when life situations are tough, your partner should be right there with you, and your relationship should be a source of strength.

Final comment - I've noticed that women in particular seem to rather have any relationship, even a bad one, than be single.
posted by TorontoSandy at 10:01 AM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

I've been in a relationship with my wife for 10 years -- married for 8.

Here are the two main things I've seen kill many of the relationships around me.

1) Brushing things under the rug. Problems don't go away, and if you choose to hide from them rather than deal with them, they just fester, grow and eventually explode -- but they can fester and grow silently for years before they explode. Thankfully, this is less of a problem than it used to be, but we once saw this syndrome all the time with gay men who tried to hide their sexuality inside a sham, heterosexual marriage. Some were able to keep this up for years, but most of these marriages ended (badly) eventually. When I was a kid (70s/80s), this seemed to happen fairly regularly. Someone's dad would, after 15 years, suddenly leave his naive/bewildered wife and kids and shack up with a man.

But one needn't be closeted gay to experience such a problem. A man might try to repress his wanderlust and stay in suburbia, a woman might suppress her desire to work and remain a housewife, a fetishist might deny his urges and try to behave like a "normal" sexual animal.

One of the best ways to keep a relationship healthy is honesty and communication.

2) A general attitude that relationships fail. Some people create their own endgames. For me, marriage is permanent -- full stop. When I married my wife, I swore to be faithful and stay married to her until death. And, though I'm not religious, I take that oath seriously. Leaving is not an option.

Now, I don't mean that I would never leave under any circumstances. If my wife started beating me or something, I'd probably leave (after trying FIRST to get her to stop). But leaving isn't a part of my problem-solving mindset. I don't expect marriage to always be fun and easy. I expect it to sometimes be work. (Often though, it is great fun!)

But I notice that some people have the opposite attitude. They always keep "leaving" a live possibility in their minds.

(Note: I'm not making a value judgement. If both parties are aware that either may leave at any time, I don't see a problem with this attitude. I'm just saying -- and I guess this is obvious -- if part of your relationship mindset includes breaking up, you're much more likely to break up than if it never even enters your mind.)
posted by grumblebee at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

Because a lot of people make best the enemy of good. The flip side of what scarabic quoted is that the freedom to switch willy nilly leads to a lot of people just deciding they can do better. In some cases, it's true, and people are right to leave. In others, not so much. I mean, I could probably find someone who is better at the things that drive me crazy about my boy, but I'm pretty sure that guy would have a whole host of annoying traits that I haven't even thought of. A lot of people miss the second part.

And then, there are all the screwy ideas people have about love. For instance, from above, "Always remember that relationships should generally be a source of joy. Even when life situations are tough, your partner should be right there with you, and your relationship should be a source of strength." You know, sometimes my realtionship is the thing in my life that requires my strength instead of providing it. Sometimes things go poorly despite the love. And that's okay, as long as it gets better. Plus, there's the whole, "If you loved me you would do X." Though subsumed under the heading Incompatibility--under the assumption that disagreements on X are just part of someone's fundamental nature--I think that notion itself is terribly undermining.

All that said, it's also because people can't always change together.
posted by dame at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

Oh, and my perspective comes from the relationships I've seen fail when the participants are in their twenties, like I am. I assume that most people get less stupid about relationships when they get older.
posted by dame at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2005

What TorontoSandy said. Except the last sentence, which I've not noticed.
posted by lorrer at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2005

My sister just split with her longtime boyfriend. Her words, "It was about time to think about marriage but we felt more like really good friends rather than lovers."
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:39 PM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

occhiblu I'm not judging your particular relationship just the idea that realtionships run their natural course and there's nothing you can do about it. I believe there is always something one or the other of you can do, but that's it's a choice you have to make and sometimes people aren't willing to change.

I also agree with everything TorontoSandy said. You might as well be with someone who is fun and has their head on straight rather than someone who can't or won't stop being a jerk over every little thing that goes wrong in life.
posted by fshgrl at 1:41 PM on December 18, 2005

I knew a guy who's avowed interest in life was 'dating' as many women as possible then marrying the perfect woman... sort of a have-it-all plan. Turns out after years of perfecting his 'dating' skills that's all he was good at. Clueless about real relationships, never knew anyone long enough to actually get to know them.

He got married in his mid-thirties to a really gorgeous woman maybe 10 years younger. Six months later - divorced. Why? She wanted children, he didn't. Incredibly they never talked about it in advance. His final remark on the subject was something about a white picket fence.

What am I trying to say? Communication - real, honest, straightforward communication is almost everything. Fail to do that and stuff happens.
posted by scheptech at 5:36 PM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

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