As rewarding as having children can be, not every relationship is built to weather the storm that is parenthood.
You only have to look at the mum wrangling a screaming toddler in the supermarket to the dad attempting to pacify a hysterical baby on an overnight flight to realise that parenting is one of the most thankless jobs around - instead of getting paid for your long-suffering labour, you get a poo in a nappy. Or even worse, a slammed door and a 'I hate you, you're ruining my life' - a personal favourite of mine as a 15-year-old who, God forbid, was unjustly suppressed from venturing out at night with her snapback-clad boyfriend in a Skyline R32 featuring an actual roll cage.
Whether it's a clash in parenting styles, a secret love child, differing opinions on having children or simply a lack of compatibility, kids can highlight the shortcomings in any relationship. To illustrate, a number of people have taken to the internet to share their stories of blighted bonds - here are a few of our favourite responses from an article published by BuzzFeed.
"About 10 years ago, I was dating an undercover single mom who claimed she didn't have kids and didn't want any. It turned [out] she had three. With me knowing the truth (because her baby daddy told me), she said she would give up her own kids to be with me. I couldn't trust or respect that. Last I heard, she was on baby daddy #3. Looking back, I'm so glad I dodged a bullet."
"My boyfriend of 10 years broke up with me because he realised he couldn't live without having kids. It was a total shock to me, and he kept it to himself for almost three years. I didn't have a clue. It turns out he just went along with what I wanted (no kids ever) to make me happy - he didn't listen to what he wanted. It's for the best that we broke it off."
"Got invited to a poker game at a girl's place. Four-year-old kid is up at 11pm running around, takes the silverware drawer out, and dumps the entire contents on the kitchen floor. His mom looks at me and says, 'What are you gonna do about that?' She wanted me to discipline her kid, after dating for two weeks. She was looking for a dad for the kid. Nope."
"Not me but an uncle. He had already had a kid who was in college, but his new wife wanted to try. They tried for YEARS and finally, were able to get pregnant with IVF with twins after using someone else's egg. Cut to seven years later, and she is still breastfeeding and refuses to start teaching them anything (i.e., colours, numbers); we're talking basics here. My uncle finally had enough when they turned eight and asked for a divorce. He had no other issues (even if the family did) with her, and he only divorced her so those kids could start going to school. The kids are 10 now and they share custody, but he has full school and medical decisions. While they are doing OK now, it has been a very serious struggle these last two years for all three of them."
"Was going out with an old friend; her kiddo was 1.5 at this time. Custody was evenly split between her and the dad. No worries. [It] started getting bad when I was getting roped into buying clothes and stuff for the little kid after about a month of dating. And it was done very passive-aggressively. 'It's getting colder, (kid) doesn't have a jacket or shoes, and I can't rely on her piece of shit father for anything; he's just going to give me shit'. Then she starts crying and having an anxiety attack, so I would get stuff. Little kiddo starts calling me 'da-da' by month three. That is nowhere near the pronunciation of my name, and I didn't want to be the dad, because, despite the previous paragraph, the kid's dad was actually a good dad; it's just the mom who was an intolerable bitch. A fact that fully came to light when I found out she was cheating on me with a different ex-boyfriend."
"My parents know someone who was dating a woman, and he really liked her so he decided to pay for them and her son to go on a cruise. The guy hadn't really met the son yet (who's 11 or 12), but within a day of leaving on the cruise, realised the kid was a nightmare. The mom didn't discipline him at all and he was causing a lot of trouble. The guy was so shocked and fed up by the situation that when they got to their second stop of the trip, he left the ship and flew home. Left the woman and her son on the cruise - didn't ask her to pay him back or anything."