18 Queer Divorce Horror Stories

My divorce was horrific. A lot of them are. It’s a time when a breakup isn’t just a breakup, the law’s involved. You have to untangle yourself from another person publicly — in front of family (and extended family), the state, strangers, friends, sometimes kids. For something as hurtful as it is, it provides very little privacy and not much dignity. It can bring out the worst in us and those around us.

Yes, there’s the mythic (yet somehow real) “conscious uncoupling,” the amicable divorce, but sometimes there’s also bitter fighting or even abuse. But as the theme for Divorce Week goes: you may be divorced, but you’re not alone.

xoxo,
Nico


18 Queer People Share Their Divorce Horror Stories

1. Realized I was queer & ended my marriage to my ex husband while he was naked in bed. 😅

2. My spouse told me they wanted a divorce on Christmas morning.

3. She claimed that 4 of 7 years of our relationship she didn’t really love me.

4. My ex stood me up at the mandatory courthouse hearing… TWICE. They see a whole bunch of divorce cases at once, and my ex was the only person who didn’t show. Of like 15 couples. 30 people. Mandatory.

5. My ex and I were together for 16 years. She cheated while we were doing IVF!

6. We moved across the country for her job while I was pregnant. Turns out she was really having an affair.

7. Well I did cheat, but my wife had our baby, then left me for a man!!

8. When I was getting divorced from my ex-husband (I am a lesbian so that didn’t… work) my soon-to-be-ex mother-in-law threatened to out me to my conservative father in retaliation for requesting a very small amount of spousal support from my ex who made > 3x the amount of money I did at the time 👍👍

9. My partner’s second wife left her for my partner’s first wife — and took the dog.

10. My ex took the dog and told me I could see him whenever I wanted. I never saw him again.

11. We “divorced” two months after our wedding (never made it legal).

12. I was married to a dude for 9 years. We dated for 24, realized we were really just friends.

13. The day I moved out, my ex threw a gallon of milk at me in the stairwell of a 3-floor walkup.

14. I think I’m a lesbian and want to divorce my husband but we have kids.

15. After agreeing in couples counseling to wait to tell our 12 year old about the divorce — my ex went behind my back and told them without me. THEN! Waited weeks before telling me she’d told them without me.

16. I moved out of the house we shared for 10+ years on New Years Eve. All my stuff was in my car and a Pod in the driveway. After a rough day of packing, I drove up to my new place 45 miles away. At 9:00pm (on a holiday night!!), I got a text from my ex saying I had left a box in the driveway. I asked if she would bring it inside for me to get later. She said “No. 100% no.”

Luckily I had a friend nearby who drove over and rescued the box so I could at least a little bit of rest on New Years Eve.

17. My ex wife and I officially filed for divorced in the summer. All was okay and I was surprised to see the divorce process to be very pleasant, despite their toxic abuse throughout our relationship, I even noted it to my current partner that it was good to “end” on a high note.

Shortly after that, she FINALLY (after three years) came to get her things at my place. I left them outside on my front porch and her and her partner came to get them one afternoon. She and I had owned a cat together, who was at the window near the door. After she collected up her things, she came up to the window, I assume to say hi to my kitty, tell him she loves him etc. Then my cat left the window… but my ex didn’t go away? She stayed looking into our apartment for about  a minute before finally turning away and making a sad face at our place.

Awkward enough, but I was sure this was over. Until I got an angry text from her aunt claiming I had stolen her furniture (that was a wedding present) because she had gifted it to “my brother’s daughter, not you” and that it was a “family heirloom”. After several polite texts back explaining that her niece had made the arrangement that I could have the table. This was denied by her aunt claiming my ex  never said this and I was dishonest and a thief.

I had to awkwardly send her aunt a screenshot of the message from my ex saying “turns out my family doesn’ t care about the table, you can have it”. After getting another text from heart saying that my ex was not in her right mind when she did this, she said that she “supposed” I could have it in the end.

You would think this is the end!! Unfortunately, the final wtf moment was my ex wife messaging my father… TO GET MY SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER. This was only weeks ago now (8 months after our divorce) so who knows what else may come next.

18. I came out to my wife as trans and let her know that that I wanted to transition. She was supportive and after deep thinking and long discussions, she wanted to stay together, to my delight.

A couple months later, she took a self-care retreat locally, the week before Valentine’s Day, and while she was away, I took care of our kids and poured my heart into setting up a nice V-Day for her. She came home and told me she was too tired (despite the week off!) — so I took a raincheck for the next night, and then another. On the night of the second raincheck, she still wasn’t feeling it and I asked if we could talk about it. And that’s the story of how I found out my transition was going to be “too much” and that she didn’t “have the energy for it” and found myself dumped for my trouble.

We’re not technically divorced yet so she can stay on my health insurance and co-parenting but it’s coming up on a year since the last time I had a kiss on the mouth and someone said “I love you” to me *that* way. But you know what, it’s been 11 months since I started HRT, I’ve socially transitioned and find moments of gender euphoria daily and I wouldn’t take it back for a second.


Divorce Week is a celebration of taking a life-changing step, of coming out the other side of devastating trauma and being all the better for it. It’s co-edited and curated by Nico Hall and Carmen Phillips. Remember, you may be divorced, but you’re not alone.

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Nico

Nico Hall is Autostraddle's A+ and Fundraising Director, and has been fundraising and working in the arts and nonprofit sector for over a decade. They write nonfiction and personal essays and are currently at work on a queer fiction novel and podcasts. They live in Pittsburgh. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram as @nknhall.

Nico has written 222 articles for us.

7 Comments

  1. “Well I did cheat, but my wife had our baby, then left me for a man!!”

    I’m sorry about your divorce, and the whole thing sounds very emotionally fraught! But how is the gender of the next person your ex-wife dated at all relevant here?

  2. I love this divorce week feature! Society does not talk about this enough considering how many people are divorced. I’m a year in to the divorce process and it’s been a long painful journey.. it has been refreshing to read Autostraddle’s articles and lifted my spirits! Thank you.

  3. Wow, I’m feeling really good about my legitimately amicable divorce after reading these! People who use their kids as one-upmanship in a divorce are scum. It’s not always been easy, it’s been pretty terrible actually, to split a life together of 12 years while raising 2 kids, but looking at the above, we’re basically saints!

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