In relationships of any kind, there is always a moment when something happens and you realize that things will never be the same again. Sometimes, that moment brings about a change that pushes the relationship forward, secures it, gives it new life or meaning. But often, that moment is the beginning of the end.
What's odd about these "beginning of the end" moments is that the changes leading up to them are small, almost imperceptible things. It's as though you have been driving down a road with warning signs reading - Dead End ahead in X miles - and you haven't seen a single sign until right before you get to the dead end. And those moments are usually filled with the surprising realization that you didn't see it coming, when in restrospect you should have known all along.
They are milestone moments when you see clearly that what you believed has fallen away and exposed the bare naked truth. There is sadness and regret. Sometimes there is desperation and disbelief. That is particularly true when you aren't really ready to let go of the relationship.
And when they happen, there is a moment that follows where you hope you are wrong. You hope that the sign reads - Road Construction, instead of Dead End. Maybe the relationship is just under construction for awhile and it will be good as new after some much needed attention. You hope that you didn't miss the signs along the way. And if you find out you did miss the signs, you hope you have the will to turn the car around and follow the detour until you find a new road.