It turns out their children, work, and other responsibilities were distractions that helped them endure an unhappy or unfulfilling marriage/relationship. Once they were (all alone) on vacation they realized there was nothing left between them. This has also been known to happen with some "empty nesters" as well. No amount of palm trees, ocean breezes, sunshine, and fruity cocktails would reignite romantic sparks. The vacation did just the opposite! It crystalized the fact it was over. Have you ever known of anyone who had an unplanned breakup during or soon after a holiday or vacation?
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An ocean apart? Odds are it didn't last. :)