Recently a Redditor asked people “What deep, dark secret did you learn about the seemingly perfect family?” Here are some of the users’ best submissions.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
My grandpa on my mom’s side had another family on the side. When he died my grandmother’s name was put on his gravestone. The other family chiseled it out.
Also, my oldest aunt on my mom’s side isn’t blood related. Didn’t learn that until I was 23.
I know a brother and sister who live together in a huge mansion and both own amazing beautiful cars, clearly very affluent. One of them began dating a family friend who wasn’t so well-off.
Turns out the reason they’re so rich is because their parents were associated with some Italian mafia, and were brutally murdered in front of them when they were children. They were given a huge inheritance after this event.
You would never guess, they look like they’ve had the easiest life.
When I was a kid I knew a set of twins who were friends with my older sister.
The twins (both female), were straight A students and always dressed modestly. Neither girl was allowed to date and their parents owned a huge house with multiple cars and the girls never seemed to want for anything.
A few years later the parents were busted because apparently they owned another house a few streets away, (Less lavish) and they were running a brothel out of it with girls the same age as their daughters. (Who were around 18 at this time and both in university).
Perfect kids, perfect husband and wife. Respected members of the community as the Dad was a doctor. Partnered with another similarly respected doctor in the town. A few years later a polite notice appeared in the newspaper that they were ending their partnership, nobody batted an eyelid. Things continued as normal.
Fast forward about 20 years later, and I find one of the daughters on Facebook. We went to school together and I happened to be a patient of the Dad so I asked how he was doing. Dad is estranged from the family. He was having an affair with the wife of his partner and they ran off. That’s why they ended it, but to save face they just made it seem like a professional split and he retired. Very few people know the true story.
On my mother’s side I have an aunt who decided to steal money from a charity to rebuild a guy’s house that recently burned down. It was a small town so all they had was a bin for dollar bills at the local bar, she took all of it and the next day had some expensive new shoes.
And on my dad’s side my grandfather was some weasel faced con man who cheated a church, celebrities, and politicians so he could live without working. But one day he and one of the largest sport memorabilia collections on earth disappeared, he apparently was killed in a mob hit.
I have a cousin out there that my whole family has never met.
My Grandparents were the nicest people but apparently my Aunt got pregnant as a teen and they sent her away to have the baby & give up for adoption. I believe this would’ve been sometime in the ’60s or even late ’50s given her age.
One of my parents told me this a while ago once, and I’ve never heard anyone in my whole family ever mention anything about it other than that one time.
I knew a family where the parents were popular and well liked in the area. Their daughters were all popular and well liked as well in high school. They were all the type of people that had no strong opinions and did not care to argue, just kinda positive people. People automatically were kind of drawn to them and for that everyone in town likes them. They have some ownership in a local dealership too and their girls are on a lot of the commercials. One day, one of their daughters (same grade as me back in high school) let it slip to me that she found a hidden camera in the pool changing room at their pool house, she said it in kind of a “Oh ya, haha shrug found a camera, my dad is so silly,” it kind of seems like she was assuming he put it there to catch them drinking, but she realizes that it was probably more than that but she just figures “boys will be boys” type thing.
The dad looks like the creepiest guy ever and he has been likely video taping, not only his daughters, but all of their female friends which is like nearly all of the popular high school women in my town.
I know a family where the mom remarried when her kids were quite young to a new “perfect stepdad”.
Ten years later, and the 15 year old daughter notices something in the bathroom while she’s showering. Webcam, via the stepdad. That’s not the darkest part though. The darkest part is that her mum forgave him for filming her 15 year old daughter in the bath and on the toilet, told the daughter she would always put her husband first and arranged for her daughter to go and live with her nan.
I have a very small family of about 7 people. Growing up everyone would get together for events and everything seemed pretty normal and everyone seemed to get along. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I noticed that everyone in my family actually hates each other and it was just some huge contest to see who had become the better person over the years.
My mother and my grandmother are the only ones who talk to each other, and it’s probably only because they live together. My grandmother and grandfather are separated, and my grandmother only calls him every few months to see if he’s dead or not.
I know two girls who are sisters who had their family issues and whatever, but were happy with each other for the most part. Their dad always went on business trips and he wasn’t home a lot. It did seem kind of suspicious because he was a chef I think, or he made recipes for a kitchen (something weird where it didn’t really warrant business trips) but I don’t think they really thought anything of it.
It turns out the sisters’ family is actually his second family, and the other family had two brothers who were both older than the sisters. He had put 3/4 of the kids through college and the fourth was currently in school. They found out because the other mother of the other family was digging on Facebook one day and found a picture of their dad and the girls’ mom. She sent the sisters’ mom a death threat, and they pieced it together from there. It wasn’t even my family, but I was absolutely floored by this.
My friends seem to have the perfect marriage and a newborn to take care of. Both parents are very involved and loving.
The husband confessed to me that right before their son was born, his wife came out as a lesbian to him and confessed that she was in love with her best female friend. However, because their family is religious and would never accept her, she agreed to stay married to him and keep up appearances for the sake of their child. They barely talk in private. But in public they are the perfect loving young family.
A soccer coach of mine from elementary school had a cute blond daughter who was also on the team, a lovely little baby, and he made enough as a car salesman so his wife didn’t have to work.
One thing I remember was that he once overinflated the soccer ball because he thought our team could trap and dribble better. Seemed pretty innocent at the time, but I thought of this years later when there was a story in the paper about how he was going to prison for embezzling 50k from the soccer league.
The quiet housewife of the farm family on our rural island near Seattle was actually an undercover FBI agent. My buddy, one of her sons, revealed this to me 60 years later. Everybody knew everybody’s business in that small community, but this one evidently fell through the cracks.
My grandfather lives in Tennessee by himself kind of out in the mountains. Well there is a family cemetery in his back yard up this 50 yard long hill that’s covered in thick trees. There’s a dude in our family buried up there along with his 9 dead children and 4 dead wives who all died at pretty young ages. All of the women he married died around 3-5 years after they got married. This was back in the mid to late 1800’s and I guess the guy was known to be real shady. Still unknown if he played a part in all the deaths or if he was just a super unlucky man.
On my dad’s side of the family, I have an alcoholic uncle. We never really talk much about him, In fact, I can’t remember the last time my dad mentioned his name, but we regularly talk to another alcoholic in the family, and we’re on good terms.
I learned from my mom that this is because in a fit of drunken rage, before I was born and before dad met mom, my uncle stabbed my dad in the stomach with a large kitchen knife.
As a younger kid, I never paid any real attention to the scar… Everything regarding them makes so much sense now.
There was this one family we knew. Kids were adorable and the best behaved kids we knew. Husband was a dynamic, intelligent attractive personality that made everyone feel great about themselves. He had this way of making you feel like you were the coolest, most interesting person in the world whenever you talked to him. Wife was a sweet, gentle lady who clearly loved and adored her kids and husband. This was the type of family everyone wanted. We would go out for dinner with them and remark at how well put together their whole family was and how amazing they are. Then it happened. The wife shows up at our house with the kids and she is crying. Police arrest the husband while he was away from the house briefly. Apparently he had been a total fear-mongering dictator in the house. Restraining orders issued – divorce court, custody all granted in favour of the wife. She is now living in a different country.
There’s a few secrets I know and more I don’t fully know the scope of. One has to do with a lady I work with, my grand aunt. Everyone at work thinks she’s this kind old lady but I know things she has done and what she really thinks of certain people working here. Also, she cares for a wooden doll as if it were a real child. Dresses, bathes, feeds and treats it better than anyone. In the 90’s she’d bring it with her everywhere. Nowadays she’s been shamed into keeping it a secret. Her mental snap may have had something to do with her husband having a secret family for a decade or two.
My granddad kept it a secret until shortly before he died that he had cheated on my grandma and paid alimony until his love child was 18 – all without his family knowing. Later he even put some of his hair in an envelope to “clear his name” because he was convinced the child wasn’t his… honestly discovering all this felt like low-key reality TV. my grandma (who has developed dementia) also sometimes says things like “I always wonder why we can’t afford as much holidays etc as other people.
When I was 13, my mom was resetting my dad’s old phone to give to my older brother when she found a secret email account. She found emails between my dad and his best friends wife where they were talking about starting their affair up again. Turns out, my dad had had an affair with his best friend’s wife, starting when my mom was 2 months pregnant with me. The affair lasted a few months, until my dad’s best friend found out and they were forced to stop. They hid it from my mom for almost 14 years. They also hid the fact that my dad’s best friends wife got pregnant by my dad and had kept the little girl. The daughter and I were always close as kids, so to find out she was my half sister was a shock. Me, my mom and dad, half sister and her parents are the only ones who know the truth.
In 1996, my grandparents moved into our house. My mom, when going through some of their stuff, found a picture from my grandparents’ wedding that was torn in half, so you could only see my grandfather. When she asked her mom about it, she said “That’s a picture from his 1st wedding”. Everyone was blown away. Nobody had any idea that my grandfather was married before my grandmother. My mom was in her 40s at the time and just found out, along with my uncles who were in their 50s.
My grandma has a daughter that she gave up for adoption when she was 20. This wasn’t a secret, though, and my mom discovered that she’d been trying to find this daughter shortly before she died. My mom wasn’t sure how to go about finding her and wasn’t sure if she even wanted to be found, so the search ended there. Well, a couple months ago they connected on 23andMe and my mom immediately called her dad to tell him the news. Here’s how the conversation went:
Mom: Dad, you know how 23andMe connects you to relatives?
Mom: Well, it just connected me to a half-sibling!
Grandpa (stuttering and quite flustered): Well, we don’t know for sure if that’s true or not.
Mom: Dad…I’m talking about the baby Mom gave up before she met you.
Grandpa: Oh, right.
My mom tried to pry information about what he thought she was talking about, but he didn’t budge. So, my mom may have another unknown half-sibling out there somewhere.
Before going to college, I was told that I had an uncle that I had never met. My grandfather cheated on my grandma with his secretary, and ended up getting her pregnant. She caught him when going through his bank statements, and noticed that he was paying child support to a woman that she had never heard of.
Originally, my parents weren’t supposed to tell us until my grandma passed away. She was too embarrassed and hurt by my grandfather’s infidelity for us to know that we had an uncle. When my mom told me about him, I was able to determine his age, and his middle name. It turned out he was only 2 years older than me, and still lived in the same county as where he was born. I spent six months scouring Facebook, and sending strangers messages about unknown family members. Eventually, I was able to find him.
When I did find him, it turned out he was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. I told him I wouldn’t bring him home to meet his brothers, nieces, nephews, etc. until he was clean and sober for a year, and that if he tried to reach out before that, I would make sure he had no contact with our family moving forward. It was a hard thing to tell someone at 19 years old, but he took it seriously and got clean. A year later, I brought him home to meet his brother, my dad, for the first time. It was weird.
Little late to the party, but my half-sisters don’t know the real story of how my dad met their mom. My dad puts off this perfect image of his life with my step mom and half sisters. They go to private school, go on vacations, has a lake house, they all drive Volvos, etc. However, in their 20 years of life they still do not know the actual truth.
3 months after I was born, my dad hired a secretary for his office and soon started an affair with her. My mom found receipts for jewelry in his car that she had never received, confronted him, and he spilled the beans. They got divorced and my dad married his secretary and is now my step mom.
They have been married for 25 years now and my little half-sisters still believe that their parents met at a bar and fell in love that very night. When in reality, their mom was an immigrant who needed to marry in order to not be deported, so she slept with my dad and broke up his marriage to form her own.
I used to have a group of friends and one of them came from one of those aggressively perfect families. Dad was a mayor, mom was the perfect mayor’s wife and the kids were all successful in their own way. There was a lot of Colgate-grins all around and they lived in a newly built villa in one of the richest villages in my country.
There was this tradition of my friends and their families going on a ski/snowboarding-trip, because the parents of our friends got along very well too. On the second day of one of those trips, the mom of the ‘perfect family’ was waiting for the group of other adults to catch up (she was a better skier than the rest), when all of a sudden, she was blindsided by a skier coming down the slope too fast, crashing into her from behind. She took a nasty fall, breaking one of her ankles as I recall. The perpetrator took off and ‘perfect mom’ couldn’t get a good look at the guy. She spent the rest of the day as the hospital and the family holiday went sour.
Now here’s the kicker: in the biggest chalet we rented, there was a communal room we used to hang out after each skiing session and a few days after the accident, there was an odd tension in the communal room that hadn’t been there the days before. Soon after I arrived, one of my friends took me aside and spilled the beans: it turned out that the hit-and-run-skier had been her husband.
My great grandmother murdered my great grandfather and got away with it. I met her a few times as a kid and my main impression of her was that she made delicious baklava and was hard to understand. She was born in Greece and moved to America as a teenager to marry my Great grandfather, a middle-aged man she had never met, in an arranged marriage. They had one kid (my grandfather) and they ran a family restaurant near a railway station. One day, her husband “accidentally” locked himself in the walk-in freezer of his restaurant, with her sitting in the adjacent room, and died. Somehow she didn’t notice he was missing or hear him call for help.
Within a few months she was married to a wealthy American guy close to her age who had a nice car and had been a regular at the diner. My grandfather was raised by his mom and stepdad, never suspecting anything as a kid, but he eventually put the facts together and realized what had probably really happened. The funny thing is that everyone in my family knows this story but they are all pretty ambivalent about it. We don’t think murder is a good alternative to divorce, but we can imagine that being a teenage mail-order bride to an old man in a foreign country might lead you to do some desperate things. She outlived 2 additional husbands, but we never found any evidence that she took either of them out. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did.
My Dad started to notice that, as I aged, I shared no physical features with him. He confronted my Mom about it and she revealed the truth; I was the product of a drunken one night stand. My Mom and Dad had dated briefly and then broke up. Shortly after the break-up, Mom went to a party and hooked up with some guy. When she discovered that she was pregnant, she contacted my Dad and told him that I was his son. They got married shortly after I was born.
Dad agreed that no one else needed to be told, but the fact that the whole marriage had been built on a lie brought a lot of bad things to the surface and they decided to call it quits.
My perfect family was shattered, but what’s worse a lot of terrible things have come to the surface in the years since that have poisoned all but a few of my memories of growing up.