Everyone has secrets, some are just darker than others. What happens when people find out a sickening secret that someone near and dear to them kept secret, sometimes for years? Their entire view of that person totally changes, especially if they had admired the person in the past.
We searched through Reddit for the most hard-hitting stories of secrets come to light. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My ex-husband, after 12 years of being genuinely good friends and parenting our three kids together, filed a motion claiming neglect, abuse, and to have my children removed from my home immediately. Needless to say, everything I thought I knew about him after 20 (we got together when I was 19) years was wrong.
It's crazy what finally getting a girlfriend will do to some folks. Oh, and he got laughed out of the courthouse."
"My mom's got control issues. I didn't really realize something was off until I got to college and started seeing a therapist.
So I determined, with the help of therapy, to set and enforce reasonable boundaries. It didn't go well.
One time, my sister and I came to my parents' house from college to visit. We were going to leave Saturday evening, but she wanted my adult sister to stay until Sunday evening to clean her room... which was clean. But my parents predicted they'd be moving sometime that year, so that's the justification for forcing us to stay - mom wanted her to pack everything right there and then.
I told her we were going to leave anyway, and that we were both adults and could do that. She blew up on me. I didn't buckle, so she left, and then came back trying to physically harm me. I'm much stronger and faster, and she couldn't even land a punch. I was able to remain stationary and deflect every attempt to the side. When she realized she couldn't hurt me, she called the police.
'Please come quick, my son is attacking my daughter and I and I'm so afraid and I don't know what he'll do...' etc.
Well, knowing my mom was how she was, I had expected trouble from the initial blowup. She didn't know that I'd had my camera rolling in my pocket the whole time. The story she fed the police was obviously a lie from the audio. I told her as much while she was still on the line with dispatch. The look of shock on her face was priceless. She began screaming to dispatch then about how something must be wrong with me because I was so calm.
So yeah. I always knew I couldn't really trust my mom, but I never expected her to deliberately lie in a way that could have messed up a significant portion of my life or put me in jail. That definitely changed the way I looked at her."
"There was this one girl I'd known for a long time but wasn't massively close to who we all thought was being terribly controlled by her boyfriend. She would tell us that he decided when she was allowed to drink, when she was allowed to go out, what she was allowed to do etc. and that he hid things around the house, and that he had started to impose bedtimes for her and shout at her over what seemed like extremely minor things. We all thought he was awful and encouraged her to leave.
Then she moved in with me and I realized she was extremely emotionally unstable and a heavy drinker. Within months, I found myself wanting to do, or in some cases actually doing, all the things she said her 'controlling' boyfriend had done. I remember one time after trying to remain patient with her for a while, she said one thing that was relatively minor and it was the last straw - I just snapped and screamed at her. I then got phone calls from all our mutual friends to talk about 'my behavior' and 'anger management,' presumably as a result of the story being told back to them in a...somewhat biased way ...
So, in a way, her secret changed my opinion of him."
"There was a woman whom I considered my friend for many, many years. She had cancer, survived it, but it was still there and created many problems.
She even appeared on tv shows as an advocate for cancer patients, did a lot of political activism, was very much opposed to euthanasia. Published some books.
Then one fine day, through a series of coincidences, it turned out that her cancer had never existed. She had completely made it up. A big fat whopping lie.
I would feel ashamed because I fell for it for so long - except that a lot of other people fell for it too, including professionals - doctors, nurses, priests...
Needless to say, it ended that friendship. And it made me think a lot about how easily fooled we all are.
Oh, by the way, she has died by now. Of cancer. I'm not kidding. Not the cancer she had made up, of course. Karma can be such a kick in the pants!"
"A family member's ex wife of several years whom I was still close with asked me never to leave my daughter alone with my relative. She said that the reason they never had kids was that he confided when incredibly wasted that he had uncontrollable desires towards young, really young girls. He was upset and told her he felt he was evil and deserved to die. She asked him if he ever did anything and he said no and asked her to forgive him and asked god to make him better. Again, he was like blacked out.
This was surprising information. She didn't tell me in spite and actually still loves him very much. I haven't heard or seen evidence of grooming or any extra attention paid to any of the female children in my family. He could have just been really hammered and out of his mind but there is zero way I'm going to leave my daughter alone with him or let her out of my sight at family functions.
I don't have evidence that what she said was true so I can't really do anything with the information other than be diligent."
"I just found out yesterday that my wife (29), a teacher, started an affair with a student (18) of hers about 2 months ago. We have been together for 10 years and married for 4. We have a 4 month old daughter and she threw it all away, career, marriage, and family. I had no idea anything was wrong until 6 days ago when I found her crying in bed and she told me she was depressed, no longer in love with me, and suicidal mostly because of my drinking habits. I took sole responsibility, swore off drinking, and had us signed up for marriage counseling the same day plus got her in contact with a postpartum depression group. 6 days later she is sent to a crisis center by her school and I find out everything after the psychiatrist there makes her tell me the truth when I show up to bring her home. My life is so messed up right now that I can’t even sleep and I’m holding a 4 month old baby trying not to cry while her cheating mother is 5 miles away in a hospital room. Safe to say I will never see my wife the same way again."
"She was a work friend. Our kids played together and we were friends for 3-4 years. I considered her a BFF since she was one of the few people I met/connected with after moving to the area.
She went to HR one day and told them she feared that I had 'single white female syndrome' and asked to have her desk moved without me knowing. After that, she became more snippy over work stuff to the point where I was confused as to why she was treating me this way. Ended up having a big blow out... I found out later on about the SWF accusation and we did end up 'making up' for the sake of not losing our jobs, but I never could trust her again after she'd essentially thrown me under the bus at work because she thought I was copying her.
For the record, the 'incident' that made her think I was going SWF crazy on her was I used to be blonde and I dyed my hair brunette and she was a brunette.
So yeah, she's cray."
"I had this teacher in high school. He was funny, intelligent, and down-to-earth. He liked to tell us stories about growing up on a farm out in the sticks. I was a pretty good student, and he encouraged me, above and beyond the call of duty. He wrote me some recommendations that got me some great opportunities. I wanted to call him up earlier this year to ask him for some advice on becoming a teacher.
First thing I see when I google his name is a headline. They got him for indecent stuff online with minors. I was floored. I still get chills thinking it might have been me."
"I had a work friend back in the day. His wife was really mean to him. She always would tell me his kids hate him (even though they would run to the door excited when their daddy was home) and when she was really mad at him, she would flip out and say that he banged his sister and got it on with a pig. He would just ignore her and not say anything back. Now I just ignored it because she would always try and make him look bad when she was mad at him. Well one night we were drinking and he was pretty wasted. His wife got mad and did it again but this time the heated exchange went like this:
Wife: 'You banged your sister and you porked a pig once!'
'You know what!? Eff you! That stuff happened like 3 years ago. You need to just drop it and move on, I don't deserve to have it rubbed in my face all the time.'
Then I realized why she held such resentment towards him and I noped the heck out of there and never talked to them again. I feel so bad for their kids. It was a really dysfunctional situation for them. Luckily, I heard they aren't together anymore."
"My old man used to hang nooses in the garage when I was very small as a way to manipulate my mother into staying with him. 'I'll kill myself if you leave.' This as far back as 1990. She finally left him 7 years ago. When I found out how terrible he'd been to her all this time, I could never look at him the same way.
He did not kill himself."
"My formerly favorite aunt was jealous of my relationship with her son, my younger cousin. He has always been like my little brother and I was his go-to person for everything. While arguing with him, she accused us of having a romantic, physical relationship (in way more derogatory language) because why else would we be so close (Never mind him basically being raised in my home and me always babysitting ). I hope it was just for shock value but I was disgusted that she would stoop so low to hurt him and me in turn. I told my mother about it and she doesn't believe her sister would say something like that. We must have 'misunderstood her.' I don't see how you can misunderstand what that witch said, but whatever."
"I'm old, so I've had this happen a few times.
-I was out to dinner with a few of our guy friends, who are all in their 40s. They proceed to go on long rants about how women in their 30s and 40s have too much 'baggage' and that everyone should be trying to get girlfriends in their teens and 20s. These are guys often with a divorce or even two behind them, with kids, with multiple issues, etc. They've lived life. But they don't want the same from women.
-A good friend for nearly 15 years tells me he is cheating. Absolutely 'loves his wife to bits' but she's 'boring' now that she only has time for her full-time job, being a mom to their three kids, and honestly doing a lot to keep his life running. He was totally shocked when I said it was inexcusable and he needed to stop immediately. He thought it was just fun and harmless, even knowing his wife would be utterly devastated."
"I dated this kid when I was like 12. He was about 14. We met when I was 10. I had dinner with his suburban, middle class family. He was the oldest, adored his little sisters, and had a caring mother. I broke up with him for whatever because I was 12, but we never held a grudge. Then we had a class together in high school. He would give me notes and drawings full of puns and stupid jokes, and I had known him for so long that we got along pretty well as friends. I never hung out with him outside of class, though my friends often did. Just ran into him here and there and would shoot the breeze. Our teacher kept asking me when we were going to date. Said we had great chemistry and he was obviously into me. I simply commented that we'd already dated, and we're just friends; because I honestly no longer found him attractive.
A couple years later when I was 18, I was with my best friend and she told me that she invited him over one night for a party. Upon hearing this, a particularly crass friend of ours off-handedly commented, 'He's a predator.' Knowing her personality, my best friend didn't think anything of it. And unfortunately, they got wasted and he violated her that night. She spoke up about it to another childhood friend of mine, who I had known even longer. She mentioned that it happened to her, too. And mind you, this other friend and I met the guy at the same exact time when we were kids. 10-12 year old kids. All 3 of us.
I was really sickened by it all. I blocked him and encouraged them both to go to the police, though they did not. I then remembered something that I had not thought of for a long, long time.
On one of our dates when I was 12, he took me to the movie theatre. I repeatedly told him that I had never kissed someone before and I wasn't ready, he put his lips to mine saying 'come on,' 'just try' over and over. I just sat there with my lips pressed tightly together as he kissed me. A friend of my sister happened to be there and see us. He told her, and she called me out like, 'I heard you made out with --! oOOo!' I told her I didn't kiss him, and she took it like I was just embarrassed and trying to cover for myself, but that was not the case. I really didn't kiss him, and repeatedly told him no. Didn't realize how violating that actually was at the time. And again, he was only 14. These traits started very, very young for him...
I then ran into him, again, at college. I tried to avoid him, but he called my name every time, and we'd small talk. He once even mentioned, 'I don't think (the previously mentioned best friend) likes me. I don't know why.' I did not comment on it because I no longer trust him or his impulses.
I just said, 'I'm not sure.'
He pressed on like, 'I tried to come to her party recently and she locked me out. I was just trying to ... I don't know why she..."'All while acting like the same, caring, charismatic, funny guy I knew growing up. It's honestly disgusting.
"I worked at Walgreens several years ago and I had one coworker (let's call her Amy) who I had a decent friendship with, she was quite a bit older than me and had the same kind of 'zero cares given' I have towards life, so we hit it off and became work buddies. We worked a lot of nights together and the longer she worked there the less work she did. Eventually all she was interested in doing was gossiping about other coworkers. Anyway.
We had a night manager (let's call him George) who was from Nigeria and only worked nights because he was putting himself through medical school. He also had sickle cell and was frequently sick but always somehow managed to show up for every shift and get work done. Not mention always being extremely caring towards other people. I had a huge amount of respect for this guy, I loved working with him.
One night it was George closing, with Amy working the front register and me in the photo lab. I was watching the front when she was on her break and when she came back she pulled me aside to whine about George. Basically I guess he had noticed she was just standing at the counter all night reading magazines (which was not allowed, people got written up and fired over this) and asked her to do her regular tasks instead. Didn't write her up or anything, just told her she needed to actually do work. Anyway I mainly was just listening and shrugging like, 'Yeah yeah, I get it, work sucks haha,' and trying to walk away.
That's when she said, 'Ugh, it's so annoying! He likes you, talk to him! Get this (n word) off my back!'
So...yeah. From that night on I interacted with her as little as possible. She ended up transferring stores after that. I heard shortly after that, she was fired for 'grazing'...i.e. taking edible merchandise from the shelf and eating it. Without paying for it. Apparently she did it a lot, while she was at our store too. Super weird.
...I don't know why I felt the need to write this out. It was over 4 years ago but still just rubs me the wrong way. Gotta love that 'you're white, you understand' casual prejudice."
"A friend of mine was arrested for possessing, distributing and producing child smut. His 5 year old step-son opened up to his bio-Dad during a weekend visit and it launched an investigation that exposed a child abuse ring within the local fire department. Somehow he's already out of prison and he tried to casually start a conversation on Facebook messenger. Immediate block."
"A good friend of mine is a graphic designer and I’ve always been very supportive of his projects and commissions. I always express excitement and give him props for the designs he creates.
I’m an artist, but I just like to paint and make music and do all sorts of little projects of my own. I’ve never done it for money, I’ve always just done it bc there’s something inside me that feels a passion and a need to express and create. I’ve rarely sold anything, and a lot of things like my animations aren’t really things I can sell. I just enjoy the process of creating. Anyways...
So I finished a painting last week and someone was showing a lot of interest in buying it. I asked my friend what I should ask for it. Instead of being supportive, he started degrading and belittling me. He laughed at the fact that someone wanted to buy it, and went on and on about how it’s a rip off to ask $200 for a painting that will just hang on a wall. 'I would NEVER pay over $100 for that,' he said. 'At least with me I can ask for those prices because they are for businesses and businesses make money and they need design work.'
Instead of letting him hurt my feelings, I just felt bad for him. It was obvious that his words were coming from a place of unhappiness and insecurity. The need for him to compare himself to me and make himself feel bigger than me was obvious that it was coming from inside him and did not reflect on me. To be honest and not to boast, but it’s one of my favorite paintings I’ve done and I’m very proud of my work. Until this week, I’ve only ever given my art away to friends and to people who show interest and show me that they really enjoy what I’ve created. I like to give things away when I’m feeling a good energy from someone. So to make money off of it was something foreign to me, but made me feel good.
I realized in that moment that he is actually pretty toxic for me. I started looking back on similar things he’s done and how he’s responded that way to many things I’ve done. The music I’ve showed him, he just kind of chuckles at and dismisses. I made 5 songs that I sent to my friends just to see what they thought. All the other people listened and responded well. I’m no Mozart, but it’s fun to do and to share it with those close to me means a lot to me. He never once listened to them. And he let me know that he never listened to them. It just showed me that he is not a supportive friend and he is a very insecure person. Nothing against insecure people, we all have our insecurities, but when they manifest in negative ways then it’s just toxic.
I mailed that painting yesterday for $300. I’m very proud of myself and I’m really glad that the buyer is so happy with their purchase. I learned that my friend isn’t really a friend and all the support has always been one sided. I’m getting older fast and my social life is shrinking so I now understand the importance of understanding who is actually bringing you up and who is only putting you down. It’s all love though, just gonna keep a little distance for now. I hope he can find the inner happiness that he obviously is needing."