Parents sometimes keep secrets from each other, but it's the ones that are kept between parent and child that often arise from the best mischief.
Many fathers have uttered the phrase "Don't tell mom" either just before, or just after, an especially epic moment.
Reddit user u/lexicalwizardry asked:
The responses ranged from hilarious to adorable to utterly cringeworthy.
Was making popcorn over the stove for the first time. While removing the cardboard top I unsecured the foil that is supposed to keep the kernels inside. It was a war zone, popcorn flying everywhere my daughter was using a pillow as a shield and I was behind the counter.
At the end of it there was butter and popcorn everywhere. My wife is a neat freak and would lose her mind if she found out the mess we had made. Even my 4 year old at the time was in a panic trying to pick up.
I'm a dad, but this story is about my dad.
It was the summer before my last year at college. A friend of mine got a job across country and he decided to take the opportunity to see as much of America as possible before he had to start work. He asked me to come along. It was going to be a month long road trip. We'd contacted a few friends and relatives along the way where we could crash, the company was paying for gas and 5 nights hotel, and we brought along a tent for the days we didn't have a place to stay. I'd saved up a little money at my summer job.
The night before we left, my dad was sitting in his recliner reading the paper as always. I sat there on the couch watching TV.
Now, my dad was a very conservative man. Old school. The kind of "kids should be seen and not heard" parent. Not big on emotional displays. Frugal to a fault.
So after everyone else had turned in for the night, it was just me and him. He motioned me over, and pulled out an envelope he had hidden. Looked at me over his reading glasses and said "don't tell your mother about this" as he handed me the envelope.
It was filled with money. Not a lot by today's standards but a lot in 1986 and without a doubt more money than I'd ever seen my dad carry. I sat down and said "I don't know what to say."
He responded "Have fun," and went back to his newspaper.
He died six months later. That moment was the last real one on one interaction I had with my father. A little while after he'd died, my mom was going through his dresser drawer when she found his stash. Apparently my dad had been squirreling away cash for years. Walking around money for when he went on one of his many fishing trips. He dipped into it so that I'd have some walking around money on my trip.
When I was ten years old my dad came to my school before noon and told the principal that I had a doctor's appointment. I had no idea he was coming at all, and seeing him in my class was a bit of a shock. He then told my teacher I have to go to the doctor's, and I was believing that I was actually going to the doctor's.
We ended up going to a baseball game for the whole afternoon. My mom was out of town for a couple of days and my dad told me to never tell her that he got me to play hooky from school.
I've got a very clear memory of being in the supermarket with my dad who was holding a stubby of VB beer and I must have only been about 4 years old. I asked him for a sip of his drink and he sort of shrugged and handed me the bottle. I took a sip and was like "Blehhhghhhhghhh" and he cracked up laughing at my disgust and took the bottle back. Then he turned semi serious and said "Don't tell your mum."
My wife doesn't have reddit so I'll go.
It's probably about 3 years ago. I have 2 kids they would have been 5 and 7. I lose 1 of them at a popular amusement park. Not for a second, but for over 2 hours. I'm freaking out for over two hours. Asked for help from park security. There must have been hundreds of people looking for her for hours.
Turns out she was riding a kiddie ride over and over and the ride operator just let her because she thought we were nearby. I was planning on leaving the country because I couldn't find my kid. Yeah, so don't tell mom.
I guess the ride operator got in trouble too.
Freaks me out just thinking about that day.
8 years old is an appropriate age to introduce a kid to The Princess Bride. She loved the movie. Right near the end Inigo Montoya says "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die YOU SON OF A B**CH."
"Daddy, he said a swear word!"
"Don't tell your mom."
-User Account Deleted
Pops died a few years ago, so I'll write this for him:
My wife gave up everything for the kids, and for me. She never had new clothes, or the new sewing machine or exercise equipment that she wanted. So in 1998 when we finally started making good money, we bought her dream car, a bright red BMW Z3 convertible. Not my first choice, but she loved it. It was a sporty little car, the nicest we'd ever owned.
That's also around the time that we started having some trouble with our older boy. He started smoking pot and drinking. He was failing all but his favorite classes in school, and he had what the doctor called a "suicidal gesture". He didn't make a real attempt, but he had a plan and he told us about it. Luckily, he agreed pretty readily to therapy.
On one particular doctor's visit, he asked me to drive him in the Z3. Of course, I did. It was boring waiting for his session to be over (pre smart phones), but it was a beautiful day. We rode home with the top down, and I saw my son genuinely smiling. It was rare and beautiful. But then, on the interstate, some asshole about my age indicated that he wanted to race. He was seatbelted, there were no cars in front of us. I opened it up to over 100mph. The guy kept up.
Son laughed. I told him, "Sometimes in life, you just have to show your @ss." And then I stomped the pedal. The asshole in the Mercedes backed off, but I let the speedometer climb. 120, 130, 140...
His/ head was thrown back laughing, and he looked so happy that I had a hard time watching the road. I let the little car coast, and we drifted back down to safe speeds. He was laughing and beaming at me, and I was laughing pretty hard, too. I asked him not to tell his mom. He agreed, and he did at least wait several years, when he was grown and out of the house. I still caught a slap on the arm for it.
My dad once forgot to pick my brother and I up from (elementary) school for 3 hours. It was a short day and he rarely picked us up to begin with. Once the school finally reached him, he came tearing into the parking lot and begged my brother and I to not tell our mom.
Took my daughter for some tire-spinning good times on one of the many dirt roads in our area.
Doing donuts in an Isuzu Rodeo w a 7 year old girl yelling AGAIN! My wife would have flipped her s**t. We were buckled in, and on a dirt road with no traffic. It was fine.
I brought my sons, 5 and 10, to Circus Circus in Las Vegas for a weekend. I lost the younger one for a full 5 minutes at one point. Scariest 5 minutes of my life, and mom never heard about it.
I absolutely sincerely promise you she's lost one or both of those kids, too, and that you never heard about it. Both my parents lost me tons of times when I was tiny- neither knew any better. Except the one time my dad lost track of me and I wound up on the news grooving to an Elvis impersonator. B-roll of a happy ginger toddler dancing carelessly.
It works out!!
As a child of separated parents, I had this said a few times to me by my dad but the best was when he had a big house party with his bike mates and a stripper. I was about 10. My aunty was rounding up all the kids to go inside but I didn't want too. I asked dad if I could watch the lady. He was probably drunk and said "don't tell your mother, she will kill me" so I watch the stripper and thought she was the most amazing lady in the world.
Later that night Dad's mate, Rat, got in to a fight and had a cut above his eye. Dad gets his first aid kit to stitch him up and tell me to run off but I ask if I can watch. Dad just says if your Mum finds out, I am dead. I never told her until Dad was dead and I was about 29. She laughed but we both know she would have killed him.
When my dad remarried it was to a devout Mormon woman with a large Mormon family. Every time she left the house we had a "don't tell Mom" moment. When I dressed up as Jesus for Halloween he laughed and laughed only to end it with "don't say anything about this"
My dad used to own and ride motorcycles. I must've been about 5 at the time of this story and he was tinkering with his bike. He wanted to test it on the field behind our house and I begged him for a ride. He said yes and I hopped on (90's. No leathers or helmets!) and we were off.
At some point, he made a sharp turn and I lost my hold. Next thing, I'm sitting in the dirt and blinking confusedly as he pulls up beside me, panicked as all hell and proceeds to check me over before he said "We're not telling your mum about this, okay?" I didn't even have a scratch and I never told her.
Im not a father I'm a son but somehow me and my dad manage to break 2 windows
My dad replaced the windows in 2 damn hours
Father of two girls. I always felt it was Mom's job to warn them about dangerous stuff. It was my job to give them permission to take a chance every now and then, expand their parameters of risk.
There was this fun waterfall in our town, stream of water coming out of a cliffside. You could climb up onto a ledge that would let you stand behind the waterfall. Wasn't much of a climb, but the girls were about 4 and 6 at the time.
They asked if they could climb up. I said "Sure." After they started climbing, I wasn't sure at all. The climb up was a little steeper for small people.
But they were game, and up they went. Every once in a while one or the other would look back at me and ask where they should go next. I think the correct answer was "Come back down."
But you know, in for a penny, in for a pound. I just shouted good advice, "Go left. Make sure you have a good grip and your feet are secure before you make another move up. Don't look down."
Aaaand they made it up. I joined them on the ledge. They were so proud and happy, and they had earned that trip behind the waterfall. Couldn't wait to tell Mom!
Yeah, no. Mom had seen that waterfall many times. I said, "Let's just keep this climb our little secret. Don't want to worry your Mom." I didn't think it would be useful to also mention the risk that Mom might kick my @ss. She didn't carry two babies nine months so I could break them.
Well, that invitation to conspiracy just made the trip up even more worthwhile for the girls. Not sure if they ever told Mom. I do remember a phone call from her some 17 years later when our oldest girl was in the Peace Corps in a mud hut in Mali, and the younger girl was in the Israeli military.
"Both of my babies are thousands of miles away!" she said. "What the hell did you say to them?"
I told them they were right to let their fear make them careful, but not to let it make them quit. I told them that if you're not afraid at first, you can't be brave. Brave girls. Can't have too many of them, right?
Not the father, but my dad and I were working on breaking down an old shed and one of the things we had to do was cut a couple planks so they could fit in the bed of his truck. We would lay the plank out on the table and he would cut through it with a chainsaw while the other side was held down by a clamp. At some point I had to hold down the plank (I think the clamp broke) while he cut the plank.
I guess the weight wasn't well distributed because when the chain hit the wood, it veered left and almost gutted me. There was about an inch of air between my torso and the chainsaw.
So yeah, almost got murdered by my own dad. We agreed to never speak of it again.
My youngest daughter, maybe 4 at the time, came out of the bathroom one day shaking her hands in the air and said, "Nobody f**king listens to me!" Which she obviously heard from me. I said, "Shh, your mom might hear" and so of course she repeated it. Not a proud moment but it was funny.
Not a father. Daughter to a father—who washed an entire car engine in the family dishwasher.
Not my son, but I lived with a girlfriend at the time and her seven year old son. One day I told my girlfriend that I would take my bicycle to pick him up from school. She told me that under no circumstances was I to give him a ride on the bike. Sure. When I got to the school he of course asked for a ride.
Seeing that it was a beautiful day, a small town, and almost no traffic on the streets we would take I said sure -- but don't tell your Mom. So we are peddling along with his butt on the bar in front of me when suddenly I find myself catapulted six feet in the air almost straight up. Time slowed and I remember wondering WTF just happened?
The ground was soon approaching and I put my arms out in front of me to prevent my skull being crushed and rolled. Immediately I panicked and realized that the kid must be seriously hurt. I turn around to find him sitting on top of a seriously bent bicycle laughing with a big smile.
Turns out he had stuck his foot in the spokes of the front wheel, as evidenced by a shoe jammed in the bent front wheel. That shoe jammed the wheel, bent the front forks all the way back to the frame, and catapulted us head over heels. He miraculously did not have a scratch on him.
I, on the other hand, cracked a bone in one or possibly both of my elbows and was soon in extreme pain from contracting muscles. My girlfriend was not pleased.
Obligatory not a father, but when I was around six my dad got Austin Powers- international man of mystery on VHS. I gave him my best puppy eye look and he let me watch it with him. When the scene with the ill-tempered sea bass came, he tried to hold his hands before my eyes, but it was too late. I saw a man loose his head and was shocked with tears filling my eyes. He then sat me down and told me: do NOT tell mom! (mom was really strict with movies).
About an hour later I greeted mom at the door by yelling: GUESS WHAT DAD AND I WATCHED TOGETHER!!!
As the kid, on a vacation home from college while my mom was away visiting my sister, I came home to visit my dad (who's a teacher and couldn't travel with her). My mom had told us there were chili leftovers in the fridge, and we usually toast Saltine crackers lightly in the oven to eat with chili. Well, we only found out how long we'd toasted them when the toaster caught fire. Actual fire.
We brought it out to the porch, he bought a new toaster, and we never spoke of it again. Until my mom came home and noticed the new toaster immediately, at which time it was spoken of.
My parents adopted a pit bull puppy. He had a habit of eating the couch, which made my mother very upset. So I walked into the room, and he had completely destroyed a pillow. My dad frantically stuffed the fuzz back in the pillow and my mom is not wiser.
Luckily my mom grew to like the little guy, and now he destroys the couch on a routine basis and gets away with it.
The evidence: https://i.imgur.com/jcvhRpE.jpg
"Don't tell mum I fell asleep". Whenever mum went out at night dad would fall asleep before eight. My brother and I would entertain ourselves, stay up a few hours then put ourselves to bed when we got tired. Dad would wake up right before mum would get home and go to bed, making it look like we all went to sleep on time.
Turns out he was passed out drunk. Every single time.
Dad here. I have a gaming room/office for PC gaming and all the Nintendo consoles. My children know that it's my sanctuary with Nintendo games that I played as a child. I do let my kids game but it's the moment that they seem sad or are having a rough day... or even in trouble with mom. I toss them a controller or even just sit and talk while they game. At times they get the "don't tell mom" while we game and share a moment while sipping root beers. They never do tell!
Otherwise, breaking random crap in the house while throwing balls at each other or wrestling always gets the "don't tell mom" going too.
My dad took me to a baseball game once about 2 months ago. Thought we were gonna get the cheap $17 seats.
He purchased $68 tickets for him and I. Great seats, near home plate between home and third.
"Don't tell mom" he told me as he payed for them.
We were running cows around in outback Australia to a buyer of ours. Father of mine making a random "chuck in all the stuff in the cupboard" sorta stew. In this pressure cooker way back like the old style. I think he had a few double scotches and fell asleep and he sorta woke up in a rush realising he'd forgotten our dinner. And boom. He opened the pressure cooker to an explosion of stock and meat. Literally hit the roof. It's a miracle no one got hit and burnt actually. Anyway we proceeded to scrape it off the bench/walls into a bowl and mop up the juices with bread while he mopped the floor. "Don't tell your mother"
I'm not a father but I have one regarding my dad. My mom has this white coffee table that she loves and she's always yelling at my dad for putting his feet on it and stuff. One night, my parents, my girlfriend and I were playing a board game on it. My dad dropped a pencil and got a mark on it but my mom wasn't paying attention. His face when it happened was the best. He just had this great "Oh sh*t!" face and my girlfriend and I could barely contain our laughter.
He tried so hard to get the mark off and kept sneaking scared glances at her to make sure she wasn't paying attention. For the rest of the night, he kept looking at the mark and then at my mom but somehow she didn't see it. My girlfriend and I even kept making subtle jokes about it and she didn't realize.
She noticed weeks later, and definitely gave him a lot of hell for it.
When I dropped one of my step-mom's wine glasses, but it didn't break, and while yelling at me my dad knocked over three more, shattering them all.
I was setting up some art with my father on my wall when we accidentally put a big hole in the drywall. We covered it with the art and he said “don’t tell your mother” and I said “sure thing”.
She stills doesn’t know to this day.
Dad caught me stealing cookies from the pantry at midnight... He did this as he was sneaking into the kitchen to steal cookies too.
Dad rear ended someone on our way to go skiing and told me “not to tell mom” but I did anyway. In my defense I was 3.
Ooh, so many from my dad. Once when mom was away he decided he didn't feel like getting up to take us to school, so he kept us home for a whole week and fed us lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
When my mom is at work and me and my father is home we throw an awesome 2 man party and thrash the whole house, but when my mom get's home everything is clean
I'll tell my dads story, since he's not on reddit.
I live in Milwaukee and my grandparents used to own a cabin in the northern part of the state, they also had some three-wheeled ATVs on their property. One weekend over the summer the whole family was up there, my dad took my brother and I on a ride, Dad in the middle me on the back, my baby brother on the front in his lap. Now this was the early 90s so let's give him a break on saftey. We were wearing ill fitting helmets after all. He takes us on a ride to some sand dunes down the road, and we take a ride slowly up and down these dunes.
I say "Daddy! Faster!" My father obliged and up we go, and down we go, and the the world turns. My dad flipped the three-wheeler on its side. My brother went left, by dad went left, and I went right....under the three-wheeler. It rolled over me on the sand. Probably the only reason I avoided injury was sand and malleable 6 year old bones. Needless to say after he was satisfied that nothing was broken, he says "you can NEVER tell your mother." I'm 34 now and I never have.
One night I was enjoying a small bit of ice cream after my four year old daughter went to bed. She came downstairs and 'caught' me. So I offered her a small bite, but since she was supposed to be in bed, I said "don't tell mom." She assured me she wouldn't. My wife wouldn't have cared anyway but it was a fun little game to play.
After she went up to bed and I was down on the couch, she snuck in to the master bedroom where mom was resting. She told mom that I had let her have some ice cream, and she was afraid of "sugar bugs" so could she please brush her teeth again. My wife just laughed at me the next day. Little bugger ratted me out to brush her teeth, something she doesn't like doing anyway.
Once, very young me had a little floaty accident in the bathtub. Dad deftly shoveled up the bath turd with one of my mom's long pink hair picks. He washed it up, told me not to tell her, of course, and to this day I mentally snicker when I see people wearing bright colored hair picks. But my secret will stay safe from mom forever.
My wife or I will write notes and put them in our 9 year old son's lunch box most days. One day my wife's note was found by a boy named Max in my son's class and read aloud to his table. Needless to say my son came home quite embarrassed. Since I'm currently unemployed I went to have lunch with my son at school the next day. Towards the end of lunch, he points the boy out to me.
We have always preached turning the other cheek, telling the teacher, etc, but something about this kid's face made all those teachings fly out of window. I told my son "now listen, I'm going to tell you something you can say to him but you cannot tell your mother". My son replies that he'll keep our secret so I give him a pretty mild burn and tell him to use it discretely. Fast forward to that evening and my wife is signing the daily conduct sheet upon which is written:
"Your son came into the classroom after lunch and yelled to the entire class that Max's mother doesn't send him notes because she doesn't love him". He didn't rat me out to the teacher but I fell on the sword for him at home.
When I was a kid, my dad would mow the lawn and then sneak up to the local dive bar and have a beer before my mom noticed he was done. I grew up in a town of roughly 1,200 people and the bar was two blocks away so it was totally feasible. My dad used to bring me with him, bribe my silence with a $1 bag of redskin peanuts and a can of Mountain Dew. My mom always knew because I'd slip up about the peanuts a day or two later.
Fast forward to being 24. I'd just moved to a new state after grad school with my then-boyfriend's job, I was underemployed at the time and my only company was my new kitten. I didn't tell my parents but I think my dad always knew I was miserable. One day I got a package from home that was 1 lb of redskin peanuts. He tracked down the vendor from the bar and bought them in a bulk bag. Still warms my heart when I think about it three years later.
At 16 my parents helped me get a car; the keys to freedom were: Per Dad: no tickets, pay my own gas and maintenance and Per Mom: home by curfew After a few close calls/negotiating a few extra minutes with upset Mom, Dad recommends I call him if I'm cutting it close. Really...? From then on, I'd call Dad, he'd tell Mom that he would wait up, aka fall asleep in the lazyboy. This was a 2 birds one stone deal. He got parenting cred from Mom (go on to bed, honey) and a good night's nap in the lazyboy until I drifted home.
Miss you Dad.
There are some questions that illustrate such vulnerability, such open tragedy on the part of the asker that we fend off tears while we come up with an appropriate answer.
Sometimes the question comes from someone who's been so steeped in struggle that they need help understanding that another possible reality exists.
Sometimes it's a question that cuts right to our own core with startling efficiency.
Whatever form it takes, it stops us in our tracks and we're likely to remember it for quite awhile after.
Curious to hear the saddest examples, Redditor julylovestory asked:
"What question has someone asked you that secretly broke your heart?"
Many Redditors responded by sharing the sad questions uttered by young children.
Kids just have the knack for cutting straight through to the essence of it all.
A Tragic Conscientiousness
"As we passed the toy aisle at the store, 'I know you don't have much money right now, but maybe when you get some we could come back and get a toy?' "
"I was not doing well financially back then and my daughter brought me to tears in the middle of the store."
Puzzled and Sad
"First day of preschool for my three year old son. The first time he would ever be away from Mom & Dad at the same time."
"I brought him to the room and expected a meltdown, but instead he confidently strutted, and I do mean strutted into the classroom."
"Three hours later, I picked him up. He was ok until we got to the car when he said, in quiet sad voice 'l thought you were coming with,' followed by an even sadder quieter 'Why did you leave me?' "
" 'Can I wish for my sister?' - A 10-year-old student of mine whose big sister died 4 years ago. We were working on an activity about dreams and aspirations for their futures."
How Bad Must It Be?
"I was like 22 and it was probably 10pm or so at a Walmart. I was on my way to a party and stopped for beer. The store was fairly empty and as I was in the beer aisle, I see this kid completely by himself."
"He was about 5 and at first I thought it was kind of funny because he was trying to pick up a case of beer. I waited like 30-60 seconds, looking around for this kid's mom/dad to come get him. A couple people walked right by him like it was normal, so then I started getting worried. I picked up my two cases of beer and walked over and kindly asked him if he lost his mom or needed help."
"The kid completely ignored the question and instead was thoroughly impressed that I was strong enough to carry two cases of beer. Eventually an employee noticed and came over as well. I told her everything I knew and she took over and told him that she was going to bring him to find his mom."
"As he was walking away he kept looking back at me and I smiled and said goodbye. The kid stopped and said 'can I just come home with you? I don't like my mom.' "
"I was caught off guard so I just laughed and told him the lady was going to help him. Now I'll never know the full story, or what happened to him but the more I think about it - that kid more than likely had a pretty shi**y childhood."
"I mean, the store wasn't busy and it was late at night on a weekday. It really makes you wonder why he was there in the first place, how he got separated from his mom and why would he ask to go with a complete stranger instead of worrying about where his mom was?"
"It still makes me sad. Hope everything worked out for the little dude."
Others talked about the times when they or somebody else realized just how tragic their own circumstances were.
"My ex asked me what I liked to do with my family growing up."
"Made me realize my family never did anything together and I literally had no answer to such a basic question."
Seeing Another Version
"During college, parents took a friend and I out to dinner. Very normal dinner, chit chatted about whatever. After we left and were walking back to my car, he turns to me and says 'Is that what a normal relationship is like?' "
"We talked more after that, I had met his parents a few times and they seemed strict but never seemed to have a terrible relationship. Turned out apparently his dad had cheated on his mom multiple times, dad had zero respect for any of my friends sisters and essentially expected them to do all the housework while the men did 'guy stuff.' "
"Hunting, training for sports, school, etc. Turned out his childhood was pretty fu**ed, dad was never around and he had to essentially be the father figure in the house. As the oldest child, never really saw a normal loving relationship that he could look up to."
"My friend is a really nice guy, still has some messed up views of relationships though. I never realized how 'abnormal' my very normal family/childhood was."
A Better Place
" 'You've never beaten me or told me I couldn't do something. Is that normal?'
"My first girlfriend told me that. I have never felt such a wave of anger, sadness, and heartbreak wash over me like I did when I heard that"
And some people discussed the time a question destroyed their social confidence.
Worst Teacher Ever
"I have a stutter, when I was a kid I had to read a page of a book to the class. I stuttered, and the teacher said 'can you even read' and that fu**ing broke my 13 year old heart."
"No one takes stuttering seriously."
There's the Answer
"When I was 19, I hung out with a cute girl from my high school that I never got to hang with when we were in school. Had a great day together, and that night she asked, 'can we be like secret friends or something? I don't really hang out with people like you.' "
"Never hung out again."
Comparing and Contrasting
" 'Oh, are you the girl with the hot sister ?' " -- JustehOK
"I worked in a department with two Melissas. One day, I was sitting next to one Melissa when we overheard another coworker say to someone, 'have you seen little Melissa?' "
"The other Melissa got kind of a defeated look in her eye and said, 'oh, I'm big Melissa.' " -- EarhornJones
It's a list that's sad enough to leave one wondering about the questions they've received that struck them as particularly hopeless.
Sometimes, though, that vulnerability can be the start of accepting new realities and new possibilities.
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If you live on this earth and you're fortunate enough to form long-lasting relationships with different people, chances are you'll know the pain of heartbreak. It's an unavoidable fact of life.
We are not guaranteed to stay with one person forever, as we were reminded once Redditor disturbance of mirrors asked the online community,
"People whose long-term relationship faded, what was the final straw that made you realize it was time to call it a day?"
"The last time..."
"When she 'broke up' with me for the 12th time.
We had a long-distance relationship and whenever we had an issue or a disagreement, instead of engaging in a conversation with me about it, she would say we were done and shut me out for two or three days before coming back and manipulating me into groveling for her forgiveness. The last time, I just said no to going back and stuck to it. She freaked out and tried to drive 6 hours to my place at 2:00 a.m... I got a call from her mom saying she had left in the middle of the night as a head's up and, upon finally getting ahold of her when she was just a couple of hours away, I was able to convince her to turn back.
That relationship f***** me up for a while but, once I began dating my now fiancee, it was unbelievable to me how wonderful a real, loving relationship with healthy communication can be."
"Her brother was living with us..."
"Mine was not a slow burn like most seem to be, but a very definitive moment.
Her brother was living with us and this was right when WiFi was becoming available to the general public. We couldn't afford it cuz we were broke kids, so her brother would take my GF's MacBook (it was a gift) and sit on a nearby bus bench and leech off someone's unsecured WiFi.
Well, one day we get a call from her sister and she says we need to get home immediately. Turns out some guys came up and asked him for change for a $20 and when he told them he didn't have it they tried to snatch the Mac and jump in their car.
He knew it wasn't his so he held onto it and tried to get it back but they were too much. He had gotten dragged by the car, kicked in the head, and then had his leg run over. He was in pretty bad shape.
As we turn the corner (didn't know what had happened yet) GF sees cop cars and an ambulance and says "This better not have anything to do with my Mac. We walk in and he's visibly in bad shape and she is just immediately "Did you lose my Mac?" I'll never forget his face. He was so ashamed and felt terrible and just started crying. She however started screaming my computer! My computer! And hitting him. To the point where the cops considered arresting her. It was an instant eye-opener."
"I'd sit in my car..."
"I'd sit in my car after work playing on my phone for like an hour because I just needed a break before going inside and dealing with him."
That would do it.
"I would find any excuse..."
"I would find any excuse to work late or sometimes go sit at a bar by myself just to avoid the misery at home. We divorced."
"He was a workaholic..."
"He was a workaholic to the point that I saw him about 6 days per month."
"Somewhere between giving up on small talk and not looking forward to the weekends anymore."
That's no way to live.
"It really forced us..."
"Honestly it was the pandemic. It really forced us to actually spend time together and I realized we kind of just didn't do much together at all. I had spent years thinking it was cool that we kept our own friends and space but once those distractions were taken away it was just really clear to me that we were more roommates than a couple."
"When I realized..."
"When I realized I was needed and not wanted. Constantly trying to make someone happy who didn't want to be happy."
This one hurts. I've been there myself. (And I have also been that person––I thankfully got help.)
"We lived together..."
"We lived together but lived completely separate lives. Basically a housemate I shared a bed with. Happened twice to me so far."
"I would have moved mountains for him..."
"I knew it was over when I cared more about his wellbeing than he cared about his own wellbeing. I would have moved mountains for him if it made his life easier and he just continuously put himself in shi!ty situations. I eventually just gave up. I can't be with someone who doesn't care about themselves. Thank God that's over."
If you think you might be stuck in a pointless or unhealthy relationship, it's worth evaluating your options. And it's never worth sticking around and risking your emotional and mental health.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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There is always that "one." There is always going to be that person.
That person who you will always remember. And when they are the one who you regret losing most... they are the ghost that will haunt you forever.
I have a few escapees. I'll never know how it would've turned out. But that is part of why I'm haunted. I need to discuss....
Redditor u/AssistantNo1733 wanted to discuss all the times we've lost in love by asking:
Who's the one who got away?
Do we even have a clue that they're the "one" that got away? How long until it sinks in? And how do we not know there isn't another "one" coming behind them? I have no answers. Just asking...
The DraftEpisode 1 Omg GIF by RuPaul's Drag RaceGiphy
"The girl who summoned up the nerve to ask me out towards the beginning of high school. I was so humiliated by the life my family was living that I stalled until she gave up."
"Betsy, if by some stroke of dumb luck you're reading this... I'm so sorry. It was 25-27 years ago, but I still hate myself for that. You were beautiful, intelligent, a good person, and if I had anything resembling a stable, presentable home I would've said yes in a heartbeat... I had a crush on you since 7th-grade 'intro to drafting.'
I Love Her
"Weird, I was just confiding in my mom about this last night. I'm late but for catharsis's sake I'm going to post. My first girlfriend is a classic case of you don't know what you have until it's gone. She's the complete package. Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and so kind. We started dating when I was 17 and broke up when I was 21."
"For reference I'm 30 now. I was an idiot. I wanted to play the field. I wanted to party and hook up with college girls. It was fun at first but after a while I felt this gnawing hole in my heart. The feeling of doubt crept up slowly and still, a decade later my chest feels tight thinking about it."
"I didn't realize until my later serious relationships that getting along with your SO's family is so important. Her mom and step dad genuinely treated me like a part of their family. It's not a stretch to say I literally grew up with these people. I spent some of my most formative years with them. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, you name it. They celebrated me and my accomplishments. They genuinely cared about me. Just amazing, salt of the earth, lovely people."
"Her birthday was in March and I sent her a text and we ended up talking for a bit. She's happily married and stable with a daughter and a second on the way. I'm genuinely so happy for her. She deserves happiness. I just wish I was a part of that. Sitting at work 10 years later I'm tearing up. I numbed myself out to it for years, it's so strange to me that I've been so stuck on her lately. Is this normal?"
15 Years Later
"My very first real love. I was a teenager and I didn't really know how to be comfortable in myself or with myself. I played silly teen girl games and lost him even as a friend. Now 15 years later I still think about R from time to time. I genuinely hope he's happy in his life."
"Edit: Wow this blew up while I was sleeping. Thanks for all the sweet words and to everyone with their "one" congratulations! I suppose I hadn't looked him up on social media because I'm scared, scared he won't respond, scared he will respond, scared he'll think I'm a stalker. I'm in a happy relationship now, but what if... Etc etc etc. But I'll give it a Google."
Missed You Muchrhythm nation dance GIF by Janet JacksonGiphy
A girl I dated in high school. Went on a date one time she took me out parking and I was too stupid to realize it.
"She always talked about moving away as soon as she got finished with high school. I always thought I would stay in a little town the rest of my life. Turns out I was the one who left and move to another state. Later I heard that she had told someone that I knew that she thought that we would be married at some point. Missed it by that much."
Ok... I've been a bit blind to the light. People can be cruel, but also highly creative. Why not just lead with the truth? It'll always hurt more after lies.
Chuck E.Chuck E Cheese Wink GIFGiphy
"Ah the rare AskReddit question I can answer."
"I met a wonderful woman circa 2013-2015. We worked at what I can best describe as an upscaled Chuck E Cheese. Or ghetto Six Flags. Your choice."
"We hit it off instantly, though at the time I was rather romantically inept. Eventually, she says she's leaving to join the Air Force. I tell her I'll miss her, and wished her well. The thought of asking for her number so we could stay in contact didn't even cross my mind."
"Cue the next day, I stop for lunch on my way to work, and as I'm walking to my car I hear my name being called. I turn around, and it's her, running toward me. Universe giving me a second chance, right? Wrong. My dumb butt still didn't ask for her number. She looked a little upset, and I still think about her often. Desiree, I hope you're doing well."
"He was my first and last love. I was 16 and he was 18 when we met. We bounced around like idiots, on again off again, finally got together mid 20s. We both fell into bad habits - drugs and alcohol, more booze for me, more drugs for him. We had some bad things happen that were pretty detrimental to staying sober. We would split, reconcile, get sober, fall off the wagon, split, etc... repeat as necessary. We realized we were very bad for each other unless we could BOTH just get sober for ourselves, and split."
"Ten years later, I was sober for 7 years (still am, going on 18 years end of this month, actually! Woo, go me!) and he was beginning to come back, sober about a year. He contacted me, we met, talked about trying again. He said that once he had been totally clean for a year, we'd do it. That whole "Don't make any changes for a year" thing. I would visit him, tho, things were good."
"He woke up one morning feeling bad, thought he had the flu. (This was pre-now) I stayed around because he was sick, but neither of us thought he was drastically bad, just the flu, right? He got worse and worse, finally we called an ambulance because he got up from a nap and couldn't breathe. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Aortic dissection."
"He got away, but someday I'll see him again. I never stopped loving him, and him me. We just weren't good for each other."
Ce la vie...
"My most serious Ex."
"Don't think I truly understood love until I met her. Loved her more than I ever thought I could love anything. It eventually ended when she told me that, through no fault of my own, she had fallen out of love with me. That was 2 years ago, still hurts to think/talk about."
"Ce la vie..."
"I'm in the middle of trying to avoid that right now actually."
"It's not worth the heartache trust me. I fought to stay in a relationship for an entire year. If I would've just let her go the first time she wanted there would've been a lot less pain. We would've left on good terms. I would've lost a lot less sleep. Rip the band-aid off because once the band-aid starts peeling it's inevitable it'll fall off with time."
Sweet...Kim Tate Eye Roll GIF by EmmerdaleGiphy
Damn man why bring this up.
"My ex and I broke up over 3 years ago. Mutual breakup through a lack of communication on both ends I feel."
"Thought I was over that hill until this week she messaged just to say hey and ask an innocent question. We text for the best part of the day and it's brought up a lot of old feeling. Feeling pretty bitter sweet right now."
Love is a mess. Why even bother trying if you can't be true? It's not hard to just spell out the situation. And if you're the one needing to put together the words... look closer. The dialogue shouldn't be difficult.
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What are the odds you'd click on this link today?
What was the biggest coincidence that made you question the fabric of reality?
There's small coincidences, occurrences so minute that you wouldn't even notice them if you weren't paying attention. However, once someone makes a big deal out of them then there's no other choice but to acknowledge that what just happened was spectacular.
Each Having A Buddy Coming To Town
"My friend and I were on a road trip a few years ago and needed a place to stay. We both told each other we had a friend in the city we were going through, so we figured we'd be able to crash with one of them. Turns out our two friends were roommates and had both been telling each other that they had a friend coming to town soon."
What's That Got To Be? A 1 in 1000 Chance?
"Several years ago I was at a coffee shop with some friends and one of them had an ipad, another friend went to unlock it and asked him what his 4 digit unlock code was, so I just blurted out 4 random digits pretending like I knew it, and it actually worked. I had never unlocked it before or knew of the same numbers being used for anything else, or his phone number, etc."
Both Probably Assumed What The Best Time Was
"I passed out after receiving a flu shot when I was 28. The nurse who helped me up kept asking if I wanted my mom. It seemed like a really weird thing to offer an adult woman - the option to have her mother phoned and brought in - so I was really confused and getting progressively more annoyed at her repeatedly asking...
...until my mom walked up to me. She had the appointment after mine to get vaccinated. The nurses assumed we had come together, but neither of us knew about the other's appointment, and we lived an hour away from each other in different cities."
Living in such a big world can lead you to the conclusion that math is silly and odds are never in your favor. With over seven billion people roaming around, chances of meeting someone of significance?
Less than you think.
A Simultaneous Love Of Traveling
"This guy I went to grade school and high school with, an acquaintance at best. I've seen him in 5 different locations in different countries throughout the last 15 years.
Disney World when I was a kid.
Some beach bar in Thailand.
The Bean in Chicago.
A pub in Budapest.
A library in San Jose, Costa Rica.
We've become friends due our love of traveling, but neither of us post on social media and neither of us communicated with each other our plans to travel. We never talked outside of the random meetings. Now if I see him, its like the world wants us to have a beer together. haha"
"I Mean, The Crash, Yeah, But How Have You Been?"
"My dad lives in a national park here in Australia. It's farmland that's grandfathered in. It's the remnants of a volcano that blew itself up very violently, so it's very hilly terrain.
One day we were sitting out on the deck, when we see a hang-glider come down halfway down the valley, and it didn't look like a nice landing. "Sh-t, we better see if he's alright, they don't land anywhere near here"
So we get in the car, drive for about 10 minutes to reach the spot. We head over to the guy who is standing by a very damaged glider. The pilot is staring at us incredulously, he stammers "F-ck, Jack, is that you?".
My dad, who hasn't seen his childhood friend for 35 years shouts "F-ck, Tim, is that you?".
They both grew up in Greymouth, NZ. Found each other randomly after a glider crash in NSW, Australia."
Takes A Wedding To Bring People Together
"My wife and I were looking to hire a caterer for our wedding and when we met, my wife and her started talking about their lives a bit.
Turns out they had both literally grown up on the same street, in a city of 10 million people, on the other side of the world. Both had left the city around a decade before immigrating to our current country.
They knew the same people, had hung out at the same coffee place, attended the same church. They even used to grab mangoes off the same large tree that hung over the wall of one of the large houses in the neighbourhood.
But they had never met one another until meeting on almost the exact opposite side of the planet, in a small town of about 50,000 people."kor_hookmaster
What we can gain from these experiences is a coincidence will occur more than you think, you just have to have the eyes sharp enough to spot them.
But how would you explain these?
Position Is Key
"I dialed my mum on my mobile when I was on public transport and accidentally swapped two numbers around.
The person I called was on the same carriage."
"Go on, tell us what happened then!"
"So I was listening to my phone and at the exact moment it started the ringing sound I heard a phone start ringing and I thought it was a coincidence but then the phone answered and it wasn't mum.
All I said was "Oh, are you on the Upfield train?" and they said "Yes, who's this?" but I got shy and I hung up.
Poor guy must have been so confused."
Universal Echoes Bringing You Closer Together
"One time, me and my dad were discussing his friend while out driving at night without many other cars on the road. As we were talking, we pulled up to a red light, and the car waiting in front was my dad's friend. He didn't even live close to there."
Extremely Unlucky Odds. Go Buy A Lottery Ticket.
"A couple of years ago I was visiting my hometown and decided to sit on a bench at my favorite park. As I was sitting, I felt something land on my head. Bird poop. After heading home and washing my hair, I went back into town. While I walked around, I watched as a guy got hit with a drop of sky sh-t. As I was laughing about the apparent irritable bowel syndrome of the birds in my town, a bird flying right over me drops a fat sh-t on my head."
There's no magic at play. All of these happenstances can be explained away with simple math and rudimentary probability.
Still, it's fun to live when you're in the moment.