Lost Connections[rebelmouse-image 18348030 is_animated_gif=
"Cult" generally refers to a social group identified by extreme devotion to religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs or a common interest in a particular person, object or goal. The public is fascinated by cults, their aftermaths and their survivors. But what about those left behind by cult members?
Reddit user LilMissMuppet asked "Redditors who have lost a friend or family member to a cult, how did it happen?"
Here are first hand accounts of people who have dealt with cults and the toll they took.
Widespread[rebelmouse-image 18348031 is_animated_gif=
I lost my entire family. On my father and mother's side. Almost the entirety of people I grew up with and knew. As if I was never born. Raised Jehovah's Witness.
Just because the "religion" is prominent in our society does not discount the fact that it is by definition a cult.
Weight Down Ministries[rebelmouse-image 18348032 is_animated_gif=
I lost an aunt and cousin to Weight Down Ministries. It's run by this woman named Gwen Shamblin. A real nut job. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee, in this huge mansion where she broadcasts live church webinars multiple times a week. People all over join in and host these "church gatherings" at their homes. They get you in by introducing it as a weight loss program. Simple. Lose the weight quick and easy and never gain it back. Eat what you want!! So you go wow this sounds great! Then they slowly introduce the Bible and she'll preach to you through online videos, then you get recruited to a church in someone's home near you where the service lasts for FOUR hours. So anyways, my cousin and aunt got sucked into this and now they moved away to live in Franklin, TN where they worship every breath this Gwen Shamblin woman takes. Everyone that joins ends up marrying someone else inside the cult. My cousins sister wasn't allowed in her wedding because she wasn't part of the cult.
Fanatical Devotion[rebelmouse-image 18348033 is_animated_gif=
Most people wouldn't consider Southern Baptist a cult, since it's pretty mainstream where we live, but the degree to which my father embraces it, and the amount of time, effort, and money he puts into it, I think it's reasonable to call it cult-like.
His parents raised him in it, but I remember as a very young kid that we didn't go to church as much as we would later. Once a week, and sometimes we'd miss a week and it wouldn't be a big deal.
He got back into it when his dad died, and then doubled down when his mom passed several years later. He started forcing us to go to church two, sometimes three times a week. Those losses had a profound effect on him and I guess he just really, really wants to buy into the idea that he'll see his parents again.
Can't really blame him for that, I guess, but it has put a considerable strain on my relationship with him. Especially lately, since he's made friends with this guy who is even more fundamentalist than my dad is, and he's been bringing this guy around the house.
This guy, there's no other way to say it, he's just straight up crazy. My dad is passionate about his beliefs; this guy is fanatical. The kind of person I'd be worried might blow up an abortion clinic or something. (I had a conversation with the guy shortly after the Vegas shootings, and he all but came out and said those people deserved to be shot for just going to a sinner's hellhole like Vegas.)
Pastor's Kid[rebelmouse-image 18348034 is_animated_gif=
I was in what I personally deem as a cult. They had a ruse of being a very "hip" non-denominational Christian Church. You may know of them - the pastor wears jeans and high fashion button-up shirts, the band plays alternative christian rock, there's a coffee shop, etc. However, I think the church sort of morphed into that in the ...15 years I attended, to become more appealing. This church had helluva lot of layers - and as the kid of the associate pastor of the church (My dad was the right hand man of the main pastor), I pretty much knew all of the layers.
I had been going to this church since I was 4, and from that point forward my family had become extremely devout. We were there nearly every night of the week - bible studies, 3 sermons on Sunday, 1 sermon on Wednesday, worship practice, babysitting, events, list goes on an on. One summer, I couldn't have been older than 9, I spent every morning cleaning the church (still can't remember why I was required to clean the church so much...but it kept me there all the time) At 11, the church opened up a school - that literally was just a money sucker. When I say money sucker i mean $2,000 dollars per school year roughly (possibly more, later down the road), for you to learn and re-learn the same subjects, because once you got to a certain point in education, they'd make you re-do it, because there was no point in you learning anything else (you were just going to end up being a church pawn anyways!). We'd pledge to the christian flag, the bible, and american flag every morning & had hour long bible study lessons. We had to memorize so much scripture, and would be tested & re-tested on these scriptures we were supposed to know by heart EVERY Friday. If we got in trouble we sometimes would be assigned lines, which usually was also a scripture verse.
Anyway, this church bred loyalty - and anyone who left would suddenly have a seriously terrible rumor spread about them, to make it seem like whoever DID leave had some type of mental breakdown or they were a "wolf in sheep's clothing" the whole time. It was pretty messed up, because one minute I would have a friend I thought I would have for life, and the next minute their mom would suddenly leave and the rumor would be "oh she married a Muslim man and converted or that they were stealing money or just whatever they could come up with. This was always MOST unsettling when a church "great" would leave (people who had been there for 10+ years and were heavily involved in ministry.)
So I finally hit a point where I decided to leave the church for good at 20-21. So I left, but I basically lost everyone on my way out. Everyone judged me about what happened. I know they spread rumors that my dad was stealing money, but that didn't concern me, because I realized, despite losing all of my friends, this life was already better.
Some of my old church friends had tried to scold me saying "you know better"...it made me sick. I see how much time & money they put into this church. Most of them are HEAVILY in debt, because that church made your wallet HURT. And There's always SOMETHING going that kept you there 5-6 days a week. AND they were so ISOLATED. I never noticed this until I left. but the church did the whole rumor bull, to keep you from talking to people "outside". It's sickening and depressing and a cult in my eyes.
Ansarullah Bangla[rebelmouse-image 18348035 is_animated_gif=
I've lost a friend of mine to 'Ansarullah Bangla' an offshoot of ISIS in Bangladesh. It was back in 2014.
He was a computer science student but most importantly a poet. He is one of the most amiable persons I've ever met. We used to hang out a lot in our hometown since he was one of the few of same-aged friend I had back then. We were tremendous dreamers and very lazy workers.
Till this day, I just try to make sense of the murder and the aftermath. He, although was an atheist, never ever loud about his belief system since atheists are always shunned in our country. All of his very few blog posts are either poems or short stories. He was never active on social platforms too. If anyone knows his belief or disbelief they do by personal attachments. So when I learned about the murder I've never suspected the actual cause can be his belief system. Someone sold him, someone close. Maybe a friend from University. A facebook page of Ansarullah Bangla claimed that they killed him for 'practicing atheism in personal life'. They attacked him in his apartment, barred two of his friends, butchered him, stabbed him right into his skull, he died bleeding, instantly.
This death has given me some subtle ideas about death that was not present even a year before when my father died. I understood, life is not fair and anyone can kill you for no rhyme or reason and that is exactly why I have to shout out my ideas no matter what is the cost. Before that event, I was a pro-death nihilist and afterward a life-savoring nihilist.
Life goes on. Yet, he left a mourning girlfriend who still mourns, some friends who don't eat certain foods that are favorites of his. It's a death I can't get quite accustomed to.
People's Temple[rebelmouse-image 18348037 is_animated_gif=
My parents told me when I was younger that they knew (casually, not like best friends or anything) married couple that joined the People's Temple in the Bay Area.
They didn't go to Guyana. However, Jones had left some people behind to take care of the property. Approximately a year after the mass suicide the couple disappeared. Nobody knows if they decided that they wanted some grape Flavor-Aid too or if they were "disappeared" against their will.
Fundamentalist[rebelmouse-image 18348038 is_animated_gif=
Not exactly a cult, but my aunt became a born again Christian and joined this crazy fundamentalist church. Within a few months months she had married a man she met there and pulled her kids out of public school and enrolled them at the church's tiny private school. The church doesn't allow women to cut their hair so she quit her job as a hair stylist. She started wearing ankle length skirts and made my cousin do the same. My cousin wasn't allowed to wear normal clothes. When we went on our annual beach vacation, my cousin couldn't wear a bathing suit, she had to wear knee length board shorts and a tee shirt.
Joining that church completely changed my aunt's personality. She used to be a really cool person, she would take me and my cousins to do all kinds of fun stuff when we were kids. I remember her being my "fun aunt". She was also a talented painter and extremely creative. She doesn't paint at all now. She became completely submissive to her new husband, who is super manipulative and a compulsive liar. I don't think she's being physically abused, but she's not allowed to leave the house alone. She can only go places with her adult son or her husband. My mom tried to convince her to leave and now she is banned from talking to my mom on the phone unless her husband supervises the conversation. He works from home, so he is literally always around micro managing her life.
Joining that church also changed my cousin's life. She was probably about 12 or 13 when this all happened. She wasn't allowed to cut her hair and she was only allowed to wear full length skirts and long sleeves. They wouldn't let her see her old friends, she was only allowed to associate with people from church. We lived in different states, but we were extremely close and she used to come visit my family several times a year. Those trips stopped. I could only see her when we drove out to where they lived, and even then she wasn't allowed to be unsupervised with my mom (who was deemed a bad influence because she called my aunt and her husband out on their B.S.). It was really hard on my cousin.... She ended up legally emancipating herself at 16 and moving in with our grandparents. It was an ordeal.... The church "school" she had been going to was unaccredited and essentially useless, so she had to repeat a lot of high school online.
The happy news is that my cousin finished high school, went to college, and now she's happily married to a great guy. Shes totally normal and super cool. My aunt is still in the church, but honestly now that my cousin is free from all that, I don't care. I kind of hate her for what she put her daughter through. It definitely really hurts my mom though. She was super close to my aunt their entire lives, until she joined this church. Now they have basically no relationship. Their phone calls and visits are supervised by her husband. All she ever wants to talk to my mom about is converting her and saving us from going to hell, even though my mom is a Christian and goes to a normal church every Sunday. It's really sad, I feel bad for my mom. Especially since their other sister passed away suddenly a couple years ago, my mom has been pretty lonely. She tells me sometimes she feels like she's lost both her sisters.
Disfellowshipped[rebelmouse-image 18348039 is_animated_gif=
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and grew up with most of my family being a part of the religion. When I was 10, my mother left the church and then was disfellowshipped (shunned) for having my sister out of wedlock. I was told that I could not associate with her after I became an adult, and that started me on the path to leaving this "Christian" group. I later on, at age 23, after not attending church for close to five years, also was disfellowshipped for having a child while single. This meant that everyone in my family besides my mother and half-sister could no longer talk to me. My father, stepmother, stepbrother, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends.... all of them gone. It can be emotionally devastating. My mother took her own life exactly two years ago today. I have a beautiful son, incredibly supportive and loving husband, and a new family that has helped to start healing those wounds. If anyone who is going through a similar situation ever needs a listening ear, there is a huge community (including myself) out there who can aid in the healing process.
Older Brother[rebelmouse-image 18345996 is_animated_gif=
My older brother joined a cult. He had a huge drinking problem most of his life, and drug problems in high school. He joined the Coast Guard after high school, but he was getting into trouble at work, coming in hungover all the time, not really caring about his job. One of his superiors, despite the trouble at work, really cared about him and wanted to help him. He recommended that my bro start going to church. So he did and it really turned things around for the better. My family and I were all so proud of him, he was really happy for the first time in a long time.
And then it just progressed from there, what first seemed helpful started to get out of control. The cult that he's in he found online. Obviously they don't outright say they're a cult, my bro saw it as an online community that supported his religion, made him feel like he had others to talk to. At first we just thought he was taking this whole religion thing too seriously, but then he went AWOL for one of their meet ups/functions. He ended up getting discharged from the military and then he began calling my parents less and less. He moved to the city where the cult is based out of and got some job using connections from the church. Him and I were still close and we called/emailed a few times a week. Starting before his discharge from the CG, in just about every conversation he would bring up doomsday, punishment, and hell. Eventually he began telling me that God told him that he can't change me, and that unless I decide to accept Jesus as my savior, he could no longer contact me.
We haven't talked in years, I was the last one he cut off. He still talks to our biological dad once every few months. My brother told my dad that God spoke to him through prayer and told him he's still got a chance to save my dad. I honestly think he's just too afraid to completely let go of his old life and entire family, and that's why he still keeps contact with my dad. He gets updates on me through him, but I've come to terms with the possibility of never seeing my brother again.
After his discharge from the military, he met a girl from the cult and they have three lovely children. Seriously, they are ADORABLE! My dad sends me pics. While I don't agree with his beliefs and being cut out of his life hurt a lot.. I am happy that he's content and he found somewhere he feels he belongs.... he seems like a great father.
India[rebelmouse-image 18348040 is_animated_gif=
I don't know if it was an actual cult, but after my cousin did a legit "teach in Asia" program she decided she was in love with Buddhism and joined a temple in Thailand (haven't gotten to the cult stuff, bear with me) whatever that meant. Then after a couple of months there she went to India. About six months there and she decided to come home.
But she was still in love with the temple life, so she joined a group in the US working with Tibetan monks? She was always a little loose on the details. Then one day she up and leaves everything behind to study Tibetan (language) somewhere in Vermont and then before we know it, they have sent her back to India.
The group in Vermont is the shady part, because my cousin was advised not to talk about who they were, where they were, or how it all worked. She was completely out of touch by modern means for six months, and only sent some letters with no return address and a very robotic format of "it is so wonderful here! Everything is beautiful" etc etc.
Then about two months after she had been in India she leaves the group and contacts us to say everything is okay, but she is staying in India. Because she met a boy. Who does happen to be a Tibetan refugee, so there is that!
Anyway, they got married, came to the us once they could get him a passport (took about two years) and now they are happily living in the US. She still won't talk about what happened, though her husband has let slip that something shady was going on, he also won't say what.
Former BFF[rebelmouse-image 18348043 is_animated_gif=
I had this friend growing up and we were the best of friends. Our summers were spent sleeping in my parents camper, swimming, jumping on her trampoline. We would ride our bikes around town and did everything together.
Growing up my parents always sent me to church, Sunday school and bible camp. She never went to church and would kinda make fun of me for not being allowed to have Saturday sleepovers. She had a lot of doubt but I didn't really care. She was my friend and if she didn't believe in God then whatever, who cares, let's watch Blossom!
Then her mom got sick. They kept her illness very private but it became obvious. She lost a ton of weight, stopped working and slept a lot. Around this time my friend's family joined a church. It was called New Life Church.
My best friend got super into this church and she would invite me to their youth group and it seemed ok. We would eat chicken burgers and and watch sister act 2. One day she asked me if I wanted to have a saturday sleepover and attend Sunday service with her family. My parents were ok with it because they assumed it was like normal church.
It was no normal church. It was a new wave Christian church and their minister was a faith healer. I mean people speaking in tongues and he would perform healing ceremonies. People would come up to him and he would use his palm to smack them on their foreheads and they would shake on the ground. He told people that he could use God's power to heal cancer.
It was scary and the people attending fully believed that this man could save them. On the way home from the service my best friend's mom asked me what I thought. I was honest and said it was weird and nothing like my church. She asked if I would go back and I said it wasn't the right fit for me.
After that my best friend was not allowed to hang out with me. If her mom saw her talking to me around town she would yell at her. My best friend told me that it was because her mom said I didn't have a pure Christian heart.
Her parents ended up putting her in the church's private school for a few years and by the time she came back we were in high school and she was far gone.
Her mom died when we were about 19. Her dad left the church but she did not. She met her husband and they have 2 adorable children but she is in so deep.
I miss my best friend and I am sad that church took advantage of them and gave her mom false hope.
Mother[rebelmouse-image 18348044 is_animated_gif=
So I got out when I was 20-21. And by got out I mean was demonized and disowned by my mother. Who then married the cult leader after he divorced his wife "for having an affair". Cult leader's wife was my ex-step-grandmother (long story, my mom's not great at picking men). But she's still in it now and won't talk to me, though she did try to make me see the error of my ways a couple months back (I'm in my early 30s now). Apparently the cult leader is dying of cancer to the mouth, which is incredibly appropriate.
Anyway, once he dies I'm hoping to be able to slowly talk sense into her again.
Hollywood[rebelmouse-image 18348045 is_animated_gif=
A friend of mine told he how she lost her friend to Scientology. It was more or less because they were residents of Hollywood and would walk down Hollywood blvd every day to go school. They'd pass the recruiting center every single day and pay no mind, but one day her friend decided to go in. She said after high school, her friend dissociated with her after realizing she wasn't going to convince her to join.
MLM[rebelmouse-image 18348046 is_animated_gif=
Does losing someone to an Multi Level Marketing cult count?
Not only lost a friendship, but had to unfollow all their posts. I can't answer their calls, texts, or messages because it's all about me "being on their life changing team" and "supplementing my income" even though my spouse and I both own our businesses, love our jobs, and don't need supplemented income.
If you're reading this and in an MLM think about the friendships you have had with people for many years. Don't throw it away for the small chance you will actually make good money.
I had a similar experience with a high school acquaintance selling Mary Kay; she reached out to a handful of us inviting us to a "girls night in at her house" and admitted she wanted to show us some Mary Kay samples but no pressure to buy. I felt bad cause I knew through the grapevine and she and her husband were struggling financially, so I figured I'd go and maybe get a lotion.
We follow the GPS instructions and it straight up leads us to a warehouse where about 20 Mary Kay consultants and 10 of their higher-ups are waving women inside, and casually blocking all the exits. Each consultant had invited 5-10 people, and if you tried to leave, one of the higher-up ladies would corner you, while another blocked the exit, and give the spiel about how if you didn't want to order anything today you could just host your own party another day - just give them the date and time. I said I wasn't interested 5 or 6 times before I just caved and bought the cheapest thing available.
The really crappy part is that they know full well that they've put you in a situation you can't get out of without being incredibly rude and confrontational (in front of a couple hundred witnesses) and that most people would rather avoid a scene like that. I blocked her on social media and never talked to her again.
Cruises[rebelmouse-image 18348047 is_animated_gif=
My step aunt, uncle, and their daughter are Scientologists. My step uncle had a drug problem when he was younger and Scientology said they could help him. Surprisingly enough they did and he got clean but he got roped in. He and his family work for them now. His daughter works on the cruise ship they have. They seem pretty normal but they occasionally send us DVDs to try and convert us. Also when my rather wealthy Grandpa died they wanted to take some of his possessions to sell to Scientology.
Mexico[rebelmouse-image 18348048 is_animated_gif=
She wasn't permanently lost, but my aunt joined the Children of God in the 70s. She was down in Texas doing student teaching and one day her roommate called my grandparents to say she hadn't seen her in a couple days and was pretty sure some people took her to Mexico.
My grandparents immediately drove down to Mexico, hired a cult deprogrammer, and rented a house near the cult compound. They basically blew as much money as they could afford, but never saw her before they had to give up and go back home.
A little while later, my aunt called home to tell her parents she was getting married. They told her to wait until spring break and they would come down for the wedding, but she said she couldn't. A few months after that, she brought her new husband to the US to meet the family.
They're still married today and I basically just learned about the whole thing like 6 months ago.
Ohio[rebelmouse-image 18348049 is_animated_gif=
Here in central Ohio, we have a cult called Xenos. They market themselves as a Christian home church group. In reality, you will be pressured into moving into a home where you share a room with others of the same gender in order to prevent premarital sex and masturbation.
You will be forced to shun all non-xenos friends and family you have. It's pretty baffling how people keep falling for it. I lost a friend to it years ago. Haven't heard from her since. I saw her at the store once a few years ago and she refused to even acknowledge my existence.
College Days[rebelmouse-image 18348050 is_animated_gif=
Two of my college housemates went out one evening to buy cigarettes, and came back converted to Scientology. One eventually got out of it, but it took years. The other, I have no idea.
It was like a horror movie about pod people taking them over.
The worst part about Scientology to me is the time you lose by involving yourself in it. Members can spend 18 hours of their day being "audited." Children are separated from their parents for months at a time, essentially erasing the familial relationships. It seems that the children learn to never trust anyone, or be loyal to anything other than their "religion." They're told that it's their responsibility as a Scientologist to rat out anyone who says something that even slightly opposes the church's beliefs. If someone reports you to the church, you're required to go through the "auditing" process for hours and hours at a time, at your own expense. It's BONKERS.
Budapest[rebelmouse-image 18348052 is_animated_gif=
A family friend of mine was a prominent young chess player (a grandmaster --- not a grandmaster, an international master with a GM norm) who, at a stressful crossroads in life, basically had a nervous breakdown at a tournament in Budapest and went outside and somehow came into contact with a cult. He's been there for a few years, within a couple weeks he withdrew all the money from his bank account and asked his family to not contact him. Apparently they later were allowed to and he spoke broken English and was more comfortable in a Hungarian language. I'm pretty sure that when they talked to him it was in person in Budapest in a public space with a translator/caretaker with him. They said that he seemed more comfortable in Hungarian, he didn't seem to remember American slang that he used to use, and generally body language and all just didn't seem like himself.
...one of the smartest guys I knew.
Jonestown[rebelmouse-image 18348053 is_animated_gif=
I had two cousins who went to Jonestown. I was born 2 years after their deaths, so everything I know is a kind of family lore. They were my Dad's best friends, and he rarely talked about them, but my mom was pretty open about it. The following is me paraphrasing what my mom has told me about them getting involved in the People's Temple.
They joined in San Francisco. It began as a utopian community, which followed the teachings of Christ. They gave literally everything they had away. Blankets, food, whatever the group had, they would give away. At the time, communes were common, so what they were doing, moving in with a bunch of like-minded people, didn't seem that odd. To their family, it seemed like an idealistic hippy community.
Then they started asking for money. Always under the guise of feeding the poor, or something like that. It didn't begin with asking for money because Jim was the second coming. Their parents sent all the money they had, but my cousins just kept asking for more. Eventually this was how he isolated his members from their family. If the family kept giving money, then the members could keep in touch. If the money dried up, the family was blamed, the members were cut off from contacting them.
My parents were living in Seal Beach at the time. My mom says the first time they noticed the cousins seemed a bit strange was when they cousins were on a mission trip with Jones. I believe he was preaching at the Crystal Cathedral, and he brought a bus of his followers down. It rained. Like one of these rare downpours in SoCal. The bus didn't have a windshield, so everyone was just getting soaked. So Jones walked up to the front of the bus, held out his hands and spoke, "Storm, stop!" And the rained stopped.
So that was the story my cousins told my parents that was the first sign my cousins had been brainwashed. I asked my mom what her response was, and she said, "we just laughed. It was so ridiculous. We had no idea what was coming, no one had heard of a cult."
By the time they left for Jonestown, my dad says he knew he'd never see them again, but at the same time he was shocked when it happened. We have letters from their time in the church all the way up to in Jonestown, so you can read their progression into brainwashing.
In the end, Nancy freely took the Kool aid, Ronnie was injected with cyanide. Their deaths have been ever present in my family.
Sometimes you only need to experience something once, to know it's a never again situation.
I always say, try everything once.
Well, now that I'm older, a caveat to that is... try it all within reason.
How many things have we all walked away from saying the one time experience will suffice?
In fact, knowing when to say no is one of life's wisest choices.
Redditor Croakied wanted to discuss the times we've all said... "once was enough!" They asked:
"What is one thing that you will NEVER do again?"
Love. Did it. A few times. Moving on.
Stay StillTravel GIF by Grish MajethiyaGiphy
"Jump off a moving train."
"My dad used to jump on a train when he was little to go to school. He broke his nose like twice doing it. He also would not recommend."
"Smoke alcohol. Me and my friends bought something called a 'vaportini' in college where you could pour alcohol into a bulb and after low heat separated the alcohol from the liquid, you could inhale it thru the glass straw you inserted into the bulb. Basically you got drunk directly into your bloodstream/brain and it never hit your stomach."
"If you did too much, your body wouldn’t make you vomit or something, there wouldn’t be a simple self regulation/safety measure. You’d just get alcohol poisoning. Felt very dangerous, the drunk wasn’t a regular drunk feeling. We used it once and were like okay, never again. I’d be surprised if you could still buy it, although it would be incredibly easy to replicate at home."
"Fall in love with a drug addict."
"Good call, don’t do it. The drugs will always come first. Can’t go out unless their 'ok' with how much drugs they have and money left over if any, cant make love unless they have their fix for the night and even still it never feels normal, can’t trust them after the lies to get drugs and the manipulation they put you through, and you can’t change them no matter how much you try and wish they would. It’s heartbreaking."
More me time...
"Give up my life for work. F**k going the extra mile for a place that doesn't value you and pays you crap even though you go the extra mile for them. You have 1 life with only so much precious time to enjoy it and slaving away at some job is not worth it. Do what you can to reduce your workload and find better employment, or hell try to change the working conditions at your current job to improve things for everyone if you can."
"Donate a kidney."
"Well, you could donate the remaining one. You just won’t be around to say anything about it."
This is definitely list I can relate to. No thank you on a lot of this!
I QuitSmoke Smoking GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Smoke cigarettes, it's been two years since I quit."
"Climb mount Kilimanjaro. Toughest thing I've done and it's not worth it. I'm all about tough treks and camping but to put yourself under tough conditions and suspectable to altitude sickness only to get to the top for 10 minutes for a picture. No thank you."
"I agree, it was memorable. Once was enough for my husband and I. Thankfully we stayed at American style hotel run by the US Navy with a hot tub and bar. Alcohol was definitely needed after all that."
I'm living alone!
"Sign a lease with a stranger without hanging out with them a few times beforehand. My past roommate experiences in college were terrible. Roommates either ignored me, hosted parties til 3 AM on weeknights, made the house the hangout and drug-den for them and their buddies. Meet up once and they'll put on an act for you. If you can, try to see how they act drunk or frustrated."
"Try to hang out with their buddies too so you can see the type of people who could be coming into your future place of residence. As soon as I can afford it, I'm living alone! Now, I investigate a potential roommate's social media and hang out at least twice before signing a lease with them."
"Take back a cheater. Know your worth my brothers and sisters."
"Ughhhhh going back and forth on this one. My boyfriend of 5 years has cheated on me. Several times, actually but says he’s really changed and is ready to settle down and wants me to move in with him. I’m on the fence. So they never change???"
SleeptimeTired Good Night GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"Take a laxative and sleeping pill at the same time."
Once, twice, three times... I'm out. Bye.
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There is an age old question that has been getting more traction surrounding sex for partners the last decade or so.
And that is... "is just one enough?"
Were we really meant to only be with one person forever?
There are so many flavors to taste.
What if your partner wants more cookie dough with your strawberry?
Redditor Pineapple-Status wanted to hear everyone's thoughts on opening the bedroom to others. They asked:
"What would you do if your long term SO suddenly wants to have sex with other people?"
I say I'd be ok with it, but I'm remembering my last relationship and I feel like I'm not a "put my $ where my mouth is type" on this issue.
ByeJimmy Fallon Reaction GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"Wish her well and spend the next 2 years getting myself back to a place where I am ready to get hurt again."
It's Time to Roll On...
"Personally I would leave them."
"I think they're the ones leaving you. I don't think the relationship changes at that point; I think it ends. If you have a monogamous relationship, they are telling you they want to end that. They might be suggesting starting a new, non-monogamous relationship, but that is a separate thing. The original relationship is over."
"OP, it's no different than anything else they want: you either agree and stay together, disagree but stay together, disagree and break up, or even agree and break up. What you're talking about is called 'ethical non-monogamy.'" The seminal book to read is called The Ethical Sl*t."
"It basically boils down to be whatever you want, just don't lie about it. The tricky thing is that this is something that was not present before, but is present now. So it's a potential fork in your road. If you're against it, it's up to your SO to decide if sex with other people is more important to them than a life with you."
a different story...
"I think it depends too how intently they're interested. If it's a thing they bring up because they're curious but it's not a dealbreaker for them, I'm fine with that even if I don't want to proceed. A solid relationship involves open communication, and it'd make me happy if my partner trusted us and our bond enough to voice that curiosity with me."
"If it's something their heart's absolutely set on, then it's a different story. Either way, it's kind of strange to me how these posts always assume simply asking your partner how they feel about opening the relationship means they're now wholey invested in the poly lifestyle and they'll resent you or cheat if you say no."
OthersSexy Jessica Alba GIFGiphy
"Happy that we have common interest, sad that it's different 'other people."
Sex is always an issue. Remember when it was just fun?
Mineangry youre mine GIF by Team CocoGiphy
"Leave her. I’m far too possessive and jealous to be able to mentally accept polyamory. If she has a desire to be with other people I’m not going to stand in her way but I’m not going to be there when she gets home either."
"Break up. My parents were poly and it's just not for me. I've been honest with every relationship I've been in that I'm not interested in any type of open relationship. If they want to be with someone else that's fine but we'll be over. My husband is aware of this and on board (and has been for over twenty years!). So if he came to me with this yes I would be heartbroken but I'm not willing to budge on this and it would be the end of our relationship."
"Counseling time! We're married. I'm chronically ill (stage 4 breast cancer) and have no libido. We try to make intimacy work, and obviously in that case it wouldn't be working. So. Time for a pro to sort out the marriage, and possibly a sex therapist for me."
"I’ll put myself hypothetically in this position. My partner and I only want each other. We’ve made this abundantly clear to each other. However, if she came to me with desire to open our bedroom and she wanted to sleep with people outside our marriage."
"I would simply express how I vehemently do not an open bedroom and that it would kill any desire I have to want her, be with her, love her, etc. Our couple dynamic has been working well through our ups and downs. Involving some stranger in the ONE thing I find most sacred with my partner is the best way for me to lose any interest or passion for the relationship."
FarewellLove You Goodbye GIF by truTV’s At Home with Amy SedarisGiphy
"Break it off, because they definitely already have someone in mind and you telling them no won't change the fact that they were only one step away from following through with it."
Well it feels like a lot of people still believe in one partner, happily ever after. Good for y'all. But big props to these couples who have open and honest conversations about their wants and needs.
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Many of us sometimes fantasize about what we would do to our worst enemies, especially in the moments when they're actively making our lives worse.
While most of us would never actually do any of the things that we contemplate instead of screaming at that super annoying person at the office, we do get pretty creative with the ideas.
Redditor take_me_there_ asked:
"What WOULD you wish on your worst enemy?"
This One Would Hurt
"A conscience. Let her realize the horrific things she’s done."
"Seriously. Introspection, self awareness, and empathy are traits that would improve a lot of sh*tty people."
"Oh I wish I had thought of this one. If my enemy had a conscience, wow life would be much different."
No Pearly Whites For You
"I’d like all their teeth to turn really yellow and stay yellow no matter what they do."
"What did I ever do to you?"
"I don't even know you! Give me back my enamel!"
Everything You Own Is Orange NowSnl Cheetos GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Permanent Cheeto fingers. Just orange cheese dust getting on everything."
"This has to be one of the most evil things I ever heard, yet absolutely hilarious."
"The Midas Touch: Snack Edition"
Ouch, But Forever
"Stubbing and breaking their toe and right as it’s about to be done healing it happens again over and over for the rest of their pitiful time on this hell we call earth."
"More of a Toemetheus imo"
"For them to realize how big of an a-hole they are."
"Same for me. The trouble is mine probably knows what a tremendous a-hole he is, and just doesn't care (it's what defines him, is his outlook more than likely), so, give mine a conscience as well, he undeniably lacks one."
"a crushing moment of self realization is something that can destroy you mentally. I wish that on them."
Bury Them Under A Mountain Of Minor Inconveniences
"Always being hungry two hours after eating no matter how large the meal. Slow internet. Traffic jams no matter the location. Self doubt. Allergies. Favorite shows spoiled."
"Nothing major enough to be life altering but constant, low grade inconveniences that wear on your soul every day."
"Every bite of food they eat/drink they drink being slightly the wrong temperature."
"Coffee? Warm but not hot. Cola? Cool, but not cold. Muffin? Ever so slightly frozen."
"Not enough to ruin their life, but just enough to not quite have full enjoyment of anything.."
They'll Never Be Able To Use Their Computer Again
"Quick scan with McAfee on their computer."
"You f**king monster."
"The constant pop-ups from McAfee is too far."
That's A New Level Of Evil
"Currently dealing with bed bugs, and I can absolutely confirm this is the kind of thing I would wish upon my worst enemy. It is miserable and painful, and I've tried everything to get rid of them at this point."
"I would easily wish this upon my worst enemy, x10."
"Oh hell no, you went there... Hopefully they aren't living in an apartment complex or you've cursed everyone in the building."
Well of course I know him. He’s me.Animated GIFGiphy
"$100,000. I sure could use it."
"'It’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy'"
"Lol I thought this was that deep sh*t like 'pray for those you resent to have all the things you want in life….' Then I realized."
Forever Constipatedthe powerpuff girls bubbles GIFGiphy
"That they can never have a satisfying poop. They always feel like they have to go to the bathroom and when they do nothing comes."
- [User Deleted]
"Wow. That's evil. Always feeling the need to pee would be good (as in horrific) too."
We definitely don't recommend implementing any of these plans (not that most would actually be possible), but here's some new ideas for the next time you're stuck in a meeting with your most annoying coworker and need a little fantastical escape.
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I grew up poor, and I remember the little things that made me smile when we just happened to have enough that week.
The little things that a truly rich person would not think twice about.
Ah, the luxury of it.
What spells luxury for you?
Redditor ConAir161057 wanted to compare notes about the things in life that feel like items only money can buy. They asked:
"For people who grew up with little money, what always felt like a luxury?"
New clothes. I had so many hand me downs and thrift store clothes... new seemed like a dream.
AnxietyNervous Anxiety GIF by blackbearGiphy
"After growing up in a home where every unexpected problem was a financial emergency, my idea of wealthy became 'I just want enough money that if something breaks I don't get anxiety about how to deal with it.'"
"Getting to buy something from the scholastic book fair."
"My school, at the end of it a bunch of books were 'donated' and then spread out on a table in the library. We all got to go pick one book. So even if kids didn’t get to purchase a book, in the end they had a chance to still get a book. It’s actually how I got my first Harry Potter book. Was a cool idea for any school staff or parents active in their kids’ schools."
"Getting new clothes at Christmas from relatives. I don't know if that is exactly a luxury or the kind of answer you are looking for, but we never had a lot of money when I was in middle school. I went an entire year wearing the same pants everyday. The funny thing was my parents didn't even buy them for me."
"I got them for Christmas from my Grandparents. All the kids use to give me so much sh*t for wearing the same pants everyday. I always told them that I had 5 of the same pair which made me feel good inside and kind of made them ease off even though I know they didn't believe me."
"I remember I fell on the school bus one day and the jagged floor cut a hole right in the knee cap and the panic that went over me was just insane. It was one of the worst feelings of my whole life because I knew that I didn't have any other pants to wear and that now all of the kids in my school were going to know that I only had 1 pair. Needless to say I could not wait for the last month of school to end."
"Summer camp, or basically any school trips that had to be paid for. At my school the kids who couldn't afford to go on trips that happened during school hours still had to come to the school, we just sat in a room and did extra work like it was detention."
"I was lucky. If you taught at the day camp your kid could go for free. That was just day camp though not sleepaway camp. My mom found a camp teacher who had no kids of his own and he signed me up as his kid so I could get free day camp. Did that all through elementary school."
Big DealsPizza Pizza Pizza Dancing GIF by Domino’s UK and ROIGiphy
"Going out for pizza was a big deal. Those free mini pizzas for reading books were huge."
Food is always an issue when you're broke.
DamageSummer Ac GIF by MashableGiphy
"Being able to turn on the heat in the cold and pay a professional to fix damaged appliances, plumbing, and other issues."
"When my grandma would come pick me up and spoil me. My parents didn't have much money and were addicts so when my grandma would come get me I would come back with new clothes, video games, toys, etc. I used to think my grandma was rich but she actually just had a stable income."
"I was in this position when I was younger. I always thought my grandma had SO much money… but all she did was go to work everyday. Always made sure I had clothes and all my school supplies. I miss her pretty bad."
"I am from a small island in the Pacific. While I mostly still take cold showers, I have always felt that a hot shower is the finest luxury one can experience. I had my first hot shower when I was 22 years old and I can never forget it."
"This is the kind of luxury I think people take for granted, I always avoided showers in the winter as a kid since most of the time they where cold showers and the temperature here was around 12c° during those times."
"Towels. Honestly, I was almost 10 When I realized people didn’t just put back on their dirty clothes after a shower because my family was so large (12 kids total including myself) and extremely poor. I thought towels were just for hotels or were maybe a prop on television. I went to a friends house and she asked for my help folding her towels. I remember laughing and thinking she must be rich."
"Long story short, I wasn’t sure which way to fold the towels, and begged my mom to buy them after I revealed that my friend, Simone, had them. She bought a box of used ones from a local auction and I walked around with them on my head feeling like a frigging empress after that, even though—-let’s be clear… these were second hand towels!"
Or BK...ronald mcdonald yes GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"Grew up poor and when I was a kid I used to think you were rich if you had a dishwasher and a millionaire if you had one of those refrigerators that have a button for ice. McDonalds was also a luxury, a couple times a year on our birthdays."
Everyone should have access to all of these things. Why is life unfair?
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