A key aspect of being in a romantic relationship is honesty. You have to open up to someone and let them in, see all sides of your life, know the parts of your past that no one else does. You can't have a relationship with secrets anymore than you can have a house with locked doors.
Reddit user, u/throw212awaay, shared his story about one of those times when a door was opened for him and asked for advice:
I have been dating the most amazing woman for the past year and a half. I have been in puppy love before, the kind where they're all you can think about and you smile when you think of them - and we have that too- but she has also brought to me the joy of being together but not together (that magnificent way you can just be and be alone in the same room- her reading a book, me doing a project) and really knowing someone (knowing how her mouth crinkles when she thinks, the way the rain makes her feel,all the stories of her childhood, all the little stuff that makes her a person ). At least I thought I did.
I was shopping for a ring and had been dropping hints that made her smile and we would plan this little suburban life- a deck with a grill, a goofy puppy, a piano. We talked about baby names and vetoed ones, we have the joke names Trevor and Trevina. We'd pick out paint colors and flooring at Lowe's and giggle like idiots. I was 100% confident, I just hadn't chosen a ring, you know,she didn't want a diamond but didn't know what she does want.
Then I got a fb message today from some guy. He said that he was her brother-in-law and that she had blocked him on fb but could I please pass along a wedding invite and it would mean a lot if she was there.
I pressed for more details and it all came out. She was married before to a guy named Brendan and they had a little boy, Sam- she told me before she didn't like that name. The son died in a car accident and afterwards They had an ugly divorce and she cut ties. 5 years of her life, I never knew about and I don't know if I ever would've. I think she was never going to tell me.
I've felt sick about this all day. Made up an imaginary sickness to sit and think by myself and I feel paralyzed by it. This morning I knew her and now I don't. I don't even know how to bring this up or what. I definitely can't go buy the ring and pretend. At the same time, I want to be with. I am hurt but know that was horrible, that she went through something unimaginable but I don't know what that means for us. Am I just a distraction? Is this something she does?
I just don't know. Help?
tl;dr I(30m) just found out my girlfriend(28) of a year+ had a whole life I knew nothing about, right as I've been ring shopping. This life includes a first marriage and a child who passed away. i am stunned.. Advice?
Start The Honesty TrainGiphy
Show her the message, and gently ask her about it.
Losing a child is awful and everyone mourns in their own way. Perhaps she would have told you after you guys were officially engaged. Or when you were going to seriously try for a baby.
It's not about you, OP, and I really doubt you are just a distraction. You still know her.
Seriously, stop thinking about it, and just talk to her.
Maybe It Was NothingGiphy
I think you may be slightly overreacting.
It sounds like she had a pretty tough, emotional time that maybe she isn't ready to share with anyone.
Just because you were in ring shopping mode, doesn't mean she has to talk to you about her deepest emotional feelings of loss. I mean, imagine - you've lost your child and then your marriage falls apart, that's life changing.
I suggest you mention it and see what comes of the conversation. I doubt she was trying to hide anything from you.
Reflect On Your ChoicesGiphy
she told me before she didn't like that name
Completely understandable after what happened, and I'm 100% positive she would never want any of her future kids to be called that name.
Anyway, you need to talk to her about this. Don't make it about you e.g. by asking things like 'why didn't you tell me? How could you not mention this to me'.
Her past contains a lot of hurt, and shutting it out of her life is one way to get over it and move on (same like everyone here recommends to go no contact after a breakup).
Ask yourself this. If your gf had told you all of this herself earlier in your relationship, would it have been a big deal and would you still love her and want to be there for her?
If the answer is yes, you would want to still be with her, then you need to work on how to be understanding.
If you can show her that you still love, support and trust her, even when you know her deepest, darkest secrets, then your relationship will only grow stronger.
Don't Be Another Pity Party
You need to sit and talk to her.
You also need to keep in mind that when a parent loses a child everyone they know (close and distant) will feel sorry/pity them. Maybe your the one person in her life who doesn't look at her with pity in their eyes. Doesn't skirt around certain issues.
Like it or not certain occurrences forever alter how we interact with people and for once she just wanted something normal, something she had before the loss of everything.
She could have also had bad reactions from past partners when she told them this and she didn't want to jeopardise what you had. Then the longer she left it the harder it became to bring up.
There's also the third option that's she denying it ever happened, even to herself. Its a known coping mechanism. If that is the one she is using then it will eventually catch up with her. You can never outrun your past, as you're seeing now.
It's not right to lie for so long to someone you plan to spend your life with but in this case it is understandable. No one can understand how it feels to loose a child unless you have lost one yourself.
Be kind when you raise the issue. Don't allow any temper into the conversation and allow her to get it out as she needs to. Please don't force her to answer all your questions unless she is ok to do so.
Remember, It's Only Half About YouGiphy
Am I just a distraction? Is this something she does?
This is extremely concerning to me. Why would you think this? You think this is about you? Is this something she does?? What, have a kid, that kid dies and then she has a horrible divorce? Yeah, I'm sure that's just "what she does". Jeez dude. I know you're shocked, but take a step back for a minute.
Think It Through
Okay, this is the sort of deception you can work through with help, given that we all understand that a loss of a child will, well, f-ck you up for lack of a better turn of phrase. I can understand wanting to lock that away from yourself, which it seems like she did.
Take the space you need to approach this rationally, since it seems like you haven't talked to her. From there, you can evaluate if this is workable or not.
Be Prepared For The EndGiphy
Some people go through something so traumatic that they need a restart in life.
Move to a new place, make new friends, make new love, and block out the past.
The death of a child definitely counts as one of these. She obviously does NOT want to think about this, or deal with it at the moment.
I'd be very careful on how you broach the subject with her. If you go after her angry or as a victim don't be surprised at being dropped. You need to get over your hurt feelings and think about this from her point of view.
Maybe Let It Go?Giphy
On one hand I can see why your is steamed OP.
On the other I can see a mother who's life imploded in the worst possible way and likely has no desire to relive those event again in any way.
I'm a parent and I can't even comprehend what it would be like to lose my child. I can't even try and think of what that would feel like.
I wouldn't confront her about this. I would pass on the invitation, I would let her know that I would be willing to listen, and hold her, if she wants to share her past. I would also have a question, Will her past impact our future or is there anything we/you/me could do to help ensure it doesn't?
Some People Just Need To Run Away
Oh, man. What a situation.
You are probably not a distraction, and this is probably not "something she does." This is not okay, not by a long shot, but it could honestly be that she was hoping to just outrun the grief. To not have it be part of her anymore.
When you go through something awful, it's a lot easier, sometimes, to only be around people that don't know about it. Rudyard Kipling even wrote a poem that talks about this--the lines
There is knowledge God forbid / More than one should own
always suggested to me something that I learned as a teenager--sometimes when people know you've been through Hell, when they look at you, Hell is all they see. It holds you there. It makes it really hard to outgrow the horrors of the where-you've-been, when you can see it reflected in people's eyes.
So...from my perspective this was probably not an attempt at manipulation, but instead an attempt to just...not be that person anymore. Not be the grieving mother, not be the injured ex-wife, not be the divorcee whose marriage and relationship with family was shattered (even now, her ex-brother-in-law wants her company! That does not tell me that she is a bad person).
That does not, however, make it okay. Not when the two of you are talking about marriage. She should have told you when you started talking about rings and baby names, and you're not wrong to feel conflicted and maybe a bit angry and hurt about it. Stunned, absolutely.
My advice would be to sit her down and to tell her that her brother-in-law got in touch with you. Don't accuse, don't shout, don't get angry, just tell her that you were told to pass on a wedding invitation, and see how she responds to that. Be calm.
Does knowing that she has lived through this grief make you less likely to want to marry her? Does knowing that she bore and lost a child make you less likely to want to have children with her?
Don't you love a good myth?
Let's put some of NSFW ones to the test.
RedditorWizzlyG33wanted to hear about what lies need to be exposed when it comes to sex, death and all things over the top in life. They asked:
"If MythBusters had a NSFW episode, what would you want to see on it?"
Oh JamieSeason 1 Love GIF by OutlanderGiphy
"A five second segment where Jamie points at a diagram and says, in complete deadpan, 'This is where the clitoris is.'"
"If they did such an episode, I could see this being in it for sure."
"I want them to purchase every pill they see on the internet that would make their penis bigger and see what happens."
"I think we can call that one BUSTED already. In what version of any world can you imagine there is a simple pill to make your junk more impressive and every dude you know doesn't already have a case of 10000 pills stashed under the bed?"
"Can you actually get an STD from a toilet seat?"
"This is an interesting thing actually. It was a myth deliberately perpetuated to make people less ashamed of asking for STD tests."
"Fun fact: There are multiple STDs that can be dormant (like inactive) for years. Like several years."
"You’d never know you had gotten it. Then something triggers it, maybe an infection or something, and then you start showing symptoms/Can now test positive. So technically a partner from years before could have given it to you and you either think your SO is cheating or haven’t been with anybody in a long time. Either way it’s scary when you think about it."
"Does a person really stay conscious for a few moments after beheading?"
"There was a French physician who tested this in the early 1900s. After a criminal was beheaded he picked up the head and shouted the criminal's name. The guy opened his eyes and made eye contact with the physician over a period of 30 seconds whenever his name was called. Edit: I provided the source in other comments but here it is on the original comment."
Theorieslooking down homer simpson GIFGiphy
"Size correlates to what? Feet? Nose? So many theories."
"I have size 12 feet and a massive nose and huge hands and the little guy is small."
Oh the lies and the rumors and the shade.
More is MoreSeth Meyers Dancing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"They did prove that women with larger breasts will get more tips. Which isn’t really not safe for work, because Kari literally was working at a coffee shop."
"If breast enlargements will help your job would you be able to write them off on your taxes?"
"How deep underwater are you still able to orgasm?"
"Pretty sure there's no lower limit. When you're underwater, your body is under pressure, but for the most part doesn't actually get compressed. Only your air spaces (lungs, sinuses, inner ears) are really subject to compression from ambient water pressure. There can be painful exceptions like air pockets inside a tooth filling, which I do not recommend experiencing."
"Most of your body is water or various solids, which push back on the ambient water pressure. You prostate shouldn't be blocked by water pressure any more than your bladder is. Source: am old scuba diver, I've done all kinds of things a hundred feet underwater. At that depth the ambient pressure is 4 bar, which in olden-tymes units is nearly 60 pounds per square inch. Also: fish do it underwater, doesn't seem to stop them."
"Does pineapple make your semen taste better?"
"Post orgasm clarity: How much better can you solve puzzles or remember something?"
"Well, recently I did a lot of reaction time tests on humanbenchmark.com and while normally I get average of around 140-145, after a good O I consistently got around 130-135, very often getting single clicks close to 120 which almost never happens in other cases. And it's weird because I feel more tired but apparently my reaction time improves for some reason."
Safety FirstSafety Helmet GIF by Just SecondsGiphy
"A take on the top ten OSHA violations list to see if they are as dangerous as they say."
"Safety regulations are written in blood."
Well that is a ton of great suggestions. Let's work on it.
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Many people value solitude, and having time to themselves.
For others though, loneliness can be a crippling feeling.
Having no one to talk to or spend time with can get wearying after an extended amount of time.
Something many people know more than ever after the global pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
But while some people simply succumb to being lonely, others will find ways to help them cope with, if not completely forget, being all alone.
Redditor No_Blackberry_6286 was curious to hear the different ways people have of coping with their loneliness, leading them to ask:
"Reddit, how do you cope with loneliness?"
Make the most with what makes you happy
"I've learned to enjoy my own company and focus on my hobbies."
"Funny enough, this gives me stuff to talk about when I am around people."
Voices in the background
"Listening to people talk on YouTube so I feel less alone in my house."
Millions of friends, just one click away.
"Chat with random people on Reddit."internet computer GIFGiphy
Still figuring it out
"I don't I'm f*cking miserable."- Savathunh
"I don't :("- __MashedPotatoes__·
Get my body movin'
"It makes me feel better about myself and I have something to do alone."- DerpBread69Gym Working Out GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
Who says I need to?
"I love solitude."- Befuddled_GenXer
"I become one with loneliness."- thenewyorkofficesolitude GIFGiphy
Hit the snooze button
"Sleep 12+ hours a day."- RockandRoll682
Instant tension and relief
"Lots of arguing online about sh*t I don't care about at all, just to have some form of social interaction, and get off at least 3 times a day."-
There are very few worse feelings than that of being alone.
But it's also quite remarkable how much doing something that makes you happy, be it ever so simple, can elevate your feelings.
In this day and age of advancement, it's crazy how so many things leave our heads scratching.
Like how in 2022 is such and such still around?
Everyone in New York wondered that for the past decade until they took the final payphone.
I always wonder about companies that still make you send a fax.
Y'all have heard of email right?
RedditorPineapple_WarpDrivewanted to compare notes on why we think certain things and parts of life are not yet obsolete this late in the game of time. They asked:
"It’s 2022, what shouldn’t exist now?"
I feel like the list will be longer than we expect. We are still behind in certain ways.
lazy...Bubble Gum Cartoon GIFGiphy
"People sticking gum on random surfaces instead of at least throwing it towards the trash can a few feet away."
How is this allowed?
"'Convenience' fees to pay bills online."
"Yeah or any 'additional fee' that’s required to buy the product or service. Advertise $100 but then at check out they add in service fee $25, convenience fee $10."
"Always at the last second too, usually right before you enter your credit card info. Wtf? How is this allowed? Just advertise $135 if that’s the price the customer is paying. Should not be allowed to bait a low price and switch with a higher one once the customer is already invested."
Can you hear me now?
"Not being able to get cell service is spots in my own home."
"A friend worked in Africa building homes for the people. He said there were bush men with spears and loin cloths with a cell phone clipped on the side. Middle of nowhere yet reception everywhere."
"Most of Africa skipped land lines altogether and went straight to mobile. In the west, cell phones and mobile internet are a luxury, in less developed regions it's often the only way to communicate."
"Companies that create problems and sell solutions instead of solving existing problems."
"This was the inevitable outcome of an economic system in which only those doing labor are allowed to have food and shelter, yet technology is constantly reducing the amount of labor that is actually necessary."
"We only get money for food if we are seen to be working on problems. Now we're having a shortage of actual problems so we must make artificial ones to keep surviving. If only we had UBI, all of these pointless industries would disappear overnight as no one wants to keep working these jobs they know are pointless."
Hang UpCall Me Hello GIF by IDKGiphy
"I literally had spammers somehow dupe the phone number of my local council, it's scary just how close they can get."
I HATE these SPAM calls. All hours of the day and night. I hate you!
Speed UpInternet Mouse GIF by kotutohumGiphy
"We figured it out. Just that the companies are greedy and keep the money for themselves instead of upgrading infrastructure."
"I know! Whatever happened with the Paperwork Reduction Act?"
"in the U.S. you can reduce your junk mail a lot by going to.DMAChoice.org and OptOutPrescreen.com and filling out the forms for your address. I have reduced my junk mail by about 90% : FTC source"
"Having to spend 3 hours in traffic everyday."
"Because North American cities have over restrictive zoning laws that segregate cities based on type of usage and they build to a very low density and with car-centric development that makes it so everyone has to use a car to get anywhere."
"It's not so easy to just 'find a job closer to home' for example I'll search on Indeed and the closest job in my line of work is like 2hrs away."
"So everything but earth Is round right? (according to flat Earthers) So as some members say it's like a frisbee in space. What if, bear with me... the reason the world will end is because a giant dog will catch us and kill everyone on earth by shaking the frisbee too much and cause floods and crap. Because if so, that's how I wanna die, letting a pupper have some fun with a fisbee."
Grossunderstand john boehner GIFGiphy
"Child beauty pageants."
"If I see a mother make her child do one of those, I WILL judge her."
Can we work on eradicating these things? It's all well past expired.
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It's PRIDE month. It's time to be loud and proud.
Well, every minute of everyday we should be loud and proud.
But this month gives you an extra special buzz.
So in the spirit of learning, we will be taking questions from the class.
I know cisgender straight people still have a lot they don't understand.
What do you need to know?
Redditorhre_nftwanted everyone to feel comfortable enough to be as aloud what they've been waiting to ask a queer person. Safe space for all. They asked:
"What question have you always wanted to ask LGBTQ+ people but didn’t because you don’t want to offend them?"
There is always a good way to ask questions. I don't mind many of them.
I'm Outcoming out gay GIF by AT&T Hello LabGiphy
"What should I say to someone who comes out to me? Saying 'um, OK' or 'that's nice' sounds like I'm dismissing them but trying to ask questions or engage in conversation about it seems intrusive."
"It depends, your response should match their excitement. People that casually weave it into conversation usually don't want confetti and vice versa."
So Many Letters
"I know you guys want to be inclusive and all but I always feel behind on all The letters you add to LGBT, so is it fine I just say 'LGBT+?' This is not meant to not be inclusive, I'm all for LGBT+. But sometimes it gets a bit too many letters for me personally. So will I offend you guys if I only say LGBT+?"
"Lol all the labels I identify with are included in the + and I just say LGBT. I don’t know anybody who has been upset over hearing the shortened version. You’re good to keep using the acronym that you already say."
I Don't Get It...
"What does non-binary mean? I'm from Italy and I've never met someone who came out as non-binary or even transgender. My brother met a guy once and he (my brother) said he looked gender-fluid. Gender-fluid Is the only term used here, nobody talks about non-binary."
"I know that non-binary means that you don't identify with one gender specifically (I guess), but I really really don't get it. I'm bisexual (although I've never gotten in a relationship with a woman) so I always felt like I could relate to most people of the community in one way or another."
"But this is just something I can't seem to understand, also because I've never met someone like that. I know I might never be able to get it because I'm cisgender, but I was wondering if some of you would like to take some time to share their experiences with me so that I can understand you a little bit more."
"I know I can look up the definition of it, but why is 'queer' part of the acronym? Doesn't it encompass 'lesbian' and 'gay?' Is there a nuance I'm missing?"
"One of the unintended benefits of the term 'queer' is that it's a good way of saying 'Not straight, and it's not really important for you to know why or how.'"
Hello ThereArt Peeing GIF by badblueprintsGiphy
"Is it ok to use adjacent urinals/talk at the urinals if you two are dating/ married?"
So far, nothing here seems offensive.
You Like It?Fab 5 Netflix GIF by Queer EyeGiphy
"I wanna ask them every time an LGBTQ+ character appears in fiction, if they felt it was a good representation or not."
"Do asexual people not want sex/don't feel horny, but still get butterflies in their stomach for a person they like? Or does that mean they don't have crushes/attraction in any form?"
"Each person is different but a lot of asexual people still have crushes and can still be in love with people. Asexual people can be in happy and healthy relationships."
"Some asexual people might still find pleasure in sexual activities but they might not focus on sex in life. Not all asexuals are sex repulsed. But some are. There is asexuality and people who are aromantic. Aromantic people don’t feel romantic attraction to people, but might feel sexual attraction. Some people are both asexual and aromantic."
Chosen at Birth
"Why is intersex included when it's a physiological/chromosomal variation and not a sexual/gender orientation? Sorry if I worded it wrong."
"Intersex people often have their gender chosen by their parents at birth and so tend to have experiences very similar to trans people. Often it even has to be corrected later in life with surgeries and hormones. It's the variation from the normal binary gender/presentation of that, which aligns them with the queer community in most cases."
"For non binary folk: I'm having trouble wording what I want to ask, like, why I guess? I identify as a woman but don't fit in with the typical stereotypes or gender roles, but I still consider myself a woman. I don't feel like activities, or behaviors, or clothing or whatever has to have a gender to it, so why specify that you don't identify as man or woman? Idk maybe because it's not something I've struggled with, it's hard to wrap my head around! Either way, I 100% support anyone who identifies any way!"
ExtraGay Hearts GIFGiphy
"Do you have to pay an upgrade fee to go from the LGBTQ membership to the LGBTQ+?"
"Omg dude, you can get it for free with Amazon Prime! You didn't know?"
I Like You
"How do you know you are attracted to the same sex? I personally wanted to know this because I am struggling with my sexuality. I have an attraction to men at least as far as I know. But I am constantly going back and forth with women. And it's been very confusing. So I guess it may be how do you know if you're attracted to anyone?"
Ask all you want. Just be respectful. It's easy...
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