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?
The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.