People Explain Which Things You Should Never Do In The U.S.
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
"Do not f*ck with cops."
"It might cost you your life."- Guska-siilka
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
Be careful who you associate with
"Don’t join a cult and work for their 'family businesses' because by the time you realize you’re in a cult the statutes of limitations probably has run out, on the financial exploitation."
"Good luck trying to get reimbursed because after that you’re crap out of luck."
"At least you have your sanity back."
"Don’t give your power over to an illiterate boomer, who is dressed in all white, promising you that they have the secret sauce to the universe, trust your gut, and just walk away."- The_Bearded_1_
Don't rely on the badge
"Ask the police for directions, or anything else for that matter."
"At least not in Mobile, Alabama."
"Just my two cents after being a ignorant tourist trying to find my way."- Andreomgangenseason 9 eddie GIFGiphy
Avoid another revolution!
"Betray us!"- brandii5k
Don't rely on our healthcare...
"Get sick."- Giga-Gargantuar
Hold it in when you can...
"Visit a public bathroom."
"I’m not American, so the bathrooms there seem 12x more disgusting then the ones at home."- QuietQuizzysnl child GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Consult a map first...
"Don’t understand how freaking huge the states are."
"Most European countries are barely if even close to the size of most of our states."
"They’re ginormous."- Grumpytacos56
At least not in plain sight!
"Pee on the sidewalk."- SkyUpbeat8839
"Underestimate gas prices but that’s pretty much for a lot of countries."- Fun-Feeling8216gas gasoline GIFGiphy
Don't spoil your appetite
"Its 3x your size here in America."
"A large cup in Europe is a medium or small in America."- Thund3r_Cr4ck3r
Level your expectations...
"Believe in the American Dream!"- zoheer
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.
Reddit user LeRuseRenard asked: 'What's something you were told you would grow out of but never did?'
As we get older, our tastes in a variety of things change as we are exposed to new things.
But sometimes, nostalgia brings us back to appreciating what we once let go.
For instance in terms of fashion, what we initially thought made us look cool and flashy may no longer serve us in our wisened years.
The retro appeal of, say, stone-washed jeans, may be trending and inspire us to reclaim the look.
But there are other things in life besides trends that also stick with us whether we like it or not, and those stubborn instances is a huge bummer.
Curious to hear more examples of things people really haven't moved on from, Redditor LeRuseRenard asked:
"What's something you were told you would grow out of but never did?"
Let's get physical.
"Had a guy at the office that was late-60s with acne. I asked him about it when we got closer. I hit him with all the typical sh*t; do you use a face cleanser, moisturizer, shower regularly, change your sheets/pillowcases. He said he used to do that and realized that it never goes away except for when he's stress free. I just said 'ahhhh, f'k.' Then I got out of the Air Force and holy d*ck balls, he was right. Low/no stress is such clear skin that I now use acne as my gauge for stepping back from work and that it's time for a vacation."
"I'm a guy who topped out at 5' 5.5" (that point five was important to me for some reason). Now that I'm into my 7th decade, life and gravity seem to have beaten me down to 5'4". Maybe 5'4.5" on a good day with a full moon providing slight relief from gravity."
"At 15, I was told the pain in my joints was from 'growing pains' when X-rays didn't show anything - nope, I had already stopped growing taller at 10, and the pain was a genetic soft tissue disorder that took until my mid-20s to properly diagnose and manage."
Just because we enjoyed these as kids doesn't mean they stayed in our toy boxes.
"Video games and metal music."
I’m a toddler mom. We jammed out to Sabaton and Delain driving home from Kid Activity yesterday."
Once A Gamer...
"I game more than my kids. I'm a mom, mid 50's with no plan to stop. It's been a great year with Jedi Survivor and Zelda. I'm looking forward to the new Spider-Man one too."
"Cartoons have somehow been always associated to children by some people. Which has lead to some really funny situations, such as seeing parents with their no more than 10 year old children going to the movies to watch... South Park. Boy, did they leave fast..."
"Fantasy novels. Some of them are written for adults."
"Came here to see if anyone mentioned this. If you love them–you love them for life! My frustration is that 'adult' usually means twenty-something, occasionally 30. I’m 50…and there just aren’t a lot of lead characters to relate to anymore."
There are inclinations and behavioral traits that don't just disappear with age as these Redditors have discovered.
Deeper Than Shyness
"My aversion to most social events."
"Yeah. Somehow, even as a kid, I knew that puberty wasn't going to make me enjoy these events more."
"Social anxiety, it only got worse."
Stigma Of Being An Introvert
"The best thing about 'growing up' is realizing that some people, lots of people, don't do well at big social events and there's nothing wrong with that."
"It's okay to not go, or to say hello and leave after 1/2 hour. Forcing yourself to stay for hours because others are having fun and you don't want to leave early is pointless. Let them have fun. Say goodbye to the host, or better yet, tell then beforehand that you'll be leaving early. I used to stay hours longer than I wanted to because I didn't know about the Irish Exit."
"And btw, don't try to explain it to someone who doesn't get it. If they're pushy about it, ask for respect and don't defend yourself. There's nothing wrong with you. Or me."
"Now figuring out how to decline a damn wedding invite. Ugh"
It's Not Just For Kids
"My parents literally think I’ve outgrown ADHD because 'adults can’t have it' 💀"
"Oh damn. When really ur just coping and constantly on the cusp of things falling apart."
What Are U Waiting 4?
"Does anyone really outgrow procrastination? You can conquer it with a lot of work and effort but you don't naturally outgrow it."
My love for Disney as a kid was never a phase.
My passion for the classic Disney animated films and Disneyland took root when I was 2. Since then, I've worked for the company in various roles from theme parks to Broadway, further cementing my appreciation for that Disney magic.
You might say I have the Peter Pan syndrome and never grew up.
Being an extrovert/closeted introvert at a young age, going to Disneyland was my escape from reality and where I really came to life.
That feeling is just something you can never grow out of, nurturing that notion of being young at heart.
So you can imagine my anguish when I discovered my mom threw out my vintage Disney records when I was in middle school thinking I'd outgrow them.
That was painful.
We may have many fond memories of childhood that center around food.
A favorite meal, a special celebration dinner, simple comfort foods, baked goods enjoyed with grandparents or holiday feasts.
But not everyone is blessed with culinary talents. And some cooking impaired are responsible for feeding children.
For those kids, memories of meals might be more trauma than beloved tradition.
Reddit user zZoZo- asked:
"What meal traumatized you as a kid?"
"My grandma’s asparagus, it traumatized my dad more as it was the only way he had had asparagus until he met my mum."
"We would go out and harvest fresh asparagus when I was a kid, and my mum would grill it, sauté it, or make a salad."
"My grandma only made it for me once. Well my grandma would put it in a pressure cooker on a steam tray and cook it at pressure for 3 minutes."
"It would come out just holding itself together, she would slide it onto the plate, put slices of hard boiled egg on top, salt, and pepper. It was hot mush in a stringy tube with cold egg and no real seasoning or flavor left."
"Just a miserable symphony of textures that would stick in your mouth and teeth."
"My grandma knew I hated cantaloupe but my sister loved it, so so when we would visit my grandma when we were kids she made me eat a piece of cantaloupe for every piece my sister ate."
"To this day I do not know why."
"I f'king hate cantaloupe."
"My father would put raw liver in a juicer and make liver pancakes, no bacon no onion."
"Your father seems like the type to have…secrets."
"I’m wondering if fava beans and Chianti were involved."
"Mom had a habit of clearing the fridge of leftovers by tossing everything in a pot and serving it for dinner. Ugh."
"The most...ahem...memorable combination was: some old spaghetti sauce (not a bad start...) some baked beans (kinda weird, but okay...) some leftover tuna-noodle casserole (getting weirder...) some peas (gotta have a vegetable) and, I kid you not, the leftover cherry Jell-O (why, Mom? Why the Jell-O???)."
"I still have NO IDEA why it all had to go in a single pot."
"I was forced to eat a mayonnaise sandwich at a sleepover once."
"It was so disgusting, and I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I was done."
Bribery or Extortion?
"Not traumatized, just salty. Mom took my brother and me to a restaurant with another one of her mom friends and her kids, that mom was really into making kids try new foods."
"She made me eat a stupid octopus or squid tentacle or something to get dessert, whereas my brother held out until all he had to try was some basically normal piece of cheese."
"Clearly I didn’t know how to be stubborn."
"My mom found some 'hidden veggie' article that called for zucchini in brownies. Two bites in, something tasted off."
"I looked in the brownie and saw the green fibers of vegetable and my mom gleefully told me the secret ingredient. I protested and complained and refused the brownies and she said I wouldn’t even notice."
"Mother, if I wouldn’t notice, then why did I almost immediately notice?"
"Took a long time for me to trust her desserts after that."
"F'k those 'hidden food' recipes. Just learn to cook zucchini in an appetizing way and let me eat the zucchini for dinner and a normal brownie for dessert."
Salads That Aren't Salads
"Oh God, this 'salad' my mom would make that was literally just frozen peas and cheese chunks coated in mayonnaise. I couldn't even be near it without gagging.
"Whenever she'd make it I'd start crying and hide under the bed (I was around 5 or 6). Thank Christ she eventually stopped making it."
"I still hate mayo. To this day even the smell of it makes me physically sick."
"With my grandma it was green Jello, grapes, celery, walnuts, shredded cabbage and carrots in a Jello mold."
"When she unmolded it, she would fill the center with Miracle Whip and sprinkle it with paprika."
"Most disgusting side dish ever."
"Meatloaf. My mom would force me to sit at the table and eat a bland meatloaf with no seasoning whatsoever."
"My grandmother's cooking in general is always bland. Salt and pepper. That's it."
"So when I moved out with my boyfriend. It was a kick to the face cause he actually uses spices and seasoning."
"Love the woman, but damn. And I get it. She lived on a farm with 11 brothers and sisters. So taste wasn't really the point of eating."
"At least she uses salt. My MIL doesn't even use that!"
"That's disturbingly common in some regions - especially the Midwest.
"I have family who deliberately don't add any salt as they're cooking, and then offer guests a salt shaker (which they, themselves don't use)."
"Holidays are agony. And the worst part is that I'm not sure if everybody is suffering in silence with me, or if they've all somehow been indoctrinated and just don't even want the salt."
"I went to a wedding as a kid where they served oysters but not fresh ones. They were from a jar and then put back into shells."
Anyway I put it in my mouth and I wanted to spit it out, but my dad gave me one of those looks (death stares) so I had to swallow the snot like thing."
"I love seafood but have never been able to eat a fresh oyster since."
Not Finger Lickin' Good
"Cow's tongue. I was 8 or 9. I sat at the table until 9 pm, refused to eat it, just sitting there crying as quiet as I could."
"I didn't want to get in more trouble."
"Finally my mother gave up and I got a cheese sandwich and sent to bed."
"I will never, never eat another mammal's tongue. Just typing that out made me gag."
"I was around 6 at the time. My dad used to season and roast baby potatoes. For some reason as a kid, I just couldn't stomach them."
"They made me want to throw up. After a few of them I would run to the toilet."
"One time, I thought I was clever by hiding them under the cushions of my seat. I got away with it for a few weeks."
"Until my mother was obsessively cleaning because she couldn't get rid of the smell of compost from the dining room."
"Eventually she lifted the cushion to see a heap of mouldy squashed potatoes."
"That day for dinner, my dad made an extra portion just for me. Apparently when I saw the plate I went pale."
Don't Name Dinner
"It's not at all fun to name and raise a chicken only for it to be served for lunch."
My Mother was not a good cook because she hated to cook.
She could reheat things from a can or make something from a box, but she had a tendency to add canned peas or cut up hot dogs.
Luckily I loved cooking and took over all family cooking duties as a child.
My only food trauma was a dish my Sister made: Polynesian liver. Yes, it was liver baked with pineapple rings.
None of us could eat more than one bite.
Do you have food trauma? Share your story in the comments.
Every unhappy family is unhappy in their own way, but these toxic families are all completely insane. Whether it’s a controlling mother or an absent father, these Redditors had to find out the hard way that their families had ugly habits and dark secrets. They say you can’t choose your family—and no one would choose these broods.
The Prodigal Sonwoman crouching in front of display shelfPhoto by billow926 on Unsplash
My birthday: "I got you a pack of socks, but I realized I can get them cheaper from somewhere else, so I'm going to return them." My brother two weeks later: "I think I'd like archery, will you get me this $600 bow?" Parents: "Oh, heck yes!" Thing is, I never even got the socks. The favoritism runs very deep in my family.
Man Hands Misery Down
My dad screamed at me for 20 minutes when I was 11, called me a witch, and told me to get the heck out of his house when I casually mentioned we seem to argue more than other families. In truth, I know he was hurt too, and he regrets not having talked to someone about what he went through as a kid because of how much it hurt his own family.
The Black Sheep Of The Family
My wife helped me come to the realization. Out of myself and my two brothers, I was the only one to have never been behind bars, yet I was the only one my parents didn’t buy a car for. And actually, it wasn’t just about getting a car—they refused to even teach me how to drive. I had to move out of the house before I learned how.
So one day, I had my wife (girlfriend at the time) over to my parents’ for Christmas dinner. My mom offers me a glass of champagne about two months before my 21st birthday. No big deal, right? My stepdad proceeds to throw a temper tantrum about how I’m underage and not in his house and all this. Well, a couple of months later, I found out he bought my little brother, his biological child, a bottle of high-end bourbon for his 18th birthday.
When I was in the service, they had a whole bunch of deep-sea fishing trips and pro sports games they would go to without even so much as asking if I could come. They didn’t come to my boot camp graduation that I offered to pay for. They didn’t see me off when I was deployed. They weren’t there when I came back. Great times.
Better Off Apart
My mom and dad separated because they finally admitted that all that fighting wasn't normal. I'd talked to them in my young teens about how I hate how they fight so much, and my mom said all married couples fight like that and that it was normal. Now I'm 18 and they separated this year, and they realized it is not normal or healthy to have "discussions" that involve screaming, tears, clenched fists, and everything short of physically harming each other nearly every day.
Neither of them are bad people in the slightest. They are both good parents, but they were just in a bad relationship and thought that staying together would make me and my sisters happier, when in reality I wish they would've separated years ago. They brought out the worst in each other. Then recently, my mom let out her biggest secret.
My mom came out as a lesbian. Turns out, part of the reason she was angry all the time was from repressing her sexuality.
Even though I seldom leave the house because I’m pretty introverted, my mom can’t handle it at all when I visit friends. Whenever I get home, she accuses me of loving them more than her. It's even worse if I go out for two consecutive days or more, than she just goes totally ballistic. It's suffocating and stupid, really.
Daddy Doesn’t Know Bestassorted clothes hanged on rackPhoto by Chase Charaba on Unsplash
I was 9, and I was really nice to a poor guy selling shirts out of the back of his truck. My father’s reaction haunts me. My dad pulled me away and told me directly "It's great to be nice to people, Chris, but be mean too. You want people to be a little scared of you." Even at nine, I was like, "That's not...great," and it really was an interaction that shaped our relationship.
I went on to teach, have a vibrant friend group, and generally, I love people. It's in my work and in every fiber of my life. My dad didn’t come out so well. He passed, alone, of an overdose about 10 years ago. The funeral would've been basically empty if not for all the friends who came to console me.
Correcting The Sins Of Father
When I was growing up, especially in my teens, I now realize I suffered from anxiety and severe depression. My parents never did anything about it, even though they definitely could see something wasn't right. I don't place ALL the blame on them, as this was back in the 90s when mental health was still not openly discussed. But I was messed up for a very long time.
I got the help I needed, albeit as an adult, and now am a mom to an 11-year-old daughter. I am starting to see some familiar things in her; anxiety is the big one right now. So we have "Brain Checks." If she ever needs to talk, at any time, all she has to do is say she needs a "Brain Check" and I stop whatever I am doing and let her tell me what is bothering her.
I can't always fix her problem for her, but we talk it out and see if we can ease her mind or how we can do that. I know she won't come to me for everything, but I hope that by doing this, she knows I will always provide her with a safe space to speak her mind and not be judged. I have no qualms dragging her to our GP for either meds or a therapist referral, though, if I feel talking to me just isn't enough. I don't want her to suffer like I did.
I was 11 years old when my mom and I came home to my aunt stealing our stereo equipment. When my mom confronted her, she pulled a knife. At the same moment, my uncle happened to be driving by, slammed on the brakes, reversed, and then came into the yard on the lawn and hit the corner of the house a little bit, jumped out of the van, and attacked my aunt. I only found out the dark truth about that day much later.
As my mom unpacked everything to me when I was older, she explained that my aunt was taking things to get money for her substance habit. Much later than that, I found out that my uncle wasn’t sober and shouldn't have been driving at all. I look back on that day as the day I lost my innocence in a lot of ways. Can’t really go back from that.
To be fair, my nuclear family was generally your standard loving functional family. It was just my mom’s half-siblings who were toxic. They were always taking money and never around unless they had to be or needed something. After my mom passed, my aunt called me looking for money, and I pretty much hung up and never talked to any of them again.
Busting A Gasket
I married into a toxic family. My husband realized it when his sister insulted me, out of the blue, to him for an hour. She then blamed him for making her husband hate the entire family. Meanwhile, everyone else in the family who was within earshot of all this all claimed to have not noticed or heard anything. It was loud and long. They knew.
He was pretty shell-shocked by the whole thing. It was ignored and NEVER resolved or discussed. It's a very large family. I have been the black sheep ever since even though I wasn't even in the “fight.” I would actually take responsibility for anything if I knew what made her so mad at the time. I apologized to her and she has never even admitted anything happened.
She was having a really tough time in her marriage at the time, however, and is now divorced. We didn't live in town, so each visit was a nice, pleasant time and we all got along fine prior to this. Really changed out entire dynamic.
The Mother Of All Pettiness
I had my graduation from engineering on the same day as my mother's birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with choosing the date. But you couldn’t convince my mom of that. My mother said I "ruined her birthday"—and then she got a cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March, mine is in August.
Mother May Iwoman in black and white striped long sleeve shirtPhoto by Julien L on Unsplash
My first memory is of my parents fighting when I was three years old. I remember my mom looking at my dad and yelling, “This is why we’re getting a divorce.” They separated when I was two, but took some time to figure out custody, as well as the actual finalization of their divorce. My mom was always so angry and would scream, throw things, and tell me consistently she didn’t want me around.
I finally had a breaking point with my mom the day before I turned 17. We got into a huge fight and I realized that she was just taking out the aggression of her past on me. I realized she had been blocking out what she put me through, and finally brought it to her attention. I know her mother was awful, and she kept perpetuating this cycle.
What triggered the whole realization was when I dated someone for the first time when I was 16, and my boyfriend’s mom treated me like her own. It was the first time I felt welcome in a home. She made sure I ate because she knew I wasn’t eating properly at home, she always had a bed made for me in case I ever needed a place to stay, and would always check in with my boyfriend to make sure I was okay when I went home.
A Twisted Family Tree
I was eight years old and sitting in my new babysitter's apartment having an asthma attack. I was very allergic to cats and my mom had left me with her despite knowing my allergy and knowing that she had nine cats. But the reason why she left me there was even worse. She needed me out of the way so she could go sleep with my older sister’s boyfriend.
She hadn't even sent my inhaler with me. My life nearly ended that day, honest to God. To make matters worse, my sister found out and got in a fistfight with my mom in the hospital hallway while respiratory therapy was working with me. They both caught an STD from the dude, and I learned to always have my inhaler on me. Among other lessons.
You Are What You Eat
My cousin Stephanie made a peanut cake, just everything out of peanuts. The flour had peanuts, it had peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and peanut chunks. I'm very allergic to peanuts, and she knew it. I refused to eat it for obvious reasons, and Stephanie shed some crocodile tears about how she had lovingly made the cake so we can all eat it, and how insulting it was for me to pass on it.
Between my Aunt Karen, her husband, and my paternal grandparents, they forced me to eat a HUGE piece of that cake while my other cousin called emergency from outside the house. I literally almost passed on. Afterward, they said they didn’t know about my allergy (???), and “I was a rebellious teenager who was very picky about food."
Rain Check On Decency
When none of them showed up to our youngest child’s third birthday party. Oh, but it gets worse. We had this planned for about a month and a half; you have to when you have three kids and crazy lives. Less than three weeks out, my mom decides to go on a mini-vacation to Florida for three days and asked us to move the whole party.
Her husband, my stepdad, decided that since she wasn’t going to the party, he didn’t have to either. Meanwhile, one of my brothers decided to go on a kayaking trip because he felt no obligation since my mom and stepdad weren’t going. Our youngest brother is the only one with a legitimate excuse because he had work that weekend.
So, the day of the party, everyone’s asking, “Where is your family?” This is both friends and my wife’s family, who I love dearly. For the first time, I didn’t hold back and said, “Because they’re toxic and too self-absorbed.” This was definitely one of those last straw situations. My wife and I were married young, and to be honest, my in-laws have been my parents ever since then.
Visiting Hours Are Over
Years ago, I was in the hospital after getting stabbed in the abdomen. I went under and the doctors had to bring me back. I woke up in the hospital full of stitches, but still alive. I had a really great group of friends who came throughout the weeks of my being there, to the point that I got my own room because it was disturbing fellow patients I shared a room with and the staff were super nice about it.
The only family member to visit, however, was my younger sister. My mom, dad, other four siblings....None of them came, and my mom only phoned and communicated to me through the nurses, never speaking directly to me until I was back at home. And this was during a time where we actually had a decent relationship comparative to other times in life.
A Rude Awakeningwoman in white long sleeve shirt holding wine glassPhoto by krakenimages on Unsplash
When I moved in with my partner, I noticed she called her family for things I would never call my own for. Then I realized this was because she actually likes them and doesn't see communicating with them as an obligation. Instead, she wanted them to be part of her everyday life. It was then I realized just how messed up my family truly is.
The Root Of All Evil
Growing up, my family basically pooled together all our paychecks, and whatever was extra after bills was more or less fair game to use for my parents. So I constantly got my paychecks drained. I tried saving money up by saying I had a little less than what I did. After a year, had about $1,000 saved up. That’s when disaster struck.
My mom took my card to "buy dinner" and proceeded to check the balance on my card. She sees I have a lot more money than I was telling them. So she used my card to buy over $150.00 of food that I got none of, and then kicked me out of the house for "making the family do without." Imagine not being proud of your kid for trying to save money.
Not me, but my girlfriend. After a year of being, together I invited her over for Christmas. After all the gift opening, my family sat down for food and we were all laughing and having a great time. Then I looked over at her, and she was quiet and just looked kind of shocked. We get in my car afterward, and she said “Is this how Christmas is every year?”
I told her yes, and she said “This is nothing like my family’s style. We open gifts, get into arguments, and then take the gifts back.”
I Know You Are But What Am I?
When my mother and I were on a heated phone call with each other and she said how much I "hurt her." I finally had the courage to say "Well, what about how you hurt me?” Her response was "Well yeah, I MEANT to hurt you!". Big eye opener on that one.
Loud And Proud
I always thought my family was normal, it was just big and loud and everyone had tempers. Then I learned I was wrong. I told someone a funny story involving my little sister throwing a loaf of bread at my mom...the look on their face told me to stop there and not get to the part where she threatened to burn down the house with all of us in it.
Bad News Beargrayscale photo of man using magnifying glassPhoto by mari lezhava on Unsplash
One of my grandfathers only called me with super-negative information. He’d tell me thing like he put one of the cats down, with details on how the cat acted on the way to the vet. He let me know on my 21st birthday that I was an old maid. That one was just after my grandmother, his wife, had passed a few months prior.
When my parents’ house was broken into, he didn’t even tell me. I only found out when we arrived home to see yellow tape outside my bedroom window. When my father passed, he decided my mom and I didn't need any sympathy calls or anything. Because it "might upset us more." I had more sympathy from perfect strangers.
He did call me after my father passed to let me know that my father never loved me—which was a crock, as anyone who knew my father knew how close we were. He passed in the hospital last year, and I had to miss the funeral. I couldn't have shed a tear anyway. Meanwhile, many of the locals think he was great—they only saw his public persona.
The Lion’s Share
I will mention one episode only that particularly hit me, as toxicity in my family is basically the norm. I was around seven years old and my grandfather, my mother's father, a plush of Mufasa and baby Simba from the Lion King. After visiting him, my parents and I went to my grandmother’s, my father's mother. I had my plush with me.
We stayed at her place for 3-4 days. When it was time to leave, I was collecting my stuff but I couldn't find the baby Simba anywhere. My mother asked my grandmother if she had seen the plush anywhere and she said no. Also, she commented "She (referring to me) is spoiled" because, in her opinion, I wasn't good enough at taking care of my things.
I left with Mufasa only and without baby Simba. One year after, we visited my grandmother again. I went to the living room and my blood went cold. In one corner, my grandmother had put all my cousins’ toys so that they could find them easily when they were going to visit her. And...well, together with a giant doll, kitchen utensils, and a children’s book, there was my baby Simba plush. My grandmother had taken it away from me to give it to my cousins.
Get Away From It All
When my mom yelled at me for being depressed. She was saying how rude and inconvenient it is for everyone around me that I was depressed. She was screaming so hard that her face was all red. She screamed at me frequently. She would also always wait until I was in the car with her because I would be unable to leave.
I stopped talking to her after that and she played the victim. She apparently was suffering because she was “abandoned by her daughter.” No one in my family wanted to hear my side of things, no one reached out to check in on me. I was made out to be the bad selfish daughter. Now, I don’t have a relationship with anyone in my family.
I cut both my parents off after I realized they both will not change or get help or see they ever did anything wrong. It’s been tough to deal with the emotions of it all, especially the emotions I felt when I was younger and in their care. I’ve been working on it with therapy for a few years now. But it’s been a necessary decision for me to cut those ties, so I can focus on myself.
I was seven years old, and my dad hadn’t been home for three days. My mom put us kids in the car and drove to every bar in town until she saw my dad’s truck. Then she told me to go into the bar, look for my dad, and tell him to come home. I refused, so she sent my 4-year-old brother in instead.
Forgive And Forget
My mother threw a fit about how my son is so involved in his dad's life. This hit home, because my mother and father have been separated for a long time because she did the same thing to him with us. She decided that I was “neglecting” my son because I didn't want to limit what he does with his dad. I'm sorry if I won't repeat my family’s mistakes and that I want my son to have a father.
Shoddy Support Systembrown and red books on white surfacePhoto by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash
When my parents realized that I had been accepted into a premier school on a partial scholarship, they retracted their promise to pay for my college, just because they wanted me to go to a state school near them. They even gave me an ultimatum, telling me that if I went there, I could never really be accepted back into their house.
I ended up going to the local state school they wanted, and flunked out due to stress and depression. 24 years later, my brother is on his fourth degree and they are still supporting him and his wife. Oh, and his "professional poker playing."
Hush Little Baby
I was talking to a friend about how my allergies had been acting up recently, a problem I had never had until I moved out of California, when she asked me if I wanted Benadryl because she had some in her purse. I told her I built up a tolerance to Benadryl, and she was very surprised because my allergies had just started getting bad when I moved here.
She asked me how in the heck did I build up a tolerance to Benadryl? My answer made her go white as a ghost. I mentioned to her that growing up, my mom would give me Benadryl every night until I was about 14 or 15. It would make me drowsy so I would go to sleep and leave her alone. She was very alarmed.
In Sickness And In Health
When my mom opened my mail, took out a credit card check, made it out to herself for $4,000, and put it in front of me to sign…while I was in the hospital getting chemotherapy. I did not sign it, and she was very angry and told me how I owed her. We really didn't have any kind of a relationship after that because I was just trying to stay alive and the stress was too much.
Then my sister started jumping all over me because I was asleep and didn't answer the phone when she called me…because I was tired from cancer and the treatment. Yeah, we're still not talking.
It’s All About Me
It happened this past week. I asked my mom if we could go out to lunch and we made plans for Thursday. Instead, she stood me up to go shopping for a new car, and kept calling and saying, “Just one more dealership!” I was waiting for over three hours in the shopping complex by the restaurant. She apologized over text and asked if she could come see me to show me her new car.
There were kind of a lot of moments; but some re-occurring moments were whenever I was seriously sick or hurt, my mom wouldn't believe me, or she would ignore me. When I was nine years old, I told her the vitamins she gave me made me feel sick. She told me to hurry up to the car so I wouldn't be late for school. I said that I really didn't feel good.
She yelled to hurry up. I go outside, and suddenly I'm puking on the lawn. She rolled her eyes at me. When I was 12 years old, I told her that I fell on my elbow at school and it hurt a lot. She just hummed at me. I tell her the next day that my arm still really hurts.
She said I was fine. The day after that, I'm being driven to school, and she asks me why I was wearing a sweater even though it's hot outside and also, "Why are you holding your arm like that?" I roll up my sleeve and show her my elbow, which is purple and swollen like heck. Her response: "Oh." 17 years old. I was sick, sick sick sick, and she kept telling me that it was just allergies.
I asked her if I could just lie down for an hour. At exactly an hour, she called for me to do the dishes. I didn't get up because I was just starting to doze and I really felt like I couldn’t move. She kept yelling at me to get up, stop being lazy, and come do the dishes. I pulled myself out of bed, having to use the wall to support me.
I see her in the main room and tell her that I genuinely didn't feel well. She scoffed at me and said I needed to stop acting. My brother had stepped in the main room then and immediately took a step back seeing me. "Oh my god, you're literally gray. You look terrible, Mom are you seeing her?" My mom didn't say a thing, but my grandmother came out of her room, hearing my brother, and also gasped in horror, expressing how terrible I looked.
It was only then that my mother said, "Okay, let's get you to a hospital." I had a particularly bad case of strep throat. Anyway, I'm 20 now. She still doesn't believe me if I'm sick or hurt. She’s always claiming that I'm being dramatic, even though I'm not the type to play-up my sicknesses. In fact, I even tend to downplay them.
A Lifetime Burdenred envelopPhoto by Natasya Chen on Unsplash
My mother is sending me a copy of her will. She said if I ever open the envelope before she passes, she will kill herself. And if she ever sees me in person again, I need to show her the unopened envelope. She said if I "get snippy" about it, she will turn around and go home. I tried to help her find a different place to keep it. But she doesn't know of one. And she will hassle me about not opening it for the rest of my life.
My father-in-law is beyond toxic. My wife always said she wasn't close with her dad, but we would see him for Christmas every year. We lived in southern California, and her family lives in Michigan. My father-in-law once took a trip to southern California and never told my wife until the day he was flying home. On that call, he told my wife that she "was ungrateful" for not driving down to see him.
She had just had a spinal tap for a meningitis scare and couldn't drive by herself. Then when my son was born, my father-in-law dropped off another family member but said he needed to run an errand. He didn't come back for a few hours. When he did, he just said he had to leave. Didn't even talk to me or my wife. Oh, but it gets worse.
For my son’s second birthday, he said he and his wife would be out of town for a wedding. Turns out, the wedding was the next day, and “out of town” meant 20 miles from our house. The third birthday, he just didn't show up. When my mother-in-law—they aren’t married anymore—got diagnosed with cancer, my wife called him, and all he had to say was "Huh, crazy” and hung up.
When my mother-in-law passed this last January, he never even checked in on his daughter. My wife calls him out now, and I've told him off a few times and "ruined Christmas" after he tried to say my wife wasn't a good daughter since she never visits.
No Going Back
When I was locked out of the house and my father told me, "You're not my son" at age eight because I'd forgotten my homework at school. I was let in when my mom came home from work at 11pm. There were a lot of other things that happened before and after that, but being told your status as a family member is that arbitrary really puts it in perspective.
The Silent Treatment
My brother got mad at my dad for bringing him the wrong food—my brother is older and spoiled. When I stood up for my dad against him, my dad yelled at me, marched out of our house, and then didn’t talk to me for two weeks straight, despite the fact we were living in the same household at the time. He proceeded to only talk to my brother and my mom.
My grandma and I are very close. I live a few hours away from her, and she is not very tech-savvy, so it’s difficult to phone her sometimes. I went home a few weekends ago and we got some time alone to talk. She told me that her sister, my great aunt, is getting pretty sick. She is having problems with her kidneys and it’s affecting her mind.
My aunt and grandma took her to the doctor, and then to get some medications that were about $7. Her card got declined. She hadn’t been checking her accounts, and after calling the bank, she found out they were drained of over $10k in checking and were overdrawn on top of all that. That’s when she discovered a horrific truth.
They called her daughter and granddaughter, and they both admitted to taking the money from her account. My great aunt has been paying their rent for three years and has given them two vehicles. She pays the insurance on them both. This was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she is cutting them off. Best of all, the latest update on her health is positive.
Don’t Follow Your Dreamsblack and white typewriter on green tablePhoto by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
I was on the ride home from school and my mom said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I answered, “Maybe be an author or something like that.” She replied with “That is so dumb, that is the stupidest thing. You are smart and you have the whole world at your fingertips, and you want to be an author? You can be a scientist or a doctor, but you want to waste your life being an author.”
Kind To Be Cruel
The first time my husband spent time with my parents was when I realized I was in a toxic family. When we left, he was like, “Wow, your parents have literally not said a single positive thing about you. All their ‘funny’ stories about you growing up are really just awful.” I kind of just figured that was normal. Lots of eye-opening times later, and I don’t talk to my parents anymore for a slew of reasons.
Going Whole Hog
After my dad passed, we were cleaning out his apartment. My mom, paternal aunt, paternal grandmother, and I were there. I was 11, my parents were divorced, and while my mom tried telling me that my grandma was not a trustworthy person, she detached her own biases enough to still allow me to be close to my dad's family and make my own decisions.
My dad had a motorcycle, which he adored. At his apartment, because he had no will, every major possession was supposed to be recorded to the estate lawyers to be sorted out later. Nothing was to be taken home. On his motorcycle keys, he had a keychain of a bike. I was in the kitchen alone with my grandma, and spotted them on his key rack.
Nonchalantly, I said, "Oh, it's dad's motorcycle keys!" My grandma said, "Oh yeah, it is." Then she grabbed them and slipped the keys in her pocket. Weeks later, I overheard my mom talking to the lawyer about not being able to find the bike keys. I told her what happened. My mom asked me if I was 100% sure I saw what I saw, and I was positive.
Lawyers spoke to lawyers, and my grandma denied that it ever happened. It came to the point where I had to give a sworn testimony at a deposition, all while my grandma looked me straight in the eye and calmly told everyone present that I "was a grief-stricken delusional child who was prone to lying". She then tried telling everyone that my word could not be trusted due to the intense trauma of my dad's passing, and questioned the courts about whether it was wise to believe an 11-year-old over an adult.
She chose possessions over her family. Every member of my dad's side supported her—and then she topped even herself. She lied on my dad's gravestone, making him two ranks higher in the service than he was, and then also stating he served in a war that he never did. I don't even visit my dad's grave anymore because it's just lies.
I tried to sporadically interact with them for a few years after that, but officially cut contact in 2013.
Lean On Me
I was waiting outside the toilet at my mom’s house for my partner to come out. I was with her because she has severe depression and anxiety, and wanted someone there. My mother came out of her room and exploded, asking me why I'm sacrificing so much and telling me that my girlfriend was faking it to manipulate me, horrible things like that.
Worst of all, my girlfriend heard everything and broke down really badly. I haven’t taken her to my mother’s since.
Big Day, Big Ego
I was at my sister's wedding, and it was the most fun wedding I've ever been to. Everyone was having a blast. I was catching up with some first cousins I don't see very often when my mom walks up to us and starts complaining about how my sister didn't want to invite some of my mom's cousins. My sister and I had only met them a few years before and my sister didn't like them.
My mom insisted that she needed them to be there so she could have fun. The screwed up thing was my sister had given in to my mom's demands and some of those cousins were actually there. So my mom was actually insulting my sister at her own wedding for letting her have her way. I had known my mom's siblings and parents were pretty awful, but this was the moment I accepted that she was just as bad.
Evil Stepmothera person holding a small mp3 player in their handPhoto by Cartoons Plural on Unsplash
I didn't realize this was an example of how awful and toxic my stepmother was at the time, but when I was 11, my stepmother got my two sisters, her biological kids, iPod touches. I did not receive one. At first, I brushed it off as my stepmother not getting me one because I didn't really listen to music much, but then again neither did my sisters.
I realized years later this was just another example of her blatant favoritism towards her own children, whether she would admit it or not—and trust me, she wouldn't.
My dad gave me the silent treatment because he thought I crashed the car he had just bought for me and I wouldn't own up. Why? because it had red marks on either side of the window. He thought I must have hit a barrier or something, despite me pointing out that this would have almost certainly smashed the screen into smithereens.
After a week of racking my brain, I asked if there was a red “for sale” banner across it...he replied yes, then slowly began talking to me again.
Poisoning The Well
My oldest sister, who is not mentally well, went on a bit of a poisoning streak several years back, and we pretty much told her that either she needs to stop, or she's officially kicked out of the family. But yeah, so my sister apparently would be spreading salmonella and E. coli into our drinks and food whenever she could.
Me and my dad went into her apartment, and her fridge was full of uncovered raw chicken and it wasn't even cold. The whole fridge was unplugged. All the chicken had that slimy grey film on top of it and I would have blown chunks right then and there if I hadn't splattered the toilet bowl two or three times over just earlier that day.
She admitted to us later that before she'd come to hang out with us, she'd rub the slimy, rotting chicken all over her hands and face and then spray on perfume to mask the odor. I always thought her perfume just smelled bad, but I guess it was always because she had the putrid scent of rotten meat all over her skin. Sadly, it gets more horrifying.
Then, for whatever reason, a reason that she couldn't or wouldn't explain, she'd take her disgusting hands and rub the rims of our cups or glasses and lick and spit on our food when we weren't looking. Who does that? Of course, there was tons and tons of mold growing everywhere in her place as well. Every little crack and nook had something growing in it. I left her place fully willing to just cut her out of my life.
The Ones Who Are Left Behind
My brother is the worst. He may be depressed or addicted to his computer or something like that, but he's just terrible with everybody around him. To him, everybody is stupid, nobody cares about him, and the entire world is out to get him and keeping him from achieving anything. He's 28, without a job, living with our father.
Meanwhile, our poor father is doing all he can to help him, but there's nothing to be done. This is, of course, after our mother gave up helping him after many years of putting up with him. In the meantime, my brother has been tormenting everyone who dares talk to him. When visiting my father a few years ago, I saw my brother very briefly.
It was tough for him because I'm getting on with my life. I have my own home, a cool job I love, I'm getting married, money isn't an issue...and he on the other hand is alone, living at his dad's, without a job. We talked, again briefly. He tried and tried again to find ways in which he was better than me or to say that I'm stupid. He got frustrated, called me names, and left.
Love Thy Neighbor
My adoptive parents kicked me out my junior year of high school for being gay—they had already known for a while, but my then-boyfriend coming over Christmas morning to exchange gifts made them “deal” with it. They told me to break it off or get out. I declined and came home one day the following January to find out they’d changed the locks.
My boyfriend’s mother found out that I was staying with my aunt and what my parents did, and immediately drove me over to make my parents let me get clothes and items from my room. She then let me stay with their family. A few weeks after that, my parents showed up with officers, claiming they were holding me against my will and brainwashing me.
We told them our side of the story and it ended up in court. I went through the process of getting emancipated while dealing with them and finishing off high school. I haven’t talked to them since I graduated, over a decade ago. I still hear about how crazy and manipulative they are from the stuff they do to my brother when he complains about them, but I won’t see or speak to them under any circumstances.
About Facea woman with her mouth open and hands in front of her facePhoto by Simran Sood on Unsplash
My aunt has always been difficult. She could be very nice and caring, but then, for no obvious reason, she suddenly turned into a screaming monster. Once, my mom, who has a key to her apartment, left her a present and a card in her bedroom for my aunt on her birthday, and all my aunt did was scream and yell about "How dare we break into her place.”
A few months later, she was detained for throwing a chair at her co-worker. This led to her being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She had to get into therapy and was on probation for many months. She’s doing much better now, and her therapist helped her a lot. It turned out that my aunt is the sweetest, most caring person in the world. I'm looking forward to seeing her next week.
My father and his wife spent years convincing me I was a bad son, and I believed it. Genuinely, from when I was around 3-4 until I was 23, I thought I was a bad son and felt so guilty. It wasn't until I was 23 that I realized that they were the ones canceling seeing me and then calling me up to reprimand me for not seeing them. It was them. They were bad parents, I wasn't a bad son. Their friendly facade to me and my friends was so thick that I never saw it, and a lot of my friends still don't see it.
I cut contact with them three years ago and have refused to acknowledge their existence since. I just tell people I don't have a dad.
The Great Deceiver
When I was six years old, my aunt, who was my guardian, faked my grandmother’s passing. She lied to all of us—local churches, her friends, and strangers—for sympathy and money. She wrote to multiple people asking for support. She needed money for a headstone and the funeral, etc. People bought into it hook, line, and sinker.
So you can imagine our surprise a year later when we received a letter from our grandma saying she was coming to see us.
The Bare Necessities
My shower stopped working one day. I went to my mom, who was sitting in bed, and told her it was broken. Her response chilled me to the bone. She just looked at me, annoyed, and shrugged. Well, then my bedroom light burned out. Same thing. I tell her, hoping she'll at least give me a new bulb. She says "okay?" And shrugs me off.
She made me feel entitled for asking for necessities. So I stopped asking for things. Most of my high school life, I spent in a room with no light, a kitchen with no food, a bathroom with no means to shower, one pair of pants, no socks, and in pain. Sitting in my dark room, unable to shower for a few months, I considered why some people shouldn't have children.
There's a saying about needing to kiss a lot of frogs before finding Prince Charming. Most people date more than one person before settling on a life partner.
And even then it doesn't always work out.
Most of us have at least one breakup in our past. The reasons things don't work between people vary greatly.
But we all have our breaking point.
Reddit user pizzabagels1994 asked:
"What caused your last break up?"
Lack of Empathy
"I had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer. All the attention I had been giving her I didn't have the energy to maintain while getting Chemo and avoiding Covid."
"My final straw. She yelled at me on the phone while I was in intensive care with pulmonary embolisms."
"Just that light bulb moment, and I was done."
"That was 3 years ago. All good now. I'm in remission, and thinking about dating again."
"I got into an argument with a crazy ex that was about 8 years older than me when I was 19 and we were screaming and chatting at each other and I remember she grabbed this vase that I had just bought her some flowers in and chucked it at my head and barely missed.
"It's hard to remember what kind of insanities I was yelling at her after that but she came around the corner with two brand new butcher knives from a knife set we had bought earlier that day and chased me around the house in circles."
"The house had bars on the windows and you had to have a key to open the front and back door it did not just have a manual lock."
"I ended up putting myself in the bathroom and holding the door as hard as I could and she actually stabbed one of the knives through the door."
"The whole knife did not come through the door only about two inches of it but that's plenty enough to still scare you."
"It was around 2010 and I had one of those prepaid phones in my pocket and I called her dad to come get her. He lived across the street."
"After her dad got her calmed down he took me on a ride to the duck pond at like 2 or 3:00 in the morning and was feeding the ducks old pizza and was just telling me that I needed to chill out and trying to give me some kind of a life lesson."
"He was probably pretty intoxicated himself but usually managed to hold himself together."
He really wasn't a great guy but came in during his daughter's mental crisis."
"The duck pond adventure started to end as the sun came up and I went and locked myself into the bathroom at the house and just went to sleep on the floor."
"I was going to get my things and get out that morning but she begged me to stay and at the time I thought that was what I really wanted."
"I think she kind of was mentally unwell at the time and I wasn't my best either."
"I did not call the cops on her and we reconciled for a time."
"Unfortunately I seem to have a pattern of not realizing I'm in a major mentally abusive situation due to growing up in one."
"Wife and I were attending couples therapy."
"The therapist said she was being literally abusive to me. My then-wife demanded a new therapist."
"Second therapist said she was being abusive to me. My then-wife filed for divorce.
"While my life right after was hell, it's come back around and I'm doing better than ever."
"My drinking, lies about drinking, and sh*tty finances because of drinking. 107 days sober today."
"Finally, someone who admits it was their fault. Me too brother."
"Past exes all was because of my drinking. Thankfully, I found someone who helped me quit."
"I'm 1yr 8m sober. We got this."
"We had our home, our plans and were preparing to marry in about three months when we separated."
"Thank goodness you found out before getting married."
"I know it must really hurt and maybe even keep you from trying again with someone new but you really dodged a bullet."
"Yep, my wife cheated and it's costing me about 100k between legal fees, buying out her equity in the house (which she paid none of), give her a chunk of my retirement and liquid cash."
"Honestly I think everyone should have a nasty infidelity clause in a pre-nup at this point."
"I can also look forward to sending her 70k in child support over the coming years. And I'm gonna take a wild guess that most of it won't be spent on the kid."
Something is Missing
"It took some time but we both realized that we weren't giving each other what we needed."
"Same! He saw it first so he was the one to leave me, but thank God he did, we were so incompatible!"
"Leaving my last relationship was rough—it was my first ever relationship and lasted 7 years—but I was so relieved at the same time when I got dumped."
"It was a very healthy breakup on both sides, and we kept in touch on and off for just under a year afterwards until she began seeing someone else and I felt it would be best to leave it be out of respect for her new partner."
"We honestly just both grew up (got together when I just turned 18; both young) and eventually fell out of romantic love."
"I still hold her to the highest respect and will always have a place in my heart for her, but I was so glad when she bit the bullet and broke it off. I would've felt too guilty to do so; I owed her so much."
"We had a very tumultuous relationship for the first couple years—we were very much in love but I had a lot of unresolved mental health issues, had a nervous breakdown, etc..."
"I still hate what I put her through but hope I was able to make it up to her in the last couple years of the relationship."
"Anyways, I wish her the best. My life and mental well-being has gotten SO much better in the last few years of being single; in a way I owe that to her too."
"He wants to get his life together."
"We still love each other and he thinks he needs to do this on his own but I want to be here for him, I promised him when we first started dating I’d be here for him as much as I can."
"It just hurts because he thinks I’m not strong enough to still love him and be apart from him when I am. It’s complicated."
Not enough time
"Her not having enough time for both grad school and a relationship."
"She did make the right choice though."
"Oof, yeah. Grad school is a real drain, emotionally."
"Like, you need the support of a partner while you go through it, but you don't really have anything to give back."
"It's an awful time."
"Just broke up with a girl halfway through a medical degree. I couldn't do it. I had been supporting her financially for 8 years and even another four I couldn't do. She also wanted me to cook, shop more than her."
"I started telling her I wanted her to contribute more towards the relationship. She grew distant but then really leaned on me when she needed financial and emotional support."
"She gets through her exams gets admitted to the doctorate and then cheats on me on holiday with a Swiss rocket scientist."
"He's now supporting her finanically in a long distance relationship. Feels like I dodged a bullet. Still 8 years is a long time."
It's complicated seems to be the mantra of relationships in the 21st century.
Are we no longer as loyal or loving as we were in the past?
Or do we just have more options and an unwillingness to settle.