Ex-Cons Explain What Their Time in Prison Was Really Like
Let's face it, jail is the last place you would want to wind up.
Former convicts who have been sentenced to time in prison can vouch for the harrowing stories of violence that are often depicted on film and TV.
But in addition to the savage attacks and violence that are commonplace while in the slammer, ex-cons could also recall being tormented by extreme boredom and eating inadequate portions of bland food.
Canned fruit, cream of wheat, and unsweetened grits, anyone? Yum.
The following former inmates described what life was like during their time in confinement, and shared their stories when Redditor Between3N20Karakters asked:
"For those of you who have been to prison/jail what is it like?"
Their unnerving recollections will remind you that being on the straight and narrow will always be better than the alternative.
The Friendly Murderer
"In prison in Colorado I was roomed with a guy who killed his wife and her lover and split his own throat yet he was a really nice person to me. There are gangs of every variety and it was hard."
"24 days in county in Florida. I read 27 books while I was there. I didn't get my first book till my third day. It's an indescribable level of boredom. I only stopped reading when I could no longer find a comfortable position for myself. I also wrote about 40 pages of notes/diary entries, which is something I had never done before."
"I'll just tell one story. I went in thinking I would be out in no time. I was in a cell block with about 12 other guys. There was a common area and individual cells. I was really shy about pooping in front of others, so I held it. For like 2 days. On the second or third day I couldn't hold it. So I waited until I thought everyone else was distracted in the common, went quietly to my cell, shut the door as much as I could without latching it, and sat down."
"About 5 seconds later the door comes blowing open, and in walk every single person in my cell block. They all formed a semi circle around me, arms folded, demanding I finish my sh*t while they watch. So there I sat, pooping, in front of 12 strangers. It was horrible. But I have literally no poop shyness any more. So silver lining I guess."
The Farm Pit
"It's not quite 'traditional' jail and doesn't last quite as long, but I found it far far worse..."
"I was arrested back in the mid 80s in my youth, living in the former soviet union in eartern europe, and served 8 hours in the 'Farm Pit.' Basically just a concrete pit at a factory farm that's empty when you go in, but then they shovel in pig sh*t as the pigs produce it..."
"I thought I was getting off light with a one-day punishment...but honestly it's been almost 35 years and I'm still a wee bit traumatized from it and still feel some anxiety when I see a pig farm, even in a movie. I never knew anything could smell or feel THAT bad."
The Ignored Prisoner
"50 days in Macomb County Jail. Mt. Clemens, MI."
"Cold. Boring. Smells like bleach and feet. The worst part was hearing a guy screaming for the deputies because his chest hurt. They ignored him. He had a heart attack, and died a few feet from me."
The Detailed Account of Life Behind Bars
"I've had multiple stays at county jails in TX. Every minute of it sucks. Having your freedom stripped from you is a terrible experience, even if you know you won't be in long."
"I visited my dad in prison when I was a kid and one thing that stuck with me from then to the time that I went to jail, was the smell. All jails/prisons seem to have the same funky a** BO/mildew smell."
"In county jail the food is horrible and they give you just enough nutrients to survive. People think that everyone works out but it's hard to have energy or build muscle with the amount of food they give you. You have to be able to make commissary to get more food.
"'Commissary is very necessary'. In county it can be prohibitively expensive for a lot people, packs of ramen go for like $1/each. In state prison, they feed you more and commissary is cheaper. You can also get items not in county jail like sodas and ice cream."
"Depending on where you're at you will most likely be grouped with offenders who have done similar level crimes. Meaning non-violent housed with non-violent offenders and vise versa. There are times this isn't true. Even though I was in on a non-violent driving offense, I was housed with people on trial for armed robbery, murder, attempted murder. I'm not sure why I was put in that tank, I don't have any history of violence. Maybe it's the way I look, idk. One of the murderers was actually a really nice guy (to me anyways) and I got along with him well. We discussed philosophy and played chess everyday."
"Being sick in jail is terrible. Medical care is highly lacking. If you're sick they give you a couple Advil per day and that's it."
"Mental illnesses are rampant. Some people are on their meds and stable, others have conditions that are undiagnosed and untreated but clearly off their rocker."
"Pathological liars are everywhere."
"Everyone is innocent. Everyone is a big time drug dealer. Everyone is a hard as f'k gangster. You get really tired of hearing people talk about all the money and sh*t they have out in the world but they're asking you for a shot of coffee because they don't have money on their books."
"Coffee, stamps and ramen works like currency. You can buy different things/services from other inmates. I used to draw, fill out paperwork, write letters and file motions for other dudes to help pass the time."
"Daytime TV is the most obnoxious sh*t ever and you will gain a new found hatred for it in jail. Dudes will be gathered around the tv watching The View arguing over the dumbest sh*t."
"In the showers, sandals are required. If you go barefoot in the shower you will end up with a f'ked up foot infection. I once saw a dude coming off heroin lay down on the floor in the shower. I wanted to puke. There's years of caked on germs on those shower floors and walls."
"Jailhouse snitches and thieves are hated. If you get caught stealing, you better hope you can fight because you will get f'ked up on sight over a couple packs of noodles."
"There's probably more but those are the main things I think people don't realize about jail."
Never Admit to Being Suicidal
"Try to sleep as much as possible, cuz it's not pleasant to be awake in a room filled with cots and a variety of random strangers, some of whom are cool while others are scary. There's a hierarchy so if ur lucky u will locate and secure a buddy near ur cot who offers to show u the ropes and let's u use her shampoo and wants to play cards. Do not tell the intake nurse the truth if she asks u if u have ever been suicidal, cuz I was long ago, and since I answered honestly i was sent to solitary confinement where I had to be buck naked with all lights on 24 hrs a day and no blankets, only paper towel thing and camera on u with creepy perverted guard watching u all night long"
Narrowly Escaping Death
"My a brother was in prison, he was almost beaten to death by guards. He still won't talk about it and it's been over 20yrs."
Keep Your Head Down
"Been in a number of US jails. Food quality varies, but generally you'll be hungry from dinner (~6pm) till breakfast (6am). Usually you can get some commissary items by trading desserts or playing poker (if you're good at it). Most of my time is spent sleeping and reading books, some people prefer TV and you often don't get to choose what's on. I've generally been in minimum security so haven't seen many fights, but I've been on cell blocks where someone's freaking out for over an hour, and this inevitably happens around midnight when you're trying to sleep. Mostly I've learned to keep my head down and do as the officers say."
"The beds suck, the food sucks, and you're inside at least 23 hours a day. 3/10 would not recommend."
"8 days in solitary confinement was one of the worst experiences of my life. 23 hours in a cell one hour out to walk the pod and shower. Lights on for 16 out for 8. No blanket no books, noting that could possibly be put in the toilet to clog it and flood the cell to get out for a little while (apparently that was a problem). I begged for a bible (atheist) or anything to keep my mind occupied and was refused. 1/10 would not recommend."
Highlights Include LSD
"The longest I have ever done was 90 days in a very small jail. Boring 90 days at most we had like 17 inmates including DOC and females. I played alot of spades. Watched alot of stupid things on tv ( real housewives holy f'k). We usually had cigarettes smuggled in from the road crew so that was cool. My cellmate was in a PC programme and he was on trial for murder. The dude was annoying as f'k. The highlights of my sentence include tripping in LSD for the first time ever, and burning books in the shower cause it eas winter and it was f'king cold."
"Very small town jail for a weekend stay at 18 yrs old. Booorriiinnngggg. Eat. Sleep. Get hassled from Barney Fife. They left the cel door open during the day. We had to mop the floor (hell maybe we volunteered), got to check out the library in the jail....no blanket party, no tats."
"Pretty easy time all told. Which I guess makes up for being arrested for 2nd degree Burglary for stealing a mattress out of a unoccupied TENT at a girl scout camp in the mountains. In all fairness a tent is considered a dwelling, so yeah, I was a burgler."
"Yeup, don't do the crime if you don't want the time or whatever."
"Honestly it's not too bad by itself. We were all kind of like a family there. The worst part for me was just how uninformed I was. I had no idea how long I was going to be there and no idea what was going to happen to my house and job. Luckily it all worked out thanks to my friends and family. I feel truly bad for people who dont have people to look out for them. I just couldn't imagine."
Backed Up For Six Days
"I was in Appomattox jail for 6 days. The arrival process is pretty humiliating. They strip you, make you bend over cough, squat and cough, than shower while watching. Their policy is first 24 hours confined. I was lucky and had a pretty nice roommate. In the cell the toilet is annoyingly close to the bunk bed. There were two common shower areas in the main area walkway. The food sucked. Mostly it's just so damn boring. TVs were on when we could go to the common area but you could barely hear them. We got sent to our rooms for every little thing like getting too loud. One fight broke out but mostly things were chill. I swear somehow I did not poop for the entire time....My body was like .nope. Worst part is they messed up my sentence because of sloppy handwriting. I was supposed to only be held a day. I wouldn't have even had to change my clothes just stay in the courthouse holding cell. I later went to court over it and had my fines and community service dropped."
- Ex-Cons Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They Witnessed In Prison - George Takei ›
- Ex-Cons Share The Best Tips To Survive The First Week In Prison - George Takei ›
The human body is truly amazing. It's resilient, it can create antibodies to fight off infections, and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
There are some awesome facts about the human body, like that no two people have the same fingerprints.
However, there are also some creepy facts about the human body.
Redditors are well aware of this and are ready to share the creepiest facts they know about the human body.
It all started when Redditor MorBot07 asked:
"What creepy fact about the human body do you know?"
I Need To Go Take A Nap
"Too much lack of sleep can cause the brain to "eat itself", cutting connections and making things like alzheimer more probable in later life."
"nothing has been able to convince me to start sleeping more but i think this comment really did it for me.."
"If your spinal cord loses adequate blood supply for a short period of time, you can be temporarily paralyzed."
"The first sign that your spine is "waking up" again is that you regain a specific reflex, where if you squeeze that person's penis or clitoris, their anus contracts. If that happens, it's a good sign."
Just The Right Spot
"A single punch to the chest can stop your heart. A single punch to the gut can rupture your spleen and kill you. A single punch to the face or back of the head can kill you. (the back of the head being less sudden and more noticeable)..."
"Let it be known that, despite all the things we can endure, humans are insanely fragile in many ways you may not even have thought of."
The Other Side Of Me
"Some people’s organs are on the wrong side of their body, like a mirror image… It’s called Situs Inversus"
"This is true! I actually have this. Partial Situs Inversus. Dextrocardia. It doesn’t harm me just means my heart in on the wrong side so the opposite lung is smaller. Can cause issues when I’m sick but nothing more."
"There are pregnancy cancers. You can have little baby cell metastases growing in your brain if you decide to have a baby and some of cell multiplier genes go wrong."
"Add that to the list of why I need bodily autonomy. 😬"
Time For A Reboot
"A seizure, despite how terrifying they may be, are your brain's response to the brain equivalent of a runtime error. Something happened that shouldn't have, and your brain is restarting to get everything running smoothly again."
"Source: epileptic since 2003"
"When we die, it looks like your fingernails are still growing, but it’s actually just the skin around your fingers shrinking."
A Body Is An Ecosystem
"Your body contains just as many foreign cells, i.e. gut bacteria, as your own body cells. These cells produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood. Some believe this is the "gut feeling" people sometimes get in certain situations."
"I’m currently pregnant with a girl. I’m currently holding the cells that could become my grandchild."
"Samesies. Every person in existence was once half inside their biological maternal grandmother."
"I don’t know if it qualifies as creepy.. I’m a nurse, and I’ve always found it interesting how the body attempts to compensate when sick which incidentally tends to lead to you becoming sicker because of how overworked your body is."
Different Species, One Body
"An estimated 30 trillion cells in your body—less than a third—are human. The other 70-90% are bacterial and fungal. Ninety-nine percent of the unique genes in your body are bacterial."
"If you have a stroke (or other brain injury) that effects parts of the brain associated with speech, you will probably end up with some type of aphasia."
"For example, my “favorite” type of aphasia is Wernicke’s Aphasia; patients can form whole words and even sentences, but they usually make no sense. I had a patient with Wernicke’s Aphasia who would constantly say something close to “we have to rescue the dog(s) from the DMV!” It took me about 30 mins to figure out this person wanted something to drink."
A Whole New Person
"I heard or read once that essentially every 7 years your body has completely regenerated. Of course it's a slow on going process but 7 years from now no cell that's currently in your body will still be there."
"Eyes are the only part of the body that don't grow. Same size when you die as when you were born."
We Are Strong
"You could easily bite your own fingers or tongue off, but (unless you're seriously mentally ill) your brain prevents you from doing so."
They say knowledge is power, but I'm not sure I'm better off for knowing of this!
Until we're in a situation, we'll never really know how we'll react.
I have been in this scenario, though.
Sex matters. And people rarely want to admit how much.
But sex isn't a lifetime guarantee.
It fades, as does love.
It's important to speak about it.
It can be a fixable situation.
A relationship without sex may not be the end of the world, but it's definitely a sign that something is off.
Redditor Deviant55 wanted to talk about physical intimacy in relationships, so they asked:
"How important is sex to you in a relationship? Could you be with someone you love even if sex was off the table indefinitely?"
I learned how much sex matters in my last relationship.
Once I wasn't interested, it kind of killed everything.
ForeverGIF by moodmanGiphy
"When my wife of 30+ years became too ill for sex to be even remotely interesting for her, I certainly did not end the relationship. I loved her and I took care of her until she died. No other course even occurred to me."
"When I met my wife we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. This lasted a few years. I was in my mid-twenties when we married. She developed a chronic medical issue. I’ve gone twenty years being sexually frustrated. There are stages and phases to this."
"What I came to realize is that I love my wife. Yes, sex is important in our relationship. But I would rather have her in my life with no sex than have sex without her."
"The thing is, I love her. She can’t help her situation. I can’t help it. One deals with it. Marriage is more than sex. It is building a life and memories, raising a family, and loving each other regardless of the challenges life throws our way. But sex is very important. It helps keep the closeness and the emotional bond. But it isn’t the only thing that does that."
I Love Her
"It is complicated. I am in a near-sexless marriage. The wife needs antidepressants to function. And it kills her libido. So usually it is four to six times a year. My libido rages. And yeah, it sucks. I dream of more sex."
"But I love the chick. She loves me to the moon and back. I’m not willing to sacrifice her love so I can try dating again. Divorce rates these days? And I found a woman who more than tolerates me, she loves me. I’ll stay. And not to be crude but yeah I masturbate. A lot. She doesn’t begrudge me that. Occasionally she even encourages it."
"She went off her meds for a while. And man did we do it. But she was a mess. I need her healthy more than I need a shag. We travel together. We enjoy each other’s company. We actually like each other. I could claim that it is hell, but I choose to see all of the good I am blessed with."
"Quite important. But I think it depends on where you are in the relationship. I've been married for 10 years. I have kids. If my wife suddenly couldn't have sex with me for some reason -- illness or injury or something -- I'm not divorcing her over it. That's heartless."
"Now, if she just decided we weren't ever having sex again because she didn't feel like it, that'd be different. Or if I was just starting to date someone and they told me they'd never have sex, I probably just wouldn't keep pursuing the relationship. Plenty of people out there who will."
"It depends on the circumstances. I LOVE doing it with my man but I love his heart and soul more. If we had to stop having sex for medical reasons or something I’d definitely stay with him and stay faithful. If I was single, I think it’s unlikely I’d start a new relationship knowing it would be sex free."
Heart and soul is just as necessary and hot and sweaty.
At least a lot of people recognize that.
"Sex life is 10% of a relationship when it’s good and 90% of a relationship when it’s bad."
"The other way I've heard it put is that sex is like the bathroom in your house. It's not the only reason you bought the house, but if it's not working it's a big problem."
"50-year-old here married for 27 years. It’s not important. It was important when we were younger but honestly, if sex wasn’t possible I would still love my wife and really nothing about our day would really change."
"I’ve been reading these comments and wishing that everyone’s age was flared on their post because I sense that there are a lot of under-60-year-olds. I am older than my wife but she is starting menopause and I can see the writing on the wall. Not super thrilled but I love her completely and understand. The real intimacy is in how we still (and will always) want to sleep touching each other and waking up next to each other."
"I honestly considered this before. I absolutely adored this guy. It was like a child relationship; we'd kiss and cuddle and hold hands and things, but he wouldn't have sex with me, nor would he commit properly. Any time we came close to sex, he'd go soft or back off."
"I couldn't understand it, wondered if I could keep doing that. My sex drive was wild. Why kiss and the rest but not sex?"
"Then one day he told me he was in love with me and asked me out properly. I said yes there and then, had a wonderful day with him, but when I went home, I was left questioning if I could possibly live without sex. I decided that yeah, I loved him but it would be tough."
"We had sex the next day. So yes, I think I probably could."
"It's very important. I'm a very affectionate and physical person and touch/caresses and anything physical is one of my love languages. I couldn't function with someone who is the opposite of me or who's uncomfortable with how I am. I already was in a relationship with someone who wasn't that touchy/affectionate and it created frustration for both of us."
Don't Look at Me
"I am in a sexless relationship. He has erectile dysfunction and I really don't like sex in general. I'm really uncomfortable naked or even vulnerable. I'm shy around him despite the relationship being 10 years nearly, I'm even shy around my family and friends. Everything about sex makes me feel so embarrassed, and I feel nothing but negative feelings when I used to be sexually active. Not through choice of partner, I just hate that sort of attention."
Definitive!Shake Handshake GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"10/10. Sexual incompatibility is a deal breaker!"
Sex is important but not everything.
Until it is everything if it becomes an issue.
Good luck couples. Open and honest communication is key.
People Share The Moment They Realized Their Friends Were Actually A-Holes
An important contributor to our overall health and happiness is the quality of our friendships.
We may not have a lot of friends, but the more important factor is the depth of those relationships.
But we've all had one of those friends who turned out not to be a very good friend at all.
Redditor Both-Support-7110 asked:
"When did you realize your 'friends' were just a**holes?"
Putting Them Down
"After I realized that other people don't s**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."
"I luckily made a couple of friends that would just be supportive about stuff. So I slowly started talking to them more than my older friends as I saw the disparity between their responses."
"One side purely would be purely judgmental and try and bring me down, and the other would just be excited for me or be there to listen or whatever. Who wants to talk to the former when you have the latter?"
Using Them as a Convenience
"They only bothered with me when it suited them. I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."
Trying to Keep Them Small
"When they were nice at first but then cut me out of conversations, telling me not to 'butt in.' A friend doesn't dictate when you're allowed to speak."
"Total a**hole move to have conversations in front of you only to tell you it doesn’t concern you and mean it. . . Like making plans and giving details about how someone like you could be included but specifically telling you not to invite yourself; making plans in front of someone and not inviting them is awful."
Using Them as Entertainment
"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 because I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bulls**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."
Using Them to Feel Superior
"I didn't have many friends in grade school, but the times the kids actually gave me the time of day, it was to make me 'it' when we'd play tag. That's what I was there for. To continuously be 'it' so they could run away and feel superior. Because they knew I would agree to it no matter what."
Having Questionable Morals
"I had a friend that was a very promiscuous girl, I had no issue with that, until I found out she was using me and my innocent personality then, to distract her mom and make her think she was like me."
"Then she used my house as a literal hotel once, with my family here and everything... I knew that was it."
Making Fun of Them
"When I made new friends and realized that it's not normal for friends to constantly beat on me and make fun of me."
Prioritizing Money Over Them
"When they stopped being my friends after I went through a rough financial patch."
"I had a group that I was in from 2019-2021. They became a**holes over time, and it took me longer to see that. It was when I failed my psych 101 class (I'm not the best with online classes and tried the best I could) and when they heard about that, they laughed to my face, called me stupid and a failure."
"Early 2022, I met up with them again thinking it would just be a 'listen to this concert for someone we all know and go on our ways' thing."
"My one closer friend offered to drive me and I accepted, and then afterward she joined the group, made eye contact after the concert was done and said, 'bye,' and left with them to the doors. They doubled back and said, 'You can come with us to another town to a friend's place or I can get my mom to drive you home.'"
"I was so overwhelmed and embarrassed that I just went with them to the other town. I called my brother to come to pick me up after an hour, and when he was on his way out, everyone else left. Haven't been into contact with them again after that."
Disappearing When It Counts
"They pretty much abandoned me in a time of pretty intense need. It solidified my decision to leave the area and go do something worthwhile."
No Reciprocation Allowed
"When he does s**t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, but then I do the same back, and he gets offended."
Excluding Them From Plans
"I've got two examples here. One from childhood and one from adulthood. Pick your favorite."
"Childhood: Kid I knew when I was 8 or so. We used to hang out a lot of the time and often played together, doing the usual kid stuff. Then one day, he has to move away because of a change in his parent's financial situation and I was pretty bummed out about it."
"On the last day we were supposed to see each other, he hung out with someone else instead and when tried to join them, he physically shoved me away and told me I wasn't welcome. That one stung."
"Adulthood: When they keep telling me about plans they made and things they did together or wanted to do together, but never bother to invite or include me in any of it. There's one of them I get along with and he'll invite me to things as long as it's just with him, but when he's with the group, he excludes me."
"I remember one example in particular where they were discussing a new site to do some photography and they fell short a man. One of them looks at me like I'm the spare tire in his car and goes: 'I guess you can come with us this one time.', to which another replies: 'Nah, he doesn't want to go. He doesn't like photography.'"
"I told him I was perfectly capable of answering for myself and didn't need him to act as my answering machine, but it lost a lot of impact because he was right. I don't like photography and didn't want to go. I just didn't like being talked about that way."
"Good luck making that clear to them, though. All they heard was: 'If he was right anyway, then why are you b*tching about it?'"
"I no longer hang out with them. I eventually got sick of being treated like the spare guy they can use in case none of the 'main crew' was attending, so I dropped them."
"In 2006, my then-best friend wanted to go to a big German metal festival. I did not want to go because my Dad had end-stage cancer."
"Dad died on August 8th, a couple of days after my friend returned from the festival. I called him because I needed someone to talk to."
"He very bluntly stated that he had no interest in my Dad's passing but wanted to tell me how great the festival was."
"You can't imagine how disappointed I was. For years, I'd been there for him whenever he got dumped, and the one time I needed a friend, he wasn't there for me. I told him to shut my door from the outside and lose my number."
"I was 15, we were hanging out in the alleyway behind my friend’s house as we did almost every day after school."
"One girl was there from the year above us and they started prank calling the child protective services emergency line, pretending to be a child in distress, and they all laughed."
"After a few rounds of this, I felt queasy and left. Never hung out with them again. I still feel bad for not saying something or putting a stop to it, but the girl was older and 'cool.'"
Taking Advantage of Them
"I've been posting on him recently, he was my former neighbor and friend. We didn't immediately hit it off but after a while, we became good friends."
"I tried helping him out (he's an unemployed single dad of two special needs kids). He eventually saw my kindness as something to take advantage of, so late last fall, he either broke into my house (or enabled someone else to do it for him) and stole money from me."
"When I confronted him about this, he physically attacked me."
"I can't say it doesn't hurt."
Friendships are incredibly important, but we're unfortunately not meant to be friends with everyone. Some people simply do not turn out to be the friends we thought they were.
We may know that this happens, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.
No one wants to be alone.
But that doesn't mean we should settle when it comes to choosing a romantic partner.
When people rush into things without letting love flourish, it could lead to problems down the line that can inevitably lead to difficult breakups.
Those who've learned this the hard way shared their experiences with love when Redditorlastknownstar asked:
"What common mistakes do people make when choosing a life partner?"
Communication is key.
Discussing Life Issues
"Not discussing big life issues: your preference for having kids, parenting styles, deep religious beliefs, career aspirations, significant traumas…anything that may affect how you make decisions together later on."
"My parents were like this. Dad grew up in a standard midcentury 'men run the house, women stay in the kitchen' family, but Mom came from a long line of domineering southern matriarchs who had their husbands whipped. Dad was naturally a good cook and Mom hated cooking, but once they got married, Dad insisted she make all the food because that's what wives are supposed to do. No warning, total 180 on their relationship up to that point."
"He's learned his lesson and now happily cooks for my stepmom, but man... That's not something you can just spring on your new spouse overnight!"
What About Kids
"Having kids is a really big question that absolutely needs to be communicated. I've also heard that it's a topic that would make the man a big red flag if asked early into the 'relationship' as in first date and/or texts are off limits."
"Wouldnt it be a lot nicer to 'speed date' these big topics early on?"
These Redditors realized ignorance of financial responsibility in a relationship came at a cost.
"Finance is the number 1 leading cause of divorce."
"Edit: this popped up in my YouTube recommendation (Is your relationship struggling because of finance? - Dave Ramsey https://youtu.be/XuU7oabGqjk). Google is not monitoring us or anything"
"This is such a big issue in relationships. Knowing each other's spending habits is equally important. My ex would be extremely judgmental when it came to my 'fun money', but when he bought a new TV or a new gaming console, he was not to be questioned on it."
You can't change people.
Fixing Their Flaws
"Thinking, 'I know this person has flaws, but when we're married I can help fix them.'"
"Ok marriage isn’t working but if we have kids things will change because it will bring us closer."
"I personally had this issue dating someone who was as sweet as could be, but not the brightest bulb in the socket, and they relied on me for knowledge on everything from health to history to housework. All perfectly googleable or troubleshootable questions, but always defaulted to giving up and asking
mommy the girlfriend for help. Admittedly it was kind of an ego boost to have someone always telling me how smart I was and deferring to my judgement on everything, but that's not what a healthy romantic relationship should be like."
"I thought I could nudge them gently into being slightly more self sufficient, but it only got worse as they grew accustomed to relying on me for every little thing. And of course the flip side was I felt like I could never rely on them when I needed help... I knew I was SOL if I couldn't do everything myself, because I was dragging around a parasite instead of a partner."
"Next time I want to spend years working on a fixer-upper, I'm just going to buy a crumbling Victorian house. It'll cause me less stress in the long run."
Taking An Emotional Toll
"I was in a similar boat with an ex, wasn't so much her fault as she had a learning disability and epilepsy."
"Every other weekend we also looked after her kids from past relationships, one of which had autism, and due to my ex's condition she wasn't allowed to be on her own with the kids meaning I had to be there as the capable, responsible adult."
"We were together for just shy of 4 years."
"After she broke things off it took a good few months for me to get used to the fact that I could actually let my guard down, switch my brain off and relax. Without needing to constantly worry that someone would need my help or that I needed to ensure her safety."
"She didn't quite realise the toll it was having on me or the amount of responsibility was on my shoulders. She would constantly suggest things like holidays abroad with just us two and the kids, and all I could think was that it would be far from a relaxing holiday for me as I'd have her and two kids to look after and be responsible for the entire time."
Managing expectations is key.
"Choosing someone they think they should be with instead of someone they're actually compatible with."
"I feel a lot of people have a picture in their head of who they think they'll end up with and chase that ideal, instead of acknowledging their own personality and aiming for someone compatible with that. Easier said than done, but yeah."
– Viminia7 ·
Importance Of Value
"I talk with my partner about this all the time. We think its important to have shared values not shared interests."
"Yes it’s important to share things you both like to do, but just because your partner likes One Punch Man, like you do, doesn’t mean they are on the same page as you with resolving conflicts."
Elvis Presley reminded us that only fools rush in, despite his intense romantic feelings towards his object of affection.
But the wise men he was referring to were on to something.
It's best to ease into things and let love grow, and not force relationships without really getting to know the person with whom you plan to devote yourself to.
If it's meant to be, it'll be worth taking things slow by getting to know a prospective significant other's dreams, what makes them, and their values to see if there is enough chemistry to develop meaningful relationships.