November 19, 2019 | David Chung

Family Members Share The Dark Secrets They Are Keeping From Each Other

Keeping secrets isn't anything new. For example, you've likely withheld countless personal details from your family. You'd expect them to understand and support you no matter what, but some family members just cause you to shut down. While our own parents have likely been through the same trials and tribulations when they were younger, you might still feel discouraged to spill the beans out of fear that they will react to you hypocritically.

Every family needs strong communication. It helps us understand what everyone else in the family is feeling. However, some things are meant to be left unsaid. The last thing anyone wants is for something to turn their family's world upside down. Hiding secrets can have a harsh impact on a child or a parent's mental state.

Luckily, these people managed to hide some pretty deep secrets from their loved ones. From relationship issues to hidden wealth, nothing is off-limits here. If they decide to share them one day, they can expect some feelings of anger from people in their family. The most important thing is knowing they'll be forgiven for their actions. If not, they'll know who's truly there for them when it's all said and done.


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Eating Them Up Inside

I have an eating disorder, and it's all their fault. Having to come home every day just to be told I'm "kind of chubby" and "just need to exercise a bit more" really freaking hurts. My parents' nickname for me is 'fat girl' in Chinese. For context, even at the beginning, I was in no way fat or even close to being overweight, but being a girl of east Asian descent really brings the bar up way too high. I've lost 15 pounds since then, but I can never stop.

I've tried to go into recovery before, but the moment I even gain a few pounds from trying to get better, I get asked, "Do you want to become fat again?" Honestly, I could have held on a lot better if these were just strangers or even friends telling me this, but coming from family is just really sucks. They're the last people you'd want judging you for your body type, or anything for that matter.


#2 Happier Away From Home

They don't know that when I'm away from them, I am way happier and much more pleasant to be around. I don't just sit on my butt all day; I want to do important things and actually understand the world. They don't know I want to write, and they don't know what I want to do in college They don't know I definitely intend to keep my life away from theirs the moment I am able.

I'm 18 and I just recently graduated from high school. I don't have a job and I don't have a car. I don't have my own room, and I can never leave the apartment without being asked questions. Overall, it feels like being caught in a net in which any move I try to make just causes it to get more tangled up. It's easier to just hold on to the few things they don't ask about, but I know I can be better. I can be way more productive, fun, maybe a bit handsome if I just removed my life entirely from their grasp.


#3 No Beliefs Here

I'm an atheist. My whole family is conservative Christian and I know they'd probably disown me if I told them. They don't live with me, but every time they visit, they want me to go to church with them and I reluctantly go even though I don't want to. I hate putting up this charade and living this fake life but my father talks smack about atheists all the time and he would probably be crushed to know his daughter is one.

I actually have told my mom and she's the only one in my family who knows. She didn't tell anyone, and while she is very disappointed in me, she just refuses to talk about religion with me at all. She thinks that I made a horrible choice. My father is a much more devout Christian than she is and I can only imagine how he would feel. He would probably never want to see me again if I told him.


#4 Never Stop Loving Them

I love them and I care what they think. I don’t show it that often, but I do. I just don’t find myself capable of showing affection. Maybe I’m weird or messed up or something, but when my little sisters try to hug me, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It may be because they are my dad’s favorites out of the five of us (we're a family of three boys and two girls).

Even now, sometimes I’ll try to strike up some small talk and he’ll completely ignore me. I feel like I’m not a good enough son. What’s worse is I can remember overhearing him before talking about how he wanted a daughter as his first kid instead of a boy, and it made me feel weird and uncomfortable, as if I wasn’t meant to be. Instead of paying much mind to it, I bury it under an “I don’t care” attitude. It got to the point where for a few months, I’d cry myself to sleep wondering why I had this cruel existence thrust upon me and why I wasn’t loved. My friends think I’m always happy-go-lucky because I crack jokes, but it’s all a facade. A persona. In reality, I feel as though all relationships in my life are pointless because I may never live up to what the other person expects from me.



#5 Like And Subscribe

Well, I have a YouTube channel with over 1,000 subscribers, on which I mainly make YTPs. I don't plan on telling any family member since they all have a different sense of humor and I think they'd be more confused than anything else... Especially my mother since she doesn't understand English. All they know is that I like to make "clips," but they aren't aware of it and they aren't pushing it. It's probably the easiest secret you can keep, but I was thinking, should I reveal it someday? I'm thinking to only reveal it if I'm making money off it, or if I have a ridiculous amount of subs. But not now.


#6 Hold The Wheel And Drive

I had to travel about 20 miles each way to get to high school on a very busy highway in California. Since I had done that drive so many times, I basically had the route memorized. I used to go to school early for track workouts and one day when I was super sleepy. I basically blinked and was two miles further down the highway in the same lane. My mom would have had a heart attack if she ever found out.


#7 We're In The Money

How much I make. I make more than anyone in my family, my wife's family, and all of my friends. I'm a software engineer and job-hopped a few times, raising my income nearly 100% in six years. I didn't tell anyone in my family what degree I have (engineering), where I got my jobs, when I switched jobs, nothing. I don't tell anyone anything. The reason being is, back several years ago, we were at a family party and my brother and I felt shunned.

No one was talking to us. We are pretty normal dudes, so it was very weird that we were so ignored. We came to find out, people were talking behind our backs, saying we acted like we were better than everyone else because we graduated college. From that point on, we never spoke a word about graduating to anyone in the family. It's just really frustrating to have people talk behind your back about stuff that isn't even happening.


#8 The Farther The Distance

I have been in a long-distance relationship for about a year now. Eventually, they'll find out because I am definitely going to visit them, but I haven't figured out the best way to tell my family. We met online and my family is very skeptical about social media, but I've figured that if this person had an ulterior motive, then they wouldn't have put up with my nonsense for this long.


#9 Pay To Win

A couple of years ago, when Clash Royale was really big at school, I spent $500 of my parents' money (their credit card was connected to my phone). My dad called me to ask me about it, and I denied it. They were away on a trip to Las Vegas or some other place and my mom lost her credit card there. The person who found it spent money, so it was the perfect cover. I have no idea why I bought so many gems in that game because I would have definitely gotten caught. I really do feel guilty but since they thought it was a different person, my parents managed to get out of paying.



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#10 Stash That Cash

So, my parents are going through a really tough financial situation. I’m trying to help and do what I can, though it can be a struggle at times. My dad spends money on stupid stuff and then never takes responsibility. What don’t they know? My benefits have been accepted and I’ll be able to recover the previous years as well! Great news, right? Well, I won’t be telling my parents because my dad for sure will want the money or force me to spend on it stupid stuff. It’s not a huge sum of cash but as a college student, it sure does look like it to me.



#11 Fake It 'Til You Make It

I faked a job offer so I can move to another city that is 3,000 miles from my family. I still want to maintain a relationship with my family regardless of how controlling and oppressive they are, I just want to do it from a distance. I got an actual interview but I was not chosen for the job. Instead of telling them that, I made fake contracts and offer letter to show them.

Since the documents are in English and my parents can't understand, they just ask me questions, so lying is much easier. I just pack my suitcase, live off coach surfing, work at temp jobs for money and food for a while. At first, it was hard, very tiring and financially unstable,  but now I have a job, peace and much more confidence in voicing my opinions and feelings. I am also slowly mending my relationship with my parents. Soon.


#12 A Taste Of Ink

I have a huge tattoo on my forearm that I've had for the last 10 years. I'm currently getting it removed with laser but I've been using long sleeves whenever I get together with the family. My family is extremely conservative and it's freaking annoying in the summer.


#13 Wrong Career Choice

My family doesn't know much debt I'm in. My mom probably has an idea, but student loans aren't a joke. I'm going to school for Cyber Forensics and will be graduating this year, however, I've only recently realized that, while I am good at networking and technology, it does not make me happy whatsoever. In fact, it makes me absolutely miserable.

I'm an expert in IT, networking and security, however, I hate doing it. I've realized recently that acting is what makes me happy and I want to pursue that, despite being in deep student debt. Back when I was in high school, I did several acting jobs for movies and commercials, and this summer, I have gotten back into it. I recently just did a background acting job for an upcoming Netflix series releasing next year, and it's made me realize THAT is what makes me happy: acting.

You do something new every single day, you meet new people and make new connections and you get to be a part of something amazing. I can see myself making a living off of acting. My family doesn't know that my major and job experience actually makes me miserable, and something as stupid as acting (even if it's just background acting and acting in student films) makes me happy. I regret not going to school for film.

Once I am graduated, I am going to keep pursuing acting jobs and see where it lands me. My mom thinks that after I graduate that I plan on going for my masters in this field, but I know that it'll only give me more debt for something I have absolutely no interest in anymore. I don't know how to tell her that I decided not to go for my masters.


#14 Lights, Camera, Action

I've been writing pilots for TV shows. They are all spec scripts so far, but I'm hoping that one day I can get at least one of them developed. Some of my friends know, but I haven't told my family. I don't want them to get overly excited over nothing since I haven't sold one yet. It's been fun though; I've never done this type of writing before, so I've enjoyed learning and developing in this style.


#15 Tear In The Family

The divorce I'm going through is a lot harder on me than I'm letting on. I wanted the divorce—no one in my family liked my ex and they are happy I am getting away. But the divorce has been dragging on for two years now and it is really taking its toll on me. In the first year, things were fine and my family saw that I was a lot happier. But now, it is dragging onto a second year because my ex is refusing to cooperate. She's really trying to manipulate the system.

I am at risk at losing time with my kids, losing half my life savings, and having to pay 50% of my paycheck in child support for the next 15 years. Note: my ex makes more than me, which is the most frustrating part. She has no problem supporting herself. She talks smack about me to my kids, but I am trying to take the high road and ignore it. It is depressing that I have to deal with her for 15+ years.

My mom has had some health issues and can't travel. My dad was supposed to come out for Father's Day but changed his plans. Because my daughter had a recital on Father's Day, I had to spend time with my ex's family that day. I live close to my brother, but he makes no effort to plan events with my kids. We were even supposed to have a joint birthday party for our kids because they are a couple of weeks apart, and he straight up forgot. He promised to "make up for it," but has not reached out since.


#16 Keeping Their Sister In Mind

I made Dean’s List for my last semester in college. I’m super proud of it, but I found out when we were celebrating my little sister’s graduation and I didn’t want to take it away from her. I also didn’t want to feel like I was rubbing it in my twin’s face. She apparently feels threatened that I graduated a year early, even though she’s always been much more academically successful than me.



#17 Throw Up Those Horns

I'm a huge metalhead. Considering my childhood, I don't think my parents would ever allow it. They raised me in the church and taught me piano. Then I went to college and started getting into some heavy music. Lately been listening to Frontierer, it's practically screaming and guitar noise. I'm not sure if it's even music but it fires me up!


#18 Get A Hobby, Dude

I'm the first family member to graduate high school with very high grades. I went to medical school, became a doctor at around 21 and even went to Australia for two years for my Healthcare Management masters. My family, relatives, and friends only see how successful I've been and they are always expecting higher achievements. It's exhausting to be that ideal person in the family that everyone's looking up to. The thing is, I never even wanted to be a doctor and not sure if I'm even good at any of it. I want to try a lot of hobbies I never did, such as learn a musical instrument and photography.


#19 Not A Fan Of Gatherings

They don't know that all the times I was "forced" to work double shifts on Christmas Eve I actually volunteered because the thought of being surrounded by my family repulsed me. My parents are fine, but I loathe my extended family. Pretending to like or care about them is too much work. I worked at a restaurant in college and I would volunteer to work a double on Christmas Eve so everyone else could go spend time with their family. Sitting alone reading was a far better alternative. I would have done the same thing Christmas Day if we were open.


#20 Nothing Wrong With Therapy

I see a therapist about every other week, and I don't really plan on telling my family. Towards the end of college, I was in a toxic relationship, and I started seeing a counselor because of self-deprecating behavior. One of the things that came up in one of the sessions was this feeling that I had unresolved issues with my mom, and I ended up having a conversation with her afterward about it. Big mistake.

She interpreted it as, "The therapist said I was a bad mother," and she told me, "You don't need therapy, there's nothing wrong with you." I know she means well, but I've come to learn that we have a major disconnect in handling and understanding our emotional identities. Unfortunately, she's not super receptive to alternate viewpoints. Now that I'm out of college and can seek a therapist in the "real world," I'm not in a rush to tell her that I'm back in therapy. Ultimately I'll probably tell her, but not until it makes sense for me to do so.


#21 Panic At The Household

I'm agoraphobic and have been living with untreated panic for as long as I can remember. I live 1,200 miles away from my closest family member, so we Skype anyway, but outside of picking up groceries and stopping by the corner quick mart, I'm homebound. I found out yesterday that my insurance has a telehealth system for mostly free and if I choose, I can start addressing my issues once and for all. I'm nervously hovering over the 'reserve appointment' button, but if it means one day I can wake up and perhaps forget I'm an anxious mess for a spell, it'd be well worth it.


#22 That Escalated Quickly

Seven-year-old me faked a stomach ache to stay home from school and play video games. The lie escalated and ended in me getting my appendix taken out the same day. I was too scared to abort the mission and tell my parents I was lying. The doctor said it was a false alarm, but also that it was "better out than in." There was no such thing as keyhole surgery at the time... I was in the hospital for two weeks. No school for two weeks. No video games for two weeks. Die with the lie.



#23 War At Home

I have been back from Afghanistan for almost a year now and my family doesn't know. I have no interest in telling them, but we live in a relatively small military town and I actually have to dodge them in stores. I was once waiting for an order at McDonald's when I saw a man that could have been my father enter the store. I said "could have" because I did not stick around to verify. I just left out the other door. Didn't even get my food.


#24 Furry Friends Forever

I'm really sad that I left my cats and dog behind with my parents after I got married. I miss them so much. I cry a lot because of it, but I don't let my husband see or let my parents know. My husband is allergic to anything with fur, so I can't have any furry friends. Plus, I just had a baby girl, so I can't have any other pets. Even though I'm with my daughter 24/7 (I'm a stay at home mom), I really miss their company.


#25 Riding Off Into The Sunset

I make substantially more money than all of them. Also, my husband is not financially supporting me in the way I have let them believe. When they asked how I was able to get my new car and I told them my husband helped me, I technically wasn't lying... I mean, he did drive me to the dealership to pick it up.


#26 Born To Be Wild

I had a motorcycle for a summer when I was in college. This was about four or five years ago. My mom still doesn't know, she just thought I rode around with my guy friend and that's why I got my license (in case something happened and I needed to move it or take it somewhere in an emergency).

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#27 Always Nice To Have Extras

I have thousands of dollars worth of keyboards and mice. I never told them because it's just silly to them. I really like the process of customizing and finding the perfect input device for me. Also, I'm a programmer and gamer so I spend a LOT of time on the computer. Yes, I'm weird, but aren't we all?


#28 Do It For The Kids

The most memorable is that whenever I went out to "hang out with friends," I actually went to help any troubled kids. I grew up with lots of problems and I always feel the need to give a hand whether they are a neighbor, stranger, or classmate.


#29 I Am The Law

I'm applying to law school and only my sister knows. My parents think I'd make a horrible lawyer. I just want to do what makes me happy. She's helping me pay for my admissions test and application for schools fees. It's going to be a blow out when my parents find out.


#30 Resetting Their Life

My family has no clue why I’ve gone AWOL. I’m deaf and the only one in the family. I’ve spent my entire life being ostracized and left out of thousands of family dinners, group gatherings, group conversations, etc. I’ve been put down so many times and humiliated by my family because I made an outcrying effort to fit in every chance I could, only to be ignored.

One day, I had a siblings reunion four years after I moved out of our parents' house, which I was thrilled about beforehand. Little did I know I would end up spending the entire six hours looking at them back and forth, not knowing what the heck they were saying. They knew very well I cannot read lips so it was a huge insult to invite me only to put me through all that pain I thought I left behind in our old brutal childhood.

I moved out of state to start over. I changed my name as well. I even had my distant relatives, who live in the same state, who tried to reach me with no avail. My siblings have no idea why they’ve not heard from me for a year. My parents aren’t much less horrible than my siblings since they were the ones responsible for putting me in the wrong environment growing up. It’s freeing to be away from all that. But it left a big hole in me that I don’t know if will ever heal.


#31 Programming Your Own Future

I'm 19 and I'm a programmer for Nordeus (a company that develops games). I never told my family I knew how to write code, or that I'm a 3D artist. When I was 14, I got my first PC, started learning C# and how to work in Photoshop and Blender3D. They thought I was playing games. The reason why I didn't tell them is that when I was 15, my dad told me that he regretted buying me a PC, saying that I did nothing in life but sit in front of a monitor most of the day.

I guess that marked me, so now I'm working with him during the day, and overnight I do my daily tasks for Nordeus. I want to prove to them that I'm not useless. Even though I don't like working with my dad, I do it out of love... I even declined my university to stay here. I'm afraid of their reaction to my life—it is a big secret, but I love that no one calls me to fix their Wi-Fi router. I love anonymity. I guess when it's time for them to know, they'll know.


#32 Putting That Degree To Good Use

The reason I went to college to earn a Psychology degree was not for a job. I did it to figure out why the heck my parents were so screwed up and used their children as emotional dumps for their problems. So far, all I see is that if this apartment comes through, I'm never speaking to any of them again.


#33 The Bitcoin Craze

I invested a crazy amount into bitcoin when it was in the low hundreds. I sold it all when it hit $16,000 the first time around. It’s weird because I told them when I originally invested and they shrugged it off, then when it hit $20,000, they were all excited and talking about investing like it was a new thing. Now they talk to me about getting a job and stuff and how I won’t be able to live how I want if I don’t have money. Little do they know, I’ve got a fat PayPal. I don’t get how they think everything I own was bought with their money.


#34 Can't Get Enough Of Those Snow Leopards

My wife and I are obsessed with snow leopards. We visit the zoo just to see the three snow leopards several times a year and browse snow leopard pics and videos on the net all the time. Furthermore, we have six stuffed snow leopards at home that we talk to and play with every night. We pose them in various positions of mischief each day for the other to find and it's literally one of the best parts of our day. They are as alive and real and adorable to us as actual pets, and both my wife and I might be losing our minds... but at least we are losing them together.


#35 Five Years Wasted

I got catfished. In my defense, the catfisher did a lot of work to make themselves seem very legit. Most catfishers don't do a lot to legitimize their persona or give a ton of red flags. The catfisher was very convincingly pretending to be a relatively well-known Czech adult model. I got suckered into this con for about five years. Eventually, a trusted source informed me that I was being duped. I didn't lose any more money, just a lot of time. Also, as a result, I learned a bit of Czech. I'm not going to tell my family because then I have to tell them how I got fooled and completely humiliate myself.


#36 Turning That 'F' Into An 'A'

My mother doesn’t know (and probably never will until she’s much older) that I forged her signature on both mine and my sister's progress/report cards. Not because we were failing, but just because anything lower than a “B” was substandard and “not good enough for her."


#37 What Lottery Ticket?

Back in 2013, I won $50,000 on a scratchers ticket. Not a huge amount of money (I mean let’s face it, $50,000 won’t even buy you a house now) but I kept it a secret because my family is full of vultures. Half of my family is in Mexico and maybe six of them are successful in life, with two of my uncles being millionaires. The other ones always come crawling when they need cash, and it’s not that I don’t want to help them, I just hate how they expect everyone else to take care of them. One of my uncles told us, “ There are seven of you guys in America if you guys send me $100 each a week, that’s $700 a week I can have for my bills” We just told him to screw off.


#38 A Financial Wreck

I'm in a decent amount of both credit card debt and student loan debt. I never could tell them that I lost my scholarship partway through school and had to resort to loans to finish. They think I'm completely debt-free and that I'm not almost drowning every week.


#39 Shutting Out Mom

My mom always punished me for getting in arguments with my sister when we were little, so I completely just stopped talking to her. My mom thinks we are "friends" whereas I can count the number of ACTUAL conversations I have had with her in the past almost seven years on one hand.


#40 Not A Good Match

When I was 10 years old, I used to secretly play with matches. I would stupidly light my mother's fake flowers on fire because they had long stems. One day, as I was lighting the stem, it burned faster than expected and fell into the base (which I couldn't get into without turning it over due to its height). That caught the rest of the flowers on fire and because they were fake they went up in a flash.

Now there was a small roaring fire burning in the corner and in haste, I put it out with every liquid in the refrigerator (except water). Milk, orange juice, juicy juice. Now the wall was destroyed and I cried, thinking about my impending funeral. I decided to play it dumb and told my parents I had no idea how it happened. Thinking that would be it, my parents proceeded to call the fire department. Now I'm like oh no, not only are my parents going to skin me for lighting the fire and lying they are going to cremate my dead body for bringing in the fire department.

I went into my room with a virtual heart attack waiting for the inevitable. The fireman came in and noticed there was a crack in our thermostat on the wall behind the base with the flowers. His diagnosis was a spark from the thermostat probably created the fire and warned my mom not to have flowers there. I was saved and to this day they don't know I started it. I am 47 now and to this day, I don't mess with matches of any type.


#41 Viva Las Vegas

Back when I was 24, I took about $300 in cash with me on a trip to Vegas with my grandma. She is well off and didn't want to go alone. She has a timeshare with a company that lets her pick and choose where she would like to go for three weeks each year. Her friend backed out due to illness, so she decided to invite me. We have a wonderful relationship but when it comes to money, we don't really discuss it. Way too long of a story.

One night, I told her I was going to wander The Strip alone. She's fine with this as I come off a bit intimidating. I ended up at the Luxor playing Texas Hold Em'. I went from $250 to $30,000 in about four hours of play across four different tables. I invested that money in the stock market and if I cashed out said stocks right now, I would have about $2.4 million. No one in my family has a clue. I live extremely humble. For some reason, I feel like they would all come at me for loans and such. I just don't want to deal with that.


#42 Learning From Their Parents' Mistakes

My parents don't know that I voluntarily work 96 hour weeks making more per hour than either of them ever has. If my savings and funds work out as they should, I’ll have a million saved up in two more years. They think I’m borderline impoverished and struggle to hold two part-time jobs. They’re good people, but they are terrible with money. Of course, I would help them in an emergency, but if I let slip that I make good money, I’ll never hear the end of how I’m so ungrateful and how I owe them.


#43 Celebrating Without Family

I was academically disqualified from college with four classes left. I managed to get back in the last semester leading into graduation. I walked the stage and will be receiving my diploma in a couple of weeks. No one in my family knows and I plan on keeping it that way.

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#44 Leaving It Behind

I quit my job months ago. No one in my family knows, they live in a different state and rarely ask me about work and when they do, I change the subject or say something vague. I know they wouldn’t understand and would think I’m blowing my potential. In reality, I’m saving myself from the absolutely crippling and soul-crushing anxiety I’ve had at my job for years.


#45 Let The Music Take Over

I have a fairly successful SoundCloud and YouTube cover channel with a few thousand followers. My parents always discouraged me going into music and I've never mentioned anything to them. I learned some music production over summer and set up a makeshift studio in the corner of my room. My family and friends have complimented my voice before, but nothing major and I really just started because my parents said I couldn't make it on my own.


#46 If I Could Turn Back Time

I've been changing every clock in the house on New Year's Eve to three hours early. At 9 p.m.v we celebrate the New Year, then hang out for an hour. He thinks he's breaking every rule and has a great time. Now that he's turning 11, this will never happen again. It's hard to fake the time when everyone, even preteens, has cellphones now.


#47 It's A Me, Mario!

My five-year-old son used to ask me the “Where is daddy” questions. I had left his father when I was pregnant with him, for good reasons, but I didn’t want to tell him that. So my answer was that every Italian man (his dad is Italian) had to complete a 10-year Mario course, where they learn how to save a woman and drive very fast. He believed this and still thinks this is true. Luckily he calls my fiance daddy now.


#48 You Are Not The Father

My stepdaughter has no idea I’m not her dad or that our new baby isn’t her full sister. She remembers a man she used to play with (her dad) but not his name or anything about him. She calls me daddy and thinks I must’ve just worked a lot when she was little and that’s why she doesn’t remember me.


#49 Keeping Someone In The Shadows

They don't know they have an older half-sibling who was given up for adoption when their father was 20. He is now 23 and has never contacted his father directly, but if he did, I do know my ex-husband would be welcoming of it. He decided long ago that he wouldn’t tell our children (10 and seven) about his first son unless he came in contact again.

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#50 Took Their Ball And Went Home

I believe I am legally required to not mention that their mom abandoned us. The younger one might be too young to remember the time before the split. During that time, his mom was just gone without a trace for a while. She's making an effort, so we have a custody schedule... and a parenting agreement that references not mentioning each other's faults to the children.

It's a good thing to aim for as long as it doesn't land on total ignorance. I admit there have been times where I've had to teach a lesson about walking away from responsibilities versus taking pride in your efforts. I've alluded to general concepts of being there for your family, but I honestly don't know if my younger son connects the dots.


#51 Losing A Sibling

My daughter (an only child) was supposed to be an older sister at one point. When my daughter was five, I got my wife pregnant again and we decided to wait until our daughter's 6th birthday party to make the announcement.  We figured it would be a cool surprise for her (and our families) to find out then and didn't tell anyone about it so everyone would be surprised. Unfortunately, two days before the party when we were going to make the announcement, my wife miscarried.

When we told our families what had happened and why my wife had been taken to the hospital at 4 a.m., there was some anger and hurt feelings. Everybody agreed that my daughter didn't need to know and, as far as I know, she still doesn't.


#52 Second Thoughts About Their Child

After separating from my husband when my son was eight-months-old and having basically nowhere to go, many, many times I thought about the possibility of dropping him off at the hospital and skipping town. I never did, though—it was just a dark time of my life that I'm fortunate to have gotten over. He is eight years old now and we are very happy.

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#53 So Many Surprises, Kid

Their grandpa's not their grandpa. I didn't find out until I was 30 that my dad adopted me. My mom was married to someone else when I was born. My 15-year-old was looking at those DNA kits in the store. "I wonder what surprises it would find!" Oh, more than you think, sweetie. I'll tell them someday. I'm just not sure when the right time is.


#54 Keeping That Money Out Of Reach

We hit the lottery for $12.5 million and nobody in our family, including our children, has any idea. Besides us and the government, the only other people who know is an attorney we hired to keep our identities private. We have kept our lives pretty normal… We both work so it appears as if there’s an income coming in. We both enjoy what we do and didn’t want to have anything change drastically.

We just didn’t want to ruin our relationships with everyone or spoil our kids. We have it safely invested for their futures, but they'll get none of it until they establish themselves on their own without any idea that there is a safety net. It’s a blessing to win but an even bigger one not to be destroyed by money.


#55 Keeping It Simple On Easter

Money is tighter than I'd like it to be. My daughter's Easter gift this year is a brand new expensive hair straightener that somebody else gave me as payback for doing them a favor. My son's Easter gift this year is a Lego set from my childhood. My mom kept most of our stuff in good shape in original boxes.


#56 Young Grow Old

Our daughters are both from IVF. The "older" daughter was conceived two years after youngest.

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#57 Trying To Get By

We are so poor. They're little so they don't notice, but we struggle a lot to pay the rent and buy groceries. We had our kids kind of young—we were both in grad school. Now, we're in a weird spot because we both have fancy-sounding degrees that your average person would assume turned into a well-paying job. I am now a postdoc, and we are notoriously underpaid. Sometimes I think, "Wow, I have a Ph.D., you'd think I'd be smart enough to work out how to get more money..." but I moved the family internationally for this job.


#58 Together But Still Divorced

They don't know that we're divorced. Years before they came along, my spouse and I decided it wasn't working out and we got divorced. Years later, things still weren't working out fantastically for both of us, but we got back together. We never did get around to getting remarried, though. The kids still think we're legally married.


#59 Being A Good Man

My eight-year-old daughter is not mine. I met her mother, my wife, when she was three months pregnant. Neither of us knew until about a month or two into dating. When she found out it wasn't mine, she told me and gave me a free pass to leave. She did not want me sticking around just for the benefits of dating a pregnant chick. I made the choice then to take the leap— it was the best decision I ever made and never looked back. Now we have my daughter and a three-year-old son.

I don't plan on ever volunteering the information to her but I will tell her if she asks when she is older. The father skipped out and cut off ties when he found out. Fine by me though. As far as everyone knows, I am her father. It's on the birth certificate and everything. I was also there during the entire pregnancy, the birth, and every day since. I was 22 at the time.

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#60 A Life Cut Short

My kids and my wife are blissfully unaware that I had another family before them. My wife knows I had dated other girls before her—a few long-term, plus one who I was engaged to but did not marry. She doesn't know I made a baby girl with that former fiance though, and I'll never tell. Just like I'll never tell anyone that the baby died of a fever after just six weeks of her beautiful life.

This is the part of my story where my wife believes that "it just didn't work out" and that "she got really crazy." The truth is, we were both destroyed as people and neither of us could continue our lives together. We quickly grew to resent and hate each other. We lashed out against the world in a horrible fashion. No one from that past still has a connection with me, barring my brother who has faithfully kept my secret for 20 years.

My parents passed on before they really got to know my wife. My friends and the rest of my family from that time have all long since been separated geographically. The former fiance hasn't spoken to me since and now lives in a different hemisphere. To my knowledge, she has never dated again, but she did finish school and start a career. I hope she is happy. My kids don't need to know they have a half-sister in a little grave in a town 1.900 km away.


#61 Have No Faith

My daughter doesn't know I'm an atheist. She goes to a Christian private school. It's going to be an interesting conversation when she is a little older. She is starting to put it together, though... She just asked me the other day why her mom says a prayer for Jesus before bedtime and I say the Green Lantern oath instead.


#62 Step By Step

My oldest son is actually my step-son. While he knows, his little brother has no idea. We haven't been able to change his last name, although we never acknowledge his surname on anything other than legal forms. We send him to a private school and they allowed us to use our last name. We're not sure when to tell him because he might get heartbroken—the two are very close to each other.


#63 You've Got A Friend In Me

The reason we got divorced is that he left me for another woman, Amy, his friend's wife. When my daughter was two years old, we moved back to my mom's house while my world fell apart, and she innocently said, "Daddy's on the floor and Amy can't say no," which was evidence she witnessed at least some of what was going on while I was out of town. She's 11 now and has asked me a few times when she was younger.

I always tell her to ask her father because I can't bring myself to lie and I can't tell her the truth. She asked me one day if I still loved him. The best I could come up with on the fly was, "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have you, and for that, I am grateful." I didn't even want to break her heart by telling her THAT truth. Amy's ex-husband has since become one of my best friends, who my daughter knows, but she has no idea why he and I are such good friends.

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#64 All About That Selfie Life

My youngest daughter isn't mine. I met her mom one night at a bar and I was too tipsy to hit it off with her, so nothing happened. We were talking for months while both of us were doing our own thing (with other people). Months later, I found out she was pregnant and decided to date her anyway. I also found out the dad was a complete jerk who had no real intent to support her or be her father, he just wanted to take cool selfies for his friends.

We decided to just cut him out before she was six months old and say I was the dad. I signed the birth certificate and everything. I lied to my family, saying I knocked up my now-wife that first time we met at the bar, and we didn't get back together until I found out she was pregnant. Everything is great now. We have had more kids together (that are actually mine), and everyone who knows the "big secret" just knows a layer to the lie. The only people who really know is my wife and me.

Sometimes I feel bad for what I did. Then I check up on the guy and realize that she's not missing anything... he's improved his life a little but he's essentially still a man-child. I hope that there's never a reason to tell her, but with the way medical science is, it will probably come up eventually. The real secret is that she's my favorite kid out of all of them. Even my wife doesn't know that.


#65 Feeling So Low

I fell into a really deep depression after my son was born and it lasted several weeks or months. I was confused and not sure how to deal with it because all the dads I knew never talked about it. Most of them said things along the lines of, "The day my kid was born was the best day of my life." It wasn't until after I started asking other dads about what I went through that many said they struggled too. We all talk about postpartum depression in women, but never in men. I didn't know it was a thing until much later. So if you are a new dad and feeling in the dumpster, go get help... You aren't the only one.


#66 At Least She Has A Career In Mind

My daughter was conceived at work, on airport property, in the back of a freaking Ford Focus, while we were waiting for a med flight to land. She knows nothing about this, but she tells me she wants to be a pilot when she grows up.

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#67 Closing It Up For Good

My daughter doesn't know she's the reason I'll never have another kid. I love her more than anything in the world, but I just don't want any more kids. I didn't want any to start with but she was my surprise baby so I accepted it and fell in love with her. She's not an easy kid, though—we dealt with her ASD diagnosis, sleep issues, surgeries, and serious severe illnesses during her three short years of life. I'll never tell her it's because of her though, its not her fault.


#68 Not The Hamster!

When I moved my kids to a different city, I had to give their hamster away. I told them I taught their hamster how to write and kept "sending" letters with little seeds in them and weirdly written notes. When they finally got old enough, they told me to stop it, but for a long time, I felt guilty because the lady who adopted the hamster said it passed away two days after she got it.


#69 Unloved Outside Of Her Own Parents

We're sheltering our daughter from the fact that most of our families are indifferent to her. She takes for granted that they love her because they're nice and loving when we see them. But really, the most they care to see us is a few times per year. She thinks distance is the problem and has no clue that we've tried to see them more many times and get turned down. They just don't care unless it's a holiday. She's an only child and really wonderful. We don't want her to feel unloved because she deserves so much better.


#70 Insane Hospital Bills

How horrific our financial situation was. We're not rich. We get by with all the necessities and some extras. My younger son is autistic. With that diagnosis came some extra financial stress. It was a little tough but we managed. Then, at the beginning of 2018, he got sick. Real sick. It culminated in a month-long hospital stay, time in the ICU, and hospital bills north of $500,000. His medication alone is about $30,000 per month and he needs to take it for the rest of his life.

Between the medical costs, work my husband missed, and freelance I was unable to do, we fell behind and couldn't catch up. Friends and family helped but I was constantly trying to juggle buying groceries and keeping the lights on. I couldn't work because my son needs constant care, multiple doctor visits, and unpredictable hospitalizations. The kids never knew.

It was enough for them to deal with the five-year-old being in and out of the hospital. My husband and I skipped meals. We ate a lot of cheap pasta. I have no idea how we made it. I'll probably discuss it with them, or at least our older boy, down the line so they have an understanding of different financial situations. But for now they're only five and seven; they don't need to worry about that.


#71 Making A Tough Sacrifice

In utero, my son was originally a triplet. At 15 weeks, we lost his brother and sister to save his life. Our hand was forced—Baby B and Baby C had health problems that threatened the pregnancy. Baby C, in particular, was very, very ill. It was a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking thing to have to do, but we had one healthy baby and it was our job to save him. We will tell him when the time is right. We’re guessing sometime in high school. He’s nine now, and he’s just not developmentally ready.


#72 Avoiding The Old Folks At All Cost

My daughter has never met her grandparents, great grandparents, or anyone from my side of the family. My grandfather, father, and uncles are all involved in organized crime. As a child and young adult, I've witnessed things that have left me scarred. I could land myself and them in prison for a long time if they came to light. I made a deal when I was 22 with my father that I'd keep my mouth shut and he would leave me be.

I have kept my word and he has done the same. It's been rough for me to keep everything from her but I explained that my dad and grandpa are abusive people. I know she did some digging about them but was unsuccessful.


#73 Almost Lost Their Son

I nearly drowned my son by accident. I was still new to the parenting gig and he was finally big enough to be in the baby tub. (He was born two months preemie, so he’s always been on the small side.) My fiancé was playing a video game on the PC and I forgot to get a baby towel for my son, who started rolling. As I got a towel, we heard splashing, crying, and screaming. My fiancé went to the bathroom first, his PC being closest to the door, and got him out of the water as I came in with the towel.

He started berating me about how I have to keep my eyes on our son; how I can never leave him unattended. I just cried because to me it was unfair. I asked him three times to get a baby towel for me before I had to get it myself. It didn’t help that I was also suffering from depression and anxiety from us living with his mom.


#74 Eating Their Friends

We raised chickens from eggs and thought that we would be able to keep them because our township was going to pass an ordinance for chickens. Well, it didn’t pass. When the birds got to be almost a year old and one was a rooster and began to start getting vocal, my husband said we had to rehome them.

I had a friend whose father had a farm and I was all set to take them there when he suddenly broke his hip. I had to take them to an Amish farm—I thought I was dropping them off to be with their flock, but when they told me to come back in a half-hour, I realized they were going to be slaughtered. Not only do I have tremendous remorse for bringing my innocent chickens to slaughter, but I had to take them home and put them in the freezer. We ate them. I could never tell the kids.


#75 I'll Drink To That

My daughter doesn't know how many times I was absolutely hammered around her before I quit. I cringe to think about it now. I would start as soon as I got home from work and would be hammered before she went to bed. I'd wake up on the floor at 4 a.m. and crawl into bed to catch a couple more hours before getting up to go to work. I'd still be tipsy during breakfast. Ugh. After I quit, I apologized for being so tipsy around her and she said, "Really? I knew you had a few, but I never noticed you were tipsy." Hoo boy.


#76 A Hard Time With The Youngest One

My youngest was planned, hoped for, and wanted, but now that she is here I find myself occasionally wishing we had never had her. She is so much more challenging than my oldest and it makes me feel like a failure as a parent that I can't bond with her.


#77 Not Their First Rodeo

I was married before for 10 years, no kids. It's just never come up in conversation. My oldest is at the age where I feel like if I don't mention it, soon it will seem like I've kept something from her. I just don't know how to approach it, especially now that her dad and I are separating after 12 years of marriage. By the way, I also failed this marriage thing before.

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#78 Hiding Their Cheating Ways

I've known my wife since middle school and we have been dating since high school. We got married two years ago. Now, a year before we got married, we were having issues and would often argue when the kids were asleep. I would sleep on the couch every day for a few months. I ended up cheating on her for a few months with a girl from work.

I know it's not right but I felt unappreciated at home and this girl made me feel good. After a few months, stuff hit the fan—a guy from work messaged my wife that I was cheating. We did counseling and talked things out. It's been a slow process and I know she will never fully trust me again. We managed to keep it together for the kids, and we're closer than ever before. I'm a jerk for what I did but I hope my kids never find out because that's something that would break their hearts.

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#79 A Wild Past

I will never tell him (or his brother that I'm carrying right now) about how his dad and I used to party all the time. When I got pregnant, I quit as soon as I found out. We've been clean for a while now, but it was definitely an everyday thing and we're still suffering from it. We lost almost everything...

Slowly, we are getting things back to normal... but it's tough. I'll also never tell my son why both of our families are cut out of our lives. He's autistic and they would suggest that he be put in an institution. Just because THEY can't handle him, doesn't mean we can't. We love our son and would never abandon him like that...

It hurts that no one wants to be a part of his life but that's their deal. We get our son all to ourselves. They never got to know him and know how sweet he can be. Just because he can't talk doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings or emotions. He's the best.


#80 Abandoned In Public

Before we adopted him, my son was found abandoned in a box at a bus stop. We tell him that his birth parents gave him up because they loved him but couldn’t provide for him. At some point, we’re going to need to tell him the whole story, but I have no idea when he’ll be ready for that.


#81 One Bad Dad

His father is a terrible man who went MIA the second he found out I was pregnant. When I was 19, my son would cry because he didn't have a dad. I'm glad my son has his father in his life now, but I regret bringing him back into the picture. He only talks to my son when it's "his days to see him."

He makes comments to my son implying that he's been around since day one, and it makes my blood boil. He's threatened to take him and not bring him back. He would tell him how they should go on a secret vacation to Mexico that mommy wouldn't know of. He never paid child support until our son was six years old and only paid for two years.

I have a court order that I'm in the process of having the state enforce. He riles him up with empty promises only to cancel last minute to go party or to take out his fiance instead. (I know this because my son has come home crying to tell me about it). I can't bring myself to burst his bubble and tell him the truth about his dad, but he's starting to notice things on his own now.

It started with his last name—my son has mine, not his biological dad's. He even flat out asked me if he was around when he was a baby, I had to explain that he was too young now but that we would talk about it when he's a bit older. It broke my heart to see my son crying like that when he asked me. His biological dad will always be a terrible man to me.


#82 Almost Calling It Quits

My wife and I were an inch away from being divorced before I enlisted in the army. I was depressed and she had enough of it. She thought my decision to enlist was just my way of escaping my life. A week or two into BCT, she saw that I was in the process of really turning things around and decided to stay with me. The kids were little then, but don’t need to know how close we were to separating.


#83 Problems In School

For years, I feared that my son would learn I had been expelled from high school. I knew that if he knew, he'd take it to the next level. Everything I did growing up, he did the same but much better, depending on your point of view. He wound up being asked to leave, rather than being expelled, and he did this all on his own. He is now working on his doctorate, which just goes to show that students can hate high school but not hate learning.

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#84 The Storm Before The Calm

Before I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I took a lot of prescription medications. I had always dealt with anxiety and depression. I feel like the extra hormones put me over the edge. I found out about a week later that I was pregnant. I was terrified during the entire pregnancy that something might be wrong with him. Luckily, he was completely healthy and is an incredibly smart child. I've never told anyone. I feel so guilty.


#85 Grandpa Is Alive And Well

That his grandfather isn’t dead. My dad was always harmful to me my mother and my siblings, so when I was 13, we managed to cut him out of our lives completely. I never wanted my son to meet him, so to avoid mentioning him, I told him that his grandfather died from a heart attack when I was young. I’ve convinced my entire family to go along with it, and honestly, they agreed pretty quickly, wanting to keep them as far away from each over as possible. To be honest, I’m not even sure if my dad knows he has grandkids. But the lie is slowly unraveling, and I have to act quick—I found a note with a phone number I didn't recognize on his desk. When I dialed it, it was my father's voice who I heard.


#86 Everyone Has A Price?

My daughter, now 19, has no idea that her biological mother basically sold her to me. As we were going through the divorce process, she approached me and suggested that if I were to give her $5,000 she would not pursue custody, alimony or any other type of payment that she'd be eligible for. She wanted to continue to "party" and had zero interest in being a part of her life. I agreed. It's been a secret all her life, but I'm scared she'll find out soon. I got a mysterious phone call from an unknown woman asking about my daughter, and I'm sure it was her biological mother. I immediately changed our phone numbers... I'm not ready for this secret to come out just yet.


#87 Still A Father To Them

My children’s grandpa (my dad) isn’t my biological dad. My biological dad split when I was one, and he actually passed away in January. My sons are five and 10. I want to tell them, and casually because it’s not a big deal and doesn’t need to be (there is a lot of adoption in my family so they’re used to the concept), but my dad doesn’t want me to yet because he’s afraid it will change their relationship.


#88 Leaving The Dark Side In The Past

My son is almost a year old now and while he obviously wouldn't be able to understand if I told him that I used to do substances, I'm not sure how I will ever explain what I went through and how it's made me a better person in a way that he would be able to understand. I'm thinking I hold on to this piece of my past for at least 13 more years... I'm so glad to have him and the gift of sobriety to watch him grow.


#89 Making Ends Meet

Just that we struggle with finances. But our daughter is only a toddler so she doesn’t understand. We can’t afford to rent a place where we live. Thankfully, my folks have a small apartment above their garage and have us pay whatever rent we can afford. My partner works full-time (line cook lead) and I’m a stay-at-home parent and full-time student online. It sucks to be in this position, but our child is happy, loves being close to her grandparents, and will hopefully only continue to benefit from our situation. Hoping my career change and eventual return to work will help us get to where we want to be.

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#90 A Hard Road Ahead

My son’s medical condition is worse than he understands it to be. It’s not just the pain and fine motor difficulties he deals with now. One day, he may be in a wheelchair or on daily pain management. I'm afraid he'll be unable to work or live independently.


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