It can be very traumatizing to learn something about a significant other that has a major impact on the relationship. Sometimes, it can even be years into the relationship. The realizations can change everything.
These Redditors told the tales of the time everything changed when they learned something new about their SO. Sometimes it made them stronger, sometimes it ended things dramatically. They are all very powerful stories. Content edited for clarity.
"After several years together my ex told me nonchalantly one evening that he stole $500 from one of his best friends because he 'really needed it.' This ex was a college educated person trying to get into medical school. Not only was there no reason for this person to steal their friends' money, but I also didn't understand how someone could do that and feel no remorse whatsoever, especially to someone they considered a good friend. It was at that moment that I seriously began to believe I had given my trust and love to a total sociopath. It was the catalyst that pushed me out of the relationship.
I found out later that while I was working on a degree in another city, he found dates on tinder, spinning lies about being in med school, and owning a luxury condo overlooking the Wisconsin state capitol. He'd take girls for rides on my motorcycle and bring them back to the condo I owned; I don't know who or how many, but a neighbor specifically went out of their way to tell me what was going on. One of his tinder dates was with a good friend's best friend, and I heard through her the lies about being rich and working in medicine. A high school classmate of his texted me to warn me the same things; he hit on a girl at a reunion by saying he was in med school at Wisconsin, but the girl was actually in med school at Wisconsin and promptly told everyone about the exchange. When I went to kick him out of the condo, he told me that his mother had problems and that kicking him out would mean he couldn't take care of her anymore.
He stole a whole bunch of stuff from me, some of which he still has. And, after all of it, he had the gall to text and ask if he could manage my finances for me at his new job in-- believe it or not-- wealth management. I guarantee you he's stealing from every one of his clients. He's a class-A raging narcissist and holy moly am I glad he's out of my life forever."
"When I had my first child, the pregnancy wasn't a surprise or an accident. We talked and planned. He got a little overbearing during the pregnancy, like insisting on 'natural' feedings without even discussing it with me. I put it down to new dad nerves, and not knowing any better.
Turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg. He believed that children were completely and totally a wife's responsibility. He wouldn't change a diaper. He wouldn't pick up the baby when it cried. No way would he get up in the middle of the night. He expected me to work a full-time job, plus do all the childcare.
At that point, I was confused and appalled but I told myself he just needed time to adjust.
I realized how delusional I was when the baby got sick while he was on a fishing trip. The doctors thought the baby had meningitis. So not just sick, but life-threatening sick. I called and asked him to come home. He refused. He'd paid for two more days of fishing. He didn't want to lose the money.
Definitely an ex now. In the end, I discovered that not only did he believe it was the wife's responsibility to raise the children, but I wasn't grateful enough for 'having free room and board all those years.'
I'm not bitter. Really."
"We lived together. He got a new job and decided I should go home for a while until his job training was over. Hadn't heard from him in a few weeks and when I did, it was questionably spotty. Turns out he went on to start a family with his wife. Yeah. His wife.
I knew he was divorced (which I found out after we had been dating for months) and he never had a nice thing to say about her and they fought the few times she did call. I felt bad but I chalked it up to anger from a bad marriage, so I didn't think anything of it. Anywho, he moved and didn't hear from him for a while and I got very frustrated. I called him out on it. He lied for a while but finally admitted that when he moved home they started going to doctors for IVF. 'None of it was planned,' he said. This happened in a span of less than a few weeks - new job, moving, baby doctors. Yeah. Definitely premeditated."
"He started hearing voices. We've been together since we were 11. We've experienced everything together. I love and accept everything about him.
Shortly after moving in with each other, he broke down. He told me that he can't stand hearing voices anymore. I helped him see a doctor about it. They evaluated him and diagnosed him with 'stress.' In his words, he's pretty freaking stressed about hearing voices.
After a while, he starts admitting to me that he's terrified of mirrors. Why? Because the people on the inside will take him away. We go back to the doctor. Again, they tell him 'you don't want to be diagnosed with something bad.' It's just stress.
Nothing left to do than keep bringing him back until they believe him. Doesn't help that now he's convinced the doctors don't want him to get help. Can't really blame him for that.
It was hard to adapt at first. I would never have pictured him to have been going through such internal pain. The one thing that stood out to me, he had spent so many years building my mental health up and doing anything he could to bring me out of depression. I had been so selfish for so long. How could I have not realized something was wrong? I was supposed to be the one person who knew him the most.
Our relationship was unbalanced, and it was time for me to start picking up the slack. Ironically enough, we have an even stronger and healthier bond now."
"That he was doing crack up until after our first son was born. Found this out after we were divorced though.
I was young and stupid.
After a few months together, he told me he used to do it but quit in order to be with me because he knew I wouldn't put up with that. Then a few years into the relationship he admitted that he had done it for the first 6 months. Then after the divorce, he admitted that he stopped after our first son was born, which was two years into the relationship.
He would stay up super late and then sleep in, but he worked second shift, so that seemed normal.
He tinkered with stuff a lot, but I thought it was just a hobby he was really into.
He rarely ate at home, but I thought it was because he didn't like any of the food I bought/cooked (he only wanted junky, fried stuff) and he worked at a restaurant and said he ate there.
And he was constantly gaslighting me, so I thought I was just crazy and over-reacting.
Now I'm kind of wondering if he ever actually stopped during our marriage. Might explain some of the money problems."
"One day my sister-in-law knocked on the door of our house and when my ex-husband opened the door, she punched him square in the face and started screaming at him.
Confused, I asked what was going on. She kept screaming at him and hitting him yelling at him to tell all of us what he did. Long story short, turns out he intimately abused her 6-year-old daughter when he was 17 (he was in his early 20s at that time). They were not related by blood but that doesn't matter, the act itself was monstrous. He eventually admitted to it while I just sat there in shock. Needless to say, we divorced shortly after that.
I never told anyone else aside from my parents, as it was not my story to tell. Plus, his parents' religion was a major part of their decision not to press charges. Unfortunately, at that time, I too was wrapped up in this same religion. All of us were indoctrinated and brainwashed since we were children. This religion tries to ostracize their members from the rest of society and we believed that all matters should be handled within the church, as they preached that God was the only one who should bring judgment upon someone. I know, a crock of crud but I believed it.
As such, I stupidly believed that since the girl confided in her parents that they would go through the proper channels. I naively thought that by respecting her privacy by not telling anyone else, that it would be better for her. Since I respected the victim's privacy and never mentioned the real reason why we divorced, the rest of my family and friends ultimately took his side while he enjoyed manipulating the situation in his favor.
He got remarried shortly after we split but turns out that they got divorced as well. The last thing I knew, he is now engaged to soon to be wife #3. The piece of crud, I hope karma gives him what he deserves."
"I realized he would never get over his anger issues. The final straw was when HE crashed and totaled MY car and blamed ME. He is incredibly reckless on the road and rear-ended a guy at a RED LIGHT when we were going to TURN SO EVEN IF IT WAS GREEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SLOWING DOWN. But fifty feet from the intersection, where another car was stopped, I realized he wasn't hitting the breaks. He hates it when I say anything while he's driving so I made the mistake of waiting until the last second to start screaming 'STOP!' and it was my fault for yelling at him. If I hadn't said anything, he said he would have stopped in time. Sure. You can stop from 45 mph in 20 feet no problem."
"My wife and I have very little boundaries. Often times while we're having a conversation in our room, if one of us needs to use the bathroom we'll just follow each other in the bathroom and continue talking. If the conversation is good enough, poop won't hinder our dialogue. However, there are times when my wife is in the bathroom and locks the door. I always thought it was weird, but it didn't bother me.
We've been married for 9 years now. We met at 15 and are now 28. We've grown up together. Graduated together. Traveled together. We know each other so well and have nothing to hide from one another. Or so I thought.
This all changed one day. I was feeding our kid's lunch and she was in the bathroom. Unbeknownst to her, she did not lock the door. When I walked in on her, I witnessed something that I never thought I would see. Something that lived in the back of my head, but I didn't think it could be real...
My wife of 13 years relationship, 9 years of marriage, 3 kids together... was shaving her upper lip. She is Puerto Rican and has a little peach fuzz that you can't even really notice- but she was shaving it like it was a full on mustache! She looked at me with this embarrassed look and I thought to myself... 'What else is she hiding?'
I don't know that I'll ever look at her the same again."
"Married 22 years.
I found out this past weekend that my husband has decided we are at the pinnacle of our lives. We have a nice house, jobs, paid off cars, and so on. His goals now are to stay home when not at work and play a golf game or Fortnite from now on. He has no interest in travel or experiences. He just wants to stay at home and play video games for the rest of his life. I know it sounds like most people's dream life, but not mine. I want to go and do. I want to have amazing experiences and meet people. He is only 47 and has pretty much decided to become a hermit.
We have always been a team. The biggest difference between us is that he sees success in the items you own. I see success in the memories you create.
I spoke to him more. It does seem to have a lot to do with depression. Our best family friend died from cancer 2 years ago. Then my mother died 6 months later. For a while, he was all about going and doing and creating memories with our family and friends.
He told me last night that he likes only having x-box friends because he doesn't actually have to interact with them on a personal level. He never wants to hurt again like he does with Chuck being gone.
I love my husband or I would not give a darn about being together. I do want to help him. I am going to ask him to give me 2 days a month. I do plan most of our things, but I always take his likes into consideration and find things that he might like. I do not mind doing that at all.
He is wonderful. I just don't want him to hide away because he is afraid of being hurt. I will never leave him. He is the love of my life.
I will give him time. It took a few years to break down the walls around his heart, and I don't give up easily."
"She told me when we first met that she was 'broken' as she suffers from depression.
I didn't 'brush it off' so to speak, but kinda just thought, yeah whatever it won't be that bad - it's not because I don't think depression is serious, but I just had never ever been in contact with someone with depression so I kinda had no idea what it entails, if that makes sense.
5.5 years of being together later and HOLY COW! Depression is... just super freaking serious.
I've been in situations/scenarios I never imagined being in because of her and her depression. She's phoned me up twice while I was working (I live 60 miles away) saying she loves me and she's sorry and she's gonna end it. What do I do!? I didn't know what to freaking do!
Thankfully, both of those times, she never went ahead with it but still ended up in the hospital and obviously, I went up to her.
Sometimes she's just crying and crying and crying. And crying. Countless visits to the doctor for talks and medication. Again, things I've never dealt with before and at first I was extremely uncomfortable about it all.
But the good news is, it's/she's part of my life now. I don't mind all of the above anymore. She loves me and I love her. What's even more amazing is that I'm the one that keeps her going she says.
This is life. I'm fully aware of the seriousness of depression.
She is doing good now. Much much better. Of course, there is the odd day where it creeps back again but she's fighting it.
She isn't totally reliant on me. She is still an independent woman. But I am there when she needs me to be there.
I hope everyone else who suffers from depression or has a partner who suffers takes care of them and themselves. Keep fighting!"
"He didn't want to go back to school. There are other things too, but this is the one that irks me the most. I guess I'll give a bit of a background, so it can make sense. My husband has been in this country for ten years now, he speaks English really well for someone who didn't go to school for English. But, he stills makes so many grammatical errors and that could keep him from landing a way better job than he has now. If he ever wants to own his own company or get a really high position at a company, he may need to have a degree and how can one do that if they can't speak the language properly? When I see how lazy he is about going to school, wanting a better job (because he's expressed that he doesn't like his current job very much), and overall wanting a more fulfilling life, it's unattractive to me.
I'm a pretty ambitious person, so it'd be nice if he was too. Whenever I talk to him about my ambitions, he's not really into it. It's like he'd rather talk about something else. I'm not saying him and I need to have the same personality. I'm saying it'd be nice when I can talk to him about something I'm passionate about he could be somewhat interested in it. This just puts me off sometimes and makes me reevaluate who I married."
"Last year, we were together a whole year and before that a whole year of friendship. We were so close that we were best friends before we went into the space into each others bed. We had a monogamous relationship with enough space that we weren't dependent on each other. I had to say that, cause without that the following would be hard to understand.
We were out to a date more or less, on the way back to my place. I said to her, 'Yeah I'm thinking of meetin with friends next weekend, but not sure at the moment.'
She looked at me and said 'We could possibly meet. It's up to you.'
I looked at her and said, 'You're lying, I know that kind of reply. You say it's up to me, but in the end you want the decision which is in your favor.'
She said it was kind of a test. That was a moment where I thought that this relationship will end someday because I saw the destructive power within this behavior."
"One day while out with a few buddies I see her at a bar. She said she was with her family at home. She was caught in a lie and I broke it off that same night.
We lived a few miles away from each other and later that night she showed up at my house sweaty, tired and dirty and told me she walked the entire way at one in the morning just to come and apologize and tell me the truth. I was in shock that she went through that terrorizing walk and thought maybe I should give her another chance.
Years later here we are, with a baby, and she lets out something that has haunted me until this day: She never made that walk. She got a ride from a friend and made herself look like she walked. She said it like it was funny, I didn't think it was at all. It has been a few years since she told me and I will never look at her the same. I love her, don't get me wrong, and we have been through a lot, but it just feels like our foundation is a lie."
"He is a hopeless romantic. The first year, year-and-a-half of our relationship, he kind of kept me at arm's length, emotionally. I always felt he had more power in our relationship because I fell in love early and was more demonstrative and gooshy and yearny, while he seemed more measured and in control of his feelings for me than I could muster.
Well, we've been married just over three years now and I've discovered he has the heart of a poet. He is far more demonstrative and sappy and romantic than I ever was. I actually discovered this before we got married, a little while after we moved in with each other when he revealed he loves me too.
But even now after some years together, he will make an effusive declaration about how beautiful he finds me or how much he adores me, and it catches me by surprise and dazzles me and leaves me both breathless and speechless. It hasn't made me question our relationship, but it still blows me away how much he blossomed in our relationship and the way he shared with me a side of himself that wasn't very apparent for a long time. And every time I think of it and blush a little thinking about how wonderfully silly he is about ordinary little ol' me, it further cements my conviction that I am the luckiest woman in the world."
"Nine months into the relationship, I found out he had a court date. He told me it was for assaulting a bouncer. Very soon after, his mother admitted that he has a court date for assaulting his underage relative. When I confronted him, he said that the underage girl forcefully came on to him. When I told him he was full of it, he said, 'Okay she gave me a bj.'
Soon after, I went into his lawyer's office with him and read the transcript. It turns out he forced himself on his underage niece twice and just tells a different lie to anyone who asks him why he's in jail. Total piece of trash.
I ran very fast. I haven't seen him since, and hope I will never see him again."