"I worked at an after-school program with preteens. One of the kids always seemed to be seriously annoyed with his parents. For the most part, we thought it was just a kid being a kid and nobody 'likes' their parents when they are 12-13 years old, so between myself and the other staff, we didn't think much of it at first. Whenever the parents came to pick him up together they seemed like the ideal couple, very affectionate with each other and they played off his obvious aversion to them with by just saying 'he's becoming a teenager and you know how they are.'
A couple of weeks go by and it just becomes more and more apparent that this kid just cannot stand to be around his parents. As soon as they display any affection towards each other he just walks off or rolls his eyes and he obviously becomes very upset. One day they come to pick him up and they are being super clingy with each other and I guess it just broke him. He threw his backpack at them and took off running back into the hallways of the school. So myself and another counselor went after him. We found him sitting in a corner in the gym, hands around his knees, face down and crying. After some coaxing, he finally let out that his parents were not who we thought. According to him, the PDA was all an act for the public. Behind closed doors, these were 2 very different people. His parents absolutely hated each but other but refused to get a divorce. From what the kid said they would never speak at home or generally acknowledge each other. He would have to act as the go-between, carrying messages since they refused to speak to each other. They openly carried on having affairs and dating other people but when they were out in public together they would stress putting on the 'perfect family' persona. The kid had just had enough and couldn't deal with it anymore. I can't imagine the emotional stress it was putting on him to carry that around."
"When I was a kid I knew a set of twins who were friends with my older sister. The twins (both female), were straight-A students and always dressed modestly. Neither girl was allowed to date and their parents owned a huge house with multiple cars and the girls never seemed to want for anything. Anyway, a few years later the parents were busted because apparently, they owned another house a few streets away and they were running a massage parlor (the happy ending kind) out of it. Even more messed up was that they employed girls who were the same age as their daughters (the daughters were around 18 at this time and both in university). I just found it very ironic that they were so protective over their own daughters but had no problem exploiting other peoples' daughters."
"Know a brother and sister, live together in a huge mansion and both own amazing beautiful cars, clearly very affluent. One of them began dating a family friend who wasn't so well-off.
Turns out the reason they're so rich is that their parents were associated with some Italian mafia, and things went wrong. Things went south and eventually both parents were taken out by their enemies, all in front of them when they were children. They were given a huge inheritance after this event.
You would never guess, they look like they've had the easiest life."
"I grew up with a girl down the street who lived with her mom and stepdad. Stepdad was pretty cool, according to 7-year-old me. Nice guy. Come to find out, he'd been abusing my friend for years. It had been going on so long, had been so normalized to her, that she thought I was doing that with my dad, and our other friend was doing it with her dad. To her, your father (figure) doing that to you was just something you did. I was too young to know what happened at the time it was discovered, but I do remember my mom asking me if he had ever 'touched me' and her being very concerned he might have hurt me."
"The family lived a few streets over from me growing up and very devout Christians which, at the time, I thought was super admirable. I was an early teen who rode his bike all over the neighborhood, so I was initially drawn to the area that had a bunch of kids roaming around, which was near their house. Big mistake. The parents got super weird with their insistence that I go out on a date with their daughter that was my age (to which I wasn't attracted at all) and were kinda pushy about us kissing in front of them. I wasn't ready and I sure thing wasn't about to be forced like that.
It wasn't until many years after me initially meeting the family that I realized what was going on. The dad was a total religious fundamentalist psycho who fooled around with little boys and then beat them (they fostered two young boys, around 10-12 years old). The mom was an addict and would screw the neighbor as a sort of repressed-rebellious thing. Last I heard, the mother had moved out of state to live with her dad, separating from her husband who later joined her. Current status unknown. The oldest daughter (the awkward date girl) was hung up on the religious fundamentalism stuff, got knocked up, and married poorly; wasting a lot of potential and really perpetuating her terrible situation. The second daughter got knocked up by a good guy, messed up that situation by cheating around a bunch, got into some serious party scene, lost custody of first kid (who's an awesome kid), had more kids, more addictions, and became an overall mess."
"My family seemed pretty perfect until my folks got divorced when I was thirteen. They both assured me that it wasn't anyone's fault. As it turns out, while I wasn't the reason, I was the catalyst, but I didn't find that out for some time. All I knew then was that my perfect family was shattered, and eventually a lot of terrible things have come to the surface that has poisoned all but a few of my memories of growing up.
My dad vanished from me and my sister's lives for about a year after the divorce. When he came back to start his visitation with us, he was in a relationship with another woman and she was already pregnant. From age 14-21, we still had a father-son relationship, albeit a tumultuous one. I blamed both him and mom for the divorce at first, but I eventually came around and by the time I joined the Air Force, we were close. Then I got married. Dad didn't approve of my wife and we started arguing bitterly. Eventually, I cut a little too deep and he contacted my mom and demanded that either she tell me the truth of my paternity or he would.
So she laid it out. Apparently, my dad started to notice that, as I aged, I shared no physical features with him. He confronted my mom about it and she revealed the truth: I was the product of a one night stand. See, my mom and dad had dated briefly and then broke up. Shortly after the break-up, mom went to a party and hooked up with some guy. When she discovered that she was pregnant, she contacted my dad and told him that I was his son. They got married shortly after I was born. When he eventually learned the fact that the whole marriage had been built on a lie, it brought a lot of bad things to the surface and they decided to call it quits.
I was 21 when I found this all out and it staggered me. Not surprisingly, it brought me and dad closer together and turned me against my mom for a while. Eventually dad divorced his second wife and things faltered between us. He's a bitter man who can't come to me or my any of my sibling's major life events because he has warrants for unpaid child support. The unpaid child support is more for my two sisters, both of whom are very much his. I haven't spoken to him in two years because it's just easier not having to deal with his drama all the time. I still consider him my dad. My mom and I eventually had it out and things healed nicely between us. The only thing that hasn't been resolved is the true nature of my paternity. She insists she doesn't know who the guy is, but several people in my family have told me she does. I haven't pressed the issue."
"We are a picture-perfect family. White picket fences, Sunday brunch, doctors/lawyers, that sort of stuff.
Yet two of my aunts are actually not my aunts, but rather my mother's cousins. They were raised by my grandparents because their parents had died. I knew this from a young age but never bothered to ask how they died. Sometime last year I was inquiring via my mother as to how many siblings her parents had. She told me that my grandfather had one brother and one sister. The brother was rather 'slow' in the head, and his sister as far as I'm aware is perfectly normal. I asked my mother what happened to them and if they're still alive, and she tells me this brilliant little family secret. My grandfather's sister comes to him one day and tells him that she's being beaten by her husband. So good ole granddad finds the old mate, gives him a flogging and tells him if he ever lays a hand on his sister again he's dead.
Fast forward a week, granddad decides to go check in on his sister and doesn't announce he's coming over. Granddad rolls up to one of the shearing sheds on his sister's farm and finds his brother-in-law and 3 others assaulting his nieces, who are 8 and 14. Granddad goes ballistic, grabs a big set of shears, and slaughters them all. His sister is nowhere to be found, so he takes the girls back home for grandma to try and de-traumatize. He then heads on up to his now-dead brother in law's parent's farm to tell them what happened (some honor thing about being honest and hearing it from him, not second hand) and the dad doesn't take it well. He turns on my granddad's sister who, for some reason, is at their house that day. He slaps the sister, and granddad grabs a rifle and blows his head off. It turns out that granddad's 'slow' brother is going to die soon from some medical issue, so the family convinces him to tell the police he was the one that did all that stuff, which he happily does because he loves his siblings and he doesn't really know whats happening.
All of my aunts, uncles, brothers, basically everyone knows that all of this went down and they just never talk about it. They adopted the attitude of granddad killed them because he was protecting his family so he's a hero. I spent a good amount of time with my grandparents when I was young and they were alive, and I would never have guessed any of this could have ever happened."
"My family never seemed perfect to me, although they certainly maintained that illusion for a long time in our hometown. Yet one of my earliest memories is being prepped for how to deal a stranger who might try to take me. Not the generic sort of 'if anyone bothers you, find an adult you know or a police officer' but the very specific, 'if a blonde woman about yea high introduces herself as Charlie, run. Find a teacher, find mom or dad, find a police officer. Do not get in the car. Do not take anything she offers you. If she tries to pick you up, hug you, touch you, anything, fight like Hell and run, run, run.'
Teachers at my elementary school were warned. I had my very own security guard who waited with me outside at the end of every day until my mother pulled up. I carried mace at eight-years-old. New locks were installed at home. My bedroom windows were nailed shut from the inside.
My father, I was later told, kept a pistol by his bed, and some nights would set a chair in front of the front door and sleep there, rifle at the ready, just in case.
This woman, so all were told, was obsessed with my father. She wanted to get my mother out of the way -- divorce, or death, it didn't matter either way -- and marry my father, raise me as her own. If that meant stalking and attacking, so be it.
The constant, looming threat -- the presence of this woman whom I'd never met, the Great and Terrible Terror known as Charlie -- was one of the defining themes of my entire childhood. I wasn't afraid, as it'd been present in my life so long I was rather numb to it all. But the strange, over-watchful behavior of the adults around me was noted.
But it was all a lie. Charlie was real, but her 'obsession' and the plotting was all something my mother made it all up. Why? Nobody knows. It's hardly the only or even biggest thing she lied about. She was, it was later discovered, fond of criminal behavior, abuse, and elaborate lies that spanned out through the family, the community, and her various lovers.
Maybe she was bored, maybe she was unhappy, maybe she was mentally ill; I never knew the details.
But I do recall asking her about it, quite mildly, just a couple of years ago, something along the lines of, 'Hey, Mama, remember that woman Charlie? I was just thinking about her the other day.'
And in the typical fashion of someone who's spent 60+ years weaving so many lies she can't even keep her aliases straight, she looked at me blankly and said, 'Who?'
"A well-respected family in our community has 4 kids, is very religious and active in the church, both the mom and dad are involved in coaching elementary and middle school sports, and the dad is a police officer. My bisexual ex-boyfriend informed me, after seeing a picture of the whole family (we are mutual friends with the eldest), that when he was 16, the dad offered to meet up with him on an underage gay chat site. Ouch. My boyfriend didn't know he was married to a woman. We have no clue if the mom knows her husband trolls for young, inexperienced men looking to experiment for the first time, but we have a feeling she probably doesn't."
"My next door neighbors (husband, wife, and 2 young girls) and my neighbors down the road (husband, wife, and 3 young girls) were the best of friends and did everything together. They went on vacations together, they went out to dinner together, they even bought a timeshare together. My family had to move to a different state for 2 years and this was during the housing crash of 2008 so our house never sold so we just moved right back in. Well when we were cleaning up our house to move back in, we found a karma sutra style book in a bathroom drawer and a mysterious bleach stain on some carpet. We had told all the neighbors where the extra key was in case they wanted to store stuff temporarily or take cover during a hurricane (we live in Florida) or whatever since there wasn't anything of ours there to steal. We just assumed some teenager tried to clean up his mess. After a few months of being moved back in our next door neighbors move out in the middle of the night; they left in such a hurry they left their cat. We come to learn that the husband of our next door neighbors and the wife of the other neighbors were having an affair and using our house as a rendezvous spot, and used baby monitors to keep an eye on the kids. When we moved back in they had to start taking 'business trips' and they eventually got caught. The wife of the next door neighbors was willing to work things out but didn't want be in the same neighborhood as 'that woman.' That was convenient, as the husband down the street was threatening to kill them. In the end, we got a cat which was neat. He died a few years ago but was a great cat.
Ana Blazic Pavlovic/Shutterstock
"My friends seem to have the perfect marriage and a newborn to take care of. Both parents are very involved and loving. The husband confessed to me that right before their son was born, his wife came out as a lesbian to him and confessed that she was in love with her best female friend. However, because their family is religious and would never accept her, she agreed to stay married to him and keep up appearances for the sake of their child. They barely talk in private, but in public they are the perfect loving young family."
"There was this one family we knew. Kids were adorable and the best-behaved kids we knew. Husband was a dynamic, intelligent, attractive personality that made everyone feel great about themselves. He had this way of making you feel like you were the coolest, most interesting person in the world whenever you talked to him. Wife was a sweet, gentle lady who clearly loved and adored her kids and husband. This was the type of family everyone wanted. We would go out for dinner with them and remark at how well put together their whole family was and how amazing they are. Then it happened. The wife shows up at our house with the kids and she is crying. Police arrest the husband while he was away from the house briefly. Apparently, he had been savagely beating the kids and was a total fear-mongering dictator in the house. Restraining orders issued - divorce court, custody all granted in favor of the wife. Wife and kids lived with us for a few weeks. It was pretty heart-wrenching. She is now living in a different country."
Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock
"My grandpa on my mom's side had another family on the side. When he died my grandmother's name was put on his gravestone. The other family chiseled it out.
Of course, our side of the family says we were the main family, but that's because he was married to my grandma first. Not sure how the other family found out. My grandma found out after rumors started spreading and she confronted him. The other family was from another town. This was in the '60s and grandma was an immigrant housewife, so she didn't have too many options but stay with him so it's not spoken too much of. Grandpa died when my grandma was pregnant with my mom."
"My mum's side of the family is fairly big, and because we live fairly close together, I see my aunts and uncles frequently. My mum's eldest sister is seemingly perfect. She's beautiful, always perfectly dressed, has a very well paying job, 4 successful kids, a husband that basically worships her and what looks to be the perfect marriage. Only, she's not my biological aunt. And she has an awful lot of secrets. She was adopted at the age of 9 by my grandparents who were VERY young at the time (I won't put how young, but the age gap between her and them is very small), they pushed the adoption through because she was being shifted from foster home to foster home and being constantly abused, starved, etc. Her growth was stunted and she was very behind in school. My grandparents moved to another city, had 3 other kids and raised her as their biological daughter. She was a model child as I understand (good grades, never did drugs, worked very hard).
My aunt got married to her high school boyfriend and lived in blissful happiness till she got pregnant. I have always thought of her as being a fantastic and loving mum to my cousins, just as she's been a supportive aunt to me. Turns out she didn't want kids though due to her horrific early childhood and spent her pregnancy isolating herself and hating the baby (she only continued the pregnancy for my uncle's sake, who desperately wanted kids). When my cousin was born, she actually adored her and spent most of her time with her and they have been very close ever since. She then had 3 other kids (the last two being twins) but didn't cope well with 4 kids and her career (she's very driven and had been career orientated from a young age), so by the time my twin cousins were 9 she just stopped coping all together.
My parents lived on the other side of the country at that point (and I wasn't born), and my mum got the shock of her life when her 9-year-old niece turned up at the high school she was teaching at. My cousin was getting horribly bullied at school and her siblings were almost assisting the bullies, she had tried to tell her mum, but her mum had simply brushed it off, not really understanding the issue. As things got worse and worse my cousin was apparently contemplating suicide, and in one last desperate attempt to get help had stolen money from her mum to buy her self a plane ticket to get to my mum, who is her godmother and who she trusted more than anyone.
What ensued was essentially an in-family custody battle over my cousin. My parents saw the issue, as did my grandparents and my cousin's dad, but my aunt didn't. My aunt chucked a hissy fit that my parents were keeping her daughter from her and refused to acknowledge that she could have done anything wrong. Shortly after this, my uncle gave their other 3 kids to my grandparents to look after as my aunt was so unpredictable, my grandparents did everything to keep their daughter from seeing her kids for fear of their safety, and this only made my aunt angrier. Her husband threatened to divorce her as he wanted to be able to raise their kids in safety.
It all finally stopped when my grandmother told my aunt she had never been more disappointed in her, and my aunt made some serious evaluations and changes to her life. My cousins were given back to their parents, and the situation was put in the past. My aunt went back to being her normal sweet, happy self, and has never since done anything like this. This only came out after I started to question why my cousin treated my parents like her second parents (even still) and why there seemed to be a huge chunk of time that no one would speak about. None of my younger cousins know, and she gets along well with all her children. Only, I know everyone lives in fear of her doing it again. Now I wonder what other secrets my 'perfect family' is hiding."
"The quiet housewife of the farm family on our rural island near Seattle was actually an undercover FBI agent. My buddy, one of her sons, revealed this to me 60 years later. Everybody knew everybody's business in that small community, but this one evidently fell through the cracks. This was near the McCarthy era. We had an influential person in the community who was, we later figured out, a communist. He was a very active recruiter among the youth in the community, engaging them in long talks about essentially Marxist philosophy. Just so happens he was a member of our little rural church, and so was the FBI agent. I've often wondered if she wasn't strategically placed to keep an eye on the old boy. At that time and in that area, for a Norwegian immigrant woman to even work outside the home was a bit of an oddity (except for being a teacher or running a home-shop). As just a normal farmer's housewife, it would be the perfect cover. I don't know if her spouse knew or not. Every few months, she would disappear, going by herself to the big city on the mainland (Seattle) for 2-3 days for 'business,' which was never explained by my buddies (her sons). A bit odd, but not too odd to cause community gossip. I just assumed it was some kind of business connected with the family farm, like maybe a new contract with the farmer's market at Pike Place.
"As a kid, I hung out with a dude who was part of a perfect family it seemed. His mom was an Olympic rower and his dad was some super cool business executive. We were good friends from like 12-14 or so, then went to different schools. I found out his mom died of cancer like the year after we changed schools and it was very sad. Then the next year, it came to light the dad was abusing him and his two little sisters, and had been maybe forever. You never actually could tell either, my friend seemed pretty happy. He went to jail for that. It was one of those floor falling out of the world things. Poor guy."
"Perfect kids, perfect husband and wife. Respected members of the community, as the dad was a doctor. He was partnered with another similarly respected doctor in the town. A few years later a polite notice appeared in the newspaper that they were ending their partnership, nobody batted an eyelid. Things continued as normal. Fast forward about 20 years later, and I find one of the daughters on Facebook. We went to school together and I happened to be a former patient of the dad so I asked how he was doing. Dad is estranged from the family. That practice they partnered with? He was having an affair with the wife and they ran off. That's why they ended it, but to save face they just made it seem like a professional split and he retired. Very few people know the true story."
The Suggest team works tirelessly to provide the most interesting stories, behind-the-scenes details, and fun facts from the Entertainment world in a fun and easy-to-read format. Our articles are guaranteed to entertain you and your friends, no matter your interests.