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12 People Share the Shocking Moment They Realized Their Spouse Was Not the Person They Thought They Knew

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Everyone says you can’t really know a person until you live with them – and even then, they manage to keep some secrets – but most people will never wake up to the kind of surprise these people got long after they said I do.

#1. Third wheel for life

“My first wife had an identical twin. Do you want to be a third wheel the rest of your life? Marry a twin.”

#2. She was a ghost

“She didn’t finish high school.

After we got married I found out that she couldn’t see anything moderately difficult through to the end. Including our marriage.

She ghosted me while I was at work 3 years 3 months 1 week and 3 days in. I haven’t seen her since.”

#3. Alcoholic in waiting

“My ex, when we first started going out, would have a little too much to drink every few months. She would say each time, as I was holding her over the toilet, “Never again.”

Well about 10 years later it was still happening. She ended up meeting some girlfriends that were​ all of the same well-lubricated frame of mind. Things got very messy after that and I felt that I was no longer an equal partner, but a babysitter. When that happens, there really is no way of coming back.”

#4. Your brain on drugs

“Same as others. Immediate family relationships were overlooked/ignored. Her parents were gigantic enablers. Her parents didn’t believe in counseling. Since her father was a drug rep, there was a pill for everything. As soon as we had our first kid, stress and anxiety showed its face. She turned to xanax and ambien. She never learned any coping skills. I was 29 when we divorced.”

#5. Cheaters cheat

“She cheated to be with me.

No one ever listens, do they? People need to make their mistakes, it seems.

As it begins, so it ends. Always.”

#6. Green flags

“I had an opposite experience. She showed GREEN flags after marriage.

Prior to marriage she was very meek with anyone other than me. Her parents were very strict so even as an adult she was too afraid to tell them we were even engaged. What they said went even though we were living together “as roommates.” More than once she called their house to let them know she was going out as if she wasn’t allowed to otherwise.

There were issues with a few friends that clashed with me (they were pretty toxic and I don’t placate that type of behavior so I’m not always well received – doesn’t bother me) and I saw her comforting people who were treating herpoorly after we clashed over it more than once. She’s a bleeding heart and couldn’t stand to see people upset even when the upset was caused by their own misdeeds. I felt like she didn’t always have my back, but I never thought it was something I needed, and I would always have hers.

She let people walk all over her while I’m the first person to put my foot down. In that aspect we were the most different.

Before marriage she also had a huge amount of medical issues and I was more than willing to accept a life of working to keep her alive, and supporting her as a stay at home wife when she got too sick.

Then we got married, and she changed.

I think she finally saw us as a package deal. While my girlfriend was meek and weak my wife became outspoken not only socially but politically. She started calling me on my shit (something I appreciate greatly – I like learning about things I can work on), but would absolutely slay people who weren’t treating us well. We ended a lot of friendships that weren’t healthy and were stringing along because of her bleeding heart after the wedding. It was like she was a Phoenix rising from the ashes of shit friends.

She is still medically frail but I think she sees a future to fight for now. The fact that I make more than her isn’t just a fact now, it’s a challenge.

She wants to be the breadwinner so that I can quit my job and go back to my career in art (I did great but the market was so unpredictable I needed to leave my dream for stability).

She is still beautiful, caring, and gentle, but since being married that caring aspect includes caring for herself. She doesn’t let anyone dictate her life (especially her parents) and because of that she has healthier relationships with everyone, including me.

I would also like to state that once she knew she locked me down she opened her own kink floodgates and sex has never been the same. We do things to each other that most churches won’t even preach against in sermons because they’re ashamed to discuss the acts.

That ring and those vows somehow told her she was worthy of self respect and self expression. I love her.”

#7. For the kids

“Not me, but my mum. Dad was a perfect gentleman, then came the wedding night. He had had a lot to drink and Mum was just trying to put him to bed and he says to her “shut up bitch, I own you now”. I would’ve left there and then, got an annulment. Mum stayed and 2 years later had my brother, 2 years after that she had me, 5 years later and after a lot of emotional and physical abuse (staying “for the kids”) my brother says to her “do we have to live with Dad, he scares me”. We packed up everything the next day while he was at work and left. She’s now been happily married to my stepdad for the last 10+ years while my Dad is a lonely pathetic arsehole living by himself in a shitty block of granny flats who hasn’t seen either of his kids in 15+ years.”

#8. A basement dweller

“We met when I was 16 and he was 25. We lived together a number of years before we got married. We went together really well and I thought it was a good match, almost the day after we were married his family decided to set rules (he bought the house that we all lived in, it was large enough and we had the basement suite) we weren’t allowed out after a certain time, his mother and father could berate me as much as they pleased. He himself became very controlling, I wasn’t allowed to finish school or work and he would use these to mock and guilt me after saying I was a burden and a leech, a golddigger. They all decided for me that I would have his children and we would all stay in the house together, soon after I was taken off birth control I was no longer allowed out of the house without an escort, I wasn’t allowed to see my mother more than once a week. Everyone thought we were the perfect couple, I was isolated and after my mom moved away I had no one to turn to. He gained a lot of weight and started to tell me how fat and unattractive I was, he started looking at a lot of escort ads for Asian women, he brought over ‘friends for me’ (16 year old girls) he met on myspace and then would drool over them.

I never had his baby, we were married when I was 19 and I was gone by 25. I ran away in the middle of the night. I never tried to get alimony or spousal support, I left all of my belongings behind. He still has made the process of divorce difficult and I am almost 31 now, it’s finally going through. He still lives in the basement.

I had no fucking idea what I was walking into and I lived with them all for years before the control started. It was unbelievable how fast they changed.”

#9. People don’t change

“I doubt this will reach many people but it may help someone. I wasn’t married but my now ex and I dated for six years.

I thought i would get past her being a mean person. She said that her past boyfriend had a large impact on her and that she was mean to people now because of it. She had a malicious mindset where if someone hurt her it was her job to hurt them back (which was me more often than not)

If someone has a PERSONALITY that you don’t like — get out. They won’t change. Thats who they are. It will only get worse, and youll be miserable.

edit: I want to reinforce that they wont change. I’m serious, there’s no maybe they will maybe they won’t, that person will not change. Habits? you can work through those — thats a lot to put on yourself to take that on but it can happen if they want to. But personality? No, that’s going to be them until the day you die.”

#10. Trophy husband

“The pictures. We had to take a million fucking pictures of us doing stuff, any stuff.

Everything was on social media with a picture, every post was “my marine…” Every conversation was about her being a Marine girlfriend, etc.

It was all for show, I was a trophy.

When we got married she quit going to school and quit her well paying job. When she’d meet people and they asked what she did she said she was a military wife, etc.

We divorced and she has a kid now and everything is about being a mom. She just changed situations as far as I can tell.”

#11. Time to go

“Red flags are something you don’t pay attention to until it’s too late.

My ex husband had all the red flags of a sociopath. He would test to see how far he could go with making things up. And he learned what he could do to cover them up. He would use flowers or spend money on me to hide things he was doing. I learned what I was and wasn’t allowed to say in public (example- none of his friends knew he had a 12 year old child). I spent little time with friends and family because he would convince me that they weren’t supportive or make up things that I would believe because I trusted him. I left my career because he convinced me his pursuit was more important. Lots of things happened over the 10 years we were together. Most of them now I know were just lies to get him to where he wanted to be in life.

In the end, he had a 6 month affair. And the flags were all there. But after years of being manipulated I didn’t know what to believe. He managed to date her and then move to be with her on my dime by convincing me it had to do with his job. I even paid his rent for the first couple of months in hope he would come back. He manipulated everyone around him including his friends and even his boss. Now he is a person I don’t even recognize because he’s taken on the personality of his girlfriend. I feel bad for her because the same thing is happening to her but in a way I feel like she deserves it.

If you’re looking for an outline of what to look for I would say: 1- have you given up something you love for that person? 2- do gifts tend to arrive after something you weren’t quite sure was the truth? 3- do you feel like you’re begging the person to stay with you all the time? 4- do you find yourself above and beyond to please someone just for their affection?

Relationships should be relatively easy. Sure there will be fights and times where you aren’t sure. But if you’re giving up your values or your personality it’s time to go.”

#12. Never saw a “down”

“This was the case with my parents: my mother didn’t discover my father’s mental problems until later. The why is that they got married way too fast, two months, and bipolar disorders have natural ups and downs. She had only seen the up.

Textbook example of why you shouldn’t marry unless you’ve been with the person for a while.

Edit: can’t say I’ve had one explode like this before. Thanks for all the kind thoughts everyone!

Edit2: a common message from all the amazing stories people are sharing in this thread is that it’s not so much the disorder that’s the problem, as unwillingness to admit to it and deal with it. Such was the case with my father, but there’s a lot of positive success stories too.”