25 Unbelievable Family Secrets People Discovered When They Grew Up

Published 1 week ago

Families often hold secrets that remain hidden beneath the surface, only coming to light years later. When someone on Reddit asked, “What family secret did you suspect in childhood, but weren’t able to confirm until adulthood?”, the responses were a mix of shocking revelations, heartfelt stories, and everything in between.

Here are some of the most intriguing discoveries shared by Reddit users.

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Image source: send_me_jokes_plz, Donald Tong / pexels (not the actual photo)

My dad was in jail for a few months when I was around 8 years old.

I was told he was at work… and he couldn’t call us because it was a really big project. I heard my mom talking about him being “locked up” and thought he got trapped in the vents somewhere? He did HVAC work. It made sense to me at the time I guess. When he came back, it was like nothing changed.

Turns out he was a d**g dealer!


Image source: InternetImportant253, Eduardo Barrios/ unsplash (not the actual photo)

Most of my grandma’s kids were not her husband’s. Granny got around.


Image source: Recent-Guard6900, August de Richelieu / pexels (not the actual photo)

That my “Uncle Joe” who always came to family gatherings wasn’t really an uncle, but my dad’s poker buddy who just loved free food.


Image source: artsycraftsy626, Michael Afonso / unsplash (not the actual photo)

My dad was never a Navy Seal, even though he spent my entire life telling me stories about it. It wasn’t until he died that I found his DD-214. He was only in the Navy for 10 months and was discharged with “under honorable conditions”. He never fought in a war. He was never captured or shot. He never shot anyone. He was just a regular guy. I wish he knew that we never wanted him to be anything but our dad.


Image source: BOGMTL, Geraud pfeiffer / pexels (not the actual photo)

My grandmother’s amazingly delicious lemon meringue pie which I assumed she spent hours labouring over was made with Jello lemon pie filling.


Image source: axebodyspray24, Stanley Dai / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I remember, as a teenager, thinking at one point “my parents probably havent had sex in years”. This past fall my mom caught my dad cheating….with men. he’s gay.


Image source: Silly_Storm_5515, Ron Lach/ pexels (not the actual photo)

That my parents cheated on each other. When I was young, My parents both worked at different times, and rarely were together at the same time at the house. And my mom would always bring over my dad’s older brother. And my dad would bring my mom’s Younger sister. They found out about each other’s affairs, and they laughed it off, while I was in the corner with my Older sibling, Crying more than If a gamer lost all of his progress in a small mistake. And now, My mom married my uncle, and my dad married my aunt, And their Friends, And I have 3 half siblings now, And we all live happily in The Confusing US Of A.


Image source: SpidermanBread, Leah Newhouse / pexels (not the actual photo)

I was an accident

My parents were already on the verge of a divorce and my mom suddenly got pregnant despite having tried for over 4 years.

I always felt like i was in the way, or not welcome. My feelings were confirmed when my dad threw me out right after high school graduation.


When I was a kid, I always found my grandfather to be a complete a*****e. He was a ground adult (religious conservative) with an inability to regulate his emotions. As a result he often had these angry outbursts where he would just go off on these screaming rants unhinged. While he was never *physically* abusive, people had to walk on eggshells around him. At 8 years old I wrote a letter to him asking him to be nicer, and he responded by screaming in my face. The dude was a complete d**k, he was a very bad person, and I was very happy when he died.

Later on, it came out that he was a pedo as well and sexually molested my mother when she was a kid. I was definitely not surprised to hear that. So I am happy the dude is nothing more than a rotting corpse. He also had a very fast development of Alzheimer’s in the last couple years of his life and degraded very quickly, I hope it was painful for him.

Image source: abgry_krakow87


Image source: drawnnquarter, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

My uncle was a made guy in the mob.


Image source: Cabbage-floss, Engin Akyurt / pexels (not the actual photo)

That my aunt did not die of an asthma attack in her sleep, but took her own life. She had been very depressed. As an adult they admitted she purposely overdosed. As a child with asthma, I wish they had just told me the truth because before I started to suspect it was a lie I was terrified that I was going to die too.


Image source: IHadAnOpinion, Pavel Danilyuk / pexels (not the actual photo)

My mom had a cousin she talked about a lot, who died back in the 70’s. She (the cousin) had married a Pakistani man who abused her, after she got away she “[took her own life]” by jumping off a building. Her husband and his brothers had been seen in the area, everybody knew they had thrown her off but nobody could prove anything so nothing happened to them. Cut to the cousin’s funeral, her husband and the brothers showed up, like they wanted to make sure she was dead. For years that’s where the story ended as far as I knew. Later on, I found out from another relative who had been there that after the husband and brothers walked into the funeral home’s chapel, some men from my family dragged them back out and didn’t come back in. The men from my family turned up later that day and wouldn’t tell anybody where they had gone; the husband and his brothers were never seen again.


Image source: mermaidpaint, luizph / pexels (not the actual photo)

I thought I had a half-sibling that my parents refused to discuss. Based on my mother reading books about adopted children finding birth parents, and also she graduated a year later than her her twin sister, because of rheumatic fever. I wondered if it was “romantic fever”.

My dad died in 2006. In 2009 my mother called to tell me that my father had another daughter, and she’d just made contact with my mother. It turns out my father abandoned a pregnant girlfriend before he met my mother. He did tell my mother about the sordid affair but swore her to secrecy.

So yes, I was right. Stunned to be right, but happy. My sister is my best friend now.


Image source: EnoughPlastic4925, Eva Bronzini / pexels (not the actual photo)

That was not a tomato plant growing in a pot that I couldn’t tell my friends about.


Image source: Somerset76, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

My (48f) grandpa was murdered by a an uncle married to moms sister.

He sexually abused my mother and her 3 sisters. He died when I was 4. I have vague memories of him.

Just after he died my aunt divorced the uncle. At age 12, I overheard my other uncles, 2 were mom’s brothers, and 1 married moms baby sister, talking about a vow they had made to keep me from being a victim of grandpa. At 16, I figured it out. The uncle that actually murdered him (a hero) was a jeweler and insulin dependent diabetic . He used cyanide in jewelry making. Grandpa drank a 36 pack of beer every night. I suspected he injected cyanide into a random beer. My aunt saw grandpa alive at 2 am. Uncle woke up at 5 am and grandpa was dead and stiff. His body was cremated and uncle vanished. I mentioned my suspicions to my cousin, who relayed them to his father.

3 years ago, the uncle was dying. He reached out to me and told me I had actually figured out how grandpa died. He waited until he was dying since there is no statute of limitations for murder.


As I was cleaning out my dad’s house after his passing, I found letters that my mom and dad wrote to each other around the time they divorced in the early 2000’s, as well as a handful of both their diary entries. I have always suspected that my mom cheated on my dad with my best friend’s dad, which effectively ended my first friendship, but those letters confirmed it. But I didn’t know the full extent of what else my mom had done. She sabotaged him by draining their joint bank accounts, racking up tens of thousands in credit card debt, kicking him out of his house, and getting him fired from his job, eventually forcing him into retirement. With him unemployed, he couldn’t afford to pay child support, leaving only my mom’s income which was barely enough to support us. Basically, if she hasn’t been so vindictive, we wouldn’t have wound up in such dire financial straits.

It’s pretty telling that my dad never spoke ill of her, just said that he was blindsided and confused by her choices, and jealous of her current partner. On the other hand, my mom only ever said negative things about him and when she was angry with me, she would compare me to him. Projection 101.

Image source: EmbarrassedEye7745


Image source: Accomplished_Kiwi756, Julia Kicova / unsplash (not the actual photo)

My mother’s potato soup was so good because it was mainly butter and cream with a few pieces of potato.


Image source: Emotional_Cherry_788, Alex Green / pexels (not the actual photo)

My parents are married but hate each other. It really messed up my perspective on a healthy relationship.


My nan had a daughter before she married my grandfather and he made her adopt the child out. The child would have been about 3 years old by that time.

My nan and grandfather got together by default. They were messing around with each other behind their partners backs and Nan got pregnant. Her partner left. His partner left. They were forced to marry each other.

It was a marriage full of regrets and Grandad eventually left her for another woman.

She died with her first husbands photo in her wallet. By luck, I found his family and it turned out that he also had her picture in his wallet when he died.

Image source: 2oldemptynesters


I’m still convinced at least one of my parents had another kid before they got married and I have a half-sibling or two running around out there

Ok, I’m 55 so maybe not running exactly, but old-person trotting.

Image source: RetroactiveRecursion


I found the identity of my biological father. Nobody in my family would talk about who he was because my mother was 17 when I was born and I was the family scandal (back in the early 80s). I grew up thinking he didn’t know about me or care about me if he did know. I was definitely wrong and found out my family threatened him to stay away from me. I did a lot of digging some years ago and found out that side of the family knew about me and would have loved me very much. I also had siblings. Really made me angry at the family I grew up with. My bio father also died before I got to meet him.

Image source: ExistentialWonder


That my married parents rarely had sex.

Confirmed by my mom last year when she randomly told me while on a walk that they hadn’t had sex in 17 years. No, I didn’t ask her, she just brought it up. Thanks, Mom.

I’m in my 30’s.

Image source: turtoils


My parents both had blue eyes and so did my 5 siblings. I was the only one with brown eyes.
I always had the feeling as a child that my dad wasn’t my biological dad and I was probably from the postman.
I loved biology and science in general in middle school, so when I learned about genetics I learned that he couldn’t be my biological father because of my eye colour. I knew back then I’m an affair child, but she denied everything.

As I grew older it turns out, none of us children are his biological kids and my mother cheated on my dad with her FIL, making my grandpa my dad and my dad my brother.

Sorry for bad english, it’s not my first language.

EDIT: As some of you stated, there are still chances that two blue eyed parents might have a brown eyed child. My observation as a child was based on my middle school biology knowledge and my gut feeling. I didn’t chose a job in the field of science so I’d never claim to be even close to an expert regarding genetics.
It’s definitely not my intention to do harm to anyone with my comment. Hope this helps :).

Image source: lovelyawkwardsilence


Image source: Hubbard7, Andre Ouellet / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Grandpa was illiterate. .


When I was a kid, my dad would go out for dinner every Friday with another family. It was explained to me that was his mistress family and mum put her foot down.

Only ater when trying to compose a family tree did I realise all the kids from the other family were older than me.

Image source: crabcancer

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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dark family secrets, family, family secrets, family secrets people found out in adulthood, secrets, surprising family secret
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