18 People Are Sharing The Secrets They Won't Disclose To Their Family Members Anytime Soon, And They Range From Juicy To Devastating

Note: This post contains mentions of sexual abuse, eating disorders, and grooming.

They say blood runs thicker than water, but that might not always be true — and sometimes for good reason. Recently, members of the BuzzFeed Community anonymously shared secrets that they'll never share with their family members, and they range from juicy to tragic. Here are some of the secrets that prove family doesn't need to know everything:

1."I was a 'sugar baby.' I got paid money, clothing, handbags, and more in exchange for having relationships with older men. Not a soul knows this about me."

Woman in a boutique wearing a faux fur coat, smiling with joy


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2."That I was in a cult. Not a Jonestown-level cult, but a small, high-control group that had a lot of cult-like aspects. My friends know about it, but I don't know how to tell my parents. I don't want them to think I'm weak, gullible, and stupid, nor do I want them to worry about me. (Not to say that people who end up in cults are any of those things, considering how manipulative groups like that are.) The group I was in was fighting for a cause I believed in, but eventually, I stopped believing in their methods. I was only there for a few months before I realized how bad it was, and I was thankfully able to leave."


3."My family has bullied me and made jokes about my weight and exercise and eating habits for as long as I can remember. Because of that, I developed an eating disorder as I was growing up that has plagued me for half my life. Sometimes, I really wish I could tell my family and make them see the harmful impact they've had on me, but part of me feels like they wouldn't even care or treat me even worse. I don't know if I'll ever tell them."

Close-up of a person's feet on a mechanical bathroom scale


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4."That I'm a lesbian. My family is very religious and would probably disown me if they found out."


5."My husband and I are poly. He's been with his girlfriend for almost three years, and I've been with my boyfriend for six. We spend parts of holidays and birthdays with each other. For example, my husband and I will spend Christmas morning with the kids and then celebrate with our respective partners in the evening. On top of that, my boyfriend and I are in a dom and sub dynamic. I try to slip poly ideas into conversations with my family by saying things like, 'If they aren't hurting anyone, let people love and live how they want to love and live' to try and 'lay the groundwork' in case the secret comes out. I have no plans to tell them, though."

Two men giving piggyback rides to their girlfriends in a park, all smiling and enjoying the moment
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6."I have been in debt for about a year due to my own doing, and no one in my family knows. My dad especially would be disappointed in me, considering we went through a lot with my mom dying from cancer."


7."My very anti-abortion family thinks that my first pregnancy was a miscarriage. I'd insinuated to some that it was an abortion due to medical complications, but it was actually a voluntary abortion. I had a one-time affair, and when I took a DNA test, it came back as a match to the man I'd cheated on my husband with. I was crushed; I wanted to start a family, but my husband and I were having issues conceiving. We got counseling and repaired our marriage after this devastating incident; then, I finally got pregnant with our own child. My family will never know the truth."

Person holding a pregnancy test showing a positive result while seated


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8."My stepmom made my wedding dress, and I hated it. She'd made dresses for other people before, and they all looked great, so I trusted her. Well, my dress was ill-fitting and looked stiff and lumpy — nothing like the floaty, swishy, fairytale dress I'd always dreamed of. I live across the country from where the wedding venue was (in my home state), and my stepmom didn't finish the dress until a few days before the event. Everything was so hectic leading up to the wedding that I barely had time to try the dress on beforehand, much less get a new one. I sorely regret not getting a new one anyway. The worst part is that I can't stand to even look at our wedding photos. My stepmom would be so hurt if she knew I felt this way, and it wouldn't change anything, so I will never tell her."

Woman in a tiered bridal gown with a long veil against a blue door


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9."At 13, a substitute teacher 13 years older than me connected with me on a chat site in the early 2000s. We chatted nightly and progressed from messages to calls and texts. Eventually, once I was able to drive, we would meet up in person. Our interactions ranged from friendly to flirtatious, and I often shaped my behavior to please him. We kept our conversations a secret, and I hesitated to confide in my parents or friends. The blow came when he started dating someone else yet continued manipulating me. After they broke up, he pursued me, claiming he always wanted to be with me. At that time (I was 20), I was entering a new relationship with my now-husband and was ready to cut ties with who I now know was a pedophile."

"Reflecting, I'm disturbed by the grooming and mental games I'd endured from a man twice my age. I regret not confiding in my parents. I know that if I told them about the situation today, it would absolutely crush them and make them look at me differently. This will forever be my secret, and one that has taken years of therapy to come to terms with."


10."I had a year-long affair with my former boss, who is also married. I regret it every single day. My husband and I are (and always have been) in a solid relationship full of love and happiness toward one another, especially now after I cut off all contact with my former boss. I will never forgive myself for what I did, nor will I ever tell my husband. Coming from a religious household, this secret is shameful and embarrassing not only to myself but to my husband and my family as a whole, who are very respected in their communities. I have no excuse for what I did, and I can't explain myself any better than by saying that I'd fallen into a deep depressive episode and used my former boss — and a lot of alcohol — to drown my issues."

Two people sharing an intimate moment in bed, with a focus on affection and closeness

11."My grandma has bullied me about my weight and size for years — almost my whole life. I've talked to her about it, but nothing will change her ways. Because of that, I began to hate her and tried avoiding her as much as possible. But because I'm still a college student with medical problems, I can't live alone. So whenever she visits and I'm home, I just stay in my room and 'study' so I don't have to see her. I don't want to tell her I hate her because I know it would hurt her feelings. I'm the only granddaughter that she sees."


12."I'm bisexual. I haven't told my family because I know they'd absolutely freak out. I've known for several years now that I was 'different' and am attracted to men and women — I might even like women a little more. I've never been in a relationship, but unless I end up marrying a woman, I really don't want my family to know."

Two people sharing a joyful moment with a forehead touch, expressing affection


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13."I think my cousin, who is around 11 years older than me, sexually assaulted me when I was young. I have no proof except for odd memories and an almost primal reaction of fear from seeing him once years later. I also have some issues with 'no discernable cause' that have carried into adulthood that would be explained by this. Not only would my suspicion break my parents' hearts, but they'd be so angry to learn that, if my memory is correct, my aunt knew about it. From what I remember, my aunt walked into the room and told my cousin off. She and my cousin promptly left afterward, and all I remember is her being really angry at him and, for some reason, me, too. My parents haven't spoken to that aunt in years, but this memory returned to me during a breakdown in 2021."

"I'm doing much better and have accepted that I will probably never know what really happened. But if my parents knew, they wouldn't be able to cope, and I cannot put that heartbreak on them. They would blame themselves, and that is a guilt that's not theirs to carry. The fault lies solely on my cousin and, by extension, my aunt. I won't have my parents suffer for their actions."


14."I grew up in an extremely Catholic family. I stopped going to church during college, spontaneously slept with a guy who had a girlfriend, had a naked hot tub night with some former roommates and friends post-college, had an abortion (unfortunately because I'd conceived from sexual assault), and recently had an affair. Because I was beaten into being a 'good girl' while growing up, over time, I got tired of being taken advantage of by others — including the good-for-nothing husband I cheated on. I'm currently in therapy, still unhappily married, still communicating with my affair partner, and hoping to overcome the damage caused by my husband's abuse, my dad's abuse, and religious abuse. The majority of my family is still so deeply ingrained in Catholicism that if they knew about my abortion, among other things, at least one of them would likely physically assault me and maybe even try to murder me."

Woman in foreground looking at camera, another person in background lying on bed


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15."I'm genderfluid. No one in my life, save my older sibling who's trans, knows about it — not even my partner. My partner is straight, and while he's always been accepting of bisexuality and those who are part of the LGBT+ community in general, I have no idea if his being straight would affect our relationship. I love my partner; I own a house with him and want nothing more than to continue spending my life with him, but my gender identity could put that all in jeopardy. On top of that, my parents haven't had the best reaction to my older sibling's trans identity. They half-ass use the right pronouns for them, but they talk shit about it, so I'd probably get a lot of shit, too. I still dress following how I want to be presented, but I'll always be a girl to my parents."

—Anonymous, 25, Illinois

16."I attended graduate school after finishing my undergrad because I had some remaining NCAA eligibility and didn't want to stop competing in my sport. I was almost able to earn my masters in a year, but I had some horrific mental health and burnout issues. Because of them, I quietly dropped out. Since I finished undergrad during COVID-19, I had the opportunity to walk onstage the year after, despite not finishing my degree. So to make my parents proud, I walked onstage, posed, and acted like I'd received my degree. I'm 50/50 on whether or not I regret doing what I did. I regret it in the sense that I wish I had the credential, but I don't regret saving my own life. My family will never know, though."

Woman in graduation cap and gown holding a diploma, smiling. Used in a parenting article


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17."I found out after my father died that he was a sex addict and a pedophile. While searching for his will, I discovered he'd been stalking several of my female cousins on social media. Nobody in his family knows any of this, and it's going to stay that way."


18.Lastly: "My youngest son is not my husband's child. We had separated for a brief period, and I had a relationship with a coworker before reconciliation. NO ONE knows this but me — not my former fling, not my sons, and certainly not their father. My husband passed this year without knowing the truth, and I intend to take this info with me to the grave."

Woman seated between two children in sleds on snow, all wearing winter attire

—65, Michigan

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Whew, that was a wild ride. What's a secret you're keeping from your family that will never see the light of day? Share it down in the comments, or you can anonymously tell your secret using this form.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.