I consider myself extremely lucky that my parents have been together for over 50 years and I grew up in a stable house where I knew what to expect most of the time.

But, the fact is that a lot of people grow up in single-parent homes and they see their moms and dads date people while they try to find the right partner. And, as you can imagine, people have seen their parents date some pretty shitty people.

AskReddit users share their stories.

1. Time to cut ties.

“My dad started dating a woman who firmly believed that I was part of his “old life” and that he needed to cut ties with me.

I was 14 and became terrified my mum would find someone who would do the same, and I’d end up with no family.”

2. Terrible story.

“My mom dated a dude who beat the living shit out of me. Dude and his brother took turns punching me in the face while the other held me down. I was about 11 at the time. My mom didn’t bother to remove these turds from her life either.

I am now in my 40’s and still have scars on my face to remind me about it. A few months later, while I was at a summer camp paid for by a charity organization, the same dude put her in the hospital. A few weeks after that, I went to live with my Aunt and Uncle. She stayed with a dude. I haven’t spoken to her in close to 20 years.”

3. Almost the evil step mother.

“My dad’s ex fiance. She was almost our evil step mother until one day she decided to call me a fat lazy bitch and my dad realized how awful she was to my sister and I. That was the day I learned how much he actually cared for us as well. He dumped her ass and kicked her out of the house. Her awful daughter left too and it was finally peaceful at my dad’s again.

He dated her on and off for years afterwards until she went back with her ex husband. My dad has sworn her off for good now which I’m glad for since she was a toxic person. I wish he could find someone worth his time though, I know he gets lonely.”

4. Protect your kids.

“We’ll call him Jose.

Younger than my mom, chronically unemployed, a drinker, violent, and literally illiterate. But good looking, so my mom was smitten.

My mom was from a good (in name) family, she had education, she had two little daughters. And she brought this scumbag to our peaceful little apartment and he settled in right away beating the shit out of all of us, impregnating my mom four times, running off for months, coming back, never paying child support.

When he was around, he mercilessly beat on us and my mom just stood by like a fucking twat, not intervening. One morning my little brother, who was maybe 2, woke up and was hooping up and down in his crib for attention. Jose, a grown man, smacked that poor baby so hard in the face that the baby flew across the crib and hit the other side and slid down.

Finally, my mom got diagnosed with lupus and Jose found out and literally abandoned her at the pharmacy.

Years later, we find out that he had been sexually abusing my older sister.

I am still so mad at my mom for the decade of bullshit we endured with that man. He was literally a cancer and she couldn’t summon the self esteem to leave him, even when he was beating us with extension cords.

There’s a poem by Nayyirah Waheed called “before you get that key made” that should be handed to every single mother.

Fuck your loneliness. Protect your kids.”

5. Two stories.

“I can think of two; first of all my biological father. They got back together for a few weeks. He was a dick.

I’d recently got my first pet- a ginger kitten- but I was having previously unknown allergy issues with it. Things were stabilising for me though and I was getting used to it when one day my new cat disappeared. My dad admitted he let it out the door because he knew I’d been struggling. I spent weeks searching but never found it.

The second was my step dad. He was actually a really good guy and head over heels in love with my mom. I actually miss him a lot. The reason he was one of the worst? Well, my mom died when I was seventeen and overnight my stepdad changed.

Within a month he was in a relationship with another family member and suddenly he was violent and abusive. Left me with no food or money, attacked me for accidentally breaking an ornament of his, and ultimately forced me to run away from home. I was on couch hopping for nine months and never spoke to him again.”

6. Dirtbag.

“He was called Greg. He was an abusive wanker. He used to lock me and my brothers out in the rain while my mum was at work. Had no way of contacting her (before kids had phones). He did it in all weather’s. He broke my mums arm in front of me and my brothers.

He grabbed my face so hard his nail left a cut in my cheek.

My mum and my two aunties got their own back though. My mum stole his change jar. His change jar had notes in, there were no 1ps or 2ps, only silver+. One Aunty smashed every single thing he had. Car windows, house windows, tvs everything. She also promised to beat him whenever she sees him.

She’s kept that promise and has hit him 7 times so far on nights out. My other Aunty kept reporting him to his boss for things he hadn’t done, but they couldn’t disprove, like being horrible, swearing at her. He was fired.

He was a real piece of shit, and the actions of my family may have been drastic, if not illegal, but he most definetly deserved this.”

7. Some real doozies.

“My mom is a serial dater. I have long since stopped paying attention to who she was dating. There were a few doozies. So let me talk about them.

B: He came into my life when I was still forming self awareness and memories. All I remember of him was screaming at my mom about leaving.

G: A drunk who was verbally abusive. I remember him once deciding that I was not to leave the table until I had finished every bite of the meatloaf that he made that night out of the blue. I threw up after stuffing myself with it. Mom stood there while this new rule was randomly enforced. He also called my brother (who had been injured) a bastard because he had complained of pain while standing up. Apparently that was a personal attack, and he needed to cuss out a 5th grader.

M: A foster parent of 8 very unwell boys. I was the only girl in the house. There was sexual abuse that I was blamed for from his foster boys and from his own son. He would scream at me like his foster children because I didn’t want to play basketball with them. I was screamed at for humming. He eventually had to move me into his closet, so that’s where I slept, while he would drop his clothing on me in the morning. He was cheating on my mom while she fed and clothed and parented all 11 children in that house. When the broke up, mom blamed me because I had torn the family apart when I told a teacher about the sexual abuse I was experiencing.

?: Some guy she met at a bar. He was really interested in meeting her children; specifically 10 year old me. Within two hours of him coming into the house he had invited us all out to a nude beach nearby. It was very freeing, he insisted, and he thought I would love it there. Mom didn’t make him leave the house for the night, and I slept in her room with the door locked.

P: Of all the assholes, this is who I hate the most. They dated on and off for a few years. I hated him from the minute I met him because my gut and my history had already labeled him as untrustworthy and a shit head. I wasn’t wrong. Not only did he cheat on my mom throughout their relationship, he had hidden his AIDs status with my mom and also insisted (culturally) that he could not wear condoms. Mom thankfully hasn’t tested positive for HIV, but part of me wants to deport that fucker.”

8. Mentally ill.

“When I was 5 my mom and dad separated before divorcing. About two days post separation, Dallas moved into the house. He was all smiles, full of laughter and jokes. Didn’t really interact with me much. He had a couple of months previously, come back from a tour of Vietnam where he witnessed and created hell. He wasn’t just little kid thinking adult’s are big, big. He was big. 6’2” and ripped. The guy moved around like a wild caged animal. He was unemployed so he was home all the time (while my mother worked), which meant I spent a lot of time with him.

I remember turning on the TV one day to watch Land Of The Giants. I sat down on the floor, the opening came on and I was suddenly flying through the air and landed on the couch. Dallas had thrown me across the room. The landing was a bit rough. As soon as I realized what happened, Dallas’s face filled my field of vision and it was a vision of anger and hate. He told me that HE was the only one in the house who decides what can be watched on TV and that if I did that again, he’d rip my head off and stab my mom to death. He grabbed me by my hair and asked me if I understood. I said ‘yes’. He terrified me, but even at that age, I knew he was mentally ill.

He started making dioramas of war scenes that he had experienced. I remember him spending days making these things. One of them I vividly remember. It was a tank scene with a guys legs on one side of a tank track and his torso on the other. In the track was a red spot where he got crushed. Dallas pointed to the scene and told me that if I didn’t behave, he would drive a tank through my bedroom while I was asleep, run me over and turn me into a bloody red spot. I believed him.

He started randomly beating me with a heavy leather belt. I remember the concussions of each hit taking the breath out of me. Once he turned me over on his knee, pulled my pants down and told me he was going to cut my ass off with the knife he had in his hand. I pissed my pants and his knee. I got hit on the side of the head and was out. When I came to, he told me that I was going to tell my mom that I fell off my bike in the street and if I didn’t, he would stab us both to death and drive a tank through the house and turn us into red spots.

He started hitting my mom, and one day while Dallas was out doing something, my mom packed our shit up and ‘poof’ we were in an apartment on another side of town. Dallas tracked us down one night, broke the door down, had a gun in his hand and told my mom to say her goodbye’s. Two L.A. Sheriff’s deputies showed up right about then with their guns drawn. Dallas was taken away in cuffs. I never saw him again.

A few months later, I opened up to my mom about the abuse Dallas had inflicted on me for the year he lived with us. She dismissively said, “Maybe you were being bad. Maybe you deserved it.” Her saying that created a gulf between us. I never trusted my mom again to this day, and I’m 52 years old now. War is evil.”

9. Gaslighting.

“My dad met this woman that he thought was perfect. They got along really well and so they got married. 5 years later and I’ve moved out after being emotionally abused by this “amazing woman” for years. It was bad enough that i kept trying to kill myself. She told me that i was a bad person who would never achieve anything. She told me that my stepdad deserved to die and that my mother was a bad person. She told me that i was a disappointment and a burden. She lied to my dad and told him that i hit her. She called the police on me for locking myself in MY OWN ROOM. at one point she slammed a door in my face and the towel rack on the back gave me a black eye.

She gaslighted me about everything. She wanted to keep me on medications that kept me from functioning because i was “easier to handle” when i didnt fight to be treated like a human. All my friends were “satanic punks” and i wasnt allowed to be happy because my laugh was “loud and obnoxious”. She called me selfish for wanting to be treated better. She told all her friends i was a delinquent despite being a quiet straight A student. She was a rude manipulative cunt. She ruined my mental health and im still working to fix all the damage she caused. My dad isnt happy but he wont leave her. She is a horrible person whom i have no respect for.”

10. Bad hygiene.

“My mom got back together with her old high school boyfriend for whatever reason. Guy was like 60 but looked about a minute away from death. Super lanky, reeked of cigarettes. Not a bad guy but his general hygiene and health made him hell to be around.”

11. Oh, Darren…

“One wanker called Darren. I have a viral infection once that mimmiced meningitis and he kept banging on about if I died he wasn’t cleaning it up and that I may need a wheelchair. I punched him once when he tried throwing my cat outside into the rain. He’s fucked off now thank god.”

12. Broken Mom.

“Definitely the guy, who after over a year of dating my mom and seemingly caring for both her and I, called her one night and said he never loved her and to not contact him again. No signs showing this is how he felt. He broke my mom for awhile. I definitely wanted to find him.”

13. Still together…

“My dad is still dating this horrible person and they have 2 kids. My dad started dating this chick not too long before I almost committed suicide and left my mom’s place to live with him. He knew how bad I was.. he knew this chick we’ll call V didn’t care for me. I’ve been nothing but nice and tried to talk to her but am met with silence and death stares. Well. For the months I would be living there she would argue with my father that he needs to stop paying attention to me cause she’s there with his kid and ” they’re his family now” I never left my room.

I couldn’t eat any food over there because it was all ‘hers’ (she never has a damn job it’s my dad’s but they argue everytime I have a bowl of cereal so he picked me up fast-food when he got home from work everyday…) She’s locked me outside the house when my dad leaves (5am-5pm) I had to learn to look for food outside because of it. Anytime I talk to my dad about it he gets pissed with me.. when she finally got a job and I had come over there to visit one weekend she refused to leave the 2 yo at the house with us because I was there. “she’s a bad influence and I don’t want her around my kid” i was eating at the table while she yelled that at him. He just pointed at me and said “she’s right there” and I just waved.

She stormed out and took the kid. She got fired. I got into a car wreak and my dad took off work to visit me in the er because I wasn’t able to move for a bit. He posted twice on FB about updates and my well-being to out friend group and she got pissed with him over it cause “You never post about me or ‘kid’ but you did it twice for her” (screenshots and post history if anyone is interested.) When I was living with them I had to keep my two cats in my room with me and her cat broke through the plastic for the AC unit and they all got into a fight while I was gone.

She did nothing to fix it much less see if my cats were okay after 6 hours. My dad had gotten home the same time as me and I walked into a giant mess of my room. Both were fine thank God.. she’s called me names, she’s pulled the kids away from me, yelled at me for laughing, and now I don’t even have a room over there anymore. They broke my TV somehow and got rid of my bed to replace it with their new son’s room which he doesn’t even sleep in.. She used my bathroom as an animal pen once. A dog and pups were in there and shat everywheeeere.

When I talked to Dad about it cause he refused to have her clean it he called me a stuck up bitch for not cleaning ‘my’ bathroom. He uses it. Everyone uses it. But God forbid I go into their master bathroom. I gave up on a relationship with either of them much less kids. Have seen them around and she’s trying to act all nice but it never lasts..”

14. Where’s the beef?

“My mom dated this guy named Rick. He always smelled like beef. All the time. He would come over and the living room reeked of BEEF!! I would beg my mom to let me leave whenever he came over but she said that would be rude. So I just had to be in the same house with that rotting meat basket called a man. He was over one morning when i had a late start.

I went to school and a girl called me “Beef Bitch”. I cried for hours. Rick and my mom broke up because he got a job in another state and they hadn’t been dating too long so they decided to split up. My mom still wont tell me why he smelled like beef. She says it’s his personal business.”

15. Sounds like a real catch.

“My mom has been with for the last 20+ years is a real piece of work.

Highlight reel:

He’s so far behind on child support he hasn’t worked an “over the table” job in 20 years so his wages won’t be garnished.

He’s cheated on her multiple times and made it her fault.

He’s a raging alcoholic who used to hide his booze in my toy box. One time he was staying with my moms friend who had a bunch of expensive wine she gifted out. My mom got a bottle and went to drink it only to realize it was watered down soy sauce. He drank every single bottle and replaced them with various liquids to look full, replaced the corks and sealed the bottles.

One time the cops came to arrest him (I can’t remember if it was related to a DUI or not paying child support) and he ran off. Turns out he was living in our neighbors wood shed for a week.

My mom rented his mom’s house that he used to rent. When we moved in he took the master bedroom and told my mom she could have the guest bedroom. Did the same thing a few years later with another property she rented.

He used to groom us as children (and I only realized this recently. It’s kind of fucked me up tbh that at 30yrs old I just now realized how bad it was). On weekends we (me and his three daughters) had to be in bed by 8pm or he would turn the lights out, light candles and we could massage him (naked) for literally hours. Of course as young kids 5-10yrs we didn’t want to go to bed early, so we did it. He would praise us for how good we were an encourage the behavior. It became normal, so it was just the Friday/Saturday night thing we did at my mom’s house. He also used to sexualize everything, including our haircuts (would comment how good the cut look followed by an “mmmmm”) and the cartoons we watched.

A few years ago when I was 27 he sent me multiple sexually explicit messages on Facebook. I thought I was misreading them because he’s known me since I was 7, so surely it was a mistake. I showed them to my boyfriend who didn’t even hesitate to tell me he was testing the waters. He was right.

His youngest daughter recently got married. He was explicitly not invited to the wedding. Showed up anyway, took someone else’s place setting, cut in line for food and had the audacity to complain that his barbecue was better. He also had the gall to apologize to me for “how he treated my mom” (I had cut my mom out about a year prior and she thought he was the reason because surely her narcissistic behavior couldn’t be it, so she made him apologize to try and get me to talk to her again?) I told him I have nothing to say to him and his daughter’s wedding that he wasn’t invited to was not the place for any conversation.

If he died tomorrow the world would be a better place.”

Yeah, that’s not a fun thing to read. But it happens to A LOT of people.

What do you think? Anything particularly traumatizing? Let us know in the comments!