When a relationship ends, sometimes you say, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
And sometimes you gotta go even further and pull out the old “It’s not you OR me, it’s your insane family.”
What tales of family horror does Reddit have for us? Let’s take a look.
1. The cult.
Ex’s mom heavily recruited me to join her cult where you bow down (literally prostrate like head to the floor kind of thing) to a “guru” and donate $$ money monthly to fund this guru’s lavish lifestyle.
Even my ex knew she was nuts, but wasn’t willing to stand up to her.
Ultimately it just became too much of a problem (couldn’t hang out at their house, arguments over not standing up to her) that I broke it off, and thank goodness.
2. The money-chasers.
Family wasn’t nuts, but their actions were 90% of the reason for the breakup.
I was a high achiever in high school/college. I was at a top 20 university majoring in STEM and was one of the best in my class. Everyone (including my girlfriend and her parents) thought I was going to get some super high paying job because of my major. I really wanted to be a public school teacher though (my dream has always been to run a school one day).
When I told my girlfriend, there were a lot of tears. Her parents fully expected for her to become a stay-at-home mom. They acted like I was throwing my life away. Her Dad got me one-on-one and told me I could never propose until I was “financially stable” even though I had been working for two years, paying for everything for both me and my gf, no debt, and still saving $1000 a month.
When my gf talked about spending an extra semester in grad school, her mom said openly “We’re not a bank, we can’t always support you, and bagelfish2 obviously can’t either.” There were also a lot of texts from mom to gf about “rose colored glasses. He makes you happy now, but when push comes to shove he won’t be able to be there for you.”
For years after making the decision her parents would ask me “Oh so when are you going to get a real job?” or “When are you headed back for grad school?” (that one was especially silly, I already had a masters degree).
It got to the point that I started applying to jobs in my STEM field. I actually had two offers that would over double my salary. Ultimately I decided I’d rather keep doing what I loved than be with someone I loved.
Recently was told by a mutual friend that mom said “Thank god, ex and bagelfish2 broke up. He had such potential but just no work ethic.”
3. Race relations.
So I was dating someone whose parents had super strict rules about “allowable partners”. She was of vietnamese descent, and was only allowed to date Japanese, Korean, or white guys. ( her dad straight up said he knew how bad vietnamese men were as he was one…)Specifically those three if they were involved with business, accounting, law, or medicine.
I was tolerated since I was in the military at the time. However, her oldest brother (lawyer) married his long time(white) girlfriend(nurse). Not only did they disinherit him for this, but her 2nd oldest brother(doctor) was essentially shunned out of the family for supporting them. Her final older brother, who was getting his masters degree at the time, was basically trying to lay low, and not p*ss off anyone.
Suffice to say, she was under alot of pressure, as again, while they didn’t particularly like me, her parents also weren’t against us dating. Combined with how close she was to her older brothers, and her parents expectations for her to get a good corporate job, I realized our relationship was causing her to much stress and anxiety.
I’m still in touch with her, and some of the family drama has subsided, but I still kinda regret how it all ended
4. Too close.
His parents were divorced and he mainly stayed with his mom (probably because she let him slack off).
We would have pretty much the same arguments about our relationship that could get quite heated and wouldn’t ever be resolved.
I would come over to his house and while he was in the other room, his mom would come up to me and rant over very personal things I had told him, telling me that I need to pick my battles and I need to do better for her child. I thought it was a really strange overstepping of boundaries, especially because he told her things that I would tell him in confidence.
He had some serious mommy issues. And she would talk about herself in the third person calling herself “mommy”, like “mommy wants you to vacuum your room today” so all around weird.
Break up wasn’t totally over the family but when considering the future it was a factor lol. Dad was cool tho!
5. Just weird.
An ex girlfriends family was living under an assumed last name. She had a kid sister who was about 10 if I remember correctly.
The mom and step dad would not enroll her in school, public or private and she was forced to sleep in their room at night.
I got a really bad vibe about the whole family and cut ties. Money was a constant problem and no-one seemed to have jobs.
I never looked back.
6. Deadly sins.
My ex’s parents are strict Christians. So strict that the women wear only skirts, their hair in a braid, no makeup, no tattoos, no skin in general, no piercings, no jewelry.
We were in his room and were just going to get something when his mother rushed in. She did not know that her son has a partner, saw me, looked at my clothes (maxi skirt + a fingertip belly was visible) yelled at him in russian. We quickly got out and I went home. His mother had (however) found out the phone number of my mother and complained about me. I was a wh*re who drive her son into sins.
Funny, since he had already been cheating on me for about 2 months.
7. No defense.
A guy I really thought would work out had extremely racist parents. His dad would call me black wh*re and worthless under his breath constantly.
Although he never completely defended them he often downplayed the seriousness, which I understood because it’s your parents… I get it.
But it got to the point where dealing with his parent’s verbal abuse was mentally exhausting and made thinking of a future and raising a family with them around horrifying so I had to let that one go..
8. Sense of relief.
I actually had the opposite happen to me. I was in this relationship where my girlfriend was cool most of the time but would often flip out after some perceived disrespect. She would always be apologetic later but towards the end I felt like I was walking on eggshells.
Her family though was amazing. Unlike mine I looked forward to visiting with them. Her dad and I would shoot pool every week and her siblings were always inviting us to some cool activity.
Then one day they invited us to play some mini golf and my girlfriend didn’t want to go. I was relieved and realized that the main reason I was still with her was because her family was so awesome. We broke up and I kept in touch with them a bit, but I do miss hanging out with the coolest group of people I ever met.
9. Little you can do.
Partially. It was more like I broke off my friendship with my best friend growing up because she gave in to the pressure of her nutty family and gradually turned out nasty as well. There’s very little you can do from outside. I didn’t even realise how completely f*cked that family was until her mother died, unexpectedly, at 44, and the deadbeat father and entitled firstborn son turned to my 17yo friend to be their cook, nurse, maid, and cash cow.
I tried to help her get out of there but she wouldn’t listen. She closed off, it was like watching someone being immersed in a cult. Eventually, she turned against me, last interaction we had was her going off at me how DARED I have a baby when she’s infertile.
BTW she wasn’t infertile, just a condition that she was able to treat, from what I know she’s on kid no.5 and counting.
10. A huge mess.
Yes, my husband’s family was seriously dysfunctional. As was mine.
We lived pretty boring lives working at a hospital and going to school. Just a grind.
His brother was hooked on coke, and carried a gun everywhere. He showed up at the psych unit where we both worked once announcing “we are all going to the strip club, because I know the man in charge” ( my husband) and got the patients on the unit pretty escalated. We both got a write up and had never been written up. So we made a plan to get away from his family for our safety as he was unpredictable.
His sister was on multiple dating sites looking for a sugar daddy for her kids and was always fighting with someone as she was strung out & hyped up on amphetamines.
The Dad was an alcoholic who took cabs several times a day to the gas station to buy wine. Yes, you heard that correctly.
His Dad was also dating a hooker when we met and accused us of being pregnant when we were going to get married and told him to flush your kid: We were not pregnant but I had enough.
My husband was the adult they all called multiple times a day as their personal life coach after the Mom died.
They fought like cats. We moved 2.5 hours away after the Moms estate was settled and moved back in together once they were no longer interfering in our day to day lives.
It tore him apart each and every time. Sometimes the only safe way to love is from a safe distance.
11. The devout atheists.
I dated a young woman who came from a family of extremely devout atheists. Yes, devout atheists.
Their entire thing was telling everyone about their atheism, how stupid all religious people were – and how logic and reason were the sole measure we should be judged by. Simultaneously, they were also afraid of cell phone radiation, insisted that the paleo diet was the only real way to eat, didn’t believe in personal privacy, didn’t believe showering every day was necessary and also saw it as their place to judge everyone who didn’t conform to their very narrow lifestyle choices.
Like, I’m an atheist- but those people were f*cking crazy. I got sick of the criticisms and having to debunk the asinine beliefs they were instilling in their daughter and left.
12. The naked truth.
My first girlfriend when I was 20 was a Character but her family was on another level.
First time I met her aunt she came to the door in (very sheer, at that) bra and panties and then hung out with us like that for a couple of hours. Never put any clothes on. Nobody else seemed bothered by this.
I also once saw her aunt and uncle, naked, in her back yard, basically screwing by the pool while my gfs mom snapped photos.
I could go on but I think this is enough information to convey how crazy these people were.
13. No boundaries.
Yes – my first wife. Her parents had no concept of boundaries.
Her older brother was in and out of rehab all the time.
Her sister turned tricks to pay for drugs.
We foolishly thought that we’d be able to keep them at arm’s length.
But she felt guilty and let them pull her back into their dysfunctional f*cked up lives.
After a while I couldn’t take it anymore and we split. Fortunately we had no children.
14. Cartoonishly bad.
I’m on the other side of this question. My family are worthless piles of crap who would diss the pope for attention. I mean, there is something seriously wrong with them and I have no idea why I wasn’t infected.
Long story short, brought a girl home I was dating and it went exactly as I thought it would.
First thing out of my step dad’s mouth? “Doesn’t he (pointing at me) have a tiny d*ck!? You should come over here and sit with me.” It was like an old school cartoon…
Could have sworn I saw dust kick up with how fast she took off out of there.
15. Mommy dearest.
I dated a guy for just shy of 4 years, but ended up ending it because his mother REFUSED to let us have a future together.
His mother was basically his owner. She told him where he was allowed to go, what he could spend his own money on, who he was allowed to see. The dude was 32 when we started dating, BTW.
I was his “rebel phase”. He managed to carve out 4 hours a day, once a week, to see me (and always at my house). He insisted, every week for almost four years, to get pizza delivered, and always got a separate pizza to take home for his mum. The guy despised pizza, and would force down half a slice, but his mum wanted it, so that’s what we had.
I met his mother once, about a year in. He invited maybe 8 people round for a D&D night, and he tried to sneak me past her. I ended up bumping into her later in the night and introduced myself. I went to shake her hand and just she stared at it, grunted in disgust, and left the room.
Cliche as it sounds, I really did think he was my soulmate, so I put up with it. We’d talk on the phone and Skype every day, text constantly, and I guess I’d convinced myself that things would get better.
The final straw was when I ended up in hospital. I called him in pain, and asked him to come down as I was really scared. And he said he couldn’t, he needed to take his mum to her bridge club.
Less of a crazy story, more of a sad one I guess lol
16. “Made everything about her.”
We were together 10 years. His mum cried all the time and made everything about her.
Her children pooled their money to buy her an expensive TV for Christmas. When she opened it, she burst into miserable tears saying it wouldn’t fit her favourite TV cabinet. Then repeated how disappointed she was to all the family all Christmas.
She also referred to her daughter in law as “the vessel” that provided her grandchildren.
17. “Proceeded to throw cans of beer”
My first boyfriend. He was a momma’s boy but his mom liked his older brother more and made it blatantly obvious. On his 21st birthday she rented us all a limo to bar hop. She insisted on going with us. At 1am we are all properly drunk and she goes on a rant about how my boyfriend is a POS for having more fun than her and how he isn’t half the man they older brother is… She rented the limo and should be having fun and she wasn’t and it was all his fault.
Proceeded to throw cans of beer at the two of us then pulled the limo over and made everyone get out, with the exception of her and the older brother. We were on the side of the road in a bad part of town, drunk, at 1am. Super fun way to end your 21st birthday.
Basically every single night at her home ended in something similar, her berating my boyfriend and comparing the two brothers and him making excuses for her.
I tried to get him to distance himself and he told her. She was pissed and went to my work and caused a huge scene. I worked in a high end boutique hotel. They fired me the next day and I broke up with him shortly after.
He was actually a nice guy, and surprisingly, so was there older brother. I have no idea why they put up with her.
18. “You need to run, white boy.”
I wouldn’t call it a relationship, but a girl I had been on a few dates with had invited me back to her place. Score, right?
Except when we got there, she had failed to mention that her entire family lived there. So I was introduced to her mother and father and siblings at like midnight when we got back to her place, and she told them that “we’re going to my room to have s**” and her dad said, “you brought protection right man?” and I kind of nodded in a daze.
So we went back there and did the deed, she was actually amazing in bed. After I wondered how I do the walk of shame as I passed her family on the way out, so I try to duck out at like 3am. Her dad was still in the kitchen, eating tamales. He asked me to sit down and I was like, “oh f*ck”, but then he served me up a delicious tamale and told me frankly that his daughter like to hurt men like me, and if I had any sense I would keep the memory of the night close and never speak to her again.
I thought it was just a dad who didn’t approve at first, but then her brother came in and said, “you need to run white boy, my sister is crazy” and so I nodded sagely and then didn’t take their advice.
I really really should have. The relationship lasted about a month and ended with my car windows being broken.
19. The last straw.
My ex-husband. His whole family had such a different concept of money/work from me and how I was raised.
They were constantly living above their means and buying ridiculous things. Then when something important came along they had to scramble and borrow. For example, one time his mother borrowed cash from me, a new teacher, even though she lived abroad in a fancy penthouse with a pool. She told me she’d deposit it in her father’s account and I could get it from him. When asked though he said that she had deposited it but then had to take it back. We’re talking about like $100 here. I was just baffled.
I thought my ex was different until he blew $3k of our wedding gift money (we asked for “honeymoon funds in lieu of gifts”) on a trip he took without me and didn’t think to tell me about the missing money. Just that it was no big deal and he’d put it back someday la la la. That was the last straw.
20. “Hurricane Party/Wedding”
My husband and I almost broke up before the wedding. He’s a different race than myself and his family really, really, really don’t like me because of it. About a month before the wedding it came to heads with me calling his mother, aunts, and grandma “b*tches” because they said it was a good thing my grandmothers were both dead because it was two less women of my race in the world. This was said in response to his father making the comment that he was sad his own parents were passed away and couldn’t be at the wedding. I, trying to empathize, said that I was sad my grandmothers were passed away and couldn’t be there.”
He cut them all off for a long time, didn’t invite them to our Hurricane Party/Wedding. He started talking to them again after my sister-in-law committed suicide (sister-in-law was not their daughter but rather my brother’s wife but my husband and she were close) last year because he thinks life it too short to be angry at the people you love. They have rules though: no one talks about me, about our marriage, and I don’t have to have anything to do with them if I don’t want. It works for us. He wishes we were closer, but his family spent the better part of our relationship harassing me and bullying me while I kept my mouth shut. I don’t like blowing up at people, it only makes the person who blew up look bad and having lost my temper with his family embarrassed me. Fortunately he’s been very supportive of me. If he hadn’t been so great we’d not be together now.
His mother sent me a letter recently apologizing for their behavior but I think my pride is too great to accept.
21.”Very traditional Italian.”
My (I’m female) best male friend growing up. We’d been friends since middle school, and though he had other girlfriends through high school as we grew up we still remained really close.
His family (verrry traditional Italian) loved me, I spent so many nights at their house and went on family trips with them.
When I was 17 I got my first boyfriend, everything completely changed. I went over for a normal hangout after school and his two sisters, mom, and dad all ganged up on me when he ran to his car. They accused me of using them and told me his sisters married their high school sweethearts, so we had to!!
I was dumbfounded, and they said that we obviously weren’t “just friends”. They just seemed to have this ideal we were soul mates and I explained that we were just not in a marriage sense. I was 17!!! I didn’t even stick with my then boyfriend for long.
They even harassed my family after I distanced myself and called me all types of names. We’ve caught up years later but it hasn’t been the same.
22. “A local mafia boss.”
My first girlfriend was a nice Italian girl whose family drove me crazy. I’m a whitebread Canadian, what would be called a “mangia cake”, so that was the first strike against me in their eyes. Her mother treated me well, but the dad always looked at me as if I wore my shoes in the house or something. The first time I had dinner at their house he went into a whole speech about the etymology of the word “wop”, unbidden by anything I had said or done.
We had to take her younger brother on dates with us. And the one time he made plans with some friends, so we could drop him off and get some alone time, he immediately ratted her out when he got home.
One time we were out on the porch, my arm is around her shoulders and we’re watching the sunset. Her father comes out onto the porch and makes some meaningless small talk about how the weather is so nice and that it’s so nice to have such a warm evening. Found out the next day that he beat the sh*t out of her for being a “wh*re” in “public”. We talked about getting her out of that house but at the end of the day she couldn’t leave her family behind.
We were only together for a few months but the whole family situation was just something I couldn’t deal with. The icing on the cake was when it was my birthday she went and gave me a Rolex. Again, we had only dating for a few months and I had been to her house, so I knew she wasn’t from some wealthy family where money was meaningless. She assured me it was a genuine Rolex that her father had “acquired”.
That was when I learned that he was a local mafia boss and more than a few pieces fell into place. I thanked her for the gift but gave it back as I didn’t want to feel like I owed any favours to anyone. We broke up soon afterward and the next time I saw her has at a friend’s wedding where she was there with her (very Italian) fiancé.
23. “Just trying to diagnose each other.”
Not the sole reason, but it played a big part.
Family is prominent in psychology so a large part of their interactions are just trying to diagnose each other and those who come into their lives. It also didn’t help that the parents of my S/O had seemingly been running up a tally on how much it cost to send them to college and raise them and tried to leverage a $300,000 balance for repayment when they graduated. Oh, but that balance was only a front to motivate their child to become financially independent and/or marry into money.
So not only did I have to think about how we were compatible, but I was seriously having to consider taking responsibility for paying their parents $300k if I wanted to marry them. I honestly wanted nothing to do with their family as a whole.
24. “They didn’t believe in divorce.”
Dad was a very old school pastor and his mom was a very timid, religious nut job hoarder. I was only allowed in his parents house one time to pee before a road trip. When I went in you couldn’t see the floor or counter tops because everything was covered in junk.
The worst part was that all of the kids grew up just knowing they had to lie to their parents about everything. Example: the kids weren’t allowed to live with their spouses before marriage so all of the older children rented apartments that they never actually lived in just so they could live with their significant others. The kids weren’t even allowed to go on dates with their significant others alone. You had to lie and say another sibling would be going with at all times.
Oh, and the parents forced one of the siblings to stay with their abusive husband because they didn’t believe in divorce. And they just all acted like he’d never beaten her within an inch of her life multiple times.
Dodged a bullet getting out of that family for sure.
25. “She was insane.”
My best friend left her husband after 5 years because of his mother. She was insane but it was really the spineless husband that refused to stand up to his mom.
This is the crazy sh*t she did.
1. Threw a tantrum because she didn’t like the wedding invitations. Like ripped up 50 invites and they had to order more.
2. Told her she looked pregnant in her wedding dress.
3. When bride was walking down the isle and got up to change seats and blocked the grooms view (her son) and moved out of the way last minute.
4. Was hanging all over the groom (her son) during his own wedding and openly pouted when he wanted to dance with his own wife.
5. Stole wine after the wedding and bragged about it (she didn’t pay for anything except the flowers).
6. Interrupted their honeymoon night by banging on the door and telling them she wanted to spend more time with them.. he left to go hang out with his mom on the night of the wedding.. bride stayed in bed mad.
7. She tried to move into their home after they got married (no reason, just wanted to) and that caused a fight. She ended up not moving in luckily
8. She had a spare key to their house for emergencies. Used the key to walk into their house unannounced whenever she wanted.
9. Constantly accused her of cheating if she worked late, went to the grocery store, saw friends or family, etc.
There were tons of other reasons that built up over the years and he always deflected. She finally had enough and left.
26. “A massive foot fetish.”
while my ex had plenty of issues himself, I really didn’t like his dad.
his dad had a massive foot fetish. now I’m not kink-shaming; you do you, booboo. what made it uncomfortable was how unchecked it was. I would have to wear full coverage shoes (like running shoes) at all times at his dad’s house. otherwise his dad would go on and on about how attractive my feet were or he’d show me photos of his favorite female celebrity feet.
I had mentioned to my ex SEVERAL times how uncomfortable I was with his dad’s infatuation with my feet but he would always shrug and say that’s how his dad just was.
I don’t miss that.
27. “Measure me up.”
The Mother wanted to get her daughter with nothing short of celebrity & having a BMW7 to drive at the minimum. And work visa as soon as she landed in US. I paid Business class for 5 of them to come visit & basically measure me up.
Said no even though I loved her since college days
28. “The death threats never stopped.”
FIL told me he was going to beat my skull in with a baseball bat after we got engaged.
We broke it off briefly after that. Ultimately got married.
Tried to make amends a few times with her fam in an attempt to have that normal extended family relationship.
Unfortunately, mental health issues ran deep and the death threats never stopped.
Happily live in another part of the country without much contact now.
29. “Mad as a box of frogs.”
The mother was as mad as a box of frogs and really poor judge of character, so she would pick nut job men who would do stuff to her that actually endangered her life on a regular basis. I would then be called and expected to bail her out of trouble..
Got a call at 3am, to fetch this woman who had been left on the side of the highway , drunk out of her mind by her reject of a boyfriend, she was an hour out of town in the middle of nowhere, on a weeknight.. this sort of thing used to happen with monotonous regularity… Eventually I just gave up.. (this happened in a crime ridden country in Africa, it was so so lucky she wasn’t a victim of a very serious crime)
30. “Because of the family.”
Yes because we found out we were related.
So we broke up because of the family.
As a result I refuse to date anyone from my state as I feel like I’m probably going to be related to them.
Welp, that’s a big old bucket of nightmares. I feel pretty lucky about my own dating history now.
Have you ever been in a situation like this?
Tell us about it in the comments.