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People Are Sharing The Darkest Secrets They've Been Keeping From Their Partner For Years, And Some Of These Are Heartbreaking

"I'm not sure I actually love him, or if I just don't want to be alone or start a new relationship from scratch."

Note: This post contains mentions of sexual abuse, drugs, and suicide.

Your romantic partner is typically someone you know quite well and share deep parts of your life with as your relationship progresses — but some people have secrets they've been keeping from their partners for a long time.

A woman looks at her partner lovingly, while he continues watching TV

Recently, redditor u/dusty_ninja asked the internet, "What is the darkest thing you have kept from your partner?" The answers ranged from shocking to heartbreaking.

Here are some of the top-voted responses:

1. "I never told my wife that her mother tried to have sex with me."

"It was early in our marriage, when we were living with her to save money for our own place. Her marriage of 28 years had ended badly, and she was emotionally fragile. She was very drunk and was absolutely horrified at what she had done when she sobered up. I promised not to ever tell my wife, and I never did — even when she and I were fighting near the end of our marriage. Some things are too cruel to do, even when you're trying to hurt each other."


2. "Not my girlfriend now, but she didn’t know the extent or details of my childhood struggles."

"She knew I grew up in the projects until age 10, but...many people think I was unaffected. I never bothered to share those details because I never wanted to make a sob story out of a situation that I was blessed to get out of and that many people are still currently in. But that living situation has taken a toll on me in various ways..."


3. "That I’m probably a bit co-dependent at this point."

Someone alone in a room, looking out the window while talking on the phone

4. "That there is literally nothing about myself that I actually like and I honestly have no idea what he sees in me..."

"All the men I've been with before him (only three) made it crystal clear they were with me because I was nice, supportive, safe, and convenient. Because I put up with [them]. They weren't actually attracted to me — just what I could do for them. ... It's hard to build confidence when my whole life has been about what's (objectively) wrong with me when everyone around me, including my romantic partners, compliment everything except my appearance. Now I'm in my mid-30s, and this is the first one who I think might actually be attracted to me. It feels too good to be true."


5. "She's my ex now, but she had just revealed to me some very confidential information. ... She asked me if I have any deep secrets like that. I lied and told her I didn't, but the truth is, my grandmother by marriage (no blood relation) sexually harassed and abused me as a preteen and teenager."

"Literally nobody IRL knows. I've never told anyone."


6. "My declining mental health and an everyday drug addiction. I wish I hadn't been so good at hiding it."

"I needed help."


7. "I hate that she compares me to her ex-husband, and I have to prove her wrong over and over again."

"I hate that I have to pay for past mistakes. I'm starting to wonder if I can keep doing this. I really do love her, but it's making me depressed."


8. "I'm not sure I actually love him, or if I just don't want to be alone or start a new relationship from scratch."

Someone lays in bed, looking uncertain while looking at their partner

9. "I suffer from chronic depression. My S.O. is super sweet and supportive, but I am afraid of unloading too much on him."

"I keep dark thoughts and feelings from him all the time, I'd make him miserable if I didn't. He knows, BTW; I am not keeping all of it from him, just a lot of the excessive stuff."


10. "I have anxiety attacks when my S.O. is away. We joke about me believing he's dead when I don't hear from him often enough, but it's real. Like 'hyperventilating, heart racing, crying, rocking back and forth' real."

"He loves going on road trips and does landscape photography. I can't ruin that for him."


11. "Exactly how bad of a person I used to be before I met her."

"She knows I was into drugs and some other things, but she doesn't know the depths of depravity I delved to in order to fit in with the people I mistakenly wasted my time with."


12. "Her father once told me that if he could go back in time, he would never have dated her mother and have kids with her."

Two people look at photos from a couple's wedding

13. "How my mom hated my ex (let's just call her Sarah) for how bad she hurt me when we broke up."

"My mom passed away about a week after seeing Sarah at the mall, and she gave Sarah dirty looks and a cold shoulder. Sarah and I saw each other soon after my mom passed, and she broke down and told me that based on their recent encounter, she was sure my mom hated her. I lied to her and said, 'No, she was just really sick at the end. She didn’t hate you.' Sarah and I are still good friends to this day, and I will never tell her the truth that my mom hated her guts."


14. "We're divorced now, but a few years ago, I slept with my wife's cousin one night when she was in town and my wife was at work."

"Not taking away from the fact I was wrong in doing that, but considering our divorce happened because my wife had cheated on me MULTIPLE times over the years (she has admitted to 'several dozen' times), I really don't feel bad about it."


15. "I was born with only one hand. I have rheumatoid arthritis in the one hand I have, and I know it’s spreading. I have osteoarthritis in my lower back and scoliosis to the point where I am most likely going to need spine surgery. I’m only 31 years old. I can’t do this for another 50+ years."

"I am in such bad pain now and it’s only going to get worse. I have thoughts of suicide, but I can’t do that to my husband and kids. I don’t want my husband to turn into a caregiver. I can’t envision not being able to take care of myself."


16. "That I’m unsure if I will ever be able to express and maintain deep emotional intimacy with anyone."

Someone sits on a couch, hugging a pillow, looking like they're on the verge of tears

17. "Just how much I depend on her. For our first eight or so months of marriage, my wife and I were never apart due to moving around and being in lockdown. Even now, we're hardly apart since we both work from home."

"She doesn't know just how sad I get when she goes away. I miss her so much, and all I really want to do is curl up on the bed and wait for her to come back. I lose my smile, I lose interest in all my hobbies — everything. Once she gets back, though, I'm alright again."


18. "I keep having creeping thoughts of myself with other people. I don’t like them, I don’t want those thoughts, but they happen regardless."


19. And finally: "That I've been planning my goodbyes for quite some time now."

"We've been in and out of this relationship many times over the past five years. I guess we really can't turn back from some mistakes."


What's the darkest thing you've ever kept from your partner? Let us know in the comments below.

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

If you are thinking about suicide or just need to talk to someone, you can speak to someone by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or by texting HOME to 741741, the Crisis Text Line. And here are suicide helplines outside the US.