The idea of someone you know leading a double life is so unsettling, so fascinating, it's the plot of countless fictional dramas. Though it might seem unreasonable to conclude that your partner's fishy behavior means they are secretly harboring another family, or that they've lied about their name and place of employment, that is exactly what happened to these Redditors.
When someone's double life is revealed, it can be traumatizing for those involved; but on a few rare occasions, the double life that is discovered actually leads to wholesome opportunities and could even save a life.
My (the Netherlands) great grandfather's family had an inkling that no amount of prosperity was worth risking what Hitler was spreading. He took his wife and four sons on a boat, settled [on the] Illinois/Wisconsin border to just fine middle classism as skilled carpenters and other building tradesmen.
The family didn't realize [until] nearly 1970 that... the Jewish family of husband, wife, and four boys who lived next door moved into [the house they left without selling in Holland, and] called themselves my family name (first and last). The local Protestant church had them every Sunday, they survived the Holocaust.
From Redditor /u/TazzzTM:
A counselor at my college in Michigan faked his identity for over 40 years. He was a civil rights organizer in San Francisco in the 1960s and ended up in a shoot out with police.
None of the police were injured but he was [hit] in the foot apparently. He was supposed to appear in court later but he took off, and in the 40+ years following... he earned his masters degree with a whole new identity, ultimately working as a guidance counselor at a community college in Michigan.
His true identity was exposed around 2010 and he went on trial in California. He was sentenced to a year in jail and about $8000 in fines.
He was a nice guy, you’d never expect anybody who’s seemingly normal actually being an old school fugitive on the run.
In one of my previous jobs a few years ago, we hired this guy who turned out to be a really good partner, worked hard, never complained. After about a year and a half of working with him I get called into the office, he's there with the manager, assistant manager, and two beefy guys in normal clothes with the exception of ear pieces. He wanted to say goodbye to the bosses and I and explain why he had to leave the company. Turned out he was the son of some leader in his country and they had to relocate him - an opposing faction found out he was in our state and would have kidnapped him for leverage.
My family hosted a number of exchange students while we were growing up. We hosted about seven high school students over the course of my childhood; each stayed for a year in our house, attended high school in our town, etc. One girl, Irinia, from Russia came to us no differently than any of the other students had - through the AFS program. To be a student through AFS meant you had to fill out an application, be 17-18 years old, be attending high school in your home country...
So Irina arrives as our exchange student. She goes to high school in our small home town on Cape Cod Massachusetts. But at Christmas time she says she has to go home to Russia because her mother was extremely sick. Going home during the exchange year is really unusual, really rare. So okay fine she’s going to Russia for the Christmas break... she’ll be back in January. Except she never comes back. AFS can’t find her, we don’t know where she is, if she made it to Russia, if she’s hurt, nothing. And we’re terrified because we’re her host family during this year and we always took the students in like family. Anyways she’s gone.
Maybe three months later my mom is driving through our tiny town (again, middle of nowhere Cape Cod) and she sees Irinia, with what looks like her mom, and some other kids. Turns out Irinia graduated high school in Russia already, was like 25 with children, and had posed as an exchange student so she could "case" the place before bringing the rest of her family.