Relationship and family issues

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Chris_B PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING: 3 important tips to get the most out of this section
  • replies: 0

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following... View more

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following 3 tips: 1. Do you really want to share this with the world? This is a public forum. Are you thinking of posting something that could identify you to a friend or family member? Once you've posted, you can't delete what you've written and we don't take posts down from here unless they've broken one of our community rules. This is because our members spend a lot of time composing replies, and there is a much wider audience that gets a lot out of reading what has been written. It's not fair to ask the community for support, then ask to have it removed once you've read it so others can't also benefit. Use discretion when posting here - think about the level of detail you are sharing, and think also about who might know you are posting here. Also, please keep it clean: this is an all ages forum and explicit discussions about sexual problems are not permitted. Threads and posts of this nature will be removed and your account placed on a moderation hold. 2. What do you want to get out of posting here? Relationship and family issues are stressful. Members sometimes post here seeking advice about a relationship that has broken down, but find themselves getting upset when they don't agree with the response they get. This is a peer support forum, meaning we are not mental health professionals. We are people of all ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of life experiences. While we aim for our discussions to be conducted respectfully, people here will respond with the truth as they see it, from their own experiences and perspectives. We are not here to take sides. Offence is almost never intentional, but it can be sometimes taken. The advice you will see here is not intended to be a substitute for professional counselling. 3. What other support do you have? Most people posting on our forums (about any issue) use this space as a supplement to other supports. This forum is not and cannot be a substitute for offline supports, but it is often a good place to start the ball rolling and find the courage for seeking help. If you are relying solely on an internet forum to resolve your relationship or family issues, you are likely to be disappointed. Check out the Healthy Homes section of our Healthy Families website for further information and resources.

All discussions

white knight Parents estranged from their adult children
  • replies: 3

I dedicated myself to be the best part time dad I could be, child support never waned, visits never avoided and maintained a basic level of required communication with their mother regardless of the abrasiveness she gave At 12yo my eldest came to liv... View more

I dedicated myself to be the best part time dad I could be, child support never waned, visits never avoided and maintained a basic level of required communication with their mother regardless of the abrasiveness she gave At 12yo my eldest came to live with me. I was suspicious my ex was influencing my youngest and at 14yo "D" rang me "I dont want to see you anymore". 7 words I'll never forget. There was no argument, nothing to indicate a problem and no answer given as to a reason. So the months ticked over, gifts sent etc. At 16yo she had a back operation but refused me to visit the hospital. Her mother secretive. My ex had narcissistic tendencies, silence as a weapon was her cherished one, my daughter the same. So in summary the years leading up to 3 years ago was a matter of getting a message every year or two on Facebook "Hi dad". Then what would follow is up to 2 weeks of words, expression of a new start, plans of meeting up, discussion on our lives... then? gone. She'd block me. She refused to use any other form of communication like phone, letter etc because (as I found out from her friend) - then I'd know where she lived and besides, by blocking me on FB she had control. So 3 years ago when she was 28yo "Hi dad". I was to give it one last try. I told her we all have choices even her father. Her friend told me she believed I'd always let her back into my life as I was "soft". After 10 days- gone! blocked I took 3 months to make a decision. Was I to remain vulnerable, hurt regularly or could move on? I realised that I HAD to move on for my sanity and therefore the health and well being of my family. My eldest daughter has nothing to do with her nor her birth mother- why? because she experienced the same narcissistic treatment One day I looked up my youngest FB page- she had unblocked me. I reached for the computer mouse and pressed "block". The hardest action I'd made ever, I knew I'd need to stick with my decision or indeed I'd be that "soft" dad If she comes knocking I'd talk. I'd ask her why she threw me away, what she wanted to gain by visiting and what actions she has made to improve herself in terms of treating others with respect, I would not ask about her life, kids, partner Self preservation, like charity, begins at home. Thoughts? TonyWK

Walto17 Girlfriend got drunk and hooked up with another girl and feel like she isn't telling me the truth, w
  • replies: 3

Hey everyone, just need some advice. Long story short: Went out with my new girlfriend for the first time at a club on Saturday night. She got pretty drunk and everything was good until a friend wanted to take her to the toilet, i didn't think much o... View more

Hey everyone, just need some advice. Long story short: Went out with my new girlfriend for the first time at a club on Saturday night. She got pretty drunk and everything was good until a friend wanted to take her to the toilet, i didn't think much of it until after they came out 15 minutes later and she had told me that the friend forced herself onto her and took advantage of her and she claims that they made out for 10 seconds and she didn't enjoy it but didn't push her off which contradicts what she said. Anyways, her best friend went in after we were concerned and they were there for 5 minutes. We spoke about it the day later and we both agreed that it would never happen again. Anyways today i found out from her friend who went in there to help her that she remembered that they were both doing more than kissing which makes me believe that maybe other things went down that she doesn't remember or doesn't want to tell me. I'm not sure what to do, she blocked and removed the girl off all her social media accounts but i guess i'm not too sure what to think. I'm considering messaging the other woman just to find out if other stuff happened because things don't exactly add up. The other woman was married too by the way. Any advice would be great, good or bad.

Stevolica27 Partner won't make an effort
  • replies: 7

Hi everyone, this sounds a bit trivial but is something that really gets me down. I've expressed to my partner but they haven't changed anything. AITA for expecting them to organise themselves when we've planned to spend time together? Basically, one... View more

Hi everyone, this sounds a bit trivial but is something that really gets me down. I've expressed to my partner but they haven't changed anything. AITA for expecting them to organise themselves when we've planned to spend time together? Basically, one example is my partner doesn't like being woken up (too early) but if it's passed mid-morning etc, it's okay to. I'm talking weekends of course. But I really dislike the idea that I have to wake her up and get her organised so we can do the things together we'd talked about, when if it were anyone else she had plans with, she would set alarms and be ready (I mean you kind of have to)... I just feel like a bit of a parent sometimes when it's like, I have to organise her if I want us to spend time together, when she organises herself for spending time with others...My reaction nowadays is just go to go out, have breakfast or whatever because I've asked enough times that she puts an effort to wake-up. Otherwise I have to do it, then wait 30min-hour for her to get organised to her satisfaction before we can go. It sounds petty when I write this but I'm just looking for any thoughts, support or criticism

Elizabeth Louise Dont all working mums have Emotional Meltdowns?
  • replies: 5

My husband says he wants to sperate mainly because I have meltdowns.It's happened more recently with additional stressors going on. Maybe once every 2nd month. The trigger is usually because I'm really tired or stressed from work. After the last blow... View more

My husband says he wants to sperate mainly because I have meltdowns.It's happened more recently with additional stressors going on. Maybe once every 2nd month. The trigger is usually because I'm really tired or stressed from work. After the last blow up I decided I had to manage my stress better. I started running again and trained for 8 weeks and felt great! But damage is done. My husband says he can't risk me doing that again because I'm scaring the kids. All that happens is I start crying and have a bit of an emotional breakdown. Also he doesn't help but actually makes it worse. He looks at me angrily and says I'll take the kids away if you don't stop. That just makes me more angry. Usually im triggered by my husband. It's normally from an argument and because I'm already tired and stressed it escalates because he's just not understanding me. I calm down but it could take me a good 15-20 mins for logic to set in and calm down. I know I need to just stop and walk away but I just struggle when it's too late. I don't see this as an absolute deal breaker to ruin our whole marriage because I'm aware that this is a real concern for him and I'm working on it. I read self help books and I have just stared to see a therapist. But what's causing the meltdowns now is the fact that he's talking of seperation and I had to stop running. I stopped running because I was exhausted from stress so much so that I feel like was going to collapse. Doctors have told me it's not my low iron and its just stress. We both work full time. My job can be stressful and demanding and we have 2 young children and I have quite a large house to clean. We both split the chores for cooking dinner and cleaning the kitchen. I take my kids to their extra curricular activities twice per week.I have had additional streasors lately also like supporting my sister through her court case. I know that's additional stress and my husband can't understand that I have just had too much going on lately. Please tell me that I'm not the only one? And is it common for mums to have an emotional meltdown and I'm just carrying too much?

Avocadolady How to stop wanting to save your family
  • replies: 9

I have gone through a rough path to be at this point, where i am feeling tired of caring and helping my family, especially my brother. he has a bad temper that caused my mom great frustration, he is a complainer, and a person who does not take respon... View more

I have gone through a rough path to be at this point, where i am feeling tired of caring and helping my family, especially my brother. he has a bad temper that caused my mom great frustration, he is a complainer, and a person who does not take responsibility but to care about himself. he is going to be a father soon, so i am getting more worried about our family. Here i am 26 years old and have spent most of my life worrying about them, that i sometimes forget about living my life. I wonder if they ever care how hard i work and how i live my life as i do for them. is it bad if i stop caring so much and trying to save them? because its such a burden and I want to start my own family one day without carrying such worry into it. I want to have happiness of my own also. is it selfish?

Grogu_Lover Friends that ditch I am really struggling with this mentally.
  • replies: 9

Hi lovely people. I am new to these forums. Started hunting around for someone/where to talk about all of this going on in my mind. I don't have a lot of friends and genuinely care for the ones I do have. I make connections and work really hard on th... View more

Hi lovely people. I am new to these forums. Started hunting around for someone/where to talk about all of this going on in my mind. I don't have a lot of friends and genuinely care for the ones I do have. I make connections and work really hard on these friendships. One friend I met through my daughter, it was her friends mum. We are the same age and hit it off. We had known each other for a few years and always had a good chat when girls had sleep overs. Anyhow, about 2 years ago we started hanging out a lot more, I would go to hers for a cuppa and we would chat for hours. We did movie day at my house, drinking, lots of fun days. I had her kids stay with me for a week when a relative of hers was ill and she had to go interstate, took her kids to School and picked them up most days, for quite a few months. We would talk most days, she told me how she had been hurt in the past by friends and hated it and would't do that to me. Well her husband and her were having issues and she reached out to another friend (which is fine btw) but she started to pretty much stop talking to me unless I messaged her. I haven't seen her since, and still now don't unless I message her first. We went from being great friends to literally nothing overnight. The end of her marriage changed her I think. She said she has been hanging around others that knew what it was like. Fair enough but to just not talk to me suddenly really hurt and still bloody does. She has since moved away, didn't bother saying goodbye. I wouldn't of even known had it not been for Facebook. Another friend I have known for 10 years, suddenly blocked me on FB and everything else because I am friends still with the girl who was her best friend and they stopped talking. She just gave away 10 years of friendship just because I associate with that girl still. Another friend stopped talking to me again due to mutual friendships that ended. We are adults and surely can be friends with others even if they have a friend that they no longer associate with. These last two girls have really effected me mentally. I keep saying is there something wrong with me, or do I get to a used by date and no good anymore, so just discarded. It hurts so much, I don't know if I can trust anyone else now. Don't want to get too close. What do I do? How do I recover from these betrayals?

Winnie2405 Help - supporting a traumatised and anxious friend
  • replies: 2

Hi all,So here’s the deal…one of my best friends has years of history with abusive, mentally manipulative, gaslighting partners. She retains a lot of trauma and ‘shutdown’ behaviours as a result, and is very conflict avoidant, to the point where she ... View more

Hi all,So here’s the deal…one of my best friends has years of history with abusive, mentally manipulative, gaslighting partners. She retains a lot of trauma and ‘shutdown’ behaviours as a result, and is very conflict avoidant, to the point where she will silence herself and endure soo much unfair treatment that is detrimental to her mental and physical health just to keep the peace. Currently, she has this partner who has all of a sudden walked back into her life (after neglecting their relationship for months on end to the point she thought they were no longer together), who has all of a sudden moved into her home, (should clarify this partner isn’t one of the previous abusive ones, and also that my friend never really accepted him moving in…it was more of a “no wasn’t said so it must be ok to go ahead” situation)…but is now making her life hell. Draining her mentally, exhausting and draining her physically, making her uncomfortable and making her avoid spending time at her own home. she wants him gone, and has been saying that pretty much since before he moved in. Basically is beyond fed up and wants him out, and is done with their relationship and has been for a looong time.However…her extreme anxiety at the thought of trying to start the conversation that would enact this change, the fear of speaking up and standing up for herself and calling it over gets too great and she shuts down and just doesn’t say anything…and just continues on enduring this mistreatment and the depression and exhaustion that it brings. As a very concerned friend…I know it’s not my call to make, but is there anything I could do to help my friend find her confidence, voice, to help her over this anxiety block and to help her make the changes she needs to be happy? It makes me so upset seeing and hearing all this from her, on the daily, knowing that there’s nothing I can immediately do to help her. Otherwise she’s left with no other option than to hope he makes the call and starts the conversation to end it one day…because her fear and anxiety has silenced her and has her trapped in a miserable, barely-getting-by state. Thank you!

Duesentrieb Wife withdrawn
  • replies: 26

Hi guys,I am married to my wife for 18 years.Since the beginning she used the Silent Treatment (ST) in any conflict or when something didn't go her way. We discussed it but without any success. The fact that I always ran after her, trying to pacify h... View more

Hi guys,I am married to my wife for 18 years.Since the beginning she used the Silent Treatment (ST) in any conflict or when something didn't go her way. We discussed it but without any success. The fact that I always ran after her, trying to pacify her, didn't really help either. 2018 the ST increased. I wrote her a letter. She laughed it off by saying that I would be over-dramatic and that she wouldn't do anything. How could I be possibly affected. I even suggested counseling, but she refused categorically. Bringing up issues in the relationship has always been a difficult one. Often, she- gets passive aggressive (silent treatment, defiance, sulking)- use deflection (OK, but you.... )- projection (accusing me of not loving her, being happy when she is not around, etc.)- minimized the issue and my view (no true, I am sensitive, etc.)Tries to clarify something after silent treatment could lead to another round of it with her saying … if you would love me you would know what you did wrong I started to research, and it went from ST to narcissism. In addition, I learned that I am a people pleaser, emotional dependent, and anxious about conflicts. When she was angry, I switched into a childlike frozen state. As well I learned that the relationship is quite single sided when it comes to affection, attention, effort, etc.I stopped to run after her when she gave me the ST. I became more assertive but as well at times judgmental, resentful, etc. 2019 my wife found that I was in a Facebook group about narcissism and that I talked to other people about our issues. Both, she considered as a major breach of trust. I understand her anger and apologized. Since this time, she is totally withdrawn, stone-walls me, conversations are just functional, etc. I constantly tried to reconnect but without success. She just does not open up. If I ask I get just a simple "All OK". I went for counseling twice and both counselors confirm that she seems to be difficult (see below). I am at my wits end. The difficulties are one thing but the distance she creates kills me. Any advice?

G.P Unsure how to share with my partner/am I selfish?
  • replies: 14

Hello! Unsure how to explainthis, but wanted to get it off my chest. I've been with my partner for 6 yrs, we've been engaged & living together for 6 mos. It’s the first time we're living together properly. Understandably there are things we're still ... View more

Hello! Unsure how to explainthis, but wanted to get it off my chest. I've been with my partner for 6 yrs, we've been engaged & living together for 6 mos. It’s the first time we're living together properly. Understandably there are things we're still learning & it's tough! Lately, we've been arguing a lot about sharing, specifically a car. He recently left his job which provided him with a company car, his new job doesn't. I have a car that I don't use often (driving anxiety, another discussion), but was unwilling to share until I was convinced by him. His point was that throughout the relationship he’s given, sacrificed & invested in our relationship, & that it should be simple for me to share & help him out easily. In truth, he has. By nature, he's a giver, generous & willing to help me, & at times he goes above & beyond. However his weakness is struggling to ask for help, & my weakness is struggling to give help easily. So by him asking for help, it was a big deal. His currency is giving, & he felt betrayed & extremely hurt because I was unwilling to help him for 1 yr to use the car, since he views it as an item that shouldn't have more value than him. That wasn't my intention, I can't pinpoint exactly why I was unwilling to share. He's a good driver, & he's given a lot. I think I felt as though he assumed that he had the right to use it w/out it being an issue for me despite him giving so much? Also sometimes I place sentimental connections to certain items without realising. I don't know. I was also worried about the logistics, finances (the new job pays him less, but guarantees him a qualification, we're planning a wedding for next yr) with one car between us. He'll split petrol use, rego, servicing, so I'm unsure why it's hard for me. Maybe because I feel that the car is mine, & I can't let that go even if he's contributing to costs? I get paranoid seeing the odometer go up, I know it's silly, even if that's what cars are for. I know I've also given a lot in this relationship, & it's been hard for me too. I know I don't give as easily & freely as he does, so am I selfish? Am I not being a good partner? The situation was kind of resolved, but I don't feel ok. The semi resolved solution= he'll get a new car in a yr, when he's got more money, as it's been guaranteed by his employer that he'll get a pay bump (he negotiated it during contract signing), & that we'll split maintenance costs. How can I feel less resentful towards this?

splodge Adoption is a curse
  • replies: 41

I have always been depressed. I think of myself as a normal person but then I get a sickening jolt and realise that I am not. I blame this on being adopted. I was adopted as a baby in 1971 in London. Times were harsh I think for young women in that p... View more

I have always been depressed. I think of myself as a normal person but then I get a sickening jolt and realise that I am not. I blame this on being adopted. I was adopted as a baby in 1971 in London. Times were harsh I think for young women in that period. The sexual liberation of the 60s had come in but contraception was newfangled and abortion still illegal. It was also unacceptable for women to have children outside of wedlock. The result was a boom in illegitimate babies. Nowadays the norm is for open adoptions. This means that although the adoptive parents are the legal parents of the baby, that baby has full rights to know about it's biological parents. When I was adopted things were a lot more restricted and biological mothers and babies were estranged from each other. This seems completely twisted today but that was the reality. Not only that but the adoptive parents were never educated in any way to provide the support that an adopted child should have. The result for me was that I have had a really unhappy life. That is despite having prosperous, well educated and conscientious adoptive parents. Despite that seemingly advantageous beginning my life has always been wrong somehow. I have always been emotionally disturbed from a young age. I was obsessed as a child with "dreaming" . This dominated my young life and involved galloping up and down the room and living in a fantasy world. I also used to make little "spots" with cushions - places I tried to feel calm and safe. I was angry and destructive as a child and would throw away my birthday and Christmas presents. I loathed my birthdays. I tore up and threw away any photos with me in them. Adolescence was absolute hell. I had functioned well socially until then but then I realised something was wrong. I was unable to form relationships. My friends developed normally. They progressed into adulthood to sex, girlfriends, wives, careers and so on. I have never progressed past this point. I forced myself in my mid 20s to form relationships but it didn't work out well. I backed off in my late 20s to my lasting regret. I have now lived without any sex, love or intimacy for over 15 years. I have a postgraduate degree but unlike all my friends who have professional middle class jobs I have always lived on the margins. Now in middle age I realise that I am a really sick person.