Relationship and family issues

Anything to do with managing relationships and family, including parenting, separation, loneliness, divorce, family and friendships.

FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Pinned discussions

Dr_Kim Understanding feelings of rejection. 
  • replies: 38

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like los... View more

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like loss and grief. You can’t have the good bits without sometimes experiencing the bad, it’s just the way it is! So we all need to develop ways of managing the difficult emotions that rejection throws up. Lets think about what those thoughts or emotions might be. Here’s some examples. 1. “I’m not good enough” This is a common one. It’s so easy for us to see what we think are faults and think that others can see them too and convince ourselves that these faults make us unlovable. These thoughts are often on replay from a nasty part of our brain, that low self-esteem part that makes us believe that unless we are “perfect”, we cannot possibly be loved or accepted. The honest truth is that we are all just imperfect passengers on the"bus of life”, doing the best we can with whatever we can in the moment! So welcome on board. Brene Brown has some wonderful YouTube videos about this, I'm going to share one below however also recommend you check out her channel as there are many more! 2. "Nobody will ever love me”. This is a very common thought and it comes from the anxious part of our brains that also seems to have a crystal ball! The anxiety centre seems to think it has very good predictive powers but it is a trap and don’t listen to it! It’s a complete and utter lie that anxiety often tells us. 3. “I’ve ruined the ‘perfect relationship’, now what?” Sometimes this is a stage of grief. Often, when we are grieving a loss, we go through a phase of idealising. Things like “it was perfect” are common because it conveniently erases all the things that weren’t that you don’t want to deal with. For example: I see this sometimes with patients who had terrible relationships with their family members and complain bitterly for years, and then once they pass away, the grief allows them to only seem to recall the wonderful times. In some ways, it a blessing, but it can mean in some situations that the hindsight is not always accurate. I also think that in viewing the relationship in an idealised way prevents any real opportunity to learn and grow from it. We can all gain from understanding how we went wrong in experiences so that we don’t repeat the same unintended mistakes. In summary, rejection is a common and necessary part of being in the game of life. To not be in the game because of fear would be a huge shame . Life is too short not to experience the many wonderful emotions that come from being ourselves. In Brene Brown's language: it’s important not to spend your time walking around the arena of life waiting to feel perfect so you won’t be rejected. Just kick the door down and step in and don’t let the critics get you down.

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

ruiner_misery Marriage feels like it’s over
  • replies: 3

The past 2 years had been rough for me. I went through 4 miscarriages and an IVF cycle, fell pregnant and had a baby. Not only was my hormones all over, I was in a very dark place. I’m my family lives in another country, I migrated to Australia to be... View more

The past 2 years had been rough for me. I went through 4 miscarriages and an IVF cycle, fell pregnant and had a baby. Not only was my hormones all over, I was in a very dark place. I’m my family lives in another country, I migrated to Australia to be with my now husband. Today was the worst day of my marriage. My husband told me I cause 99% of his misery, I am a waste of his time, and I’ve ruined his life. I am very hurt by what he said and have no idea how to move on from what he said. He’s apologized n said he exaggerated a little ( always saying that), but I know he meant it somehow. What do I do?

Gracie_Lou Struggling to understanding feelings about partner
  • replies: 4

I moved to nsw from qld right before lockdown last year. Began working at a toxic workenviroment and thankfully met a lovely human who became my partner very quickly. I was doing over 60+ hours a week during lockdown and it affected me so much. I bec... View more

I moved to nsw from qld right before lockdown last year. Began working at a toxic workenviroment and thankfully met a lovely human who became my partner very quickly. I was doing over 60+ hours a week during lockdown and it affected me so much. I became very depressed until I quit my job recently and I went back to Queensland without giving my partner an explanation really. During our relationship I went from feeling so in love to wanting to break up with him by the flock of a switch. I had never experienced mood swing before but i was just scared of myself and how i was feeling so much hate towards him. I truly do not know if I want to breakup with him or not. I do not know if it may have something to do with me being used to toxic relationships and this is the first good one I've become bored or selfconcious or what. I feel sick constantly and cry all the time mostly due to frustration of I don't know how I feel or what I want. I truly feel so lost but like I want to be single and have no restrictions to what job I could have in the future and go anywhere and do anything but I have this horrible feeling if knowing i may never find another person like him and how much my partner loves me and I do love him but love just doesn't feel like enough sometimes because we are very similar in alot of ways but very different in others. I have all these doubts but haven't bothered talking to him about it or given him the chance to change the things that bother me. It's like I've been self sabotaging our relationship and I truly do not know what I want. I've just been walking around with this pain in my chest for about six months going from feeling truly hurt and miserable and restricted to a switch being flipped when I am with him and I feel like I love him so much. I'm constantly confused and tired and sick of it.

Clover9312 Dealing with being ghosted
  • replies: 8

I’ve been doing a lot of self work since 2020, consistently going to therapy etc, but some days I feel like I’m failing. I felt that I was finally ready to start dating again. But online dating has just sucked.I’m very social and always out. It’s har... View more

I’ve been doing a lot of self work since 2020, consistently going to therapy etc, but some days I feel like I’m failing. I felt that I was finally ready to start dating again. But online dating has just sucked.I’m very social and always out. It’s harder than people think to meet new people in person. I went on a date last weekend that I thought went well. I felt really at ease and I even felt myself breaking away from some patterns. He asked if he could kiss me at the end of the night. We were texting after and he initiated the first message and said it was so nice to meet me. He then disappeared. He got in contact a day later and apologised, saying that the friend he was with the night before our date had tested positive to covid. He said that he had been having heavy symptoms and was waiting for a PCR result. He was worried that he passed it to me, because he knows that I have a big event that I’m looking forward to this week.He tested negative but kept telling me that he felt crook and stopped replying. I haven’t heard from him since last Thursday. I have logged onto the app again to see that he has updated his profile. He definitely updated it after Thursday, as I am ashamed to say that I checked a couple of times. That stung. I’m aware that we are not exclusive after one date and can still be seeing other people. But he just dropped contact. He had kissed me at the end of the date and even added me on Instagram. Why do guys do this?People say ghosting happens to everyone. I thought all of my self work would help me deal with this, but I’m feeling so horrible. I also hate the expression “he’s just not that into you”. It puts so many heavy feelings onto someone and doesn’t even address any level of accountability from the other person. He said he wanted to go out again and It was implied that he was too sick and would be in touch when better. I’m sorry, but it feels a little garbage to me.

Strawbs101 My husband is an alcoholic
  • replies: 11

Hi everyone, this is my first post. I'm feeling really lost at the moment. I’ve been with my husband since we were 18, I’m now 43. We have 3 kids. he has been a functioning alcoholic for many of those years. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t drink. w... View more

Hi everyone, this is my first post. I'm feeling really lost at the moment. I’ve been with my husband since we were 18, I’m now 43. We have 3 kids. he has been a functioning alcoholic for many of those years. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t drink. we’ve argued about it for years, nothing changes. last October, on one particular night after months of him becoming more angry & verbally abusive in front of the kids, I told him to leave after a few days we talked & decided we needed to give it everything we’ve got before we end things. So he came back home agreed to go to couplescounselling. I didn’t ask him to quit drinking outright, I think part of me was scared of the answer & the other part wanted to believe him when he said he could cut right back. The counsellor suggested setting up a agreement as to how much he drank. the agreement was no beer before 3.30pm & max 6 per day. I let him choose the amount. I thought it was still a lot he assured me it was much less than before. I think he was having between 12-18 per day & more on weekends cause he’d start at like 11am. He was good for about a week then went over maybe 2 or 3. I felt so let down when he was having more. He thought I was being ‘over the top & controlling’. Over time it gradually got back to where it was. Then we’d fight, then he’d cut back again then the same cycle over & over…. The week days aren’t too bad, mainly because he is working more so getting home later but weekends are a right off. He’s drunk Fri night then starts early Saturday & Sunday. He makes sure he does some mowing or something to justify cracking a beer so early. When I ask him to cut back he thinks I’m trying to control him. He thinks if he’s not yelling & carrying on there’s no problem with him being drunk. He admits he is an alcoholic but doesn’t think he needs to do anything about it. I think I’ve been living on hope for so long because when he’s sober he’s great & I do love that version of him but this other guy that comes out when he drinks is a complete a**hole. I worry about the effect on my kids. I feel like I’ve been riding this roller coaster for the past few years & I’m over it. I want peace. i think deep down I know he won’t stop. No matter how much I ask, he won’t. so I guess the question is do I walk away or stay….. thanks for listening. I would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been in a similar situation

Alison_M Is going on porn sites and paying women to perform for you, cheating?
  • replies: 11

My husband and I were married 10 year's when I opened the drawer in our ensuites vanity unit to find a used comdom on top of a porn magazine. When I approached him, he said it was my fault as I no longer looked as good as I once did. We argued about ... View more

My husband and I were married 10 year's when I opened the drawer in our ensuites vanity unit to find a used comdom on top of a porn magazine. When I approached him, he said it was my fault as I no longer looked as good as I once did. We argued about it and talked tried again but slowly he stopped wanting sex with me. Then just a couple of days before my 53rd birthday and 6 months after our 20 year anniversary (which he refused to be sexually intimate), a message came into our email address for an interactive porn website. When I asked him about it he just said yeah so what! I then looked into it more and found out he'd been paying over 60 different 18 to 20 year Olds to perform sexual acts for him. He even done it on our 20 year wedding anniversary and my birthday, as he'd been paying them for over 18 months. He said well you don't look anything like you did when we meet, you're to fat to love now! I need a new hip, have 3 pinched nerves in my back, plus over 6 damaged disc's, arthritis in every joint but I have never said no to intimacy. Due to all my injuries I have put weight on but I'm not obese or anything, I am obviously over 20 years older but he has put on slot of weight, as he broke his back 4 months after we were married so I had to be his nurse for year's. Can anyone give me some advice, as I really don't know what to do! Some say there's nothing wrong with what his done as it's not cheating. Also it worries me as they are all over 35 years younger than him.

24yearoldgirl Hello
  • replies: 18

Hi all, I've been here before, but don't post very often. Same story; I've been a carer from a young age due to my mum's head injury.. I'm re-enrolled to study in July, very soon, I'm close to booking flights and sorting out accommodation for myself.... View more

Hi all, I've been here before, but don't post very often. Same story; I've been a carer from a young age due to my mum's head injury.. I'm re-enrolled to study in July, very soon, I'm close to booking flights and sorting out accommodation for myself. I'd be moving town to study and work and leaving my mum behind on a single payment (dsp). No-one seems to care much, not even my aunty, about the fact that if I leave, my mum will be homeless. We have always shared rent and expenses together, I'm now going on 26 years old. There is minimal housing available, she's not interested in share-houses and the cost of tent site is up to $50 a day. I wonder what my life would have looked like, if not having been a carer, or what it will continue to be if I don't pack and leave this situation. I am genuinely concerned about how my mother will cope on her own, with an acquired brain injury. She's not physically disabled, but she does have many health problems, and she is incapable of working due to her health. What do you think, honest opinions appreciated

Qball66 My wife hates me.
  • replies: 7

My wife of 20 years hates me ( she told me ). I love her dearly and always will. I have my faults and I'm not perfect - but I've been a good provider for my family and always treated them with love and respect. I'm feeling powerless and depressed and... View more

My wife of 20 years hates me ( she told me ). I love her dearly and always will. I have my faults and I'm not perfect - but I've been a good provider for my family and always treated them with love and respect. I'm feeling powerless and depressed and don't know what to say or do. I'm not suicidal, but I feel that I'm starting to spiral out of control and don't know where to turn next.I adore her and would love to be able to find the girl I married 20 years ago

Lost not found Insecurities and intrusive thoughts in my relationship
  • replies: 3

Hi, TLDR: My insecurities and intrusive thoughts make my new relationship hard (at least in my head). My partner and I have been together for just over a year now, and I’m struggling with some of my own insecurities and trust issues. My partner has a... View more

Hi, TLDR: My insecurities and intrusive thoughts make my new relationship hard (at least in my head). My partner and I have been together for just over a year now, and I’m struggling with some of my own insecurities and trust issues. My partner has a lot of friends and people that he talks to and I don’t have any issues with that at all. It’s mainly the thought of him cheating on me that upsets me, which comes from my last relationship (yay). I’m trying not to bring any of it up because we have been doing really good so far and I don’t want to accuse him of anything he hasn’t done. We’ve had little talks here and there and each time they’ve ending with us in agreement that we’re okay and nothings wrong, but give it month and it’s back to brainstorming all the ways I’m going to be hurt. Obviously I don’t want my insecurities to ruin anything, especially if I assume the worst in my head and then I’m wrong and then it turns to shit.Little things only feed the thought, like sometimes I feel like I’m a second thought in his head. Sometimes when we’re hanging out I’ll have to repeat myself or just sit there in silence as I wait for him to stop texting someone on his phone, for him to be like “sorry what did you say?”. Usually I just repeat what I said and it’s fine, but for the 1-2 seconds where there’s no response I find myself thinking “what’s the point then?” Like why are we hanging out if you’re not interested? And his usual response if I bring it up is something like “yeah I was getting there”. It upsets me that I just can’t trust him 100%, that there will always be an intrusive thought or something that makes me believe otherwise, no matter how much he proves to me that he’s faithful. It’s almost like I’m trying to sabotage myself while also clinging to whatever non self-deprecating thought I have. Thanks, J

BrightStar1 Emotionally exhausted by my partner's ex wife behaviour
  • replies: 2

My partner and I have been together many years now. We both met after our marriages had ended and have started our new chapter of life. There are children involved and I do believe I/ we have created a solid relationship. At no stage have I ever said... View more

My partner and I have been together many years now. We both met after our marriages had ended and have started our new chapter of life. There are children involved and I do believe I/ we have created a solid relationship. At no stage have I ever said anything hateful or mean about the biological mother in front of them. And that has been difficult! I have endured negative messages from her on social media ( she is now blocked), when the children where younger they would repeat what she said- degrading me as a person and how I was negatively impacting their lives. I would be constantly questioned by one child about all of my actions and questions asked that were coming from an adult, as a child wouldn't phrase them in such a way.On the whole I do not blame my partner for his ex. She is his ex for a reason and I believe that he was there longer in the marriage because of the children. I do think she does not like the version of her ex husband now he is with me. I am very kind, caring and work through issues and try to engage my partner in the same manner when we have problems especially in front of the children. This is very different to the yelling and screaming matches which they were used to. They are seeing their Dad actually be happy.There has been a very lengthy legal battle of finances and divorce. After witnessing this, I think that his ex may have narcissistic tendencies - including the sense of entitlement, need for attention, blaming etc. The one constant issue is now the children.The first verbal arrangement was told to him - at this stage, he kept the peace and went along with it so the divorce etc could be finished. Fast forward some years now, work conditions have changed for her. She is refusing to let him have the children one extra night per week (which would benefit her), but still wants them back after dinner one of the nights, so that it doesn't interrupt her child support payments.She refused on multiple times to discuss care arrangements with outside agencies. Taking this further to court would end up being expensive and she would want to keep fighting until the very end.She is not wanting an arrangement where they do not see each other at all. The pick up/ drop off would be via school. She wants control over him so he can be waiting in a public space at her mercy as to when she will arrive. At times she is up to 45mins late

Cleobyb72 I want out of my marriage
  • replies: 4

Hi. I'm 50 years old and I am desperately unhappy. I've repeatedly tried to save my marriage by suggesting counselling but my husband isn't interested. We live in separate areas of our house, have separate bedrooms and frankly my only function is to ... View more

Hi. I'm 50 years old and I am desperately unhappy. I've repeatedly tried to save my marriage by suggesting counselling but my husband isn't interested. We live in separate areas of our house, have separate bedrooms and frankly my only function is to be his cook and cleaner. We share no intimacy, which in part is due to my PTSD from being a child abuse survivor. I'm so unhappy, I just want to have the chance to try and start a new life and enjoy life while I still can. I know that divorce will not be received well so I've held off for way too long, but I can't do the marriage anymore-I need out.