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

Meaning1 Abusive sister
  • replies: 5

Hi there, am new to this forum and this is my first post. I’m 46, male, professional and have several older siblings (all female). Over the last 20 or so years, I’ve had a very difficult relationship with one of my siblings - specifically when I want... View more

Hi there, am new to this forum and this is my first post. I’m 46, male, professional and have several older siblings (all female). Over the last 20 or so years, I’ve had a very difficult relationship with one of my siblings - specifically when I want to discuss something of importance (eg her contributing to my elderly fathers expenses) or even politely declining a request to do something for her or comply in some way- is met with one of two responses and that is aggression (usually over text messages, or hanging up during a phone conversation) to ghosting or completely ignoring me altogether, at times for months on end. After taking several months off from the relationship, I reached out and told her why I had not been in contact (for the above stated reasons) and suggested that the only way forward for me would be to attend one or more counselling sessions together, which I would gladly pay for. Her response to this was something along the lines of - we are both adults and surely can work it out without a psychologist. That my feelings deserve to be validated etc etc and she’s happy to meet for a coffee. The issue I have is that we have tried this before and nary do I receive any acknowledgement from her that she has done the wrong thing or behaved inappropriately. Essentially she is self righteous and rarely apologies for anything she may or may not have done. I told her that we’ve tried doing this without help before and it hasn’t worked so unfortunately for me having a psychologist or mediator was the only way forward and to let me know if she changes her mind. Her response was “well, we will just have to agree to disagree.. let me know if you change your mind”. I think her response says it all and proves my point that coming to any kind of resolution is impossible without some “help”. I don’t intend to respond now. It’s her bday next week and I don’t intend on contacting her. I find her to be mean and quite vindictive.

Guest_342 Overwhelmed
  • replies: 3

I recently posted about my situation, having just had my interstate partner move in with me. You all gave me varied but amazing perspectives and suggestions. In the three or so weeks since, I'm becoming overwhelmed and irritable. I feel like my mind ... View more

I recently posted about my situation, having just had my interstate partner move in with me. You all gave me varied but amazing perspectives and suggestions. In the three or so weeks since, I'm becoming overwhelmed and irritable. I feel like my mind has closed down the idea of letting it flourish and I fear I'll never develop feelings of love for him. I told my mum and she wants only the best for me but thought it's possibly something I need to wait out for a month or two longer because it's probably unfair to take any actions so soon after his relocation. I see the sense in that but it does draw out my grief. I'm going through a tough time at work - there's a great deal of change and uncertainty going on and quite a number will be made redundant. My position is safe for now, but the morale is just rock bottom. Some people might struggle to find other work and I am also worried I'll lose some treasured colleagues. It's just not going to be the same again for a long time or ever. I've been there 13 years and we've been through some ups and downs like this before but never this widespread and so directly impacting my team. There are some people who I suspect may be at greatest risk of not retaining their jobs and they have mortgages - I just worry so much for them.

Ashii Difficulty supporting family members
  • replies: 2

I come from a family with a lot of complex trauma and mental ill health. I also suffer from the impact of trauma. I’ve been supporting my family members, and more specifically, one of my siblings for a year or so. They’ve recently been diagnosed with... View more

I come from a family with a lot of complex trauma and mental ill health. I also suffer from the impact of trauma. I’ve been supporting my family members, and more specifically, one of my siblings for a year or so. They’ve recently been diagnosed with several mental illnesses and have difficulty with attachment. I’ve been working with them to gain more independence so that they can rely more on them self when I’m not around. It’s worked to a point, but I feel like we’re constantly going backwards in progress lately and I’m honestly really struggling mentally. I don’t have my own space anymore and I’m often having to prioritise their mental health over my income and education. It’s not their fault and I would never blame them for it, but I’m so tired and there’s no rest in sight. I try to have conversations about behaviours and it ends badly no matter how I try to word it. If I get upset after my sibling accidentally hurts me, they get angry. I’m constantly being physically touched without my consent (hugging and play fighting) and when things go wrong, I have to deal with the consequences. Daily conversation is like walking on eggshells and when other family say the wrong thing I have to support my sibling alone through an attempt or self harm. My other family members actively avoid interacting with them if it means they have to be alone with them or when they’re having a bad time and I’m often told ‘you don’t want to help me because you can’t deal with me’ by my sibling. It feels like every time I have to go in for work they work them self up to a point of having a bad episode of mental health and often talk about attempts or self harm when I return. if there’s any general advice or places to get support as a caregiver of family members with mental ill health that would be great.

Denham123 I want to leave my husband of 9 years but I just don’t follow it through. What’s wrong with me?
  • replies: 11

I married this man in my early 30s, it was an arranged marriage where I was given the option to go ahead or not with the marriage. We have had lots of opportunities to break this marriage off but just don’t want to do it. Now we have a beautiful hous... View more

I married this man in my early 30s, it was an arranged marriage where I was given the option to go ahead or not with the marriage. We have had lots of opportunities to break this marriage off but just don’t want to do it. Now we have a beautiful house without any children. My husband cries poor every time he’s paying bills. I stopped working in 2021 when I got sick. I was studying part time from 2014 but all the fighting throughout those years never got to finish it. So now that I’m 40, I told him, I’ve had enough. I’m not going to work anymore and focus on myself. I gave him permanent residency, and he’s now a citizen. I helped him buy a brand new car, and I also helped him build a brand new car. It’s now me time. He’s mum is like oh you should go back to work so that you can pay the mortgage. I told her straight away now that I’m 40 I feel like I’m entitled to speak my mind now. I think I have nothing to lose so don’t really care about other peoples feelings anymore. Told her to piss off as it’s now me time. Your useless son wanted a house, now he’s got it. I didnot want the house, I was not ready. He’s the most useless man I have ever come across in my entire life and I’ve had enough. He’s a good for. Thing piece of dirt. He puts everything on me to make decisions with the house, yet cries poor now that he’s managing the mortgage on his own. He can’t even build a deck. I have frozen shoulder after I got sick last year and I am getting better, but it’s slow. All he thinks about is finishing the landscape right in the middle of my final exams. I had to defer first time already as I got so sick of the stress from this new house and uni isn’t easy when you are studying engineering. I have several times thought of committing suicide, but in the end he’s going to win. I’m getting old, I’m exhausted and have a flu right now. I told myself this is the last time I’m sacrificing my uni time. I just don’t know how to leave this marriage. I have used up my egg nest that I saved to escape from him. So I’m stuck in this brand new house with my name on this stupid mortgage. I’m not even contributing to this mortgage.

infodsagar Unable to continue
  • replies: 3

We are together for more than 5 years. Bit of background. We came here as student from overseas. I don't have family here. She does have her brother not far from our place. We met in Uni. and after 1 year of live-in relation married here in Australia... View more

We are together for more than 5 years. Bit of background. We came here as student from overseas. I don't have family here. She does have her brother not far from our place. We met in Uni. and after 1 year of live-in relation married here in Australia. Took me a while to convince my parents for the decision. Since beginning she has anger issues and I have tries too many times to get a divorce or separation. She gets angry on trivial issue (at-least seems to me). Once I accidentally left my socks with her laundry and we fought for all day. Last 5 years was really rough. I lost my all friends, relatives in Australia. She is not happy to go out with her friends as she says you are enough for me I don't need anyone else. If I ask to go out with friends of family she stops me by accusing I don't love her, I don't care for her and I always priorities other on top of her. Even if I manage to go out and come late despite informing her always have day long arguments when I come home so I no longer go out without her. It is always me who do maintain lawn, vacuum, mop, dishes, cooking, shopping, taking out bins and so forth. Asked her once to give a hand in house chores but her replay was I am your wife not maid. In terms of finance I never took day off even if I am sick. She sent cash to her parents but I never opposed. (Tried but doesn't work). Recently I ask her that I am going for a drink with my male co-worker. Her response was come home I am finishing work early and can't be home alone. I was so tired of controlling behavior and went for the drink anyway. Since then I am sleeping in different room and not had normal conversation. Last week I tried to behave normal bring her food and had dinner together. She was happy for sometime. On the same night we went to bed but after sometime she wake me up again that how can I fall sleep without making sure she is sleeping or not. She believes I should be with her 24/7 and look after her all the time. Every time I take the initiative she keeps crying and her parents keep emotionally pushing me to stay with her. I have moved out and living separately for one week. I don't know what to do.

cloclo heart broken - boyfriend trying to find online girls
  • replies: 2

Hi, 4 months ago i saw that my boyfriend was talking to people online. i have been dating him for two years this weekend. I thought nothing of it. Fast forward to yesterday where i figured out he had been trying to find online cam/naked girls. I conf... View more

Hi, 4 months ago i saw that my boyfriend was talking to people online. i have been dating him for two years this weekend. I thought nothing of it. Fast forward to yesterday where i figured out he had been trying to find online cam/naked girls. I confronted him. he lied at first then admitted. He knew this would hurt me however he did it because he thought i wouldn't find out. His words to me. I feel so heart broken to know that he has treated me this way. He would be so disgusted if i had ever done anything like this to him. I have expressed all of my feelings and hurt. He seems heart broken that he himself did this to us too. But i just don't know what to believe. i know deep down i know he wouldn't have stopped if he 1- found a girl online and 2- didn't get caught. He is a good man and i know it. I never in a million years thought that he could do something like this. But how well do i even truly know him if this is what he does behind my back? I need to make a decision on if this is a step in our relationship by setting boundaries and waking him up from his childish behaviours. Or if i am wasting my time trying to fix a man who is going to break my heart and leave me feeling dumb. Other than this instance, i feel our relationship is good, we hardly ever argue, we respected each-other and we worked as a team. This is why i am so lost in this situation. I have never been truely in love before. He is my absolute world and he knows it. I feel like i am choosing between my self and the person i love.

Bincle My 9 year old son is giving up with life….
  • replies: 9

I have a 9 year old boy who is depressed and I’m devastated and heartbroken for him. He’s our third child and well loved by his family, including my parents that live on the same block. He’s a little overweight and we’ve just discovered that he’s bee... View more

I have a 9 year old boy who is depressed and I’m devastated and heartbroken for him. He’s our third child and well loved by his family, including my parents that live on the same block. He’s a little overweight and we’ve just discovered that he’s been bullied at school. This year has been particularly difficult for us, he was the first in the family to get Covid and literally thought he was going to die from it, then our community was flooded and we were without power for days. Pretty traumatic for a little kid! He’s always played sports and loves rugby but was badly injured and is now too afraid to continue. All year we’ve had problems getting him to school, probably having a day off each week and we didn’t really understand why, but just last week he completely broke down. He started by saying that he didn’t want to be alive anymore, he just wants to go to heaven. Then he told me he hates going to school because everyone is mean to him. He said that he’s tired of trying to swallow the lump in his throat every day- trying not to cry in front of the other kids. We tried to get him help with the school counsellor after the floods when he was having nightmares but they’ve never had a session. We’ve found another school for him to start at next term, which he’s happy/relieved about but says he doesn’t want to see a counsellor- he just wants to talk to me. His dad is loving and supportive but I know he feels way out of his depth. I work in mental health, and have dealt with my own depression as well as our older son who has ADHD. But this feels so awful I’m struggling with feeling helpless but needing to be strong and patient and loving. I’m so sad for him and after he’s cried to me and I’ve consoled him I just break down myself. I just never dreamt that my 9 yr old could feel so desperately sad I’m trying my hardest to help but I’m not sure what or how I can do better and I just want to take his pain away! Sad mum

lostmum1234 Potential separation/divorce with a 5 month old
  • replies: 3

Seeking advice on where/what to do for help and guidance for leaving my marriage. My baby is 5 months old and I am leaving due to alcohol abuse. He is a fantastic father but J have out up with this far too long, and now choices he is making is puttin... View more

Seeking advice on where/what to do for help and guidance for leaving my marriage. My baby is 5 months old and I am leaving due to alcohol abuse. He is a fantastic father but J have out up with this far too long, and now choices he is making is putting her at risk. We own a home together, I am currently on maternity leave, we have minimal savings as we allocated it to allow me to be a stay at home mum. I am at a complete and utter loss as to how to navigate this. I am devastated we have been together 13 years. If he can’t change for his daughter, what will? I love him but I love our daughter more.

batticus Relationship with a covert narcissist - any advice/options?
  • replies: 17

I have been with my girlfriend for 5 years now. Despite everything I love her dearly. She is incredibly charming, attractive and intelligent. I was (and in ways still am) hooked. What I found though was only a month or so into the relationship things... View more

I have been with my girlfriend for 5 years now. Despite everything I love her dearly. She is incredibly charming, attractive and intelligent. I was (and in ways still am) hooked. What I found though was only a month or so into the relationship things changed. I've had a long battle with anti-depressants - they caused all sorts of issues, unfortunately some in the bedroom. My GF took this extremely personally, I was yelled and screamed at on more than one occasion despite my best efforts to try and reassure her it wasn't her fault. This manifested into a sexless relationship - I would guess we have had sex a dozen times maybe in the 5 years we've been together. We express intimacy in other ways which is fine but there's problems there. We have only just started sorting through this but it's a case of going one step forwards, two steps back. I have what I consider to be a normal libido, hers is extremely low. The issue is even the slightest hint of criticism causes here to react severely. I look back on the last 5 years and realise I've been treading on eggshells for a big part of that time. It's preventing us from working through issues in the relationship. Whenever there is an issue, I end up being the one to apologise - it's the easiest way to keep the peace. The way she treats me varies widely. Sometimes she is very affectionate and warm, other times extremely cold and silent. If I try and talk to her when in a bad mood, in the past it has caused a full blown tantrum. I used to think it was my fault. I started bending over backwards to try and make her feel better, I thought I wasn't good enough. I figured if I work hard enough I'll make her happy and things will be better. There's so much more I could write about but I'm running out of space. I'm exhausted at times and I get little to no support from her in any of my own pursuits or interests. I have depression and anxiety and again I get very little support from her. She asks how I am going but I can tell she isn't actually interested. I've been reading about narcissists, particularly covert narcissists. Just going through the checklist of common traits... it's describing my GF perfectly. It explains so much. She has no friends, often puts people off-side, and in many ways is very selfish. She is always the victim, even when it's obvious she was the one at fault. Has anyone got experience with covert narcissists? Is there things I can do to help? Or am I stuck? I would be so grateful for any advice.

BeniScott Sexless relationship.
  • replies: 4

Hi all, so as the title suggests I'm currently in a sexless relationship. So I (22m) and my partner (22f) have been together for close to four years now, and for the past 17 months we haven't been intimate once. By intimate I mean any all all forms o... View more

Hi all, so as the title suggests I'm currently in a sexless relationship. So I (22m) and my partner (22f) have been together for close to four years now, and for the past 17 months we haven't been intimate once. By intimate I mean any all all forms or sex, including foreplay. I also receive very few forms of physical affection that I enjoy, to the extent of barely being hugged, kissed, or even holding hands. Now my partner is fully aware that I'm very much not enjoying the lack of intimacy. She had a very traumatic previous relationship where physical affection and intimacy was used as a punishment, manipulation and was sexually absued. I had a very similar experience in my previous relationship as well so I can completely understand where she is comming form. She is currently is seeing a counsler to assist with dealing with the trauma she suffered. Just to be crystal clear, I know that she is faithfull, and wouldn't do anything like that and I DONT WANT TO LEAVE HER. It's just been a long four years of near neglect of my physical needs. I'm just looking for a bit of support.