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.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Pinned discussions

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

kiwiboy0897 Should I Stay?
  • replies: 3

Hello, I have been in a long-term relationship for almost 3 years now. However, there have been lingering doubts about my relationship which come and go. My partner is very genuine, honest and supportive. He is a really great guy, but there is a part... View more

Hello, I have been in a long-term relationship for almost 3 years now. However, there have been lingering doubts about my relationship which come and go. My partner is very genuine, honest and supportive. He is a really great guy, but there is a part of me which wants more in a relationship. We have identified these things and discussed them together. We’ve been trying to work on them, but I still feel the same way. I am afraid that this feeling will not subside, and I would rather let him go and allow us both to move on rather than continue to string him along. To some extent, I am worried that I am settling. There’s so much in my relationship which I value, but some of my needs aren’t being met. There has also been someone who has recently come into my life who I feel has intensified these feelings and made me realise these things even more. These doubts were always there, but I kind of brushed them off. Now, they are not passing by. Thank you in advance for your comments and contributions.

No_Sunshine_Left____ I'm such a bad wife....
  • replies: 5

We moved from Vic to Qld to be closer to family and left all our friends behind. We had a fairly active social life with our friends before moving and it has been an aspect of us moving that both my husband and I sorely miss. In an attempt to make fr... View more

We moved from Vic to Qld to be closer to family and left all our friends behind. We had a fairly active social life with our friends before moving and it has been an aspect of us moving that both my husband and I sorely miss. In an attempt to make friends, I joined a chat site and was general chit chatting to a few people, male and female. One guy suggested we meet up and have a face to face chat (had been chatting for a few weeks at this stage and he played football at the same club as my husband). I didnt feel threatened or at risk when i met him in a local park. My husband was fully aware I was speaking with him but was asleep at the time I met him due to work the next day. I met this guy in the park and he is great, he is someone both my husband and I would be great friends with. As I was rounding up our conversation to head home after a really good first meet, he kissed me. I pulled away immediately and just looked at him. He tried a second time... and I let him this time. I discontinued speaking with this person and havent spoken with him since. I told my husband (honesty is important) and now we are extremely disconnected. My husband doesn't trust me (rightly so) and he cant even say he loves me anymore. We have been together for 15 years and married for 3 years. My husband is my world and I feel like I've broken him - well I know I have! Husband wont speak to me, he insists nothing is wrong, that all is well but its not, I can feel it. Should I leave my husband so he can be with someone more deserving? This would break my heart!! What advice can you guys offer me? I am not getting any emotional love from my husband, he is only interested in sexual love now and it makes me feel like a prostitute.

DirtGirl My Husband betrayed me - I'm still here but hurting
  • replies: 6

My husband betrayed me, not sure if it was a one-night stand or more. We are still together, as I made a commitment. I can't leave, I have nowhere to go, and can't afford to go. He won't talk about it, how I still feel. He walks off every time I brin... View more

My husband betrayed me, not sure if it was a one-night stand or more. We are still together, as I made a commitment. I can't leave, I have nowhere to go, and can't afford to go. He won't talk about it, how I still feel. He walks off every time I bring it up. I just feel so alone, and stumble through each day. He does say that he has tried everything to make me happy, but I am not. I've seen psychologists and a life coach. They helped in a lot of ways but I am still deeply hurt he could have done something like that. I'm in a place I never dreamed of being, and it's horrible. Any ideas of how I can move on, forward, and be happy again?

Dazedandconfused123 Married and falling for someone else
  • replies: 14

I've been with my husband for 20 years (since teenagers). We have a young child together. We've always been the bestest of friends (we were before dating) and had lots of fun together before children came along. However, sex has always been an issue ... View more

I've been with my husband for 20 years (since teenagers). We have a young child together. We've always been the bestest of friends (we were before dating) and had lots of fun together before children came along. However, sex has always been an issue for us. Lately we've been experiencing issues over the last year. More fights, as I guess we are exhausted and not as patient as we used to be. I'm not sure if the pandemic and lockdown exposed some side we weren't used to seeing, or the relentlessness of being parents is taking it's toll. I suppose have started to fall out of love with him. I have no desire to be intimate anymore. He was never one for cuddles or holding hands anyway. I've suggested counselling, which was met with 'i don't think it's needed'. Anyway, which leads me to my dilemma. I have recently become better friends with someone i work with, who I always admired but knew i couldnt 'go there'. But lately our friendship seems to of taken a flirty tone. We text a lot and have had some drinks together, where we just talked and talked and talked. I am falling for him and I don't know what to do. He is also married, so adds further complications to it. He also, might not even feel the same way. I sort of don't want to stop seeing my friend. I'm enjoying the thrill I suppose. I know I should be working on my marriage, but I feel like I'm done, especially seeing as husband doesn't seem to want to discuss with a counsellor. This took a lot to type out. Thank you for reading and any advice you can provide.

gloria10 Overbearing people
  • replies: 7

Hi all, Lately, I've been having some difficulty with my mother. Our relationship has always been a bit rocky, but these last couple of weeks have left me a bit exhausted; even yesterday, I just wanted a lie down during the day because I was spent. B... View more

Hi all, Lately, I've been having some difficulty with my mother. Our relationship has always been a bit rocky, but these last couple of weeks have left me a bit exhausted; even yesterday, I just wanted a lie down during the day because I was spent. Basically, if I go for an interview or start a new hobby, she wants to know every little detail and starts to make it, in some way, all about her. For example, I am due to be starting some volunteering, but if I decide not to go ahead with it, she'll get all angry and disappointed that I haven't followed through as if I've let her down rather than understanding my reason for not going ahead with it. There was a recent opportunity with work as well and she started to get carried away going 'oh and then if this happens, do this' and telling me how she thought the job would be when I haven't even got it. It ends up putting added pressure on me and I have tried to tell her, but she thinks she's putting the right amount of pressure on me, its very frustrating. I have thought about reducing contact with her because I am feeling exhausted. I guess I'd like some advice about how to deal with overbearing people, particularly when they hear what they want to, not what you are saying. Thanks, Gloria10

cattattoo Stepfather ruining mental health - move out or deal with it until uni degree is finished?
  • replies: 4

Hi guys. Context: parents divorced when I was 2, stayed with my mother, went no-contact with biological father 1 year ago (emotionally abusive). Mother has been with stepfather since I was 4, I grew up calling him 'dad'. I'm 19F (studying full time).... View more

Hi guys. Context: parents divorced when I was 2, stayed with my mother, went no-contact with biological father 1 year ago (emotionally abusive). Mother has been with stepfather since I was 4, I grew up calling him 'dad'. I'm 19F (studying full time). Many verbal fights between him and my mother over the years were about me, over irrelevant or insignificant things. I would be guilt tripped by him afterwards, being blamed as the cause of their fights, and reminded that I should be grateful that he paid for my schooling and other things because I 'would not have these things with my father' (who wasn't well off). Recently he got worse. Last year I got a tattoo. He wasn't impressed but shrugged it off. I got another one (but really it was the second half to the first) and he screamed about how ungrateful I was, disrespecting his personal values, how I was ruining my life, and that he would pull me out of my private school and send me to the local public school. I left and stayed at my friends for a week, eventually going home after being guilted by both parents (at no point did stepfather apologise for anything he said). Last week he yelled at me for turning the heater on when I was the only one home. This week, he yelled at me for having a messy room and for not paying for my own ice cream tub when I went to the shops with mum because I 'have my own money' (mind you, I have paid for household items in the past out of my own pocket with no arguments. I also offered to buy my own ice cream, mum said no). He seems to nitpick everything I do. I try not to leave my room (even if I am hungry) because the thought of seeing/talking to him makes me so anxious that I feel nauseous. I got diagnosed with anxiety and put on antidepressants in 2021 (which I am no longer on) and I have lost my access to a psychologist (the one I attended was at my school). It feels like every day spent in my house is degrading my mental health, to the point where i'm afraid my emotions might get out of control. I have tried many times to discuss things with him, with no results. Mum doesn't stand up for me in the moment, but talks with him afterwards. I am 1 trimester into my 3 year degree. I want to move out but accomodation is expensive and i'd have to get a new job. After my degree I will be moving for another course. Do I stay and walk on eggshells for 3 years, or move out and hope I can remain financially stable? - cattattoo (>'-'<)

Mumof_2 Confused in my marriage
  • replies: 5

If I completely honest with myself my marriage has always been a bit of a roller coaster. On some level I wonder if my husband has an undiagnosed mental health condition. He rides a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I wake up everyday no knowing what o... View more

If I completely honest with myself my marriage has always been a bit of a roller coaster. On some level I wonder if my husband has an undiagnosed mental health condition. He rides a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I wake up everyday no knowing what one I'm going to get. He is 16 years older than me and I have never really felt our age difference until recently. For a lot of it we have a lovely life, we have two beautiful children, we are relatively financially stable, we enjoy lots of adventure together as a family we have great friends. The hard part is we run a small business together, he hates it and puts so much pressure on myself, if things go wrong its my fault.. always, he can never apologise, he can't operate our business without me and I couldn't operate it without him. Recently the stress he places on me has me pretty much clutching at straws, I have imagined what life would be like without him and when I think about that I find a sense of calm within myself but at the same time I know he adores me and our kids and for me to make the decision to leave it would have a negative impact on everyone. In saying we are financially stable, we are but not so much if you were to split so everything would change, Is it worth it???????

Beaser Not sure about how to go about things.With my maybe ex.
  • replies: 7

Hi hope everyone is well I have recently broken up with my partner of approx 18 months.. I know that we had problems and she has so much in her life with a busy home life and elderly father to care for .We have both had our mental health and anxiety ... View more

Hi hope everyone is well I have recently broken up with my partner of approx 18 months.. I know that we had problems and she has so much in her life with a busy home life and elderly father to care for .We have both had our mental health and anxiety issues..We decided on a break about two weeks ago and i hadnt made contact untill i ran into her just randomly while i was at work 3 days ago . Now i find myself texting her and wanting to call her . People say i need to cut contact and make it a clean break but my heart and if im honest my loneliness gets the better of me . Maybe i need to leave it and see if she makes contact and she may respect me more . This with the anxiety of a possible change has me feeling like im falling .. Brett .

Lonely789 Help in making new friends
  • replies: 9

I really struggle to make new friends. I’m often on the side lines and won’t just walk up to people and start talking say at the gym or kids sports for example. I find it really hard to open up with people until I’ve gained their trust which is hard ... View more

I really struggle to make new friends. I’m often on the side lines and won’t just walk up to people and start talking say at the gym or kids sports for example. I find it really hard to open up with people until I’ve gained their trust which is hard for people to get to know me. We recently made a decision to move towns and have basically not heard from any of our closest friends since we let them know. They’ve basically skipped my birthday, sent messages and said they would come see me and weeks have past and no one came to see me. One even went as far to say well now you are moving we won’t see you any more I will not drive out of my way for anyone not even family so if you move away expect that. I’m totally gutted as I thought this was a close friend and someone I could trust and we have been completely dumped, just because we chose to do something that will be good for us but aren’t following the grain of these friendships. I miss having a friend that walks into your house and makes them self at home, these friends never did this so much but we had a lot of fun times together. How do you find that again as an adult?

MummaOf4 Depression in a new marriage
  • replies: 3

We have been together for 4 years and married for 2 months. While I do love him, I find it hard to be happy. I like meeting new people and creating friendships, he gets jealous and insecure. I feel like I can't even have a break without him having so... View more

We have been together for 4 years and married for 2 months. While I do love him, I find it hard to be happy. I like meeting new people and creating friendships, he gets jealous and insecure. I feel like I can't even have a break without him having something to complain about. I never have "me" time and when I try to, I feel guilty. I have no friends I can talk to about how I feel. We have 6 kids together and we don't get time to ourselves often. I don't even go out on my own. He is constantly picking a fight with my kids that live with us but such an angel to his kids. His mother hates me because I stand up for myself. I feel really alone and can't find someone I can confide in. I used to but she stabbed me in the back. We have a 2 year old son with a rare heart condition, he had 2 surgeries with another on the way. We have gone through that journey together as well. To be honest I have no idea how I'm feeling, it's a mix of everything and I just don't know what to do anymore.