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.

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shanna_d Family issues/brother’s GF
  • replies: 2

Today was so upsetting for me. I was ganged up on by my own brother and his GF. His GF always points out things I do wrong which I don’t, and I’m always helping out whenever I can. My brother has since changed since his GF came into the picture. She ... View more

Today was so upsetting for me. I was ganged up on by my own brother and his GF. His GF always points out things I do wrong which I don’t, and I’m always helping out whenever I can. My brother has since changed since his GF came into the picture. She is very manipulative and gets him on her side to turn against me. I’ve tried so hard to be nice to her and once I thought she was being nice to me too, but now I realise it was all just to get in with the family. I don’t know how to feel right now. I was bullied enough at school. But I never thought my own flesh and blood would turn on me the way he did just to please his GF. Before she came along, he used to back me up 100%. He would defend me and get really mad if someone gave me a hard time. I haven’t done anything wrong. Yet they both ganged up on me for no reason at all. She has mental illness, medical problems, family issues etc and i feel bad for her, but that’s not my fault. We welcomed her into our home because of her family issues, but now it doesn’t seem very good anymore. Each week his GF would say bad things to me and my mum can count the amounts of things she says to me on one hand. She blew up at her today because of it and confronted them both. I was in tears the whole time. My dad was angry too. But my brother defended her and not me. Even though deep down he knew my mum was right about how she was treating me. It was horrible. I’m shocked and I have no idea how to feel right now. I’ve been so kind to her. But she doesn’t seem to care. I don’t know what’s going to happen now and I’m scared. I’m upset and I don’t know what’s going to end up happening. We’ve all been through enough already. My mum was in and out of hospital last year because she was ill, and this year our dog has something wrong with his eyes and has to see the vet, which only makes my anxiety even worse. Plus we are struggling financially sometimes and I’m trying to find a job. I just want brighter days ahead. Because right now it feels like a giant dark cloud just hung over us and doesn’t want to go. That explains the weather today too, ironically. If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel I can’t seem to find it right now. I’m praying we get closer to it soon. But I don’t know when that will be. All I can do is hold my breath and pray. Which is what I do every day.

Bibbetyboo Feeling hopeless.
  • replies: 7

I left my ex because he was really controlling and abusive in a short time. we have a son He’s rearranged everything we agreed to in mediation to suit himself + his new girlfriend which he’s just confessed. Apparently he’s been seeing her for 5 month... View more

I left my ex because he was really controlling and abusive in a short time. we have a son He’s rearranged everything we agreed to in mediation to suit himself + his new girlfriend which he’s just confessed. Apparently he’s been seeing her for 5 months and is getting his health checks under the guise of being a fit parent, but not to our son, to the one he plans on having with the other “girl” in less than 12 months. He’s 52 and if he has another baby 8 months out of our break down, he will now have 3 families to 3 different woman with 4 children living paycheck to paycheck and barely bonding with our DS. As the primary carer his inability to be flexible is starting to cause problems and when it comes to a third party, he just lies. He lies to the courts and to the mediator. I dont have a car, he can’t take our son primarily because he says “im too lazy” but also he works 4 days a week. the other days i found out are being spent in the city with his new GF and he’s been lying. Christmas he didn’t contact me or his son because he was secretly off with his new girlfriend for 5 DAYS! he lied and said he was at work. For weeks since then, he ditches time with his son claiming work is hectic and messes up child rearing payments because he needs money to take his new girlfriend out for valentine’s day then lies to me about it. I cant go back to school because of time constraints, can’t get a job any more than 2 days a week because he wont negotiate which gets us financially nowhere. On at least 3 - 4 occasions in the 4 months he has known his son, he just hasn’t turned up to pick us up and left us stranded in 28 degree sun, stonewalled me told his son he will call then doesn’t or just simply says “NO” to come and see his son with no reason. He hasn’t provided income for us until last September. I am so poor. I have spent all my savings (12,000) on our son. He hasn’t built a bond with his son and appears to be replacing time with his son that he sent me a lawyer to get, with another woman. I’m so saddened that this person seems to be bother economically bullying me. He makes low ball remarks about what i can and cant afford and appears to be quickly making plans to replace me as a mother as well as stealing my dreams and settling in my home town and eventually making good on his promise to take our son off of me for no valid reason but that I am so poor and because of his inflexibility and unwillingness to provide finances to centrelink, im totally screwed.

Husband_and_Dad_to_Unhapp Hard staying married when the long-term outlook seems so hard
  • replies: 7

Hey BB team! My wife has experienced complex post-natal depression for the majority of the past 7 years, with much of that time involving hospitalisation with our first and second child. Diagnosis has included depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and most... View more

Hey BB team! My wife has experienced complex post-natal depression for the majority of the past 7 years, with much of that time involving hospitalisation with our first and second child. Diagnosis has included depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and most recently, bipolar - although it seems they are struggling to commit to an explanation with so many overlapping traits. I consider myself fairly resilient and have played the role of mum/dad/carer throughout this time which has eroded my own mental wellbeing and relationships with family and friends in a way that I did not see. This was notable during an 18 month period when I was spending a lot of time working away from home and I would find I would revert back to being a happy and relaxed person, but coming home pulls me down again. I don't mean to sound unfair, but I rationalised it in line with the theory that we are most like the 5 people we spend most of our time with - and I was spending the vast majority of my time propping up someone who was in a very poor state of mental wellbeing. I'm a believer in the commitment of marriage, I can't blame my wife for being overshadowed by an illness that I'm sure she feels the impact of far more than me. My concern is that my resilience is failing, and I'm starting to see the red flags that have been there frequently over the past few years. 1. Would I cheat on my wife: Yes, in the unique circumstances. I have felt overwhelmingly lonely for years. We live in a sexless marriage, which makes me feel guilty and almost like a sex perv to raise - but that's what brings me a sense of connectedness. I know sex out of marriage likely won't offer what I'm missing, but I still wonder if it could fill this long-term void - although it is an unlikely event as intent/availability/vulnerability don't usually align. Nonetheless, a concerning self awareness. 2. I fantasise about life outside the relationship. I'm not talking about sexy bikini girls half my age, I'm talking about the wholesome mum look, the kind of lady I'd like to see every day and to be a mum to my kids in the cliche of normal. I'm not happy with my family dynamic and fantasise about something better. 3. I'm emotionally disconnected. For the first few years I would get upset and empathetic, but to keep going I have learnt to detach. It now feels like after so long and such damage to the relationship that although I value my wife's terrific companionship, our relationship is overcome by sadness.

Blue69 Emotional abuse
  • replies: 7

I have 5 kids. Not to current partner. Son in primary school lives with me and I’m banned from my other kids because they don’t work and take drugs. My man drinks but because he has a job it doesn’t matter. He throws thousands at his nephew for motor... View more

I have 5 kids. Not to current partner. Son in primary school lives with me and I’m banned from my other kids because they don’t work and take drugs. My man drinks but because he has a job it doesn’t matter. He throws thousands at his nephew for motorcross racing but if I lend ten dollars to my son I don’t live it down. He caused a fight and banned me from going with them to the races. Calls me lazy when I cook and clean and massage and brave face for my son. Valentine’s Day his nephew got gifts but not me. He spent an hour on the phone with his nephew and said I was stupid for getting upset. His going to Hawaii this year and I can’t go with him. He says he loves me and it’s just fantasy but he is verbally abusive. It’s like 100 red flags but he says it’s all in my head and I’m crazy and psycho. He says because I put on weight since we met I’m being clingy and paranoid. I can’t breathe right but can’t talk to him. He says his money and none of my business. I don’t know how to explain it but I can’t go and I’m broken.

JM2020 Wife has new male best friend
  • replies: 36

I am hoping someone out there can give me their unbiased opinion. This may or may not help me from going out of my mind. To begin with, i have been married since 2009, my wife and I have always been on separate ends of the 'emotional spectrum. She te... View more

I am hoping someone out there can give me their unbiased opinion. This may or may not help me from going out of my mind. To begin with, i have been married since 2009, my wife and I have always been on separate ends of the 'emotional spectrum. She tends to me highly emotional whereas i am on the complete opposite end. Despite the differences we have made it work well and kind of balance each other out. However, from time to time it does create some tension. Over the past couple of years my wife has attended a personal training group, which is great, she has always suffered from social anxiety so to see her enjoy being around a new group of people and to witness the improvement of her mental health has been fantastic. However it did not take long until she started spending time with a male friend from this group. As well as group sessions, they meet on non group days and train together alone for up to 3-4 hour sessions. This usually includes lunch, coffee, etc. So they end up seeing each other everyday whether in a group or not. This also includes texts and phone calls throughout the day. I have questioned her about this. and have told her i am uncomfortable with the frequency, not necessarily the fact she has a male best friend. She has told me that they do have feeling for each other, they have discussed this in detail and have vowed not to act on it. They recognise that it is natural that and two people spending this amount of time with each other are bound to develop feelings, however its whether they act on it or not that counts. This doesn't sit right with me. Just because you have recognised it, and have been open with me about it doesn't make it right or less hurtful. This male friend has the emotional personality traits that i dont have, so it makes sense that she is attracted to him and wants to spend so much time with him. But where does this leave me? I cant help feeling she would rather be with him than me? why wouldn't she, right? Is she better off with him? I dont want to stop the friendship, 1. due to the improvement in her mental health, 2. why should i? if my discomfort isnt enough, shouldnt she recognise the problem a pull back? over the past 6 months this has put me in a depressed state, and if anything it has put more distance between my wife and I. I cant help feeling that without this guy out of the picture, we can not repair our marriage. I am seriously considering leaving her.

B-hopeful My son walked out on me,I'm torn
  • replies: 9

I feel like my heart has been torn out of me. It happened all in a few minutes. Son just comes to my bedroom and says he needs to talk to me. Says he wants to move out,i asked why. He wants his independence and so on. There's absolutely no reason no ... View more

I feel like my heart has been torn out of me. It happened all in a few minutes. Son just comes to my bedroom and says he needs to talk to me. Says he wants to move out,i asked why. He wants his independence and so on. There's absolutely no reason no problem but just like that he says he's leaving whether i like it or not. He's 24ys old. He said a few things but thats not the reason for leaving, it doesn't make sense. I feel like a fool,i trusted him,he had this planned. Im heartbroken. I don't know how to make it stop the heartache.

anon143 How do you approach a family member about family issues?
  • replies: 5

I’m unsure how to start a conversation with an older immediate family member about the mistreatment my little one (3 yo) is facing from her eldest son & daughter. The mistreatment includes name calling, having a passive aggressive nature towards my s... View more

I’m unsure how to start a conversation with an older immediate family member about the mistreatment my little one (3 yo) is facing from her eldest son & daughter. The mistreatment includes name calling, having a passive aggressive nature towards my son, treating him differently to other family members the same age & similar. The two also “teach” my son to swear. I have faced backlash in the past from this elder immediate family member. Due to the exact same treatment as a child, myself. That did not end well on my terms. How do I approach this without coming off wrong or confronting? My first gut instinct is to vent my frustration but that’s not what I want to teach my son. Advice? I want to resolve this in a friendly but firm way if that makes sense but I don’t want it to reach the point of where I’m coming off hostile or ‘coming at two family members younger than me’.

Ccccccc Confused if I would leave or not
  • replies: 3

Iv been with my partner for 3 years we have a dog and a house together. lately I just don’t feel happy with him he works in the agriculture industry and we had a very long harvest 11 weeks plus the lead up. we finally went away for a bit of a holiday... View more

Iv been with my partner for 3 years we have a dog and a house together. lately I just don’t feel happy with him he works in the agriculture industry and we had a very long harvest 11 weeks plus the lead up. we finally went away for a bit of a holiday and all we did was fight. i feel very forgotten by him and I wanted to be spoilt for once I do so much for him and I just wanted to to feel like a priority for once. iv been wanting to get married and I know he has a ring but he won’t give it to me- every time he tells me there to much going on - like his cousin got engaged a month ago and a few issues in the community I’m really struggling I have ptsd, anxiety and depression. Iv just had surgery aswell so I don’t know if it’s the anesthesia that has affected my moods. im over fighting. We are fighting over everything what we want have changed so much. I’m lost do I leave or stay. We live in a remote town and if I move out I won’t be able to work.

MissJ94 Be honest, am I overreacting?
  • replies: 8

Just a little back story first: I had my son at 17, hes now 10. I had to grow up FAST, didnt get a change to be young and free. But i did it, studied and am now a registered nurse but honestly still struggling. Ive been out of work since September. I... View more

Just a little back story first: I had my son at 17, hes now 10. I had to grow up FAST, didnt get a change to be young and free. But i did it, studied and am now a registered nurse but honestly still struggling. Ive been out of work since September. Ive wanted another baby for 8+ years. No baby came when i was with my ex(not sons father), everyone thought we would have ended up married and have kids but i realised how abusive he was and left, extremely glad now that i didnt have a baby with him. But that strong desire to have another baby is still there. I get quite emotional when people i know announce their pregnancy. Theres that excitement and joy for them but then theres that sadness that 8 years later and im no where near close to having another baby. I have my cry, sleep on it and am ok, if anything it just motivates me to do what i can now to prepare for another baby. Tonight though!!!! It was my primary school best friend who announced that shes pregnant! I shared that news with my mum because thats just what i do, shes usually the first i go to to share stuff like that. But tonight she responds with "Ill let you in on a secret, its the ones that are most promiscuous that dont fall pregnant! Nan always used to say sluts dont fall pregnant". So me already being a bit emotional and starting to have my little cry that i do, that turned into a massive meltdown, ive cried to the point my head is killing me now. To me, i feel like her saying that is literally her calling me a slut because i havent had my second child and thats what my nan would say about me now because i havent given my son a sibling. And thats after being called a slut by almost everyone back when i was pregnant with my son because i was so young (i got pregnant to the one guy i had ever slept with at the time!). So her saying what she did has really hit me tonight. I sent "wow maybe why i havent had a second child yet", she responds with "lol" and i sent back "not funny.". Then shes gone to try to change the subject before realising that i wasnt replying and started bombing me with me messages saying she meant its the sneaky teens who dont get pregnant, its the innocent ones who do. Theres about 30 messages she sent. But no matter the reason behind it, i feel like ive been called a slut by my own mum. She knows ive been wanting to have another baby for years and then thinks thats something appropriate to say. So tell me, am i overreacting??

Sensible Sea Feeling anxious about (future) mother in law. How to move forward?
  • replies: 4

My partner's mum doesn't seem to like me. She started off nice towards me, but slowly over time things have changed. I've been with my partner nearly 6 years and she has always had issues with her mum growing up. Some things her mum has said/done tha... View more

My partner's mum doesn't seem to like me. She started off nice towards me, but slowly over time things have changed. I've been with my partner nearly 6 years and she has always had issues with her mum growing up. Some things her mum has said/done that bother me include: (to me) "I think you would have been a very difficult child". (to my partner, about me) "I don't need to know about her problems, I don't need that negativity, tell her not to tell me those things". Never asks me how I am, never asks about me, doesn't seem to want to know or care. Constantly changes the topic to herself when anyone else speaks about themselves. (to my partner) "What are all those spots on your face?" (referring to her pimples) & "Wow, you're so pale, you really need to tan" - just negative comments about my partners appearance in general that I find very rude & my partner feels upset about. She accidentally bleached her new towels, then blamed my partner for it when we visited one weekend, calling her the "towel wrecker". Regifting items as my Christmas presents - free items & products from hotel rooms/work functions, expired beauty products, broken/faulty things that I end up throwing away - whilst showering my partner with enormous amounts of expensive gifts. My partner feels uncomfortable with the amount her mum spends on her and has asked her to tone it back, but she hasn't. Undermining me - I bought my partner a coffee plunger & mug for work, and then my partners mum bought her the exact same things afterwards (she knew). Giving unwanted items - She recently tried to pack some food into my bag when we visited - without asking - I removed it telling her "thanks but we won't eat it, I appreciate the thought though", so I gave it back. Then, whilst I wasn't looking, she snuck out to my car and put that food behind my passenger seat. She is unable to take no for an answer, constantly disrespecting my wishes no matter how trivial. This resulted with me messaging her, thanking her, then asking her to "ask us next time so you don't go to so much trouble for something we don't need". She then texted my partner, telling her my message was so rude & mean that it made her cry. She then implied I don't truly love my partner for who she is & said, "I hope you're happy with her". I haven't spoken to her since. My partner is also unhappy about what her mum said. My partners mum texted her today asking to talk - and I'm now anxious about that, thinking what's going to happen next?