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

porkchopsss 9 year anniversary is coming up but I have strong feelings for someone else
  • replies: 20

I'm in a long term relationship and engaged since 2020. She is also my first girlfriend. However, I started having feelings for someone that I met before my partner since April 2021. I had expressed my "problem" in October 2021, however, my partner w... View more

I'm in a long term relationship and engaged since 2020. She is also my first girlfriend. However, I started having feelings for someone that I met before my partner since April 2021. I had expressed my "problem" in October 2021, however, my partner was not very supportive and said that it is my fault that my feelings have changed. I attempted to break up 3 times since then, they were all unsuccessful. Since the start of the year, we have been going to counseulling, but I have not expressed how I truly feel about this other person as she told me I like her as a friend. I believe she is in denial. After 1 session together abd 1 session individually each, I feel as if she has changed the way she responds to our problems, she has become more understanding but I am still having issues with my feelings for this other girl. My counseuler suggested that I cut off this other girl and I did. It has been 2 months since we have spoken properly/met up, I still thinkg/dream of her. I burst out in tears maybe twice a week, thinking, I have always been in charge of my life in terms of work and relationships with others, but I am not right now. It kills me inside that I am not doing anything about it and I have told myself I need to do it, but nothing ever gets done. Everytime I think of what I want to do, I worry about my partner more than myself. I have never dealth with my feelings in the past and now I am, I do not know how to take care of myself. I feel so lost. I have no interest in going out, catching up with friends, work. I want to do nothing on a daily basis and hoping this pain will just go away. What do I do....

Trade Getting divorced - overwhelmed but happy
  • replies: 2

Past 3 weeks have decided to finally call it and request divorce. Husband who always promised to be civil suddenly turned nasty. We had 12m counselling -14y Rship several kids several properties -many times trying counselling since just one year in. ... View more

Past 3 weeks have decided to finally call it and request divorce. Husband who always promised to be civil suddenly turned nasty. We had 12m counselling -14y Rship several kids several properties -many times trying counselling since just one year in. being married to him was torture. emotional abuse and neglect. He was always angry with me. Cold. I was very lonely. He hates sex I love it. No sex for 7 years. I’ve only just in the past few days realised I need a lawyer and he’s actually not the “nice guy” I always say he is to people. It’s a hard devastating time —- but I’ll get through it and have a brighter future. im Trying to stop my mind racing. I have definite anxiety as anyone would about to lose not only their marriage and relationship of 14 years — but also their family and their home. im Scared he’ll try to blindside me for kids. I stayed for so long for the kids sake and they are still young. IVF. how Quickly my fear of him and thinking I can’t trust him has come to pass.

Anon2222 How do I support my partner
  • replies: 4

Hi All, I need some advise on how to be there for my partner. My partner is going through a really rough time dealing with financial issues, work and dealing with legal issues with an ex partner and I can see it is really affecting him big time and i... View more

Hi All, I need some advise on how to be there for my partner. My partner is going through a really rough time dealing with financial issues, work and dealing with legal issues with an ex partner and I can see it is really affecting him big time and is getting to the point where he see’s nothing good is going to improve in his life and I’m very concerned that they may led to more intrusive thoughts. I have tried to suggest getting professional help such as speaking to a counsellor and as well as other services to help him with other areas in his life but he said this is something he needs to figure out on his on, I have offered to do things such as getting him food or planning outings just to help him out abit and get his mind of things but I get rejected (which really hurts but I’m trying to not take it personally). Right now I just don’t know what to do other than let him know I’m here for him but as a partner I feel kinda useless because it sucks seeing the person you care and love struggling I’m trying to be positive for the both of us but I just feel like I’m not doing enough.

BobbyOz How to stop being alone
  • replies: 5

Hey I'm 21 and never had a girlfriend. I've asked out 3 girls but been rejected every time. It feels like I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life. I went on a bunch of forums on Reddit but I'm not sure if they have the best advice. What should ... View more

Hey I'm 21 and never had a girlfriend. I've asked out 3 girls but been rejected every time. It feels like I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life. I went on a bunch of forums on Reddit but I'm not sure if they have the best advice. What should I do?

Bryce_10234 I’ve made mistakes in our relationship and tried to make up for them
  • replies: 4

A few years into our relationship I made mistakes that relate to an online chat room. I never thought it was a problem before we were together and when we started dating I stopped doing it but when things got hard and I didn’t know what to do I fell ... View more

A few years into our relationship I made mistakes that relate to an online chat room. I never thought it was a problem before we were together and when we started dating I stopped doing it but when things got hard and I didn’t know what to do I fell back into it on multiple occasions hurting her really bad. I almost destroyed out relationship. since then I’ve tried to improve, I feel like I’ve beaten that addiction I had. I never want to be like that again. And I’ve changed I’ve tried to become a better person. We’re now married and have a beautiful daughter. But since my mistakes she’s had trouble trusting me which I understand but it’s been years and I’ve done some much to make up for my mistakes and earn her trust back but I can’t seem to do it. and Since we’ve been married there have been occasions she’s wanted us to go on breaks. She tells me I don’t make her feel appreciated. Every time these breaks happen she’s talking to other guys cause they make her feel better. I want to do better to make her feel appreciated but I find it hard to emote myself to her when I’m feeling like I’m not enough. why can’t I be enough for her when she’s more than enough for me. I’ve made mistakes and I understand this. I don’t express my feelings the way she wants me to but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate her it doesn’t mean I don’t love her. my wife isn’t a bad person please don’t think that. We’ve both made mistakes but I don’t know to fix things when neither of us feels enough when that’s all we want from each other.

My_name_is_Jane I am being abusive? Or am I being abused?
  • replies: 4

My partner is suicidal and currently staying in an inpatient mental health clinic. Things have been very difficult leading up to his admission. I had to watch over him for two weeks straight. We has many arguments, which I attributed to the stress of... View more

My partner is suicidal and currently staying in an inpatient mental health clinic. Things have been very difficult leading up to his admission. I had to watch over him for two weeks straight. We has many arguments, which I attributed to the stress of checking in. I have tried not to take it personally, but it gets difficult. I saw him today and he was very quiet and distant. He ended our visit by stating that a lot of his therapy time is “wasted” on our relationship problems and how he doesn’t know how to have conversations with me without me blowing up. He accused me of abusing him and being nasty by screaming at him and slamming doors (which I have never done). This took me my surprise because I always felt it was him that fuels the fire during difficult conversations (i.e., interrupting me, sighing loudly, talking-over me, monologing/not leaving space for me to talk, picking my words). He tends to twist my words and I am often left questioning myself. For example, I have never once screamed at him, nor slammed anything around – but he is so sure I have, and I find this so confusing. I have caught myself raising my voice at him to match his at times. But I have never screamed/slammed things. When he gets like this, I feel like there is nothing I can do but apologise or else he won’t move on. He often recounts events in a way I don’t remember them – usually in a way where I look very bad. Once during an argument leading up to his admission it got too much for me. I didn’t want to say or do anything that might upset him or make things worse. We were arguing on the sofa. I asked him if he could just give me a moment to sit there and think. He kept pushing and not letting me take a breath. I then told him that I need to distance myself - go for a short walk arond the block. I made it clear that I was only going for a 20min walk. The moment I stepped outside he texted me that he was thinking of “making an attempt” on his life and I had to go back. As soon as I got back, he took that chance to jump back into the argument. He told me today I should learn to regulate my emotions/not be so explosive. I feel like there has been times I have tried to take some time to think before I act or get space to gain perspective - but hasn’t allowed it. I feel like I can’t win. I guess I am seeking for advice/validation. Making sure that I am not being abusive, and if so, how to stop that cycle. I just feel like I am questioning myself a lot lately. I hate feeling this way.

Beaser Im scared of going back to despair again.
  • replies: 15

Hi my best wishes to everyone. Ive had a very traumatic weekend . My partner of 18 months has ended our relationship. I know that we have problems. I have been heavily involved in my football club it has been like my family as i dont have any that i ... View more

Hi my best wishes to everyone. Ive had a very traumatic weekend . My partner of 18 months has ended our relationship. I know that we have problems. I have been heavily involved in my football club it has been like my family as i dont have any that i see. My girlfriend struggles with my need to see my friends and we just dont seem to have that common ground. Im scared of being alone again but i need my friends and interest outside of our relationship. Ive tried to be a good partner and help wherever i can and include my partner with my outside interests. I think that the two years of covid and the isolation has caused me to be needy. I dont know what to do or where to turn. Things are spiralling for me. I am hating my job as its very negative and there are a lot of unhappy people there. I have been there for about 13 years. I have been in a very bad space after previous relationship breakups and im so scared of going there again. I have leant heavily on friends and im scared if i do it again it might scare them away. Thank you for reading my post. I would be open to any ones thoughts and suggestions. Brett.

Teena1__ Husband comments explicit comments on single women content on social media
  • replies: 7

Caught my hubby complimenting beautiful & sexy women on social media everyday for months, as if he's single. He makes sexual comments too. I am in no way jealous of these women. They are single & flaunting their half naked bodies on social media beca... View more

Caught my hubby complimenting beautiful & sexy women on social media everyday for months, as if he's single. He makes sexual comments too. I am in no way jealous of these women. They are single & flaunting their half naked bodies on social media because they simply can. But my husband comments on their bodies, flirts with them & complimenting them, as if to let them know that he likes what he sees, or to let them know he's interested. Even comments in ways where he wants to sleep with them. I want to know what other people considers this as? We've been married for almost 8 yrs with 3 kids together. I have confronted him and I was really hurt but all the comments (Yes, I read them all, bad idea) I find it really disrespectful to me as his wife and how he just gives his attention away so freely. I mean, he may as well just go ahead and do the physical deed and cheat. He says it's “just comments" or that he'll look but won't touch, or that it means nothing. Then proceeds to say that he will get rid of all of his apps if it upsets me that much. The man is trying to gaslight me. I'd love to know your thoughts. This quite frankly is the straw that broke the camels back and I'm just set on leaving. Am I doing too much?

somekid Possible new stepdad, don't know how I feel about this
  • replies: 4

lately my (single) mother has been looking for a new relationship. just last Friday I found out I was an illegitimate child and my real dad had refused to marry my mother once she was pregnant. obviously this struck a huge mental blow to me, given I'... View more

lately my (single) mother has been looking for a new relationship. just last Friday I found out I was an illegitimate child and my real dad had refused to marry my mother once she was pregnant. obviously this struck a huge mental blow to me, given I'm in year 7. since then I've been feeling horrible. my mum has been looking to get in a relationship with a friend of hers whom I personally dislike. I don't know him well and am afraid that this would cause a rift in our relationship. my mum has become increasingly hostile to me and my questions. I'm afraid of abandonment, that my mum would ignore/neglect me to pursue this new man. I haven't been sleeping well, I've let tears and emotions get the better of me at school, and I'm prone to bouts of crying. I don't know if anyone's there for me - the only people I can talk to have sided with my mother. I feel distant and I feel like my life is falling apart.

Stagnated Realisation
  • replies: 1

Goodmorning I don’t know where to begin. Most nights my dreams and thoughts are plagued by self hatred and doubt. How Ive lost friends through either my fault or because of divorce many years ago. How I once had them at my 50th yet I wasn’t invited t... View more

Goodmorning I don’t know where to begin. Most nights my dreams and thoughts are plagued by self hatred and doubt. How Ive lost friends through either my fault or because of divorce many years ago. How I once had them at my 50th yet I wasn’t invited to theirs. I am upset during the night and truths are revealed. Mainly Ive been fooling myself into thinking I am a good person. Yet here I am. No friends to speak of and an unproductive useless life. I am an embarrassment to my children and my Ex competes for their attention. To which they make time to see him each week, yet Id be lucky for small mercies once every few months. That includes my grandchildren. My head is muddled and I self loath as a result. No confidence and my stomach is churning along with my emotions. Sucks being a failure and constantly being shown that I am unworthy. I try to pull myself up but it’s a constant battle. I have a partner with no friends to speak of and no income. Basically I feel completely lonely and on my own 🤷🏻‍