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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Worriednow17 Partner self harming during breakup
  • replies: 11

My partner of 3 years and I are separating. I initiated this after there has been multiple occasions where he has sexted other women. now he knows I’m serious about ending it he has become so distressed to the point of attempting twice and needing me... View more

My partner of 3 years and I are separating. I initiated this after there has been multiple occasions where he has sexted other women. now he knows I’m serious about ending it he has become so distressed to the point of attempting twice and needing mental health admissions. He’s adamant he can’t get better if we are not together but I know it’s not the right thing for me. I have never seen him so broken and I feel such guilt. he will agree to go to hospital but then get angry and try to get out of the car when he needs admission. He is also having financial issues with his business and kids - I’ve said he can stay until he gets some things sorted but he agrees and then speaks and acts as though we’re not ending i just don’t know how to manage this but I do have an appointment for counselling

Annett76 Toxic/narcistic mum/parents?
  • replies: 4

Hello there, I'm completely new here and I am not really sure what I am asking for. I moved to Australia from Europe in 2005. I have two children myself (6 and 9) and since becoming a mother myself I have become even more aware of the strange/disconn... View more

Hello there, I'm completely new here and I am not really sure what I am asking for. I moved to Australia from Europe in 2005. I have two children myself (6 and 9) and since becoming a mother myself I have become even more aware of the strange/disconnected relationship I have with my parents which by the way was already strange before I moved overseas. If I am honest their behaviour was a contributing factor in starting a new life here. I just don't feel loved and supported by my parents. I will only mention a few of the most triggering and/or recent events. There is so much more from my childhood and teenage years. Firstly, whatever I do isn't good enough. My successes and life events are not recognised the slightest. They are doing the same with our kids. If they get a reward at school or did well at a sports event and I tell my mum about it she will just keep talking about her life. Secondly, especially my mum has always been jealous of the job I have, the money I earn etc. Thirdly, my mum is super sensitive and constantly wants to be praised and validated. She also does not like my husband. We booked our flights for this year and are planning to visit from mid June to end of July. When we told them they didn't show any joy. We haven't seen each other in 3!!! years due to border closures. All my dad said was that they will need to find some jobs around the house for my husband to do for them while we are there!!!!!!! Last Sunday they told us that my dad's rehab provider (the country they live in provides rehab in a clinical setting away from home for people with certain conditions every two years or so) sent them the paper work for this year's rehab which could very well fall into the time when we are there. He also said that he doesn't really want to go in winter after we asked if he can mention our visit to the rehab provider so they can perhaps work around these dates. If I want to be honest, I'm already dreading going there because there is absolutely zero support from them. How do I go from here? Are they toxic/narcisistic? Or am I too sensitive or expecting too much from my parents. I know they are bitter about us moving half way around the world but things were already strained before. Many thanks for reading. xxx

Greygrey How to harmlessly share feelings?
  • replies: 3

Hello My partner & I both have mental health issues and are on the autism spectrum. There are some things I'd like improving in our relationship, related to how we spend time together & things we do together. But every time I bring up these things I ... View more

Hello My partner & I both have mental health issues and are on the autism spectrum. There are some things I'd like improving in our relationship, related to how we spend time together & things we do together. But every time I bring up these things I just seem to upset my partner. There is some history.. I don't like to feel that I nag or ask for things too much so I often stopped bringing things up or avoid it being too often. But that led to me bottling things up which has led to a lot of breakdowns, over different issues or stressors, both to do with our relationship & things unrelated to it, which they often help me through. Recently I had a big cry to them because something they'd said had triggered an old wound, but at the time I'd tried to just deal with it on my own cos it felt like an issue I have, rather than something they caused. Dealing with it on my own though hadn't worked & I ended up feeling it eat away at me and we talked it out a bit. I felt good about it & decided to again try & bring things up as I feel them/remember them tonight. ( I have issues with remembering how I feel about things bc I'm used to pushing my thoughts aside, essentially gaslighting myself, & forgetting it until it happens again or until I've bottled things for so long I can't take it alone anymore. ) I sent them a simple message saying that I'd like to discuss X issue some time & didn't get a response nor did they seem to react. Checking in on them tho they were clearly upset but not saying anything. So I tried to clarify, & apologised, saying that I just wanted to mention it & have it something we think about for a little while rather than try to jump into a conversation about it at some point. So we have time to think about our feelings/what we wanna say. They stayed the same & I just started to feel really deeply guilty & upset, cos I just feel like no matter how I broach topics I upset them. I ended up deleting the messages & apologising again, to let them know this isn't what I intended & that I'd walked away cos I needed to for me, not that they'd done anything wrong. I know in the past how issues have come up has been thru tears, so I'm trying to be better... But still I just upset them. I don't know what to do? I've tried asking them, but no dice... How can I express myself without upsetting them? How can I healthily deal with being dissatisfied with aspect of our relationship without it feeling like I'm maybe blaming them?

DaisyP Lost and broken after partner left me to sort his mental health out.
  • replies: 3

Hello all, My partner of all together 4 years decided to call it quits with me about 6 weeks ago now. His reasons were around his recent job loss, he lost everything he had worked towards and life broke him and he lost himself in the process. I under... View more

Hello all, My partner of all together 4 years decided to call it quits with me about 6 weeks ago now. His reasons were around his recent job loss, he lost everything he had worked towards and life broke him and he lost himself in the process. I understood this as I was there through everything supporting him financially, emotionally mentally etc because I knew we would eventually get out of this and things would be better. But instead he opted for a complete reset of his life to find himself again and unfortunately for me this meant throwing away our life that we were building. This obviously shattered me, we packed up our house and parted ways after a week of this decision, and then came the rush of roller caster emotions. Sometimes Id lash out because of how much pain I was and still am in and question everything. His words were starting to not match his actions. He started erasing me from his social media and also stopped talking to me as often but still told me he was in love with me and that I am still the one for him, but then all that would do is confuse me because how do you do this to someone you are in love with? How can you be ok with erasing them completely. I feel like I meant nothing too him and that our relationship meant nothing if he could get rid of me this easily and quickly, although he claims this was the hardest decision he had ever made and that there was no other way to ensure that he could get better. We have now started no contact and how do you go from talking to the same person everyday for 4 years, seeing them, sleeping with them, being intimate etc to nothing? He said the relationship wasn't the problem and that he was happy with me but was unhappy with the rest of his life, so then why leave me? I am struggling mentally even though I have supports in place, nothing seems to alleviate my anxiety or the pain of grieving the loss of the life we were building together. I am trying to move on and heal and work on myself and I have been hanging out with friends and family but I only miss him more in those moments. None of this stops the unhappiness I feel in the pit of my soul having to live my life without him apart of it. I have constant intrusive thoughts of him moving on with other women and it kills me. I feel like he is happier without me and that I am the only one suffering because it all seemed too easy for him to just forget me. I don't know how to just let go and leave things to chance.

Roblee25 Feeling Confused
  • replies: 6

Hi. I'm new to this forum. Wanting to share and seek advice. I have enabled my adult son for years, lending him money, financially bailing him out constantly. Have even gone bankrupt. It's never enough. I have recently got a loan for him and his wife... View more

Hi. I'm new to this forum. Wanting to share and seek advice. I have enabled my adult son for years, lending him money, financially bailing him out constantly. Have even gone bankrupt. It's never enough. I have recently got a loan for him and his wife to consolidate their car loans. Payments coming from his account. He has let me down and not making the weekly payments. My husband and I trying to keep our heads above water. He just never gives up asking for money. He works in a very high paid job earning over double what I do. Money is like water through his hands. I have said enough is enough. He has asked again, for something that would benefit my grandson for his chosen sport. I have said no. The response I have gotten is the following Please don't contact us for a while...respect our wishes. I love my 3 beautiful grandkids and they love us. He wont let me video chat or even talk over the phone. It breaks my heart. This is the second time he has done this to me. He is controlling and displays narcissistic behaviour. If he can't control me and get what he wants, this is what he does. I have constantly been walking on egg shells, giving in to his demands, not wanting to risk my connection with my grandkids. Now it seems I have lost it all and I don't know where to turn or what to do.

Fiatlux Dysfunctional Family
  • replies: 6

This is probably going to be more a rant than anything else. After my father passed away on 2011 I severed ties with toxic family, including my narcissistic mother, older brother and younger sister. My older sister just decided to severe ties with ev... View more

This is probably going to be more a rant than anything else. After my father passed away on 2011 I severed ties with toxic family, including my narcissistic mother, older brother and younger sister. My older sister just decided to severe ties with everyone. My fathers funeral hadn’t even happened yet but my siblings were squabbling over money. It all started with a fight over who would get Dad’s car as my mother doesn’t drive. So, this week my younger sister and brother pop back into my life via my estranged husband. I felt sick to the stomach when my ex husband contacts me to tell me all about it. Like he enjoys triggering my ptsd and anxiety. Trying their hardest to send me into a guilt trip over my ageing mothers health issues. Now I have never been close to my mother so cutting her out seemed easy as I rarely ever spoke to her even when dad was alive. She definitely took absolutely no interest in me, my children and wasn’t at all supportive knowing that I was in a very abusive marriage. She told me that I made my bed and I can sleep in it. She also told me to never confide in my father as he had enough concerns with my siblings and didn’t need my problems too. So, I endured it alone with absolutely no family support. My siblings speak to my former husband like they are all best buddies despite never liking each other when we were married. So sorry for the long rant, but I am back on anxiety medication over this. My brother attacked me on social media a few years back about my selfishness for abandoning my mother. All my Dads family saw this. My brother is gutless to speak to me face to face or even on the telephone. My brother lives overseas most of the year. Not once have any of my family reached out sincerely. Any contact was all about them. So I asked my ex husband if my siblings have asked how I was? Absolutely Not. They carried on about their own lives and health issues. It’s just the same old, same old. I am just so upset that this has me back on meds when I was doing better. I have every right to cut off toxic people. I owe it to myself.

Always_worried Help with daughters lack of empathy
  • replies: 3

Hi All This is my first time posting on here but I just am stuck and really don’t know where else to go for help. My daughter has for the past 2 1/2 years had an eating disorder and all of my and her partner of 4 years energy has been put into watchi... View more

Hi All This is my first time posting on here but I just am stuck and really don’t know where else to go for help. My daughter has for the past 2 1/2 years had an eating disorder and all of my and her partner of 4 years energy has been put into watching and guiding her (with the help of professionals) to help her get on top of what is a horrible disease. She during the last part of last year was then also put on some antidepressants to help with anxiety (of which I also suffer from) My issue now is that in the last few months she has been pulling away from both of us and berating us for asking about her and generally caring for her well being. Last week she abruptly ended her 4 year relationship stating that she just doesn’t care or love her partner anymore. Our mother/daughter relationship is also suffering as I try and guide her through an uncertain time and she pushes away preferring to go out with her girlfriends (who didn’t have anything to do with her whilst she was at her lowest) and them telling me to back off and leave her to live while they celebrate “having their friend back” My question is do I sit back and watch this and assume that it is part of her recovery or is she just self sabotaging in another way? I am beyond worried to the point where my own mental health is suffering and I continually argue with her which ends with both of us getting upset. Any advice would be greatly received always worried

Jo97 Loneliness and hopelessness after separation
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I am struggling to cope with being alone after a separation. Its been nearly 4 months and I feel completely lost. I don't have anyone I can call or visit at any time - the loneliness is unbearable. I have no hope and feel disconnected from everything... View more

I am struggling to cope with being alone after a separation. Its been nearly 4 months and I feel completely lost. I don't have anyone I can call or visit at any time - the loneliness is unbearable. I have no hope and feel disconnected from everything and everyone. I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread. I feel no joy, nothing good.

DDs She cheated with her brother in law for 10 years
  • replies: 8

Hi first time poster, thanks in advance for any advice. I just did discovered a few days ago my wife of 30 years has had a long term relationship with her brother in law. I think for 10+ years. I am absolutely heart broken and experiencing the full g... View more

Hi first time poster, thanks in advance for any advice. I just did discovered a few days ago my wife of 30 years has had a long term relationship with her brother in law. I think for 10+ years. I am absolutely heart broken and experiencing the full gambit of emotions plus physical symptoms not eating, not sleeping and confusion. I found out by finally having the guts to address the issue. I expected somethingwas up, so I looked at her phone a few days ago. She has been deeply in love with him and talks to him almost daily. I have had my issues over the last few year's, health wise I put on a lot of weight and mentally I have struggled with addiction. But in the last two years I no longer abuse substances and I have got fit and healthy again and lost the weight. I can see she has started to pull away from him and taking a new interest in me. I am so conflicted and confused now. I know she will say i changed and it's my fault so am mentally prepared to not accept that narrative. I also think if she wasn't happy with me she could have talked to me and supported me instead of running into his arms. So it's her brother in law...i think this type of affair is the worst kind because it's emotional, physical and in the family. Her sister is very successful and the have two children one with special needs, he's a keped man, attractive, the life of the party and I have always thought a player. He's prayed on her weakness and groomed her in my opinion. What can I do, I know there will be varing opinions? I haven't outed them yet, I haven't spoken to her yet... It's just so difficult for me. I love her like no one else, I can't imagine life without her. We have two adult children who need us and I will destroy her sisters family not to mention the special needs child. I almost want to see where this leads to see if she does in fact end it, then confront her....or if she continues I will just out them. I know it's hard to image staying with her but it's how I feel in my heart... I had my issues for a few years did I push her away. For clarity I never cheated on her, I have never hit or abused her in any way... I am a good man who had to work very hard to raise my family.. I resented her for not working I had to travel a lot to make better money, that started the downward spiral for me...i wish she had of just discussed it with me instead of running to him. The next step for me is so difficult to face I have just got my life, career and mental health back on track.

white knight Accepting minor flaws in a partner
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I'm 66yo, the advantage of being older is - it's easier to accept minor flaws in a partner. You learn a few things over time- to realise that your own flaws are just as irritating to others, that you cant change others from their character, personali... View more

I'm 66yo, the advantage of being older is - it's easier to accept minor flaws in a partner. You learn a few things over time- to realise that your own flaws are just as irritating to others, that you cant change others from their character, personality and any other trait that's in their DNA. There is an infinite number of flaws humans have, when dealing with humans we are so individualistic that each situation is different, there is no hard and fast rule for couples. So I'll just give you a few examples of this to give you some idea of the dilemma we can find ourselves in- My wife of 10 years has a few flaws, as I do. I cook the meals and once cooked I'll call her and...waiting...waiting, no matter what, she has to finish whatever she is doing which usually are things she can delay like using a computer screen saver or stop weeding and resume later. So I resorted to calling her 10 minutes early and still I waited. So I began to eat my meal anyway and that was a lonely affair lol. See I am laughing as I tell you these things, 20 years ago I'd be off to the family counsellor! She also gets distracted. Once we were going out, dressed up we approached our car. Then in a flash she was gone. I went back inside, searched around and found her on the other side of the car pulling out a few weeds. Not only did she do something unexpected, she didnt tell me she was going to vanish. To balance the account, she has told me that (along with my bipolar moods) that I'm the most difficult person to "read". With the moods swings she never knows what mood I'm in, I'm not always aware I'm depressed for the first few hours or manic for a day or so. In fact my only indication of any mania is that I walk faster and only realise that because I tend to puff a lot more. I think the best transformation in this area of acceptance of your partners flaws is seeing the funny side. Now whenever she gets distracted I say "oh, we are weeding again are we". We both laugh about it. In fact this routine of laughter has become so amusing I've grown to be endearing towards that part of her nature. The longer we are together the more I expect the unexpected. For the last 3 months she has been occupied in our study doing "stuff". Today she presented me with 15 copies of my book of poems. I sat there in amazement flicking through 300 poems I'd written over 35 years complete with pictures. Laughing at another flaws can be a positive. Do you find it hard to accept another's flaws? TonyWK