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.

Pinned discussions

Dr_Kim Understanding feelings of rejection. 
  • replies: 38

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like los... View more

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like loss and grief. You can’t have the good bits without sometimes experiencing the bad, it’s just the way it is! So we all need to develop ways of managing the difficult emotions that rejection throws up. Lets think about what those thoughts or emotions might be. Here’s some examples. 1. “I’m not good enough” This is a common one. It’s so easy for us to see what we think are faults and think that others can see them too and convince ourselves that these faults make us unlovable. These thoughts are often on replay from a nasty part of our brain, that low self-esteem part that makes us believe that unless we are “perfect”, we cannot possibly be loved or accepted. The honest truth is that we are all just imperfect passengers on the"bus of life”, doing the best we can with whatever we can in the moment! So welcome on board. Brene Brown has some wonderful YouTube videos about this, I'm going to share one below however also recommend you check out her channel as there are many more! 2. "Nobody will ever love me”. This is a very common thought and it comes from the anxious part of our brains that also seems to have a crystal ball! The anxiety centre seems to think it has very good predictive powers but it is a trap and don’t listen to it! It’s a complete and utter lie that anxiety often tells us. 3. “I’ve ruined the ‘perfect relationship’, now what?” Sometimes this is a stage of grief. Often, when we are grieving a loss, we go through a phase of idealising. Things like “it was perfect” are common because it conveniently erases all the things that weren’t that you don’t want to deal with. For example: I see this sometimes with patients who had terrible relationships with their family members and complain bitterly for years, and then once they pass away, the grief allows them to only seem to recall the wonderful times. In some ways, it a blessing, but it can mean in some situations that the hindsight is not always accurate. I also think that in viewing the relationship in an idealised way prevents any real opportunity to learn and grow from it. We can all gain from understanding how we went wrong in experiences so that we don’t repeat the same unintended mistakes. In summary, rejection is a common and necessary part of being in the game of life. To not be in the game because of fear would be a huge shame . Life is too short not to experience the many wonderful emotions that come from being ourselves. In Brene Brown's language: it’s important not to spend your time walking around the arena of life waiting to feel perfect so you won’t be rejected. Just kick the door down and step in and don’t let the critics get you down.

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

AccidentlyUncontrolled Feeling like there's no way out
  • replies: 7

My best friend and I have been going through issues for a year to understand the issue you need to understand the complexity so there will be a fair bit of backstory. The start of 2021 we realised we wanted to be more then friends but my history made... View more

My best friend and I have been going through issues for a year to understand the issue you need to understand the complexity so there will be a fair bit of backstory. The start of 2021 we realised we wanted to be more then friends but my history made me very nervous to do so. (Most of my exes have cheated but my ex did while I lived in his house and that was a whole new betrayal of trust). I had been single two years due to this. My best friend would constantly be the person next to me telling me how amazing I was and how I deserved better. so when I eventually decided to enter a relationship it was mid feb and we started dating on valentines day. His always had strict girlfriends but I've always prided myself in the fact that I'm not the girl who has to check their partners phone or doesn't let him talk to girls cause that's just not who I am. After 2 months I went on his phone and saw he was on OF so I went open his account to look at girls and saw that he was talking to many a people on there. this immediately brought back all my insecurity around the issue. I understand that its a bit of a grey area and I get that so we talked about it and decided it was better he didn't for the time being and as my anxiety settles we could have another conversation about it. Time past and I was letting him talk to them again cause quite honestly it didn't bother me as much cause I was still getting a lot of attention. As things progressed there were consistent arguments due to them always getting more attention then me. if I wasn't next to him it wasn't worth his time. It progressed to a point where we eventually agreed its just gonna be easier without him talking to other people. He proceeded to do this so I drew a line in the sand saying we are just friends but if he was to want more in the future I would need to see self control. This has been were we have been at for the last 6 months. He is now at a point where he doesn't do the wrong thing but also to him thats enough but to me it isn't. He doesn't ask if I'm okay, he doesn't care how I feel most our conversations start with me being upset but cause he feels bad I'm always cheering him up and none of my problems are being solved. Ive told him a few times now I am literally on the edge of a mental break all the time it is driving me insane. But he also comes from a family that didnt teach him to care about anyone or how to clean or care for people. Ive done so much to help him so I can't just bail on him now.

Witchy76 New relationship or FWB
  • replies: 4

ok so I’ve started dating again. But he’s a truck driver who works 7 days a week. We catch up once or twice a week for dinner. He pays for everything he’s very gentlemanly. He pays for a hotel room for me as I have a two hour drive. He will stay till... View more

ok so I’ve started dating again. But he’s a truck driver who works 7 days a week. We catch up once or twice a week for dinner. He pays for everything he’s very gentlemanly. He pays for a hotel room for me as I have a two hour drive. He will stay till near midnight and then has to leave to get up at 4 am. We text everyday he rings me all the time. We both enjoy each others company and miss each other for the whole week.my dilemma is I want more then this but he’s happy catching up like we do. Says I’m the highlight of his week. I dunno 🤷‍ What to do or think. It would be nice to have someone to wake up to in the morning and go to bed with at night time. Lately all I seem to do is date guys like this. Happy in their own spaces , enjoy your company but then are happy for you to go home until next time. 🤷‍

Bounty-b-lakes Caught me husband on a dating site
  • replies: 3

I recently discovered my husband on a dating site by finding the app on his phone. He has told me he is in a bad place mentally and that it had nothing to do with our marriage and he regrets doing it and hurting me. The thing is, this isn’t the first... View more

I recently discovered my husband on a dating site by finding the app on his phone. He has told me he is in a bad place mentally and that it had nothing to do with our marriage and he regrets doing it and hurting me. The thing is, this isn’t the first time.. and last time he blamed his mental health also. Any trust I had has gone. We have moved to a new state recently and are not near any family and friends, We have a 5 year old son. I feel stuck. I don’t know if I want to leave him and even if I did I don’t know how I could do that being that he is our main income earner. I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want to only see me son 50 percent of the time but I do want to trust my husband again I just don’t know how it’s possible. My mental health is suffering. Every time I’m alone all I can think about is what he did and how he hurt me.. I’m so lost and confused and would really appreciate some advise. We are going to book into marriage counselling soon.

Blue4u Feeling lost
  • replies: 1

I am struggling at the moment as my partner had a life changing fall back in April this year. I witness the whole incident.Falling onto the road causing multiple fractures from collarbone, elbow, ribs and pelvis. Airlifted by helicopter to ICU Trauma... View more

I am struggling at the moment as my partner had a life changing fall back in April this year. I witness the whole incident.Falling onto the road causing multiple fractures from collarbone, elbow, ribs and pelvis. Airlifted by helicopter to ICU Trauma at Westmead Hospital. Finally after 3 months he came home this week. I have endured the fall, the preparation of not surviving and the lasting disabilities he now has for life.The frail man struggling to perform daily tasks and me now his primary carer.I am so emotional and doubt my ability to live life this way. I feel guilty that I feel this way. I have overcome so much in my own life thanks to him. Anxiety and Panic disorder controlled me for most of my life until I reconnected with him. He gave me self belief and confidence to overcome my fears. I still have these demons but I control them not they me. I just feel life has become so overwhelming right now and am reaching out for some support.

Clover9312 Feeling pessimistic and disheartened about the future
  • replies: 10

I’m 28 years old and I have reached a point where I feel quite scared of the future and pessimistic about what’s in store for me. I worry about being single forever and Loneliness in general - despite having an active and satisfying social life. I di... View more

I’m 28 years old and I have reached a point where I feel quite scared of the future and pessimistic about what’s in store for me. I worry about being single forever and Loneliness in general - despite having an active and satisfying social life. I did have a special romantic relationship a couple of years ago. It was devastating when that ended, but I am still friends with my ex and see him regularly through work. I assure you that this has no real negative impact on my day to day life when I see him. It did take me a while to accept the break up, but I’ve spent a lot of time in therapy processing the experience. Sure, I do feel sad on rare occasions, but not like I used to. I speak to a therapist weekly, I read and journal - all things contributing to my self development and that I’ve been proud of. I felt ready to start dating at the beginning of the year again. I haven’t had much luck on the dating apps - nothing terrible, but no real connection with anyone and I don’t want to settle. Since I do have an anxiety about the future and being single forever, I have to admit that I did something very regretful last night. I contacted a “psychic” tarot reader, who appears to be reputable when I look at her website. I ordered an email reading and I opened my inbox this morning to the most disheartening reading from her. She told me that my heart chakra is blocked, possibly from me not processing my past relationship and she said that she can’t “honestly” see me finding love anytime soon, but it seems I will “eventually”. I have had tarot readings before that have been empowering - people interpret the cards in an inspirational way and give advice. But this left me feeling lousy! I know I have work to do and I definitely have been actively doing work on myself for a very very long time, but this in no way inspired or motivated me. She just left me feeling broken. She didn’t try to make me purchase anything to “unblock this”, so I don’t think it’s a scam, but she has left me feeling like there isn’t much hope for the future. If she were able to intuitively look into my situation, she would’ve surely seen that I’m at least trying. Anyway, it only fed into my fear of not finding a person I can connect with romantically and start a family with. My day has really been impacted. I’m sorry that my post took a strange turn with the psychic element here! I really wish I hadn’t contacted this person for reassurance. I feel very alone.

Karen0901 Mum guilt
  • replies: 3

I have a son. He's 3 and a half. My sister in law is pregnant and my son has said he wants a sibling to me when he found out. I have infertility. My son was a result of 7 years of IVF. I have tried to give him a sibling but it hasn't worked. After my... View more

I have a son. He's 3 and a half. My sister in law is pregnant and my son has said he wants a sibling to me when he found out. I have infertility. My son was a result of 7 years of IVF. I have tried to give him a sibling but it hasn't worked. After my last miscarriage earlier in the year, my mental health has become bad and I fear trying again. I am also getting older. How do I deal with the guilt and anxiety? I feel so upset with myself and my life. I know I have tried my best but it doesn't change the reality of my situation.

HumbleBumble Should I hold on to or let go of my partner with depression?
  • replies: 5

I’m a nineteen-year-old female with a boyfriend I haven’t seen for two whole months since he fell into another episode of his previously diagnosed clinical depression. I thought it wouldn’t last for long because now he’s got me – someone who loves hi... View more

I’m a nineteen-year-old female with a boyfriend I haven’t seen for two whole months since he fell into another episode of his previously diagnosed clinical depression. I thought it wouldn’t last for long because now he’s got me – someone who loves him to infinity and who has treated him better than anyone else in his life has – but boy was I wrong. I’ve dealt with having a friend in school who had depression, and the only thing I could do for myself in the end was stop being friends with them because they were constantly bringing me down along with them and I couldn’t handle it anymore. However, my current situation is different because I’m actually in a relationship with this person and I’d do absolutely anything to keep what we used to have a possibility for the near future, although I know there’s a certain time I won’t be able to stand it anymore, and I can feel it getting closer now that we’re at the two month mark. My boyfriend has told me that he hates and is embarrassed of himself, isn’t worth it, doesn’t want to be around people at all, isn’t passionate about anything and doesn’t see what the point of life is. Hearing this constantly is destroying me, but I’m trying my hardest to hold on for him because he’s expressed that he doesn’t want to break up with me by saying things such as “People I have yet to meet...” [talking about my family and friends], but I just don’t know what to do anymore. He isn’t seeking help and doesn’t want to, so what am I supposed to do? I miss how we used to be so badly. All the sweet words, spending time together, cuddles, kisses and intimate times are only some of the things I really crave in life, and not receiving any of it for two whole months has driven me insane. I believe that this boy deserves the entire world after what he’s been through in life, and I want to be the one who can give that to him because I’m so in love with this gentle human. He’s everything I could ever want in a significant other, but the universe is really testing me. I’m so lost. Someone please help me by letting me know what actions to take in regards to this situation. I love him so much, but should I focus more on myself and what I need in a healthy relationship?

MuM-of-Boys Covid pushing us over the edge...
  • replies: 2

Three of the 4 ppl in our family are on medication for mental health...we are al in isolation and myself and husband are super sick with covid at the moment. Everyone is soooo on edge and getting on each other's nerves . Sooo much yelling and screami... View more

Three of the 4 ppl in our family are on medication for mental health...we are al in isolation and myself and husband are super sick with covid at the moment. Everyone is soooo on edge and getting on each other's nerves . Sooo much yelling and screaming... I can't take it anymore I just want to not be here no more. Got in my car tonight and just drove away... not good thought going through my mind. I'm no sure how we going to make it through this week. I just wanted to get it out. I'm struggling and have been for a while.. this is just pushing me over that edge. Thinking of others struggling. Xx

Devil Separation,rejection, troubled mind
  • replies: 1

I am going through a separation at the moment and with that, anxiety and scariness of what the future holds has taken a grip. Coming from a society where leaving ones’ marriage is still regarded as a taboo and given the history of my mother who had 3... View more

I am going through a separation at the moment and with that, anxiety and scariness of what the future holds has taken a grip. Coming from a society where leaving ones’ marriage is still regarded as a taboo and given the history of my mother who had 3 failed marriages, I kept clinging unto this marriage for this long has only created more pain to me. Years of contemplation, adjustments and compromise made me think that I could continue with this although my feelings for my husband had died a natural death a long time back, still I kept going because of the comfort of a family life and a child. My husband is a genuine nice human being, a good father to our 4 year old and maybe a good husband in many ways but me being an emotional being, my marriage always lacked that emotional need that stirred up my mind almost everyday. I kept going with this marriage thinking that maybe this was my fate until recently I met somebody who gave me that emotional support and I fell hard in love with somebody else, so hard that I felt like this was the revelation of my actual feelings towards this marriage. I came clean with my feelings to my husband and proposed separation because I believed that living with my husband whilst I was in love with someone else would be lying to him and to myself. Everybody tells me that I cheated on my husband but I dont feel it that ways because I was never in this marriage emotionally and mentally and was here only physically because of what “people will think” and also I didnt want to hurt my husband and his family. He tried his best to save the marriage even after knowing this for the sake of our 9 years together and obviously for our child too. I too no doubt gave it a thought but then I simply could not keep doing this given the fact that I could never live a loveless life with nil intimacy. So there are many things going on at the moment. Living miles away from close friends and family, a full time health care worker and a full time student, I am scared to death for what this would bring me. The home that we built lovingly is on sale now, hunting for a place to call home for me and my child, everybody around me judging me and my choices of life, no physical support is only making me more anxious each day. However the irony is that the guy I fell in love with cannot be with me for many reasons. And I feel guilty because nothing hurts me more than this fact that he cannot be with me, not even my failed marriage. Why do I feel this?

Positive_vibes89 Struggling with fertility
  • replies: 5

This is a really deep issue that I have been struggling with for almost 3 years. And the struggle has been massively worse. My husband and I were trying to start a family for a year with no success. This brought us to IVF. Then I was told I had a cys... View more

This is a really deep issue that I have been struggling with for almost 3 years. And the struggle has been massively worse. My husband and I were trying to start a family for a year with no success. This brought us to IVF. Then I was told I had a cyst on my ovary that required surgery. Then post surgery I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I recently found out that my brother got his girlfriend pregnant. My heart sank. They both are horrible people. They were horrible to me and my mum. They didn't come to our wedding. My husband and I had no idea what we had done to them to deserve such treatment even my mum. They called mum to tell her that they were expecting and the girlfriend could be heard in the background saying dont tell anyone. Next minute she's posted it all over her social media with a video of surprising her kid sisters with aunty and her mum with a grandma card. Even the woman that dad left my mum for got a dear stepmother you're going to be a grandma card. Mum and I got nothing. It's just simply terrible that we have been treated this way without even knowing what we have done. I abused them both on social media for being so horrible towards mum and myself. It so upsetting that people like those two who are immature are going to have a child. Where my husband and I have a stable marriage and home for a child. It's hurtful that they have included the homewrecker woman who destroyed my family dynamic as grandma but not my mum. I really feel for my mum. How can I cope with all of this mentally knowing that she's pregnant and I'm not as well.