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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Rainbows32 Ex husband driving me into deep depression
  • replies: 6

Hello - I am completely at the end of my tether. I am supposed to be in a coparenting arrangement with my ex husband, but it turns out that I do everything and he is just obnoxious, rude, and obstructive and has caused me enormous difficulty for the ... View more

Hello - I am completely at the end of my tether. I am supposed to be in a coparenting arrangement with my ex husband, but it turns out that I do everything and he is just obnoxious, rude, and obstructive and has caused me enormous difficulty for the past five years. He dumps the kids with no notice when its meant to be his time, consistently does stupid things that are disruptive and frustrating (like refusing to return kids school uniform), doesn't buy kids clothes and needs for his house , doesnt pay his share of costs under the parenting agreement, etc. He used to barge into my place all the time to take things like clothes and bikes, now I have put in electric gates and security so he will sit in the driveway and blare his car horn deliberately my quality of life is very poor (I cant commit to things, i always let people down last moment because of the kids), last year I got fired from my job (15 years at the company; direct result of him) and now my partner moved out because he couldn't deal with the situation. I dont feel like talking to anyone about it because I have been nothing but sad/boring/angry/complicated/trouble as a friend for the past 5+ years, and so I have to pretend to be happy He has refused to take his son for the past two months (complications to do with the new 25-year-younger online import wife) and foreseeable future, this is causing the whole family upset and i am going out of my mind trying to help my son who is ADHD and feeling rejected by his father, I need to get out and find a job and do something for myself but I cant. I used to be a senior international business executive, very successful and very together but now i am just an absolute wreck with no confidence and absolutely lost. we all three have psychologists. Since my partner left a month ago things have gotten very bad - I don't sleep, i cant go out anywhere, i dont get anything done, I am yelling at the kids all the time, i feel physically ill and have a tightness/heaviness/pain in my chest. Some days I just cant see the point and it feels like the kids would be better off without me, but I know that I am all they have so I have to keep going. I am completely lost, i just dont know what to do every day. I was taking all responsiblity to try to help keep the kids steady but now I am worried that I cant helpthem anymore, and I might even be hurting them because I am so unstable. Please does anyone know how I can stop this spiral??

Man with no name Dad’s dying
  • replies: 5

I’ve just found out my dad only has a couple of weeks to live. We’ve only spoke a couple of times in the last 20 years. He was an alcoholic, I got sick and tired of making all of the effort so I just stopped calling him. He never called me. now the t... View more

I’ve just found out my dad only has a couple of weeks to live. We’ve only spoke a couple of times in the last 20 years. He was an alcoholic, I got sick and tired of making all of the effort so I just stopped calling him. He never called me. now the time comes and I’ve thought about this many times over the years, what would I do when he gets sick/dies? I don’t know. Do I visit him? Do I go to the funeral? Do I just continue on like the last 20 years and not do anything?

Nothappyuni My daughter's 20th birthday today but I am blocked from all contact.
  • replies: 5

I never thought about having kids till one day when I saw a father and his five or six year old daughter, that moment something changed inside me. My wife decided we had to have a house first, then when she was ready we would have a child. I hoped fo... View more

I never thought about having kids till one day when I saw a father and his five or six year old daughter, that moment something changed inside me. My wife decided we had to have a house first, then when she was ready we would have a child. I hoped for a girl, my wife wanted a boy- we had the most beautiful girl. It was a horrific labor that left my wife second-guessing her feelings for our daughter. My wife decided at only weeks that our baby should go in her own room. I would come home from work desperate to hold my daughter, and my wife would eagerly hand her over- the crying and screaming would always end as soon as she was in my arms. My wife did 'Controlled Crying' on my daughter when she was 7 months old. I cried more than my daughter hearing her anguish as she was left in her room till eventually it was agreed I would put my daughter to bed every night. I took singing lessons and learnt songs- and sang her to sleep in my arms (no more tears). We were inseparable as she grew. Having given birth to the boy she always wanted, my wife lost herself in him while I strived to be equal in my dealings with both my children. I was active in every part of their lives volunteering, taking up positions to be there. The break down of my marriage was slow, I knew it was happening but my partner would tell me I was stupid and seeing things. Insults and put downs, constant nagging, never being happy with my income or achievements- the original love of my life was slowly destroying me. The strain of the relationship, work and family commitments meant I was short tempered and irritable. Pushed by my wife I raised my voice at times and the kids were quickly told "See, your father IS a bastard". The final years my wife spent secretly telling both my children all her pent up ill feelings for me, though I never heard anything but a forced "I love you" when she went to work. My daughter could see it all though, and told me. I had texts from my X about how she planned to leave the family and live with another guy she worked with, showing the kids would only cause harm, I love them too much to hurt them more. My X took to drinking, a lot of drinking- I don't think it is a good role model for your children (They were now late teens). I left my home and my family of 25 years when my then wife attended one marriage counselling session and walked out when told both of us had blame. My kids had only their mother's words in their ears there after. I so miss my daughter.

HBet Depressed bf wants me gone. Nowhere to go for Christmas
  • replies: 3

My bf and I have been together for 5 years, the last 2 living together away from home in NSW through the pandemic. We've had our ups and downs but have mostly been okay and always spoke about marrying, kids and buying a house one day. I heard whisper... View more

My bf and I have been together for 5 years, the last 2 living together away from home in NSW through the pandemic. We've had our ups and downs but have mostly been okay and always spoke about marrying, kids and buying a house one day. I heard whispers that he was looking at engagement rings earlier this year. Then our long sydney lockdown happened. The first 50 days were good. "I'm so glad we have each other" "We've got this" but the last 50 were hard on my bf and he became depressed. He took on more and more responsibility at work and disengaged from everything else. "I feel numb, lost. I don't know what's wrong or why I'm crying." Then we got out of lockdown and he didn't get better. He got worse in fact. Barely leaving the house, locking himself into study and work all day and night. Constantly anxious, unable to relax. His attitude changed - he didn't want to spend time with me, he no longer wanted kids or to be married at all. "I don't want anyone to rely on me or be accountable to anyone" One week later, I became what was wrong in his life. "Our relationship has been dead for years" "I don't have the capacity to be with you anymore" I'm devastated and blindsided. He has gone overseas for work for a while but when he gets home he wants me gone. I honestly feel as if he's suffering through a breakdown. With borders closed, I cant get home for Christmas or to even stay with friends or extended family. I don't know what to do. I don't know where to live. I can't fathom a life without him and part of me refuses to believe this is real. We've been through so much for him to end it for no real reason? Lost, alone, nowhere to go. Looking for practical advice on where to go next and emotional advice on how to get through

Todda Being a step-parent is hard!
  • replies: 2

Hi there. I never wanted to be a step-parent... he was shared care with his mother when i moved in. Mother dumped him at 13. No contact with her since. I love his Dad and love him too but I can't do right in his eyes. He treats me like he did his mot... View more

Hi there. I never wanted to be a step-parent... he was shared care with his mother when i moved in. Mother dumped him at 13. No contact with her since. I love his Dad and love him too but I can't do right in his eyes. He treats me like he did his mother but he even admits that I have been more of a mother. I live with hope ... in humanity, my own kids, in my work in Child Protection, for my partner to not have his next asthma attack, for step-son to show consideration to his Dad after 19 years and to me after 10. He speaks of being independent and an adult yet sits on technology 14+ hours a day waiting to have shelter and food met without any input to family/household unless nagged ... then begrudgingly. We have tried counselling, in home one-on-one therapy, star charts, boundaries and contracts. Nothing works because he doesn't understand consequences nor that his word to his parents should be accountable. It is different for his friends.... nothing is to much for them. He crosses the threshold and it is just me, me, me. His Dad and I are tired. Step-son wants to move out but doesn't do anything to help himself as his device world is his reality plus he knows Dad will always bail him out. My private and work lives combine as I come home to a horse I have lead to water but won't drink. His Dad struggles with breathing in the shower or carrying one bag of groceries but step-son just sits in his room oblivious or just ignoring. I have lowered my expectations and compromised my values only for him to ignore his father's health issues. They are only baby steps I want ... take out garbage when needed, be polite in conversation, pooper scoop daily, help with yard/housework let alone cook dinner regularly. Sorry for the ramble, just needed to get the thoughts out so I may get some sleep. Take care to all.

BluFriend Friend struggling to survive in a family in ongoing crisis
  • replies: 1

My friend lives with a husband & 13 year old child, each with serious mental health & physical conditions. She too, has her own significant health issues including chronic fatigue which is exacerbated by the family situation. She is constantly blamed... View more

My friend lives with a husband & 13 year old child, each with serious mental health & physical conditions. She too, has her own significant health issues including chronic fatigue which is exacerbated by the family situation. She is constantly blamed by the husband & child for the family crisis, including being harassed for being 'lazy' despite her still being responsible for the others and keeping house. The family is also dependent on her for income. Is there a way she can get respite?

Stevolica27 I'm afraid we might need to separate
  • replies: 14

Hey guys, my partner has ADHD and we just found out after 7 years together. I'm so committed to finding out how to help and how to minimise its effect on our relationship. I have anxiety issues although eventually took it upon myself to talk to someo... View more

Hey guys, my partner has ADHD and we just found out after 7 years together. I'm so committed to finding out how to help and how to minimise its effect on our relationship. I have anxiety issues although eventually took it upon myself to talk to someone about it. My partner wasn't very tolerant of it, but maybe that's the ADHD. Anyway, we were talking about ADHD and relationships last night, and long story short, i opened an old wound around the holidays where we were hanging out with her friends and family, but she wouldn't come spend a few hours with my friends who happened to be holidaying in the same area. I tend to lose her to the (her) group so to speak, any time we hang out with all of them, but if it's the other way around, i try to put her first and look after her needs and participate as a couple. In conclusion, she reflected on it last night, said she didn't enjoy hanging out with my friends as much, and when i mentioned the countless times I've compromised to visit with her family and friends and she won't do the same for me, she said "that's your choice" kind of thing. So long term, she's basically saying we either hang out together with her 'group' or we do separate things... And i just don't think that's okay with me, or sustainable. I feel it's a deal-breaker but I'm so far in I'm worried about ending the relationship. Most other things are fine ...

Pinkly I feel like a fool
  • replies: 4

My self worth seems to have dropped a bit. I had a guy over my place on the weekend. He came over for drinks and a catch up. Never met him before. I really thought we hit it off. We had so much in common, we're talking about literally anything and ev... View more

My self worth seems to have dropped a bit. I had a guy over my place on the weekend. He came over for drinks and a catch up. Never met him before. I really thought we hit it off. We had so much in common, we're talking about literally anything and everything. I showed him my favourite movie, and we stayed up til 2am talking and bonding. I really thought we formed a connection. He stayed the night, and we even texted rhe next day after he went home. The day after that I worked up the courage to ask him on a proper date to a korean food place we spoke about and he even said "you'll have to take me there" I got left on read. He opened the message within a minute of me sending it. And no reply at all. I've never asked anyone out properly before. I really truly like this guy. Damnit.

Sasquatchion So very lonely
  • replies: 6

Hi all, My girlfriend and I are both sailors in the Navy, so it's common for us to not see each other for long periods of time. In 2019 we saw each other for a total of 7 days for the entire year. Not ideal, but it's the nature of our jobs and I woul... View more

Hi all, My girlfriend and I are both sailors in the Navy, so it's common for us to not see each other for long periods of time. In 2019 we saw each other for a total of 7 days for the entire year. Not ideal, but it's the nature of our jobs and I wouldn't have met her without it. But I've recently been diagnosed with a whole host of mental health issues, which means that I can no longer sail and thus am stuck in a boring job ashore while I wait for my medical discharge to progress. This means my girlfriend is away often and I'm stuck at home waiting for her return. I have also realised that I have no friends, and that everyone we hang out with in social settings are actually HER friends that she has on board her ship. That means when she goes away, all of the people I know have gone as well. My family all lives interstate, which means I cannot see them very often so I spend my time counting down the days until she returns. I am introverted, shy and socially anxious so meeting people is a huge ordeal for me, but I can force myself to go out and I usually have a good time once I have calmed myself down. I've gone down to my local pub several times (by myself) in the hopes that I might make a friend but everyone is already there with people, so the bartender just feels sorry for me and talks to me instead. I've even signed up for an app that helps you find friends, but I'm too scared to even message anyone. I feel silly for even going down this route, but I literally don't know what else to do.

Jane_S Starting life as a couple while raising step kids and cohabiting with a friend
  • replies: 8

I have a partner of 3 years who has 3 kids under under 10. I used to rent a unit on my own and after a few years I got a friend who shared it with me for another couple of years years. Then 2 years ago I met my now partner we all got along well. Last... View more

I have a partner of 3 years who has 3 kids under under 10. I used to rent a unit on my own and after a few years I got a friend who shared it with me for another couple of years years. Then 2 years ago I met my now partner we all got along well. Last year we moved in the house I've built with a plan of starting to live as a couple and build a family with the kids and eventually try to have a child of our own once we are set. With my friend I told her she can move in with us until she can find a place to move into. I work fulltime and my partner works the opposite shift. We get the kids one weekend and the other weekend my partner works. It was all well and good until his ex changed the weekends leaving me with no alone time with my partner. Plus having my friend with us full time which makes it difficult to start life as a couple. I don't want to have to tell her that it is time to move out. We had intances where we had to cancel our dinner date as a couple because my friend was upset and acted sad when we told her that we are gonna have dinner. She was expecting us to invite her so I had to give her the talk. Seen as we live work and have same circle of friends I also had to give her the talk on how I also needed time just by muself and not to be offended if I don't hang out where she is. Lately, my partner and I had a fight and I was upset as I felt she didn't thought of giving us space to talk and expected me to ask her to leave. So with having fulltime jobs with opposite schedule and demands of helping take care of the kids and building rapport with them, but at the same time also giving the kids quality time with their dad plus a fulltime friend who does most things with us, am I out of line if I feel like I don't have the time I deserve with my partner? Am I out of line if I'm feeling upset about having to feel like I have to be a supportive partner a caring and cool step mother and a good friend all in one household?