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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Sparks16 Do I have an emotionally abusive parter?
  • replies: 5

Hi Everyone hope you have all had a good week and staying strong in these uncertain times My background is I have a girlfriend of 4 years, 2 kids 1 is 5 and the other under a year , full time jobs etc so a busy household on the daily Just after some ... View more

Hi Everyone hope you have all had a good week and staying strong in these uncertain times My background is I have a girlfriend of 4 years, 2 kids 1 is 5 and the other under a year , full time jobs etc so a busy household on the daily Just after some advice/information/ a different perspective, have found gradually over the last 2 years I’ve felt more and more put down , belittled, criticised by my partner about most things that make me me or about my hobby of running, family members, friendship circles and each time I speak up I’m accused of either being defensive or too sensitive. i really feel I am just the 3rd child in the house at times, sex has totally stopped since she was pregnant 18 months ago and hasn’t been there since after being a regular thing for 2.5 years so very much an physical and emotional gap at the moment. i get accused of having narcissistic personality traits, gas lighting her, emotionally abusing her, so I get quite confused and overwhelmed why I’m being accused of being like this or whether it is true when I’m not the one putting her down and chipping away at her self esteem, only the one trying to encourage her to get back into something after post babies and to see her happy. My girlfriend is quite a strong opinionated personality, very much a perfectionist at times and is a her way or the highway kind of mentality also. To own my part in the relationship I certainly haven’t been perfect over the 4 years and have made some bad mistakes along the way, betraying her trust by confiding in others etc, I have done my best to rectify and fix and continue to show up and try each day but I feel also she has never gotten over this so suspecting this has a part to play? probbaly havnt written this out to make a whole lot of sense but if anyone can decipher or has some advice or an opinion would be much appreciated Thank You!

Sunflower62 Is it cheating?
  • replies: 15

I confess, I snooped on my husbands phone. I know I shouldn’t have but I did and I’m not sorry. I left him a couple of years ago not because I no longer loved him but because I was struggling to live with him. Less than two weeks after I left he star... View more

I confess, I snooped on my husbands phone. I know I shouldn’t have but I did and I’m not sorry. I left him a couple of years ago not because I no longer loved him but because I was struggling to live with him. Less than two weeks after I left he started going out with someone else. I didn’t find this out until about 4 months down the track. He told me they were just friends but he did his best to hide the relationship. Anyway, about 11 months later after a lot of conversation we decided that we should give it another go. She had “dumped” him but they still remained friends. Fast forward to yesterday. I found a text from him to her wishing her a happy birthday. And then I found the photos of her and him when they had been going out that he had saved into “stories”. As far as I know she is in another relationship and has moved on with life. I don’t know what to think about this. Does it mean anything? Does it mean he still has feelings for her? Am I just making a mountain?

A__Culeds Do I stay in a Loveless marriage?
  • replies: 7

Hi there. Have been married for 21 yrs and am 46- with 2 kids. At the start of this year my wife started to get really anxious about intimacy. She said the thought of it made her sick. I suggested counselling and thought she was going through some de... View more

Hi there. Have been married for 21 yrs and am 46- with 2 kids. At the start of this year my wife started to get really anxious about intimacy. She said the thought of it made her sick. I suggested counselling and thought she was going through some depression. She went to 2 sessions and was told that many relationships are sexless and it’s ok. So I basically haven’t touched her in 6 months. Our intimacy and physical stuff like hand holding and kissing has always been instigated by me. We have discussed this many times but now she is done discussing. Says she is not in love with me anymore but we get on well and really are just living as flat mates. We’ve 2 boys- 15 yrs with ASD and 11 yrs. Yesterday I tried to be intimate and she told me to stop. Later that day we had a conversation about where to from here. We both agree that we don’t want the boys to move. I want to do couples counselling but she just doesn’t see the point- she doesn’t see how talking about it will make her want sex. She says she has never really been into it. It is fairly clear that she doesn’t really love me and is more like a flat mate. Her not wanting to fix stuff for me is a sign that she doesn’t love me. She would be quite happy being flat mates. I have been craving that physical side. Don’t know what to do. Do I stay on a loveless marriage where we actually do enjoy each other’s company or do I start looking for love elsewhere. We talked about renting a room in a share house and spending a week at a time in our family home with the boys and one away. Am 99% sure she is not having an affair. I really don’t want my life to change BUT do not want to be with someone who does not love me in the way I need.

Judy H Partner won’t seek help with mental illness
  • replies: 8

Needing some support badly! Ive been with my partner for 9 years. In the beginning, he was charming. We were very happy & so much in love. But through the years, there would be episodes of complete silence from him. He would shut me out emotionally a... View more

Needing some support badly! Ive been with my partner for 9 years. In the beginning, he was charming. We were very happy & so much in love. But through the years, there would be episodes of complete silence from him. He would shut me out emotionally and for days not talk to me. I took the immature path of begging him to talk to me and tell me what was wrong, but he would say he “needed to think about things.” Eventually, he would snap out of this and go back to his charming and beautiful self. If I brought up the subject of this “silent treatment “, he would make it clear he didn’t want to talk about it, so we went on with life. However, things have now escalated to the point that he continues to go through days of “silent treatment” towards me, followed by days of verbal abuse towards me. He tells me that I’m the problem & I’m the cause of all his troubles. He tells me I’ve cheated on him, hacked his MyGov account, changed him to behave in this way. This pattern occurs 2-3 times a year, getting worse with each episode. when things do calm down, he is back to his old pleasant self. I try acknowledging the previous behaviour, but he changes the subject and showers with me love & attention to distract me from going any further with the conversation. Things never get addressed & we go through this cycles. This latest episode that we are in now has been horrid. He’s telling me I have to leave, threatening me with comments like “you’ll be getting a letter from my solicitor to get you out”, “I don’t believe you - I want to see a “Stat Dec”, etc, etc. I am at my wits end. I feel worthless and helpless. This has been the worse episode. When I tell him not to speak to me that way, he tells me it’s all my fault & ive turned him into this person. I know what I see now is a totally different person to who he is. Each of the personalities are completely different. I know this ugly person is not my partner & it’s so scary to see him like this. ive told him I believe there’s a problem & how I would support him through thick or thin. But, this makes him more angry & I cop further abuse. It’s reflected to be me with the problems . I’m anxious all the time & not thinking straight. I’m currently in the spare room; I find myself going to bed as soon as I get home from work, just to avoid another onslaught of abuse. If I do approach him & quietly ask to talk about things, I’m the one who ends up crying & saying sorry. please advise as I don’t know what to do anymore

white knight Apologies- within reason
  • replies: 37

I don’t know about you but over my 64 years I’ve met many people that don’t apologise for their wrong doing. Having observed this and was once married for 11 years to a narcissistic wife that never apologised once in all that time, I’ve come to concl... View more

I don’t know about you but over my 64 years I’ve met many people that don’t apologise for their wrong doing. Having observed this and was once married for 11 years to a narcissistic wife that never apologised once in all that time, I’ve come to conclusion that absence of apologies is excess of arrogance, stubbornness or both. Whatever the reason it leaves the more apologetic one with lots of frustration because they, like most, run their lives with apologies as a basic form of expressing regret which is a conventional method of healing so we can move forward. Without that you live a marriage where you question your own judgements when apology is absent. Imo that comes from greater commitment with knowledge that without carrying responsibility for your own errors, the future of the marriage is in jeapody. As my first wife and I had young children when we parted ways we still had to communicate for visitations and pick ups/drop offs and education concerns. This meant a continuous stream of talking flowed on so in effect that stubbornness went on for a further 14 years until the youngest was 18yo, when finally I needed to escape and severed all contact. That’s how bad an “attitude” can be. That was 10 years ago. Yet the scars live on. Now if a friend or relative is in clear error I do like some expression of regret- if it is shown then I click into forgiveness mode quickly- most times. What about an excess of apologies? Commonly found in people with low self esteem, these apologies reflect a domineering factor in your childhood whereby you were told “you are wrong” in an over domineering way- as an adult you continue to feel that guilt and guilt is s terrible backpack to carry around. google beyondblue topic guilt the tormentor Those “guilt” rocks in that backpack should be thrown in the river, revert to normality and apologise only when you are convinced you have made an error. Finally, I learned in training to be a young prison officer that in a group and you make an error (say you incorrectly made an accusation) then the correct action if possible is to apologise to that person in front of the same people. You might feel embarrassment but you’ll gain respect. In a jail it could save your life but respect is hard to gain amongst prisoners, that’s one way of getting it- is to treat people proper. What is your take on apologies? TonyWK

NI1234 My partner loves me, but does he actually want to stay with me
  • replies: 4

I've been with my partner for 10 years, due to health issues sex has been sore, or can't perform. We had just let that side of things slip away, and sorted ourselves out in whatever ways we did. we have been trying for a baby and giving our sexual re... View more

I've been with my partner for 10 years, due to health issues sex has been sore, or can't perform. We had just let that side of things slip away, and sorted ourselves out in whatever ways we did. we have been trying for a baby and giving our sexual relationship hadn't been going well this has had its moments. We both have very low moods, mine because I have lost all self-confidence and his I think because he doesn't feel like a man, not yet had kids, out of work. I have been getting low moods for a while while the stresses of trying to convince also the lack of self-love. My partner is a loving man, but I being his first real girlfriend and now in 30s/40s he didn't always know the right things to say. He told me in the nicest possible way that he wasn't attracted to weight on me, I lost weight, he had also mentioned how I didn't wear makeup anymore etc. I've started trying to make more an effort. I told him recently how he didn't say I looked good etc, he understood and said sorry he just took it for granted, he really does care about me. sex has improved but still issues. Due to my age looking at ivf and each reaching out for help. But as much as he said he loves me and never wants us to be apart, his want for a family now is more. I feel I'm going to lose him if ivf doesn't work, he is younger, it wouldn't be fair to hold him to me if that's his needs. So I could lose my chances of ever having a family and the man I love so dear all in one go, I'm felling apart, and I can't see past him leaving me, I should be looking forward in our process of trying for our family but I'm worried so much I can't even think, and keep breaking down. I have said to him I'll let you go, go get someone younger, not because I want him too, because I love him so much if ivf didn't work I wouldn't want him hating me and regretting us. A good thing is that we are opening up more but, I can't tell him the reason I feel so bad is because he told me in the nicest possible way he wasn't attracted to me and with me losing my ability as a woman to please her man and to give him a child, I am in bits. What do I do, how can I fix this?

Newbie78 Not sure what to do
  • replies: 4

For the last 6 months I have been in contact via sms and snapchat with an old friend. She normally only texts when she is drunk but never admits she is drunk when she is texting. She has also promised to organise a date to hang out. I am starting to ... View more

For the last 6 months I have been in contact via sms and snapchat with an old friend. She normally only texts when she is drunk but never admits she is drunk when she is texting. She has also promised to organise a date to hang out. I am starting to think she is outright lying to me. She sends me random photos on snapchat of herself, just normal selfies and she got defensive when I took a screen shot of one. We are both lesbians. She is married and I am in a long term relationship. Should I cut ties?

UnsureRightNow I don't if I'm in the wrong but my headspace is regressing and I can't move out
  • replies: 3

Hey, I'm a 21-year old guy. Never ever thought I'd find myself here but things have just gotten very bad recently... My mum and I have a toxic relationship. I sensed we weren't just fighting like a normal mother-son relationship after she took me to ... View more

Hey, I'm a 21-year old guy. Never ever thought I'd find myself here but things have just gotten very bad recently... My mum and I have a toxic relationship. I sensed we weren't just fighting like a normal mother-son relationship after she took me to New York when I was 14. I was being a prick, nagging her why she would send me to an all-boys Catholic school when all my other friends were in the public one. She told me she couldn't be around me and that she was going back to the apartment. I sat on a chair for maybe an hour then when I got back, there were police everywhere. She told them I ran off and it was very weird/ embarrassing for me to see her crying in the lobby as American police officers were saying I should never runoff again. Ringing police for her was her only move. She would do it constantly and say I was being a bad kid to the cops whod try and lightly give me parental advice and she begged for sympathy. Obviously I never did anything physical to her in the slightest, but she knew with every argument, the threat of police would silence me up. It became a sick power move. When I was 19 she kept threatening me with a restraining order over disputes. I would swear at her as that was my only way to make her feel hurt. Stupid I know. Anyway one time, after I went on a trip, she went through with it. Police came to the door told me I had to go. Dad always just stood out of it, which I find weak as piss. So after I was told to leave she told me I could come back that same night. Pretended like nothing happend, then a few days later when a small fight broke out, she threatend that if she rang the police, id be charged for breaking it. Also, she lied on the restraining order. Said I pushed when she found my bong. She asked if I had it, i gave it to her AND NEVER PUSHED HER. Also because swore at her, she made the transcript say I was making sexual remarks to her. This threat went on for nearly a year, she even extended it. But last minute removed the charges (threat) and the court date disappeared. Since then, I steer clear when she threatens police. I've apoligised to her for things I wasn't proud off in the past. Explained how threating the poilice is too messed up. But she can just act like everything is fine in a second - infront of my friends. I'm 21. The toxicity is having a serious threat and she always steals my dads money. He has to hide it from her and they dont even sleep in the same bed. Financially i cant move out yet.

Elsam Have you been GHOSTED and how did you deal with it
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I have a terrible heart sinking feeling I have been ghosted by a man that I really have feelings for. We have been in contact for 5 mths and we had a date 2 weekends ago! The date was perfect and we got along so well but since then he has been very d... View more

I have a terrible heart sinking feeling I have been ghosted by a man that I really have feelings for. We have been in contact for 5 mths and we had a date 2 weekends ago! The date was perfect and we got along so well but since then he has been very distant. He did send me photos a week ago and then I told him I was so attracted to him. His response: Oh! Boy! Blushing So I responded you wanted to know what I was thinking! He never responded! I have messaged him Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no response even saying I would love to see him again. i want to call him out by ringing him tonight but scared I will really lose him for good if o call him What have you done in this situation? This whole ghosting thing is just cruel!!!!

sleepyfox Co-worker crush
  • replies: 5

I'm looking for some advice as I have absolutely no experience with relationships. I'm in my mid 20s and I've never dated anyone and am super self conscious about this. There is a guy that I work with that I have had a crush on for like four years. H... View more

I'm looking for some advice as I have absolutely no experience with relationships. I'm in my mid 20s and I've never dated anyone and am super self conscious about this. There is a guy that I work with that I have had a crush on for like four years. He's the only guy I can honestly say that I've ever been legitimately interested in, but I really don't know what to do about it. I feel like I'm terrible at reading the signs and can't tell if he is interested in me. I feel like maybe in the past he may have been trying to flirt with me, but I was too naïve to notice and that I have blown my chance. I'm too scared to actually go for it and ask him out, particularly since we are good friends and we still work together. I don't want to ruin that, or have things become awkward at work. But I also am really struggling to stop thinking about him. I tried to make peace with the fact that we would probably never be more than friends, particularly with him being a few years older than me. But I still have really strong feelings for him, and it can be hard at work. Whenever I talk to or message him I always feel like I'm being annoying, as I've never been any good at keeping friendships either. I just don't know what to do, I don't know how to navigate these feelings as I've never dated or broken up with anyone or had to move on. Any advice would be appreciated!