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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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?

Shae14 Toxic Breakup
  • replies: 5

My ex boyfriend contacted me last week after ghosting me for 3 months to let me know that he still had feelings for me even though he was in a relationship. We were in a toxic relationship on and off for 6 years and when he contacted me he also apolo... View more

My ex boyfriend contacted me last week after ghosting me for 3 months to let me know that he still had feelings for me even though he was in a relationship. We were in a toxic relationship on and off for 6 years and when he contacted me he also apologised for all of the horrible things he had done to me. He advised me he had a girlfriend and that he was going to end it with her which he did. I spent the last few days with him while he was dealing with his ex girlfriend and things officially ended on thursday when he dropped her stuff back to her house. We discussed that we were going to have a fresh start and he said he loved me. We spent thursday night together and we spoke about the changes we will make moving forward. As we were going to sleep he told me he felt as though we had no connection even though we thought the reason for this was because I was stressed about my brother being in hospital and we were also dealing with drama with his ex girlfriend. He ended up leaving my house thursday night and drove straight to his girlfriends house and they have been together ever since. He has only been with this person for 2 months and told all of his friends and family that he was going to break up with her to be with me. His family are quite angry about his decision and his dad was the one who contacted me to let me know that he was now with that other person. I went to his house to discuss what happened between us as he had blocked my number and when i arrived his girlfriend was there and he physically assaulted me. I used self-defence and also assaulted him back. I feel physically sick and don’t know why someone would do this to me, he broke up with his girlfriend to be with me and then ran back to her a few days later. Does anyone have any advice for moving on after a toxic breakup? I also suffer from anxiety and depression and this situation has not helped. I have not been able to eat or sleep and just want to move on with my life but i'm struggling with my anxiety.

Nitro996 Wife for 11yrs wants to separate (feeling lost)
  • replies: 6

Hello I am not typically the person to share my internal issues with anyone (including my wife, maybe that's the problem) typically I keep to myself and don't have many friends (and have been distant with the ones I have) I'm a mechanic and I work aw... View more

Hello I am not typically the person to share my internal issues with anyone (including my wife, maybe that's the problem) typically I keep to myself and don't have many friends (and have been distant with the ones I have) I'm a mechanic and I work away for a week or two at a time, when I came home about 2 months ago my wife (11yrs, meet in school and been together 16yrs) asked for space and was ready to leave, she felt she had no option I offered to stay elsewhere to not disturb our boys (6 and 3) after a night apart and a few nights sleeping in different beds I felt we were on the right path we were seeing a counsellor, we went on a date, we were communicating more 5 days ago I came home from work to find my wife once again waiting for me ready to leave we had a short very painful discussion where she explained how she is not sure she knows who she is anymore and doesn't know if she wants to be with me and needs time without me to find out I didnt (and not sure if I do now) quite understand why or how me not being there is going to help, but I still very much love her and want to support her no matter what so I offered to leave once again for our boys (as they are use to me not being home) the next day I took the boys to school and childcare and discussed with my wife moving forward she agreed to let me stay in the house and look after the boys till the end of the weekend and then I would have to find somewhere else to live for the foreseeable future (this was so painful to hear), a full on separation the past few days have been really terrible, however eye opening I feel I have been a terrible husband and father my wife did so much for me and I so little in return I feel so much pain and anger for the person I have been and so much sorrow for what I have done to her that she feels this is her only option I feel physically sick and am not sleeping much (I am still forcing myself to eat and drinking plenty of water) I want to be a better person and father and husband, I am just not sure I know how and I feel its too little, too late on the positive side I feel I am personally on the right path I have been reading a self help book on marriage and reading a lot of posts on these forums and now am opening up to you and the few close friends I have, and spending quality time with my boys and I have realised how wonderfully my wife has raised them practically as a single mother, they truly are great, kind, caring little male versions of my wife thank you for listening

Grivven plik I will seperate from my wife soon. Where do I stand?
  • replies: 9

Hi all. My wife of 10 years was an alcoholic for 6.5 of those years. She's a wonderful person to have successfully recovered from her addiction. I have a lot of respect for her. We have a 6 year old, and he loves her very much. She's a great mum now.... View more

Hi all. My wife of 10 years was an alcoholic for 6.5 of those years. She's a wonderful person to have successfully recovered from her addiction. I have a lot of respect for her. We have a 6 year old, and he loves her very much. She's a great mum now. During the long years of her addiction, she was terrifying to live with. I was often in fear for her life, our sons life and sometimes my own. There were many traumatising events, and I am currently seeing some psychologists to deal with them. Despite being sober, she can still be hostile and resentful to me in extreme ways, and also (rarely) to our son. One of my psychologists thinks she could have Borderline Personality Disorder. She has good support, but no diagnosis, and I don't feel safe enough yet to raise that possibility with her. I also have recently been diagnosed with ADHD and can see now that I have coped through all the conflict by pushing my own needs and wants to the background, to avoid conflict, rejection and overwhelm. I am medicated and doing ok with that now but I can see clearer now and have decided I need to leave. I am worried about finances. It is likely we could have a 50 50 split of our child, but It might be that she has more, as It would be easier for me to move out and for him to stay in the home he knows. I believe this generally means a higher split of assets for her? I guess this is the tough part, what about me. Is there a way that some compensation can be factored into the asset split to account for the damage I took in supporting her during her addiction years? Does this ever happen? A major reason I stayed with her was to wait until she was solid and reliable as a parent. I helped her get sober, and I constantly supported and encouraged her career pursuits. I would not leave if she was not safe with him. God I'm lucky she has gotten sober. But, there were violent events in our child's first year where she lashed out at him and I had to put my own body in the line of strikes. It hurt me in a way i am still only just coming to grips with now. Sometimes she would drive drunk with him. Very drunk. I was afraid to say no to sex. I struggle daily with my sleep, sometimes having nightmares, sometimes having daytime vivid horror daydreams, not of her attacking, but just me needing to be ready to fight for my life and his. I struggle with sex now. She has gone forward, I have gone backward. Where do I stand? What are my best first handful of steps to take?

ChrisM0502 Dealing with being the person who hurt their partner
  • replies: 9

Thank you for your understanding before reading my post. I made the wrong decision to send inappropriate text msgs to another person behind my partners back and my partner rightly left me. I am struggling with dealing with this. I genuinely love my p... View more

Thank you for your understanding before reading my post. I made the wrong decision to send inappropriate text msgs to another person behind my partners back and my partner rightly left me. I am struggling with dealing with this. I genuinely love my partner and have committed to working with a counsellor to work through my mistake and have been doing so for 2 months now. My partner still keeps in touch and I have not pushed this from my end. She has organised a few catch ups in recent weeks and even came to my home last week crying her eyes out due to some work issues she was having. I sat with her and talk to her and we held hands and I gave her a big hug. On the weekend just gone she suggested another catch up. Last night she sent me a text msg saying she got stressed and sad whenever she saw me and she can't go back to what we were. I understand that I have no say in this and my post here isn't about this as I can't control how she is feeling. I just feel somewhat confused about how her actions (catch ups, being emotionally supported by my) doesn't appear to match her thoughts in the text msgs. How do I approach this?