Relationship and family issues

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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

Juliet_84 Do you have “that conversation” with your parents before they die?
  • replies: 11

Hi all, I grew up in a household with a very controlling and volatile mother. She had a lot of narcissistic tendencies, a superiority complex and a need to always be right, would constantly see you as a threat to her authority (in her own mind) so wo... View more

Hi all, I grew up in a household with a very controlling and volatile mother. She had a lot of narcissistic tendencies, a superiority complex and a need to always be right, would constantly see you as a threat to her authority (in her own mind) so would create ridiculous rules that you had to follow just to assert her dominance, would forever initiate arguments and then say incredibly hurtful things. But perhaps most hurtful was my father, in contrast, he was kind and loving and consistent, but gutless. Not even a bystander, she would often get him to do her bidding. She would often send him to do her dirty work and break up whatever fun we were having to march us back to her, and he did it dutifully. It’s little wonder I ended up in a DV relationship as an adult. Now I have a very pleasant relationship with both of my parents. My dad had always been happy and loving and my mother is now committed to the role of being a loving and caring mother (partly due to appearances I’m sure), and she can uphold that for the brief visits that we see her. For a time, I even considered that it was likely a stressful time for her too and we have all moved on and put that chapter behind us. My sister has recently moved back home for a spell and can confirm that my mother has not changed one bit and is back to her old tricks. Both of my parents are ageing. My question is, do you have your say and tell your parents the effect they had on you growing up and hold them accountable for their behaviour or do you let sleeping dogs lie and try to move on and heal on your own? Will I regret not saying how I feel?

movingkids Moving from country town to city
  • replies: 2

I have a child with anxiety and struggle to help her as I don't understand the condition much. I have been offered work in a capital city which means moving. We tried a couple of weeks and she had a panic attack in the city centre. She has said she c... View more

I have a child with anxiety and struggle to help her as I don't understand the condition much. I have been offered work in a capital city which means moving. We tried a couple of weeks and she had a panic attack in the city centre. She has said she can't handle the city and likes the small town we live in. She did not really leave the house when in the city and she will need to change schools as well. She does SH as well. She is 13 yrs old but for me the job opportunity and increase wages is to good to pass. Will I make things worst for her forcing her the change towns and school.

Cloo I think my girlfriends mentally draining
  • replies: 9

I’ve been in a relationship for about a year and a bit now. It’s been pretty smooth sailing but over the past couple of months things have been starting to get really bad. A while back we had a moment where we fought and eventually broke up, but we t... View more

I’ve been in a relationship for about a year and a bit now. It’s been pretty smooth sailing but over the past couple of months things have been starting to get really bad. A while back we had a moment where we fought and eventually broke up, but we talked and gave it another go. Since then things haven’t been the same. I don’t want to sound like a bad guy or anything, but my girlfriend’s been mentally and emotionally draining, and I’m not sure if it’s gonna get better. I’ve been told by heaps of people that I should talk to her about it, but I’m always met with a harsh lecture about how she can’t help it, practically making me feel more drained for even attempting to speak up about it. I’ve tried to explain that I want breaks where I can have time to myself, but she guilt trips me into not having them, whether that’s forcing me to explain every reason why I want one which even then isn’t enough, or gets mad at me while using the ‘how-about-what-I-want’ card. Even when I’ve gotten breaks, I get calls from her asking if I’m annoyed or mad, which typically last the whole day, not even giving me a break at all. She also constantly asks me if I’m ok, mad, annoyed, in the mood to talk, ect. Regardless of my answer, she gets stressed and doesn’t believe me at all, saying I’m sad and pressuring me to tell her what’s wrong, when nothing is wrong. She then gets upset, saying I’m annoyed and demanding a reason why. I could be perfectly normal, and how I usually am, yet she stills asks what’s wrong and says I’m annoyed. And then she begins to go on, saying how I’m not doing something, or I’m doing something wrong, even bringing up things that don’t relate to anything. Sometimes she says something that I can’t understand then proceeds to say it’s nothing or it doesn’t matter, then gets upset about how I didn’t listen or that I don’t want to talk. To put things short, I’m getting extremely drained by her, which is affecting everything else in my life, school, work, even friendships cause I can’t go out because she gets upset from it. I’ve had thoughts about what I should do and if it’s the relationship I want, but I have this guilt about ending things, especially seeing how she was the first time. I’m honestly stuck and don’t know why to do.

Going through the motions Lost , Lonely, Confused, Guilt
  • replies: 2

Hi , thank you for reading my thoughts after losing my wife of 34 years. My wife, Sue , passed away on Christmas Day 2016 . To say that my life has never been the same would be an incredible understatement. When the love of your life is not there any... View more

Hi , thank you for reading my thoughts after losing my wife of 34 years. My wife, Sue , passed away on Christmas Day 2016 . To say that my life has never been the same would be an incredible understatement. When the love of your life is not there anymore, when you look across your bed and she is not there, when you are driving and you look across she’s not there , it is an emptiness I would not wish upon anyone. After 3 years I had a need for someone to be in my life , not just about the physical but it was more about the emotional needs . To have someone to share your life with was out of control. On 3 occasions I tried to have a relationship with someone and on 3 occasions I ended it because I couldn’t justify my selfish needs over the love of my wife . I ended up in a mental health facility for 2 weeks on some strong medication. Where I am at now is I struggle badly with loneliness but I don’t want that “relationship “ situation in my life because I still love my wife so much . I have been pushing myself work wise to exhaustion so I just come home and collapse and then get up and go again. I am 65 , nearing 66 , I can’t keep this up. Nothing seems to excite me , because I don’t have anyone to share that excitement with. I certainly don’t and won’t consider suicide but sometimes when I wake up I wish that I hadn’t.Thank you for your timeBruce

Hope-Less Used Up
  • replies: 4

I am struggling to accept my son does not respect me.He is in his early 20s not working, doing community service a couple times a week& treats me like I am dirt.My only use to him to picking up after him and expected to provide a roof over his head a... View more

I am struggling to accept my son does not respect me.He is in his early 20s not working, doing community service a couple times a week& treats me like I am dirt.My only use to him to picking up after him and expected to provide a roof over his head and pay bills.The topic of paying board is either laughed at or anger reflected back at me. He screams- who is expected to pay to live in their own home?My responses are to point out I work and have a large mortgage and have bills to pay. Now he has moved in his pregnant teenage girlfriend and displays all the signs of psychological abuse…starting with going out and leaving her at home in their bedroom. Swearing and yelling at her. Going through her contacts in her phone, to check their are no males.They leave rubbish around the house and clothes on the bathroom floor- expecting me to clean up.After three divorces, I am diagnosed with complex PTSD, anxiety and severe depression.My youth has faded along with my looks & loneliness is real in my isolation.I cannot see joy for very long, the idea of my first grandchild gave me joy, but faded quickly when I watch my son who thinks it is fine to sleep, eat and copulate. I try to remind myself I brought my daughter up to be a functional, successful member of society any parent would be proud of. The vast difference in personalities is unbelievable. I am worn out and hope has faded.

Cakecake Guilt that my divorce hurt my children
  • replies: 7

I always prioritized my children over everything. I only married as I was pregnant (unplanned) and I wasn’t in love with my partner. I wanted my baby to have siblings and a family. It was working pretty well, although I was unfulfilled in my marriage... View more

I always prioritized my children over everything. I only married as I was pregnant (unplanned) and I wasn’t in love with my partner. I wanted my baby to have siblings and a family. It was working pretty well, although I was unfulfilled in my marriage and husband was quite dependent and more like another child than a partner. I became obsessed with a much older and senior man I worked with. He was very flirtatious and pursued me. I told my husband that I had fallen in love with someone else, but he became became extremely angry, hopeless and clingy and even more dependent than before. Anyway a year went by and I finally caved and visited this man and told him my feelings and kissed him. I felt so guilty and anxious, my husband could tell and he was able to track my movements and so discovered what had happened. He threw me out, in front of the kids, it was awful. However he called me to return a couple of hours later. The next few months were a nightmare, the older man was perusing me begging me to be with him, and I really loved him. my husband was tracking me and getting alternately angry, scaring me with potential scenarios where he said that if I left I wouldn’t be with my kids or hear about them for weeks. Or he was hopeless and desperately attached to me. I moved into the study of our house, and separated from my husband and commenced a relationship with the older man, well I actually tried to brake it off with older man several times as I was so scared to leave marriage and lose full custody of my kids, It was very hard to brake up with him, impossible actually. Husband says I was cheating on him during this time, and remains extremely bitter and angry. When home school started I moved to my parents regional property with the kids and took them home to their dads on weekends, and husband and I never lived in the same house again. Im not with the older man now either, who I now believe was a very toxic person who shouldn’t really have persued a married women with young children. There is still so much acrimony with my ex husband. I have worked so hard to shelter my kids from all the troubles, and they are doing very well actually. Their dad has become much more hands on. However I always feel so guilty, remorseful, and sad that I destroyed their family. When I am not with them and they’re at their dads I’m so sad the entire time. I’m so worried they will end up with illness. I love my kids so much, but I ruined their lives.

Username01 Is this a normal or okay situation?
  • replies: 2

I have been struggling with this for a few years and although I’ve done a lot of work I am still unable to accept it. I am just wanting some insight from others into my situation if possible. As a teenager I was practically groomed by a man more that... View more

I have been struggling with this for a few years and although I’ve done a lot of work I am still unable to accept it. I am just wanting some insight from others into my situation if possible. As a teenager I was practically groomed by a man more that 10 years older to go to live with him. I was just over the age of consent, so it was not illegal. He said he would help me get my licence and get on my feet as my family situation wasn’t good. It immediately became an abusive sexual relationship I was in for about a year which ended in pregnancy, and I left. I applied to court for custody arrangements as I was not comfortable to negotiate with him alone. They found it was an abusive situation but not illegal, and not involving the child so co-parenting was ordered. It has been over 5 years since I left and I am having a terrible time having to deal with this man and try to co-parent. It is distressing having contact with him. I feel as though it was very wrong what happened, and the way my child was conceived, but there is no accountability for what happened. I know it was not illegal as I was just of age of consent, but he was so much older and there is a huge power imbalance. I just can’t believe I am in this situation. I would just like to hear other people’s insights into this situation, as I read about other people’s co-parenting but have never read about a situation similar to mine. Thanks for any replies.

Jenny8 Am I jealous, lazy or being taken advantage of?
  • replies: 4

My mum is living with my sister who is married with 2 kids while I’m living with my dad. My parents are still together. It’s a separate issue why mum is away but she’s meant to visit everyday.I work all day everyday (2 jobs), clean the house, care fo... View more

My mum is living with my sister who is married with 2 kids while I’m living with my dad. My parents are still together. It’s a separate issue why mum is away but she’s meant to visit everyday.I work all day everyday (2 jobs), clean the house, care for animals and do the yard work. My dad is an old school farmer so wife cooks, washes and cleans. But she doesn’t. I do. If I leave dishes in the sink or washing in the machine it’s waiting for when I get home. While my sister never did anything until she moved out, I even did her and her partners washing beforehand. I like things tidy so I don’t mind cleaning up but I get very overwhelmed. I’ve even hung washing out by torchlight at midnight and skipped showers because I don’t have time. And always unbelievably tired. Am I jealous of my sister, whinging or is mum asking a bit much?

Odysey1977 Need some advice
  • replies: 2

Long term subscriber / reader, first time poster. I need some advice to a situation I put myself back into, but now feel like an absolute because I truly don't want to hurt my family - but know I am / will. I was previously separated for 4 years and... View more

Long term subscriber / reader, first time poster. I need some advice to a situation I put myself back into, but now feel like an absolute because I truly don't want to hurt my family - but know I am / will. I was previously separated for 4 years and was very content with being on my own. At the end of last year (following a lot of lockdowns, etc), I visited my ex (for whom we share a child) and daughter. Naturally I had missed them last year due to lockdowns, border closures, etc. However (and this is where I chose a path), I suggested that I missed my ex and my family. I have since moved back in with them, however the issues that faced us 4 years ago are still there - nothings changed. I love my child dearly but am more "friends" with my ex. I feel like an absolute monster and know I am hurting her - which I desperately don't want to do. The other aspect is where they live (state wise), I have mental health issues and very bad memories of. Now when I am there, I can feel my mental health slipping and I desperately don't want to be in that mental space ever again. I haven't told my family this and I know they won't move to the state I love and feel at home. I am stuck and have no idea what to do. Any suggestions, thoughts are extremely welcome. Has anyone been in this situation before?

DosShoeman Finding the Motivation
  • replies: 1

Im interested to know from the everyone what has caused you to lack motivation in searching for a partner, and what has helped gain that motivation back? Personally, many of my previous relationships have been mentally taxing causing me to stop takin... View more

Im interested to know from the everyone what has caused you to lack motivation in searching for a partner, and what has helped gain that motivation back? Personally, many of my previous relationships have been mentally taxing causing me to stop taking care of myself for a period of time. With every recovery I step further away from being interested in pursuing a new partner. I feel cemented on the idea of not actively searching for a partner right now, and I'd like to change that but need some encouragement. So what has helped you change ambitions and get you out searching again?