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

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

Snozzcumbers Germophobe wife says I hate her
  • replies: 4

I've been having difficulty with my relationship with wife, we have lived together just over a year and got married recently. My wife is a self admitted germophobe, it has gotten far worse during the pandemic. She is also a HSP (highly sensitive pers... View more

I've been having difficulty with my relationship with wife, we have lived together just over a year and got married recently. My wife is a self admitted germophobe, it has gotten far worse during the pandemic. She is also a HSP (highly sensitive person) and sees a psychologist monthly to help her with perceived problems she is having. The issue is I will do something like leave a tap askew rather than straight, or accidentally let the corner of a clean blanket touch the floor. She will then spiral out of control and what follows is always the same pattern, I will go into it bellow. First she will get angry and accuse me of all sorts of things like being dirty, not listening to her/caring about her or saying my wedding vows were a lie. I apologise and tell her that I'll be more mindful of the tap, or wash the blanket again, etc. But this never satisfies her, she will berate me saying 'you don't listen to me', 'I can't trust you', 'you never learn', 'you make me so angry', 'you ruined my day', etc. Eventually she will say I have to make it up to her, so I start to suggest things I know she likes. These suggestions are always met with a 'no', 'that is stupid', 'do you even know me?' type of comment. After this she tells me to go away and leave her alone. Eventually her anger subsidies and I try and apologise again and make it up to her, this is followed by the same conversation every time. Again I'm accused of not listening to her, I have asked her why she thinks this and she will say I always do things wrong and that my actions speak louder than words. I promise her I will try harder to not do it again in the future, then I'm told my words mean nothing. She will ask me why I'd did what I did, I'll then tell her why (usually I was thinking of something else or rushing) and she will then say stop making excuses and tell me to admit I'm lazy/don't care/am dirty/my mum didn't teach me right, etc. Sometimes I will be so worn down that I will lie and say something like 'sorry I was lazy'. Eventually if I admit to having enough faults she will calm down and the whole thing fizzles out. However, this time I've had enough so I told her what I feel, that is I put up with so much from her and I have never had anyone else talk to me the way she does and have never heard a anyone talked to the way she talks to me. She said if I feel that way to leave, I said no so she went to sleep on the couch and has now left. I need advice, I don't know how to go forward.

white knight Narcissist the label
  • replies: 24

Nowhere it seems more common than USA where people claim someone is a narcissist. Anything that evolves there, comes here quite quickly now with social media and internet influences. I read recently a question from a member of an international forum ... View more

Nowhere it seems more common than USA where people claim someone is a narcissist. Anything that evolves there, comes here quite quickly now with social media and internet influences. I read recently a question from a member of an international forum - "My narcissist boyfriend has gone silent for 2 weeks, does that mean it's over?" What followed was numerous answers all centreing on all actions a narcissist does, like using the silent treatment as a weapon, manipulation and grandiose reflections of themselves. Yet no one asked what actions the man labelled a narcissist actually did to deserve that label apart from having no contact for 2 weeks. Was the man using silence/absenteeism as a weapon or was he needing a break from a toxic relationship? Was he batheing in confidence or does he have a narcissist grandiosity demeanor? Does he manipulate or does he over suggest things due to not giving enough feedback? Google "narcissist meaning" there is 9 signs of one- Nine Signs and Symptoms of Narcissism Grandiosity. Exaggerated sense of self-importance. ... Excessive need for admiration. ... Superficial and exploitative relationships. ... Lack of empathy. ... Identity disturbance. ... Difficulty with attachment and dependency. ... Chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom. ... Vulnerability to life transitions I'd suggest most people claiming their partner is a narcissist, wont satisfy most of these symptoms. So the label is overused, inflammatory and unjust... bullying. E.g. A woman marries a guy that, later on has proved he is (in her eyes- lazy, looks in the mirror hourly, need constant praise, doesn't show empathy for her struggles and relies on her career success for financial stability. They have had 3 kids and just separated.... He exercises his rights to 50% custody which is opposite of her desire of full custody. His partner labels him a narcissist. He loosely fits some of the 9 signs, enough for her to justify it. Little did anyone realise that HIS symptoms also mirrored depression, lack of confidence from a poor upbringing, stares at the mirror because he has social barriers, feels shame and has a loud voice. Friends believe her. That example might draw a long bow but claims by many that a narcissist is one when they are not is also a long bow...even longer! The message here is evidence, if not presented to endorse the label someone uses...It's likely a gross exaggeration. Best not to fall for others claim someone is narcissistic imo. TonyWK

___1 Advice on how to help my husband overcome anxiety/depression
  • replies: 15

I've known my husband for 4 years in which we are married for 2.5 years. My husband has been suffering with anxiety for awhile. He's a child survivor of cancer and was diagnosed in his early 20's with anxiety and depression. He was on medications but... View more

I've known my husband for 4 years in which we are married for 2.5 years. My husband has been suffering with anxiety for awhile. He's a child survivor of cancer and was diagnosed in his early 20's with anxiety and depression. He was on medications but when I met him 4 years ago, he was off them. Lately, I can see his anxiety is taking over him. He's avoided many events and refuses to share what he's going through. We are living with my parents/his parents (taking turns every 3-4 months), to save for a house deposit. This was something I was never comfortable with and wanted us to have our own space but he convinced saying buying a house is best for us. However, now he's really frustrated about where we are in our life as a couple and compares with our friends, who are settled with a growing family, house and advancement in career. I've tried to talk to him that everyone run their races differently and this was a decision we chose and we'll have it all, but now he blames me for us not being progressive. My husband spends most of his time playing games and says it's a way to escape from reality and his miserable life. Most days, he doesn't go into work or calls in saying i'm working from home, but he'll be playing games. His boss has figured it out and now is more micro-managing my husband, which is making the situation much worse at home. I do make it a point every evening after work, to ask him how his day was, if work was going good, is there anything he wanted to talk about but he just says nothing that concerns you, I have people who are more concerned about me. I do feel very embarrassed in front of his friends as I feel they think, I'm not being the a good partner to help him be better and be more motivated. On the days, his mood seems to be lifted, I suggest we should go for a walk or go to the movies, perhaps a weekend away but it results to another fight and him saying I don't deserve special treatment. I should just be happy with being in the four corners of our room. We just don't go anywhere, and he sits in bed playing games all day/night with no communication. As a wife, i keep looking into ways I can be more supportive to him, but feel i'm failing miserably. He now blames my family and I for his situation but refuses to seek help when suggested. And now, his anxiety is making him become violent. And I'm afraid to approach him. I've spoken to his parents to seek their help but afraid things are going to go south.

Yellow_Tulip Separation and settlement
  • replies: 6

This will be the second time we have seperated both being my choice. The first time was 4 years ago he wouldn’t leave our home even though we have 2 children who are now 14 and 16 so I had to rent and struggled with that financially. Couldn’t go thro... View more

This will be the second time we have seperated both being my choice. The first time was 4 years ago he wouldn’t leave our home even though we have 2 children who are now 14 and 16 so I had to rent and struggled with that financially. Couldn’t go through with settlement as I was made to feel guilty about him having to pay me out etc so I didn’t go through with it. Now we are here again I just want to be able to have a house of my own and not rent. Friends have said don’t leave the house other wise you will lose all leveridge is this true?

KELLY_ANNE_K Cheating
  • replies: 3

Hi I'm married and I'm currently cheating with a coworker that's also married. We started as good friends and ended up growing into a love affair we tried to out a feelings aside as none of us want to leave our partners but our feelings were too stro... View more

Hi I'm married and I'm currently cheating with a coworker that's also married. We started as good friends and ended up growing into a love affair we tried to out a feelings aside as none of us want to leave our partners but our feelings were too strong. He has been attentive and thoughtful and made me feel like a priority which has been a welcoming change. Lately I feel that he isn't as intrested as he was before and this makes me have anxiety attacks and makes me want to cry all day I dont know what to do

ivyrose experiencing relationship anxiety and fear of abandonment
  • replies: 6

Hello, I have been in a loving relationship for almost a year now, prior to that I was single for 6 years (I hadn't met the right one, I knew what I was looking for). but I honestly believed that I would single for the rest of my life and I was ok wi... View more

Hello, I have been in a loving relationship for almost a year now, prior to that I was single for 6 years (I hadn't met the right one, I knew what I was looking for). but I honestly believed that I would single for the rest of my life and I was ok with that. I did not expect to meet this beautiful man who treats me well, he is loving and caring, tells me how he feels, and shows it in his actions. No matter how hard things get, he stays. but I'm experiencing increased anxiety in this relationship and a great fear of abandonment from time to time, it's not constant it comes and goes, but lately, I've been feeling so anxious and scared (at times I look too far into a text message or if I don't receive a text in the morning/night time or hear from him in a certain amount of time I get anxious - its like I need constant reassurance but then on the flip side I like my space & there at times when I'm calm and doesnt bother me if I dont hear from him til the end of the day). Has anyone experience this? what coping strategies did you use? Thanks for reading!

Guest_342 Ex-partner having a family
  • replies: 3

Hello. I found out my ex-partner (lovely person btw) is expecting a baby with their new partner. I am happy for them but is this sense of loss and envy, that I'm feeling, normal? How do I come to terms with it and move on?

Hello. I found out my ex-partner (lovely person btw) is expecting a baby with their new partner. I am happy for them but is this sense of loss and envy, that I'm feeling, normal? How do I come to terms with it and move on?

user981 Was I ever loved?
  • replies: 4

A girl basically attached herself to me an we were really close and she said she loved me and stuff and I was important to her etc then things went downhill and fell apart and as weeks went by she'd get worse mentally and affect our relationship even... View more

A girl basically attached herself to me an we were really close and she said she loved me and stuff and I was important to her etc then things went downhill and fell apart and as weeks went by she'd get worse mentally and affect our relationship even more. She has depression and anxiety and it's possible she may have a personality disorder. She always seems to change personalities it's like there's a bad and a good in her. Did she really just use me and fake everything or was what I once saw in her genuinely her being a respectful and nice person she is? Is it just her mental illness that's making her a bad person to me? Is behind that mental illness a genuine nice girl similar to the girl I used to know before things went downhill? Or was everything just all fake I'm confused.

Leesi Fear of abandonment
  • replies: 3

Hey everyone I have been told by a psychologist I have traits of BPD. It does make sense as I have been unable to have a stable romantic relationship since I broke up with my boyfriend 6 years ago. I had one relationship since I broke up with him but... View more

Hey everyone I have been told by a psychologist I have traits of BPD. It does make sense as I have been unable to have a stable romantic relationship since I broke up with my boyfriend 6 years ago. I had one relationship since I broke up with him but it was a disaster. I have dated since my last relationship ended however my fear of rejection and abandonment takes over and I believe I sabotage any potential relationship. Does anywhere else out there do this to prevent themselves from experiencing further heartbreak? I truly hope I am not the only person who does this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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.