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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Vegetarian Marshmallow Abandoned by someone I thought was a friend... yet again
  • replies: 3

I had this friend, L. I thought that she cared about me. If someone asked me who I could consider a real friend, I would think of her. I told her how every other female friend I've had has abandoned me out of nowhere. She said "why would they do that... View more

I had this friend, L. I thought that she cared about me. If someone asked me who I could consider a real friend, I would think of her. I told her how every other female friend I've had has abandoned me out of nowhere. She said "why would they do that". Fast forward a few years, and she did the same thing. I feel like life isn't much worth living without a woman who loves me. I don't know how much of this is due to: 1. an instinctual phase-of-life thing; the biological drive to reproduce (which will maybe go away as I get older). 2. what happened with my mother. 3. Desire for human connection and intimacy, and specifically with females it feels closer somehow. 4. A vacuum where perhaps (?) other people have an axiomatic, bullheaded sense of what they are, what they will / must do next; whereas I have many many many ideas of things that might be worth doing with myself, but all of them lose all of their motivational power when I feel abandoned like this; everything I could do becomes overpowered by "why bother; what's the point". 5. Just a personality thing; like.. different stuff is important to everyone. When I was about 20 (I'm 33), my mum left the state and didn't tell anyone where she went. She just left and started a new life. Her siblings tried to find her, and the message they got back from her, through the private investigator was something like "This person no longer exists. Don't attempt to contact me again". People seem shocked when I tell them this. My therapists have often said "that's strange; a mother would never leave her children; there's a special bond". Well, this one did. I know she had a history of some kind of mental illness; anxiety / depression, it sounds like. To this day, every single woman I have ever felt close to has done the same thing. Just left. Although not physically like my mum, but rather they've done things like: started cancelling arrangements at the last minute, stopped saying "I love you", stopped hugging me, stopped making plans, and then at some point just entirely stopped answering messages and calls. Like I never meant anything at all to them. Or somehow I even meant less than a stranger, because I think it's just basic human decency to reply to a person who's talking to you, even a stranger. And especially a person who is obviously in pain. I feel like all the love I gave them was aimed at a cardboard cut-out. All the times I felt they loved me, all the moments that were special to me, were not real; never meant anything to them; they were play-acting, or something. This has happened so many times. I knew L. for about 5 years. She was one of my favourite people. On a bad day, I could think of her and feel a little better. She was the one who I could think of and believe that women were not all evil heartless shits. Now I don't know if the person I knew was even real, and I still want her back. Though I don't know how I could ever again trust someone who hurt me so thoroughly, for apparently no reason, and continues to do with every new day of apathy. I could never imagine treating *anyone* the way these people have treated me; let alone someone I've professed to love, and known for years. Yet it seems so easy for them. I feel like perhaps women do not actually ever love men. That rather, they just make use of men's love for them, until such time as it's no longer necessary. I want close relationships with women, and my life's trajectory is defined by them treating me ever and ever more cruelly. Should I stop wanting this and become a hermit? Then the problem becomes that I want nothing.

G1231 Narcissist father damaged my new house before I even moved in
  • replies: 8

I've had problems with him my entire life. He has a cycle of we don't talk because he has done something to hurt me, then he acts all nice to draw me back in, and then he does something else to stab me in the back or he uses verbal abuse to ruin my d... View more

I've had problems with him my entire life. He has a cycle of we don't talk because he has done something to hurt me, then he acts all nice to draw me back in, and then he does something else to stab me in the back or he uses verbal abuse to ruin my day or week. He ruined the last Christmas and ghosts me every time my birthday comes around just to get out of doing anything like going to dinner or ever giving me a gift, but he demands I buy him bourbon. I bought him some drinks for his last birthday and because it wasn't a slab of beer like I got my mum, he went off his head and verbally abused me in the car when I was out for a day trip with him and my mum. I just got my own place and even trying to move my stuff in, he has to control every little thing about moving. He tries to make me walk backwards and I told him no, we both walk sideways to make it easier, he gets angry over that. I asked him to help me lift the TV unit over half a meter and he started yelling at me (mind you all the neighbours can hear) to take the TV off the unit then move it. I yelled back "I said no, we don't need to" and he puts the unit down, raises his fist and threatens to punch my new flatscreen TV, and then walks out to my back door and slams it twice the hardest I have heard anyone slam a back door. It reverberated all around the house, and I was horrified that he would do that to my new property. I checked the door for damage and as it previously clicked into place on the day I got the keys, now you have to pull noticeably hard to shut it. There are no cracks in the plaster or door frame but my heart is already broken. I tried explaining to my enabling mother that this is meant to be a time of celebration and the best in my life, and he finds a way to ruin everything again. She caught me checking the door again for damage today and told me "its not damaged, stop looking" even though I have explained this to her time and again, and there is physical proof because it doesn't shut properly, she flat out denies it and says that I am basically making it up, trying to make a liar out of me. I had to use my car to move stuff as he refuses to help out and I got a scratch on my upholstery because I have to move stuff in my car now. If anyone has any carpentry knowledge and can reassure me, please do. I have bad anxiety and now I am scared that there is some internal damage that I can't see and is going to ruin my house, and I'm not even moved in yet. I can't even enjoy it now

Deonj123 How do I cope with a toxic father-in-law?
  • replies: 3

Hey there, I have found myself in a very uncomfortable and mentally draining situation as of late. My current partner is wonderful, his family is wonderful, with the exception of his father. I have always been biased towards him based on how he has t... View more

Hey there, I have found myself in a very uncomfortable and mentally draining situation as of late. My current partner is wonderful, his family is wonderful, with the exception of his father. I have always been biased towards him based on how he has treated my partner for the entirety of his life, but I tend to see the good in people, so I have really been trying to form my own perception of my partners father. I have been with my partner for 2 years now, and this is my partner for life. I really believe family is important in my life, and I think it’s important to interact with and include family in some aspects of my life. This includes my partners family as well. However, I have come to understand (through my own perceptions) that my father in law is genuinely a mean spirited individual, and I’m not sure how I am going to cope with this in the long term. I always thought that I would combine my family with my partners family one day, but I know this is never going to happen, and I guess I’ve accepted that. But what I can’t accept, is having him in my life, for the rest of my life, and having to put up with his horrible words and ideas. He is extremely bigoted and racist, and all around really uneducated to be honest. It breaks my heart to hear someone speak like the way he does, in such a disrespectful and evil manner, and although it’s not directed at me, the energy he consistently gives me is so draining. To make matters worse, he doesn’t like my partner (his son), and always causes issues between them. And yes, it could be easy to step away and not see him, but my partner lives in his home, and I genuinely love the rest of my partners family. Oh, and don’t get me started on when my family has to meet theirs, I’m already terrified, especially since my family already doesn’t like his. So I’m asking, how do I cope with all of this ? How do I cope with having to see him, and listen to his horrible words and stupidity, without it absolutely draining me? I am generally a person that likes to surround myself with love and light and it’s so hard being around such a strong presence like himself who radiates so much negativity. I have to visit my partners house, it’s only fair, so I can’t avoid him too. thanks so much guys

Revolution_Rock Loneliness is a cloak you wear
  • replies: 12

I accidentally fell in love a couple of years ago. I’d ended a 20 year marriage that brought me to my knees, battled an anxiety disorder (still), lost loved ones and wore my troubles around an expanding waistline. After years of rising and falling I ... View more

I accidentally fell in love a couple of years ago. I’d ended a 20 year marriage that brought me to my knees, battled an anxiety disorder (still), lost loved ones and wore my troubles around an expanding waistline. After years of rising and falling I got myself to a position where I was ready to try dating. Nothing serious as the emotional scars from a toxic marriage were deep and I wasn’t inclined to rush into a situation I’d regret. Instead, I hoped for light, joyful experiences. How naive. When I met him I didn’t know the NSA or FWB rules and with little dating experience I just let things unfold naturally. My only thought was not to hurt him as I sensed something deep and fragile within him. It wasn’t a conventional relationship, we lived our own lives and spent exquisite pockets of time together when the planets aligned. It suited us both and I felt drawn into a deeper and closer connection. I say ‘drawn’ because I responded to his levels of affection and intimacy and marked the changes. And then one day I realised with shock that I’d fallen in love with him. Of course there were shadows or I wouldn’t be here. He had bouts of depression, withdrew for periods, ended it, returned, ended it again. And after many months of no contact we saw each other again only for him to end it. I accept that he doesn’t want me in his life. I accept that men and women have different emotional responses to intimacy. I accept that all the open arms in the world mean nothing if a person won’t embrace them. All of these things I rationally understand. But I’m crippled with grief and I can’t think about him without crying. And I can’t stop thinking about him. I’m struggling to come to terms with never seeing him again. I can’t drive on the main road that leads to his house because it overwhelms me with sadness. I’ve never known such loneliness as losing in love. I try to hold my thoughts because my friends have endured the stops and starts and are probably sick of hearing about it. I push the pain down so I can function at work and around people. I thought of the last moments I saw him while I was at the checkout in the supermarket and started crying. Never been so relieved for masks! I know that time heals wounds and the grief will lessen…but what if it doesn’t? Im so afraid that I will be one of those people who carry this all their life and I’m afraid that the last man I will ever love is one who didn’t love me.

Avondale1234 Stay or go
  • replies: 7

Hi there I’m 25 and have been in a 5 year relationship. my partner and I get along well and are best friends, super supportive of each other and families get along, we are different but it has always allowed us to grow and learn from each other. we u... View more

Hi there I’m 25 and have been in a 5 year relationship. my partner and I get along well and are best friends, super supportive of each other and families get along, we are different but it has always allowed us to grow and learn from each other. we used to have sex and showed intimacy often this year we moved in together and it’s been challenging. I have been suffering from depression and anxiety for years but this year it’s been extremely difficult to see our relationship clearly. I want things to work, but I constantly feel like things are very up and down. We are good one minute and arguing the next. I don’t know how I feel about him anymore, I love him but I feel like something isn’t right with me or I don’t love him enough. it so hard for me to figure out how I really feel when I’m crowded by my anxious thoughts. I want things to work, we try to communicate but lately I have been more tired and exhausted I feel like I’m not able to work on myself and our relationship at the same time I don’t know what I’m looking for from this forum but I feel lost, any advice is welcome. thank you

Girlfriend1 He's depressed and addicted
  • replies: 1

I don't even know where to start I feel so lost and depressed my partner of 11 years has a drug/ porn addiction and has cheated with prostitutes. We have a young daughter and he is so lazy and hardly helps around the house or with her and is always i... View more

I don't even know where to start I feel so lost and depressed my partner of 11 years has a drug/ porn addiction and has cheated with prostitutes. We have a young daughter and he is so lazy and hardly helps around the house or with her and is always in bed from shift work. He keeps doing drugs and I have tried to communicate with him but he's all talk and nothing changes. I have got addictions now too that I want to stop but the environment I'm in is triggering me and I beat myself up all over again for being a failure. I feel like a single parent with a roomate. I'm scared of leaving and of staying I can't keep putting up with his behaviour. I stopped having sex with him because I was so disgusted with his porn addiction so he cheated. He keeps trying to justify it and I'm done. He never wants to spend time with my friends or family and I feel so alone. He forgets to make an effort for important events like my birthday or valentines day. He has also spent money on boys trips but only come on a family holiday once but he was miserable because he was exhausted from the boys trip before our holiday. We had the holiday because he felt bad. He has no motivation to do anything fun and just wants to lay on the lounge. I don't have a companion in life and I'm so heartbroken. I used to trust him with my life and we had such a good relationship. I had a miscarriage and postnatal depression so that hasn't helped. I get bad social anxiety as well. I self harmed the other day because I was so deeply sad. He has lied about other things too and treats me like I'm his mum always asking me to do everything for him. I'm burnt out drained and feel like I have no one to look after me. I drink most nights now and started smoking again. I have a high stress job in a nursing home and dealing with death as well and I want to quit it's too much but I need money if I'm going to leave. Also I do not want the covid vaccine because I'm scared of vaccine injury from it so I will be forced to leave by September when it becomes mandatory. I want to be the best mum for my daughter but I don't want to break up our family if I leave. I don't know what to do. I have had invasive thoughts of wanting to kill myself but not wanting to actually do it. I can't stop having thoughts about him cheating and he gets angry if I bring it up. I have friends that try to help but I just want to be alone.

Looie94 Burnt Out
  • replies: 13

Hi All I am a 27 year old mother of a very full on 5 year old girl. Her dad died traumatically infront of her when she was 3 years old, and she struggles to express emotion since. She suffers massive separation anxiety when it comes to school or even... View more

Hi All I am a 27 year old mother of a very full on 5 year old girl. Her dad died traumatically infront of her when she was 3 years old, and she struggles to express emotion since. She suffers massive separation anxiety when it comes to school or even just giving me a moment to myself, I struggle to even get her to sleep by herself. This clingyness is causing me to get so frustrated and I often take it out on her which isn't fair. I don't even know what I'm expecting from this post, but maybe someone somewhere has some advice on how I can help her and stop resenting being a parent. The day in day out never ending fights and tantrums about the smallest things are sending me crazy, I hate the way I feel about being a parent. I feel so guilty because I know it's not her fault, but sometimes I just want a break from her..

Rex007 How much is too much?
  • replies: 3

Hi My wife texts and emails every single day of t h e week, several times a day, spending what I can only guess is at least 3 hours + each day. There are two guys in particular that she messages throughout the day and evening. Even when we go out if ... View more

Hi My wife texts and emails every single day of t h e week, several times a day, spending what I can only guess is at least 3 hours + each day. There are two guys in particular that she messages throughout the day and evening. Even when we go out if she has a break she'd be taking a picture and emailing to them and messaging. I can't remember the last time we went out where she didn't do it. And while I am reasonably sure that there's nothing going on between any of them I can't help but feel that I come second to her friends. (She has gone out with them on a few occasions for the day and I'm just trusting that shes not up to anything). Quite often she won't sit down with me until she's finished chatting and if there is some kind of drama going on then she won't spend time at all. There are other problems with our relationship which we've tried unsuccessfully to solve through professional help but I can't see how this is helping at all. All in all I feel thaI have a very one sided relationship where I do most of the work. I feel like walking out but I feel obliged to stay because of two reasons. One, I don't want to give up on our 17 year marriage and 2 she is being treated for anxiety and depression. I just wanted to hear what other people considered as obsessive when it comes to mobile devices. While it's not the only problem we have it's the one that's always in my face and makes me feel the worst. I have tried to discuss how I feel with her but she just gets very defensive.

dickydik Marriage destroyed by depression; trying to startover threatened by dishonesty
  • replies: 2

Until about half a year ago, I have been severely depressed for about 2 years. I'm doing much better now, well, sort of We were both a bit older when we first met (I was 47, she was 59). We met again 2 years later, we had been feeling a strong deep c... View more

Until about half a year ago, I have been severely depressed for about 2 years. I'm doing much better now, well, sort of We were both a bit older when we first met (I was 47, she was 59). We met again 2 years later, we had been feeling a strong deep connection during the years we did not meet. My wife has a past filled with pain and hurt. She coped with it she said. She fully opened up to me, I was the love of her life. Until lots of bad luck pushed me in a deep dark hole. About 1.5 year ago, my wife started to withdraw. She tried to help me and ran out of clues. Anyway, I "came" back, and started to realize all the damage that was done.For my wife, all the beautiful we had was destroyed. We had long deep talks, very open, crying, both wanting to make things work again. Talks became less and less. I felt more and more distance, distorted connection. I proposed marriage counseling. My wife agreed, as in, no promises, no expectations. Trying to communicate and take it step by step. We had developed a nasty pattern, me getting angry, her withdrawing. Both desperate. By following my intuition, I found us a great counselor, it felt like we needed a miracle and she might be able to help. At first, things started to go a bit better. Until I got more and more concerned about long video chats my wife had with a male friend, each and every week, every Wednesday. I expressed my concerns. He was introduces to her by a very good friend of her. My concerns were ignored. I got more and more concerned and out of desperation looked at files on her laptop. I confronted her, said she did indeed have fantasies about him (she denied that earlier and started crying saying "why don't you believe me"). Anyway, one of the things I found was that they did an astrological report, including a compatibility test. I exploded when I found out, told her she had gone too far. She later mentioned during a session that they did that report being created, it was just to "explore each other". Both me and my counselor were flabbergasted when she sold it like that. I got angry. Now she wants space, being left alone. I have taken all blame and responsibility. She says I make up stories, pulling things out of context. That I sabotage. That she truly loves me. And that she has been open and honest. I have been understanding. When I ask for understanding she starts defending and justifying. I am needy when I say that a "good night" or a hug would be nice. I don't understand her, why all this?

Taylah96 I've had to cut ties with my depressed ex
  • replies: 15

So my ex broke up with me due to her depression 2 days ago, I tried everything to stay in a relationship with her, but she has told me she is unsure if she even has feelings for me anymore as she just feels numb about everything, therefore she didn't... View more

So my ex broke up with me due to her depression 2 days ago, I tried everything to stay in a relationship with her, but she has told me she is unsure if she even has feelings for me anymore as she just feels numb about everything, therefore she didn't want to drag me along. She isn't suicidal or wanting to self harm, she's actually booked in to see a doctor soon. We own a house together and 2 cats, and she suggested I still live there but only as friends. I've been back there twice for a short amount of time, and every time I see her it just hurts too much. She acts and behaves like everything is fine, she was playing video games and playing with the cats. She even said to me "Logan (our cat) has been such a cutie today". It's just so strange. In our nearly 4 years of dating she has never acted like this. I feel like I'm the only thing she doesn't want in her life. I'm finding it hard to try to be there for her, because I'm still in love with her. I know I need to distance myself from her to heal, but feel bad too because I know she isn't herself. Before I left our house today I told her that I need time to heal, but made her promise me that she would reach out to me if she is struggling and needs support. My mum and her mum have been staying in close contact, and both have been checking in on her. I'm just really confused, I know I need to look after myself but I just feel so sorry for her. She just isn't herself.