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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batticus Paranoia after leaving emotionally abusive partner
  • replies: 16

Hi everyone I recently left my GF of 5 1/2 years. My counsellor suspects she may be a covert narcissist based on the behaviours. Research into that topic really hit home, it explained so much. It's been 2 weeks since I broke up with her. Without doub... View more

Hi everyone I recently left my GF of 5 1/2 years. My counsellor suspects she may be a covert narcissist based on the behaviours. Research into that topic really hit home, it explained so much. It's been 2 weeks since I broke up with her. Without doubt it's the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. The weeks leading up to the break up were horrific. My mental health deteriorated to the lowest point it's ever been. I had to leave. It's been up and down since. I'm okay - but I'm extremely paranoid. I feel like she's hiding around the corner all the time. In the early days after the break-up she was texting me; I replied politely but firmly telling her that I don't want to talk. The tone of the messages became more angry, so I blocked her number. It's the first time I've ever had to block someone. After that, she managed to leave a voicemail from a different phone number. I sent one final text message responding; simply saying that I need to get well again and I need her to leave me alone. Anyway, I have received a few strange missed calls - all from phone numbers I don't know. I rarely get calls like that. I've had to change my phone number. The problem is the paranoia has extended to me being afraid of turning lights on in my own home etc. I'm afraid she will show up if it's obvious that I'm there. I realise I'm probably being irrational. I've been walking on eggshells for 5 1/2 years- it's a hard habit to break. Thanks for listening Batticus

Capybara Pregnant - partner suffers depression, anxiety and alcoholism
  • replies: 12

Hello all, Firstly I am so grateful to have this community even though it's been a while since I engaged. So thank you in advance for any support offered. I am 20 weeks pregnant, planned pregnancy that we were/are both very excited about. My partner ... View more

Hello all, Firstly I am so grateful to have this community even though it's been a while since I engaged. So thank you in advance for any support offered. I am 20 weeks pregnant, planned pregnancy that we were/are both very excited about. My partner is an alcoholic and has suffered from severe depression and anxiety for years. He has got help on and off but discontinued counselling a couple of months ago and stopped taking anti-depressants prior to that. I love him incredibly deeply and see the beautiful person he is every day, but the substance use definitely masks that and he becomes very hostile and also just doesn't like being around me when he drinks because he knows he's "letting me down" even if I don't say anything. So I am feeling incredibly isolated as he has been drinking every night lately. He also works in a very stressful environment supporting homeless youth in crisis. He's fantastic at his work but it leaves him very burnt out at the end of the day so emotional support is not really something I can lean on him for. He's aware of all of this too, like he says he feels trapped in alcoholism, that he feels he isn't supporting me enough, but hearing that when nothing changes doesn't really make it any easier. He is really struggling with a lot of stress, worrying about the state of the world with COVID, with home invasions happening in our neighbourhood and not feeling safe, feeling he has to work to get promoted at work so he can financially support me and the baby. And then I am on the other side of things just worrying about how to get through labour and childbirth, where to buy a car seat etc. and all these decisions I want him to be part of. But when I try to talk about anything to do with the pregnancy he acknowledges it but doesn't really contribute or build on it. Then to compound things there's the fact that I worry a lot about his drinking. I worry about the fact that I am most likely only able to have one support person with me during labour due to COVID and my family may not even be able to get to the same city as they live interstate so might be just him to support me through childbirth and the early weeks of raising a newborn. I keep thinking "what if he's drinking when I go into labour? How will I get through labour calmly like i want to?" I had a pretty bad panic attack tonight, I had to get him to help me calm down because I really couldn't breathe and I've never been like that before. Just feel very alone and no direction..

Elsam Help please with first date
  • replies: 136

I met a wonderful guy and fell in love with him at first sight when I saw him on an online dating site, I am totally smitten with this man. Our first date was a dinner date at a beautiful restaurant and after dinner he invited me back to his place. H... View more

I met a wonderful guy and fell in love with him at first sight when I saw him on an online dating site, I am totally smitten with this man. Our first date was a dinner date at a beautiful restaurant and after dinner he invited me back to his place. He got the red wine out and then we became intimate and I spent the night with him. He sent me a video during the week and we had a couple of messages between us, then stupid me sent this message this afternoon. Hope you are well and had a nice weekend... I can’t help but feel you were trying to tell me something through the Swiss video? I feel so disappointed, as we had so much in common and could have a great time together. I think you were great, I respect you and wanted to get to know you as a friend... Mary xx I have been having huge anxiety attacks over this, he replied this evening: Sorry been really busy, and wrapping up things before I leave. No, there wasn't a "hidden" message in the video, I wouldn't do that. Things went very fast during our first rendez-vous and thats unlike me tho! Hope you had a nice weekend and no Monday Blues today! How do I reply to this message from him without scaring him off, but at the same time I want to tell him I am attracted to him and would love to see him again. This whole dating game is new to me as I was married for 25 years Thank you in advance

white knight Blended families
  • replies: 3

I’ve been a step parent in the past on two occasions . I’ve had a partner step parent my kids. Collectively, many years of tolerating all there needs to endure surviving the highs and lows of such a situation- it isn’t easy. Ive concluded that a good... View more

I’ve been a step parent in the past on two occasions . I’ve had a partner step parent my kids. Collectively, many years of tolerating all there needs to endure surviving the highs and lows of such a situation- it isn’t easy. Ive concluded that a good step parent must have a few essential qualities to make things work- qualities like nurturing, loves all children, embraces step parenting for the compartmentalise role it is (eg tries not to be the parent) and gives all the latitude to the blood parents needs to be with their children. The step mother of my children didn’t want my kids around. Over 10 years we flew to holiday destinations without my kids because “they don’t behave themselves” and once in that decade my work left me stranded 4 hours away so I asked her to pick up my kids for the weekend- a flat “No” was her answer. Once my child had a temperature and needed my regular attention but my partner saw that as my daughter taking too much attention away from her. A good step mother would be as concerned as I and work as a team. Visit well known family restaurants on Friday evenings and tables is filled with parents having picked up their children from their custodial parent. These mums and dads have often waited 12 days to see their kids. Their heart strings have been pulled every day in between. It’s grief really because they have lost a big chunk of their parental connection. That stress alone is hard enough to bare without added stress from the step parent. A good idea for the SP is to get a hobby for those weekends and even go away visiting for one of the days. Give them space. Parents also need to be empathetic to the step parents feeling of being alienated and not “needed”. The children already have parents “what good would a third one be”? This is where the step parent ideally should carve their own niche into the children’s lives- their role could include activities the blood parents don’t do eg reading a book, playing a certain game or doing a craft. I tried this with my then 14yo stepson by buying an old panelvan and every fortnight we’d work on it in preparation for his first car. Step parents can have an approach that can be pivotal to the success of a relationship. My wife of 9 years is step mum to my 32 yo daughter who, not having seen her own mother for 12 years now...calls my wife “mum”. You reap what you sow- most times! Your comments are welcome TonyWK

Bonisnothappy Narcissist parents who refuse to believe the existence of mental illness (or just any type of illness....
  • replies: 5

Hi guys, I just wanna find a tree hold to talk about my stories. From my perspective, it can be triggering so warning! I just had a fight with my narcissist, toxic and manipulative dad... He told me to grow the f up cuz I'm already 25 yrs old so I sh... View more

Hi guys, I just wanna find a tree hold to talk about my stories. From my perspective, it can be triggering so warning! I just had a fight with my narcissist, toxic and manipulative dad... He told me to grow the f up cuz I'm already 25 yrs old so I should act and think mutually.. At that time I thought it was so ridiculous cuz till now I still have nightmares, sleeping problems, hard time breathing from time to time and maybe some mental problems, I haven't been officially diagnosed. I now have difficulties trusting anyone, or even talking to anyone face to face... When I was a child my parents started to fight each other, attack each others' family members and educate me with that information. For example, my dad would tell me that people from my mother's side are all selfish typically my aunt is a psycho (not sure if she was diagnosed I guess not). Then my mom would tell me that my dad's relatives are all uneducated rude people, they are cheap and they prefer boys, unlucky I am a girl. I can remember every time I did something wrong, or when I was doing nothing, my mom would come to me to tell me that I should behave well or they were gonna have a young son cuz my dad was planning that already. I wasn't born in Australia, in my country back then every family only had one child. It was really rare to have another one because there was serious punishment for having exceeding children. I remembered I was hurt at that time because my family always told me that they loved me so they didn't care if I was a girl or not. They told me that I was treated like a boy (which means better than a girl in this context) because I got them as family members. I remembered at that time I felt like a homeless dog. Then, my parents' relationship started to fall apart. Please please don't fight in front of your children or anywhere your children can notice. I witnessed my father's physical violence towards my mother... Also, I was listening to multiple fights during the night. One of my parents turned my heated blanket to the maximum level before having a fight, and when I woke up and listened to them quietly I was sweating but I was so scared to move, nor to turn the heated blanket off. I tried so hard to close my eyes but I was roasted by the heated blanket also the chaos outside was too loud...I think I have developed some PTSD from that... every time when my neighbour makes some noises I panic.

LadyCath Feeling alone and feeling bad about it
  • replies: 7

So my partner loves me. No doubts in anyone's mind but he has add, possible undiagnosed autism and he doesn't like being touched. When we first started dating I knew he didn't like to be touched. He used to sleep on the floor sometimes when he was wi... View more

So my partner loves me. No doubts in anyone's mind but he has add, possible undiagnosed autism and he doesn't like being touched. When we first started dating I knew he didn't like to be touched. He used to sleep on the floor sometimes when he was with his ex wife. So it's not news for me. But I'm a HSP with depression and anxiety and some days I need to be held. Well he's been super stressed lately and when I was having a big sad I asked if I could have a hug. He said no but offered me to hold a finger. II understand and respect that he doesn't like to be touched. But now I'm so angry at myself for crying hysterically because I couldn't be hugged. I'm so confused. What can I do to find a way to satisfy my depression and need for being held when he doesn't want to. Help.

PsychedelicFur Acknowledging that I deserve better but still miss him sometimes
  • replies: 3

I left him ten months into our relationship because I came to terms with the fact that I do definitely deserve better. Throughout the duration of the relationship it was quite psychologically and emotionally abusive.. as well as quite mentally draini... View more

I left him ten months into our relationship because I came to terms with the fact that I do definitely deserve better. Throughout the duration of the relationship it was quite psychologically and emotionally abusive.. as well as quite mentally draining and exhausting. However, with saying that though - Sometimes I miss the memories we shared together - the fond times, the lovely times.. the mesmerising memories. The Honeymoon, Love Bombing phase! I am fully and completely aware of a thing called a ‘trauma bond’ And when I think of our fond times in the relationship I genuinely try to bring myself back to reality. Where I can think far more rationally and remind myself that I DESERVE BETTER. Because I do. I was with him for about ten months. I have not contacted him for at least seven months. And he has been blocked for a similar amount of time too. I understand that the negativity he carries within him cannot and will not enrich my life. So insecure, he was. He would project his insecurities onto me and consequently as a result I am now left with quite severe body dysmorphic disorder.. where I am practically housebound and most days I refuse to leave the home. And I am severely introverted.. so social gatherings completely amplify my anxiety and terrify me so much. That’s beside the point though.. what I am trying to say here is that he would psychologically abuse me to the point of me having a few breakdowns.. one of which I had to go into hospital and they gave me Valium to calm down. Meanwhile, as I was in hospital he would proceed to remind me of how much of a ‘horrible’ and ‘pathetic’ person I was just because I asked him that I wanted more support. DEEP DOWN I am completely aware of the fact I definitely deserve so much better. I just hope one day I don’t have times where I miss the good times and nice things we did together. I don’t like trauma bonds at all. These trauma bonds truly are debilitating and intense. PF.

..K Always my fault
  • replies: 8

Evening unfortunately I always keep my issues bottled up when I talk to my husband about anything that’s on my mind he ALWAYS blames it on me. It makes me feel completely worthless and like everything is my fault or turns it around and makes me feel ... View more

Evening unfortunately I always keep my issues bottled up when I talk to my husband about anything that’s on my mind he ALWAYS blames it on me. It makes me feel completely worthless and like everything is my fault or turns it around and makes me feel like he’s the one not good enough. then I get to over thinking everything and feel extremely insecure. I have absolutely no friends so I cannot turn to anyone. I just need some help i Want to be the best mother I can be for my kids. I want to be happy. I don’t want to be made to feel like every argument is my fault.

lilykitten How do I move on?
  • replies: 6

I separated from my husband over 3 years ago. It started out amicable until lawyers got involved (property not kids) at which point he totally cut me off emotionally from his life. I did the right thing and gave him full access to the kids. Ideally I... View more

I separated from my husband over 3 years ago. It started out amicable until lawyers got involved (property not kids) at which point he totally cut me off emotionally from his life. I did the right thing and gave him full access to the kids. Ideally I wanted a 50:50 custody arrangement but he struggled to find his feet and couch-surfed for ages even after the property payout. He now has a girlfriend and a house somewhere in the next town. He has kept up visits to the kids once a week in my home and watched videos with them but has no custody by choice. We all sat down about 6months ago after the kids didn't want their Dad to visit anymore as he felt like a stranger because he only asked them questions about what they had been up to but would never tell them any details of his life. He listened a little bit but acted very threatened. He returned my key and agreed to knock and let the kids invite him into the home on their meeting day (which gave the kids more control) and he has since then, showed them a picture of his girlfriend and told them he has a new house. He still never takes them out anywhere although he has taken the eldest on driving lessons. I am usually at work when he visits but not during lockdown. Which leads back to my problem. I have a lovely boyfriend and a busy life but for some reason I spend about 2 hours everyday wondering about my ex, what he is thinking, why he did what he did, what does he do all day that prevents him from being a better father, why cant he have a conversation with me, what should I have done differently, why am I mad at him, how do I help the situation, how can someone you lived and shared everything with for 17 years, just cut you off emotionally, how do I heal the rift? I guess I would like us to be friends and discuss supporting the kids together. Last weekend was his Birthday and Fathers Day and he was too busy to see them (it wasn't his designated Thursday afternoon) and I could tell the kids were disappointed. I know he will never at this stage financially help the kids and I'm wondering if all this is about money and if I gave him back the $800 he has paid in Child support since 2018 he might realise I don't want his money and it is safe to share his life (he claims $0 income). What do you think? How do I stop thinking about him and move on?

Suckerforpunishment Feeling helpless alcoholic partner and worried about my own mental health
  • replies: 16

Hi I’ve been with my current partner for around 6 years, he’s always been a heavy drinker but in the last 12 months or so it has become worse. He drinks around 10-12 cans of beer each night. I have tried to talk to him about the problem and the impac... View more

Hi I’ve been with my current partner for around 6 years, he’s always been a heavy drinker but in the last 12 months or so it has become worse. He drinks around 10-12 cans of beer each night. I have tried to talk to him about the problem and the impact it is having on our relationship and the example it is setting for my two young children. I’ve also recently started working as a nurse and seeing the impact alcohol has on the patients I take care of is devastating. He is not violent when drinking but can be aggressive - as in he will stand over me or edge closer to my face and point his finger at me while loudly speaking … I feel his drinking is affecting me a lot more each day I feel helpless and lost and angry most of the time. It has gotten to the point that I cringe when I hear the cans open. I don’t know what to do anymore I just feel like crying and am hating my life