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.

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batticus Relationship with a covert narcissist - any advice/options?
  • replies: 17

I have been with my girlfriend for 5 years now. Despite everything I love her dearly. She is incredibly charming, attractive and intelligent. I was (and in ways still am) hooked. What I found though was only a month or so into the relationship things... View more

I have been with my girlfriend for 5 years now. Despite everything I love her dearly. She is incredibly charming, attractive and intelligent. I was (and in ways still am) hooked. What I found though was only a month or so into the relationship things changed. I've had a long battle with anti-depressants - they caused all sorts of issues, unfortunately some in the bedroom. My GF took this extremely personally, I was yelled and screamed at on more than one occasion despite my best efforts to try and reassure her it wasn't her fault. This manifested into a sexless relationship - I would guess we have had sex a dozen times maybe in the 5 years we've been together. We express intimacy in other ways which is fine but there's problems there. We have only just started sorting through this but it's a case of going one step forwards, two steps back. I have what I consider to be a normal libido, hers is extremely low. The issue is even the slightest hint of criticism causes here to react severely. I look back on the last 5 years and realise I've been treading on eggshells for a big part of that time. It's preventing us from working through issues in the relationship. Whenever there is an issue, I end up being the one to apologise - it's the easiest way to keep the peace. The way she treats me varies widely. Sometimes she is very affectionate and warm, other times extremely cold and silent. If I try and talk to her when in a bad mood, in the past it has caused a full blown tantrum. I used to think it was my fault. I started bending over backwards to try and make her feel better, I thought I wasn't good enough. I figured if I work hard enough I'll make her happy and things will be better. There's so much more I could write about but I'm running out of space. I'm exhausted at times and I get little to no support from her in any of my own pursuits or interests. I have depression and anxiety and again I get very little support from her. She asks how I am going but I can tell she isn't actually interested. I've been reading about narcissists, particularly covert narcissists. Just going through the checklist of common traits... it's describing my GF perfectly. It explains so much. She has no friends, often puts people off-side, and in many ways is very selfish. She is always the victim, even when it's obvious she was the one at fault. Has anyone got experience with covert narcissists? Is there things I can do to help? Or am I stuck? I would be so grateful for any advice.

BeniScott Sexless relationship.
  • replies: 4

Hi all, so as the title suggests I'm currently in a sexless relationship. So I (22m) and my partner (22f) have been together for close to four years now, and for the past 17 months we haven't been intimate once. By intimate I mean any all all forms o... View more

Hi all, so as the title suggests I'm currently in a sexless relationship. So I (22m) and my partner (22f) have been together for close to four years now, and for the past 17 months we haven't been intimate once. By intimate I mean any all all forms or sex, including foreplay. I also receive very few forms of physical affection that I enjoy, to the extent of barely being hugged, kissed, or even holding hands. Now my partner is fully aware that I'm very much not enjoying the lack of intimacy. She had a very traumatic previous relationship where physical affection and intimacy was used as a punishment, manipulation and was sexually absued. I had a very similar experience in my previous relationship as well so I can completely understand where she is comming form. She is currently is seeing a counsler to assist with dealing with the trauma she suffered. Just to be crystal clear, I know that she is faithfull, and wouldn't do anything like that and I DONT WANT TO LEAVE HER. It's just been a long four years of near neglect of my physical needs. I'm just looking for a bit of support.

GoingRoundInCircles Perpetually Confused
  • replies: 6

Hi everybody, My wife and I have been together for nearly 20 years, we have young children together. We have had our ups and downs and at a few points nearly broken up but for one reason or another stayed together. We were at the point in our lives w... View more

Hi everybody, My wife and I have been together for nearly 20 years, we have young children together. We have had our ups and downs and at a few points nearly broken up but for one reason or another stayed together. We were at the point in our lives where our peers were having kids and discussed it. I told her I didn't think we should have them as we really don't have a healthy relationship and she convinced me that "people change out of necessity" After our first child I was truly happy for a year but things soon went back to the way it was. The second time around was horrible she suffered from post-natal depression and I didn't know how to help her. I admit I should have been more supportive but I could only do my best at the time and was struggling myself. Since then we have really just been existing and not living. I know we've been in a toxic relationship where both of us at times have been unfair to the other. We decided to build a new house to have a fresh start but it has been anything but. The past 2 years have been the most traumatic times I've been through in my life. I've been depressed, emotional, suicidal and overall just had a gut feeling that something is off. My wife has been constantly angry, argumentative and completely unreasonable to the point where I just shut down. She picks fights over everything, makes everything an issue, criticises me and puts me down. I've been suffering crippling anxiety and around 1 year ago realised it was contact with her that caused it. I'm constantly walking on eggshells and everything I do is wrong or never good enough for her. I met another woman around the same time I had my realisation and we really hit it off. I admit I had an emotional affair without even knowing it and once I realised cut off all communication and I admitted this to my wife. This put me in an even more severe depression and obviously made our already strained relationship much worse. My wife has been controlling and abusive much worse than previously whilst playing herself as the innocent victim. I've been seeing a therapist and have come to realise that my wife has been emotionally abusive controlling through our whole relationship. The more I think about it the more I realise we're no good for each other and we should have split long ago but now I can't bring myself to do it and I don't want to hurt her. I think my biggest fear is that she will punish me to the best of her abilities which she has proven to do in the past.

Jimmy_k1980 Newly seperated and living together
  • replies: 5

My ex partner of 10 years left me 2 weeks ago today. I am a FIFO worker and arrived home 2 days after our 10 year anniversary, put milk in the fridge and turned to give her a hug. She said I can’t do it anymore, I’ve packed a bag and I’m leaving now.... View more

My ex partner of 10 years left me 2 weeks ago today. I am a FIFO worker and arrived home 2 days after our 10 year anniversary, put milk in the fridge and turned to give her a hug. She said I can’t do it anymore, I’ve packed a bag and I’m leaving now. ove the next few days we discussed staying in the same house so it didn’t disrupt the kids. Solid home etc. she would stay with friends while I was home and come home the day I fly back to work. We agreed it would work and I assumed a mutual respect for the things we had for example “if you sleep with someone do it somewhere else”. fast forward to the day I go back to work. Arrangements are made for kids to be picked up from school. I dropped them off and headed to work. After arriving and sending a text to ask how the kids were it was like pulling teeth to get any kind of response from her. Long waits between replies and no answer if I tried to call. She didn’t want to talk. I finally found out she’s started seeing another guy (under a week later) and he’s been staying at the house….. in my bed! she had fobbed the kids off to family and friends so she can have this guy in my bed, the most disrespectful thing that could be done to someone in my opinion. At first I thought is was once or twice and after asking her to have some respect she hung up on me then texted saying I was being unreasonable my anxiety is through the roof. My boss made mw go home and try and sort it out. I have been at home now for 24 hrs, I’m with the kids and she has gone somewhere else. Just before they go to sleep, one of the kids asks me if mummy’s new friend will be staying here all the time when I’m at work. how do I respond to that. All I can do is take it in my stride and tell the kids I love them. Dad will sort it out.

katwil empty nest and feeling lonely
  • replies: 8

Is there anyone out there experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome? I feeling incredibly lonely. Our son moved out in Feb to go to Uni. We initiate all contact. Our daughter is getting married in July. We used to be very close. She called me her best friend.... View more

Is there anyone out there experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome? I feeling incredibly lonely. Our son moved out in Feb to go to Uni. We initiate all contact. Our daughter is getting married in July. We used to be very close. She called me her best friend. Now i am forgotten. It hurts alot. I dont handle rejection very well. So, im now having to come to terms with this life and im not sure how to do it. I just feel passed over and lonely. I went and saw Zootopia by myself. That was miserable.

JJ1981 Maybe give up on finding love?
  • replies: 16

Hi ladies and gentlemen I'm a 41 year old male professional who has been single practically his whole life. I did manage to have dates with a few women since I moved to my current city five years ago. But, I have a funny feeling that the COVID pandem... View more

Hi ladies and gentlemen I'm a 41 year old male professional who has been single practically his whole life. I did manage to have dates with a few women since I moved to my current city five years ago. But, I have a funny feeling that the COVID pandemic (and its aftermath) left Australia's dating scene in shambles. I feel that is more of a case amongst the women. I understood that the best way for me to find a potential date after school and university is to find social groupings involving regular contact with women. But, so many women are now hesitant to go to mixed gender social groupings because of how certain men have hurt the women they came across in a big variety of ways. So, that hurt guys like me too. I feel that maybe I am not meant to find love. Otherwise, life's circumstances would have been far more in my favour. Like me working near city offices, instead of in deep suburbia. Like me having genuine help on dating instead of being leached upon by every so called dating coach imaginable for money (who doesn't love money?!). Like me going to social groups that have the same women attending regularly instead of just showing up once and never returning. Like my siblings helping me hook up with one of their contacts instead of hiding them from me. Like me finding women at the "right place at the right time" instead of me finding women being sighted by 50 male "competitors", including their friends and work colleagues. I also have been now getting the impression that some women find heterosexual romance to be a mere misogynistic conspiracy designed to restrain women and their freedoms...which is why I keep hearing about how more women are staying single and have NEVER been happier. All at a time when my depression has been contributed to by a very long absence of companionship. I just now ask myself...am I meant to be single for life? Am I meant to just shut my longing up in response to women reacting to how some men treated them? I must say I am feeling more at peace about this possibility, but I want to say this. That is still a sad reality for me to face. Any thoughts/comments? Many thanks.

rhinoceros I'm really disappointed in myself - I'm scared dating and intimacy
  • replies: 5

Hello friends I've posted here a few times. I was in a 5 1/2 year old relationship with someone very abusive. She was never formally diagnosed as such, but she had very strong covert narcissistic traits. A lot of the abuse was covert in nature, gasli... View more

Hello friends I've posted here a few times. I was in a 5 1/2 year old relationship with someone very abusive. She was never formally diagnosed as such, but she had very strong covert narcissistic traits. A lot of the abuse was covert in nature, gaslighting, isolating, silent-treatment and subtle put downs. For me the worst abuse occurred in intimate situations. Unfortunately I experienced for a while ED as a result of A/D medication I was on. It was not something I could control. My ex would scream and yell at me, she would say all sorts of horrible hurtful things. She made it very clear this problem was entirely my fault, and that I had to fix it. I believed her, so I tapered of the A/D medication, and sure enough the ED issue did improve. Although I never felt safe/comfortable around my ex, so naturally that would have an impact. To make matters worse, once this problem was resolved, she told me I was a monster and an animal basically for having a sex drive (which at that times wasn't exactly high due to the abuse). I managed to escape that relationship 10 months ago. I've had quite a bit of therapy and felt like I was making progress and healing. Recently I was contacted by a good friend. She said a friend of hers took interest in me, and suggested we go on a blind date. Nothing high-pressure, just coffee during my lunch break at work. I agreed to this. I figured there's nothing to lose, and it would be good for me to meet someone new. As time passed, and the day this would take place got closer, I cancelled it. I was having panic attacks, so scared of just having coffee with someone. Instead of feeling excited and maybe just a little nervous, which it probably normal, I felt paralysed by fear. Now that I've cancelled this, I feel really disappointed in myself. I though I had made more progress in overcoming the damage caused by my ex. It like being back at square one again. I feel totally stuck. I'm 29 years old, and quite lonely in many respects, yet I'm unable to even have coffee with someone. In one sense I'm ready to meet someone new, but there almost a hard-wired circuit in my brain that activates a panic response at the slightest hint of potential romance. I would be so grateful if anyone has advice for me that might help me get out of this predicament. Thank you

Sum1 Family Drama
  • replies: 3

Concerned for the wellbeing of a child, on husbands side of fam. School age. I've suspected neurodivergence (at a guess asd and adhd) since he was a baby. Parents are aware of developmental issues (almost nonverbal, aggressive (our children can no lo... View more

Concerned for the wellbeing of a child, on husbands side of fam. School age. I've suspected neurodivergence (at a guess asd and adhd) since he was a baby. Parents are aware of developmental issues (almost nonverbal, aggressive (our children can no longer visit because of an incident that was laughed off), at risk of self harm when emotional (not taken seriously by parents) anti-social, can't follow instruction- they never tell him no) etc. They refuse to get diagnosis because they don't 'trust the system'. They don't trust any system. They pulled him out of kindy after a couple of weeks. Hasn't been enrolled in mainstream school. It's possible he may by now have been enrolled in an 'unschooling' program- mum hinted she had no plans to attempt to educate (they are restricted as far as public experiences are concerned). I understand that the child is not yet suited to mainstream but he does need some form of professional support, because he isn't getting help at home. The parents have severe conspiracy mentality. Im not discounting her claims but it is limiting her ability to seek help. They have banned anyone with covid jab from visiting the house. Noone can talk to them because they cut off anyone that has a different view. (My relationship with them is strained because as much as i am patient in trying to understand thier views, they are disrespectful in how they treat other people. Not something i tolerate). Noone is trying to make them believe anything, but very concerned about household mental health situation, childs wellbeing. Tried to reach out to pro's but told they cant offer help if family doesnt agree to 'self refer'. Most people that can help have been immunised and use wifi. If child is enrolled in unschooling, i can't go the ed. dept. route for welfare check. If I call for a welfare check fam will know it was me. I've spoken to grandparents, brothers who agree its an issue, but cant understand urgency and told me not to do anything hasty (multiple years is hasty apparently). My thought is that the welfare of the child is more important than the family liking me? I just want professional to suss out the situation thoroughly. Was hoping that family might give them more opportunity to sort themselves out before pro's intervene, but i keep getting ' i dont like confrontation'- in my book, a complete cop-out.

Mothership My husband wants me to date other people
  • replies: 7

Hi, my husband and I live separately because of his mental health, we talk everyday, and see each other, he says he loves me each day, he has told me to date other people, he says to meet the needs he can't meet, but I have been faithful for the 26 y... View more

Hi, my husband and I live separately because of his mental health, we talk everyday, and see each other, he says he loves me each day, he has told me to date other people, he says to meet the needs he can't meet, but I have been faithful for the 26 years we've known each other. I'm 63 yrs old now and I don't think I could date anyone else, especially to be intimate,

Abc1234a He wont leave
  • replies: 3

Hello, I need some advice. I am in a same sex scenario with my now ex partner. I call him my ex but he won’t accept that and just gaslights me every time I try and deal with the situation about separating (we were married, recently divorced and staye... View more

Hello, I need some advice. I am in a same sex scenario with my now ex partner. I call him my ex but he won’t accept that and just gaslights me every time I try and deal with the situation about separating (we were married, recently divorced and stayed together because of covid) - now covid is over I moved out to my parents and he is staying here temporarily. I have asked him to move out and in response tells me that I have ptsdm and apparently knows everything about this subject (like everything else) and makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. Anyway I just want him out of my life, I am not sure I am even gay anymore and have found Jesus and his is all so confusing. I want him to leave but he won’t accept the fact that our relationship is over. I really don’t want to involve the police (this situation is embarrassing because I don’t want to involve my parents) and I am worried that he will have no where to go (I know sounds stupid) I told him to move out by the 2nd July but he doest seem to take me seriously. I haven’t seen my friends since being in this relationship and have had a very depressed mood, I know it needs to end so that I can move on with my life.I have had two temp protection orders in the past as the aggrieved (which I have dropped before going to court) and just got a third last week where he has to be of good behaviour, he is not violent but we things get heated we do fight and things get thrown around.. Can you please offer me some advice.