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

Sophie225 Any advice around coping when unable to separate right now
  • replies: 3

Hi all, I am stuck in a situation where I am currently unable to leave my husband, as I have lost my job due to COVID-19 and have been struggling to find work. I have gone from a very good, well paid job, to now earning nothing. So I am stuck in an e... View more

Hi all, I am stuck in a situation where I am currently unable to leave my husband, as I have lost my job due to COVID-19 and have been struggling to find work. I have gone from a very good, well paid job, to now earning nothing. So I am stuck in an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship until I am able to find a full time job and support me and my kids (they're adults so I can't get any support from government), Some days I can put it to the back of my mind and try and remain optimistic, and some days I feel really down so applying for more jobs becomes even more of a struggle when I've already done over 100 applications. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how to stay positive, and how to cope while I am stuck in this position? Or if anyone else has been in a similar position? (The atmosphere isn't great so I am constantly trying to keep the peace) Thanks in advance

Ijustwanttobeaccepted I feel alone.
  • replies: 1

Im feeling down most of the time. My mom is overbearing and tries to control me with my decisions even if im in my 30s. If she gives advice, you have to follow it or else she gives you cold shoulder. I want to live on my own but at the same time i fe... View more

Im feeling down most of the time. My mom is overbearing and tries to control me with my decisions even if im in my 30s. If she gives advice, you have to follow it or else she gives you cold shoulder. I want to live on my own but at the same time i feel i cant especially right now when families need to be together. At work, im good at what i do.. im not perfect but i know im reliable.. but people don’t appreciate what i do.. i feel some people dont think highly of me because my job is only admin. Sometimes when they talk to you it’s as if you are stupid. My friends always tease me... i can take teasing but i feel like im the only being teased or made fun of... all of these experiences make me lose hope and hate myself for not being a good person. I don’t think highly of myself and don’t believe in myself.

ocean-man everything sucks
  • replies: 2

i didn't want to post this in any of the mental health forums because i was worried i'd end up breaking rules or something, and decided this was the next best place. almost every day goes by and i feel like i'm by myself in the world. people look ove... View more

i didn't want to post this in any of the mental health forums because i was worried i'd end up breaking rules or something, and decided this was the next best place. almost every day goes by and i feel like i'm by myself in the world. people look over me like i'm a background object, something they can just ignore when they feel it's appropriate. most people at my school never really talk to me so i end up alone with my thoughts most of the time. i'm always the one initiating conversations that end up lasting maybe 4 sentences long, usually not even that. and when someone does talk to me it's usually a "hello" and nothing else. nobody shows any real interest in being around me. sometimes i wonder if that feeling is justified. moreover, everybody seems to be moving ahead with their love lives and i'm still at square one. at least 10 people in my class have had a boyfriend/girlfriend before. meanwhile i'm sitting in the corner, thinking about how the most meaningful interaction with a girl i've ever had is one of the aforementioned 4-sentence-conversations. nobody shows any real interest in me in that sense, probably because i don't have a single clue how to interact with them without looking weird i'm ugly i share no common interests with anybody everybody's probably already taken anyway i want to talk about this with my friends but i don't feel comfortable speaking about it one-on-one, and even then i'm worried if i talk about this with my friends they'll just think i'm vying for attention, groan and then move on. i also don't want to speak to my parents about this because i know they'll find some way to turn the tables and make it seem like the whole ordeal is my fault. they try to ask me what's wrong, usually with "disappointed" tones, and i always dismiss it as "nothing" or "mood swings". i've read articles upon articles about being more sociable in hopes that i might find what i need to be accepted but i just can't muster myself to do what they say. i feel like an alien, like if i try to do something nice or friendly people will stare at me in disgust or call the police - or both. i imagine that even a simple hello will earn me a restraining order. i've always believed people in my class consider me the quiet kid and i'm so sick of it being that way. i want to be recognized and appreciated, not looked over. but i doubt that that will ever happen. sorry for the rant

Insatiableloneliness Am I asking too much?
  • replies: 2

Hi BB, I have been feeling increasingly anxious lately and feeling like I'm not wanted. My partner is someone who is not overly affectionate and I know this, which is difficult as I am a very affectionate person, particularly physically. I have felt ... View more

Hi BB, I have been feeling increasingly anxious lately and feeling like I'm not wanted. My partner is someone who is not overly affectionate and I know this, which is difficult as I am a very affectionate person, particularly physically. I have felt more than ok normally but recently there has been some trauma that has halted our physical intimacy and now without that I think it has been playing on me a lot more as there is little intimacy outside that. We have talked a about it but the main response is "I don't know how to help you without making myself ubvomfortable" which is something I wouldn't want to do. There's still laying on eachother on the couch, a quick kiss and an I love you occasionally, so why do I feel like this? I'm sure I'm not the only person who has gone through this. How can I go about removing this feeling? Does anyone have any strategies?

lonerLils Trust and Privacy
  • replies: 3

Hello! So basically I watch these youtubers and I'm pretty obsessed. They made this anthem so I translated it into like spanish so no one would know what it said and printed it out. I asked my mum not to question it. I'm in my room and she comes up w... View more

Hello! So basically I watch these youtubers and I'm pretty obsessed. They made this anthem so I translated it into like spanish so no one would know what it said and printed it out. I asked my mum not to question it. I'm in my room and she comes up with a piece of paper. She GOOGLE TRANSLATED IT and asked me to explain. It wasn't anything bad, I'm just so angry because I feel like I have no privacy. And I specifically said not to, in a serious tone. She promised she wouldn't. I'm so embarrassed and angry at her.

LonelyButterfly Forgotten by a friend
  • replies: 5

I am feeling very hurt and lonely at the moment. I had made plans to spend time with a friend, but when I got to her house, no one was home. I later got a text from her saying that she was out shopping and had forgotten that I was coming. The worst p... View more

I am feeling very hurt and lonely at the moment. I had made plans to spend time with a friend, but when I got to her house, no one was home. I later got a text from her saying that she was out shopping and had forgotten that I was coming. The worst part for me is that I sent her a text saying that I would be at her house in about an hour. I sent this message half an hour before she went shopping. I know this because she told me what time she went shopping. I don't get very much time to socialise, but when I do, I like forward to it. I also feel like I only have one friend to socialise with. I have lots of acquaintances. Except for my adult daughter and my two little boys, I don't have any family close to me.

lochness46 Having severe relationship problems with my mum :(
  • replies: 1

The other day, my mum & I got into a disaggrement becasue I feel like she always plays devils advoacate or make opinions about things shes doesnt understand or know the details of. So she hung up on me but continued to send me msgers till I told her ... View more

The other day, my mum & I got into a disaggrement becasue I feel like she always plays devils advoacate or make opinions about things shes doesnt understand or know the details of. So she hung up on me but continued to send me msgers till I told her to stop, but she didnt, so i had to block her. It seems since I last messaged my Mum telling her to stop messenging me the other day, she has NOW, YET AGAIN, unfriended me from Facebook.... OMFG I am so tired of her petty games like this. I tried to call her to try to talk to her & even apologise for some of the things I said in the heat of the moment, but of course shes ignoring me & I will b e very suprised if she contacts me at all .I feel like its all so childish & kinda manipulative for her to behave like this yet again....In the past, Ive HAD to stop talking to her for y own sanity, even up to 6 months at a time because she can behave so toxic & childish, like now.....It feels like a bit of a relief, but I hate being deliberately ignored when I want to try & make ammends & talk this through. I do realise that its the 1st year anniversary of the death of my brother in December, but I feel she really needs to resume her grief counselling that stopped because of Covid, because obviously she snt coping well. We are all grappling with his passing...but Im doing EVERYTHING in my power, to try to help myself & our relationship. But is it even possible?? I have been taking meds for more than decade, Ive been having therapy for many, many years, & even this year started DBT to help myself & the relationships I have with others, but it just doesnt seem enough for my mother....I just dont know how to communicate with her or even relate to her anymore....Im so lost with this !!

Dumbdom After 27 years of marriage she’s left and I’m gutted
  • replies: 37

My wife and I were married for 27 years, 2 beautiful daughters in their 20’s. My wife works in hospitality, myself construction, both in our 50’s, the relationship has always been a work in progress. She is not a very romantic person, never has been,... View more

My wife and I were married for 27 years, 2 beautiful daughters in their 20’s. My wife works in hospitality, myself construction, both in our 50’s, the relationship has always been a work in progress. She is not a very romantic person, never has been, I guess some of it stems from her upbringing, my upbringing the complete opposite. Sometime ago I was a fly in fly out worker, it lasted 6 months. I was getting home every Friday night and her being out with one of her of her friends at the local watering hole or out with work friend. She would then get up Saturday and go to work, not leaving much time for US time. I should have said something but didn’t and I spiralled downhill feeling worthless, empty, gutted and no self esteem. She gets very into socialising with her work friends, occasionally I was invited sometimes I’d go, sometimes not, when they all get together they talk work, fair enough but I don’t want to hear because that’s all she’s talking at home. She’s been to Bali twice with work people, I haven’t gone, my choice, didn’t want to hear about their work all the time. I was diagnosed with Depression at start of this year, which I’m on medication for and have spoken to Professionals about. I’ve told all my family and friends and received 100% support. She left me because she said we needed time to breathe, I hadn’t been the easiest person to live with I’ll admit that, I did tell her my depression stemmed back to when I was working away and coming home to an empty house and that she ranked well down on her list of priorities, she doesn’t seemed that concerned that her actions bought it on, she says she’s sorry but never made any attempt to rectify it, I think it’s lip service She said she needs her own space, in 8 months that we’ve been separated I’ve had her over to the family home and cooked her dinner, she did say she didn’t want to lead me on, I understand that. I thought we were making some progress. She told me recently that she’s going away in the new year with friends, I said that it hurt because to me that said she wasn’t figuring I’d be in the picture. She then said she doesn’t see us ever getting back together. I feel worthless, gutted, emotionally and physically destroyed, thankfully I’m close and very grateful for the love and support of my daughters, family and friends, they give me reason to get up, it’s a challenge. I just struggle as to why after 27 years she walks away from me

Janus20 Losing the desire to try and make marriage work
  • replies: 3

Hi there, Our marriage has been struggling for well over a year, W says she hasn’t had any feelings for me for several years now. We are both in our forties and have been together since teenagers. Our marriage turned into a routine after kids came al... View more

Hi there, Our marriage has been struggling for well over a year, W says she hasn’t had any feelings for me for several years now. We are both in our forties and have been together since teenagers. Our marriage turned into a routine after kids came along and we never prioritised “us time” for a long time. I believe W took interest in another guy who was showing her attention and was secretly meeting with him last year. When I found out I felt devastated, betrayed, ashamed etc. I tried everything I could to get our marriage back on track. W wanted nothing of it, acted very selfishly for a long time and had no interest in working on the marriage. I went through many ups and downs and said we need to separate throughout the year as I didn’t see that the marriage could work if only one of us was interested. Well, we have both made it this far, definitely not in a perfect position, W has been sleeping in the spare room for a year now, we are amicable and things are better on the day to day, but that is just because we agreed to treat us as though we are just friends and there is no expectations of any quick change. I am still gutted and wish things could progress, but I understand that if she doesn’t feel anything then you can’t push it. For me to be able to live my life without treating W as a companion, it is very confusing and I struggle to remain level in my feelings. I can’t act normally because I would want to give a hug, hold hands or reach over for a kiss, none of that is what I should be doing if I am respecting her wishes of trying to work on a friendship basis first. We have good days every now and again, but then I get knocked back to reality when she goes and spends her time in the spare room and continues to sleep separately. She knows I struggle with this, but just says she is sorry that she is hurting me but she doesn’t know what she wants. She says she has to get over the hurt that I caused her by telling her it was over through the year, and is finding it hard to move forward. The longer this goes, the more I find myself asking why I’m still hanging around. It doesn’t feel that she will ever have feelings for me again, she just wants to be friends. The scary thing is, the longer I live like this, I find myself having less and less feelings for her, it’s hard to keep trying when you don’t feel any love or affection in return. Looking back, there are plenty of things I have put up with that I would want changed if we work things out. Janus

Milly_moos Partner is all for himself/not a team at all
  • replies: 3

Hi All, this is my first time posting but I am really needing advice this time round. I think my partner just doesn’t care about me. Every decision he makes is based solely around himself. There’s no we it’s always I. We have managed to figure out th... View more

Hi All, this is my first time posting but I am really needing advice this time round. I think my partner just doesn’t care about me. Every decision he makes is based solely around himself. There’s no we it’s always I. We have managed to figure out that he needs more space than I do and that’s okay we all have our own needs however I feel like I am constantly being taken advantage of and I have had it. I ordered a bike online and it needed picking up in business hours which I am unable to make due to work. I asked if he could pick it up on his way home (it’s literally down the same main road as his work) and he said no that he didn’t want to. I then took the afternoon off work to be able to pick up my bike and all was well until the bike wouldn’t fit in my car. We only live 10 minutes away so I called my partner asking if he would Uber here and drive my car home whilst I ride the bike home and he said no it’s Friday and im Tired. He then said put your big girl shoes on and sort it out yourself. I ended up getting the bike home with help from a random guy offering to help me but that’s not the issue. The issue is that he couldn’t help me out at all yet he’s been happily using my car for the past 6 months for work. I told him how I felt about the situation once I got Home and he told me I was being selfish thinking that he would drop everything for me. This confuses me so much as I happily help him out when he needs it. This is just one example there are meant more. I just don’t know what to do anymore