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

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.

All discussions

CMF I can't tolerate people but it must be me. What's wrong with me?
  • replies: 5

Hi all, I find it really hard to tolerate people's behaviour. It affects me greatly & I'm sick of having to "suck it up". When I'm open with those who should support me they will agree with me but then support the other person. Examples = my partner'... View more

Hi all, I find it really hard to tolerate people's behaviour. It affects me greatly & I'm sick of having to "suck it up". When I'm open with those who should support me they will agree with me but then support the other person. Examples = my partner's sis moved in with him & his boys after his divorce. She bought into his house & took over the wife/mother role. I belive to fulfill her life. It's been almost 4 years & I can't tolerate her. She's a nice person all about her, controlling, never gives us space when I'm there & takes advantage of him being People pleaser. She crowds us, listens to our conversations & intertupts/takes over. I've told him how I feel so many times, he says he understands but she'll eventually move out. He admits he can't stand up to her & is like a puppet. I used to work at reception with a woman who constantly does her personal things at work. Online shopping, always on her mobile phone & letting work phone ring out. Others that worked with her all say she's been doing that for 10years & some of us have brought it up with management yet nothing gets done. One of my current colleagues is paid to be a Team Leader. He is hardly around, always has an excuse to leave the office then work from home. He constantly sends work through incorrectly & it goes back & forth several times to get it right. He doesn't understand the systems & always makes up excuses ie his system is slow, he hasn't been there long & still new.. he runs around all puffed out but doing nothing. No one goes to him cos he doesn't know anything & tried to blame me for a big error. He's bluffing his way through. My manager is under pressure cos he offers no support. I've raised it with my manager several times, pointing out issues. She agrees, asks me to keep an eye on him, talks to him, but he continues to do it & get away with it, been doing it for over a year. Today she is pulling him up & telling him to step up but I'm still told some take longer to learn. She agrees he's taking advantage & not fulfilling his role but I'm almost told to go easy while he fluffs around & gets paid more than I. It appears I have too many issues with people. Am I too honest? Too harsh? Are my expectations too high? I cannot deal with people taking advantage of others. It affects me too much. I've come to the conclusion that the issue must be me. Cmf

IngBat7 Relationships -Alcoholism and Infidelity Mean?
  • replies: 3

Hello There - Where do I start? My partner and I have been together five and a half years. To be honest, he is an alcoholic - Who becomes someone completely different when he has had red wine. He isn't currently working much at the moment and I have ... View more

Hello There - Where do I start? My partner and I have been together five and a half years. To be honest, he is an alcoholic - Who becomes someone completely different when he has had red wine. He isn't currently working much at the moment and I have just picked up some part time work which helps pay the bills. When he was working, it would involve numerous away trips of a short duration and although he doesn't realise I know, I have become aware that another woman has 'involved' herself with him. I don't really know what I am asking for here. A bit of support and empathy, I suppose? The hardest thing is - I still love him and I always will, to infinity and beyond. I am committed to him and I believe in our relationship.

BlueCacti0111 Depressed living with parents
  • replies: 1

Whenever my dad feels pressured or stressed, he lashed out at us. He would break things and scream and insult us and wont even admit he had an outburst afterwards. All the gaslighting and guilt tripping, emotional and verbal abuse, he either thinks i... View more

Whenever my dad feels pressured or stressed, he lashed out at us. He would break things and scream and insult us and wont even admit he had an outburst afterwards. All the gaslighting and guilt tripping, emotional and verbal abuse, he either thinks its normal, or just denies it ever happened. Whenever i try to tell them im upset they dont take it seriously. My parents are very busy people. And i often feel like im troubling them. So I closed myself off when I was a teenager, It has become a habit, and its so hard for me to talk about how i feel to anyone even when I know that I should. I feel a lump in my throat when I try to speak up. Im 24 now but honestly, nothing much has changed. I think i've been holding things in for far too long, Ive been crying almost everyday during the past 2 months. I know they dont want me to move out, but the thought of living with them for however much longer sends me straight into a mental breakdown. Im saving money so I can move out, I havent had a proper conversation with them about this yet. And Im scared to. Theres probably going to be a huge fight or a long period of guilt tripping. I really need some time to just be by myself. I do have hobbies, and my friends and coworkers are nice. But I can feel myself drifting further and further away. I think Im wasting time, i could be doing the things I love but i seriously dont have the mental energy anymore.

maddie_faye My partner and I are both struggling with mental health
  • replies: 12

my current boyfriend and I have been together since late September/early October 2021. I had not long come out of a severely abusive relationship and now have ptsd as a result, as well as a pre exisiting anxiety condition. My partner also opened up a... View more

my current boyfriend and I have been together since late September/early October 2021. I had not long come out of a severely abusive relationship and now have ptsd as a result, as well as a pre exisiting anxiety condition. My partner also opened up about having a depression diagnosis and I suspect he also has cfs, but was well at the time. The first 2-3 months he was fine mentally then around month 4/5 he started to go down hill but was able to pick himself up, however, since March he has being in a severely depressed hole. We used to see each other every 1-2 weeks, since his depression has gotten worse we only see each other about 1-2 times a month. he is also a full time mechanic and we live an hour away from each other too so doesn’t help. I’ve often struggled with intrusive/trauma based thoughts since getting into a healthy relationship despite having evidence to prove those thoughts wrong, hence my diagnosis of ptsd (as that is a symptom) and what it’s cottoned onto over the last few months is that it tells me that we’ll never see each other again, he doesn’t love me and things will never get better with his depression. When I do see him next in person, whenever that may be I will try and talk to him about how I’ve been feeling about his depression and hoping he gets some help like I am for my mental health. Despite other people including my psychologist and worker telling me the complete opposite to what my mind says it’s still really hard to deal with and my worker actually has said that this is a trauma response. But I really do hope that my boyfriend gets help for his mental health as it is really quite bad and I don’t like seeing him like this.

PsychedelicFur My Age Gap Relationship
  • replies: 2

Hello everyone, it’s PsychedelicFur here. Now, a little over six months or so ago I met the most amazing man. We both thoroughly enjoy record collecting, watching old British sitcoms, listening to all types of music. And better yet we are both on the... View more

Hello everyone, it’s PsychedelicFur here. Now, a little over six months or so ago I met the most amazing man. We both thoroughly enjoy record collecting, watching old British sitcoms, listening to all types of music. And better yet we are both on the autism spectrum. So we understand each other’s struggles. We have been together for a little while now and he is just so gentle, thoughtful, kind and sincere. The only issue is there is quite a substantial age gap between us (14 years) - he is older than me. And his family don’t seem to be that accepting of us being together. More specifically, his sister picks on him for being with me. It’s a legal relationship. I am well beyond the age of consent. It’s a loving, loyal and supportive relationship. Most people are extremely supportive and accepting of us being together, especially my Father and my Aunty. They just want to see me be treated properly by someone and they can both see that I’m extremely happy with my partner. We have had strangers in the past bully and laugh at us for being together. And it really hurts. Why can’t people just be accepting and see that we are both very happy and safe together? He is so gentle and warm. He is always so considerate of my needs. And he understands how difficult it can be to fit in because he is on the autism spectrum as well. I just wish people would be more accepting. I am so thankful to have him in my life. He is a genuine and gentle soul whom I love tremendously. He has a lot of love to give animals, family/friends. He treats me properly and he listens to what I say. He is also very reassuring about my overthinking and always tries to help comfort me when I feel anxious or depressed. I just wish other people (strangers) would not say horrible things about us being together. The feeling is very mutual between us. I am legally allowed to date this person. My partner’s friends are very accepting of us being together too. Which is really wonderful, comforting and reassuring. It just hurts me, deeply that people can be so cruel. More specifically, people that don’t even know us and our circumstances! I’m an ‘Old Soul’ and I knew I was always going to date someone much older than me because I have never fitted in with people my own age. Why can’t people just see that this relationship isn’t perverted? It isn’t creepy and it’s a genuinely supportive and loving relationship between two people who deeply care about one another. signed, PF

Marc66 Confused - Wife mentioned she loves me more like her best friend then lover and husband.
  • replies: 4

After 8 years, she mentioned to me over the weekend she has been feeling like this for the past few weeks. She tells me she still loves me, she still wants to be with me for the rest of her life, just doesnt feel intimate anymore. For us, this is our... View more

After 8 years, she mentioned to me over the weekend she has been feeling like this for the past few weeks. She tells me she still loves me, she still wants to be with me for the rest of her life, just doesnt feel intimate anymore. For us, this is our 2nd marriage for both of us. She mentioned she cannot see herself without me and that I am her soulmate. Feeling lost, confused and hurt and don't know how to take all this in. Feeling depressed. Any advise please?

June_Summer Exhausted
  • replies: 8

Just need to let it all out. I am so tired of it all. I'm currently in bed with Covid and my partner decided it was the right time to blame me for not organising to pay bills. This turned into a huge yelling match and now i can hardly breathe through... View more

Just need to let it all out. I am so tired of it all. I'm currently in bed with Covid and my partner decided it was the right time to blame me for not organising to pay bills. This turned into a huge yelling match and now i can hardly breathe through my congested upset nose Both he an I are teachers and work the same hours. I've also got a couple of leadership positions as well. I do all the housework. He works outside on his various projects which are important to him but not anyone else. I need to connect with other women for support because right now I don't know why I am doing any of this.

Name098 Family Breakdown
  • replies: 1

Recently I had a sort of mental breakdown. My parents will be seperating officially near the end of the year and me and my siblings will be moving out with my mum. My parents have both been seperated long before this, and have a really toxic and unhe... View more

Recently I had a sort of mental breakdown. My parents will be seperating officially near the end of the year and me and my siblings will be moving out with my mum. My parents have both been seperated long before this, and have a really toxic and unhealthy relationship. In honesty I already knew this would happen for a long time. Despite all this, I have always imagined that we would always be together. Two months ago, I started to think about my future and I thought about a lot of things, from my future job, house etc., and also my future with my parents. This stressed me to the point of stomachaches and a few sleepless nights. Still I figured a 'plan' for my future and shared it. What I didn't expect during this was that I suddenly became incredibly emotional, and at the core of that was the future with my family. This caused my emotional breakdown. Despite knowing the nature of my parent's relationship, and the fact that they would eventually separate, I was overwhelmed with such emotion that I cried for a week and a half straight, and still now occasionally cry about it. I have never felt so helpless with my emotions and after crying to my mum about it two or three times, I was taken to my GP and scheduled a talk with a psychologist. While having someone to talk to, other than my mum, helped clear out a bit of what I felt, I still feel lost. At this point, once I see my entire family together the tears start falling. To be going through a family breakup me feeling sad is normal and that only time will heal. But, I have not been the only person to have gone through a hard time, specifically because I suddenly caused my own breakdown. I am quite introverted and don't have a lot of friends, additionally because this situation is so close to my heart, I am not willing to share it with others, hence, my mum has become the person I have turned to when I feel these emotions. However, I have cried to her so many times about this that she herself has been affected and has told me she doesn't know what to do and can't trust me anymore because each time I cry, I also apologise to her and say its not her fault, only to end up crying again a few days later. I really don't blame her and I know the separation will be good for everyone. Right now, however, I'm not sure how to mend my relationship with my mum, as she doesn't want to hear me out. I also have no idea how I should move forward with my life without constantly thinking about the worst and always crying.

VictorCreed Stuck in limbo
  • replies: 3

Just here for advice maybe from people who been through the same. Excuse my spelling and grammar errors. Me and my soulmate of 12 years separated about 3 months ago and I've been struggling and doing anything I can to get back with her granted our re... View more

Just here for advice maybe from people who been through the same. Excuse my spelling and grammar errors. Me and my soulmate of 12 years separated about 3 months ago and I've been struggling and doing anything I can to get back with her granted our relationship wasn't the beat and I did my fair share of emotional abuse at one point said i would kill myself if we were not together. Which i know was wrong and i got help for that but I've learnt from my mistakes and changed and she had acknowledged that but now im stuck waiting for her because she is confused about how she feels I've done everything she asked even gone to a psychologist for help. We tried no contact and after 2 weeks she broke it but after a few days said she was confused about how she feels and stuff I've asked her if there's a spark still and she says unsure but I know there's something as when we do talk only messaging once a week because that's what she asked for she still tells me she loves me but atm I'm stuck in this limbo I've done everything she's asked and still am but I feel like she's not doing anything said she was gonna see a psychologist aswell but never got around to it. Just not sure what to do as she really is my soulmate she's told me to get my self out of limbo maybe go have sex with other women but I just can't do it because it feels wrong I love her so much and would do anything to win her back and reignite our love. Just hoping it's not to late or I've made to many mistakes Any advice is appreciated

Fusion2k4 I destroyed the possibility of a pure marriage during separation in our younger years
  • replies: 4

Hi everyone, 33 here, wife is 32. We met at around 20 years old. During the time of 24-25. We had a break. I had sex with multiple people. To be perfectly honest, I wanted a break to experience an independent adult identify and to also enjoy women (I... View more

Hi everyone, 33 here, wife is 32. We met at around 20 years old. During the time of 24-25. We had a break. I had sex with multiple people. To be perfectly honest, I wanted a break to experience an independent adult identify and to also enjoy women (I know this is evil and self absorbed). We got back together. I have been faithful since. Now, we are 3 months pregnant. As our life goes on - the more eternal we become - my mind cannot accept my infidelity. Around 98% of my thoughts are painful, paradoxical and complex. Because of my eternal sin, I can never be happy. It taints everything - and always will do. I just I was pure. I am incredibly envious of people who have 100% pure relationships. I do dream of an independent life too. I wish that my wife would leave me. I am trying to fight for us but it feels like I am losing the war and the boulder is too hard to hold.