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.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

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

Sadistic_Cat_434 Emotionally numb to partner help
  • replies: 4

So 2 days ago now i wrote up feeling fuzzy and off so i thought it was just a bad day. But once it became night time my feelings towards my boyfriend of 3 yrs had completely switched off. I can look at him and not feel the warmth i used to or the gid... View more

So 2 days ago now i wrote up feeling fuzzy and off so i thought it was just a bad day. But once it became night time my feelings towards my boyfriend of 3 yrs had completely switched off. I can look at him and not feel the warmth i used to or the giddy sparks that i once had when he kisses or hugs me. I feel like my relqtionship os over when i dont want it to be but i am afraid i wont be able to fix this and that i wont be emotionally invested only mentally. I have always felt love towards him but now its like everything is gone. I am also feeling numb towards music or art which i genuinely enjoy and love. Could this be my mental health or something else

Mick14 Best friend is with my first love
  • replies: 7

My best male friend has recently started seeing my best female friend and the first and only girl I've been in love with. She didn't want to be with me and that was fine, we became great friends but since this change has happened it feels different. ... View more

My best male friend has recently started seeing my best female friend and the first and only girl I've been in love with. She didn't want to be with me and that was fine, we became great friends but since this change has happened it feels different. My male friend would come around maybe once or twice a week now I haven't seen him at my place in a month, despite asking him around to hang out and even to talk about my mental state. Am I being selfish for feeling like I've lost 2 friends at once? Despite them starting a relationship together?

Lauz22 Broken heart that I can’t heal after divorce
  • replies: 81

Hi all, I am 27 and am going through a divorce from my partners of 10 years, 3 of those years we were married. We met at the age of 17 and I have been codependent on him ever since. Our relationship was extreme in both good and bad. He is someone lik... View more

Hi all, I am 27 and am going through a divorce from my partners of 10 years, 3 of those years we were married. We met at the age of 17 and I have been codependent on him ever since. Our relationship was extreme in both good and bad. He is someone like no other. His love was so strong and pure but he was very controlling and selfish. Our relationship revolved around his wants and needs in life. He made all the big decisions, never saw me as an equal, had an extremely narrow mind of how we had to live our lives and forced me to do as he saw fit. We had a wonderful, meaningful relationship before we got married. But our marriage was toxic and abusive. We were both wrong in our ways. We were verbally, emotionally and physically abusive towards each other. It got so bad, that my mental health deteriorated and effected my physical heath. I begged him to go to marriage counselling and he refused. Instead he got angry and lashed out as he usually does. I saw no way out so I begged for a divorce. At first he refused and wanted to work things out. But I was at rock bottom I saw no way out and was suicidal at the thought of continuing our toxic marriage. One day he picked up his belongings and walked out the house. That was the end. I have spent this entire year in therapy to work through my feelings and to fix the problem. I have gone from feeling suicidal in the marriage to now desperately wanting him back. I feel I have worked on myself and grown. And that know what I need to do to change for a better relationship. I have wrote heartfelt emails apologising, going in depth of the faults in me and the relationship and that if we both worked on ourselves and the relationship we could possibly make it work. He has made comments such as A part of him has died to let me go. I am tainted and would rather have 5 failed relationships than be with me. He no longer loves me. It’s been 9 months and he has contacted lawyers regarding our divorce. His love for me was second to none. He loved me unconditionally at my worst. I never in a million years thought he would give up his love on me. I am struggling to accept it and am in denial that the relationship is over. I truly believe no one will love me the way he did. I am holding on to hope that one day he will come back to me and we could work things out. I feel lost and empty all the time. I feel my life has no purpose without him. I feel I have nothing and am hopeless that there is no point of living without him.

Maria90 Being a stepparent...
  • replies: 2

Hi! I don’t know how to start or what I want out of this. I think I just need to get this off my chest. I’m a step mum to a 4yo girl and a 5yo boy. I moved to aus 2 years ago and I have my biological family overseas. Me and my husband have been marri... View more

Hi! I don’t know how to start or what I want out of this. I think I just need to get this off my chest. I’m a step mum to a 4yo girl and a 5yo boy. I moved to aus 2 years ago and I have my biological family overseas. Me and my husband have been married for a year and he really is the love of my life. I have underlying anxiety issues and depression from time to time. And I’m very stressed. Me and the 4yo girl we get along so well. But the 5yo is a different story. He has expressed that he wants his mum and dad back together and I COMPLETELY Understand. But it hurts, I know I’m being a childish but it’s so hard because it feels like he doesn’t want me here. And being quite “alone” like I am here, it hits me very hard. If I hade my family here to turn to or go to I think it would be easier. Luckily I have a good relationship with my mother in law. And being a step parent, I don’t know how to do it! I don’t really like to do “kid things” like I just get tired and bored. It’s fine when we’re out doing stuff as a family. I love that!! But I don’t think I’m good at this parenting thing at all. Well, I was. But in the last months it’s been so hard because I’ve been so anxious and sad and I have zero patience. And the 5yo boy has tantrums over absolutely nothing and always in public. It feels like he’s trying to embarrass me. I feel guilty for not having patience. And I feel worthless and guilty for screaming back at him to stop! My husband tells me that “he’s just a kid, don’t let him upset you” but it’s so hard. I feel so alone. And I feel so shitty and just sad. I get bad anxiety days before the kids come over. We have them every second weekend Thursday- Sunday . And I feel like I have taken to much responsibility. I take the kids to school and kinder and it’s always screaming and carrying on when I do that. And I just can’t do it anymore so we’ve arranged for my husbands dad to take him to school now. And I feel so guilty for that too. I can’t do anything right with this child and I’m torturing myself with thoughts of worthlessness and I’m basically bullying myself badly. To the point of me having a meltdown and hurting myself. sorry for being so dramatic and writing so confusing! I does feel good reaching out.

WhatGoesHere_ Sexless Marriage and Depression
  • replies: 97

Hi Everyone, I've unfortunately been in this situation for a number of years now, however it is starting to get to the point that being in a sexless marriage is probably hurting me a lot more than I ever thought it would. To start with I do need to p... View more

Hi Everyone, I've unfortunately been in this situation for a number of years now, however it is starting to get to the point that being in a sexless marriage is probably hurting me a lot more than I ever thought it would. To start with I do need to point out that I love my wife, which in itself is probably the reason that being in a marriage like this hurts. When we first met, the sex was constant daily if not every second day. Fair enough this wasn't going to last forever as we got older, however it has gotten to the point that it happens every 3 to 8 weeks. I have spoken with my wife about this and unfortunately it lead to a big argument that nearly saw us divorce. This was a few years ago and we managed to work through it. We came up with a date night type situation, which worked for about 4 weeks and then stopped as my wife didn't like it being organised. We have tried a few things on and off to stimulate things again, but it always sort of fades away. We have spoken about it and it comes down to my wife just isn't interested in sex that much anymore. I mentioned that it isn't only sex, but lack of affection. The reply to that was that every time she was affectionate I wanted sex. So there is a bit of a communication break down there. I did suggest that she could be the one to initiate sex instead of me, so that way she could be affectionate without having to worry about me trying to have sex with her. In hindsight I think this was a big mistake, as I am now in the situation that I can no longer initiate sex, and if I want sex it is when my wife wants it. Basically I have no power over something which is causing me quite a bit of anxiety as the option I have seem worse than what I am going through. Just to even things up a bit here so it doesn't appear that I believe it is all my wife's fault. There are other issues at play here. My wife has depression and won't see anyone about it, and to top that off she is also has been dealing with some ongoing pain over the last 9 months. I do understand that this will reduce libido, however I am doing what I can to help. I do feel a bit selfish feeling the way I do since I do understand what she is going through, but it is getting to the point that I can no longer deal with it. I guess my reason for posting on here is two fold, one to see if anyone has any suggestions on how I can cope, and secondly if anyone has been through something similar. Thanks for reading

Anima My mother is toxic and narcissistic
  • replies: 2

I cannot take my mother any more. I am sick of her doing things to damage my life and my things. She treats me and my sister differently all my life. My mother always have treated me like as if i am the burden in her life. For example last week i cut... View more

I cannot take my mother any more. I am sick of her doing things to damage my life and my things. She treats me and my sister differently all my life. My mother always have treated me like as if i am the burden in her life. For example last week i cut and installed all the blinds in the house for her, i have a neck and shoulder injury which causes pain for me, but i was still willing to do it for her, she was all nice to me, very loving, then i wake up the next day and she treats me like absolute garbage, i did not do or say anything wrong to her, but out of the blue i have become a problem some how. She does things to make my life hard, for example, i purchased new clothes , wore it and then put it in the washing machine to wash, i come to find that someone put tissues in the washing machine which now damaged the new clothes. This is not a one time occurrence this has happened at least 20 times in my life. Another thing she does is if i use the washing machine , suddenly the washing machine is too noisy for her and i have to shut the door all the time to the laundry. So i did a test on her when she was washing her own clothes, i left the door open in the laundry while she was watching the TV , i left for 40 min and came back and asked her, isn't the washing machine noisy ?, she says no, so i tell her then why is the washing machine noisy for you when i am doing the washing ? She will cause financial stress on the family by leaving the water running in the backyard for hours on end and then when the water bill comes she tells me that the bill is too high because i used the washing machine. If i ask her to cook food for me which is a one off thing, she will do it in a way that i don't like it. When i am doing cooking, she makes a big deal about every single thing that i am taking up too much space in the kitchen that she cannot cook (she sits at home all day) . Today i came downstairs to find the fridge doors wide opened for god knows how many hours , to find her sitting in the sewing room sewing away. She leaves all the dishes, cups and cutlery half washed in the sink or drawers and cupboards, that anything i take out i have to rewash again. She always leaves her poo floating in the toilet, she doesn't flush. And there are times where somehow there is poo stains on the toilet seat edge, also at times with the toilet roll there is poo stain on the toilet roll or inside the cardboard of the toilet roll.

ckris Is this marriage worth salvaging?
  • replies: 8

My husband and I have been together for 6 years. We have 2 beautiful children (aged 4 and 1). Our relationship has not been smooth sailing. When it’s good it’s good, but the constant fighting and resentment has reached what feels like breaking point ... View more

My husband and I have been together for 6 years. We have 2 beautiful children (aged 4 and 1). Our relationship has not been smooth sailing. When it’s good it’s good, but the constant fighting and resentment has reached what feels like breaking point and I know we are both unhappy. I tend to forgive easy and maybe accept behaviour that isn’t really that acceptable as I know no different. I don’t want to write a novel but I’m going to give a few examples of just some of my husbands behaviour in an argument and his actions towards myself and/or my children. I’m so sorry if this is a long winded post but any advice is greatly appreciated. -during both of my pregnancies I suffered from hyperemesis so basically vomited multiple times a day for both entire pregnancies. I of course had nil sex drive as I was so ill. but my husband (who’s love language is physical touch) took this to heart and used to get so angry at me when I would say no to sex. As much as I would try and explain why I had to say no, he could never get past it and so every time he asked for sex I felt like I was walking on egg shells not knowing how he would react. I still have those feelings, and my diagnosed anxiety makes it worse. If I reject sex I’m so on edge cause I feel like it’s just going to cause a massive fight. I know I shouldn’t hold into resentment but it’s hard to just shake these feelings -when my husband and I have had a particularly bad argument he reacts by “punishing me” in a way that he knows will hurt me the most. He will completely ignore me and the kids, he will shirk all parental responsibility and just lay around the house, sleep, go out and basically just watch me care for the kids on my own. He has done it on 3 to 4 occasions now since we’ve had the kids and it kills me. What hurts the most is that he’s doing it knowing how much it will hurt. -Something we have been working on is a “discipline” routine for our 4 year olds behaviour. Now i know I’m a softy but this week my husband openly (and in front of the kids) called our son stupid and then told me that I’m the reason that my son acts the way he does (typical 4 year old behaviour, not listening etc It just made me stop and think, who is this person that I’m living with? Don’t get me wrong, he is by no means violent, or like this all of the time, but how long do I continue to put up with this ??? I’m so used to being made to feel irrational or that I’m over reacting. I’m so upset -

KD1234 Feeling abandoned after years of marriage to an alcoholic
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone, thanks in advance for your replies. I have been with my husband for 12 years. In that time we have been through a lot. His twin brother passed away suddenly in an accident which has very much impacted out relationships. My husband has an... View more

Hi everyone, thanks in advance for your replies. I have been with my husband for 12 years. In that time we have been through a lot. His twin brother passed away suddenly in an accident which has very much impacted out relationships. My husband has an addictive personality and has had issues with gambling and alcohol. These things escalated after his brother died and the drinking is a huge problem now. He frequently goes out to help a friend (maintenances jobs), and just doesn’t come home. Like tonight, our daughter has gastro and he hasn’t come home. He lies and tells me he will be home at a particular time, then says he will be another hour and another hour etc. Whenever my husband says he is going out I get extreme anxiety. I think this is due to the emotional abuse I have coped in the past during his drinking. I am at a point now that I am done, I’m extremely busy and need to concentrate on myself and our children, but I just cannot let go of the hope that things will change. Last week I left and was 99.9% sure I was done, but as soon as I seen him I just couldn’t commit to leaving and have given him yet another chance. I don’t know if I’m scared of being along, or scared of him loving someone else? But I just feel like we will be happier not together. How do I let go? Does anyone have any advice on where to start with divorce when a mortgage is involved? I know I deserve better but can’t find the strength to leave.

Blackswan89 Recent breakup
  • replies: 2

I’ve recently broken up with my partner. I feel so down that all I do is lie on my bed or couch. I have a lot of pressing tasks to do that can’t wait, yet I have no motivation. What can I do to resume life? I want to grieve this relationship next wee... View more

I’ve recently broken up with my partner. I feel so down that all I do is lie on my bed or couch. I have a lot of pressing tasks to do that can’t wait, yet I have no motivation. What can I do to resume life? I want to grieve this relationship next week when I have time, not now when urgent, time dependent things need to be done. Thanks for suggestions.

contrarymary Worried for my sister - should I be
  • replies: 3

My sister in her 50s met her partner at work 4 years ago at first he attended all family events and they were an outgoing couple with a busy social life. Two years ago they got married and since then he has not attended any family events she attends ... View more

My sister in her 50s met her partner at work 4 years ago at first he attended all family events and they were an outgoing couple with a busy social life. Two years ago they got married and since then he has not attended any family events she attends alone with some excuse about him not attending. Shortly after the wedding he gave up work as he did not like working with people, she was offered redundancy which she took they then went on a round the world holiday and came back with no money, my sister has had to go back to work full time. I used to see her every two weeks for a catch up but rarely see her as she cancels at the last minute as her partner needs to go somewhere as he doesn't drive. She rang today to say they are moving to a remote area of NSW - they picked it from a map and have bought a house and moving in January. My husband says do and say nothing as it's her life but I feel she is being ostracised from her family. My grandchildren keep asking why she never comes to their parties. She has in 2 years to being a social person to rarely going out apart from work. I speak to her on the phone sometimes I have to send a message and she calls me back anyone had a similar experience