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

Juliet_84 Job anxiety of just plain old anxiety?
  • replies: 4

Hi, I’m struggling really badly with anxiety at the moment and I can’t tell if my job is causing the anxiety, or my anxiety is making me think it’s my job. To give a bit of context, I left university and walked into my dream job. It was rewarding, en... View more

Hi, I’m struggling really badly with anxiety at the moment and I can’t tell if my job is causing the anxiety, or my anxiety is making me think it’s my job. To give a bit of context, I left university and walked into my dream job. It was rewarding, enriching, and interesting, and I managed to find the warmest people in the world there, who accepted me for me and made me laugh all the time. I was there for 7 years but people left and things changed, and I decided to have a minor career change (I wanted to work from home and thought I’d like more money). Since then I’ve struggled to find my niche. A few years ago I found another company I liked and stayed for 5 years. But my manager left and they never replaced him, so work just kept getting busier and busier. My old manager contacted me and told me about this job, more money, working remotely for a team in Japan. I started at this job 6 months ago and since then my anxiety has been through the roof. I’m terrified of making a mistake. This is compounded by the fact that Japanese people are very intolerant of anything less than perfection and so make a huge deal over very minor things, such as a full stop in the wrong place. I’m dreading going to work every day even though it’s just in the next room and over email. I’m in a constant state of panic and I just keep repeating in my head “I hate my job, I hate my job”. But I’m unsure if I’m just going through a bad patch and will get through it or if it’s something deeper. At the same time, I’m paid well and work from home and have no idea what else I would do.

Fiona7990 Husband has started hiding alcohol from me
  • replies: 2

I don't know what to do next. My husband has always drunk a lot, has suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety - using alcohol to cope with it. He is never abusive toward me, but goes into spirals of self doubt, blaming himself for things that ha... View more

I don't know what to do next. My husband has always drunk a lot, has suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety - using alcohol to cope with it. He is never abusive toward me, but goes into spirals of self doubt, blaming himself for things that haven't even happened or beating himself up mentally over the littlest things. When he drinks or has has a long period of binge drinking his reactions to certain circumstances are way over the top, like he can't check or control himself emotionally. We've made great progress, not drinking on weekdays and cutting back on weekends. I've gone back to work in the office full-time after working from home together during COVID. Last night when I got home he said he caved and bought beer (just a 6 pack) but I could tell he was drunk. He was also being really depressed. I just thought it was an episode. Tonight I came home and he was visibly upset, crying uncontrollably and saying he has been so strong but has let himself down. After comforting him, he made dinner and came to sit beside me on the couch. He was swaying and couldn't keep his head up. After I repeatedly asked what was wrong, it clicked that he was wasted. With no evidence of alcohol in the house I asked him where it was. He had hidden it up high in our cupboard, the 1litre bottle of bourbon almost gone from last night and today. He has never hidden it from me before. Im terrified this is the start of something worse. I don't know where to go from here.

JeanyC Fiancé can’t seem to commit
  • replies: 3

I have been with my fiancé for 5 years. We have had some ups and downs, notably him cheating late last year. We have been working through that, and though he says he regrets it deeply, he is still having desires to sleep with other people. He tells m... View more

I have been with my fiancé for 5 years. We have had some ups and downs, notably him cheating late last year. We have been working through that, and though he says he regrets it deeply, he is still having desires to sleep with other people. He tells me that the thought of sleeping with someone else turns him on. He says he doesn’t want to cheat again, he loves me and doesn’t want to leave me but he does have these urges and desires. im stuck on what to do. I feel very unwanted and like I’m just not enough. I’m hurting. But I also don’t want to just throw in the towel.

Blurred_Lines Navigating "steps"
  • replies: 2

My partner and I have been in a relationship for around 8 years. We were colleagues. He was separated (acrimonious relationship>many years). Though the separation occurred prior to us connecting, I've always been treated like the "other woman" & caus... View more

My partner and I have been in a relationship for around 8 years. We were colleagues. He was separated (acrimonious relationship>many years). Though the separation occurred prior to us connecting, I've always been treated like the "other woman" & cause of marital breakdown. I have no children. He has adult son & daughter. I get along ok with son (M). I'm all at sea with daughter (F) and daughter-in-law (DIL). I failed to set strong boundaries at the start thru naivete. I focused on being engaging/thoughtful etc to form relationship. F contacts me when I'm using my professional experience to help her. I'm in favour then, ignored other times. Her successive boyfriends have been disrespectful - I suspect supporting her agenda. When visiting, she's super-polite though distant, peppered with asides (for me to just hear). There's a lot of masked exclusion tactics. DIL was an ally for a while but developed into most hostile. Eg, family social situation - I went and sat with the dog the only place I felt accepted. My partner felt he should have joined me. We receive little contact from DIL particularly in relation to grandkids. Attempts to remain involved - treated as total nuisance, contact now periodical. Expectation to "give!" and silently accept treatment dished out. We don't feel welcome at M & DIL home (DIL pass/agg). M doesn't see or doesn't want to see & I haven't drawn his attention to it. Birthdays and Christmas, by nature, I try to celebrate with meaningful gifts (not the most expensive, but cater to their interests). I feel like my efforts are oft taken for granted. To me Christmas is time to celebrate family love & embrace the past year. I feel my efforts are in vain and I want to disengage. There's no appreciation for efforts on my part - barely a thank you, sometimes more like "meh :(". I spend my time with them walking on eggshells in case (often the case) I unwittingly cause them more disapproval. Am I right to disengage? Will this be the final nail in the proverbial? My partner is aware of my exclusion. He gets much of the same treatment and he sees some of what goes on toward me. He's supportive of me. I'm caught between carrying on "being nice" in hopes it'll settle one day, or just disengaging - eg giftcards for b'day & Christmas and not attend events unless necessary to my partner, ceasing assisting F (I'm now treated much like an unpaid employee in that regard). I don't want to harm his relationships (or be blamed) but I'm struggling.

Rumnraisin 25 years of failing relationship but feel stuck
  • replies: 5

Hi there just needed to post something due to frustration & feeling very stuck. My partner and I have been together for 25 years have two teenage children and run business together. it hasn’t been a great relationship as my partner suffers from aband... View more

Hi there just needed to post something due to frustration & feeling very stuck. My partner and I have been together for 25 years have two teenage children and run business together. it hasn’t been a great relationship as my partner suffers from abandonment issues as he was foster child at age 4. In beginning I felt was my responsibility to help him overcome his fears & make him happy, which ended up in my enabling his behaviour in particular with all his addictions, gambling drugs etc etc. he had major episode with a highly addictive drug for 4 years but overcame this addiction 4 years ago. Things became a lot better but still addiction is an issue with another drug. Long story short I moved out beginning of year for 3 months & moved back in because he passed drug tests & did ten hypnotherapy sessions to help him with his childhood issues. 4 months later & he has been back to using drugs, though considerably reduced use I’m still very angry & frustrated as that deal breaker for me. I’ve asked him to do a drug test which he keeps informing me he can’t pass. He promises in 2-3 weeks he will do one then get there says he needs another few weeks & so on. I am now so angry that being around him is difficult and I can no longer even communicate with him. now I’m back to thinking all time of breaking up and having thoughts to end our relationship & business. not sure what advice im even after just a chat I suppose. I don’t like bringing it up with my family as I know it’s difficult for them thanks

jamiel Financially bound by my ex
  • replies: 4

I don't know what to do. I am at a loss and don't know who can help. 11 years ago I bought my first home with my abusive ex. He wasn't really physically, just emotionally and verbally. There was also a lot of gaslighting. My father passed when I was ... View more

I don't know what to do. I am at a loss and don't know who can help. 11 years ago I bought my first home with my abusive ex. He wasn't really physically, just emotionally and verbally. There was also a lot of gaslighting. My father passed when I was a little girl and we used most of my inheritance to secure our first home. 2 homes and 2 kids later i finally had the strength too leave. Now my ex is in the mines as FIFO and earns a decent income but he is terrible with money. Isn't capable of saving, likes to show off and spend money on his mates, holidays all the time. I left him 2 years ago. He is still living in the family home and we have an investment home also that is on the market. Consent order's have been signed and he accepts and is liable for both homes as I was a single mum trying to get through this. He has proceeded to move on, have another baby and partner that lives in my home. He has got himself in such a hole of debt that the bank will not refinance to get my name off any loan. He has used Covid to put halts on our home loans and hasn't paid anything since march. He is going to destroy my credit rating soon as he just keeps spending and spending. We also share a personal loan that he has now defaulted on which has impacted my credit rating. I am just so scared and upset. I suffer anxiety, depression and still trying to overcome the narcissism and abusive way i was treat for 12 years. I dont know how to get out of this. The bank wont set me free and all I want to do is provide a new life for my kids but as long as I'm stuck on the loans, he is going to ruin my credit rating and I'll never be able to get forward. I am just so defeated and have no idea how to get out of this hole. Sorry for the long message. I dont know if anyone has any suggestions but it is good to vent. TiA

ConcreteRose No friends.., a lonely single mum.
  • replies: 13

So here I am at 36, a single mum of 4 kids & I nolonger have a social life. Friends" started to fade away from my life several years ago, just the usual with people moving, & people growing and changing and taking different life paths etc. I was fina... View more

So here I am at 36, a single mum of 4 kids & I nolonger have a social life. Friends" started to fade away from my life several years ago, just the usual with people moving, & people growing and changing and taking different life paths etc. I was finally down to 1 friend who was very toxic and I found the strength to end that 2 years ago, & since then I've had no friends I don't really have family either apart from my children. We visit my parents but I'm not close to them. I feel extremely lonely and isolated. I have depression and social anxiety which doesn't help matters, although nobody could pick it as I'm good at hiding those things. I have my youngest child with me 24/7, so joining activities etc I enjoy to meet people is not doable. I have tried playgroups etc and found them to be like high school, with how mums have their groups and can be very nasty etc unfortunately. I talk to mums when my youngest is playing with their child at parks, but nothing comes of it. I started telling myself I don't care I'm alone, but I do care, it really hurts that I have nobody. How am I supposed to make close friends at my age, especially when I don't get any child free time etc? Does anybody else feel like this? I feel like I'm the only woman my age who doesn't even have 1 friend. ( I currently do not work & just study online at home until my youngest is old enough to start prep)

Smilemore954 Traumatic experiences
  • replies: 6

I didn’t really have a good start to life I was sexually abused by my dads friend at the age of 5, on top of dealing with emotional and physical abuse from family,I had no proper friends,I felt so much emotional pain as a child but didn’t understand ... View more

I didn’t really have a good start to life I was sexually abused by my dads friend at the age of 5, on top of dealing with emotional and physical abuse from family,I had no proper friends,I felt so much emotional pain as a child but didn’t understand the feelings I was experiencing, which then lead to me developing strong feelings of low self esteem and a lack in self worth which I still suffer from today.I later on in life had two psychotic episodes and was hospitalised for 2months I felt that was my lowest point in life where I was then diagnosed with ocd,depression,anxiety and psychosis.All that I have mentioned which has happened to me is what haunts me and makes me feel lonely because I don’t really have friends or a social group that understand my frustration.I am now left with two choices,the first is to stay in the abusive household I only know and grew up in where I suppress my happiness to keep my parents happy or leave my abusive family and rediscover myself and what I truely want out of life but be cut be off from my family and be seen as a shame to my own family which Is a decision I am struggling to make as a young adult because I don’t want my parents to be upset with me and to be viewed as a shame.i have always had to prove myself to them and it’s just exhausting because they don’t reciprocate the same energy

w1nn1e Partner dominates conversations, I cant speak?
  • replies: 7

I am currently in a happy and loving relationship but sometimes I feel that the partner talks a LOT. In no way are they narcissistic or toxic just to make that clear. But I notice that throughout the duration of a sleepover together, they would have ... View more

I am currently in a happy and loving relationship but sometimes I feel that the partner talks a LOT. In no way are they narcissistic or toxic just to make that clear. But I notice that throughout the duration of a sleepover together, they would have not once asked me how my week has been going or how I am (we have a sleepover once a week). Its clear that they care about me in the way they treat me nicely but sometimes it would be great if they showed interest in what I would like the conversation to be about. Like sometimes when they come over they will just launch into a rant about something and I just find myself agreeing and nodding instead of being engaged in the conversation since they are talking at me the whole time. It makes me feel guilty as I know this person is great but if I try to bring up my opinion/thought/or a story then its gets sort of dismissed and just goes back to what they want to say. As I said, this person is not narcissistic or selfish and I do see a future with them but I just don't know how to go about discussing this with them. I don't want to change them or stop them from being outspoken and talkative. But I have also noticed when they talk on the phone they can talk at the person on the other end for hours as well, so I know its not a personal thing towards me. Just don't know how to bring it up without sounding harsh or insulting in case they do have underlying symptoms of ADHD (talking non-stop)? Would appreciate any advice on how I can go about this?

LEB Parenting emotional preschooler who is angry at the world.
  • replies: 2

My preschool age son can be a sweet, thoughtful, empathetic & gentle boy, but his ability to manage his emotions, especially his anger, during these last few months of lockdown is becoming a struggle. He is so quick to anger, blame someone else, and ... View more

My preschool age son can be a sweet, thoughtful, empathetic & gentle boy, but his ability to manage his emotions, especially his anger, during these last few months of lockdown is becoming a struggle. He is so quick to anger, blame someone else, and sometimes become aggressive with his sister or himself, which is very concerning. He reacts poorly to things you would expect from a toddler (eg, not getting his way, sharing, being "told off" etc) and has also started saying things like "I hate myself/my life/you" and "my brain hurts and I don't know what to do" when upset and overwhelmed. We are all trying our best to support him & help him understand/manage his feelings, but I would love to get advice from anyone else who has experienced similar. I know this is an "unprecedented time" & Covid has messed us all around, but I want to give him, and the rest of the family, the tools to get through this & beyond.