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

Bob4868 Sad
  • replies: 2

Im thinking of walking out on my family my two kids and there mum

Im thinking of walking out on my family my two kids and there mum

anxiousR Lonely and hormonal
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone, im writing this as I’m feeling very anxious at the moment and feel the need to vent somehow. Im currently almost 7 months pregnant with my 2nd child to my husband of 4 years. In the beginning of our relationship we were so good for eacho... View more

Hi everyone, im writing this as I’m feeling very anxious at the moment and feel the need to vent somehow. Im currently almost 7 months pregnant with my 2nd child to my husband of 4 years. In the beginning of our relationship we were so good for eachother. our love was out of this world and we couldn’t keep our hands off eachother either. we were truly like a match made in heaven. basically 4 years on, our relationship has really broken down. he doesn’t show me any kind of affection any more And blames me for that. recently i found out he emotionally cheated on me by chatting to other women online and on the phone. he said he was ‘trying to secure his future’ whatever that means. i was really hurt by all of this. he says he did it though because I had hurt him in the past by talking to my ex every now and again. When I had done that though and had given all that up, I apologised, I assured him it would never happen again, and I’ve kept to my word ever since. i never imagined he would turn around and cheat on me in any way shape or form. anyways, im at a loss at how to save my marriage, I’ve tried almost everything. he won’t go to counselling, he refuses any suggestions I make to reconnect and I’m so lonely and starving for affection. tonight, I feel like I can’t even be around him anymore because I’m so frustrated and anxious, like I literally just need him physically and emotionally, I feel so crap, I feel unattractive, and I feel so inadequate as a woman right now. I can’t take one more day of this! But I don’t want to separate from him...... how can I save my marriage and what will it take for him to want me again?

mooreso Issues getting along with Girlfriends family
  • replies: 1

*Context* 22yr male, fourth year psychology student. I have been with my girlfriend (gf) for 16 months. 3 months into the relationship I become aware of her drug habit. She was open with me about her drug use, depression, anxiety, suicidality and his... View more

*Context* 22yr male, fourth year psychology student. I have been with my girlfriend (gf) for 16 months. 3 months into the relationship I become aware of her drug habit. She was open with me about her drug use, depression, anxiety, suicidality and history of self harm. I offered support and asked her to see a psychologist . I have helped her with her drug habit , she is now 8 months sober. She stills suffers from some depression but expressed that her life is much better now. I am now struggling with my gfs family. Since i started seeing my gf I tried my best to get along hith her family. However her older brother, locks himself in his room and hasn’t spoken more than 20 words to me in the past year, and her mother rarely puts any effort into getting to know me. I see them atleast once fortnight. Their family dynamic has led me to become very uncomfortable when visiting and as such I rarely go to my gf house. Further complicating the issue, her mother is chronically ill. She will often say she wont live past 2021 but according to her doctor she is set to live for atleast 15 more years. Understandably it has led to my gf being in constant fear of her mom dying tomorrow although her recent tests suggest otehrwise Her mum also constantly guilt trips my gf whenever we leave the house and says things like "im stealing her away" which makes me feel guilty. Mostly, I struggle with how she treats my gf. When my gf was younger she experienced bouts of self harm however her mother has never addressed them. Additionally her mother failed to see obvious signs of drug use in her own house. I understand its often the people closest to a situation that fail to see signs. However 7 years of signs including my gf crying in the car drunk saying she doesn’t want to live anymore, only to be followed by no empathy and dropping her off at her house which led to a suicide attempt, has made it very difficult for me to respect or trust her. I now harbour resentment towards her mother. I am seriously considering leaving my gf although I still extremely love her, as I don’t want to deal with the added stress of her mother’s presence in my life for the foreseeable future.I have told my gf this and she understands and we are trying to find a solution. I am looking for any sort of advice or differing perspectives. I welcome all suggestion and opinions (including criticisms). Thank you all very much. S

KW2012 Help I’ve hit a reality slump!!
  • replies: 2

Hi everyone, this is my first post on here and it may be a long one! About 2 years ago my husband came to me and said that he though he may be bisexual or gay! I had caught him out a few times looking at gay porn and a stash of female undies, so I le... View more

Hi everyone, this is my first post on here and it may be a long one! About 2 years ago my husband came to me and said that he though he may be bisexual or gay! I had caught him out a few times looking at gay porn and a stash of female undies, so I left for a week or so and thought and prayed long and hard about things and during this time he assured me that he wanted to work on our marriage and I organised counselling and we tried to rekindle our Intimacy which had been lost along the way. About 3 mo the after returning I began to get sore and stiff joints and severe fatigue, I was eventually diagnosed with an auto immune arthritis and am still struggling with everyday life and finding a medication that will work. So again I guess our relationship went on the back burner as I only just had enough energy to look after my two young children. Anyway about 6 months ago he can to me again and this time said he still felt the same and even think he may want to transition into being a woman! so I said well that’s it our marriage is over, but with all the COVID stuff happening we decided that we would wait for him to find a place and move out. That was until 3-4 months ago I asked my husband of 12 years to leave our home because I found out that he had cheated on me 2 years ago with a random man! it has been an absolute roller coaster over the past few months, but I have been coping pretty well up until a couple of weeks ago. I have suffered with depression and anxiety all of my adult life but I have been doing really well for probably the last 7-8 years since I had children. This last two weeks though I feel like I’m sipping very quickly back into my dark days. I’m crying allllll the time and when I’m not crying I just want to sleep. I’m just doing the bare minimum like getting the kids ready for school and cooking their meals etc... but the rest of the time I’m just feeling so down. my rational self knows that I am actually going through one of the hardest things ever but I’m scared of returning to that person I used to be! just wanted to share and see if anyone has any positive tips or even just someone to say I’m doing ok

chilloice Unsure if being in relationship is right for me
  • replies: 5

Hello, I've been in a relationship with my partner for approx. 1 and a half years. For the most part, it has been a healthy and caring relationship, and as we work out our differences it seems to improve as we understand each other more and more. I'm... View more

Hello, I've been in a relationship with my partner for approx. 1 and a half years. For the most part, it has been a healthy and caring relationship, and as we work out our differences it seems to improve as we understand each other more and more. I'm in my second year of uni at the moment, so I feel like (despite quarantine at the moment) I'm at a time in my life where I hadn't imagined myself to be 'tied down' in a relationship. My partner and I get along very well, I consider him one of my best friends and someone who understands me very well. I also feel like he feels more strongly for me than I do for him. More recently, I've been struggling with the idea that I would like to have time in my young adult life to be single and meet lots of new people without feeling like I (somewhat selfishly) -need- to consider anyone else. We went through a rough patch when he asked me if I'd still want to be in the relationship if he went travelling for an indefinite amount of time in the next year. I truthfully told him I wasn't sure, and after more questioning I said that I would like to be single at some point in my life again. I acknowledged that I thought my mentality may be a bit 'young' and inconsiderate - not wanting to put in the effort -now- to maintain a very long term relationship. After much more discussion though, we agreed we wanted to stay together and not focus so much on what a 'relationship' should look like, defining it ourselves. Since, I feel the relationship has relaxed a lot, which I find relieving. However, I'm now starting to feel anxious for the same reasons. I feel like my partner expects we'll last a very long time - move in together etc. and that we are very well matched. He says that if we broke up, since he's had other long term relationships, he 'knows' it would be very difficult to find someone like me again. This is my first serious relationship, and when I listen to myself, I know that although I think it could work, I don't want this to be my only relationship. I'm not even sure being in a relationship down the line would be the best option for me anyway. I guess I'm struggling to understand what is behind what I'm thinking and feeling. I don't feel like I can trust that what I'm telling myself is the truth, and I don't know how I can approach this situation. I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is just a result of something else - am I stressed/down? Does anyone have similar experiences? Or suggestions? Thank you

Jessie111 No affection in my relationship anymore
  • replies: 2

Hi all, my partner doesn’t show any affection to me while I am a very affectionate person. She knows how I feel here and claims to be and unaffectionate person due to her past and having some ptsd from a previous partner. I’m trying really hard to ac... View more

Hi all, my partner doesn’t show any affection to me while I am a very affectionate person. She knows how I feel here and claims to be and unaffectionate person due to her past and having some ptsd from a previous partner. I’m trying really hard to accept this because I love her and want to understand her struggles, but I am really not coping with it and I just need some advice on how to go about fixing this. Leaving her is not an option, I want to fix this. She used to be affectionate but it was when we were younger and partying a fair bit, she also claims now we have stopped that there is no distraction to how she’s feeling and her real self has come out. We’re also having some struggles with a very close friend of hers, she’s having some very serious mental health struggles and has been in the mental health ward for a month and is back there now after attempting a week at home, but only lasted 3 days before the paramedics picked her up. Now I understand all the focus is on her right now, outside of our affection problems I’m feeling very forgotten in general through all of this. She seems very disconnected from me and all I want to do is help in anyway I can, be there for her and take care of her through this difficult time helping her best friend of 15 years out of the hell shes stuck in is taking a massive toll on her and I can’t help but feel completely pushed aside as if my help isn’t an option. Our affection issues have been existent for a lot longer prior to her friends struggles also. Please help me move forward here... I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve had my own mental health struggles but I managed to get past that with the help of others and her, I just want to same for the people I care about so much and I just want our relationship to feel nice and warm again.

MEGM Depression causing relationship doubt
  • replies: 2

Hi all, First-time poster. I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 months now. We fell in love very quickly and I have never felt this spark with anyone. Our compatibility is undeniable and we have integrated into each other's lives very quickly and ea... View more

Hi all, First-time poster. I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 months now. We fell in love very quickly and I have never felt this spark with anyone. Our compatibility is undeniable and we have integrated into each other's lives very quickly and easily. He told me early in that he is on medication for depression and ADHD which I accepted as something we will have to work through. In the last week he has been confronted with the reality that we aren't in "honeymoon" dating and has been verbalising his doubts on whether he is ready for everything that comes with a relationship. He doesn't believe he can offer me what I need, security and commitment for now and the future. He thinks he will end up hurting me one way or anther, and doesn't think he deserves me. He is filled with guilt that he can't always be present for me and is running hypothetical scenarios in his head which he is convincing himself to be inevitable. I felt completely blindsided by these conversations. Last week we were head over heels and now he's telling himself he is "toxic" and "emotionally abusing" me for going from being so happy to being so full of doubt. I think he thinks the best thing for us both is for him to be single but i don't believe that too be true. People don't fall in love as easily as us to give up this quickly. I have reassured him it is okay that he feels this way but I'm not prepared to give up. I know he loves me and this is his mental health talking. I have asked that we take it day by day and try to work through it. I am scared he won't be able to shake these thoughts. I am giving him space to digest his thoughts and headspace. It is increasing my anxiety too and I am focusing on myself so I am not too dependant on him or rely on him because that is what worries him. I am asking for advice on how to best work through this and settle his mind.

Pako Relationship Confusion During Pandemic
  • replies: 1

I am 52 years old and separated from my ex-wife for 6 years now. After my separation, I met a lovely woman. We are now 5++ years in the relationship and we see decided to live with each other in the last 2 years. I bought a house last year to be with... View more

I am 52 years old and separated from my ex-wife for 6 years now. After my separation, I met a lovely woman. We are now 5++ years in the relationship and we see decided to live with each other in the last 2 years. I bought a house last year to be with this woman. My son from previous marriage came back from abroad just before the lockdown. He just finished his studies just before the pandemic lockdown. When the lockdown was announced, I had to live where my son is staying in another house during this time which is 2 hours from where I live. During the last 4 weeks, we were calling each other from separate houses everyday and there were no issues. Last week, I asked what movies she's been watching since I left. She told me it's all about houses and gardens. One evening, I checked her email account as we both have access to each other's account. I accidentally saw an activity on her account on the activities that she was doing in the last 4 weeks. I saw that she was watching this guy's video for those weeks I was away constantly everyday. I then asked her again the following day if she was watching other shows or videos to confirm my suspicion - and she told me she didn't watch other than gardens and houses. I told her that I saw her online activity and she firmly denied it until I told her I found out all her online activities as I have a record. She then admitted and she told me it's just escapism. And she denied being attracted or contacting this man even though almost half of her day based on the online records is almost spent watching his videos. I don't want to feel jealous but part of me is telling me that she is emotionally cheating on me. The reason I had that thought is because she denied all her relationships of more than 20 people before me. I only found out about it after finding deleted emails and letters on the first 6 months of our relationship. It was fine for me after she confessed. But I also found out that she was seeing another man during our first month together, and she told me that nothing was really going on between them even though they constantly see each other while she's working. I was broken after learning all these, as if history is repeating itself. I'm now thinking of leaving her even though its too hard. I thought I found my lifetime partner to grow old with. Her last message to me was 'I feel the truth of what you say but i still want to make it up to you if I can'. I would appreciate any of your advices.

tancate Dealing with husband’s mental illness
  • replies: 2

I have been married for 13 years and for the past 8 years my husband had been suffering from mental illness. It’s been very hard as he’s been in and out of work for the past 8 years. The whole situation has increased my anxiety and I am making most o... View more

I have been married for 13 years and for the past 8 years my husband had been suffering from mental illness. It’s been very hard as he’s been in and out of work for the past 8 years. The whole situation has increased my anxiety and I am making most of the decisions and holding the relationship together. My husband’s family is all overseas. My husband is a beautiful person and I love him very much, but his mental illness is taking a toll on me. I have been thinking of leaving the relationship, but I am riddled with guilt about doing it and not wanting to be alone. I’ve had counselling sessions and done lots of mental work on myself, but I’m still not sure what to do. I am wondering if there are any other women in the same situation and if they have stayed or left. I’ve been to carers groups but most of the carers were parents or men with wives suffering mental illness. If there are any women married to Jen with mental illness I’d be interested to hear how you deal with being with a partner with mental illness.

Evelyn25 Toxic brother in- law
  • replies: 6

Hi! I am new to the forum. I am not sure if there is already topic with the same title. Anyway, I found this forum a couple months ago but now I decided to express my feelings. As I wrote in the title I consider my brother in law to be a toxic person... View more

Hi! I am new to the forum. I am not sure if there is already topic with the same title. Anyway, I found this forum a couple months ago but now I decided to express my feelings. As I wrote in the title I consider my brother in law to be a toxic person. I have been living with in-laws for a year and they are really great people except my brother in-law. From the very first time I met him I felt he is different, there was something that didn't feel right. However I was tolerating him for a year. He is 30, he does not work, he appears to be an adult kid ( spoiled by parents), lazy, sleeping all day and completely doing nothing productive. However his life is his decision, but somehow his behaviour influenced my life and my relationship with my husband. He often argues with his family and accuses everybody for anything, he never admits his fault and never takes responsibility. A few months ago he argued about stupid things, he offended me in front of my husband and my parents in-law. Since then I don't feel very comfortable being around him. I started having counselling sessions and I forgave and tried to build that relationship because of mu husband and my in-laws. But a month ago he attacked me verbally, playing victim and started insulting me again for stupid things. Even though I tried talking and explaining some things to him, he was yelling and when he figured out he had no arguments he called me lots of offending words and left. My husband and I were not talking to him for 3 weeks and we moved out just to have peace. The reality is that my husband started talking to him again and I feel like I hate him, and I have never felt that for anyone before. When we have to go to visit the in-laws I have that feeling of anxiety, uneasy stomach, feeling sick and my heart is racing and I feel tension. I can't explain my husband how I feel, I try but he doesn't really understand. And I really don't know if this post is going to ease my situation, but I had to express how I felt. I don't really want to have any contact with him since it makes me feel very uncomfortable and anxious.