Relationship and family issues

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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

Talon Am I being selfish
  • replies: 3

Hi there, I’ve been separated for over two years. Going through the motions with property settlement and child care arrangements still!!! I live with my ex and two children, a daughter aged 7 years and son aged 4 years. I have 2 adult sons to a previ... View more

Hi there, I’ve been separated for over two years. Going through the motions with property settlement and child care arrangements still!!! I live with my ex and two children, a daughter aged 7 years and son aged 4 years. I have 2 adult sons to a previous marriage. Yes I don’t think I do marriage very well?!? My ex has a new boyfriend who also lives with us, or at least stays with us more than he does at his place. That’s fine and I actually get along great with him. I’ve rambled a bit here and will get to the point of this post. I have always been a fan of the ocean, swimming in it, body surfing/boarding, snorkelling. And I think the lifestyle of living at the beach would be great. I’d go so far as to say it has been my dream to live this lifestyle since childhood. But you don’t choose where your parents decide to live. I really want to move to the beach. Preferably near nsw/qld border where my dad lives. It’s a long way from my children who I love dearly. I spend most of my time with them. My 4 year old son is like my shadow and that’s fine by me, he’s a little legend. I just wanted to put it out there for opinions of whether it would be selfish, prudent or otherwise to make that move? My ex wouldn’t be happy at al with this and more importantly, well, only important thing to me, is how this may affect my children. I’m 50 now and don’t want to wait forever to make this move, if I get to. Any thoughts, opinions??

Pinkandblue82 Husband completely shutting me out
  • replies: 2

Hi i saw a msg from a happy ending massage girl on my husbands phone and he has not said a word to me since, he not coming to bed or anytging unfortunatley it’s not the first time something like this has happened, but the msg obviously means they hav... View more

Hi i saw a msg from a happy ending massage girl on my husbands phone and he has not said a word to me since, he not coming to bed or anytging unfortunatley it’s not the first time something like this has happened, but the msg obviously means they have been seeing each other for a while because it was quite personal im Devestated I just want to sleep and never wake up we have had many many rough patches and over last few weeks have noticed him pulling away and I know he is no longer attracted to me, when we go out he doesn’t look at me only other women we have been together 19 years, worst part is I just want him to hold me - that’s how screwed up I am emotionally i have been told before he is a narcissist so I guess I have been groomed to feel this way sorry for blubber but I am completely alone hiding away crying to hide it from my kids

Sally5 Teen depression & school refusal
  • replies: 2

I feel so exhausted from the effort needed to encourage my 16yo son to go to school and often with no result. He ends up back in bed with a pillow over his head. He's diagnosed with mild depression and waiting for a second psychology appt. They are s... View more

I feel so exhausted from the effort needed to encourage my 16yo son to go to school and often with no result. He ends up back in bed with a pillow over his head. He's diagnosed with mild depression and waiting for a second psychology appt. They are so busy it's a 4 week wait even though the psyc says come back in two. The school is sympathetic but has no capacity to help. The teen won't do the actions being recommended - time off tech, tech off 1 hour before sleep, take sleep herbal remedies. I am at a loss. His Dad, my x, is very engaged but we disagree about how to respond and we don't have strategies for consistent responses to scenarios that evolve. I'm hoping others who have made it through may have some new ideas for us to use. Any assistance welcome

MiaRose8 Is it cheating? It feels like it
  • replies: 7

Hi All, I have been with my husband now for 8 years. Married for 3. We get along well. We hardly ever fight. I have always supported him and tried to encourage him in all his hobbies and life choices. I thought we were a happy and supportive couple. ... View more

Hi All, I have been with my husband now for 8 years. Married for 3. We get along well. We hardly ever fight. I have always supported him and tried to encourage him in all his hobbies and life choices. I thought we were a happy and supportive couple. Over the years he has had a thing for social media. In particular specific women on social media. I understood him looking at pictures but it’s become more than that. He follows hundreds of these women. He comments on their pictures saying how beautiful they are and leaves them kisses and winks. He doesn’t do or say anything like that to me. I can see these comments as they are on public profiles. I know he has been doing other things with dating apps and chat apps which I can’t see as he has his phone attached to him 24/7. We had seen a counselor previously for this but my husband did not acknowledge this was an issue. I have asked him in the past if he is happy and if he felt like he wanted to chat to other women could be please talk to me first. He assured me he was happy and nothing was wrong. He made me feel bad for distrusting him. I really have no idea what to do. I feel if I confront him again he will not be truthful and get defensive about it. I cannot sleep and feel sick all the time. I feel like I am being cheated on and I don’t think he thinks this is an issue. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you for listening. Mia

StartAgain20 Don’t know how to move on
  • replies: 1

Hi, I’m new to this forum, but I’m sure my issues are anything but new. My partner had an affair which lasted as couple of years. He was caught by a complete accident. It’s been nearly a year and I’m just unable to move on. He begged me to stay, prom... View more

Hi, I’m new to this forum, but I’m sure my issues are anything but new. My partner had an affair which lasted as couple of years. He was caught by a complete accident. It’s been nearly a year and I’m just unable to move on. He begged me to stay, promised to do anything to gain my trust again, said I’m the only one blah blah blah. He tried at first, we went to see a counsellor twice, I saw a therapist. We talked and talked, had dinners together. But now i can see it’s gone back to where we were a year ago. While having an affair he completely shut me out, but in a terribly nice way. It was like, I don’t know, living with an awfully charming polite stranger. We hadn’t had sex in years, and when I tried to initiate he’d just politely refuse. It was awful , not knowing what i did wrong. But now I know the reason and it’s even worse. There is no perfect partner, but I thought I was a good one, supporting, loving, trusting. Or maybe I was just a naive idiot. Anyhow, I’m gradually slipping deeper and deeper into well perhaps not a depression but apathy. He’s still super nice and caring, but I suspect he doesn’t really want to/know how to be a couple. I’m not sure I want to either. I know I have to make a decision, have a goal but have no idea what to do. Things are complicated enough to just walk away (family, children, mortgage, business). I’m lost.

ReeCar123 How can I finally let go?
  • replies: 14

Hello All, about 1.5 months ago, my partner and I made the decision to end our 1.5 year relationship. He just wasn't ready after uncompleted grief work following his leaving his marriage with an alcoholic wife, plus quite a bit of work to do relating... View more

Hello All, about 1.5 months ago, my partner and I made the decision to end our 1.5 year relationship. He just wasn't ready after uncompleted grief work following his leaving his marriage with an alcoholic wife, plus quite a bit of work to do relating to childhood issues he never really got aware of before. He also has an avoidant attachment style because of the childhood issues, so although he wants and loves me, every time he has the chance and I want to build a lasting relationship, he pushes away again. He is aware now and his therapy has taken a much better turn since he is finally aware of all the various things he needs / wants to work on so that his future can be brighter one day. Nonetheless, we ended our relationship because he is not ready and we did not move forward. It was excruciating for me and so we said we would do the one thing we can and give each other the chance to work on ourselves individually so that we both can have a chance of good lives, love and happiness in the future. However, although I initially wanted to keep hope alive that this might still mean the two of us together some day, I have realised that everything he says and does is too vague and I need to let go so I can progress and not get stuck in nothingness. I am trying my best, I have arranged things with friends, found new hobbies, I exercise a lot and get out into nature. I read a lot about myself and how I can / want to improve aspects of my life. Lastly, I realised I have to set boundaries with him because we work together and although I love him very much, it is not healthy for me to interact much with him while my feelings are still so strong. So I set boundaries again and again, worked from home for weeks on end and asked to only have contact if we really have to speak about work. But, I guess the push and pull continues because although he cannot give me anything and constantly says we need to look after ourselves for now, he continuously seeks contact. It hurts me a lot because that way, I have to be the hard one and push back although everything inside me feels terrible for doing so. I was always the one ready to go all the way, the one that loved 150% of the time. Now I feel I am the only one trying to set necessary boundaries. I love him but this pulls me back again and again and every time I feel I am progressing, contact with him makes me so incredibly sad. How can I progress without breaking our connection completely and without breaking myself?

Clover9312 Failed sexual relationships
  • replies: 2

I first posted in June about a break up. The relationship was my first and I expected to lose my virginity (something I held on to wanting to wait for the right person. given I'm over 25 I also became self conscious about this). We never got to have ... View more

I first posted in June about a break up. The relationship was my first and I expected to lose my virginity (something I held on to wanting to wait for the right person. given I'm over 25 I also became self conscious about this). We never got to have intercourse because my ex couldn't get an erection. I thought it was me, but my ex eventually told me that he was struggling with sexual trauma from childhood, preventing him from getting erect for the first time in his life. I was devastated about his experience and even though he told me it wasn't me, that feeling of insecurity was implanted in me before I knew about the trauma and I can't shake it off. We were so in love and the whole relationship breakdown due to his PTSD broke me. Two months after, I met somebody else. He was open about his turbulent childhood and told me that he was apprehensive to hurt me, since he felt dark and he noticed that I was innocent. I decided against a serious relationship - in fact I suggested we only have fun and ehe agreed. By this stage I had known him for two months and felt comfortable around him. I wanted to associate sex with fun - after discovering my ex's trauma, I became distraught. I also associated sex with embarrassment because of my inexperience. The new guy was understanding and I felt empowered to view sex differently. We tried to have sex and I was devastated when he couldn't get an erection too. He has ADHD and told me that fatigue is one of his symptoms, which prevented erection. He also said he was nervous. This was a month ago and we haven't tried again. I messaged to catch up/have sex and he said he was busy and responded a little slower than normal. Ever since then we've only messaged sporadically and I feel like I'm being ghosted. Could he be embarrassed? He was keen for a casual arrangement too and now I feel that he's lost interest after the encounter when he couldn't get erect. I'm disheartened, feeling uncertain and fearful about sex. I've ran into him a couple of times and he's been really kind, but I feel really self conscious about us not continuing our sexual relationship. I could ask him why but I can't face the rejection. While looks aren't everything, I'm told very often by people that I'm attractive and both men felt connected to my personality too, but I can't shake off feelings of inadequacy and fear about sex now. I feel abnormal and like a failure. How do I become less nervous about sex? I'm so scared of this happening to me again.

unigirl1994 My mother had a breakdown today
  • replies: 6

I've known all my life that my mother has suffered with anxiety and depression. I know she has PTSD due to her job. She struggled with a bad relationship with my father and they divorced when I was young. Today she had a breakdown. It was a heart wre... View more

I've known all my life that my mother has suffered with anxiety and depression. I know she has PTSD due to her job. She struggled with a bad relationship with my father and they divorced when I was young. Today she had a breakdown. It was a heart wrenching, severe panic attack, the likes of which I've never seen from anyone including myself. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, and it breaks my heart to see her like this. I knew she had post partum depression after my birth, but until she told me today, did not know that she had constant thoughts of harming herself or ending her life after dropping me off at daycare as a child. I didn't know that previous partners had made her feel worthless while I was oblivious. I didn't know that she feels as though she lives a meaningless life because she doesn't have a partner or a huge amount of friends. I am devastated. I hate that she feels this way and I wish more than anything to take her pain away. She says she has this type of breakdown maybe once a year as she bottles her emotions up, hides it to herself and she was extremely embarrassed that it happened today while I was present. I know her struggle, and how hard living with mental illness can be, but it truly breaks my heart to see her feel as though she has to do this alone because she doesn't want to burden me. I don't expect anyone to reply to this, I just needed somewhere to get some feelings out.

Mooioio Getting out of a toxic relationship
  • replies: 33

I have been in a relationship with my partner for 16 years. I love and think the world of him. However, I have reached my limit and have decided that enough is enough and it’s time to let go. The last few years were hard. The worst is that I realised... View more

I have been in a relationship with my partner for 16 years. I love and think the world of him. However, I have reached my limit and have decided that enough is enough and it’s time to let go. The last few years were hard. The worst is that I realised I have been emotionally abused and weren’t even aware of it. He always appeared to be very charming and kind, that he would go through length to make someone feel special and loved. But behind all the nice and considerate gestures are the constant criticism, contempt and stonewalling. I used to feel I am responsible for everything because he guilted trip me on everything. To the point where I thought I were the most useless, self centred and good for nothing person. Everytime we had a fight, I used to run after him begging because I couldn’t imagine a life without him and that maybe I can’t survive on my own if he isn’t around. One of my good friend introduced me to a therapist a couple of years ago. And she made me realised self worth and that everyone deserved to be treated with respect and love. He took me for granted and felt entitled for everything that I gave unconditionally. I supported his dream, ambition and career while putting myself second yet nothing is ever enough. A set back and next thing I know I am responsible for all things that went wrong with his life. He resents me for making him settle down and start a family, ruining his life and opportunity. But the truth is in the last decade, i constantly supported him financially and emotionally and enabled all stepping stone opportunities for his career and life. I admired his talents and would happily continue to support his ambition if he weren’t taking everything for granted ..or at the very least appreciate the compromises and support that I gave him. I feel much relieved now that I have decided to walk away. But time to time I would feel very upset and when I think about all the good things we had, I can’t help but feel shaken and shattered. I guess getting over a long term relationship isn’t easy considering we are still in the same house because of covid lock down. Can anyone be kind enough to share how to move on gracefully and how long it would take to get over this ? And also how to avoid falling back to the trap ( I kept letting him to come back over and over hoping it would change and it will get better but I realised now it won’t )

avocadoqueen Husband’s family members that treat me poorly
  • replies: 5

Hi everyone, I have been with my partner since we were 15, we are now 25. My husband has an older brother who is also married. They have been overseas for a little while & I am so anxious to need to catch up with them again at family gatherings. My h... View more

Hi everyone, I have been with my partner since we were 15, we are now 25. My husband has an older brother who is also married. They have been overseas for a little while & I am so anxious to need to catch up with them again at family gatherings. My husband’s brother and wife have been together for a shorter time then us but they always feel like they need to dominate the family, show off & treat us like outcasts. It is so discreet most times and previously we found out that his brother/gf at the time, was talking badly about us to my husband’s younger brother (there’s 3 of them, my husband is the middle child). We tried to discuss this and tell them how we feel and we were told things like people can have opinions and to get over it. Anyway, a lot of the things seem petty but since then they have made a conscious effort to leave us out of events, my partner’s parents are oblivious to it & say oh just try to get a long and be civil.... but I don’t know what else to do. They try to become favourites and go out and do things with extended family members like cousins and leave us out, but when they haven’t been around things are great and we get along with everyone fine. I know things get said about us & it leaves other family members thinking we are bad people. I know I need to stop worrying what others think, act confident and be strong because I love my husband and he is very supportive. However, I am obsessing over these things, I see things on social media of everyone getting along and doing things after we have been treated like non existent. I dread every family gathering and it just makes me feel terrible because I want things to be normal. I know it’s impossible for everyone to like you and for everyone to get along but I don’t know how to manage sly, discreet actions that are intending to leave us out, make us feel less than and put other thoughts in people’s head. We also have no benefit or want absolutely no tension or some sort of competition/game they want to have with being more superior in the family. Things like showing off assets, money and achievements always also come up. My husband and I are humble and don’t want to succumb to this game they play. Overall, I struggle to stop thinking about it or have anxiety from it no matter how much I tell myself it doesn’t matter. Any help/tips are greatly appreciated!!Thank you