Relationship and family issues

Anything to do with managing relationships and family, including parenting, separation, loneliness, divorce, family and friendships.

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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.

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hello_ Can't make or keep friends - anxiety/depression/dissociative disorder
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone. I'm struggling big time with relationships at the moment in a social, work, and home situation. I lost a lot of friends due to my mental health struggles, and battle to make new ones since my ill-health is currently consuming every part ... View more

Hi everyone. I'm struggling big time with relationships at the moment in a social, work, and home situation. I lost a lot of friends due to my mental health struggles, and battle to make new ones since my ill-health is currently consuming every part of me. Then, if I try and be open about it, I eventually push everyone away or scare them away. How do people deal with this? How can you form any legitimate friendships when you're so unwell - especially with dissociative disorder (a very new diagnosis for me that I'm still trying to figure out) I just want love and support and genuine friends - a support network... It's VERY hard going through all this with only paid psychological support and medication.

corn_relish_and_pastrami alexythmic/depressed boyfriend broke up with me b/c the way "he is now isn't good enough" and he isn't ready to "seek help"
  • replies: 9

Hey! I was with my beautiful boyfriend for 3 yrs. We had a really great relationship but it is evident that he has some mental health problems that need to be addressed. He grew up in a household where feelings, angry outbursts and depression were th... View more

Hey! I was with my beautiful boyfriend for 3 yrs. We had a really great relationship but it is evident that he has some mental health problems that need to be addressed. He grew up in a household where feelings, angry outbursts and depression were things that were never dealt with nor addressed with empathy + action. I'm sure you can imagine how this caused some issues in the relationship. His mum also has a massive stigma around seeking psychological help. While my boyfriend's communication + openness improved DRAMATICALLY, he still has a strong tendency to avoid difficult feelings. He also struggles to acknowledge their presence - it took him 3 wks to figure out that his unexplained fatigue was a result of feeling stressed because he wasn't reaching his billable hrs. For 6 wks things would be awesome (living together, communicating well, laughing). Then out of nowhere he would lash out at me. It was usually triggered b/c he would become tired, irritable + a crappy communicator. I would ask him gently if he was okay but he couldn't recognise he wasn't ok until he would snap at me out of nowhere and then retreat by going to his mums house for a wk at a time b/c he was so ashamed/depressed. Often the lashing out was spurred on by my frustration with his random mental checking out of the relationship. He used to do this to his mum too. I would encourage him to talk to a psych but he was resistant to the idea. I became so stressed and exhausted that he came into my room one day, burst into tears and said that he wasn't ready to speak to someone. That he feels like a piece of poo and I deserve better and that this meant we should break up. I was devastated and so was he. We were sobbing - saying we love each other so much but he kept maintaining that if he is "pushed" to seek help, he will only lash out at me and I would 'hate him even more'. He said there is absolutely the possibility of rekindling things if/once he feels 'ready' to seek help for his mental health. The worst part is he is so articulate about the fact that he knows these are HIS ISSUES that have nothing to do with the relationship. We have stayed in touch. The times we have seen each other since, we are laughing, then crying b/c we still love each other. He said he has been withdrawn and depressed for a month. I love this man. Why is it that he is so resistant to seek help? And how likely is it that he may decide to if his mental health is the very thing stopping him from seeking help!

Jamieg Separated from my husband
  • replies: 3

Hi, I had been in relationship with my high school sweetheart for 10 years before we got engaged and 13 years before we got married. I was ecstatic! I thought life was so perfect I was scared because people don’t get everything they want. after 4 yea... View more

Hi, I had been in relationship with my high school sweetheart for 10 years before we got engaged and 13 years before we got married. I was ecstatic! I thought life was so perfect I was scared because people don’t get everything they want. after 4 years of marriage (no kids) we hit a hard patch. We had been living together but not talking too much and fighting a lot. I thought this was just a hard year and everyone goes through it. On January 1 2019 we went to the movies and the Next day we went for lunch. I thought this is great we are finally starting to fix this. That night at 6pm my husband messaged me that he was having a baby with another woman in 5 days!! I was in shock. I didn’t reply to him. I didn’t even really feeling anything. I called my mum and she came straight away and slept over. I locked the door from the inside in case he wanted to come home (which he did at 3am) but couldn’t get inside. He sent me an abusive message about locking him out. The next day I moved to my parents house with minimal clothing. A few days later I went back to the house to pick up some more clothes to find that my husband had taken everything from the house. Everything we owned together and jointly even my clothes and shoes. my stress and anger blocked any feeling for a very long time. Occasionally I would feel upset but I was so stressed going through the courts I didn’t have time to feel sadness. 18 months on, the court case is over and I thought I would feel free and excited to start my new life but as soon as everything was finalized I felt empty, sad and like I’ll never find happiness.

Guest4321 Divorce
  • replies: 2

Hi, In December 2019, I had just accepted a new job and was about to relocate from Perth to Brisbane with my husband to be closer to family and eventually start a family of our own. One week before our flight I woke up in the middle of the night with... View more

Hi, In December 2019, I had just accepted a new job and was about to relocate from Perth to Brisbane with my husband to be closer to family and eventually start a family of our own. One week before our flight I woke up in the middle of the night with this feeling in my gut that my Husband was not coming with me so I told him about this expecting him to deny it and reassure me instead he said that he wasn’t coming with me as he had decided he didn’t want children. I pushed him to go speak to a psychologist to make sure that was what he wanted and wasn’t a decision based on fear and depression(which he had a history of). He agreed and although he moved out he said he was committed to trying to save our marriage... over the next few weeks he told me he thought he was gay (which he later took back), that he was a sex addict and a compulsive liar. I discovered he had been engaging in online sexting with strangers via Reddit for 3 years (We had only been married 3.5 although we’re together 9.5). Throughout all of this I said I would forgive him if he got help but he ultimately decided he didn’t want to try but said in his next relationship he would get counselling. Since then I have had to move interstate, sell our house and figure out our finances and coordinate everything, whilst trying to cope with the emotional aspect, whilst starting a new job, whilst living with my parents during lock down. I just keep trying to understand why this all happened and how someone without ever expressing concern with our relationship or trying marriage counseling could just walk away. Due to my lack of energy and depression I am now struggling to perform in my job. I don’t know how to pull myself out of this downward spiral.

Arejay871 No identity post separation
  • replies: 4

Hi all, I married my highschool sweetheart - we were together since we were 16 - married for 4 years and now separated - im 33. I have been battling depression - and was initially diagnosed in the last 2 years of the marriage Im posting here mainly b... View more

Hi all, I married my highschool sweetheart - we were together since we were 16 - married for 4 years and now separated - im 33. I have been battling depression - and was initially diagnosed in the last 2 years of the marriage Im posting here mainly because im seeking help and advice or similar experiences. After such a long time with my ex - i feel as if i dont have an identity - Im trying to figure out who i am but unsure where to start There was always some direction that i was heading towards and now that is gone, and on reflection i let others around me control and make decisions for me or the decisions I was making (career) were to ensure that i was “of worth” in the eyes of her family. I now sit here wondering where to from now? I think im being vague in my questions or unsure of what im asking - but i get told this is a new start for me, but im scared/unsure of what to do next as ive always had someone else to fall back on - or towards the latter end of my relationship blame for my shortcomings, insecurity and lack of self worth. Cheers

Branka Branka
  • replies: 5

Hi everyone, especially Croix It's been a long time since I last posted. Some of you would have read my posts and know my situation. I had moved from Sydney to Melbourne to be close to my 2 sons and grandchildren. I moved in with my youngest son and ... View more

Hi everyone, especially Croix It's been a long time since I last posted. Some of you would have read my posts and know my situation. I had moved from Sydney to Melbourne to be close to my 2 sons and grandchildren. I moved in with my youngest son and my daughter in law only to find myself in an abusive situation. I moved out on my own and finally found peace. As time progressed my youngest son and his wife separated and now are divorced. I need to mention that I suffer from anxiety and depression. Over time my son decided to move back to Sydney. My daughter in law was struggling to find somewhere to live. As we became very close, we agreed to move in together. This has caused very negative reactions from my three sons especially her ex. My son has moved back to Melbourne and is demanding that I throw her out so that he can move in. He is a narcissist and I don't want to live with him. He says that I made a very poor decision and that I am very selfish. I have sacrificed much for this son and I am at the point of not wanting to see him. He says that if I don't live on my own he will disown me. My question is: Did I really make a poor and selfish decision? Should I make decisions based on my son's needs? We have started arguing and I worry that I may head for depression if this continues. I have feeling weepy and down. I have realized that my son has not changed at all. He says that family won't help him but that's not true.While Sydney, his father tried to help but my son refused it. My oldest son said that he has burnt all his bridges with his family because of his abusive behavior. I am not sure how to deal with this situation and your advice would be greatly welcomed. Branka xxx

josh174 DIstraught but still in love with someone I know I shouldn't be in love with
  • replies: 7

I recently decided to ask out the love of my life after worrying about her not loving me. We chatted for a bit before I told her how I really felt, at first she was really supportive and seemed somewhat interested, although she flagged that she alrea... View more

I recently decided to ask out the love of my life after worrying about her not loving me. We chatted for a bit before I told her how I really felt, at first she was really supportive and seemed somewhat interested, although she flagged that she already had a boyfriend. After asking if we could hang out as friends she said her boyfriend was really overprotective, I pointed out that it probably wasn't healthy for her boyfriend to be so restrictive and she agreed and went off to break up with him. About an hour later we started talking again and she seemed interested in hanging out and getting to know each other better. Although after a while she became unresponsive and then her friend (or alter-ego) basically started to say that she didn't love me and that I shouldn't have talked to her as she was clearly uninterested. For about an hour I was on cloud 9 until I realised she had been messing with me all along and leading me on to her subsequently saying she didn't like me among other things. I'm distraught as Ioved her more than anyone else even though we didn't know each other well. I'm feeling depressed and have been feeling down since she showed her true colours. Despite her being somewhat mean leading me on and then ditching me I still love her very much and I don't know what to do. I've been crying myself to sleep for that past 2 days since it happened and don't know where/who to turn to as I'm a bit of a loner anyway.

Waltette_Mitty First love contact after 20 years and I’m married.
  • replies: 4

My first love was at the end of my teens. It was amazing and I’ve never experienced the same feelings since - even with my husband of 16 years. I think we fell out of love after 3 years and he dumped me. I was an absolute mess. Recently he contacted ... View more

My first love was at the end of my teens. It was amazing and I’ve never experienced the same feelings since - even with my husband of 16 years. I think we fell out of love after 3 years and he dumped me. I was an absolute mess. Recently he contacted me and we’ve texted a few times. Now, I’m an emotional mess again! I will find any excuse to msg him and I am desperate for his attention - overthinking every response he makes. I am crying out of the blue and feeling miserable, no appetite and no enthusiasm for anything. I love my husband but have always felt something missing. Have been on antidepressants for years now and don’t really want to up dosage again. Advice?

Juliet_84 How to tell if this is just part of being human
  • replies: 7

I grew up in a fairly strict household with a very difficult to please mother. I would bend over backwards trying to make her happy and it was just never good enough. I grey up as a typically type A personality (still am), I was obsessed with obtaini... View more

I grew up in a fairly strict household with a very difficult to please mother. I would bend over backwards trying to make her happy and it was just never good enough. I grey up as a typically type A personality (still am), I was obsessed with obtaining perfection, be it at sport, school work, whatever I could channel my focus into, and it worked out well for the most part. I’ve also always had a desire to please people and had a tendency to be a workaholic. But then I’ve always had this small part of my personality, this self destructive streak that I have suppressed for the most part just wants to blow it all up. To drive fast, take drugs, sleep with a stranger I meet in the street, quit my job. In my late teens and early 20s I indulged this streak occasionally and it was intoxicating. A few years ago, I found myself single and indulged in it again. I suppose the question that I have is how do I settle down and live a normal life and be fine with suppressing that for the rest of my life? And what is it? Does everyone have this feeling? Is it just part of being human?

LeeA18 Feeling hurt all over again
  • replies: 3

Hi all It's been a while since I last posted. I have mentally gotten stronger and in a better place than i was. I worked hard on myself. I was in a relationship 2 years ago which, i thought at the time, ended when he took a turn for the worse mentall... View more

Hi all It's been a while since I last posted. I have mentally gotten stronger and in a better place than i was. I worked hard on myself. I was in a relationship 2 years ago which, i thought at the time, ended when he took a turn for the worse mentally. He'd had mental health problems for years and i knew that. On the day we broke up, I saw some texts on his phone to another woman. I kept that to myself for a while, just so I didn't jump to any conclusions. This was a man that I loved dearly, who I would have done anything for and all I wanted was to understand. I ended up asking him as I was going downhill pretty quickly. He dismissed it. That was when he started to block me everywhere you can think possible. I tried contacting him a couple of times and it just lead to more heartache for me. He just lied or ignored me. I was moving on. Life has been great. There has just always been this nagging feeling that he cheated on me, or at the least, was emotionally cheating on me. He moved to another city, closer to her. It's now been 2 years and, yes, he can date whoever he wants but word has gotten to me that they are dating. If it was anybody else, I don't think I would have felt hurt, but because it was the person who he lied, gaslighted and blocked me about, it just seems to hurt all over again. Is this normal? I went through depression when we broke up because of all of his actions towards me. I also can't believe he used his mental health problems as a way to maybe get out of our relationship. It's been 2 years and I can't believe I am going back to those feelings I had back then.