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.

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Gossamerose So lonely
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I'm feeling very confused and second guessing myself about everything.I'm trying to get out of this toxic read everything something stops me or gets in my way.Gee you would think in this day and age there would be more help for women trying to leave ... View more

I'm feeling very confused and second guessing myself about everything.I'm trying to get out of this toxic read everything something stops me or gets in my way.Gee you would think in this day and age there would be more help for women trying to leave bad relationships but I can tell you from someone who has been going though this for over 22 years. There is no real help! And yes I'm sure someone can point me to this society and that! But they don't actually help you. It's all smoke and mirrors. No actual hard help.

Sensible Sea Navigating gift giving with my in-laws that don't care about me: Advice?
  • replies: 2

Context: I've been with my wife now for over 7 years. She's not currently speaking with her mother due to her mother behaving in inappropriate ways. Her mother has tried to come between us multiple times and said some things about me that can never b... View more

Context: I've been with my wife now for over 7 years. She's not currently speaking with her mother due to her mother behaving in inappropriate ways. Her mother has tried to come between us multiple times and said some things about me that can never be unsaid. She's not sorry or remorseful in any way, and has turned the other family members against me, accusing me of taking her daughter away from her. My in-laws don't care about me, to put it simply - for example, none of them wished me happy birthday this year. They've unfriended and blocked me on social media, even though I haven't said/done anything to warrant that kind of response. They blame me for my wife not speaking to her mother, when that was her decision entirely. Her family refuses to see my wife as an individual who can make decisions for herself. I just support her in any decisions she makes. Now, my wife would like to send a Christmas gift to her family - but they all still live under one roof. She thought a "hamper" of sorts, something the family can share without making it too personalised or individual, might be a good way to go. I'm supporting her in whatever she wants to do - in fact I'm going to be helping her put the hamper together for them. She wants me to sign the card as well. I said I would do that for her. She said it sends the message that we are a "united front" and that her family can't just "get rid of me" - it shows that I'm "not going anywhere", so to speak. But personally I've been feeling conflicted about it. I don't like to show kindness towards people who have been so unkind to me. I keep telling myself I'm just doing it for my wife, because it makes her happy, and she's right about being a united front. Truthfully, I still care about my in-laws, but they've really hurt me and I wish I cared less. Now I'm just wondering how far do I go with this? If my wife wants to send them gifts for their individual birthdays in the future, do I sign the card then too? I will do this for her this Christmas but just struggling to navigate with it going forward. My in-laws have made it very clear they do not accept me or care about me, but only my mother in law has outwardly admitted this. The others silently resent me. I know they're trying to push me away, so I guess I need to keep "showing up", but if that's not welcomed by them I just don't know where I stand or what the right thing to do really is.

s-a-w1 Separation Anxiety in Marriage
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I have observed twice now when I have been away from my husband that he experiences nausea when I return from being away. Earlier in the year I was away for 3 weeks where he was lonely and missing me during that time. The day I returned and I was at ... View more

I have observed twice now when I have been away from my husband that he experiences nausea when I return from being away. Earlier in the year I was away for 3 weeks where he was lonely and missing me during that time. The day I returned and I was at home he was so excited to see me and have me home but he came home feeling nauseous and wanting to vomit but of course hugged me and said sorry for feeling sick. I have recently come back from 5 days away and he was lonely and missing me whilst I was away and thrilled for me to come home. Again he came home and was nauseous during the car ride home to me. He says sorry for feeling sick because it’s not the welcome he wants to give me but I look after him and he tends to sleep it off and feels better usually the next day. Both times I have been away we speak multiple times daily, text and call when we can and always tell each other how excited we are to see each other again and that we are missing each other. He experienced separation anxiety as a child from a caregiver that resolved with making friends at school and has had no mental health concerns really since then. For reference we have been together almost 10 years, have a very loving, affectionate marriage, we both work a lot but come together at the end of the day lovingly and phone each other at least once during the day to see how each others day is going. I’m wanting to know if it’s normal to experience the physical symptom of nausea in separation anxiety with the return of the person you have been away from? Is this something that manifests whilst the person is away and hits them at once when the person returns or is this a total coincidence for the 2 occasions this has happened? Thanks in advance!

rebecca_s Father not speaking to me - advice
  • replies: 7

Hi everyone, looking for advice on a complicated topic. my dad has a history of not talking to me, mum or siblings. Like we will have a fight, he will have a big blow up and go radio silent for a few days/weeks. When he’s ready he acts normal again b... View more

Hi everyone, looking for advice on a complicated topic. my dad has a history of not talking to me, mum or siblings. Like we will have a fight, he will have a big blow up and go radio silent for a few days/weeks. When he’s ready he acts normal again but there is never any conversation of the actual problem. recently, I (22F) found out I got into medicine and have to move interstate. I never told my dad I was applying as I feared his reaction, he is very traditional. Well it did not go down well. He was screaming at me saying I am choosing a career over family, how can I break his heart, and my boyfriend and I are too young to move together and will put a strain on my relationship.this was over a month ago and he hasn’t spoken to me since. I have tried extending the olive branch by saying hello, goodbye, look at this cute video - and nothing. Now I have grown up this was and know what he’s like. But here is where I do not know what to do - he is also ignoring my boyfriend and his family. I find this so utterly disrespectful and so does my bf. I think it’s because he is waiting for me to fail and can’t believe my boyfriend would support me through this. My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years and have an incredibly string relationship, however, this is now starting to take its toll. as you can probably tell, I have an intense fear of my dad when he’s like this and I do not know how to approach it. But I am sick of him treating us this way and everyone always having to accomodate for him. Please give me advice on how to get through this. It is making me sick and sad that my last few weeks in my family home will be spent in misery. also, my mum is scared of him when he’s like this. She says she will speak to him but I don’t want to put her through this coz she always gets the blame.

Albert_247 Cousins want to live and reflect their identities through me
  • replies: 19

1) They impose their politics and secular beliefs onto me and they don't respect that I disagree, they try to tell me to support and encourage the LGBTQ when I don't have to, I don't have to be their individuality & beliefs 2) Their only interested i... View more

1) They impose their politics and secular beliefs onto me and they don't respect that I disagree, they try to tell me to support and encourage the LGBTQ when I don't have to, I don't have to be their individuality & beliefs 2) Their only interested in themselves and their own opinions on music or anything in general 3) They make you feel stupid but they themselves wouldn't want to be made to feel that way, They always want to feel smarter then myself, my mother and my brother 4) They question your decisions and they think you need their approval for what you can do, live like or watch, but they only come in our lives once a decade or less and feel that they can critique us 5) Their very material & superficial, they think life comes easy because their father has given them a fantastic life and pays for all their needs

anon143 Child asking for a dad
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My child has recently turned 5 within the last few months. He is an only child. I’ve had sole ‘custody’ of him since he was 1. Even though his father and I separated when he was one, I tried to co parent with his father but it was not reciprocated. O... View more

My child has recently turned 5 within the last few months. He is an only child. I’ve had sole ‘custody’ of him since he was 1. Even though his father and I separated when he was one, I tried to co parent with his father but it was not reciprocated. Our separation was/is still very messy 4 years on. A lot of DV etc. Eventually I will file for divorce, hopefully in 2024. Lately, my boy has been asking for another baby or two & a new dad. In his words, he says that his dad is mean to him (I won’t go into details but I understand and know what he is talking about; abuse). I’m not sure if I’m telling my boy the right thing by saying something along the lines of he loves you very much, I know he doesn’t show it, but deep down he does. I feel like I don’t even believe that, but more so that I want to believe that for him. It feels like I’m giving him false hope or something. I’ve always wanted to have his dad in his life but his father makes it impossible to coparent civilly. I’ve given up trying to include his father in updates about our child. He doesn’t respond to emails, texts or phone calls. My last straw was recently after our child was hospitalised yet again. I know he got my email as he had a family member of his make contact with us to be in the loop with it all. I explained to this family member that we hadn’t heard from him and the family member said they’d pass it on. I tried to ring again and wasn’t answered. So recently, my son has been asking for a new dad. This has been going on for a few months now. He always comes out randomly with it. I don’t really know how to address this with him as he is only five and it just catches me off guard. Like tonight for example, I explained that if he were to get a new dad, I’d have to get a new boyfriend and I’m just not ready for all of that (I think this was the best way to answer it for now). He responded that he just wants a dad for our home in our town as his father lives in a different state to us. Do all children do this? Is there something I should be looking into? I’m waiting for our paed appointment and will see our gp this coming week so will ask about it then. How do I support my son through this? What can I say? I’ve asked him why he wants a new dad & he always gives very vague answers, so I’m not even sure if it’s what he really wants. I explained that if he wants another sibling, again I’d need a husband and I’m just not able to focus on bringing yet another life into it. I’m also worried about another person cutting into my son and I’s life, environment, wellbeing and so forth. My son needs me and I just want to make sure he’s right before I go worrying about another man let alone another tiny human. Thanks for reading. Advice would be most appreciated. Tia

melaleuca Christmas and the in-laws after an epic year
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Hi,I came across this forum when I typed ‘Christmas and the in-laws’ … of course I’m not the only one to grapple with this dilemma I’m wondering what’s fair and appropriate and if we DO go, how best to cope.My mother in law is narcissistic and contro... View more

Hi,I came across this forum when I typed ‘Christmas and the in-laws’ … of course I’m not the only one to grapple with this dilemma I’m wondering what’s fair and appropriate and if we DO go, how best to cope.My mother in law is narcissistic and controlling. She loves having her whole family together, but treats us (I’m married to her eldest son) very differently from the way she treats the other two families.For two decades we’ve been made to feel on the outer.She showers the others with huge gifts like flights to New York and shares in holiday houses and gives me string bags and crockery from Vinnies …I’m not materialistic, so perhaps she thinks that’s what I’m hoping for, but the disparity is huge She and her husband insisted they wouldn’t babysit for us (with their first grandchild) and now babysit for the others full time.The same went for buying houses … we did our own thing, the others have had significant help.It’s driven a real wedge between us.It makes lunch with them all really taxing.They’re also all really loud and assertive and never listen or ask me or our child anything other than ‘how’s school’? The younger daughters in law think I’m over the hill at a decade older. They feel like they know everything.This year they’re insisting on a week long holiday 12 hours from home.There could well be fires.We were stuck in the big fires a few years ago, so I’m a bit cautious.We’re also totally drained from a really difficult year with an eating disorder in the family, homeschooling, a school change, a house move and the death of a dear friend and mentor.We’re finally settling into our new place and I’m desperate to recuperate.I’ve been exhibiting a lot of symptoms of burnout.And we’re trying to settle our dog into an apartment, which is a little stressful.But my husband is not able to disappoint his mother.He feels I should just tough it out.I do most years, but this just feels too much.What do others think?Should I send him and our child and stay home with the dog?Or tough it out? And if so, how??

trackert Heartbroken mum
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I don’t know where to even start. My life has not been great I had a lot of abuse as a child in all forms from mother and father and step father. I’ve had some counseling but it’s always there we had 3 kids all great kids my youngest son married a gi... View more

I don’t know where to even start. My life has not been great I had a lot of abuse as a child in all forms from mother and father and step father. I’ve had some counseling but it’s always there we had 3 kids all great kids my youngest son married a girl about 15 years ago and the family dynamic changed she arrived at my home with a list of what things she didn’t like about me. I had told someone she was controlling apparently I can’t remember doing it but I feel it was pretty spot on as she is sitting at my kitchen table saying sit down I have this list I want you to hear. well that didn’t go down well I told them to get out of our home. My son hugged me but he also backed her up They did get married and have two children. And we are never allowed to see them unless they suggest it or tell us what time and day where and how long there is never any flexibility recently there was an issue with Christmas as we moved 4 hours away. For health and retirement reasons. We all agreed we would travel to them at Christmas time I was informed it would be Christmas Eve . So I said we would need to stay with one of them well they had booked others in for that night which left us with nowhere. I did have a big reaction to this as I felt rejected again. My 3 children that day all rejected us . Next thing my DIL says it’s at her place I said we can’t come as no where to stay. But we will be down from Boxing Day for a week so we could all catch up then I was told no they are too busy. I just said ok no problem. Then she starts a family chat and says she is having our granddaughter birthday a few days after we get back from Tasmania and I said I’m sorry but it will be too much for us to travel again after just getting back. She comes back with ‘your choice “ which was a red flag to me I said it was a hard choice but we are tired old and we can’t keep taking the rejection Next things she puts up another list of everything I have done for the last 15 years. again she choose a time when I was not very well mentally. I tried to defend myself without getting angry but knew it was to no avail so I left the conversation. Then I got attacked for that. My children all got in on the conversation and it was all my fault. Everything is my fault. Some of the stuff she says is correct and I have owned and apologized for these actions in the past. But a lot was lies or has extenuating circumstances or they all were involved in . From what I gather the kids have been meeting up and she has been convincing them I was a bad mum a terrible person. I know that’s not true. I have friends that have known me longer than my kids have been born they saw how we raised the kids. two of my kids actually said to their father that if there was a fire he would choose me over them and that hurts them. I have been a basket case since this happened. I can’t get into a doctor I have worked out though why I react so hugely. As a child I was not allowed a voice an opinion a choice and everything was my fault. I was not a perfect mum but I did my best and when I screwed up o apologized and talked to my kids. with every morsel of my being I want to contact my two elder children but I don’t know where to go as I feel all they want is for me to say everything is my fault and I can’t I just can’t I need to stand up for me and they need to hear my voice as it will just stay the same with me taking the attacks on my shoulders and sending me into a spiral sorry there is so much more to this but I’ve rambled on enough.

Skary Bill So very very lonely
  • replies: 43

Like most people here, I've got a bunch of things going on.. Self improvement. Managing anxiety, financial and physical limitations. But I have a problem that has been steadily forcing it's way to the top of the list. It's having a profound effect on... View more

Like most people here, I've got a bunch of things going on.. Self improvement. Managing anxiety, financial and physical limitations. But I have a problem that has been steadily forcing it's way to the top of the list. It's having a profound effect on everything else and I'm at risk of getting quite stuck on it. Quite simply, I have no friends. Family is scattered far and wide and.. well.. Family, as in there is love there. But not mateship. I've been quite active online since I began suffering agoraphobia. But online friendships are often fleeting and lack depth. And recent changes in my accommodation options force me to move back to the bush where I don't even have a phone signal let alone internet. While I'm a reasonably sociable person who is community spirited. I've never been particularly needy, and so I guess for a while I was happy doing my own thing. But some months ago now, I stood in my shed.. Looked at something I just made, realised I had nobody to share it with and suddenly understood just how very lonely I actually am. Since then, I've been looking. I've been challenging my agoraphobia to get out there and meet people. I've been going along to men's sheds and doing some volunteering. I've been looking around online for people near me with similar interests. And folks, I've struck out completely. Everyone I've encountered has either had a good couple of decades on me and deep into retirement. Or they are younger and wilder, and the ones around my age (early 40's) are for the most part busy with families. So it seems I've become quite the outsider. And when I go back to the bush. I can go weeks without seeing another human. It's devastating and I can't see the way out from here. I'm thinking about saving up to buy a motorcycle that is suited to touring, locking the remnants of my life in a shipping container and hitting the road. But even then, I'm writing cheques my anxiety probably can't cash lol. Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm staying with a relative for the weekend. Enjoying the internet. I guess I'm sharing because I just need to talk to someone. Cheers, Bill.

Von is lost Boyfriend catching up with ex
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My boyfriend and I have just become official and we were randomly discussing what we had on for the week. He said he is catching up with a friend this week and only once I asked “do you know her from school or something?” was when he told me it was h... View more

My boyfriend and I have just become official and we were randomly discussing what we had on for the week. He said he is catching up with a friend this week and only once I asked “do you know her from school or something?” was when he told me it was his ex. He then said if it’s weird to tell him and he wouldn’t meet up with her. I was fine with it at the time but can’t help ruminating on the fact. She is just passing through the town we live in and she lives elsewhere but I think they have hung out most of today and she might be staying over at his house tonight. Obviously I trust him but my mind is playing tricks on me. It’s really brought out my anxious attachment style. I don’t want this to bother me so if anyone has any tips that would be great to hear.