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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Timshel Timshel
  • replies: 26

Hello out there, It’s 4am and once again I am really struggling to sleep which means I will now be wrecked tomorrow and will probably end up sleeping half the day away. I have many problems in my life at the moment. Serious relationship issues in a 2... View more

Hello out there, It’s 4am and once again I am really struggling to sleep which means I will now be wrecked tomorrow and will probably end up sleeping half the day away. I have many problems in my life at the moment. Serious relationship issues in a 28 year marriage, parenting issues with my 15 year old son, a long history with anxiety, anxiety disorder and depression which has only been exasperated by the above mentioned family issues. I am not coping, just getting by (barely). I have no family out here in Oz and no close friends out here any more who I feel I can open up to. I have become increasingly isolated and alone and lonely even though I am in a ‘marriage of sorts’ and have a son. The in-laws aren’t close so I don’t see much of them. I have occasional professional help and have contacted Lifeline in types of great distress. But they can only talk for certain periods of time and I have to retell my story each time, a story which keeps evolving and changing all the time as more and more problems arise. I am so tired physically and emotionally and have been for so many years now. Mental Health issues are enough to cope with alone but all the family issues and lack of support on top of that have broken me completely. No relief in sight.......can anyone relate?

Hazel97 Rebuilding a broken father/daughter relationship
  • replies: 1

Hi Everyone, In the past I’ve used this forum to vent, but this time I actually need some advice. Just a little background, I have diagnosed anxiety and have been on medication on and off for the past 5 years (on at the moment). I’ve been estranged f... View more

Hi Everyone, In the past I’ve used this forum to vent, but this time I actually need some advice. Just a little background, I have diagnosed anxiety and have been on medication on and off for the past 5 years (on at the moment). I’ve been estranged from my father for almost 5 years, but our relationship has been rocky for at least 10 years. I’m an only child, my parents divorced when I was 5, and both remarried when I was young. A variety of reasons led to us no longer talking, mainly I felt as though he never picked me or put me first, everything was always more important than me and when I turned 18 I reached my emotional limit. When coronavirus started getting worse, my dad called me. I couldn’t answer out of sheer shock, but we’ve been texting back and forth for the last few months. I took a big step and reached out to organise a lunch, just me and him. He agreed and now I’m freaking out. Sooooo much has happened in my life over the last 5 years, and it feels extremely overwhelming thinking about telling him about all of it. I’m not going to tell him everything at once, but it’s all flooding to my head, as well as all the things that I’d have to get of my chest in order for us to move forward. Everyone keeps asking what I’m wanting out of this, and to be honest I have no idea. I’d like some kind of relationship, but I don’t want to have any expectations, cause I’ll just get hurt again. I feel like I’m going into this blind, I have no idea if it’ll hurt me more or help me. I just want to know if anyone has any advice for this first meet up and for our future relationship? Thanks in advance

Brad84 My life is chaos recent breakup is killing me!
  • replies: 6

Hi I have been separated for about a month but really it's been years. My ex hates me. I want to try and make it work but I'm told I'm a narcissist, I have a sex addiction, I'm seeing someone behind her back and I'm being out right deceitful. She has... View more

Hi I have been separated for about a month but really it's been years. My ex hates me. I want to try and make it work but I'm told I'm a narcissist, I have a sex addiction, I'm seeing someone behind her back and I'm being out right deceitful. She has access to all my gmail phone account everything. She still says I am up to no good. I am not at all I am being honest and iv said I want her and my son's In my life. And I want it to work I am a open book. I know she can see everything and that's fine but for something I havnt done? I know it is finished, she doesn't love me at all any more. Understandable. I still want to try and be a good dad and ex partner but in every way I'm accused of being a sly creepy loser. I have just called men's health line about my situation and thoughts of suicide. I need a behaviour group therapist. I want to live my life but to be told I would be better off 6 feet under , Kills. I'm not hiding anything from her I am not being deceitful. I really just want help with me living my life in peace and not like I'm on the FBI watch list. I'm just not sure what and where I should go hope I can sort something out coz it's effecting everything I just wish we worked our relationship out and made the family I wanted for my boys. And sorry to my family for failing them i wish I didn't coz I am innocent here I don't want war I want peace. Who can i talk to and thanks if any one reads this. Brad

audreylou How do you continue to support a loved one with depression when you constantly feel rejected?...
  • replies: 2

My boyfriend of 18 months suffers severe depression and anxiety. Our relationship didn't start in a traditional way- I left my husband to be with him, who is 6 years my junior. We live together, with my 2 children, following his mental breakdown at t... View more

My boyfriend of 18 months suffers severe depression and anxiety. Our relationship didn't start in a traditional way- I left my husband to be with him, who is 6 years my junior. We live together, with my 2 children, following his mental breakdown at the start of the year. He was unmedicated and fell into such a deep hole that he stopped working, showering or even leaving his room. I never gave up on him and continued to love and support him, even though the relationship was so new- I knew that I loved him like I've never loved anyone before. After his suicide attempt I convinced him to come stay with me so I could keep an eye on him. He got help through the CAT team and is now 6 months on medication and doing better than I, or any of his friends, have ever seen him. The problem is that despite him being happier and more active- and telling me how much he loves and is attracted to me, he has absolutely no sex drive and it's leaving me feeling hurt and rejected. We talk about it almost every week and I try so hard to tell myself that it's his illness and not me- but how long can I continue living with this feeling of not being attractive enough, being too old for him to be attracted to, not being able to turn him on, etc.? I try to do things like buy sexy outfits, flirt with him, tell him how attracted I am to him... but he just can't. He tells me that he hates himself for it and that he wants to be intimate with me, but just freezes up and then gets upset with himself and so can't even fool around or anything. I want to believe him so badly, but when I know he's had relationships in the past that were purely based on sex and nothing else- how can I not compare myself to that? How long can you continue to support the person you love through their battles- when they are creating your own battles? I find myself constantly watching what I eat and exercising excessively to try and make myself desirable for him. I feel worthless and unattractive and I just don't know what to do anymore.

Mr K Single Dad, childcare, schools, family administration help i'm lost and don't want my kids to suffer. Advice please?
  • replies: 2

Hi BB, so the separation happened, I've got a new home (Rented) set up, no concerns with bills etc re that aspect but there is a massive blackhole where most people know how to arrange childcare, centerlink, medicare, etc. I don't know what I'm suppo... View more

Hi BB, so the separation happened, I've got a new home (Rented) set up, no concerns with bills etc re that aspect but there is a massive blackhole where most people know how to arrange childcare, centerlink, medicare, etc. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, my wife handled all this stuff and now that she's off living her single life i'm trying to pick up the pieces but don't even know what questions I need to ask. Any and all tips, tricks and advice welcome and wanted.

Failsafe Resetting a friendship
  • replies: 6

I couldn't think of the exact title to describe my issue but I'll try to explain. I have a friend that I was very close to, both of us were candid and open with each other. Over time this has changed and until very recently it was something that I st... View more

I couldn't think of the exact title to describe my issue but I'll try to explain. I have a friend that I was very close to, both of us were candid and open with each other. Over time this has changed and until very recently it was something that I struggled to grasp fully and accept. Treating him in the same way I always had, expecting the same support, and then being hurt and upset when it wasn't forthcoming. Typically this wouldn't result in anger or poor behaviour but I'd feel the need to explain or justify everything and generate long passages to do so. After I'd feel embarrassed so I'd pull back or send short general chats a few days later but then anxiety would build and I'd reach out for support again without learning the lesson that he had changed his role. Recently I asked him if he still wanted to be in contact with me, or if he prefered I stopped reaching out. He responded by saying he definitely didn't need me to stop but he wished our interactions were more positive. I'm now awaiting my first appointment to head to counselling to work through some newly generated issues as a result to COVID changing my life and previous coping mechanisms. I've joined this forum to give me an outlet for my anxiety or disruptive thoughts in the meantime and I'm trying to focus on tangible goals to improve the things that cause me anxiety or to feel inadequate. Our last interaction was me thanking him for all his assistance recently and letting him know I was going to get some help to work on adjusting to my new way of life. His response was to say he was glad he helped and was sorry he couldn't do more but he hoped I understood. I would like to try to focus on it being a casual friendship with me seeking support from more suitable channels. I wrote 3 replies to the response above and stopped because I can't come up with something that conveys a positive tone to let them know I understand what they want and respect their boundaries, somehow it seems accusatory or passive aggressive which is not it's intention. I also don't want to be fake and act like my issues have left. I have no idea how to do it succinctly and respectfully in a way that comes across positively (which is how I intend most things but it doesn't seem to translate). I was considering just leaving it, or perhaps finding an opportunity to speak in person so things translate better. (we mainly converse via text which isn't my first choice, but is his preferred medium) Any thoughts?

Upside_down Emotionally absent family and friends
  • replies: 13

Hi all. I’m new here, recently went off social media & with everything going on in the world I thought it would be helpful to join the discussion here so I’m not so isolated... also hopeful a reader may have some advice for what I’m going through. Ha... View more

Hi all. I’m new here, recently went off social media & with everything going on in the world I thought it would be helpful to join the discussion here so I’m not so isolated... also hopeful a reader may have some advice for what I’m going through. Has anyone had experience with family/friends who are emotionally absent? Ive gotten to a point of wanting to cut ties with my mother and sister because I have tried to express my feelings/needs in a respectful way but end up being either attacked or ignored. I have spent the last few years persisting with treatment with little support from them, and the more time that has passed the more I’ve realised how their behaviours are impacting my recovery. I’m unsure how to communicate with them and would appreciate any help thanks for reading

S1980 Depression and being 'ghosted' by a friend
  • replies: 1

I have been struggling with feelings of depression, loneliness and isolation over the last few months because of Covid and working from home. I made the effort to meet new people and make new friends which has been great at times. However last week o... View more

I have been struggling with feelings of depression, loneliness and isolation over the last few months because of Covid and working from home. I made the effort to meet new people and make new friends which has been great at times. However last week one of my friends who I would chat with every day has suddenly stopped replying to any messages for no obvious reason. In the depressed state I am in I am finding myself so consumed by feelings of worry and guilt, what did I do wrong to make this friend ignore me? I can't seem to function to do anything but worry about this, check my phone for any response but nothing. I don't know why it is getting me so much I hate the feeling of possibly having hurt someone. But I come on so strong when I'm emotional and may have sent too many 'reaching out' texts that I sound like a possessive freak. I wish they would just respond so I know what I did wrong and can make things right. I can't work or focus on anything while this is hanging over my head unresolved.

TTorna Emotional Blunting/Detatchment
  • replies: 13

Hi all, Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this, but I couldn't find much related to this issue. I've been dating a very close friend of mine for 6-8 weeks. We've been best friends for about 10 years prior to this. Things were going very well, unti... View more

Hi all, Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this, but I couldn't find much related to this issue. I've been dating a very close friend of mine for 6-8 weeks. We've been best friends for about 10 years prior to this. Things were going very well, until she told family about me and her family reacted badly. This negative response triggered her somehow and now she feels what she describes as emotional numbness towards me. No romantic feelings anymore. I'm very hurt, but she told me it isn't anything I've done, and that she thinks it is her brain's response to a negative response. She wants to stay together and try to work it out, which we have been trying. As far as I researched, emotional numbness/detatchment is a thing but I don't quite understand it and I want to understand it more. I'm not sure if I'm a fool for staying or if it is something that will eventually pass. She keeps saying she was very happy with us before and where we were going before the emotional detatchment for me she now feels. It's been a week and a half, and I have to say it has been very difficult to accept she feels nothing and watching her be distant to me while she tries to also let me know she still wants this to work. I really want to work through it, but I'm not sure if it's just something permanent that has cut her feelings towards me. Has anyone experienced this in family or friends/partners? She says she's not depressed, which I know numbness can be depression, but it seems to be focused only towards me, which I don't get as I was not the one who upset her. I guess my question is: how do you help someone with emotional detatchment/numbness towards you? Thank you.

Pete80 No love for my wife- is it all over
  • replies: 3

Hi first time poster so bit nervous but here goes. I'm Male 40, married for 10 years to my partner of over 20 years with two beautiful kids but....there is more. Ever since the birth of our last child in 2013 I have had sex 5 times with my wife. Thin... View more

Hi first time poster so bit nervous but here goes. I'm Male 40, married for 10 years to my partner of over 20 years with two beautiful kids but....there is more. Ever since the birth of our last child in 2013 I have had sex 5 times with my wife. Think about that. For me sex was such a large part of my life pre kids and i never considered it might one day stop certianly not in my late 30s. I still have a high sex drive and I find it very difficult to be denied time after time. I've turned to porn to substitute the sexual craving because i cannot cheat and I never would. Over the last two years I've become completely detached from my wife. I don't sleep in the same bed, I dont feel any sexual or physical attraction to her whatsoever. It's got to the point that I actually dont want to go anywhere with her. My social life is completely down the drain, I have no friends and basically no life. Apart from my love of the kids and outdoor activities (fishing etc) I have nothing. I cant work out if I'm the cause of this or this is a genuine dislike of my partner. She says she loves me but honestly do not love her anymore. I am a successful professional worker and i am think I am liked at work..I get on better with work colleagues than I do with my wife. I truly do not know what to do. I have discussed this with her but we can never be civil as she just goes on the back foot instantly and throws all back on me. I hate my life at the moment and I really want a solution to this shit. It really hurts me to think about what impact this might have on the kids and it upsets me to think what a life might be like without them all the time. Any help much appreciated Pete