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

Janey42 I feel so alone :(
  • replies: 4

Hello, my name is Jane. I'm 47 years old, married (17 years) with a 12 year old son. Life throughout my 47 years has been far from happy and pain free. I have lived with a rare skin disorder since birth, have been severely bullied throughout my schoo... View more

Hello, my name is Jane. I'm 47 years old, married (17 years) with a 12 year old son. Life throughout my 47 years has been far from happy and pain free. I have lived with a rare skin disorder since birth, have been severely bullied throughout my school years, been physically abused by my father and have a strained relationship with my sister. I have gone through life with struggle after struggle. In 2014, I had a major emotional breakdown after being let off from my job that I loved and had dedicated 14 years of my life to. Since then, I have struggled with life as I know it. I have never had too many friends however, the handful of friends I do have, all live a far distance away from me so I don't get to see them. Since I married in Oct 2003, my life had improved slightly. The first two years were amazing and happy, then all of a sudden, things came crashing down majorly. My husband has always had issues with his heart however, in 2018 he was diagnosed with having end stage heart failure. The last 2 years have been the worst years EVER for my family! As a result, my son has major behavioural issues because of his fathers illness and has been violent toward me on several occasions. Even the job I currently have (which I love) is at risk because of all the issues I have in my personal life. I'm really scared that history is going to repeat itself and I will lose this job as well. I feel really alone and am struggling to cope with life. I would appreciate if anyone would like to be my friend, because I really need one right now! Thanks

Liz25 Broken relationship with my Mum
  • replies: 5

Hi everyone, This is my first time posting here. Im having a really hard time at the moment. My mum is no longer talking to me and has asked me to move out and live with my grandparents, she has blocked my number and refuses to have any communication... View more

Hi everyone, This is my first time posting here. Im having a really hard time at the moment. My mum is no longer talking to me and has asked me to move out and live with my grandparents, she has blocked my number and refuses to have any communication with me. In order to make sense I guess I need to explain why. My mum absolutely despises my relationship with my boyfriend of almost 2 years. Prior to our relationship we were both in relationships. He was in a very unhappy marriage that resulted in a divorce and I was in a relationship with someone for 5 years with whom my mum absolutely loved and adored despite the fact he was emotionally and mentally abusive towards me. She would refer to him as "the son she never had". I met met my current boyfriend a while ago through my family as our dads were business partners. We bonded extremely well and we started as friends. We would console each other and eventually him and I formed a romantic relationship. Unfortunately a few months down the track my current partners father passed away. Long story short things got ugly between families, because unfortunately money makes people ugly. From then on my mum made an extra effort to make sure I never saw him. They would track my phone to see where I was going, they would follow my car to see if I was meeting him, I would be verbally abused and called a home wrecker. Very long story short, I ended up moving to my grandparents and because I was gone for a while my mum became desperate to get me back that she decided to tell me that if he makes me happy then I am welcome to bring him over. I brought him over and things were fine for a little while but then my mum started taking digs at him. He could never do anything right, everything he did annoyed her, she would constantly say he's trying to take me away from my family (which he wasnt, if anything I started to pull away because I was tired of the comments). My boyfriend and my mum spoke together one day for hours and they seemed to come to an agreement, my boyfriend told her that he hopes she never starts an argument again. He even told her that if she wants him to walk away from me to let him know now. She said she didnt want him to. Months down the track my mum started to pick things again, my boyfriend found out and confronted her. He was tired of it all. She told me to choose between her and my boyfriend. I dont want to choose. So she has kicked me out. Any help would be great?

eleanoraf18 Can trust come back? (Cyber cheating)
  • replies: 2

So, I moved to Australia from England last January which was a massive thing for me& in Feb I started dating an Australian guy who I'd met on tinder. We straight away clicked & both fell in love quickly. He was always very loving of me, always compli... View more

So, I moved to Australia from England last January which was a massive thing for me& in Feb I started dating an Australian guy who I'd met on tinder. We straight away clicked & both fell in love quickly. He was always very loving of me, always complimenting, telling me I could do so much better & that he couldn't believe I liked him. I always felt that maybe he didn't trust my feelings towards him. Altho they were definitely real. After dating him for a while, we both realised each others insecurities. Hes a very underconfident man with not many friends (due to social anxiety)This caused a few arguments. Usually a lack of communication/not realising the other was feeling sad/taking things personally. Despite this, we got on really well, have very similar interests, humour etc. When we were having good days we were having really good days! He made me feel special &I could tell I did too. We lived together which probably was probably a bit of a bad rush decision. Anyway, a few months on, I realised that if I wanted to stay in Australia, Id need to do 3 months farm work. This decision caused tension in our relationship. Working @ a farm meant that I had to live at a hostel about 1hr away from him which he found very hard. Especially knowing I was living with other guys who I got on really well with. I could tell he was jealous/insecure about it but never really said anything. He'd see photos of me having a good time with them during the week & when I came back on the weekends there would be so much pressure for us to have a great time so we often ended up arguing again. 1 week, it got really bad between us that we almost broke up. & 1 night when I was back at his, I saw on his phone that he had tinder again & sent messages to girls in the last week, whenever he was drunk. Obviously this left me very upset,I ended things straight away. He promised me he never actually met anyone in real life, only had it for the last weeks when things were really rocky between us. His reasoning was cos he felt he needed some extra reassurance from another source as he felt he wasnt getting it from me anymore. He felt a break up was imminent &felt I was having more fun at the hostel. I still love him,I know he loves me. Despite what he did. Hes 100% suffered for it. But do I believe that it was related to his mental health/insecurities/trust issues? He's broken my trust but is it worth trying to forgive him& try again? Can any1 give me any advice on this pls? I feel lost

ReeCar123 How can I support my partner to overcome relationship anxiety?
  • replies: 4

Hi, my partner and I have had a really beautiful time together, a few weeks ago he finalised his separation from his ex-wife (he had difficulties letting go of the perception of false safety but they had been separated for a year and he had called it... View more

Hi, my partner and I have had a really beautiful time together, a few weeks ago he finalised his separation from his ex-wife (he had difficulties letting go of the perception of false safety but they had been separated for a year and he had called it quits). Since the finalisation of the separation, he is suffering from anxiety, mild depression and racing thoughts all the time. We have had to dial our relationship back to the very beginning, i.e. only see each other rarely, have little date nights, are intimate but he is terrified of staying over or travelling with me (although we had already done all of that plenty of times). I have read up a lot and I am trying to be understanding, comforting and positive to show him with every bit of interaction that he can trust me and the relationship. But I wonder, is there any more I could do to support him? He is seeing a psych to deal with childhood trauma which has very much brought forward the relationship anxiety and unhealthy withdrawal patterns he applied in his past relationship. So he is actively seeking to work through it to be able to have a healthy relationship going forward. He is also actively challenging his fears by spending time with me instead of going to his "safe routine" as he did the past few weeks. I think that is great and I give him positive feedback on that. But I wish I could do more to allow him to relax and trust. Also, do you have any other tips on how he could calm his mind down? He has racing thoughts, feels he is overwhelmed, doesn't sleep well etc. He knows of mindfulness but does not always practise it or it doesn't work so well. Are there any great tips he could employ? I know he will get through this in time but I wish I could help him get through it a bit more easily. Any tips would be very welcome! Thank you.

Adenium Best Friend Lost Touch with Reality
  • replies: 3

My best friend is over 1000km away so I cannot check up on her. She is late 40s and lives with her disabled son and elderly mother and is somewhat isolated. For the past week she has progressively lost touch with reality, shutting even her family out... View more

My best friend is over 1000km away so I cannot check up on her. She is late 40s and lives with her disabled son and elderly mother and is somewhat isolated. For the past week she has progressively lost touch with reality, shutting even her family out. She is saying she is hearing voices and must shut down to concentrate on the voices and is receiving messages about her death and the current viral situation. She says she is mesiah and needs to to save the world. I'm at a loss as to what I do, as a support person. I cannot travel as there is border closures, I would in a heartbeat if there was the possibility I could help in any way? I am not sure why I am posting, I have said to her I am here when she is ready to reconnect but it's so sad and stressful to just be a bystander and not know what and if I can do anything. She has told me multiple times (including when she was well) she is not bipolar even though I never ever questioned her. Is there anything I can do?

Guest_342 Long distance
  • replies: 4

Hi everyone. I hope you are all coping ok with the current health situation. I wondered if you have any suggestions or words of comfort you could offer? I have been separated indefinitely from my partner who live interstate and I don't know when I'll... View more

Hi everyone. I hope you are all coping ok with the current health situation. I wondered if you have any suggestions or words of comfort you could offer? I have been separated indefinitely from my partner who live interstate and I don't know when I'll be able to see them again. Not knowing day to day what further restrictions they will place on our community makes me so sad and anxious about losing my freedoms and the warmth of lived ones' company, without an end in sight. I live alone in a unit and my neighbours don't talk to me. On both sides they are young happy couples - one expecting a baby. I wish I had my own little family. I have a cat but I'm craving human closeness. We have to work at home like many people. I am finding it hard to concentrate and people only seem to appreciate the concentration difficulties for parents with children at home. I can't concentrate for different reasons. I had to go to the supermarket today and it was eerily quiet with lines separately customers. I went to use some hand sanitiser that was sitting at the customer service bench, facing customers, and when I used it, a member of staff snatched it and put it beyond reach. Little things left me with uneasy feelings. I want to know desperately how long this will last. I feel really lonely. Usually I would deal with this by seeing a friend or going on a holiday, but we can't do that anymore.

hunleyarm How to help
  • replies: 3

My partner of 6yrs has asked for space he lost and confused on what he wants. We have had alot happen recently not between us but with his family and work. It has built up and he has imploded. I asked 2 things for him to see a dr as i can see he need... View more

My partner of 6yrs has asked for space he lost and confused on what he wants. We have had alot happen recently not between us but with his family and work. It has built up and he has imploded. I asked 2 things for him to see a dr as i can see he needed help amd to see someone to talk to. He has done both. He is now on anti-depressants and has had 1 counselling app so far. Im now lost. I dont know how to help. We are now living apart and have a 3yr old and 6 month old. He has good days and bad and i always got hugs from him except for yesterday. Some days he wants to work on us some days he doesnt know. I know he needs time to get through what ever he may be dealing with. But i dont want to loose him and some days i feel like i am. How do i help him wothout being pushy without hurting him otlr myself in this process. I am struggling with it all as it was sudden. I didnt see it coming.

SweetSmile Want space and time
  • replies: 6

Two weeks ago my partner of 3 years -and I had a huge argument where he asked for a break as we have been having a few problems. He says the spark is gone and but he still loves me. He willing go to couple counsellor/ therapy as we agreed on from our... View more

Two weeks ago my partner of 3 years -and I had a huge argument where he asked for a break as we have been having a few problems. He says the spark is gone and but he still loves me. He willing go to couple counsellor/ therapy as we agreed on from our last conversation however after talk and realise he need see one for himself bad he is confuse and unhappy. So he went see one few days after our argument and decide don’t want to see couple therapy as want focus on himself and asked me to give him time.. we still living under same roof even though I offer to leave and give him space but he say it’s okay for me stay. So right now I am feeling lost and tiring of waiting for him. It’s our second time to be in that situation where he left me in past that I ended with him as he kept changing his mind. 5 years later we are together again and it was great until last few months.. just don’t know what to do as don’t want him make stupid mistake again.. I really want make things work for us.

Chester09 Being an essential worker during a pandemic
  • replies: 3

I am grateful to still have a job, don't get me wrong but I just dont know how to be there for my kids while both my husband and I continue to work. How can I justify putting anything ahead of my children at a time like this? They need us now more th... View more

I am grateful to still have a job, don't get me wrong but I just dont know how to be there for my kids while both my husband and I continue to work. How can I justify putting anything ahead of my children at a time like this? They need us now more than ever before but now, more than ever before, it is crucial to hang on to the employment we have. Can anyone relate? Can anyone tell me how they are doing it? I just don't know how I am going to cope. While my role is essential, I am new to it and therefore new to the workplace and not afforded any goodwill towards flexibility to care for my family.

LovelyLoneyLady Bloke blues
  • replies: 3

Hi, i thought id finally possibly found a suitable partner (I really liked him). He suddenly cancelled our plans, ghosted me and went back online looking for someone else. All ive ever wanted was a decent and intelligent man that i can share my life ... View more

Hi, i thought id finally possibly found a suitable partner (I really liked him). He suddenly cancelled our plans, ghosted me and went back online looking for someone else. All ive ever wanted was a decent and intelligent man that i can share my life with, but seem to be very unlucky in love. I feel like theres a curse on me or something!