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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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pfuddy How do I stop this behaviour? Parents gaslighting (28 years old M)
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Saying that I'm not on medication when I am on the maximum dose (I gained 20 kg on the medication). Using that as leverage to tell me that I keep eating a lot, don't save money (I have $10k saved in the bank and $13k in stocks). Yes I eat junk food -... View more

Saying that I'm not on medication when I am on the maximum dose (I gained 20 kg on the medication). Using that as leverage to tell me that I keep eating a lot, don't save money (I have $10k saved in the bank and $13k in stocks). Yes I eat junk food - but generally really cheap. Constantly checking on me - telling me to brush teath, wear pyjamas etc. Phoning at night and asking me where I am. Sometimes coming into my room at 1am to see if I am sleeping waking me up. Telling my sister I am suicidal and that my personality has changed (i.e. I have been eating out lots due to hunger from the medication) - telling my sister I am going to die if I don't stop eating out and its part of my mental illness - my sister did not know about this before and just told them about this just yesterday. She came into my room balling her eyes out thinking I was going to die. Then proceeded to repeat what my parents said. I was checking for ID in the house for when I move out permanently - dad has a folder of letters I wrote to myself when breaking up with my girlfriend - this was from 10 years ago when I was in hospital. I also lied about having auditory hallucinations in the hospital which in actual fact were me just thinking about the girl. They still think it was some sort of psychosis I had these past 10 years. I also made up all the other symptoms just to make sure, I have been going with this for a while and don't want them to know about what girls I should date - I am a med student so know what symptoms to say. They want me to date some sort of model. Saying that if I leave the house "they would rather die without me" I wanted to change my medications (approved from psychiatrist) to another medication which has a better side effect profile however my father said "your mum can't sleep at night if you do that." I checked on my mum 10 mins later and she was sleeping just fine. Saying that I need to support myself and they can't afford to support me because money is low - meanwhile dad has a BMW and we live in a mansion and have 3 houses. I have also just finished medical school and secured a job as a doctor and lecturer at the uni. I am keen to move out permanently. Also really need my own space it is suffocating living here and I am getting way too sheltered.

Peter56 Been alone all my life.
  • replies: 2

I am 61, never been married and have lived on my own since my mid 20's. At school I never had any girlfriend and I wasn't given any direction or taught anything about how to date. By the time I left school and entered the workforce that was a male-do... View more

I am 61, never been married and have lived on my own since my mid 20's. At school I never had any girlfriend and I wasn't given any direction or taught anything about how to date. By the time I left school and entered the workforce that was a male-dominated industry, my pattern was set... In my teens, 20s, and 30s it made me thoroughly miserable and incredibly lonely as female company didn't seem like an unreasonable thing to want, yet seemed as improbable as winning the lottery. The skills required appear to be something learned in adolescence and if for some reason you don't acquire them, the whole area of relationships becomes an alien world. In many cases I've suspected women of being put off by it with any interest being shut down. As one age I suspect it increases the difficulty of a relationship ever happening. Throughout my life, I’ve known that there is something wrong with me, but I just do not know what exactly it is and as time continues I feel a little more helpless and hopeless. From my experiences, being single at my age is a major red flag for the majority of women when you get to my age. It's bothered me so much that at one stage I even considered suicide, but sought counseling about it and my social life in general. I had 2 uncles both on my mother's side and another on my father's side that never married and I've had always believed I inherited a poor set of genes that have resulted in this. I realise that the only way I can imagine to stay alive is learning how to live with it and learning to accept myself. I worked most of my life, own my own home and now that I am retired life has become very lonely and depressing. At my age now I realise I'm going to go through life without having a girlfriend as I'm simply too old now. I have another maybe 20 years to live in this world and I've got to be able to learn to live with this fact and at the moment it's not easy. Life's just not meant to be sometimes, I didn't choose to be born in this world, I didn't choose to go through this in some ways, its natural selection playing its part and I have to fully accept it. Buts it's very depressing, almost like grieving knowing my life will have to be this way. No one will miss me when I'm gone.

Winter_Dai Struggling with my partners distant and depressed moods
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My partner and I have been together for 1.5 years, for a good chunk of that I have spent away on deployment. Her mother has never accepted her being attracted to the same sex - she is extremely narcissistic and bipolar. She plays mind games with her ... View more

My partner and I have been together for 1.5 years, for a good chunk of that I have spent away on deployment. Her mother has never accepted her being attracted to the same sex - she is extremely narcissistic and bipolar. She plays mind games with her and sends her presents on her birthday and Christmas but neglect her any other time and tell her she’ll never love her again, there’s no way they’ll ever be the same again etc. My partner has never been a good talker and finds it hard to communicate her feelings, I often have to pry it out of her what she’s feeling and what’s upset her. We recently had a bad day the other day, she said she needed go through everything alone without my support ie breaking up. She doesn’t have much other family. I’ve tried getting her help through beyondblue and they directed her to headspace but she doesn’t have any drive or motivation to do anything about it. She is extremely distant and won’t hug or kiss or speak to me like she used to. I’m completely at a loss as to what to do, I’m trying to be patient and understanding but I’m also so heartbroken I can’t stop crying or having panic attacks over the fact she wants to leave me because of the hurt her mother is causing. She says she’s numb and doesn’t want to exist. This hurts way too much.

Jhc Unable to stop crying
  • replies: 13

Hi, my partner of two years who I love so much has broken up with me this week. Two months ago, out of the blue he told me he wasn't happy. We met in another State to where I live. When we met it was like a film, romantic and perfect. After calling a... View more

Hi, my partner of two years who I love so much has broken up with me this week. Two months ago, out of the blue he told me he wasn't happy. We met in another State to where I live. When we met it was like a film, romantic and perfect. After calling and messaging each other for months he then drove from one side of the country to the other to move in with me. He got a job here and seemed happy. I thought we were happy. We talked about and made plans for the future. I met him when I was 48. I felt so lucky to meet him and felt it was meant to be. Neither of us had children or previous relationship baggage. We shared many goals and values. Then out of nowhere he told me he wasn't happy and his feelings for me had changed. He wanted to go back home and see how he felt but didn't want to break up. I was away for work for two weeks and he told me he would wait until I got home. But at the airport he messaged me to say he had already left because it was 'easier for him'. It broke my heart. I came home to an empty apartment with all trace of him removed. Then the next week he called to tell me it was over. Like so many others here on the forum I can't understand how he can just switch off. Only two weeks before he first told me he was unhappy he had pointed to an old couple holding hands and said that will be us one day. I've been through relationship breakups before but at the time I knew that person wasn't right for me. But this time I just feel so incredibly sad and empty that he is gone. I feel I didn't get given a chance to fix it. Now I'm 50 and the future just looks so empty and bleak as I know I'll never meet someone like him again.

Justme67 Son gave me impossible choices
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I had a good relationship with son. Normal ups and downs however always good. I admired the man he became truly felt blessed. Night before Xmas I found out my ex was invited to Christmas lunch. explained I can’t be there to my son, my ex and I mainta... View more

I had a good relationship with son. Normal ups and downs however always good. I admired the man he became truly felt blessed. Night before Xmas I found out my ex was invited to Christmas lunch. explained I can’t be there to my son, my ex and I maintained a friendship leading up to Christmas I helped him it was also an opportunity for the granddaughter to see him, quality time with her may help. it didn’t. he had taken her to ride her scooter, on the way lends her scooter to another girl so they could go where He was taking my 5 year old granddaughter. Whom he returns home with taking her nowhere and giving her scooter away . She was upset and told me what he done, he then lied infront of her, about what happened inwas furious by what he done.Wrong to be angry ? was I wrong not to be able to enjoy Xmas with him.?Am I wrong to be hurt my son chose him over me.? A man he never has a kind word for. Whom has not been an issue before. I need advice to try move past this. Things can’t be as they were with my son whom normally would understand. I can’t even bring myself to look at him. I have never been hurt like this and don’t know how to deal with it

SeekingInsight Some perspective please ...
  • replies: 4

Hi Everyone, My situation I'm sure is by no means unique and surrounds a dispute with my sister - I'd really appreciate others perspectives to give me some clarity. I'm a 40 YO F from the UK, had a great upbringing and have an older sister (43YO) who... View more

Hi Everyone, My situation I'm sure is by no means unique and surrounds a dispute with my sister - I'd really appreciate others perspectives to give me some clarity. I'm a 40 YO F from the UK, had a great upbringing and have an older sister (43YO) whom I was very close too. In 2014 I left the UK after a turbulent relationship moving to WA where I've been lucky enough to meet my soul-mate and partner for life. We've been together for 4 happy years. My family visited last year (2018) for Christmas and New Year meeting him and his family. During this time; they stayed with us (boyfriend and me) in our home for a protracted length of time, we went travelling on a road trip together and had frankly what I thought was a fantastic time! My family all said how great my partner was and he purposefully used all his annual leave up just to meet and spend time getting to know them ... the issue arose however when my family left. My sister created a wall of photographs of their time here with us in her home but cut my partner out of any photo he was in! When i asked her about it she said he wasn't part of our family and it was her house and wall and she could do whatever she liked. I told her I thought it was nasty and hurt by what she'd said I bit back and told her she should only have her photo up as she clearly had no care for anyone else - she hung up and we haven't spoken since (it's been over 3 months now). I have been hurt by this and out of care for my partner haven't told him - he'd be gutted! My Mum and Dad think I'm being silly. I feel my partner is family and I did the right thing defending him but ... where to from here? I'm feeling stuck and pretty sad how things have gone ... over the years I have done many things for my sister including paying for her trip here and also for my entire family to go to Disney world in Florida just so I could see them - sometimes I feel like she has a short memory and I'm doing all the work. Am I being too sensitive and silly? Would you have defended your partner? - all comments / advice welcome and I can clarify any bits if needed ... I'm a 1st time poster so please be kind. Thanks for reading.

theo-m avoiding being in the same house as family member?
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this is 80% vent and I'm being deliberately vague while also trying to give a clear view of the situation one of my family members is staying with us, but I was having stress nightmares in the lead-up, and took the (really challenging) decision to ex... View more

this is 80% vent and I'm being deliberately vague while also trying to give a clear view of the situation one of my family members is staying with us, but I was having stress nightmares in the lead-up, and took the (really challenging) decision to explain that i would not be in the same house as this person. I'm willing to see them elsewhere, had family christmas and all no problems, but I made it very clear that I'm not going to be in my house at the same time as them. The plan was kinda that they would stay for a night or two at home and then go stay with other members of our family. But they're kinda terrible at organising and have decided that they don't really feel like staying with other family. I'm staying at a friend of my others, which is fine but I'm kinda imposing due to not being sure when I'll leave, as well as the obvious looming issue of only having brought a couple of changes of clothes. Even though I keep making it clear that I'm fine interacting with the person, and spending time with them, SO LONG AS IT'S NOT IN MY HOUSE, people keep on interpreting it as opposite? or just going like "it'll be fine, you won't have to interact much, it would just be nice to have you two in the same place". Me and my therapist both agreed that keeping my emotions/memories about my house separate from my memories/emotions of this person was really important for my continued mental health, and we also discussed that I would feel guilt about it, but I didn't anticipate how guilty about this I feel, and I also feel like I'm beginning to impose on my mum's friend. Advice? Thoughts? Has anyone been in a similar situation and how did they deal with this?

Ronny_K Marriage help at breaking point.
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When we got married it was really the best day of my life. And for the first 3 days it was pure heaven. Affection , love , speaking softly and kindly. But on the morning of day 3 she began with her sarcasm and attitude. I cannot for the life of me fi... View more

When we got married it was really the best day of my life. And for the first 3 days it was pure heaven. Affection , love , speaking softly and kindly. But on the morning of day 3 she began with her sarcasm and attitude. I cannot for the life of me figure it out. Its like a switch flicks. Sarcasm , Criticism , Judgement and Jealousy. Its been constant since then for 20 years. It was then hot and cold for the first few years. Arguments would usually end in with her extreme and erratic yelling and screaming to the point I would have to leave. Red faced bloood boiling up in my face anger. Or I would just beg to get along. .. .I would always admit it was all my fault … even if she was 100% wrong. Sometimes I was scared of her self harming of harming me. Several times I was tempted to call the police as she could not calm down. Her soloution to discussing issues with me , was tototally ignore me, then get dressed up and go out partying with friends leaving me alone at home. That happened many times.Only once or twice after a big argument she actually apologised … but it was a strange apology. She was in tears in my arms saying to me 'I'm so sorry I'm like this … I don't want to be like this I just cant help it…" This only happened twice I think. I have reminded her of these comments she made long ago... but she has since denied it. She has inherited the angry gene from here dad. Her uncle has it too. Uncontrollable anger. For the smallest thing she can explode and cannot be calmed down. More often even the smallest thing would piss her off she would go into shut down mode. That could be anywhere from a few hours to over a week. AS per usual I have to apologise and make things better. I must say to her at least 5 times per week…. 'stop getting angry'. .. Which can also makes things worse as it makes her more angry. She will get angry when driving. She will sometimes speed up to cut people off if they upset her. I don’t know if its split personality ? Or manic depressive ? Or if there is a name for it ? But she only does it to me. And sometimes to the kids. She has a very very short temper … It can ignite and explode at anytime. I feel most calm when the kids and I are alone I can just be myself with them. The kids and I can spend the whole day together . We get along very well. As soon as she is there she becomes a disruptor. Complaining, lecturing, sarcasm. If there is another person with us during any activity … she will refrain from disrupting.

istad I've virtually no friends left
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I've been wanting to explain my situation for a while now but I haven't found the opportunity to. I just really want to get it off my chest Earlier this year i was pretty good friend wise but my small group began to fall apart after a key member foun... View more

I've been wanting to explain my situation for a while now but I haven't found the opportunity to. I just really want to get it off my chest Earlier this year i was pretty good friend wise but my small group began to fall apart after a key member found new friends and left. I was getting frustrated and in an effort to prove to myself that my 'friends' still cared I left our groupchat and waited to see how long it would take for them to notice. They never did. At this point I didn't really have anyone and I felt so alone. I tried going back to the friends I had before I joined the group but no one was interested in welcoming me. Then after a month my girlfriend got into an altercation with the key figure I mentioned before which resulted in that person badmouthing me and my girlfriend to every possible person I could have built a friendship with and blocking me after I tried to resolve things. It's bad enough that I'm cut off socially from everyone outside of school but everyone insists on acting like nothing is wrong inside of school. I'm starting year 11 next year and my only hope is that maybe I can make new friends in my ATAR classes or I'll have to wait it out for two years until uni. I'm not completely without relationships, I have my girlfriend who is going through the same thing I am, but there's only so far one person can get you, socially wise. I feel especially bad for my parents who have no idea what's going on and are constantly worried about me but I feel as though I can't tell them anything. So now I feel alone and incredibly isolated. This is now hitting hardest during the Christmas holidays (even just normal school holidays in general) and I feel trapped and I'm so painfully aware that no one actually wants to be my friend.

ConfusedNanxious My need for independence, but the voice inside my head is my Mum's
  • replies: 24

I am currently going through an anxiety episode, and what exacerbates things is that I have a lot of self doubt, and I feel that it comes from my inner values which conflict with my Mum's own values. My mum is more of a realist and values independenc... View more

I am currently going through an anxiety episode, and what exacerbates things is that I have a lot of self doubt, and I feel that it comes from my inner values which conflict with my Mum's own values. My mum is more of a realist and values independence over everything else. And I am more of a dreamer who values love and forgiveness as my core values. Whenever I am confronted with a decision that requires me to follow my head and heart, I often get anxious because what I want can often conflict with my mum's ideal picture for me. The case in point is me contemplating reuniting with my ex (we separated due to the effects of his depression on our relationship, but he is now seeking treatment). i even doubt whether some of my own thoughts are my own, or are influenced to a large degree by what my Mum wants. I am not overly sure why I have become conditioned to act this way, it may be because my Mum has taken a more proactive (possibly overbearing) role in my life because she was (is) a child with 11 other siblings and she wants me to have the things that she never did. I just want to be able to develop my own self confidence to be able to be comfortable in my own decisions, for my own life. I initially thought the way I was feeling was my need to move out of the family home again, and just have my own physical independence (which would help to a certain degree because I wouldn't have her looking over my shoulder all the time), but her opinions and influence are really deep seated within my subconscious and it causes so much inner conflict. Any similar stories, or advice? It would be greatly appreciated.