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.

All discussions

contrarymary Can't show any emotion
  • replies: 3

I was brought up in a household were no one showed any emotions e.g. no signs of affection and we did not talk about things. When I was 18 months I was sent to stay with my paternal grandparents and because my father was scared of his mother and coul... View more

I was brought up in a household were no one showed any emotions e.g. no signs of affection and we did not talk about things. When I was 18 months I was sent to stay with my paternal grandparents and because my father was scared of his mother and could not say no I stayed there until she died when I was 10. I then went back to my parents who were strangers to me. Nothing was discussed it was not the done thing to speak about problems no hugs given. So of course as I have married and had children I can't speak about my emotions. I can hug my grandchildren but not my children. When I meet my sister's I don't hug them but they hug each other I just can't do it. If someone tells me sad or exciting news I don't know what to say. I would so much like to tell my children who are in there 30s that I love them. My husband is like me whilst we love each other and have been married for 40 years we don't show any signs of affection and never have. My parents were strict my father a soldier who treated his children like recruits- beaten for speaking out of turn or making a noise hence I don't speak unless asked a question and then only say what's needed. I tell people nothing about me at work I am regarded as aloof. I just can't talk about myself or initiate conversation. Is it too late for me I am 65. I am scared to speak to people as when growing up I was always put down or told to shut up. We went to the airport to pick up my cousin who I had not seen for 20 years and all I could say was good flight no hug, other people there meeting people hugging and kissing why can't I show emotion

Dicko32 Am I sub consciously sabotaging my marriage?
  • replies: 3

This is my first post and I’ve just got on here to try get some opinions of people with more experience and maybe an outsiders view of the situation. So here it goes. Ive been married just over a year, my wife and I have been together almost 6 years ... View more

This is my first post and I’ve just got on here to try get some opinions of people with more experience and maybe an outsiders view of the situation. So here it goes. Ive been married just over a year, my wife and I have been together almost 6 years and we have a 14 month old son. My wife regularly gets upset/angry with me because of what she sees and my poor attitude. I snap at here, or don’t speak nicely to her and I don’t even notice I’m doing it. It all boils to a point then explodes in a massive argument and I shut down, I can’t respond like I lose all words in my head. I can sit and think the words I want to say but I can’t make anything more than generic babble come out of my mouth. I just freeze up. I’m scared to bring up how I feel as I’ve never been able to express my feelings and just generally don’t really talk much. The only time I do is when she brings up an issue and I “deflect” and bring up my issues only in response to her. I never bring up if I have a problem otherwise. I’d rather avoid the conflict and just get over my issues. But I think that just builds up and makes things worse. She’s completely fed up and I need to change or be better to save our marriage. In the past I’ve always blamed it on my inability to communicate, or money worries or just general worries. I seem to always have an excuse according to her. I recently saw my GP to discuss how I’ve been feeling , stressed, sad, anxious, completely in-motivated and very short tempered. The GP seemed to think it was Annadonia an inability to feel joy but I think it could be more. Or maybe I’m just finding another excuse. i just don’t know what I’m feeling or how to express it. when we argue I always start angry and ready for a yelling match but once I stumble through a few sentences I always end up thinking it isn’t worth it and my wife is right and I am the cause of all the problems. Is she right or am I just submitting to try and end the argument? I would never be able to say any of this verbally, but in written form I can detail every single thing. I feel like I just shut down when in an argument and figuratively roll up and cower until the argument fizzles out. We’re at breaking point and after telling her I’m trying to change and I want to fix it so may times those words mean nothing to her now and she always says that I don’t care and we’re just co existing more like house mates than an actual couple. Are we doomed? What can I do to get myself out of my own rut?

stinkyrat The Truth is Bad?
  • replies: 3

Hi there. I've been reading these forums for a while now and only really took the time to make an account now. I've been struggling with feelings of rejection after being open about my feelings concerning my mental illness (which is real but still in... View more

Hi there. I've been reading these forums for a while now and only really took the time to make an account now. I've been struggling with feelings of rejection after being open about my feelings concerning my mental illness (which is real but still in the stages of being detemined exactly what, they've menitioned borderline or bipolar or both.) Since I started really working on being treated, I've been more open and honest about my problems to my family, my friends, my partner and the people I work with. But more often than not, me wanting to talk about them just makes things 100 times worse. My partner takes my insecurities as his own faults, my job is now in the stages of firing me after having a meltdown a couple of months ago and explaining that I have a problem and am now on medication (just very mild SSRIs), and I'm just at a loss of what to do. I feel like I've just put my life down the toilet, even though I'm being more honest and open about things as I have ever been. I feel compelled to explain myself all of the time because there's no other way to explain my reactions to stress, and yet it puts me in a hole I can't dig out of with the people around me. Now I feel like they think I'm using my problems as an excuse to be lazy/inefficient/unable to be independant. It's putting me back in the same position as I was before starting real treatments for a completely opposite reason, so I need to ask - is lying to these people necessary? Should I save my troubles for my psych when I see him from now on? How do others cope with similar situations? Thank you in advance and I hope your holidays are going well xx

Sinking_in_the_Ocean Releasing the family to move on.
  • replies: 15

Backstory. I have been out of work just prior for about 2 years as a result of my work relationship going sour after I came back from FIFO work with depression anxiety and anger at lack of support during FIFO work. Being let go resulted in further de... View more

Backstory. I have been out of work just prior for about 2 years as a result of my work relationship going sour after I came back from FIFO work with depression anxiety and anger at lack of support during FIFO work. Being let go resulted in further decline which I did initially seek medical help to alleviate but had too many issues with the various SSRIs including in ability to stay awake over 9 hours a day, loss of memory and the last unexpected rage. I did try a Psych but the big issue we could not get past was lack of work and money causing increase in short temper, malaise and general disinterest in everything. I could not seem to get ANY help from centrelink in fact $0 dollars exactly (partner works 4 day contracts so we just held onto the house). I tried retraining but the course turned out to be very badly managed with a 92% drop out rate by halfway so did I as I could see I was going to be to stressed to even sit interviews. In the same week we had a discussion about divorce I managed to get work for about 3.5 months on base rates in a niche field but had to work with a guy that was targeting me from day 1 and working so hard I was crashing at 6pm each night. Every day he would put complaints in about me and then convince everyone else to each day while acting nice to me, I actually think he was a borderline psychopath with his rage, ocd and 2 face nature. So that ended, and I find myself in same situation with no skills i can use, no support or friends or close family and no options for work plus more anxiety and injuries from the 3.5 months work (stuffed right arm muscle hoping will heal). I cant find anything to help me both before and now with looking for work or retraining and so I'm expecting the same result as before. So what I'm looking at is how to move out of society to the middle of nowhere to survive but in a way that will best protect my 2 kids from the damage that normally occurs when the family disintegrates around them. I know that if I leave now my partner has a good chance of meeting someone that will be better able to support my kids emotionally and financially and teach them better than someone like me who is constantly having to play defense with my own emotions and constant job loss.

Starry_Night To keep trying to help or to move on?
  • replies: 8

Hi, I was in a relationship with someone and everything was going amazing. Then out of the blue, she asks for a break because she didn't feel like she was capable of being a good partner as she wasn't coping with other aspects of her life (family iss... View more

Hi, I was in a relationship with someone and everything was going amazing. Then out of the blue, she asks for a break because she didn't feel like she was capable of being a good partner as she wasn't coping with other aspects of her life (family issues, about to have a break down, uncertainty about the future). I was completely blind-sided. I still offered support via texts once/twice a week for the first 3 weeks after the break. Her replies were always that she's so sorry, that her life has fallen off a cliff, that she's not coping with anything at the moment, etc. One message, I asked if I had done something to upset or annoy her and she said no. After my last text, over a week ago, saying I'm ready to lend her my ears whenever she needs, she ghosted me. (1) Would you stay patient and keep offering help? Or would you take the ghosting as a sign she wants nothing more to do with you? (2) We haven't officially broken up but is her lack of interest in communicating a message in itself and I should/can just move on with other people? Or is having a final conversation first the right thing to do?

AngelicDevil My fiancé is a compulsive liar and has a lot of addictions. This is putting a strain on our relationship, and I don’t know what to do anymore.
  • replies: 4

Hi all, I would like some advice as to what I should do. My fiancé and I’ve been together since 2018. We’re getting married in 2020. We love each other a lot, and consider each other as soulmates. However, in the last 4 months, our relationship has b... View more

Hi all, I would like some advice as to what I should do. My fiancé and I’ve been together since 2018. We’re getting married in 2020. We love each other a lot, and consider each other as soulmates. However, in the last 4 months, our relationship has become rocky, and we’re fighting a lot. To start off, my fiancé was addicted to drugs before I met him. He told me about it, and I thought I had nothing to worry about as he seemed to have recovered. We had a very bad argument beginning of 2019, and he took drugs out of spite. When I found out, I was ready to walk out, but he pleaded me to stay and that it wouldn’t happen again. Things were fine for awhile, and then I found out he was back at it again. This happened thrice since we were together, and I have lost trust in him. He lied to me about where he was and where his money went. In addition to that, our intimacy has changed, we used to have sex 2-3 times a week. Now, we don’t have sex for 2-3 weeks and whenever I initiate it, he always say later. I’ve approached him about this, because I feel unwanted and lonely and I feel like he doesn’t love me as much anymore. However, he assured me that it was his own problem, and has nothing to do with me. The problem here is he has a porn addiction and in the beginning I myself watched porn and thought it was okay and normal. However, since we started having intimacy issues, I’ve started disliking his porn usage and have talked to him about it. That maybe Porn was one of the reasons he doesn’t want to have sex with me, and maybe it desensitized him to normal sex. I asked him to stop watching for sometime, till we fix our issues, and then he can go on about it. He would agree and would stay off it for a week or two, but then would get back on it. He would lie to me and swear on my life that he hasn’t watched porn at all or downloaded porn. Usually I have a gut instinct when I know he’s lying, and it has made me snoop into his phones and laptop (drugs & Porn mainly). I was never like this, and I hate doing this. Nowadays, he even deletes everything and purposely deceive me that he is not watching porn and working on our relationship issues. After being lied to week after week these last 4 months, I don’t know how to trust him at all, especially with a history of lying about drugs. I have talked about walking out but could never do it because I love and care for him a lot and truly believe we’re meant to be together. This has just become a vicious circle, never ending.

Candice4 Been in love with my friend for 3 and a half years, but I've never told him how I feel and it's ruining me
  • replies: 9

I was honestly contemplating for a while as to whether or not I should take this kind of step since I've never been the one to seek help especially for an issue like this, but here I am and thank you in advance for assisting me. I'm 24 and I've been ... View more

I was honestly contemplating for a while as to whether or not I should take this kind of step since I've never been the one to seek help especially for an issue like this, but here I am and thank you in advance for assisting me. I'm 24 and I've been in love with my friend for 3 and a half years now, but haven't found the courage to tell him how I feel because I don't want to ruin our friendship. We used to work in the same job, but we've both moved onto different career paths and don't see each other anymore, but we do text and speak almost every day. I really want to tell him how I feel because it's killing me inside every single day and I can't move on with anyone else because I love him. I don't know what to do. I've already lost my best friend this year, too.

Cancer02 Adelaide
  • replies: 2

Hi Im really struggling. I’ve just left a 10 year relationship I wasn’t happy in. My kids now stay at thier dads 3 nights a week. Those nights I fall into a hole and get so depressed. I know I should go to the gym or do things I can’t when I have the... View more

Hi Im really struggling. I’ve just left a 10 year relationship I wasn’t happy in. My kids now stay at thier dads 3 nights a week. Those nights I fall into a hole and get so depressed. I know I should go to the gym or do things I can’t when I have them but I feel so empty without them. But when they come back home I’m angry all the time. I don’t mean to be but everything ticks me off. I’ve come to realise I’m pushing everyone away from me and it scares me so much I moved to Adelaide 3 years ago and I’m so lonely and this has made my depression get worse and it contributed to my relationship breakdown I’m looking for anyone who can give advise or can help thank you

ghostdad64 How can I make things better ? I'm at a total loss.
  • replies: 2

Hi all, New member of the forums here and to be honest, this is a big step for me. I am an estranged father of two children who are now 26 and 20 years old. I left the family home in 2006 not knowing this would mean I would essentially also be divorc... View more

Hi all, New member of the forums here and to be honest, this is a big step for me. I am an estranged father of two children who are now 26 and 20 years old. I left the family home in 2006 not knowing this would mean I would essentially also be divorcing my children. There was no domestic violence. I would never raise a hand to anyone let alone a woman. At the time, my children were 13 and 7. After a protracted legal battle where my ex was asking for sole custody, the judge decided that, in light of my son's age, he could see me "in accordance with his wishes"; he decided that would be never. Naturally he was never encouraged to maintain a relationship with me. My daughter, was ordered to spend every second Saturday with me. Based on the angst it would cause her, overnights were ruled out by the judge. She complied with these orders and despite being civil with me during these visits, the relationship was always strained. When I picked her up, she sat in the back seat always. She never called me dad. There was never any hugging or signs of affection. Not so much as a card for Father's day, birthdays or Christmas. As her 18th birthday approached, I enquired what would happen when the orders no longer applied. She informed me that she would no longer be seeing me. I had lost her as well. It has been 2.5 years since I've seen my daughter and 13 years since I've seen my son. I doubt I will ever see either of them again and the pain is more than I can bear. I don't know where they live and, honestly, would not feel right reaching out to two people who despise me so much. People often tell me things will improve. But how ? When ? I can't see it. I'm re-married with two adult stepdaughters but I miss my children. I want them to love me and include me in their lives. I doubt, if I died, they'd even come to the funeral. Sometimes I sit and just wonder what I did to deserve the cycle of pain that I have endured and will probably continue to endure until the day when it all just comes to an end. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I'll take any advice I can get.

Nothappyuni So am I just a winger, or is it abuse? How do we know what mental abuse is?
  • replies: 7

25 years with my now X partner (separated for 5 weeks) and she contacts me to say I should just get over it and stop being such a winger. It was not every day, but it was often that I was called stupid or my ideas/suggestions were labeled "stupid", i... View more

25 years with my now X partner (separated for 5 weeks) and she contacts me to say I should just get over it and stop being such a winger. It was not every day, but it was often that I was called stupid or my ideas/suggestions were labeled "stupid", it was not often but it happened once or twice a year that the kids were told "your father is a ***". Towards the end, every week I was called horrific names and told I was useless, or not providing enough for the family, or that she wished she had never met me, should have known when she met me I was a no hoper, etc (We owned our mansion outright). I did as much as I could around the house to help, feeling I was such a weight upon the family, but everything I did was shot down with cruel comments, "what a bad job", "you didn't do it properly", "you have done it wrong" etc, I could never get it right no matter how hard I tried. Often I was told that I was hated by our children, and lately I have been told I ruined every holiday we ever had (and we had many), yet I can clearly remember the kids having the best holidays with me, in 19 years with the kids there are only two instances that anyone recalls that I got upset and yelled on a holiday. Lately through all this I have studied getting a GPA of 6, I had 72% Distinctions over 26 subjects. But even this was put down, as I was told university is easy, most people do it and two or three jobs on the side. I just make it look hard (no my x has never been to university). I asked whether these people with multiple jobs were Older students, and had family concerns, looked after other family members and cooked and cleaned, maintained 2 houses, did renovations, and transported children. I never got a response. So, I am asking you, am I a winger? Am I really just blowing things out of proportion and should I shut up and wake up to myself? My x tells me it is normal in all relationships that couples stop having sex or feeling emotion for one another, sadly she can quote too many people we know for me to argue against her point. Are relationships supposed to be loveless once you reach a certain age? It does look that way. The separation has reached the head games point, but I truly wonder: Am I just a winger who needs to get over it? It wasn't until I studied psychology that I thought of name calling, or not being shown any affection as abusive. Is my X correct to state that university F'ed me up? At times it really feels that way.