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

Hurtinginsilence I left my marriage for him and he went back to his marriage
  • replies: 22

Hi everyone this is so hard to write as I have so much to explain and no energy to explain as I'm hurting, I was married and It wasn't a healthy marriage - my husband neglected me and emotionally was abusive... I had an old crush message me via inter... View more

Hi everyone this is so hard to write as I have so much to explain and no energy to explain as I'm hurting, I was married and It wasn't a healthy marriage - my husband neglected me and emotionally was abusive... I had an old crush message me via internet and we started what was an emotional affair ... he was also married and un happy we both have kids to our husband/wife. Things turned up after months of being emotionally reliant on one another, it turned physical and we would risk seeing each other late at night after work or briefly on weekends at the shops ect, I left my marriage for him, got a rental left all my furniture to my husband, my lover left his wife and moved in with his parents not too long after, his ex has power over him (their kids) that she use so to bring him back to the house (two times he has ended it with me and gone back to the house to be with his kids and he comes back after a week or so totally hurt because she's controlling him and he loves me) he's recently ended it with me but on the basis that he can't handle being away from his kids and he doesn't want them to think he abandoned them for his own happiness .... he's torn but his kids come first... none of my friends or family know my situation so I feel my heart is shattered and I can't even reach out to vent and I'm still in love with this man, what do I do if he leaves her again (for good) and how would I know it's for good... can I trust him... we have been vey honest and real with each other even confessing when we slept with our husband or wife and sharing how we felt about it ect... he's not lied to me.... so I trust him still.... tell me am I crazy and alone? Has anyone ever been in his situation or similar and ended up dumped and alone? Or has it ended up with u and ur lover being together and sticking through it hard times and all? Please help I'm a broken mess with a poker face on infront of my friends!

Pancake Pancake - supporting husband through depression and anxiety
  • replies: 1

Hi I’m new here. I want guidance as a wife supporting her husband through depression and anxiety. I need ways to cope with his mood swings so I don’t fall apart. I’m the breadwinner and a mum. I’ve put myself last as he isn’t helpful or supportive. I... View more

Hi I’m new here. I want guidance as a wife supporting her husband through depression and anxiety. I need ways to cope with his mood swings so I don’t fall apart. I’m the breadwinner and a mum. I’ve put myself last as he isn’t helpful or supportive. I feel so alone in this journey but I want ways to cope with it so I don’t burn out. Thank you for listening.

SeekingSupport2019 Do I tell my partners family about his mental health and addiction problems?
  • replies: 5

Hi Everyone, I am completely new to this forum and looking forward to getting some different perspectives! My partner and I have been together for about 5 years, after a short period of knowing him I knew he suffered from a level of anxiety (not an i... View more

Hi Everyone, I am completely new to this forum and looking forward to getting some different perspectives! My partner and I have been together for about 5 years, after a short period of knowing him I knew he suffered from a level of anxiety (not an issue for me at all). I always thought he drank a bit too much alcohol but I also thought his family did too and because I don't drink very much I never read into it. A year ago we moved to a different city together for my work, he definitely struggled with the transition and trying to find work but after 8 weeks he got a job he liked. Six months ago I discovered (he didn't bring it forward) that he had spent all our savings on alcohol and gambling. He owned the bank account so I didn't have regular visibility and trusted him. He had been drunk almost everyday for six months and this was a concern for me, moreso than the money so I was quick to take the supportive route. He has since been seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist and is trialing different medication for anxiety and depress - they believe the alcohol/gambling has been his coping mechanism for the mental illness. Since this all happened I said to him the most important thing was he had to be honest with me, that a relapse was possible but being upfront was what I needed in our relationship. I then caught him lying and buying/drinking alcohol 2 months ago and I gave him the ultimatum that if he lied about it again I would leave (in my mind it was strike two). I have now caught him again, not drinking, but gambling ... and its been going on for a couple months! I'm so torn on what to do - I don't feel I am respecting myself by staying in a relationship where I am lied to and emotionally manipulated (which I don't think he even realises he is doing). I have told him this and asked him to tell his family what is going on, so I am not alone in this as a supporter. He won't do it and says it will make everything so much harder for him... Given I have caught him out every time, he hasn't confessed the addiction abuse, I just don't think he is really admitting/dealing with these issues. I don't know if I am going to stay or go but I feel his family need to know. I need their support and I feel his best chance of recovery lies in there not being this big secret. My questions - do you think I should tell his parents?... has someone done this to you and what was the pros/cons? any thoughts? Any help is greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance!!

Joseph1992 I dont understand myself
  • replies: 4

My entire life has been filled with nothing but pain. My so called family could watch me burn. I dont understand where ive gone wrong. I have this ability to wear peoples shoes And feel their pain. I allways want the best and i only ever show i care ... View more

My entire life has been filled with nothing but pain. My so called family could watch me burn. I dont understand where ive gone wrong. I have this ability to wear peoples shoes And feel their pain. I allways want the best and i only ever show i care to no avail. I dont want anyone to suffer thats all i ever do. Yet im left complexed at why i just get left out,lied too,manipulated,used,abused I suffer with anxiety and depression. Ive allways been single spent every night alone try to myself it will all be ok. But when does it stop im soo tired my thoughts run rampent my anger untethered, and all i feel is contempt for myself. I dont want to change who i am, i love who i am and what ive become yet.. i hate myself

Bee1998 Worried My Boyfriend Likes His Co-worker
  • replies: 5

I am extremely paranoid that there is something going on between my boyfriend and a co-worker at his work. A few months ago, I found texts between the two of them, and I saw it as flirting (especially from her end). I actually ended up messaging the ... View more

I am extremely paranoid that there is something going on between my boyfriend and a co-worker at his work. A few months ago, I found texts between the two of them, and I saw it as flirting (especially from her end). I actually ended up messaging the girl to ask if anything is going on between the two of them. The message I sent was extremely kind and non-threatening, and I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything, I was just asking ... instead of replying to me, she told the other females in the office at her work, and I got a phone call from one of them. The lady told me “we want nothing to do with your relationship”. At the time I didn’t think anything of this. Then, a few weeks later, I spoke to a friend about the situation, and she opened up my eyes to the fact that it was suspicious that the girl I messaged didn’t respond to me. Is she hiding something? Does she feel threatened because I know something might be going on? Why didn’t she just reply to my message, instead of humiliating me by telling her co-workers?.... this really made me think that something could possibly be going on between her and my boyfriend. Mans the weird part is, since I messaged her, she hasn’t sent my boyfriend anymore messages. So maybe she’s keeping it on the down-low and just talking to him at work so I don’t find out. The worst part is, some days while at work, he stays in the office (with her) , instead of going out on the field with the guys. This makes me extremely distressed, as I can’t see or know what goes on while they’re both there together. does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this? It would be very appreciated

Nothappyuni The love of my life, 25 years together and she has an affair
  • replies: 5

There is nothing anyone can say that will dull anything. I have left the family home, my kids and my cheating partner, though she says I can stay and live as a border in the house I worked for. Since moving out I have had time to speak to people, and... View more

There is nothing anyone can say that will dull anything. I have left the family home, my kids and my cheating partner, though she says I can stay and live as a border in the house I worked for. Since moving out I have had time to speak to people, and confirmed that she had an affair with a work colleague. He was younger and carefree, he had sex with anything that moved, including my wife. Since that happened (over 18months ago) my partner has not looked me in the eyes, I kid you not, she cannot look into my eyes. It has been like living with a 'life vampire', sucking everything out of me, I swear the world has gone black and white, I can't even tase anything. It makes no difference if you study psychology, it doesn't help with the depression. The person who you worshipped and placed above all things had sex, again and again, and again- with another man. I worked all those years to provide and care for a family, we owned everything and wanted for nothing.. well, nothing but sex with another man. It takes two, I know, but so many people are thoughtless of the damage they do to confused people going through midlife/menopause and the domino effect on the family. Get your rocks off with someones wife, it's all good. Yeah! Now one of my kids is on drugs (and my wife buys him alcohol every weekend), the other left home. And I have nothing to live for, and the guy from the fling is states away, he found a younger woman lived with her, then cheated on her and is single again- doing someone else's wife. This rant has done nothing for me, and I know no one will have anything helpful to say. Such is life! What is it worth???

CrazyGecko89 Not sure what to do.
  • replies: 2

So I got a message from a friend recently that i haven't seen or heard in years asking if I'm free to chat as she was in a really dark place. I oblige and found out she left a 5 year relationship with a control freak and moved back with family nearby... View more

So I got a message from a friend recently that i haven't seen or heard in years asking if I'm free to chat as she was in a really dark place. I oblige and found out she left a 5 year relationship with a control freak and moved back with family nearby. Her depression and anxiety was rather severe so I ended doing a few all nighters making sure she's alright and thankfully things are slowly on the mend and now we've gone from talking to hanging out where she's staying with future plans to visit places together but now the problems start popping up. Her sister is a big attention seeker so when I visit the jealousy causes arguments to flare up between the two and get nasty to the point that i have to leave which upsets the friend I'm trying to help and reconnecting with so I don't know what to do exactly there. The second is that during the relationship she had a child so there's the ongoing custody with the ex but she does get visitation. Now she's been dropping subtle hints about introducing me to her child and asking if it's ok to bring him along to our planned outings. This feels like a big thing to ask as I'm not a parent myself and not really comfortable being seen as a new dad by the child or other people. Any advice to these issues or did I accidentally dig myself into a bad spot?

UnlikelySituation 13 years of narcissistic abuse from wife
  • replies: 9

Hi everyone, It's taken me almost 14 years, however I found out that I've been emotionally abused by my wife for all this time. Things have gotten worse and I really want to get out. The problem is I have no money, I have a chronic illness and have t... View more

Hi everyone, It's taken me almost 14 years, however I found out that I've been emotionally abused by my wife for all this time. Things have gotten worse and I really want to get out. The problem is I have no money, I have a chronic illness and have two young kids. I've tried to see help from a psychologist however they just advised me to get couples counselling and see a lawyer. I really don't want to mess up anything by not preparing or saying the wrong thing to my wife as I don't want to lose my house and kids. It's been an extremely difficult past few months and got to a stage where I didn't even want to live. Please help.

ams019 Can't stand hearing about my new niece
  • replies: 4

My brother's wife gave birth yesterday, and I can't handle seeing the new pictures, and dread having to have the 'congratulations' conversations. The truth is, even though I get on well with my brother and don't have any issues in our relationship, I... View more

My brother's wife gave birth yesterday, and I can't handle seeing the new pictures, and dread having to have the 'congratulations' conversations. The truth is, even though I get on well with my brother and don't have any issues in our relationship, I don't want to see them or hear about how great their life is going. I feel like such a failure in comparison, and it really hurts that yet again, I am being left behind. I don't feel like I have it in me to keep fighting through all the rubbish.

Holi Ignoring his boys
  • replies: 1

Hi guys my ex pretty much has nothing to do with our boys.He has a older son from his first marriage who has 4 kids now and he has spent the last three Christmas with him in a other state.what hurts the most is our son has just been diagnosed with au... View more

Hi guys my ex pretty much has nothing to do with our boys.He has a older son from his first marriage who has 4 kids now and he has spent the last three Christmas with him in a other state.what hurts the most is our son has just been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder 3 months ago and he hasn't ask once what's happening or how he is absolutely nothing.Our son is heartbroken he doesn't say it but I know.And my ex has sent me a email saying the most horrible things about the boys that I thought a father would never say it's just so cruel.Its like a pattern he did this to his Older son at basically the same age.feeling sad angry heartbroken