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

Hopeful89 Help - Is it his depression talking?
  • replies: 3

Hi Everyone, I’ll try to keep this as structured as possible without too much jumping around. Also apologies if I’m providing too much detail and it sounds life I’m waffling on. I’m just hoping all the information can help make it easier to understan... View more

Hi Everyone, I’ll try to keep this as structured as possible without too much jumping around. Also apologies if I’m providing too much detail and it sounds life I’m waffling on. I’m just hoping all the information can help make it easier to understand how our relationship is and perhaps aid in the advice provided. Long story short my boyfriend is currently severely depressed whilst also experiencing really bad anxiety with this. He has been having constant anxiety panic attacks and often they will come in a wave. To provide some background, he had been on antidepressants for probably around 15 years up until about a 1 year ago. He had taken these since he lost his sister to cancer when he was a teenager. They were very close and only 18 months apart in age and he took it upon himself to care for her at every stage – which I can’t imagine how traumatic that must have been. Throughout his life he has struggled with acceptance and ever since this he would avoid pain and conflict and try to always make others happy. He had told me about some of the pain he had experienced in his past but had always hidden his antidepressants since the beginning of our relationship. One day I found them and at first he said they were his dads (they were no longer in the original prescription box), which I believed. Then when I found another packet and asked again, at first he denied them but then a few days later opened up to me and said he felt ashamed and that’s why he had hidden them. I told him I didn’t judge him and he shouldn’t feel ashamed, he had gone through difficult times in his life and whatever he needed to get through this I was willing to support him all the way. He said he no longer wanted to rely on them but he feared by coming off them he would be a different person and people including myself would no longer like him. Eventually he came off them, which at first was a struggle but eventually he managed. However I believe because he didn’t ever deal with the underlying mental issues of why he was using them, his past has come back to haunt him now. The reason I am seeking advice or people’s thought is because of our relationship. Without providing all the details and missing too mainly, I’ll try to give as much info as possible.

MissyT1995 Partner suddenly falling out of love with me
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone, I need advice. My partner has suddenly fallen out of love with me and he can't tell me how, why or when. He's on medication for his OCD and he has told me that he has no feelings towards anything and is feeling numb. He'll make jokes and... View more

Hi everyone, I need advice. My partner has suddenly fallen out of love with me and he can't tell me how, why or when. He's on medication for his OCD and he has told me that he has no feelings towards anything and is feeling numb. He'll make jokes and laugh but still feel numb. After this, I have done some research and I believe his medication may be causing him to feel like this however, he says he likes having no feelings. What can I do to support him? I love him and I don't want to lose him to this.

shorti Feeling confused about my marriage
  • replies: 8

Hi all, My husband and I met 14 years ago, we got married two years ago and have been living together for 9 years. For the most part it's been fantastic, we share the same goals in life, have the same values, and want the same things for our future. ... View more

Hi all, My husband and I met 14 years ago, we got married two years ago and have been living together for 9 years. For the most part it's been fantastic, we share the same goals in life, have the same values, and want the same things for our future. We have discussed children and he has said he would like to have them but he doesn't seem ready. The truth is I'm not really ready either but I also realise we are not getting younger. I'm in my mid 30s and he is in his early 40s, so I have raised this topic with him in recent months. Last Thursday he told me that he is not feeling the best, and he needs some time to think so on Friday I asked how he was and he said not great and he needs time to himself to process what he is going through and that we need to talk eventually. He said it's not my fault, it's all his doing and this is not fair on me but we need to talk and I have to understand even though it's going to be difficult. (This makes me nervous) I have given him his space and over the weekend he told me as we were eating lunch that he is still not ready to talk and this morning on the way to work he said he is not ignoring me, he just needs to get his head in order before we speak. I told him to take the time he needs but it's killing me. I have spent the last few days crying on and off on my own. I'm so worried he is going to break up with me. Two weeks ago we were talking about the area we want to live in and looking at places on the internet and now somethings up. I'm so confused and scared that he wants to end our marriage. The only things we have spoken about is what do you want for dinner and stuff like this. We still go to work together as we both work in the city. He still puts his wedding ring on which is a good sign I guess but what do I do? Do I say enough is enough we need to talk, do I suggest seeing a therapist? Thanks and sorry for the long post.

Heartbroken_and_Confused What am I doing wrong?
  • replies: 3

Hey! I'm a 30yo previously very sexually active woman who has been with her partner since JAN19 - he is 35yo. I have spoken to my psych abt this but its just not making any sense and they have given me advise but I just dont know. He has not wanted t... View more

Hey! I'm a 30yo previously very sexually active woman who has been with her partner since JAN19 - he is 35yo. I have spoken to my psych abt this but its just not making any sense and they have given me advise but I just dont know. He has not wanted to have sex with me or be intimate in any way at all. I cant even tell you the last time we "french" kissed. I live alone and he lives with his mum and with that said - he has stayed over at my house 4 times and when I say stayed over, he is fully clothed - tracksuit, jumper and all. Nothing sexy - nothing! We have spoken about it and he tells me it is because he has severe body dismorphia and hates himself so incredibly much. I understand as best I can and I am being so incredibly patient. I am having doubts because we have not progressed in the relationship and it has triggered my anxiety something horrendous. Because of this I feel like I am unattractive, unwanted and undesired by the man I love. This has aided in my meds increasing, substantial weight gain and just concerned for my/our future. I want children and so does he however I have health issues that can cause infertility and difficulty getting pregnant - So how will we have babies?? How can I fall pregnant if we have sex once a year - if we even have sex this year! Am I wasting my time? Should I call the quits? It hurts because I feel we are so good for one another but we are not on the same page here and it is really starting to affect me. I am starting to then overanalyse everything else that we butt heads on - nothing about this has been EASY and I am so drained. I love him to bits and he is the most nicest most genuine person I have dated but I am lacking something so imperative to what i feel is in a relationship. Am I in the wrong? Is it doomed? Should I wait it out? Please help me understand what I am doing wrong and hopefully I can move forward and get myself back on track.

ThePrize Post Separation Doubts
  • replies: 4

I have recently separated from my husband of over 20 years. I was unhappy for a long time due to emotional abandonment. I am struggling to put my finger on why I am feeling so scared about my decision. I think the grief I am experiencing is normal bu... View more

I have recently separated from my husband of over 20 years. I was unhappy for a long time due to emotional abandonment. I am struggling to put my finger on why I am feeling so scared about my decision. I think the grief I am experiencing is normal but I do question myself. My young adult children are hurting, my ex is hurting and so am I, but I know I had to make the choice to leave. Sometimes I think it is easier to go back to make all the hurt go away but I know I am not being true to what I need from my partner, who has problems expressing their emotions, showing me empathy and treating me as an equal. Is what I am experiencing normal?

Feya My mental health is sucking the life out of our relationship
  • replies: 2

My partner and I have been together for 4 years. He is the most amazing, caring and supportive person in my life and I have adored him from the very moment I met him. I even moved states to be with him. Before I moved I was happy, balanced and FUN. I... View more

My partner and I have been together for 4 years. He is the most amazing, caring and supportive person in my life and I have adored him from the very moment I met him. I even moved states to be with him. Before I moved I was happy, balanced and FUN. I was strong and independent. Worked my ass off to have the life i did and i enjoyed it. When I moved, I lost all of that. Being stuck living with his parents, unemployed and away from everyone and everything I've ever known sent me into deep depression, anxiety and PTSD (from childhood.) I lost so much of my self that I feel like it's put a strain on our relationship. It's been hard on both of us and made us both so serious. We're unhappy living with his folks and I know that's a huge source of our stress. But I'm only 21 and I'm worried that we won't get that spark back again. Being in a relationship this serious is already a big commitment and comes with it's own hardships. But do you think it's possible to get back to what we used to be? Or has my mental state put a damper on our relationship forever??? We both used to be so carefree and playful but these hard times have put such a darkness and seriousness over our relationship. What do you think please?

Guest_598 Relationship with a man going through separation grief
  • replies: 5

Hi again, I am in a relationship with a wonderful man that is currently trying to get through the grief of ending his marriage in December last year. He distracted himself for several months, not wanting to face the pain. Now that he opens himself up... View more

Hi again, I am in a relationship with a wonderful man that is currently trying to get through the grief of ending his marriage in December last year. He distracted himself for several months, not wanting to face the pain. Now that he opens himself up to it, everything has struck him. At the moment, he is in the worst phase, the chaos of feelings and emotions has hit him. He is angry at his wife, sad about the marriage that did not succeed, etc. etc. It has been a very tough time for him and for me because his confusion brings along nostalgia and sometimes he doesn't even know whether he should go back. It would be a mistake because there has been too much water under the bridge and he would be hurt, but he is in a lot of pain and he has a lot of pressures (e.g. financial support for her, stepson not liking him etc.). He split from an alcoholic wife with shopping addiction that did not treat him well but I think he feels guilty and beats himself up a lot. I am scared that he may make a mistake but he said the other day that he feels stuck because he cannot move forward as wanted and he cannot go back. So I believe he is mainly struggling with everything as a whole. I am waiting for him, at the moment we only see each other at work but have agreed to be professional with little personal interaction. We do not see each other privately, except for once every few weeks to talk about the progress. It is very beautiful when we meet, although we talk about tough topics. Going through a separation is hard and I know how it feels because I separated from my husband a year ago. I am willing to wait because I can see a very happy future together and he says he often thinks about that too but that he cannot really focus on the future until the past is dealt with. I understand and support that. But I find myself struggling with the waiting, not for impatience but because I am scared of what may happen. How will I know? When will he be ready? I give him space and time so he can focus on himself and although I know that is necessary, I struggle to be so far removed on his priority list. Not me personally but us as a couple. I know the future cannot play a role yet but how will I realise whether he is improving and getting closer to wanting a new life with me? I will go on leave soon, only two weeks. But is it possible that in five weeks time I would see a tiny bit of positive change? I am not saying everything resolved, just a little bit of progress? I need to see this.

bonboneyo Struggling to cope with finding out that my ex parterners boyfriend is living with her and my 4 year old son in our family home
  • replies: 3

Hi Everyone and thanks for taking time reading this. My 10 year relationship with my partner ended 2 years ago and i was asked to leave the family home. We have a 4 year old boy together and at the time and since i have agreed to her every wish, alwa... View more

Hi Everyone and thanks for taking time reading this. My 10 year relationship with my partner ended 2 years ago and i was asked to leave the family home. We have a 4 year old boy together and at the time and since i have agreed to her every wish, always been there for her to help out and been an active dad for my son. I had been holding out, hoping to get her back but now i have found out that she has been seeing someone else. and i found out from my 4 year old who had been trying to let me know for some time. I have since had some very emotional conversations with her and she revealed that she started seeing this person from a tinder hook up soon after she told me to leave and that he has also been living with my ex and my son in our family home for almost a year. This has really broken me and my life has since been destroyed. Ive lost my job, my self worth and most days are filled with tears, feeling really lost and really low. I know i cant change what my partner does in her life but i feel i have been replaced. this guy feels like imposter as he's living in what is still part my house and hes been interacting with my son for over a year and i had no idea hes been there. I still love and care deeply for my ex and that really tares my apart. I really need help and guidance

79yxcc8 Am i Obsessed with him this way?
  • replies: 5

I found this advertisement for a hacker and i was able to gain remote access to his phone after because i just have the urge to since he had once cheated on me in time past and i cant seem to forget. i just want to know everyone hes with and communic... View more

I found this advertisement for a hacker and i was able to gain remote access to his phone after because i just have the urge to since he had once cheated on me in time past and i cant seem to forget. i just want to know everyone hes with and communicates to. Be my guide am i too obsessed?

Buggywug Buggywug
  • replies: 4

How does anyone deal with a family member who's obviously disturbed but refuses to discuss anything about her feelings with you? My sister, from a very young age was always extremely selfish, arrogant and haughty with other children, and an expert at... View more

How does anyone deal with a family member who's obviously disturbed but refuses to discuss anything about her feelings with you? My sister, from a very young age was always extremely selfish, arrogant and haughty with other children, and an expert at throwing tantrums to get her own way. She's still the same, at 60. Her rages are legendary, and she's at her rudest with those who've done the most to help her. I begged her to talk to me about what troubles her, but she accused me of trying to gather information to use against her. Her relationships are intense and always with men who drink heavily. When I asked her what the attraction to violent drunkards is, especially as they always end in drama and hysterics, and herself screaming at us to rescue her, she tore me apart. Worst of all are the lies. For instance, I saw her on a computer at our local library, spoke briefly, and went to visit our Mum, who was frantically packing bags and told me to get her a taxi. Sis had just rung to inform Mum that she was in the infectious diseases hospital and wanted Mum to visit her.. I nearly fell over, and told Mum that Sis was NOT in any hospital, but the library! Why on earth would anyone do that to their mother?? She tells terrible lies about people behind their backs, ( family included) and does so very believably. I warned her that she'd end up without a friend in the world if she kept that up, but her response was a screaming tirade. She lies to play off people against one another, and has been responsible for many a neighbour and family feud, She's had countless different addresses and rarely stays long anywhere, usually due to neighbours calling the police on her when she's abusing and threatening them. She can turn on the charm like a tap when it suits her, is very attractive and witty, but it never lasts. Everyone in her orbit eventually finds themselves in the firing line and leaves. Having her in the house is like sitting on a powder keg not knowing if, when or why the fuse will be lit. She literally exhausts everyone. Even at funerals, the focus has to be on herself,usually describing all the ghastly diseases she suffers from ( which she reads up in medical books but has never had.) She's a vegan, with loads of compassion for animals, but none whatsoever for people. If anyone can suggest what drives her, I'd be very grateful!