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

Dr_Kim Understanding feelings of rejection. 
  • replies: 38

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like los... View more

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like loss and grief. You can’t have the good bits without sometimes experiencing the bad, it’s just the way it is! So we all need to develop ways of managing the difficult emotions that rejection throws up. Lets think about what those thoughts or emotions might be. Here’s some examples. 1. “I’m not good enough” This is a common one. It’s so easy for us to see what we think are faults and think that others can see them too and convince ourselves that these faults make us unlovable. These thoughts are often on replay from a nasty part of our brain, that low self-esteem part that makes us believe that unless we are “perfect”, we cannot possibly be loved or accepted. The honest truth is that we are all just imperfect passengers on the"bus of life”, doing the best we can with whatever we can in the moment! So welcome on board. Brene Brown has some wonderful YouTube videos about this, I'm going to share one below however also recommend you check out her channel as there are many more! 2. "Nobody will ever love me”. This is a very common thought and it comes from the anxious part of our brains that also seems to have a crystal ball! The anxiety centre seems to think it has very good predictive powers but it is a trap and don’t listen to it! It’s a complete and utter lie that anxiety often tells us. 3. “I’ve ruined the ‘perfect relationship’, now what?” Sometimes this is a stage of grief. Often, when we are grieving a loss, we go through a phase of idealising. Things like “it was perfect” are common because it conveniently erases all the things that weren’t that you don’t want to deal with. For example: I see this sometimes with patients who had terrible relationships with their family members and complain bitterly for years, and then once they pass away, the grief allows them to only seem to recall the wonderful times. In some ways, it a blessing, but it can mean in some situations that the hindsight is not always accurate. I also think that in viewing the relationship in an idealised way prevents any real opportunity to learn and grow from it. We can all gain from understanding how we went wrong in experiences so that we don’t repeat the same unintended mistakes. In summary, rejection is a common and necessary part of being in the game of life. To not be in the game because of fear would be a huge shame . Life is too short not to experience the many wonderful emotions that come from being ourselves. In Brene Brown's language: it’s important not to spend your time walking around the arena of life waiting to feel perfect so you won’t be rejected. Just kick the door down and step in and don’t let the critics get you down.

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

Lolly121 Should I tell him?
  • replies: 8

Hi, So 6 months ago my partner and I of three years had a miscarriage and he wasnt supportive at all. We grew apart for three months after it. I resented him for not being supportive. We live together but hardly talked and didnt get along. i went out... View more

Hi, So 6 months ago my partner and I of three years had a miscarriage and he wasnt supportive at all. We grew apart for three months after it. I resented him for not being supportive. We live together but hardly talked and didnt get along. i went out one night got very very drunk and kissed a random man at the pub who then told me he was married. The man lives 3 hours away and I'll never see him again. He made contact with me to apologise and promised he will never tell a soul and to think of this as a small bump in my road and to learn from it. My partner and I have always said that if we slipped up once in our relationship ship we'd bother rather not know as long as no sex or emotions were involved. So I've respected his wishes, we have mended out relationship the last 3 months and are such a wonderful loving team. We had a second miscarriage this month and I'm an EMOTIONAL wreck. My guilt, shame and angry towards myself is unbearable.. I'm so scared he'll find out and hate me forever. I've loved my partner for 7 years. His my world and I'm so sad I made this mistake. I know if I was to ever do it again I would be open and tell him as twice is not a mistake. But I'm so scared we will get married have children then this will come out in 10/20 years time and destroy absolutely everything I'm so scared and worried. The man said he'd never tell anyone as he is married and for me to move on learn and forget what should I do ;( I'm a horrible person

Terry73 Unsure how to break up respectfully
  • replies: 8

Been with this girl for 4 years, living together for 3. Has been great except for the last year, still care but have really fallen out of love with her. Have been trying hard to make it work, and she is still very much in love with me, but I just can... View more

Been with this girl for 4 years, living together for 3. Has been great except for the last year, still care but have really fallen out of love with her. Have been trying hard to make it work, and she is still very much in love with me, but I just cant do this much longer. I know I need to tell her, but I care for her feelings too, she has been great with me. How would I tell her without hurting her too much, respectfully and such?

Fiatlux Disrespectful, Dependant Adult Child
  • replies: 12

I am just so distressed today. I can’t stop crying. I am at work and trying my best to earn more money. Covid lockdowns destroyed my business and I am almost starting over. I am in my mid 50’s. My real issue is with my adult son who relies on me for ... View more

I am just so distressed today. I can’t stop crying. I am at work and trying my best to earn more money. Covid lockdowns destroyed my business and I am almost starting over. I am in my mid 50’s. My real issue is with my adult son who relies on me for everything including money. He refuses to apply for Job Seeker. Today he sent me an awful message blaming me for his position. He refuses to move out of home and refuses to look for work, expecting me to find him a job through my connections. I am at my wits end today. I can’t even focus on my own work let alone him today. Help and advice would be appreciated.

H2B Emotional scars
  • replies: 6

Hi there everyone, I am new to this so thank you in advance for listening. I am 58 and my emotional scars from many moons ago have made me an overly intense character who wants everything to be just right, struggling with issues of jealousy and insec... View more

Hi there everyone, I am new to this so thank you in advance for listening. I am 58 and my emotional scars from many moons ago have made me an overly intense character who wants everything to be just right, struggling with issues of jealousy and insecurity and a repetitive compulsion for not speaking up, getting frustrated and then creating a toxic, verbally explosive environment for those i love so, so dearly. Not surprisingly they struggle to remain in my company leading to my feeling deep shame, deep remorse and generally BAD about my behaviour and my own self worth. If i don't change I will lose the one person that means everything to me. Any tips around readings or programmes for me to essentially "relax", trust in others, trust in the universe and be a better for myself and thereby others would be much appreciated.

I_need_a_name I don’t like being a parent
  • replies: 23

I feel sick saying this because I love my children dearly, but I absolutely hate life with kids. Nothing can prepare you for the relentlessness of parenthood and how much of yourself you lose in the process. Everyone says it’s hard but you don’t trul... View more

I feel sick saying this because I love my children dearly, but I absolutely hate life with kids. Nothing can prepare you for the relentlessness of parenthood and how much of yourself you lose in the process. Everyone says it’s hard but you don’t truly understand what that means until you’re in the thick of it and once you’re there, I feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. If I disliked anything else in my life - where I lived, my job, my husband, I could leave, change careers, do something different, but you can’t take back having kids and yet it’s the one decision that I really wish I’d had more background info on before I took the plunge. I have a 5yr old and a 1yr old, they’re so very loved and clever, and funny and wonderful, they’re great kids and I’m a great Mum (mostly), but I grieve all the time for my lost life, all the freedoms I had and all the TIME I no longer have. I used to have so much choice in my day - I could spend my day sleeping, exercising, crafting, eating, listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks, binge watching tv or movies, relaxing, renovating our house, organising, literally anything I could imagine or think of I could do. All I do now is work, cook, clean and parent, there isn’t time for anything else. If I do get any free time, it’s post 8pm when the kids go to bed and I’m too tired from the day to do much more than sit in front of the TV and scroll on my phone. It’s such a crappy life. The kids needs are never ending, someone’s always in my space and requiring my attention, even if they just want to play, I feel like everything’s draining. I don’t want to play, or cook, or clean or do family admin etc., every task that fills my day now is not one that I would choose, all of them are required to keep the family running and someone has to do them, so I do, my husband is really helpful and we share the load pretty evenly but even so, we still both feel permanently burnt out. I can organise some extra time away from the kids etc. and I have done; feels great while I have that time but it’s always only a cpl hours, or a day max. and the second I have to go back to reality I hate my life again. I long for my pre-child life and all the wonderful things I could do with a day, presently i probably get about 10-30mins of each day to choose something for me and it’s not enough, I didn’t know how hard this was going to be and now I’m here and I don’t like it and I feel stuck. What can I do?

Ole_Swampy GF broke up with me not sure what to do.
  • replies: 2

Hi, First time posting and I'm not going to give you my life story but I need some advice. My GF, well ex now, I'm concerned for her mental and physical health as I've seen her decline for over a year and I tried to support her the best I could and i... View more

Hi, First time posting and I'm not going to give you my life story but I need some advice. My GF, well ex now, I'm concerned for her mental and physical health as I've seen her decline for over a year and I tried to support her the best I could and in the end she's just ended things cause we had a few fights. One day she loves and wants me, next day it's over this has been going on for months. I just want to know, should I contact one of her best friends and tell them, not in detail because there's 3 sides to every story mine, hers and the truth but just that I believe she isn't in a great place and needs serious help and support? or should I just let sleeping dogs rest and ignore it? I still love her and want her and want to protect her but I can see her heading down the path of self destruction and so can my mum who use to be really close with her.

Duesentrieb Discussing relationship issues on the internet
  • replies: 23

Hi guys, first thank you for allowing me to be here. My wife and I are married since 2000. I discussed some relationship issue in a private, closed FB group that we currently have. Unfortunately she found out and was quite angry about it. Not so much... View more

Hi guys, first thank you for allowing me to be here. My wife and I are married since 2000. I discussed some relationship issue in a private, closed FB group that we currently have. Unfortunately she found out and was quite angry about it. Not so much about the discussion itself. She was more angry about that fact that members of the group could look at my profile and discover her (name, pictures, etc.). What is your opinion about that topic?

Hun What should I do, please help
  • replies: 13

So I am the same person that said about my partner won't divorce his ex, when I met my partner I knew he still have kids living at home, they are adult, one he moved out now we have his daughter she is 22 and her boyfriend 25 living with us, he have ... View more

So I am the same person that said about my partner won't divorce his ex, when I met my partner I knew he still have kids living at home, they are adult, one he moved out now we have his daughter she is 22 and her boyfriend 25 living with us, he have a strong connection with this daughter which is nice, every time I buy anything or move stuff she question that even if I want to buy anything I have to buy something she approve of it, don't get me wrong she is nice and I like her but we all have to pleased her even her boyfriend. They never wash do anything around the house unless they have been asked, they live downstairs they clean it but if the bring a dish they leave it in the sink. My question is should I ask my partner in one year or 2 can we down size so hopefully they move out, I want my own place to do whatever I want, I am tired of watching my steps or move just in case she doesn't like it. Please any advice will be helpful.

white knight Tolerance of other people
  • replies: 17

Hi, This and future threads is devoted to how we, with mental illness, can or cannot tolerate other people. I'd like to talk about family traits. As individuals and family units we all have our negative traits, some tolerable, others not so. Here is ... View more

Hi, This and future threads is devoted to how we, with mental illness, can or cannot tolerate other people. I'd like to talk about family traits. As individuals and family units we all have our negative traits, some tolerable, others not so. Here is one example: A lovely female non blood relative of mine has what I'd describe as a intolerable trait. In fact I've identified this trait in her mother too, so it is something she has inherited. I call it "unintended rudeness" and because it is unintended I should have more tolerance for it...but I dont. While talking to either of them , having a good conversation, they get distracted easily...very easily. Whatever distracts them takes immediate priority over whatever I'm talking about. The things that distract them is - anything! Eg talking away if the postman delivers mail "I wonder if my telstra bill just arrived". Or "have I taken my blood pressure tablet this morning"? "What's the time" and so forth. If I object eg "You're interrupting me" I always get "but I'm listening" or "I'm a woman I can do more than two things at once" however neither person can repeat what I just said leading me to conclude they are not actually listening. This leads to me reacting but not in an argumentive sense...what I do is stop talking immediately and walk away and bury my mind in my interests. Bascially as this problem has been ongoing for a long time I cant be bothered making it a dispute. My point here is that when a problem like this initially arises it is natural to highlight the core of the issue eg Please, if you interupt me or get distracted it's like I'm talking to myself, cant you wait 15 seconds until my sentence is finished"? and an argument begins. At some point down the track you must accept that the trait/flaw cannot be overcome by the person and to prevent any personal damage to your relationship, you need to move on. The intolerable trait might well do permanent damage. Eg My closeness to my relative and her mother is no longer there. I exchange niceties and listen to them when they address me but I know that if I participate in any meaningful discussion the above will occur...100% of the time. It serves no purpose to beat yourself up over matters that you have no control over. But it would also be unwise to categorize all of their character based on one intolerable trait...these people you find hard to mix with are good people, so treat them with love and affection but have an exit strategy. TonyWK

Souper One argument too many
  • replies: 3

Hi all I have just separated from my wife of 29 years. Looking back, I can see that she was just going through the motions. The signs were there. Lethargy and complacency were certainly factors on my part. An argument occurred over a petty little thi... View more

Hi all I have just separated from my wife of 29 years. Looking back, I can see that she was just going through the motions. The signs were there. Lethargy and complacency were certainly factors on my part. An argument occurred over a petty little thing, and the next day that was it. Denial, trying to change her mind, shock, tears and heartache. This is very, very hard. She was wanting and I think expecting me to move out, as I have recently inherited a house in a nearby town with my brother that I could share with him. He is currently living there on his own. When this was suggested to me I responded that I don’t want to separate but have no control over that, I dont