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.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

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

lostsoul369 My wife of 8 years cheated on me - what do I do? I feel so lost.
  • replies: 9

Hi all. My wife of 8 years cheated on me in Feb this year with a co-worker while away on a work trip interstate. We have been together for 12 years, have 2 kids (one is hers from a previous relationship and one together) ages 13 and 6. I only found o... View more

Hi all. My wife of 8 years cheated on me in Feb this year with a co-worker while away on a work trip interstate. We have been together for 12 years, have 2 kids (one is hers from a previous relationship and one together) ages 13 and 6. I only found out by chance on reading an email she was going to send to this guy, but didn't and deleted it about another up coming trip in April where she would be in his state for work and that she was hoping to see him again and wondered how they could meet, knowing he couldn't stay as he has a wife. She mentioned that she had flashbacks in the week since they were together about how his hands on her body felt and how the feeling of him inside of her made her smile and that it was unexpected but wanted. I was shattered and confronted her and she denied it at first, but when she realised I had read the email, she admitted it. She is sorry and wants to fix our marriage. The big thing is that in December I had suspicions of her having an affair with a different guy that she works with in the same city we live in, and she said she wouldn't ever do that to me as she has been cheated on and knows how it feels. We have been to a marriage councillor and we are trying to repair it, but I am just so lost and hurt in what she has done. There has been a lot of other things that just don't add up, including an email thread with the guy I was worried about her having an affair with, after he was at our house for 4 hours while I was away. She said nothing happened at all, but I don't know!

Guest_294 Scared to ruin what I have
  • replies: 14

Hi all, its been a while since I last posted. I’m in a bit of a rush so this will be a quick one. I am currently in the early days of a beautiful new relationship. Everything just feels perfect. We’ve been together now for a month and a half. He is a... View more

Hi all, its been a while since I last posted. I’m in a bit of a rush so this will be a quick one. I am currently in the early days of a beautiful new relationship. Everything just feels perfect. We’ve been together now for a month and a half. He is amazing and everything is just cloud nine right now. The only problem is this: in a few weeks, I will be on a plane to America for 3 weeks. 2 weeks after I get back, he is on a plane to Cambodia for a month. I am so scared to lose this. I haven’t been this happy in ages and everything just feels right when I’m with him. What do I do?? I don’t want us to go away for two months, and him get bored or something. my biggest fear is that he will become bored since I told him I want to wait before having sex with him. I want to be more deeply connected to someone before I open myself up like that you know? All advice is appreciated as always Thanks, A

morticiaandgomez Obsessive need for affection is causing me to find it in strangers and jeopardising my safety
  • replies: 1

Hi my name is H, to provide some background: am a nearly 30 year old woman, out of a long term relationship that ended 7m ago, am medicated for anxiety and depression. my problem is: I’m a very physically affectionate person & I have a deep need to g... View more

Hi my name is H, to provide some background: am a nearly 30 year old woman, out of a long term relationship that ended 7m ago, am medicated for anxiety and depression. my problem is: I’m a very physically affectionate person & I have a deep need to get cuddles, be spooned, stroked or just touched in general, daily. I am an introvert who enjoys my own company & I like my life. I am not technically lonely, but I believe this need for affection has influenced my past & present decisions to run into the arms of men who may, or may not respect me, & care for me, just to fulfill this need for physical touch. I have a good understanding of who I am, & what I want. I have had & continue to have casual relations but know deep down I’m a relationship kind of person, because I like the company, growing together with someone, & doing life together. But because I’m single, I obviously go to bed by myself, & am living day to day without that physical affection which causes me to feel really sad and because I can’t cope with this, I try to seek it wherever I can just to fulfill this need Recently, I have had several casual flings since I met and fell for a person that for whatever reason we can’t be together. I am trying to distract myself from the pain of missing him & my desire to be touched by: - going to a strangers house at midnight, who I found on tinder. This was the first time we met. I was heavily drunk, my friends didn’t know where I was, & my phone was on 1% battery - I had sat at a bar for 3 hours on my phone, trying to message a whole bunch of guys trying to see if anyone was free to hang out. This is a regular reoccurrence. When I met this guy, I wasn’t attracted to him, & while he was nice, I didn’t want to sleep with him, but did anyway, because I needed to be touched. I have been lucky, & not been in a dangerous situation yet, but my question is: how do I relieve this pain of needing to be touched constantly, without jeopardising my safety as a woman? I need romantic touch, hugs from friends, while nice, and help on some level, do not fulfil this need of mine is anyone else out there struggling with this same predicament?

Animosque Trying to build a relationship.
  • replies: 1

I have 3 sisters, 2 I grew up with and 1 I didnt. I have always been put down, insulted, betrayed, treated like absolute crap by the 2 sisters I have grown up with to the point I have removed 1 from my life and have distanced myself from the other. I... View more

I have 3 sisters, 2 I grew up with and 1 I didnt. I have always been put down, insulted, betrayed, treated like absolute crap by the 2 sisters I have grown up with to the point I have removed 1 from my life and have distanced myself from the other. I have had mental health problems since childhood and struggle to talk to people and do my best to avoid people as much as possible. The sister I didnt grow up with has always been so kind and never said or done anything bad. The hard part is we barely ever talk and its only on facebook and its generally brief and far between conversations. I really would love to have a strong relationship with her but I dont know how to do so. It destroys me wondering how close we would have been if we had of grown up together as we are very similar people. I constantly end up in tears when thinking about this and even though its only such a small part of what I go through when I do get even a message from her it leaves me actually excited and happy. I dont know how to build relationships properly and after being through what my other sisters have done I really want a great relationship with this Sister and to know what its like to actually have that kind of positive relationship in my life on a much more regular basis.

StevoP Dealing with family issues and overpowering emotions about that
  • replies: 3

I'm dealing with a lot of family issues at the moment. Control issues with my parents over my money which admittedly is from Centrelink but with the public trustee controlling that its affecting my mental health badly to not even entertain the idea o... View more

I'm dealing with a lot of family issues at the moment. Control issues with my parents over my money which admittedly is from Centrelink but with the public trustee controlling that its affecting my mental health badly to not even entertain the idea of volunteer work. Then there's not being able to express my feelings and feeling like I'm worthless, I mean I've been socially awkward and had self esteem issues for a while but they have gotten worse as the depression and anxiety has gotten worse. This is particularly bad with my brother and his girlfriend, not just my parents feeling like I cant express any sort of feeling and its a shame cos I know if Im able to, I can become a better person and can see them both in a better light possibly/potentially. But the main thing is not being able to move out when that is the clear logical situation to what is going on at the moment, given the other things that are going on, including I will add as I'm losing energy the longer I type even though its tough to bring up- binge eating. Hope someone can help me enough to get me back on the right path with feeling more at ease and less anxious about my own self and what is going on in my life as well

forteloud Trouble talking to others
  • replies: 6

I've had trouble speaking for a long time. I can't keep a conversation going to save my life, i'm so disinterested in what everyone is saying to me, and i'm disinterested in what i'm saying a lot of the time. I do feel like speaking whenever its comp... View more

I've had trouble speaking for a long time. I can't keep a conversation going to save my life, i'm so disinterested in what everyone is saying to me, and i'm disinterested in what i'm saying a lot of the time. I do feel like speaking whenever its complaining or speaking about my mental barriers, but of course i don't want to burden people with that, so I refrain from speaking about myself too much. I speak about myself too much. Even attempting to have a conversation with myself right now, i can not think of anything to say. I am blank, completely and utterly blank. I never meet up with friends one on one, I have tried time after time because I'm always pushing myself out of my comfort zone in order to get better with practise. But I haven't gotten better, if anything i've gotten worse. I tried again yesterday, I met up with a friend of 8 years, probably my closest friend (not saying much for me because i dont really have anyone close) and I could hardly speak. I didn't feel nervous as such, i didn't feel in a bad mood. I just had absolutely nothing to say except echoing him and sprinkling in some weak attempts at observation or comedy that was essentially just complaining and negativity (which is almost all i ever say) I've been so determined to get better at this, for years. I've stayed at my job because i have good friends there that i can learn from socially. Every day I think of new ways i can approach socialising, every day i try something else, and every day i fail. There are bigger problems in the world I know, but the inability for me to have a conversation with another person is so frustrating because I am completely alone. I will say, that I have had conversations in my life, very few though, and it has felt incredible to be able to discuss a topic with someone, not unloading my thoughts or them unloading theirs, but a real back and forth conversation. I do also have days where I am funny, chattier and easier to talk to, but far and few between. I see people do this at ease with one another and i feel so isolated not being able to participate, I've practised and practised, studied people and my behaviour for years and I feel like i'm further than ever from being at that point. I appreciate any feedback, thank you guys!

Sazgeering I don't like who I am...
  • replies: 4

So, I often come back to this same feeling of not liking who I am. I know I'm a very serious person, and can be pretty pessimistic. I get very passionate about topics and it's often perceived as aggressive, negative or me just having a rant - rather ... View more

So, I often come back to this same feeling of not liking who I am. I know I'm a very serious person, and can be pretty pessimistic. I get very passionate about topics and it's often perceived as aggressive, negative or me just having a rant - rather than me just expressing how much I feel about that topic. I hate small talk and am not naturally witty or funny, so socially I find myself feeling very awkward and uncomfortable. I have been with my husband for 17 years and I just don't really know why he is with me. It's not like I'm a really fun person to be around and it doesn't help that I don't have much of a sex drive. I often have issues with my appearance and body and this affects my confidence, I just don't think I have anything else to compensate for my multiple downfalls. I have a small group of close friends, but I honestly don't know why they're even still friends with me...I don't know what I bring to the table. I'm quick to get angry and frustrated and even though I've tried to change this, in the moment it just doesn't happen. I know I can be really bitchy and horrible and I know this has grated on my husband and that makes me so upset. He said today that the reason he stutters is because he always has to double check what he says as I can't take anything as a joke. This really hurt me to hear as I'd never want to make anyone feel like that. I know he said it as a bit of a throw away comment, but I know there would have been truth in it, or else he wouldn't have said it. At the age of 33 I'm lost as to whether I'm just a boring, serious, angry and horrible person and even though I really want to not be this person I just don't know what to do to change.

YellowPoppy Projecting my concerns and fears on to boyfriend
  • replies: 3

Hi everyone, I've been posting mainly in the anxiety forum so you may know me from there. I'm really struggling with my anxiety and I'm concerned about my relationship with my partner. As I know he is not able to help me as much as we'd both like and... View more

Hi everyone, I've been posting mainly in the anxiety forum so you may know me from there. I'm really struggling with my anxiety and I'm concerned about my relationship with my partner. As I know he is not able to help me as much as we'd both like and right now my mum is my main support. Logically I know I'm projecting my concerns and fears about our relationship into him but I get really freaked that he's going to become resentful or angry with me. Both he and my mum keep telling me that he will get support when he needs it. But I get so concerned and I think when m I get anxious about it and project onto to him it makes our relationship more difficult. Is anyone able to give me any advice or suggestions onto how to ease the situation for both of us. Thanks for reading, YP

Phoenix29 Tips on how to fight keep a low profile on the internet
  • replies: 2

Hi I’m fairly new to this forum and I’ve found that this forum not only is helpful to me but I feel like I can help others too. Ever since I have cut ties with my abusive and narcissistic family I have had to keep a low profile on the internet. I kne... View more

Hi I’m fairly new to this forum and I’ve found that this forum not only is helpful to me but I feel like I can help others too. Ever since I have cut ties with my abusive and narcissistic family I have had to keep a low profile on the internet. I knew that both my parents stalk me on Facebook and check up on me especially when I have gone no contact with them so I had to shut down my Facebook page. My mother is notorious at this, she tries to stalk me on every social media she can think of. So when it comes to Instagram I don’t post too much personal photos of my partner and my cat and I but I post a few to a private account they cannot see. Anyways since I’ve shut down my Facebook page, I have discovered that my cousin has only kept in contact with me to spy on me on behalf of my uncle and possibly grandmother so I barely post messenger stories now. Then the other day I found out my father has multiple Instagram accounts so I blocked all those. When I find out these things I feel a tendency to post less on social media but I can’t post nothing because I have businesses on social media that rely on instragram to keep going. I’ve gone to high lengths to keep my life private from my family, so does anyone have any tips on how I can make myself relatively invisible to my toxic family on the internet?

Steves_1987 My wife said she wanted to leave me
  • replies: 7

Hi all I’ll be as explanatory as possible with this. So in November last year my wife said she wanted to leave me. I’ve dealt with mental health issues for most of my life I take medication for it. I have anxiety and ocd which makes it difficult as w... View more

Hi all I’ll be as explanatory as possible with this. So in November last year my wife said she wanted to leave me. I’ve dealt with mental health issues for most of my life I take medication for it. I have anxiety and ocd which makes it difficult as well. But in November last year things came to a halt. I’ve had issues with spending money and it put us under some stress my ocd had also been the cause of some issues as well. Because I buy a lot of music I was leaving my packages all over the house not putting them away was raking up the lounge room wouldn’t let my wife anywhere in the house near the stuff because I was afraid it would get damaged. She asked me to go get help I agreed to and got an increase on my medication together we worked through my ocd stuff I would say it has improved markedly over the last few months. We went away on a holiday which we needed and the year started ok but the last 3 months I’ve been dealing with chronic pain and have recently had to go back on strong pain medication. I’m on blood pressure medication as well due to other health issues and most recently my wife just told me she wanted to leave me again I thought things were going along great. Last week I had snapped at her and I think it bought up emotions regarding how I sometimes speak to her i don’t intentionally talk to her bad I just don’t think sometimes but recently I think without me realising it has gotten bad. I think I’m not coping emotionally with the pain I go through each day with my back in trying to work and get through the day I feel like I’ve run a marathon. I know my wife is worried and concerned she’s scared I may not be able to work our finances are a mess and if I need another operation there is anxiety surrounding all of this. I understand that we both really wanted to be parents but we had to put this on the back burner as the issues with my back and her fertility. We went away to Sydney in the past few days for a break but it didn’t turn out as expected we came home and had another fight and she said she was done couldn’t do it I got angry and punched the wall. I also lashed out at her and pushed her on the lounge twice we wrestled I didn’t hit or punch her but I’m still disgusted at myself. I rang up to organise some marriage counselling she seems like she wants to go. We are on talking terms aren’t sleeping in the same room today she did say we will fix this. If she needed time to heal. I’m not sure what else to do really