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

Blitzzz Living with a pathological liar
  • replies: 4

20 years is a long time living with a pathological liar there’s no trust I don’t think there was ever any trust to begin with and It’s crippling my mental health had a massive meltdown in front of my kids today the worst ever could have been a mental... View more

20 years is a long time living with a pathological liar there’s no trust I don’t think there was ever any trust to begin with and It’s crippling my mental health had a massive meltdown in front of my kids today the worst ever could have been a mental breakdown, feeling excruciating guilty that my kids experienced this, I grew up in an unhealthy environment and I know exactly the trauma I caused to them I feel emotionally drained and physically exhausted I took medication to calm down i don’t know how to move on I feel trapped in this controlling marriage

Lissy14 Feeling desperately lonely and clinging to unhealthy relationship
  • replies: 4

I have been in a relationship for nearly 6 years. We were both married to others at the start. My marriage ended first (for numerous reasons, not the affair) and he stayed with his wife for longer as he was afraid of what she would do if he left (wit... View more

I have been in a relationship for nearly 6 years. We were both married to others at the start. My marriage ended first (for numerous reasons, not the affair) and he stayed with his wife for longer as he was afraid of what she would do if he left (with good reason). 18 months ago he did leave and his ex has made his life a nightmare ever since so now he is paralysed by fear and we can’t move forward together and are still living in secret. So we have been in limbo and unable to move forward. Because of the nature of the relationship (an extended secret affair), I isolated myself with my friends and I have no family living in this country. I am terrified of us breaking up because I am so scared of being on my own again, but I am so unhappy with this ‘partial life’ we have together. we fight constantly because i think deep down I want to force his hand to do something, and now we are on ‘a break’ for a month. I have no one to one to talk to about it and am feeling incredibly alone. I’m not susceptible to depression, but I am a serving police officer and am wary of PTSD and that this may tip me over the edge because I feel I’ve started to display some symptoms in withdrawing from the world around me and pushing him away by being very negative. When I do this I know it feeds his anxieties and he withdraws further into justifying his inaction (why rock the boat with his ex and kids if we can’t get ourselves together anyway) I know deep down this relationship isn’t good for me and hasn’t been for a long time but he’s my best friend and I’m devastated and don’t know how to move forward.

kaycee33 Marital limbo following infertility
  • replies: 2

My husband and I have been going through infertility testing since July and found out the only way we can conceive is though IVF/ICSI. I'm relatively OK with this news but I've found all the procedures so far to be invasive, painful and upsetting, he... View more

My husband and I have been going through infertility testing since July and found out the only way we can conceive is though IVF/ICSI. I'm relatively OK with this news but I've found all the procedures so far to be invasive, painful and upsetting, hence I'm dreading the prospect of egg retrieval etc. But my husband has been desperate for kids since before we were married, so we were planning to start our first cycle in about a week and a half. We were supposed to have our "day-21" appointment to kick off the cycle 2 weeks ago (the timing's a bit funny because I'm FIFO), but the night before my husband told me, while drunk, that he doesn't want to go through with it. He said our relationship isn't good enough anymore for it to be fair to bring a child into it. He said we no longer have any fun and doubts whether we're even compatible anymore. I realized things between us hadn't been great, but I thought it was just the emotional toll of IVF wearing me down. I'd tried talking to him about this over the last few months but he didn't feel like IVF was a big deal and didn't understand why I'd get so upset about the blood tests and procedures. I thought once this rough patch was over though, we'd be able to start getting back to normal. So I spent the Christmas/New Year period upset, lonely and trying to put on a brave face for friends and family, while he went drinking with mates everyday and spent as little time at home as possible. He didn't feel like driving me to the airport when I came back to work a 4 days ago and we haven't really spoken since. I feel heartbroken and don't even know what else to say to him. I have an appointment with an EAP psych on Monday arvo and he's willing to get counseling too. But tbh this whole ordeal has me questioning whether our marriage is even worth fighting for. I only went through all of this to give him something he's always dreamed of having - a family. If he doesn't even have my back through that then I can't see how we could possibly have a future together... Just feeling really confused and alone.

Abbie121 Fresh breakup and struggling to cope..
  • replies: 4

Hi all My boyfriend of 5 years and I decided to separate last week - we had been having some issues for a while and I wasn't happy for a lot of time towards the end - I felt like we weren't spending enough quality time together and that I was priorit... View more

Hi all My boyfriend of 5 years and I decided to separate last week - we had been having some issues for a while and I wasn't happy for a lot of time towards the end - I felt like we weren't spending enough quality time together and that I was prioritising him but he wasn't me, and therefore I had a lot of feelings of frustration, sadness and loneliness during the relationship. However, when it all finally came to a head, and the reality of now being apart is here, I feel absolutely bereft. It may sound strange, given I was unhappy at times during the relationship, but there were also amazing parts and I just miss those so much.. maybe I'm also grieving for what it used to be and what could have been (I saw myself with him forever). I know I need to keep remembering the parts I wasn't satisfied with, but now I'm also feeling guilt for my part in things and regret that maybe I could've handled some things differently during the r'ship. I don't have many people to talk to, and he was my whole world and the only one I wanted to spend time with, now I feel I have nothing. thanks for listening, probably sounds as though my my emotions are all over the place because they are.. I just feel overwhelming sadness. x

Netes26 Affair and Rejection
  • replies: 6

First time post....I found out four weeks ago that my husband was having an affair with one of our employees. He intially refused to end the affair as he stated that he loved her and felt a connection. I fought so hard to keep him and our family toge... View more

First time post....I found out four weeks ago that my husband was having an affair with one of our employees. He intially refused to end the affair as he stated that he loved her and felt a connection. I fought so hard to keep him and our family together. He has left the affair now but states in marriage counselling that he is grieving the loss of her. He shows no remorse for me. He is pretty sure he doesnt want to come back to the marriage and seperation is the only way forward. We have three children, 10, 7, 17months. We have been together for 20yrs, married 15yrs. He talked in counseling about the problems in the marriage....and they were all things we could work on with guidance. The pain is enormous - I cant sleep, eat, function, lost a lot of weight. I had to quit my job - as I work in the mental health arena. I cry all day. I feel so abandoned and betrayed. I dont know what to do. My friends say I need to let him go. Ill find the strength to move on. I dont want to be a single mum. I just want my husband back. But he doesnt love me anymore and not really wanting to reconcile. He is cold and detached. I feel broken. We have seperated. He said last night that time might heal and maybe in a year things might look different, but for now we should seperate. I dont want to be sitting here in 1 year time just waiting to see if he decides to come back. The pain hurts so much. He shows no empathy for me, no guilt or shame. Im so vunerable. Im so sad Should I call it...or continue with marriage counseling?

Calv Broken heart for the best?
  • replies: 13

Hello, So I’ll start off my girlfriend of neally 4 year broke up with me about 3 weeks ago. We lived together did a lot together and I thought she would be the one I would marry and have a family with. After the breakup I stayed in the house for a we... View more

Hello, So I’ll start off my girlfriend of neally 4 year broke up with me about 3 weeks ago. We lived together did a lot together and I thought she would be the one I would marry and have a family with. After the breakup I stayed in the house for a week because she broke up with me because “ she just doesn’t love or attracted to me anymore” I then went to her parents for a week for Christmas because we booked flights and they lived interstate. I was hoping to try make it work while up there but it did. I feel like I felt it coming we cooked dinner together she ate it in bed and went to sleep without a goodnight or kiss or anything and I ate it on the couch and went to bed later at night. No sex only when she was drunk and if I ever tried to initiate it she would crack it. I’m 24 she’s 27 so we’re only young. She never kissed me hello or anything I always initiated it all. I loved her so much and she rarely gave me any love but it’s all the small things I’m really missing the jokes and little hugs and just activities together. My first breakup ever was really hard and I ended up with depression but I was in a bad place to start with no job or money and mum lived away and I lived with dad. This time I have a good job and money have moved back in with mum but dad passed away two years ago. I didn’t get depression when that happened because I had my partner. Now I’ve lost my dad and partner I just feel so sick lost and dunno what to do. I want to move on and find someone who has as much love as I have to give but I just miss her so much and everything we did together. Everything I have and wear we got together I just can’t get her out of my head. All I want to do is msg her and try work it out but I know I need to give her space, but with the space im worried she will forget about me and move on. Any advice would be great. Thanks!! i

Burdy I think my husband may have an ABI..?
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone and thanks in advance for taking the time to read this. A bit of background. Hubby and I have been married for 8 years, dating for 11 and known each other about 40 years. We love each other dearly and generally have a solid, healthy and s... View more

Hi everyone and thanks in advance for taking the time to read this. A bit of background. Hubby and I have been married for 8 years, dating for 11 and known each other about 40 years. We love each other dearly and generally have a solid, healthy and supportive relationship. In 2016 at age 39 he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest whilst at work, it took up to 5 minutes for someone to start effective CPR, 17 mins for the ambulance to arrive and another 14 mins for them to establish a heart beat - miraculously he not only survived but was back at work as a concreter at full capacity in 4 weeks. Drs call him their walking miracle and in nearly 3 years he has had no further issues and in fact his heart is now stronger. But... Things have changed and for the longest time I have been unable to put my finger on it. At first I went through PTSD which I went to counseling for and as time goes by I am more comfortable that he is not just going to drop dead at any moment. But it's more that he has changed, he is grumpy and really forgetful. It's hard to pin point as it is not obvious, to other people he is just the same person he always was but I guess I notice it as I live with him. I feel I am constantly having to check on him and any task he does around the house and I tell him things 10 times and he still forgets. Like yesterday we went shopping, got home and unpack the car and I went to grab a bag from the butcher and he said he would get it as it needs to go in outside freezer. This morning I went to the freezer to get something out and it wasn't there, looked in car and there sat the bag of meat which now is going to the dogs. And little things like this occur daily. And it is affecting our relationship. I truly believe he has an ABI (not surprising being without a heart beat for over 30 minutes) and I need to try and remember this and give him lead way for it but I get frustrated at times. And I guess he gets frustrated too, he forgets everything his short term memory is pretty much non existant and maybe this is why he is becoming more and more grumpy and short. Do you think he should see someone? I dont think he would go to counseling, i have quietly hinted ABI to him when he has mentioned hi memory problems but he doesn't pick it up. Would counseling help him? What can be done for him if he does have an ABI? Again thanks for taking the time to read this, I have no one to talk to about it, when I did have contact with my NPD mother all she could offer was "hes a man they are all the same, you should try living with your father!" I dont have any real close friends I confide to so no one to talk to about things. Burdy

LSmith94 Really questioning whether I made the right decision. :(
  • replies: 15

Hey everyone! I live with anxiety and depression, and I've made some big decisions in my life over the past year and now I'm not sure if they were the right ones. I'm 25 and I've been with my BF for around 4 years. My family has never approved of my ... View more

Hey everyone! I live with anxiety and depression, and I've made some big decisions in my life over the past year and now I'm not sure if they were the right ones. I'm 25 and I've been with my BF for around 4 years. My family has never approved of my relationship, mainly for cultural reasons, but despite their objections and the hard times he's gone through trying to win them over, he and I have stayed together. We've also experienced tough times on his side of the family, but that's more related to issues they have. Anyway, last year I made the decision to move in with my BF... which obviously didn't go down well with my family at all. It actually put me in a really bad place with my parents for a while, but we've repaired our relationship, which is great, however we still don't speak about my BF and they have no intention on having a relationship with him. Now here's where the problem is, I know I really hurt my family when I decided to just do what I wanted to, and I know it's taken a lot to repair our relationship. However, I'm starting to wonder whether I made the right decision by moving out. I just find my BF and I fighting more often at the moment, and I don't know whether it's a rough patch, or a sign that this isn't right anymore. I also find myself liking to be alone a lot of the time. For example, I used to hate that he'd come home from work, then go to the gym and we'd only get an hour or two together, but now I actually enjoy being by myself most of the night. We've had a great relationship the last 3.5 years, but the last 6 months especially have had some major lows. I find myself increasingly getting annoyed at small things he does and I find mysslf increasingly missing living with my family. At this point, I don't know if I just haven't moved back home yet because I still love him and want to work on this/think it's a rough patch, or if I'm just here because I like the independence of living out of home.

Sophie225 Should I stay or go?
  • replies: 10

Ok so this is very shortened version of my life and where I am at. I have been married for over 20 years, and have two children in their early twenties. My relationship started out rocky, with my then boyfriend turning up when he felt like it (no mob... View more

Ok so this is very shortened version of my life and where I am at. I have been married for over 20 years, and have two children in their early twenties. My relationship started out rocky, with my then boyfriend turning up when he felt like it (no mobile phones back then). Anyway, very long story short, we married. I was 21 and he was 28 when we married, I have only recently realised that I have been putting up with emotional abuse for all of this time. With no physical relationship or affection for many years, I caved about 6 months ago and had a relationship with someone who works for me. It was fabulous at first, then he realised that he couldn't leave his kids so after falling for him big time, I have been in a huge amount of pain which has all been in secret. I know I am a bad person, and this is such a shortened version of what really happened, but I don't know what to do. Do I stick with my husband or not? The other guy is trying to make it work with his wife for the kids - this means that I have to see him everyday at work and the pain I am in is unbelievable having to watch him getting on with his life. I have talked with my husband who says he doesn't want a divorce and we will try and make things better. We have a lovely home, two great well adjusted kids (adults now), and we both have good jobs. From the outside I should be really happy, but I am not. I crave affection, intimacy and someone who actually loves me if they say they do. I know that I can look after myself and the kids, but I am so confused. I don't want to make the wrong decision and split up with my husband if I am still in love with this other guy who continues to break my heart. I am not sure if I am thinking straight. I don't know if the grass is greener on the other side, as I have never experienced the other side until recently and he has absolutely broken my heart. I have a few friends but no one is really able to give me any good advice. I have tried a therapist but all they talk about is mindfulness. Has anyone else been in my position? Do I stay with my husband who I am not in love with and try and make it work and try and find a way to love him, or do I leave and be on my own hoping that I will find somebody someday?

toscanini Frustrated married to emotionally stunted man
  • replies: 3

After 50 years ( don't laugh) I realise my husband is emotionally immature. It's so frustrating for me. I have spoken to my Dr. and he is setting up a plan so that I can see a psychologist.

After 50 years ( don't laugh) I realise my husband is emotionally immature. It's so frustrating for me. I have spoken to my Dr. and he is setting up a plan so that I can see a psychologist.