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

Donny020572 Not sure
  • replies: 6

Im knowing what some of you might say not sure if i get it out right but here goes. Gf moved out about 4 months after 8yrs. Ok i messed up i keep getting dating sites to chat ONLY no plan to meet. Got found out everytime dumb me. The thing she didnt ... View more

Im knowing what some of you might say not sure if i get it out right but here goes. Gf moved out about 4 months after 8yrs. Ok i messed up i keep getting dating sites to chat ONLY no plan to meet. Got found out everytime dumb me. The thing she didnt like was i liked xdressing and growing breast. Not interested in guys but talk dirty to them. I havent had intercourse even with my ex in a long time. So now i stress every day cry every day and being xmas no help around this time. So i scared i will mess my next relationship up so it will be easier to be dead then i will be happy. So life is not great. No friend no life time see what happen. Thanks

Lost27 Am I over thinking or is something wrong.
  • replies: 1

Hello, Sorry this is a bit long I am just so upset, depressed and confused. So alot has happened in the last few months with my long term/long distance relationship. I have been with my bf for almost 3 years and have been back and fourth for college ... View more

Hello, Sorry this is a bit long I am just so upset, depressed and confused. So alot has happened in the last few months with my long term/long distance relationship. I have been with my bf for almost 3 years and have been back and fourth for college in the USA for about 16 months. But that hasn't been the problem. A few months ago he broke it off agile I was in the USA and lot went down with within myself. Anyway he came back to me saying he was wrong and he over reacted and alot off stuff. Even after everything he said and put me (me no longer wanting to be here) I forgave him. We where good but then he forgot my birthday and also forgot I was coming home. He was out and wouldn't reply to my messages and then he got mad at me becUse I was upset about those other few things. He then wouldn't talk to me or see me for about 4 days. We where better after we talked again and was slightly back to normal. He used to message and want to talk to me alot and want to see me. But he doesn't as much anymore. I know he is different now like we all are and we have been in a relationship for a while and things change. We got into a fight yesterday because I wanted to know if he still loved me and wanted to be with me and if he saw a future with me. A few days before that he said he did but yesterday he got so stressed and uptite Thatcher said he did love me but can no longer see the future with me. He said he use to see it in the next year or so that we would get ingaged but now doesn't. But we talked and he said after he calmed down and he does want that with me just isn't really thinking about it anymore so close. So yesterday was also the last day to see him before I leave for another few months and he didn't really get upset like he used to or hug me or walk me to the door and didn't really even say he loves me because he said its just normal now. He hasn't messaged me as well till 4pm even tho he said he would know the morning and he used to tell me goodmlrning. I just don't know. I love him o much I am just always feeling upset and down and used. All I am wondering is it normal for each other to talk less and not need to see eachbkther more. I could be over thinking and just stressing.

38yearold My wife told me she isn’t in love with me anymore
  • replies: 42

Hi all, So my wife told me 8 days ago she isn’t in love with me anymore. We have booked some immediate counselling sessions, but she is cold, uninterested and won’t let me in. We have a 5 year old boy. The consequences will be huge for him and financ... View more

Hi all, So my wife told me 8 days ago she isn’t in love with me anymore. We have booked some immediate counselling sessions, but she is cold, uninterested and won’t let me in. We have a 5 year old boy. The consequences will be huge for him and financially as well. I have been through so many emotions, fear, depression, anxiety and anger. Not sure what to do. Looking for some guidance and support from you the community. Many thanks in advance.

Dolpin73 Confused
  • replies: 1

Hey I am going through a lot of emotions right now. I have been married for 23 years, have 2 beautiful daughters and have just become a grandmother. The last year my relationship with my husband has become strained. He lost his job due to harassment ... View more

Hey I am going through a lot of emotions right now. I have been married for 23 years, have 2 beautiful daughters and have just become a grandmother. The last year my relationship with my husband has become strained. He lost his job due to harassment and bullying and was awarded unfair dismissal however he has increasingly become aggressive and has started gambling. I have to hide money from him because he will spend it. This has caused a lot of financial stress. I was recently looking for a picture I took on his phone and found pictures of my best friend daughter on there. She is only 16. They were not pornagraphic but they were selfies she had taken on her Facebook and she was revealing a lot. This really concerned me so I had a look on his iPad and found pornagraphic pictures of young girls that looked between 15 to 18. It was hard to say if they were overage but they all looked young. Our daughter is 15! So this has me worried. I feel so sick

Snozzcumbers Lied to my girlfriend and she'll never forgive me
  • replies: 5

Hi everyone, When I (25) first started dating my GF (29) 3 years ago I lied to her and told her I was not a virgin, she told me she was. In retrospect I thought it made me strange, I was insecure about it and didn't want to to think I'm a wierdo and ... View more

Hi everyone, When I (25) first started dating my GF (29) 3 years ago I lied to her and told her I was not a virgin, she told me she was. In retrospect I thought it made me strange, I was insecure about it and didn't want to to think I'm a wierdo and I hurt he doing this which was selfish. After we both had sex for the first time I told her the truth, I was infact a virgin. The entire time before this it was seething through me that I had told her the lie, and I didn't know how to tell her the truth, so I just blurted it out after we had sex the first time. She was not immediately upset at the time, it was some time later that it came up that she was very upset over my lie. We talked it over at the time, we were both very emotional, and I promised her I would never lie to her again and I would do whatever it takes and wait as long as it took for her to trust me again. I've kept the promise for 3 years. Today it came up again that I had done this in the past and she told me she hasn't and thinks she never will forgive me for what I did. We had a conversation and the following points are what I understand to be her point of view: Cheating is as bad a lie as this is and she would break up with me if I had cheated. She says I'd break up with her if the tables were turned. (no way in hell I would) It has been 3 years and she still has not forgiven me and is angry about it, so she thinks she will never get over it. She thinks we only continue the relationship because it is convenient and easy. She is young so she could just replace me with someone else. I don't know how to go forward from here. I've never lied to her since and have tried my hardest to live my life according to what I think is virtuous. She still is hurt by what I did and thinks I'm replaceable, which hurts more than anything anyone has ever told me. What do I do? Have any of you had similar experiences?

Pandared My partner's ex wife is super uncooperative
  • replies: 1

Hi, I am 27 years old and from eastern asian country. I have a partner and he's got divorced a few years ago. He is from Europe and has lived here more than 10 years. He has 6 years old son from previous marriage and his ex wife is from same country ... View more

Hi, I am 27 years old and from eastern asian country. I have a partner and he's got divorced a few years ago. He is from Europe and has lived here more than 10 years. He has 6 years old son from previous marriage and his ex wife is from same country with me. They have been sharing the custody and it was nearly 50/50 and now my partner has been sending his son to school because his ex wife didn't try to organise school. And now she is on her vacation back in her country and not letting my partner know when she would come back and how she wants to organise during the school holiday. She used to take her son to her country with her for a few months without my partner's consent and after she came back, she insisted sending her son to private school which she doesn't want to participate for the school fee and as a result the poor boy missed his 3 semesters in prep. ( He managed to join the prep from last semester in public school.) His ex wife doesn't care about court order they have got when they went to court for divorce. She moved to far away suburb for the rent fee.(She is living with her so called male friend there.) She pretends to be a good mum for her son but she moved far away for her new partner or rent fee and isn't participating in his school life. She calls to her son every 2 days and asks what he had for breakfast, lunch and dinner and accuses my partner for each and everything. She doesn't even take care of her son and throws her son on my partner and nags about a to z. She hasn't worked for almost 8-9 years. She doesn't seem like she is willing to work still. When I met my partner I didn't expect that he would have had this crazy unorganised selfish ex wife. But we have been together almost 4 years and it is becoming too much for me. I want to spend time with my partner but he is so busy to take care of his son. We can not plan our future together or even the holiday. I feel like it is waste of my time if he needs to deal with this crazy person until his son becomes an adult. I am feeling my brain has been getting damaged and numb from the depression and stress. His ex wife has been staying overseas for nearly 2 months now and my partner has been asking her when she would come back for 2 months. Whenever he asks she answers she needs to see a specialist. But I know it just takes 20 mins to see a specialist in my country. She has been lying and deceptive to my partner and her own son. Thanks for reading and Plz give me some advice.

Bubbles78 Not Sure What to Do
  • replies: 5

My husband and I are not 40 and he is an alcoholic and has been dry for 7 years. This year has been incredibly hard, starting one week into the year with his Mum’s passing. Many other deaths have happened and we have had major family issues, particul... View more

My husband and I are not 40 and he is an alcoholic and has been dry for 7 years. This year has been incredibly hard, starting one week into the year with his Mum’s passing. Many other deaths have happened and we have had major family issues, particularly with our oldest daughter. He is heavily depressed but believes he is only stressed. He also gets controlling when he feels insecure so I don’t do much or see too many people. He now says that e is entitled to have some beers after work which actually scares my two daughters as well as myself. In the past there was quite severe domestic violence with alcohol usage and given his current state of mind we are very concerned for our safety. I feel bad and mean but I believe that our safety should come first. I am happy to go out for the night or for him to go out and drink but he refuses to have friends outside of work and only wants to drink at home. This is causing MAJOR conflict and is turning to his brother and sister for support, who also happen to alcoholics. What would you do in my shoes? Thanks in advance

tombraider88 Cinderella complex
  • replies: 2

I have a 25 year old daughter with a one year old, living in a blended family with her partner and his six year old daughter who they have 50% custody. Since my daughter gave birth to her baby, she has taken issue with her step daughter, does not all... View more

I have a 25 year old daughter with a one year old, living in a blended family with her partner and his six year old daughter who they have 50% custody. Since my daughter gave birth to her baby, she has taken issue with her step daughter, does not allow the children to have any contact with each other or any relationship of any kind, including traveling in separate cars so the kids aren't sat in the back seat together, creating a gated room at the front of the house for just her and the baby. we all treat the step daughter like she is our own, the same way we treat my grandson. I have consistently been outspoken about her treatment of her step daughter, however because she provides the bare basics of care being clothing, feeding she does not recognize the emotional abuse she is inflicting. By speaking out, we are threatened with losing my grandson and there have been periods of time where i have not seen him because I refuse to stay silent. christmas day was breaking point for the family, she treated her stepdaughter like she wasn't welcome there, would remove the baby from her presence if he tried to go near her, yelled at her whenever the baby wanted to touch her because she should know the rules. We were threatened with being kicked out of her house for trying to involve the kids together. her partner is passive in all of this, loves and cares for his daughter but allows this behaviour to occur. My daughter make up lies about her stepdaughter citing she is mentally unstable and suicidal, and a risk to the baby. The problem is that the child's biological mother is not amazing either, so we all step in to try and provide all the love and care we can to this little girl, but then are abused for over compensating for her lack of maternal instinct towards her. i have considered approaching my daughters doctor because I believe she is mentally unwell or talking to child protection, but all of these options pose a risk in terms of access to the kids. We've told her partner that wecannot tolerate this behaviour any longer and that he needs to do something about it. We are their only support network because if you don't agree with my daughter, she cuts you off. in addition to all of this my daughter is pregnant again and due in May. She is so obsessed with the baby, she currently has, I'm fearful for what will happen when this new baby comes along. just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this, I'm heartbroken and losing sleep over this situation.

Lydaxter Not feeling Xmas joy
  • replies: 2

It's been like this for a while but being Xmas just amplifies it, there's no stress but also no thrill no excitement. My youngest just turned 14 Santa doesn't stop by anymore, not for a long time. I spent this day like any other with the added bonus ... View more

It's been like this for a while but being Xmas just amplifies it, there's no stress but also no thrill no excitement. My youngest just turned 14 Santa doesn't stop by anymore, not for a long time. I spent this day like any other with the added bonus of trying (and failing my family) I was so intent to distract hubby from arguing with the newest moody teenager son we have that I ended up just making everything worse. My medication does little more than keep the wolves at bay but depression is always in ear shot. I feel like I was supposed to be the one that made the majic of Xmas happen but I couldn't even get them to the dinner table to break bread. I hate this time of year all the expectations engrained like worn out carpet. Sometimes I feel like they'd all be better off without me and that all l do is spread poison and not love. I feel like, as a Mother and Wife such a monumental failure that I can't even do Xmas right.

Needhelp2018 Boyfriend left me after 6 years because I couldn’t get my bipolar II under control
  • replies: 3

Hi everyone, This is my first time posting in the forums so please excuse me if I don’t write the right thing. After 6 years, my boyfriend has broken up with me. This is a result of me treating him very badly over the years because I didn’t take my d... View more

Hi everyone, This is my first time posting in the forums so please excuse me if I don’t write the right thing. After 6 years, my boyfriend has broken up with me. This is a result of me treating him very badly over the years because I didn’t take my diagnosis of bipolar II disorder from 7 years ago seriously. I have had a number of hypomanic episodes over the years which have led to some very deep lows and he has taken the brunt of all of the side effects of these - me being irrational, irritable, paranoid, needy, manic (in the form of working 16 hour days, ferociously pursuing a career with no plan, spending money I don’t have, etc), and at times have been emotional abusive and very hurtful to him. I’m not surprised after all this time he has finally decided he needs to put himself first and think about his own happiness and protecting himself the only way he can - by not being with me. He says he still loves me and a part of him always will but that he can’t be with me anymore. I have officially hit rock bottom. I can’t breathe at the thought of not having him in my life and want to prove to him I am now serious and am going to make permanent changes to my life to get on top of my condition, not for him but for me because it’s not just my relationship with him that’s affected. Whilst I am doing this, I don’t know what to say to him. I don’t want to ask him to stay with me but I can’t bear the thought of him moving on and finding someone else. Has anyone else been in this position? Should I let him go and focus on myself for now and prove to him I can do this once and for all and hope he doesn’t find someone in the meantime? Any advice greatly appreciated, X