Relationship and family issues

Anything to do with managing relationships and family, including parenting, separation, loneliness, divorce, family and friendships.

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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

Mrs_Sergeant Grown daughter & Father relationship or lack thereof
  • replies: 3

Long story short...My parents divorced when I was very young & my father has been intermittently in my life. I’m a middle aged woman now & he’s about to turn 70 and has said he’s giving up trying to have a relationship with me and my husband because ... View more

Long story short...My parents divorced when I was very young & my father has been intermittently in my life. I’m a middle aged woman now & he’s about to turn 70 and has said he’s giving up trying to have a relationship with me and my husband because we don’t give him the time of day & are disinterested. He’s right, but whilst I might be indifferent to our relationship, I’m not completely heartless & don’t want to say that. He’s written me a long winded text message & I was raised to be courteous so I will respond, however, I really don’t know what to say. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but he’s right I don’t have a connection with him & was only persevering with letting him see the kids every few months (if that) for his sake. I have no feelings for this man & he says being rejected by his children (he left before my brother was 1, so he has even less of a connection) is a very bitter pill. My husband and I are middle aged parents who work full time in demanding jobs, we juggle kids, school & sporting commitments and our precious time is split between trying to see other busy friends, time to work on our marriage, time as a family unit and time as individuals so, yes he’s right, we aren’t interested in hanging out more often. Especially with someone, realistically, I hardly know. I cherish time with my children and would never abandon them even if my relationship with their father ended so I guess he is just reaping the consequences of poor life decisions. How can I respectfully reply?

Talon Separated again and lost
  • replies: 3

I’m 48 years of age. I’ve been married and divorced before, having two children to that marriage. Over 10 years down the track I’m separated from my second wife and have two young children. Deep down I think my second marriage was doomed a long time ... View more

I’m 48 years of age. I’ve been married and divorced before, having two children to that marriage. Over 10 years down the track I’m separated from my second wife and have two young children. Deep down I think my second marriage was doomed a long time ago. This is not easy to think, let alone say. I am not one to blame a single person for my predicament, as it takes two to make a relationship work. Initially, the separation was like a load off my back. I honestly felt relieved, and somewhat empowered. I love my children beyond words and will always be a part of their lives. In a way, I have always left little strength in the bank for me. Meaning, I give everything possible to my family, but on the slip side pay no attention to myself in terms of having any interests I actively pursue and enjoy (besides running which I do, but is a solitary activity). I am living with my sister and her three adult children. This is until my house is sorted with my wife (sell or be bought out). This arrangement has been ok, but for some reason I had a desire to get on the forums and spill out my feelings. I know I don’t want to try again with my wife. We’ve attempted in the past to address issues, which have always reverted back to unhealthy actions. Thing is, I feel quite lonely. I enjoy my own company and space, but like a lightbulb moment, realised I don’t have much else than my family and a couple of friends, of which I see rarely. I’m wondering what got me here, questioning every conceivable part of my being and purpose. I have always had a social anxiety problem and ceased doing things I like, because of how I think I’m being perceived by others. I know it’s silly and have had the same syrategies provided to me over the years, only to slide quickly back into avoidanceville!! I see other people with friends, laughing and having a good time. I am envious to an extent, but also glad sometimes not to have to be busy all the time or need people around me to feel happy. I know it’s contradictory, but why do I revert back to an unhealthy thought and living pattern. And how can I enjoy the moment, instead of wondering how I’m being perceived by others and let the moment be a haze of broken happiness? I just want happiness and contentment. I don’t know if I’m a good example to my children, seeing me separating for a second time and leaving two young children to be without a full time dad again!!!

thaone2 Trying to get by...
  • replies: 1

I've lived in hell for most of my life. I have a controlling father who makes me fearful of leaving the house alone, so naturally I never did except for (see below a bit). He is also controlling towards his wife. A few days ago me and mum had left, w... View more

I've lived in hell for most of my life. I have a controlling father who makes me fearful of leaving the house alone, so naturally I never did except for (see below a bit). He is also controlling towards his wife. A few days ago me and mum had left, we are staying somewhere. Dad still contacts me and that scares me a bit. Neither me nor her want to go back to him. The only time I had left the house alone was when I had met my now ex boyfriend in real life in May of this year. When I had come back, dad constantly reminded me that I had betrayed and lied to him and that the ex didn't even 'have the decency to knock on the front door'. I had left a note saying that I'd be back in 15 days and my contact info. Because of this I've never been able to get a job. People have told me 'stuff him, just go outside anyway' but they don't understand! Tomorrow I was going to go to a job agency, but I don't know if that is any use considering that I am 25 and have no work experience, literally all I can offer now would be that I'm willing to learn and work hard and can show up on time. On top of this I feel my ex is manipulating me, one day he's nice and other days he's just cold, even though he claims to 'care'. I admit if it wasn't for him me and mum wouldn't have gotten out of that horrible place. He had broken up with me because 'I didn't do anything with my life'. Well he knew my situation for a year and a bit. How could I do anything with my life in that situation??? I'm trying to have strength but I admit its rather difficult at times. I'm still attracted to him. I'm wondering where I should go from here regarding a job...? I just feel like I have nobody to talk to about this. Sorry...

Dani2918 Partner blames me for depression
  • replies: 8

Hi, I'm new here but would love to hear some advice. My partner of 13 years and father to our 3 children has just been diagnosed with depression. He is blaming me for it and says my lack of love and affection Over the years has pushed him to this pla... View more

Hi, I'm new here but would love to hear some advice. My partner of 13 years and father to our 3 children has just been diagnosed with depression. He is blaming me for it and says my lack of love and affection Over the years has pushed him to this place. He can't see that our relationship has had so many good times. He's punching me away and won't live at our home at the moment. I don't know if this is the depression talking or if he has fallen out of love with me. Iv tried to help him but he doesn't want to be anywhere near me. I'm lost and heartbroken, I feel like the man i loved has disappeared.

Jagermyster Not sure what to do...
  • replies: 2

OK... This is the 3rd time typing this up and I'm just going to try to be brief and to the point this time... Over the last few years me and my wife have been having some issues... I have encouraged couples councilling during these last few years but... View more

OK... This is the 3rd time typing this up and I'm just going to try to be brief and to the point this time... Over the last few years me and my wife have been having some issues... I have encouraged couples councilling during these last few years but we have only recently started this option... During the last few years I have told the wife that I feel like she doesn't love who I am but who she thinks I will be one day... During this time I have made numerous concessions, have informed her of where my limits are and have conceded to what I was willing to... Within the last few months I have passed the limits that I have set and have told her that I am no longer happy in this relationship. I have let her know that things will have to change if this relationship is going to continue. Nothing that she achieves is ever good enough and she has achieved a lot. I don't see how I am going to live up to expectations that she can't even live up to... I think that she has a very low self esteem, is depressed and that we both don't know how to deal with these issues in a positive, productive and healthy manner... Both our psychologists and our couples councillor has suggested that we go through a trial separation but I am concerned that will just push us apart if we don't deal with some of our fundamental issues now... Any and all suggestions welcome and encouraged... I know that it's OK to leave someone who is depressed, my psychologist keeps telling me this... I don't want to leave, I want to work shit out and be in a mutually positive relationship... I am concerned however that since I have never had a healthy relationship, family included, that I might just be trying to stay in this relationship for fear of being alone... Not really sure what to do or if this post makes any sense... Any and all suggestions and/or advice welcome... If there are any questions that you have ask and I will try to answer them as openly and honestly as possible! Thank you for your time, I've never written anything on a form before so go easy on me, I'm a noob at this kind of thing!

TryingThisOut Sexless relationship and only 21. HELP.
  • replies: 2

Hi guys, this is my first time posting in this forum but I feel it’ll do me a world of good to get a few things off my chest. I’m a 21 year old male and have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 4 years. She’s beautiful, smart and all I coul... View more

Hi guys, this is my first time posting in this forum but I feel it’ll do me a world of good to get a few things off my chest. I’m a 21 year old male and have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 4 years. She’s beautiful, smart and all I could wish for in a partner. She fell pregnant 6 months (crazy I know) into our relationship and we have a gorgeous little girl together who is 2. Now let me firstly state that I love my girlfriend more than I could ever explain but there’s one problem that’s becoming a constant pain for me... the lack of sex in our relationship. I understand after having a child it can affect a female, I was very open to this and was more than happy to accept these issues until my girlfriend was fully comfortable and ready to engage in the physical aspect of our relationship again. The thing is, this never really happened. Since our daughter was born we’ve had sex a total of 5 times in 2.5 years, 3 times in the last 12 months. We haven’t had sex since February of this year. I’ve tried bringing this up with her but she gives the typical response of “I’m tired” or “another time maybe”. I get it, being mum can be a demanding job especially when I’m out working but to say it’s hurting me not having this connection with the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with is an understatement. I am always keeping active whether that’s going to the gym or playing sport so I would like to hope it’s not because of my appearance (I needed to make myself laugh somehow writing this) I’ve gone to speak with doctors as my sperm count and testosterone levels have decreased dramatically in the last few months, I have not told girlfriend this as I am extremely embarrassed by it. I am constantly moody and of course frustrated over this. Am I overreacting or is this as big of an issue as I think it is? Thank you in advance!

Caresnot I don't feel depressed, sad or anxious...i just don't care about anyone
  • replies: 5

35, married. Life is good. House is nearly paid off, no other debts, have a wonderful family. Im not stressed or anxious and i don't feel sad. I Love my family very much. i'm proud of my kids and the way they are growing up. I love my wife and the th... View more

35, married. Life is good. House is nearly paid off, no other debts, have a wonderful family. Im not stressed or anxious and i don't feel sad. I Love my family very much. i'm proud of my kids and the way they are growing up. I love my wife and the things we do together. Outside of family, I find it hard to care about anyone and anything. I feel like i'm falling my way through every conversation and interaction. People talk about and bring up both terrible and joyous events that happen close to home and abroad, and they genuinely seem to empathize and feel affected by them, but not me. I find myself forcing a smile or a grimace because for me, i genuinely do not care. Weddings, birth announcements, birthdays, good fortune.... nothing. Bombings, murders, scandals, disasters...nothing. What's prompted my to come here is that at home, this not caring means that sometimes when my family is trying to talk to me or communicate with me about things that are important to them, they fly over my head and i miss what they are trying to tell me. I might not care about you or the rest of the world but I do care about my family. Why don't I care about the rest of you and what happens to you? Why do I feel annoyed that I have to fake interest and conversation with you all? Why does the thought of self help/healing, being positive, embracing life and all of that make me roll my eyes? Why don't I care? Am I broken?

Karlsbad Sisterly love in tatters
  • replies: 2

My sister was always my best friend but, always judged me and my anxiety. I felt like she always thought I was making it up! Its coming up to nearly a year since we have had a major falling out over a very minor issue but, her husband sent me horribl... View more

My sister was always my best friend but, always judged me and my anxiety. I felt like she always thought I was making it up! Its coming up to nearly a year since we have had a major falling out over a very minor issue but, her husband sent me horrible texts about my mental health and previous domestic violence relationship. I suffer from panic disorder and while I used to be a very social person I know enjoy a good book and naps. My family are all very heavy drinkers and I choose not too as I don’t like to feel like I’m not in control. So this makes me the odd one out! My sister contacted me a few weeks ago and while I’m willing to try mend things slowly. She is expecting me to go back to how we used to be. She will not talk to me about what was said and told me I’m either over it or not! Well I feel depressed, alone, misunderstood and not good enough! All i I want is for my sister to love me for who I am and not to judge me. The last few months without contact, I’ve felt free and happy in my own bubble with my children and husband. I feel depressed, stressed and anxious about the whole situation!

TeenaW Just ended a narcissistic relationship
  • replies: 5

Hi, I didn't even know what a 'narcissist' was until I realised I had been dating one for the past 2 years. I thought he was the one and leaving was the last thing I ever wanted to do but I had no choice. Reading about those types of people NOW is he... View more

Hi, I didn't even know what a 'narcissist' was until I realised I had been dating one for the past 2 years. I thought he was the one and leaving was the last thing I ever wanted to do but I had no choice. Reading about those types of people NOW is helping me understand but certainly not making it hurt any less. I'm only days into leaving him, I don't think it has hit me but I have very little support network where I am so I am hoping this will give me that help during the dark moments I am going to experience. Thank you in advance for your help.

Cj99 Dazed and confused
  • replies: 2

First time ever writing online. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read. As of now 3 months ago I have given up smoking marijuana after more than 20 years. I have never felt better in my life. Unfortunately at the same time my partner of 1... View more

First time ever writing online. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read. As of now 3 months ago I have given up smoking marijuana after more than 20 years. I have never felt better in my life. Unfortunately at the same time my partner of 13 years decided to seperate from me. Didn't want to talk or get any kind of help to see if we can save what we had. Assumed the issues between us, which was basically a lack of communication could not be fixed and simply wanted to move on. We also have a 2 year old girl. 50/50 parent agreement has been established. After finally moving out 6 weeks ago to a girlfriends house and only lasting for a short time she has now moved in to her new partners house. Both of these people she works with and have gone through separation as well I feel threathed by this move knowing that a new man is in my daughter's life half the time. I know the relationship is over but how do you cope when one parent is so determined to be happy that they seem to be forgetting about the child being moved around from one house to another. There is no stability as far as I can see. The so called new relationship that my ex has was apparently only friendship weeks ago. It can't be serious. There is no stability in that relationship surely. Unless the relationship she now has, has been going on for longer than see is admitting to. I feel lost, helpless. I am improving myself every single day but hearing my little girl say mummy, daddy and her partners name that cuts deep. Is my daughter confused. Children will always copy words and names. How do you deal with such change in small amounts of time. How do I continue to function when my world has changed so dramatically. Saying that I have never been more determined in my life to succeed, grow, become the person I want to be. There are things that need to be sorted and there is no help coming from the person who left. I am struggling financially which begs the question of child support. How will that effect the situation. We both want to be amicable for our daughters sake. I'm just not sure what to do.