Relationship and family issues

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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

Flower1990 Feeling lost - can't seem to move on from this hurtful and painful relationship
  • replies: 16

Hi, I just need to get this out so I can try to put this relationship behind me + move on. Today, I have been feeling really lost + upset. Background history: This was the first guy I was in a relationship with since my divorce (ended due to infideli... View more

Hi, I just need to get this out so I can try to put this relationship behind me + move on. Today, I have been feeling really lost + upset. Background history: This was the first guy I was in a relationship with since my divorce (ended due to infidelity). At the start, everything was amazing + I fell in love with him pretty fast even though I was hesitant given what had happened in my previous relationship. I was with this new guy for about a year roughly when he cheated on me (apparently just kissed another girl) during an arranged meet up. He ended things with me as we were not in a good place at the time then ended up in a relationship with the girl he cheated with. At the time, we had been up + down a lot and I wasn't happy with how the relationship was going either. He presented with some narcissistic tendencies + made me feel sad a lot. He wanted to be back with me after a few weeks but I was hesitant ofcourse, so he went back and forth between us. When she fell pregnant (not planned) , he was devastated because he said he wanted that with me, and it has been an up and down rollercoaster ever since. I still wanted to be with him but was so heartbroken that she was pregnant. I went back + forth between urging him to be with her to make it work + then still wanting him to be with me. It was all just a big mess/lots of lies.He claims to have always wanted to be with me and still does now but he just messed it all up. I tried to be with him again but felt I could never just forget about the past + move forward to be with him in the way I would want to be with someone. There would always be trust issues. We stopped talking a few days ago so we can move on.I just have all of these feelings of guilt, shame, jealousy, sadness, loneliness, go from hating him to missing him, to feeling bad for the other woman. He said that he isn't going to be involved with the child or her at all but he has said those things before + has done the opposite. I feel like going back to her will always be an option now because they have this child. Even writing this all down seems crazy.I still can't believe it all happened.I am just having a bad day + feel sad with everything that's happened.I wish I made different choices + wish that I can just put it all behind me + feel indifferent. This has been going on over the last year + a half or so since we initially broke up.The child is now about 7 months old.He also has another child who is 8 years old to another woman previously.

Abbie121 Loneliness and not connecting
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone I find myself both isolating myself from people and at the same time desperately wanting to see people - a strange and sad contradiction. I live alone and don’t have many close connections. When I see certain family members I feel we’re n... View more

Hi everyone I find myself both isolating myself from people and at the same time desperately wanting to see people - a strange and sad contradiction. I live alone and don’t have many close connections. When I see certain family members I feel we’re not on the same wavelength anymore and don’t have the same level of enjoyment I used to with them. I think I bore them and they think I’m weird. Same with some friends who don’t contact me anymore. I try to engage in self care activities and nice things but I’m sick of doing everything alone, especially at this time of year when everyone is together and doing fun things. Hoping I can pull myself out of this hole soon.

Annaliana I think my BF is mentally ill or abusive
  • replies: 2

So I'm female and in my mids 20s. My BF was in his late 20s and I was 19 when we met, we've been together since then. We met through a social group. I have an abusive family so we moved in together within a few months so I could get away from them. A... View more

So I'm female and in my mids 20s. My BF was in his late 20s and I was 19 when we met, we've been together since then. We met through a social group. I have an abusive family so we moved in together within a few months so I could get away from them. As time when I started noticing disturbing behaviour very slowly develop from him. He was chronically late tp everything, friends parties, weddings, funerals, our own dates, coming home from work pretty much everuthing. If we were together I'd have to try and bother him to be on time, but we'd always be late and it was embarassing. His moods started to become crazy, he loved me one minute, hated me another and had a baseline level of irritation all the time. Eventually he started taking it out on me a bit, yelling at me for the smallest things and treating me kind of badly. He started to get very indecisive and not know what he wanted anymore. If we went out, he'd complain that he wanted to be at home relaxing. If we were at home relaxing, he'd complain he wanted to be out. Movies and TV that he loved before, he suddenly hated and the opposite, but wouldn't admit that it had happened and would convince me he always loved/hated it. He started telling me he was empty inside and he didn't know if he wanted to be with me anymore, but that would change the next day. After a few years he developed anger issues, even tried to join a fight one time and started punching walls, doors and throwing things. He started to have delusions about how everyone hated him, found him ugly and that people purposely avoided touching him when giving him change and that they made faces of disgust. All his friends only were friends with him out of pity. He started to become very aggressive and do dangerous things, like sleeping outside, leaving the house without telling anyone without his wallet, keys or phone and driving super recklessly. Sometimes he wouldn't come home and I'd have to ask people where he was. He seemed constantly depressed and miserable. We fought all the time for hours over these things. I put my foot down and said he needed therapy and that I'm moving out. He agreed to go and I moved out to save my own mental health. He went for a bit, but it became less and now he's not going. He had a pretty bad childhood, with an extremely overbearing mentally ill mother and alcoholic father. I think he's severely mentally ill. I am still moves out and don't know ehat to do, he denies that there is anything wrong. Help!

Jozel Cheating husband what to do?
  • replies: 7

I just discovered my husband is having an affair with another woman. He is seeing her about 3 times a week, probably for the past 3 months. He uses overtime work excuses each time. It hurts as he is not only cheating on me but also our two teenager c... View more

I just discovered my husband is having an affair with another woman. He is seeing her about 3 times a week, probably for the past 3 months. He uses overtime work excuses each time. It hurts as he is not only cheating on me but also our two teenager children. Due to pandemic, us three often just stay at home during school holiday while he is out having affair. I felt like telling him condom doesn't protect him from Covid!! Things were not rosy before this discovery anyway. Now I can't trust anything he says. I haven't confronted him yet, not sure I will or how. is there a counselling service for me to work through things first? can someone give some recommendations?

PsychedelicFur Still Grieving Over The Abuse
  • replies: 18

Hello there, I left my very psychologically abusive ex partner a little over ten months ago. I have days, like today where I’m still grieving and feeling extremely emotionally drained. Why do these things still affect so badly? Those words, even afte... View more

Hello there, I left my very psychologically abusive ex partner a little over ten months ago. I have days, like today where I’m still grieving and feeling extremely emotionally drained. Why do these things still affect so badly? Those words, even after ten months still cut me very deeply. My partner would comment on my appearance by saying I need to lose weight and then rate my looks out of ten. And say “oh well, your looks don’t really matter.” He even triangulated me and compared me to other girls. Saying ; “If it were between you and her.. I would pick her any day over you!” He would also say things like : “It’s you that’s the problem. I can deal with my emotions. Maybe you need to realise that you are a horrible person and you need to learn that the hard way. By losing someone close to you in your life. I can’t deal with your anxiety anymore.” “You are far too sensitive.” “If you weren’t so anxious then I would never have said that to you. You make me react that way with your behaviour.” And... “You are pathetic. You are so immature, GROW UP! I’m not going to parent you. I’m getting to a point where I don’t want to speak anymore. If you can’t deal with the stress of this relationship then good-luck getting any type of job in your dream pathway.” I’m still traumatised from those experiences. Even though I am out of the relationship ... I still very much feel a sense of brokenness, confusion and devastation. This was my first ever proper relationship. I remember him shouting at me in the botanical gardens in the city after we had an argument near the art gallery. I remember how my heart was palpitating. And I also remember how I was shaking, crying and hyperventilating uncontrollably as he stood there yelling at me - “YOU ARE SO IMMATURE! GROW UP!” PF.

Indie2222 Jealousy
  • replies: 4

Hi, my relationship of 5 years ended about 5 months ago. Due to circumstances we have agreed to remain friends and live together in seperate rooms. I still love my ex dearly and want the best for him. We just weren’t compatible in a lot of ways and b... View more

Hi, my relationship of 5 years ended about 5 months ago. Due to circumstances we have agreed to remain friends and live together in seperate rooms. I still love my ex dearly and want the best for him. We just weren’t compatible in a lot of ways and both agreed we are better as friends. I have started seeing someone new as has my ex. I have been experiencing irrational jealousy that this new person has replaced me and going through the grief of our relationship all over again. I can’t stop my spiralling thoughts and have said some things I deeply regret. I truly want my ex to find happiness, however how do I stop my feelings of jealousy? During our relationship there were never jealousy issues from either end which is why I’m struggling to understand it now. Thanks for reading.

jollydolly Any advice on dealing with black and white thinkers?
  • replies: 12

Hi all, I hope everyone is ok (even though you're here with me on this forum!) I'm keen for some strategies for dealing with (maybe combating?) a very rigid, black and white thinker. Fear of putting my daughter into poverty and shame over my financia... View more

Hi all, I hope everyone is ok (even though you're here with me on this forum!) I'm keen for some strategies for dealing with (maybe combating?) a very rigid, black and white thinker. Fear of putting my daughter into poverty and shame over my financial situation is keeping me in a 2BR apartment with my estranged partner for now. For him, everything is my fault and he is very black and white. How does one deal with these people best? Do I just use cold reason, hide emotion; I can't completely ice him out because I won't have that level of toxicity for our vulnerable five-year-old, and he rejects empathy; like literally says "I don't want empathy". If you have any hot tips, please share!

PsychedelicFur Contemplating if I should join online dating
  • replies: 1

Hello there, it's PsychedelicFur here. I have been single for eleven months. I still want to find myself. However, I am seriously thinking about joining an online dating app/website. Only because I want to gain more confidence and knowledge around go... View more

Hello there, it's PsychedelicFur here. I have been single for eleven months. I still want to find myself. However, I am seriously thinking about joining an online dating app/website. Only because I want to gain more confidence and knowledge around going on dates and speaking to the opposite (or same gender) in a romantic sense. I feel like it would bring me out of my shell. Although, I have heard so many horror stories about online dating too. And I have high functioning autism and I am trying to find dating apps that cater for people who are on the spectrum. Does anyone have any tips? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, PF.

Katierose002 I can’t go on your mental health journey with you - fair or unfair
  • replies: 9

Has anyone had this experience? This Christmas I went to festival with a man I had been dating for about 4 months. He is fully aware that I’m being treated for PTSD. I had an episode while camping and left. I’ve since apologised. He told me that he c... View more

Has anyone had this experience? This Christmas I went to festival with a man I had been dating for about 4 months. He is fully aware that I’m being treated for PTSD. I had an episode while camping and left. I’ve since apologised. He told me that he can’t be “on my mental health journey with me.” I’m trying to process this in the most healthy way I know. Im meditating, doing things I enjoy and connecting with friends. But there is a part of me that is really pissed off and disappointed and I don’t know how to express that or who to express it to. Keen to read other perspectives.

KoalaMum Emotional abuse or maybe I’m just loosing the plot
  • replies: 32

Hello, I’m new here so please forgive me if I say anything out of place. I’ve been with my partner for over a decade and I notice it’s wearing me down. I look back at old photos and I’m not the person I used to be. I’ve lost the genuine laughter and ... View more

Hello, I’m new here so please forgive me if I say anything out of place. I’ve been with my partner for over a decade and I notice it’s wearing me down. I look back at old photos and I’m not the person I used to be. I’ve lost the genuine laughter and twinkle in my eye. Maybe part of that’s to do with maturing and going through life experiences, making one more wary but I keep wondering if a large part of that is to do with my relationship with my partner. We can’t seem to communicate. Most communications end up with him being angry, rolling his eyes, sighing or just plain ignoring (like not saying a word or making eye contact so that I have to repeat myself and ask if he heard). In arguments, we just go round in circles and I end up having to apologise and then nothing changes. On the rare occasion when he seems to make changes, it’ll only last a week. When I do confront him, the usual responses are “I didn’t hear you”, “ you should make yourself clearer”, “I don’t remember having that discussion”, “I didn’t realise it was important”. When things go wrong, I’ll often get the blame. From small things - like the kitchen towel being soaking wet (it was draped over the sink which was wet) to bigger things like why the household financial situation is not as expected. When I gathered enough courage together and listed out key areas for us to work on, his response was “ it is who I am, I can’t change”. He told me I am the problem, and wishes there is someone who can “fix” me and tell me how to behave. When I try to put in my side of the story, he either says it’s not important or I’m being nasty to him and he is the real victim. I can see that some problems are related to my low self esteem during my upbringing and perhaps I should have been more vocal about issues earlier on in the relationship. I can also see he had issues too during his childhood which also play a role. Some days I cry because I feel so sorry for the little boy that I can see in his eyes and wish I could make this relationship better for him so he won’t feel so upset. Other days I cry because I’m just confused and don’t know what’s up or down anymore as the saying goes. So I’m just seeing if the community can shed some thoughts on what feels like a confusing situation to me. I feel I should leave because the relationship is harming me (regardless of whether it classifies as emotional abuse or not) but I also feel guilty that I’m abandoning a person who needs love. Thank you.