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

Yellow_Rose Internet gaming -how it impacts on the family
  • replies: 7

I believe my husband has an addiction to internet gaming. He spends a lot of time playing the games, if he was not playing the games he would be watching tv, (so that itself is not an issue), it's the monies being spent on the games, that we do not h... View more

I believe my husband has an addiction to internet gaming. He spends a lot of time playing the games, if he was not playing the games he would be watching tv, (so that itself is not an issue), it's the monies being spent on the games, that we do not have. Last time I brought this up with my husband, approx. 6 months ago, he had a breakdown. It's as though he uses the gaming as a way to deal with his anxieties, depression. Internet gaming is a trap, luring people to spend more monies as they face each challenge, to keep up with the others, at our expense. He is now trying to hide the expense by buying the facebook vouchers when doing the grocery shopping. How do I approach the subject again?

Buterfly121 How to help
  • replies: 8

Hi, I am in a situation that I need help with. My brother and sister in law have ended their marriage after one of them cheated with a person of the same sex. One party doesn’t want the marriage to end but the other does. Basically I need advice on h... View more

Hi, I am in a situation that I need help with. My brother and sister in law have ended their marriage after one of them cheated with a person of the same sex. One party doesn’t want the marriage to end but the other does. Basically I need advice on how to support them both through this as one party lives away and the other lives quite close. Many advice would be appreciated

phoebej11 Onset of anxiety with guy best friend
  • replies: 3

I have been close with my 'guy best friend' for a while now. We have always had a great, natural bond. Lately I have realised I have developed romantic feelings for him (we are both 24 and single) and it's extra hard to ignore them because I already ... View more

I have been close with my 'guy best friend' for a while now. We have always had a great, natural bond. Lately I have realised I have developed romantic feelings for him (we are both 24 and single) and it's extra hard to ignore them because I already have that friendship with him. He has been a little flirty lately so that hasn't helped - joking about us getting married and having kids, etc. So distancing myself seems impossible as our friendship and simply having him in my life means more to me than a relationship. For the last two or so weeks, I have been getting anxiety/intrusive thoughts which is uncharacteristic of me "what if he wakes up and doesn't want to be my friend anymore" "what if we drift" - even though nothing has changed between us. If he takes more than 10 minutes to text back "he doesn't want to talk to me anymore" which sounds ridiculous I know since I have never been like that. What could be causing my sudden angst? I want to go back to how I was. I have just put together a 'care package' for him just in regards to his studies, which I hope he will like. But all week I have been thinking "what if he doesn't return my call or text when I tell him I have a surprise?" - so generally intrusive/irrational thoughts like that have been dictating my mind lately. Thoughts?

Samias Maybe lonliness is better than rejection
  • replies: 11

I can't make friends, havent since childhood and l'm in my 50's now. So tired of being lonely and pretending l'm a happy balanced person (which l mainly do so my kids don't start questioning themselves and end up like me). I have had a lot of short t... View more

I can't make friends, havent since childhood and l'm in my 50's now. So tired of being lonely and pretending l'm a happy balanced person (which l mainly do so my kids don't start questioning themselves and end up like me). I have had a lot of short term friends, then they see something in me they dont like and they distance themselves so lm back where l started from. I often dont know what l have done to cause a potential friend to suddenly not want anything to do with me as l never had much opportunity to develop social skills when younger so am just left with that ever knowing feeling of sadness and having to accept rejection, a cycle that has been going on all my life. Because of panic attacks and being socially awkward l am aware l can at times come across as arrogant, needy, snobby, vain, or just plain bizzare as l stumble through conversations trying to be liked which of course turns people off me and of course to which they then avoid me. Then there is when l drink to cover up my nervousness or panic attacks then end up blind drunk and whatever l have done l will never know but the predictable avoidance from other people towards me raises its ugly head again! I presently live in a small town and am very aware that most in the town know of me and avoid me by now, so just going to the local supermarket is a struggle as it is humiliating to play the game of saying 'hello' to people who l know at the very least probably feel sorry for me as the 'wierdo' they know me to be, so l mostly stay at home and the lonliness is overwhelming causing more panic attacks and depression, l am presently at home feeling sick to my stomach from the loss of another potential friend by my last actions of getting blind drunk at their place being about the only one drinking (l should have picked up on those social skills, if hardly anyone else is drinking stay sober, but was too caught up in being so desperate to make friends to notice how others seen the situation) and now not having them reply to my msgs of plans we had made..... I really dont want to try anymore, have nothing left in me and have lost all hope. Thankyou so much for listening to me and hoping your day is going well

JDBS Struggling with husband and step kids
  • replies: 2

My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years, he has 2 kids to a previous relationship- his kids are 13 and 11, was never married to his previous partner of close to 6 years. I was previously married, together for almost 10 years, married ... View more

My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years, he has 2 kids to a previous relationship- his kids are 13 and 11, was never married to his previous partner of close to 6 years. I was previously married, together for almost 10 years, married for 2 then my husband was tragically killed in a double fatality. I was widowed at 26. I have never gotten over this and feel I never will. My husbands kids and I have never really got along, there has always been this very awkward feeling between the 3 of us, I have been part of their lives since they were very young, 4 and 2 however despite this we still don’t get along like I’d hoped we would.I feel our relationship was rushed to start with, we only started seeing each other just on 12 months after the death of my husband then he moved into my house pretty much straight away, my house certainly wasn’t set up to accomodate young children at the time which stressed me greatly. I am a person who has always been very structured with my way of life and in my daily doings and looking back now feel and without sounding selfish I had moved mountains and uprooted my ways for him and his kids to which now I feel I am regretting as I believe and feel I have lost a major part of myself in the process. his kids don’t live with us full time, he only has them every fortnight, I dread it, because I feel my space is being invaded and feel I have to tip toe around in my own home in awkwardness when they are here because everything is just so awkward when they are here. I have strong values on family time and believe in things like no phones at the meal table, no hats inside, use your manners, don’t gorg your food down and simply being respectful, however my husband is not one to encourage his kids with the above. My husband is from a split family and very happy to tell you he is from a split family and feels it’s fine for his kids to do the opposite of the above. I am a single child from a typical nuclear family with rules and boundaries. From our different backgrounds and different ideals on raising kids, this has a major negative impact on our time together as a family when his kids are in our care each 2nd fortnight. I feel I am left out of events and the fun things because I’m so different and looked at weirdly because I have values and morals. I feel I’m being ganged up on 3-1 when his kids are over so I just stay out of their way now. My husband says ive got issues and need help, so here I am looking for help. TIA

Ahoykitty Unsure of what to do
  • replies: 2

I've been in a relationship with my partner for 5 years. We're at the point where we are planning our wedding and we live together. Lately I've felt like something is different, like the spark is gone. I don't feel like I love him the same way I used... View more

I've been in a relationship with my partner for 5 years. We're at the point where we are planning our wedding and we live together. Lately I've felt like something is different, like the spark is gone. I don't feel like I love him the same way I used to. We've been together since I was 15 and I'm feeling like I'm missing out on thing's because I'm in a seriois relationship. I don't have many friends anymore and i think this could be the reason. In the past we've had problems with him messaging other girls, lying to me and he has a problem with gambling. We've dealt with the issues but I never fully got over them no matter how hard I tried. I still think about it every day no matter what I do and it really affects me. I have little trust for him to the point where I try to hack into his facebook cause I feel like he's doing things behind my back still. I don't feel like I can talk to him about how I'm feeling. I'm worried if I feel this way now, how am I going to feel in a few years time when we're married? Will I regret staying in this relationship? Ive gone through stages like this a few times but normally get over it but something feels different. I can't tell if I'm being silly about this or not. Theres a lot invested in our relationship and I'm scared of ending it and then realising I really do love him. I need help. I want to talk to him about it but I freeze up and my anxiety gets in the way.

fial Unsure how to open dialogue with ex....
  • replies: 2

After getting dumped just after my 50th birthday, and then spending weeks separating 11 years of tangled lives, I thought everything was finalised and went through a period of intense grief.... I had only just begun to see the other side, but have di... View more

After getting dumped just after my 50th birthday, and then spending weeks separating 11 years of tangled lives, I thought everything was finalised and went through a period of intense grief.... I had only just begun to see the other side, but have discovered that he may be in possession of a couple of intensely personal items of mine that were packed into boxes that he took. One is not critical - a snooker cue that I won years ago in competition. The other is so personal and important that I absolutely HAVE TO have it back..... it's the rosewood urn that contained my only brother's ashes, which I filled with personal effects of his after scattering his ashes at sea. I don't have any other brothers or sisters, so the loss of this bites beyond imagining. I only have a very few pictures, and was not able to save a lot of his possessions, so this urn is extremely important. I don't know how to get my ex to talk to me to try and recover this - he's not replying to my message regarding this - and I really, really want and need it back I have been so upset since discovering that I don't have it that I feel myself slipping into complete despair. I don't know what I can do to get it back, and I don't think I can cope without it Almost like losing my brother all over again Fial

Leeem Being ignored by my boys.
  • replies: 12

Hi im a mother of 3 children of whom by eldest 2 boys have notspoken to me for just over 12 months now. its the hardest thing i have had to make light of in my life. i feel i have contributed alot to them being a very supportive parent ( single for m... View more

Hi im a mother of 3 children of whom by eldest 2 boys have notspoken to me for just over 12 months now. its the hardest thing i have had to make light of in my life. i feel i have contributed alot to them being a very supportive parent ( single for many of them) and worked very hard when they were younger to give them eveything they needed and wanted. they never had much of relationship with their father when younger but now he is their main influence. they are 21 and 18 , they also have a little sister whom is 12. I have sent messages, tried to ring, tried to visit, send christmas cards, birthday cards, and never any reply. its consuming me, and i dont know how to deal with it. its making me a blubbering mess everytime someone asks me about them. Or if i have to do anything family orientated i tend not participate, or if i do its the minimum just for my daughter. Please help .

Eleanore1995 I'm ruining my brand new marriage
  • replies: 2

I was married in February this year. It was the best day of my life but it has been a rocky time since for my new husband and I. See just after we got engaged, decided on a date and sent out the invites we both lost our jobs. We were forced to leave ... View more

I was married in February this year. It was the best day of my life but it has been a rocky time since for my new husband and I. See just after we got engaged, decided on a date and sent out the invites we both lost our jobs. We were forced to leave our home and move in with his Grandparents who live on the other side of the city, 1 hour away from anything for me as I don't drive. We've had massive money issues and wouldn't have had the wedding if it weren't for our family and friends that helped. I was thankful we even had the wedding at all. Since then we are still having issues. Jobs on and off, he has now decided to quit his trade completely and is not succeeding in finding a new career. I feel we are both falling into a hole, every time something good happens or we feel like we're going ok something else happens. Because of all this, my depression is at it's absolute worst. I am diagnosed with clinical depression and type 2 bipolar. My husband is not coping with me, he just doesn't seem to understand and I am really hard to get along with. I feel unloved and alone. I've tried talking to him but my condition is making him down as well and we're fighting a lot. I know I need to change, but I can't leave him be. We used to be best friends, do everything together, go out together and just adventure to new places. Now every time I ask if he wants to do anything he says no. I feel like I'm trying so hard and getting nowhere. We'll have a good day and then my big fat mouth will say something stupid, then we fight. I'm helpless at this point. How do I get him to understand? How do I stop relying on him for support? I obviously shouldn't be using him for support as it is affecting him badly.

Bonnieee012 The man I love is afraid of commitment
  • replies: 3

I’ve been seeing this boy for the past 3 months, early on he told me about his depression and anxiety and I tried to be as supportive as I could. Every time he got in one of his moods, I would give him space and when he needed the extra love I was al... View more

I’ve been seeing this boy for the past 3 months, early on he told me about his depression and anxiety and I tried to be as supportive as I could. Every time he got in one of his moods, I would give him space and when he needed the extra love I was always there to cuddle him. We had our moments where we would fight, but it wasn’t anything too major. Then out of the blue he is saying that he doesn’t want a relationship, he still wants to see me and does see a future with me but doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship, but even himself doesn’t understand how it works. He opened up last night about his ex and told me that he was in love with her and things went sour and he hurt her emotionally really bad and doesn’t want to do the same thing to me. That he wants to be single for the rest of his life and that his scared to fall in love again. I want to be with him and I’ve reassured him that he has the biggest heart and he is capable of loving. Do people with anxiety and dewpression have trouble committing to there partner? I don’t want to give up on us, but I’m not sure what I can do. He has admitted that is scared of losing me and that he knows he wants me in his life but seeing someone eventually leads to a relationship and I don’t want to end up heart broken in the end.