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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.

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Bill66 I'm married to an alcoholic.
  • replies: 1

My wife drinks most nights. That's not the problem, to be honest. Sure, the fact that she blacks out on the couch 6 nights out of 7, and I go to bed alone is a hinderance to our intimacy. It has been like this for many years. She says I've driven her... View more

My wife drinks most nights. That's not the problem, to be honest. Sure, the fact that she blacks out on the couch 6 nights out of 7, and I go to bed alone is a hinderance to our intimacy. It has been like this for many years. She says I've driven her to drink, to escape her depression of a couple of failed businesses that have left us in a massive financial hole. The problem is that today, after suspecting it for many months, I realised she has been drinking in the morning - before driving our teenage sons to school. When I called her out on it, she claimed it was "only a couple of beers" and that she was "ok to drive". We've had many fights over the years, and most of them are fuelled by booze. This has been going on much longer than our financial dramas. I'm really at my wits end. We've discussed the drinking many times, and sometimes she even admits it IS a problem... but mostly it comes back to her having to deal with the stress of being the bread-winner, married to a loser, etc etc. I've never cheated on her. I've done my best to be a model dad for my kids, and apart from the past 3 years, I've supported our family. There are a lot of other anger issues - she lost her parents when she was young, has gone through breast cancer, and this gets used as an excuse as well. It's hard for me not to become depressed and sullen when her verbal attacks on me get really heated. On the flip side, when she is sober she is a fantastic mother, and a wonderful person to be with. None of her friends know this side of her, and she would be horrified if they knew. Do I urge her to come to couple counselling with me ? Do I make this all public and hope the shock of the truth gets her to take some action ? Do I leave ?

Belleblue How can I help my father?
  • replies: 3

I am at my wits' end. My father who I love dearly has battled with various undiagnosed mental health issues over the years including what I think may be depression. He has cut himself off from his children (my two half siblings) and now me. I have tr... View more

I am at my wits' end. My father who I love dearly has battled with various undiagnosed mental health issues over the years including what I think may be depression. He has cut himself off from his children (my two half siblings) and now me. I have tried getting help for him over the years or suggested he seek counselling but I have been rebuffed every time. My brother and sister don't want anything much to do with him anymore for various reasons. I live interstate from him so it is hard to keep tabs on how he's doing. He is alone, next to no friends, divorced from my mum, cut off from his other two kids, has never met his grandchildren, and now his ex girlfriend got in contact with my brother telling him that our dad had a breakdown on the weekend. This isn't a new occurrence. I love my dad but no longer speak with him as every time we do we argue and he criticises my lifestyle and life choices. I really would love to help him so he can get his life back on track again. He keeps pushing his kids away and it is really hard now to cope with this estrangement as he was a pretty devoted dad when I was young up until a few years ago. I don't believe he is suicidal but he has moments of profound depression and something kind of like paranoia (he makes random accusations about people and everyone and everything being against him). He is also a very domineering and demanding person - very set in his views, very controlling and everything needs to be done his way. Every partner he has had since mum has left because of this . In a way I think this has alienated him a lot from everyone around him and he has never been able to hold down a job. Basically he is very isolated and alone. The only hope I see in him is that he has occasional moments of lucidity, happiness and he is a creative person who gains enjoyment from music, art, etc. In essence - he can keep busy and is capable of looking after himself physically. It pains me to see a grown man so alone and cut off from his only family and in the grip of mental health issues and would love to hear any thoughts.

Tonyboi Please help
  • replies: 4

Hi everyone I've recently discovered I've been someone who has hopped from relationship to relationship,trying to find my happiness in other partners lives. two and a half years ago I fell in love with a truly beautiful caring woman (inside and out) ... View more

Hi everyone I've recently discovered I've been someone who has hopped from relationship to relationship,trying to find my happiness in other partners lives. two and a half years ago I fell in love with a truly beautiful caring woman (inside and out) who is supportive of me and my mental state. i have always questioned my life's purpose and if I have one and I would usually express my anxious feelings to her to which she was very receptive and helpful . She would always tell me to see a professional or consider meditation ect , although I never took these ideas seriously ., this coupled with my recently speculated depression( over the phone counsellor) has caused significant strain on our relationship. it started 3 months ago with me asking myself if I truly loved this woman , then I began to think I felt slightly un attracted to her despite obvious physical signs I was. Eventually I realised I could no longer hold her and feel at peace without having negative thoughts racing through my head. I would often think that I should leave her because I felt these feelings of "things shouldn't feel this way" . I truly love this woman and we have decided to take a 3 week break to both see professionals and become better people . I have considered that I may not be "into her" but this problem has come up before in previous relationships. I also find myself not being able to feel content with anything in my life even visiting my younger 12 yr old brother has become a chore ( it never used to be) , I cannot feel at ease and I DONT want to lose my girlfriend. I don't see how I can feel this way about someone that has always Brought positivity to my life! Can depression do this? , can it make me second guess the things I was so sure of once? , leaving the woman I love?. I have spent so much time making other people happy in relationships that I believe i may have lost myself . I'll get out of work at the end of the day and have no urge to do anything!, I feel lost .I want to work through this and need help. I have an appointment on Friday

NashiPear My sympathy has run out: is that fair?
  • replies: 2

Hi there, my partner and I have been together almost 10 years, with one child. My question to this forum is: am I being too unsympathetic towards my partner? He is frequently gloomy, irritated or both, and was diagnosed with depression many years ago... View more

Hi there, my partner and I have been together almost 10 years, with one child. My question to this forum is: am I being too unsympathetic towards my partner? He is frequently gloomy, irritated or both, and was diagnosed with depression many years ago but has never really treated it. I'm also on a low dose antidepressant. I showed him so much patient understanding and empathy from the moment we got together, with one life problem after another after another, many of them self-made. He has hardly ever taken action about these problems, just turned them over and over in his mind and in endless discussion with me for months on end. He certainly has dealt with some huge and very real problems in that time, but so have I (hence my own antidepressants), and frankly so does everyone! After 10 years of me constantly giving sympathy, but him never changing any of the things that upset him, and also not treating his depression, I've got to the point where I'm sick of watching my life get frittered away by being tied to his endless melancholy and inaction. Tonight he was very angry with me for not picking up the hints that he has low self esteem about his new job. I was frank and admitted to him that I haven't been showing him as much empathy lately as I could because I've run out of sympathy. Am I justified, and does there come a point where its ok to have run out of sympathy? Or am I being too hard towards a fragile person? This is a genuine question!

Lilac1 Should I put myself first or my boyfriend?
  • replies: 6

Where do I start? We have been together 2 years a I do love him, but the 2nd year has been difficult. It started when my nan got sick, she meant a lot to me and it was very sudden. She was in hospital for months, in very serious conditions. It took a... View more

Where do I start? We have been together 2 years a I do love him, but the 2nd year has been difficult. It started when my nan got sick, she meant a lot to me and it was very sudden. She was in hospital for months, in very serious conditions. It took a toll on me and I felt a total disconnect from him because I felt he didn’t understand, I always pretended I was okay because I he just didn’t show that he was interested so I didn’t feel comfortable expressing my deep feelings. She passed away and it was so shocking and very sad for my family, but even when I told him and he came over he didn’t offer and sympathy to my family and didn’t really ask how I was so again I just pretended because he just didn’t seem to understand and I wasn’t in the right mind to explain things. Even the funeral I felt so disrespected, he didn’t seem to want to be there, he yawned multiple times during family speeches in the ceremony. I just felt totally embarrassed and extremely sad. He hugged me but once I stopped crying he just wanted to go home and play games. Its just a lot of similar things for Christmas and my birthday, I wanted to spend a lot of time with my family but whenever I got up to help out or just do something, he asked why, and wanted me to just be with him the whole time. He knows my family and I felt he didn’t want to be there. My anxiety got really bad and I started having depression. I just kept pretending I was okay for him because I just wanted him happy but I couldn’t pretend anymore so I just stopped going out, and focused on myself. I felt so bad about myself, I felt like a let down and just not good enough. I stopped going out with him and friends, I stopped seeing as much, I stopped being intimate. I just couldn’t with how I’m feeling and he just didn’t understand. No matter how much I tried to explain. He thinks I don’t care, and it just feels horrible because I want to make him happy but I want to focus on my happiness too. Being intimate has been such a big thing, he pushes and pushes and it’s pushing me away, I don’t feel good about myself. No matter how much I try to explain to him it always feels like my fault. Even my mum gets upset because she says I’m being mean to him. I’m just so upset and I feel horrible but I can’t ignore how I feel and I can’t pretend. I don’t know how to make him understand, he says he feels rejected because I’ve not wanted to do as much as I used to. Ive told him it’s because I’m struggling. What do I do? Thank you

Beckyboobooau Totally lost and depressed and want to hide/run away
  • replies: 3

I'm totally lost I don't know where to start. I am engaged to an amazing man and gave 4 step children (2 special needs) that I'm mumma to. I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 3 years ago. I feel like I'm loosing my mind and loosing my family. I wake every... View more

I'm totally lost I don't know where to start. I am engaged to an amazing man and gave 4 step children (2 special needs) that I'm mumma to. I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 3 years ago. I feel like I'm loosing my mind and loosing my family. I wake every morning feeling like I'm failing them all as I don't deliver the happy mummy they used to have. I'm sad and depressed all the time. Life is totally on top if me. I've never felt more alone and lonely. I honestly want to run away from the world and disappear. This prob makes no sense to anyone

Sapphire_ Do I love him?
  • replies: 5

Hello all. My hubby and i have been together since i was in highschool. We have been married for 14 years this year. I feel like im not in love with him anymore. Im not sure if its the depression making me feel this way. Ive put up with alot from him... View more

Hello all. My hubby and i have been together since i was in highschool. We have been married for 14 years this year. I feel like im not in love with him anymore. Im not sure if its the depression making me feel this way. Ive put up with alot from him over the years. He has cheated on me a few times and i just sort of got over it. But never really did. He is controlling and i feel like im only allowed to do what he wants me to do. Recently (this week) there was an incident with him that has made me scared to be at home. I feel like i love him but i feel empty inside. Broken. Im not sure how to fix our relationship after what has happened. Ive suffered through too much and dont know if i can move on from this. How do you know if its over. I dont know. Is it just depression making me feel this way? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks Sapphire

Miia No family or friends
  • replies: 9

I have had a very strained relationship with my "mother" for 11 years or more. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety 13 years ago. My parents separated when I was 15 and my "mother" left the family home as she was having an affair with another ... View more

I have had a very strained relationship with my "mother" for 11 years or more. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety 13 years ago. My parents separated when I was 15 and my "mother" left the family home as she was having an affair with another man. This of course devastated me and I chose to stay with my father and my younger sister stayed too as she didn't want to leave me behind. My younger sister ran away from home aged 15 and turned up on her mothers doorstep few years later with a baby and toddler and quickly disappeared.. My mother became their guardian and bought them up with her 2nd husband. My older sister ran away from home at age 14 and became a heroin addict. I remember my parents going thru hell as my sister battled her addiction and attempted suicide several times.. My older sister is "clean" now and living a normal life. My younger sister remarried many years ago and now has 4 children but she still does not consider her 2 first born children as hers. In her mind - she only has 4 children. I left home at age 17 as my father had remarried and she had 2 small children. I didn't get on with my stepmother at all so left home and went into nursing mentally challenged children which I loved. I was still always very close with my dad and would always stick up for him when my mother and her daughters would bitch about him and say horrible things. My mother ended her 2nd marriage and years later became close with an elderly gentleman with whom she moved in with. He died about 12 years ago and left her with nearly a million dollars in cash, property and shares. She purchased a home for my younger sister and offered to pay the balance on my mortgage which was around $27,000 - I had been married for about 15 years. But after buying the house for my sister she told me could not afford to pay my mortgage. My ongoing relationship with my mother was still very strained.. She can be very mean, vindictive and nasty and in emails tell me she will never forgive me for staying with my father when she left him. She emails me or says something upsetting and then months later I forgive her - we make up and then she again upsets me so I stop contact with her again. Last December I went down to visit my family as my dad is losing his battle with bone cancer and I firstly visited my mother. After just 6 hours she told me I was fat, (yes I need to lose about 6 kilos but I am not fat), ugly and should cover up from head to toe due to all the tumours I have and that she would be too ashamed to go out in public with me because of my self harm scars. Asking me "aren't you ashamed or embarrassed ?". I asked her if she wanted to understand why I self harm and she told me she didn't care. "It is a disgusting thing to do" and she certainly didn't want to read about why those with a mental illness - self harm to cope. Then she told me with great delight that she had purchased a house for my older sister 8 months ago after telling me all those years ago that she couldn't afford to pay my mortgage. I was so upset as you can imagine and she told me she didn't pay my mortgage because she has never forgiven me for staying with my father when she left him. She claims that loving my dad (in her words) is far worse than abandoning 2 toddlers leaving her to bring them up and worse than putting her through hell when my other sister was a heroin addict. I could not believe it and was so distraught. I waited until she had gone to bed and then packed my car up along with my little dog who I had taken with me and I left her house at 1am driving 8 hours straight to get home. Actually hoping that me and my little dog would be in an accident. I have not had any contact since then with my mother - who I now call ex mother - at all and don't intend to. I am on the disability pension and struggling to survive as I pay private rental. Even tho she owns 2 houses - she told me she has not left me any provision in her will to ensure I do not have to be concerned about my future. I no longer have any contact with her or her eldest daughter. I stopped contact with my younger sister about 8 years ago. I am now a divorcee without family and friends. Nobody to talk to at all. I only have my two little dogs now but am struggling everyday to live. I have already commenced donating goods to charity's and sorting out all of my belongings so that the executer of my will doesn't have so much to do. I am always crying and have started self harm again to ease the emotional pain inside. I know my ex mother and her daughters won't care when I die which is sad. How can a mother really hate her own daughter so much ?? Am I really that horrible ?? It must be true I guess if my own mother says so. Why is it so easy to not want to live yet so hard to do something about it. Miia beyondblue’s clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.

Bundymike need a little help [TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence]
  • replies: 7

Hi, my wife and i separated because i was having an emotional affair with another woman,texting etc. this other lady is in a relationship with a narcissist who is treating her very badly, i developed feelings for her and it got a little physical , bu... View more

Hi, my wife and i separated because i was having an emotional affair with another woman,texting etc. this other lady is in a relationship with a narcissist who is treating her very badly, i developed feelings for her and it got a little physical , but now since my wife has left me , i have been pushed away except when he treats her badly, she will text me daily but it is usually for me to make her laugh and take her away from her own troubles(she says she is fine and other people have it worse), i have difficulty because in some messages she makes out like we are in a relationship (Carry me to bed? texts) and in other she makes it clear she just wants to be friends. I know she is using me to get through her daily life, but do i just cut her out of my life and try and focus on me or continue to try and help her get out of the situation she is in, i have to admit i want a relationship with her and try to be impartial. she keeps telling me how violent her partner can be if he finds out about our texts then he will kill her.(her words not mine), She continues to message me daily , so i dont understand why she thinks its not a problem for her to text with that sort of repercussion. It seems a cry for help, but am i just being used...I think so..8( My wife wants to get back together, it seems and i do love her but she has a lot of issues that caused me to look for happiness elsewhere in the first place, i dont want to resume our marriage and then be back where i am now in 2 years time. i dont know how to tell this person to leave me alone when she has no one else to turn to and i love being there for her, it makes me feel valued as a human being, and it makes me feel that if we are still talking there is hope for us. i know i am a fool.

T123 I'm unhappy in my relationship
  • replies: 1

Okay, this will be long. So I've been suffering from severe depression and anxiety for about 7-8 years now, and never thought I would be happy in life. But I ended up (finally) meeting someone 4 months ago now and I was over the moon. My depression f... View more

Okay, this will be long. So I've been suffering from severe depression and anxiety for about 7-8 years now, and never thought I would be happy in life. But I ended up (finally) meeting someone 4 months ago now and I was over the moon. My depression faded, but I noticed my anxiety skyrocket. My boyfriend was fully supportive of me with my mental health, but after about the month and a half point my boyfriend started to become easily agitated and would lash out at me when I was anxious. This, in turn, led to my depression slithering back into my life. He would yell at me in public, yell at me at home, yell at me in the car, whenever he thought I was being anxious or sad. I admit I hate conflict, so I usually end up getting emotional and then bottling up how I feel. Whenever I try to talk to him rationally whilst he's angry he shoots me down. I'm seeing a therapist and doing CBT and I'm trying very hard to get better but it's been months and months without any real progress. It feels like I'm going in circles. My boyfriend liked drugs and going out and excessively drinking before I met him, but he promised me no more drugs and less going out and getting smashed (of course I didn't mind every now and then). This lasted maybe a few weeks? He's done drugs since he promised to stop and ever since then I've felt differently about our relationship. We are also both in uni and value our education, but he goes out drinking in town on uni nights and doesn't get home until early morning just hours before he has to get up with no communication to me at all. This exact situation is occurring right now, he has been drinking since 8pm and it is currently 5:40am, he told me 4 hours ago he promised he was leaving town. His phone went flat about an hour ago and I have no idea if he's home or still out. I also have obsessive thoughts of him cheating on me, which makes my anxiety 150x worse and we've had fights about this numerously and I really hate myself for it. I've never really been into partying/going out drinking and I am very anti-drugs. But every time he slips up he promises not to do it again and he's sorry, but it just keeps happening. And lately I've been finding myself so unhappy it physically hurts, and I've told him this but it gets nowhere, and I love him too much to leave. He is a good guy but he's a bit full on. He says he loves me and never wants to lose me and I really love him a lot too but I don't know what to do anymore. I feel so lost and alone.