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

Jessicat Loneliness
  • replies: 2

Hi. Lately I have been feeling incredibly lonely and the feelings that come along with it have made me feel really depressed. I have a lot of good in my life right now. A loving partner and a beautiful child. Study is going well and we are saving for... View more

Hi. Lately I have been feeling incredibly lonely and the feelings that come along with it have made me feel really depressed. I have a lot of good in my life right now. A loving partner and a beautiful child. Study is going well and we are saving for a holiday. However I recently had to leave my best friend, and my only friend. She was distancing herself so much from me and her bad habits were starting to really hurt me. The relationship had become one sided so I decided to take a step back for a while for my own well-being. Since then I have felt increasingly lonely. I have tried to reconnect with old friends with no luck, and making new friends is proving to be really hard too. I am becoming so depressed that I am struggling to look after my 2 year old. My old best friend also had a young child that my child loved and there is guilt surrounding that too where I feel like I have let my daughter down. Ultimately I am mourning the loss of a friendship and am struggling so much with the loneliness. I so desperately want to make some new friends to meet up with for coffee and play dates, or have girls night outs.. I want a close friend that I can lean on when things get rough. I'm struggling and I don't know how to go about meeting/forming new friendships, and how to get over my old one. I'm just really lonely and it's hurting so much.

Nomo How to be comfortable in your own skin
  • replies: 2

Hi everyone, This is very new to me - in this generation I've always been a bit out of place. I guess I'm just wondering if other people out there feel inadequate because they can't communicate in the way that is expected now.. it feels so much harde... View more

Hi everyone, This is very new to me - in this generation I've always been a bit out of place. I guess I'm just wondering if other people out there feel inadequate because they can't communicate in the way that is expected now.. it feels so much harder to be heard now that everyone has a platform. I don't mean that in an obnoxious way. I just can't wrap my head around why/how we are supposed to be happy if we are constantly expected to magnify ourselves. I still struggle to look people in the eye when I say hello! Ive suffered from extreme social anxiety my entire life, I don't know how to make myself heard to begin with. I struggled enough as a teenager, and I definitely don't know how to overcome this as an 'adult'. I'm hoping to find some positivity here, I've come to the point where I'm too scared to let people know how I'm ever feeling. I'm honestly too scared to talk to anyone at all. Im really hoping that this could be a turning point where optimism can be found and shared.

Juliet_84 Torn between two men and I'm so confused/upset
  • replies: 10

I don't know what to do and need help. I was with my ex partner for 10 years. I loved him and my life with him. We were very compatible, he was very emotionally supportive (which is important to me), and accepted me like no other, He was my soul mate... View more

I don't know what to do and need help. I was with my ex partner for 10 years. I loved him and my life with him. We were very compatible, he was very emotionally supportive (which is important to me), and accepted me like no other, He was my soul mate. But he could also be overbearing/ controlling, verbally abuse, and, very rarely, physically abusive. After one such instance I left. After being out on my own for a few months, I met someone. He was handsome, funny, and softer with me than my ex and I fell in love with him. We started dating and it was good, although we were less compatible, he required more space than I was used to, and I couldn't talk to him with the same openness as my ex. He also was afraid of commitment, which I was aware of. Then he started acting weirdly, calling me less, saying hurtful things, and finally freaking out and breaking up with me. I was heartbroken, and during this time reconnected with my ex. In anger, I decided that since I hadn't been treated very well by either man, I would see them both casually and continue to date. While I was doing this, my feelings for the second guy (commitment-phobe) intensified and so did his and I felt him falling in love with me, going out of his way to do things for me etc, but things were still very slow, I only saw him once a week,talked about the same. Whereas I spoke to my ex every day, we would go to art galleries, movies, on weekends. He said he was really trying to be better. But I was in love with the commitment phone. However, I also know that first flush of being in love fades and you are left with what's left, the communication etc. So I ended it with the 'phobe' about a month ago and chose my ex, who I love but am not in love with in the hopes that may change. Now the commitment phobe has come back and put it on the line, he's in love with me, can't sleep, needs to see me, etc and I feel weak. My concerns are: - My ex is pulling a charm offensive and will revert back to his old ways. - The now committed commitment phone, while he has some more obviously negative traits (poor/lack of communication, less compatible) is less manipulative than my ex and may also treat me better, be more willing to compromise etc. - I may not be able to recapture my feelings for my ex and we should just be friends. - I won't be able to deny this extremely strong urge to see the commitment phone and sabotage any chance of reconciliation that I have with my ex, who may honestly be trying to be better

jhazavine-rose Struggling Mama
  • replies: 5

Hi Im new to this never thought i would turn to an online forum. But im struggling and when i mean struggling i mean struggling. i Have 3 kids of my own and 1 which is prior to previous person. and my partner im with now has 2 prior anyway its been a... View more

Hi Im new to this never thought i would turn to an online forum. But im struggling and when i mean struggling i mean struggling. i Have 3 kids of my own and 1 which is prior to previous person. and my partner im with now has 2 prior anyway its been a constant roller coaster as he works in the mines and has a roster of 7 on and 7 off. Anyway The kids are ok apart from my 7 year old daughter who is constantly lying stealing little things blaming things on the other kids and smiling about it, she just doesnt care. im under so much stress that she has gotten to the point were now she is physically abusing the other kids. Kicking,punching,spitting,and now choking them my youngest is only 10 months shes also lied to the police saying i broke her foot but yet shes walking on it and jumping up and down ive taken my daughter to see a councilor but its just not working and she refuses to see them. i have asked why she does all these things and she just laughs and says because its fun or lies saying they are forcing me to do it. but when somebody else askes her it changes to because i always get into trouble or its so i dont get into trouble or it was them that made me she told her little brother aged 2 to cut another brother aged 5 and 10 months. ive tried everything i could think of taking things away from her, sitting in corner but it just doesnt work i have PTSD and is an emotional wreck. What can i do because im starting to sleep with 1 eye open. am i a bad parent why she is doing this? Also my Partners Son age 5 has also lied to his school and police saying i have bruised him but when making statement at the police station he changed the whole story and for that i have court tomorrow and struggling in all this he also lies and blames everything on the other kids also and when i ask him he just says because. im so frustrated and hurt i just go into my dark space and breakdown i think i have run outta tears and just ready to end the chapter

Rose1995 No sex drive, I’m not sure how to proceed anymore.
  • replies: 2

Hi guys. I have been in a relationship with my partner coming up five years. The first year/two years were perfectly fine, sex was good and I was happy to have it, and we would regularly. Before we started our relationship I was sexually assaulted, a... View more

Hi guys. I have been in a relationship with my partner coming up five years. The first year/two years were perfectly fine, sex was good and I was happy to have it, and we would regularly. Before we started our relationship I was sexually assaulted, and it’s ended up haunting me for a long time. During our relationship, I started to say no because I felt like I didn’t have to do it when I wasn’t really into it, like I previously had to. That turned Into me often saying no. Occasionally it’d float back the other way and it’d be okay, and now it isn’t. I am going to therapy for my anxiety and depression, and I am not on medication. I don’t want to have sex. I think about it, but I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be seen naked, or vulnerable. I don’t want to expose myself in anyway. I’m not sure if this is something to do with my mental health or if this is just how I am. This is extremely difficult for my partner, who is a very sexual person. I’m very sure this will be the end of my relationship if this isn’t something I can fix. Has anyone had an experience like this and can shed some light on how I’m feeling?

QuartzCrystalMoonBeam It's not just jealousy
  • replies: 3

I work in a small salon with another woman who is of similar experience/skill level as me. We have equal roles at work and it's a small salon so it's just us most of the time. Every day I have to endure going to working and listening to customers dro... View more

I work in a small salon with another woman who is of similar experience/skill level as me. We have equal roles at work and it's a small salon so it's just us most of the time. Every day I have to endure going to working and listening to customers drool over her. They constantly tell her she's amazing and she did such a good job etc. There's always emails saying "I came in last week and saw Sarah* (who was AMAZING btw)..." and then constant phone calls from people making bookings "I saw Sarah last time and she was really great can I book in with Sarah?" And we're always getting reviews on Google saying how "awesome and amazing and wonderful and beautiful Sarah was" people literally take selfies with her all the time. It's insane. *obviously not her real name it's not even just customers. All our co workers love her, all our peers from other salons love her. Everyone loves her. She's one of those people who has that magical charm that makes everyone suddenly want to be her friend and think she's super cool and funny. At first of course I was jealous. Jealous that all our customers liked her so much but didn't really seem to care for me. But I feel like confusion and even anger took over at some point. I try my best not to hold it against her, she's not doing anything wrong but it's just SO HARD every single day to be around that. It never ends. I never get a break from it. Day after day my soul is crushed. i have no idea what to do. I love my job and the salon I work in, and I find myself wishing that she would get a job offer and leave so I don' have to face this every day but I know she wouldn't ever leave- but it' getting to a point where it's making me want to quit but I worked so hard to get to where I am today and i definitely dont want to leave this salon. I don't know how to deal with my feelings. I know I have my own admirable traits and qualities but that doesn't help these constant feelings of...I'm not sure. I don't even know what I feel... i don't know what to do anymore. This is getting me down so much I feel awful constantly. I don't even want to go to work anymore. Please Help Me

HerbieM Depressed - feeling like an unappreciated husband
  • replies: 7

I have been happily married for about 19 years, and have 3 wonderful children (11, 10 & 4 yrs). We are financially stable, I have a good job and I am a good, thoughtful and involved husband who actively cooks, cleans, irons, gardens, looks after the ... View more

I have been happily married for about 19 years, and have 3 wonderful children (11, 10 & 4 yrs). We are financially stable, I have a good job and I am a good, thoughtful and involved husband who actively cooks, cleans, irons, gardens, looks after the kids, helps with school, the taxi driver, IT consultant at home, and organises a lot of the family life. I do this because I love the family, and they do say thank you. I do a lot of things for my wife...often it is the small thoughtful things that matter. The problem is that although my wife does say thank you, that is where it stops. I know she loves me, but I do not feel loved, for example: I buy my own birthday presents for everyone to give back to me. The one thing I wished and asked for (a family event such as an adventure course, ropes course etc - so we can have an experience all together, has never been followed through) I ensure that much of the house work is done so that my wife is not burdened with this I adapt and flex to her needs, but there seems little in return I initiate physical contact (hugs etc), but it is rarely initiated back I always initiate sex, but it is rarely initiated back Her phone calls, texts and messages seems to take priority over me I was desperately tired and stressed due to work and asked for a holiday as I was exhausted, but I ended up organising everything She never seems to be happy - or I don't appear to be able to make her happy anymore The things that I do for her are not reciprocated. I always try to be a better husband, but I am frustrated, am starting to feel hopeless and depressed. We have had conversations about my needs in the past, things get better for a couple of weeks, then it reverts back to the old ways. I am an intelligent and loving husband and father who can normally figure things out for myself...but this one has me absolutely stumped.

Positive_Vibes My bipolar disorder is destructive - can I maintain a stable relationship?
  • replies: 11

I’d like advice from people on dating/marrying someone with mental illness, and burden. I'm a new member; I like the success stories. I have Bipolar I, Epilepsy, and I'm an alcoholic. Recently diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (obvious... View more

I’d like advice from people on dating/marrying someone with mental illness, and burden. I'm a new member; I like the success stories. I have Bipolar I, Epilepsy, and I'm an alcoholic. Recently diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (obviously my new psychiatrist has a crush on me) Two months ago I had a seizure after a year of successful treatment. Was embarrassing and I dislocated my shoulder. I started drinking again, then a week later I quit my job, broke up with the girlfriend I lived with, and flew to Thailand. Bangkok was an exciting whirlwind of delusions, voices, hypersexuality, and risk taking (drugs, unprotected sex). I stopped taking my epilepsy meds and had seizures almost every morning but still every night I was out engaging in high-octane debauchery. And somehow I spent nearly $13,000 in two weeks, in a country where everything is cheap. I don't remember most of it. Returned to depressing situation- no job, lonely apartment, big chunk of my savings gone. I entered a mixed state (like mania but less fun) I sought treatment but even on a mixture of meds I slept only a few hours a night. Louder voices, lots of whiskey. As of last week I’m starting to feel normal and put pieces of my life back together. The worst part of all this is losing my girlfriend, and hurting her so badly. She’s an amazing person and I wanted to marry her. Thing is, this happens every 2-3 years, like clockwork. I build up some success, in career or romance, and then destroy it all in just a few weeks. But I never cared for someone like my ex, and I can see that as I get older, I have more and more to lose. I know some people like me end up alone, in jail, or homeless. But I'd like to have a family one day. What will define my success story is a successful relationship. I want to be a good husband one day, so I have decided to commit to treatment more than I have before. Doing everything I can. But even if I do, I know it will be a burden on my family. I would love to hear from someone who has a successful relationship with someone with chronic mental illness, any type. What can the disabled person do to ease the burden? What about kids, what do you do when the parent enters a depression or mania? I’m just trying to have a clear picture of a goal I can work towards; I need to believe its possible. Thank you.

distraught confused teen
  • replies: 3

My 18yr old cousin is in love with me. We're not blood related as my mother married his uncle but I still see it as incest. For a year he has been completely loyal to me, as in he keeps turning down dates, letting me know where he is etc etc while I'... View more

My 18yr old cousin is in love with me. We're not blood related as my mother married his uncle but I still see it as incest. For a year he has been completely loyal to me, as in he keeps turning down dates, letting me know where he is etc etc while I've been encouraging him to date as well as trying to get him to seek help for his feelings towards me. Hes clearly confused his love for me to thinking hes in love with me. My problem is, I recently broke up with my partner and Im starting to develop feelings. Ive been keeping my distance but its making it difficult to be there for him. Over the years we had become best friends that are always there for each other. I want to still be there but still keep my distance which is confusing and frustrating me

Letting_Life_Pass_Me_By How do I get out?
  • replies: 1

Hi, I'm looking for information that can help me get out of a toxic relationship. I live alone in a small country town in the middle of NSW. I don't have any friends here. I'm hours from family, most of which don't really care about me and the couple... View more

Hi, I'm looking for information that can help me get out of a toxic relationship. I live alone in a small country town in the middle of NSW. I don't have any friends here. I'm hours from family, most of which don't really care about me and the couple that do care don't have the means to help me. What services can I turn to to get me out of my home and take my children somewhere less toxic. I am on Centrelink and don't have the funds to spare for bond or transport as my bills and loans chew up what income I receive. I don't drive so can't just pack up a few things and leave. I am so unhappy, depressed and recently attempted to hurt myself. My kids are the only thing keeping me sane. My husband keeps lying to me, stealing from me, using me to no apparent end. We have had so many problems and even though I accept responsibility for my part in making things difficult I feel like I am being emotionally abused. I spent the past twelve months trying to make my relationship work. I went to counselling, alone. I spent some time on anti-depressants. I tried to be more loving towards my husband even after being given every reason not to trust him. I live in constant fear that I am being cheated on. I own two cars I can't drive, my husband hides my keys knowing I can't do anything about it. I pay most of our living expenses because my husband doesn't work, leaving me to be a mum,wife, bank and loner in the weight of my responsibilities. I need out. I can't stand being lied to anymore. I can't stand having my personal property kept from me. I can't handle watching my bank account balance tell me more money goes missing then my husband tells me he spends. I don't want to feel broken everytime my husband blames me for everything. How do I get out without destroying my children and livelihood in the process. I'm scared. Who can I turn to for help?