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

user88 relationship affected by trust issues and anxiety
  • replies: 2

a while ago my partner found out about someone I've been with in the past, which I did not want to happen, I did not consent. it happened over a year ago, before I was with my partner. when he asked me about it I lied at first and said it didn't happ... View more

a while ago my partner found out about someone I've been with in the past, which I did not want to happen, I did not consent. it happened over a year ago, before I was with my partner. when he asked me about it I lied at first and said it didn't happen. I know its wrong to lie but I was so terrified he would judge me, but also Ive been lying to myself ever since it happened, trying to convince myself that it never happened. he didn't believe my lie, and I told him the truth. He got so mad at me for lying, and doesn't believe the truth. We are still together but he says he feels 'different' about me, and seems like he doesn't care yet he still says he loves me. I love him so much, and it hurts so much because I'm the bad person because I lied. but I still have to find a way to forgive myself for what happened to me. I wish he would understand that I lied because I was scared, and I was sexually assaulted yet I am the bad person in this because I lied. I'm so upset and I keep worrying. I already have anxiety and I am constantly panicking because I'm worried he's going to break up with me. I don't know if I should let it go, or try and find a way to work things out

james1 Exhaustion
  • replies: 24

Hello all, Feeling pretty miserable right now and don't know where to turn but...just looking for a bit of moral support. A pick me up, if you will. Been in a relationship with a lovely person for about 5 months. We've had our fair share of ups and d... View more

Hello all, Feeling pretty miserable right now and don't know where to turn but...just looking for a bit of moral support. A pick me up, if you will. Been in a relationship with a lovely person for about 5 months. We've had our fair share of ups and downs. I won't go into detail because it's kind of irrelevant. Just ended tonight. Not exactly mutual, but it was something I had been thinking about as well and we both knew it was going to be a make-or-break. I'm just pretty exhausted because I tried really hard when I saw there was a lot of potential for a long term relationship. But in the end, she didn't feel like she could continue on because of my on-going battle with fear of abandonment, which basically leads me to do things which can feel like emotional manipulation. And even if it subsided, it would be a constant fear in the back of her mind, and she didn't think it would ever go away. So we've parted ways amicably. I'm super sad about this. And pretty devastated that it came about because I haven't been able to control my BPD traits completely. I understand where she's coming from though. It just hurts. James

Emmy. Deciding to be a parent
  • replies: 11

I’m at the age where it’s time for me and my husband to have a child. I use to think when I was teenager that I wanted 4-6 kids. Now as an adult I see how the world can hurt us, and my mental health plays a HUGE part in making the decision. My Pop an... View more

I’m at the age where it’s time for me and my husband to have a child. I use to think when I was teenager that I wanted 4-6 kids. Now as an adult I see how the world can hurt us, and my mental health plays a HUGE part in making the decision. My Pop and Uncle (fathers side) both committed suicide. My Grandma (mother’s side) battled agoraphobia for most of her adult life. I battle with severe anxiety & depression and avoidant personality disorder. I don’t want to pass all this on to a child. But I also don’t want to let my husband down. He says he doesn’t mind if we don’t have children but I see him noticing babies and kids and smiling. Will I be denying him fatherhood and love. Know it’s a decision we both have to make together but I’m finding I’m leaning towards no more than yes. So basically what I’m asking is, has anyone else been in a similar situation where they’ve weighed up whether or not to have children based on their mental health? Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Emmy

LeahIvy Nothing to hope for
  • replies: 8

I use to motivate myself by my dreams...my dreams for a happy marriage ...children.. Now I am in my 40s, divorced, with no children. It's too late to have children. And I find myself struggling for motivation to basically look after myself - eat well... View more

I use to motivate myself by my dreams...my dreams for a happy marriage ...children.. Now I am in my 40s, divorced, with no children. It's too late to have children. And I find myself struggling for motivation to basically look after myself - eat well, exercise. I am quite lonely - my mum rings me every day to chat - I feel sorry for her - we run out of topics. My siblings are mainly supportive but they have children - their own families. My few friends are mostly married/parents. It's amazing how quickly you are dismissed from these circles because of your own childless state. It is not malicious - but they catch up with their friends who have kids, when you are at work. So I need to look for new motivations I guess. My brother tells me there are other options for families - but that I need to put myself out there. Did I mention I am overweight and the thought of dating leaves me cold. I know I need to start with taking care of my health - eating well, exercising - but then I think - what for? I will never have my children. Is there anyone out there that has worked through these issues - I would welcome any suggestions for getting some motivation back or looking at things differently. At the moment - the best I have is doing it for my family who I love - because it hurts them to see me struggling.

Hannah2015 Parents!
  • replies: 3

Hi all, Not needing any answers I just need someone to hear this. My folks are going through a particularly bad breakup and it's the saddest thing because they are/have been so unhappy for most of their married life. My dad was unfaithful and my mum ... View more

Hi all, Not needing any answers I just need someone to hear this. My folks are going through a particularly bad breakup and it's the saddest thing because they are/have been so unhappy for most of their married life. My dad was unfaithful and my mum said last night that she was going to make him pay for it for the rest of his life. She told me he has character deficiencies. She brings up all sorts of examples to evidence this. The truth is he is unfaithful. He's not a great husband. I'd leave him. The way that my mum has treated him over the years has been horrendous also. She's violent and verbally abusive. I've been diagnosed with complex PTSD in part due to the fact that there was never any safe spaces to be in my home/family. Im ok now and live far enough away that most of the drama doesn't impact me. But I'm so sad that these people don't know what it is to feel safe, secure and loved and cared for. How can two people spend a lifetime thinking it's ok to treat each other this way? Why can't they step up and get some help? Vent over.

Pitstar In law help
  • replies: 4

Hi everyone. I'm hoping to get some advice from anyone who has successfully navigated tricky in laws. I am at the point that I don't want anything to do with my in laws as they make snide comments about me related to how much money I spend, parenting... View more

Hi everyone. I'm hoping to get some advice from anyone who has successfully navigated tricky in laws. I am at the point that I don't want anything to do with my in laws as they make snide comments about me related to how much money I spend, parenting capabilities and work ethic. We have never asked them to support us financially and we don't have debts on our cars and have paid off 50% of our home. Gossiping about me often occurs with other family members, which makes me feel uncomfortable when I see these family members at family gatherings. They are also completely inflexible about when we catch up, often insisting that we catch up during my toddler's nap time as it suits their schedule for grocery shopping etc. They are both retired. All of this really upsets me, but my husband doesn't understand my feelings as he was brought up by them and feels that their behaviour is normal for older people. My parents behaviour is almost opposite to my inlaws in that they tend to turn the other cheek and are perhaps overly generous to others, which I think means that I haven't learnt to deal with difficult behaviours from parents. I really want to do the right thing by my son to give him a chance at a relationship with my in laws and feel that I should find a way of dealing with the situation, but it has a great emotional impact on me. Does anyone have any tips? Thank you

alltoomuch Which direction?
  • replies: 3

I am a wife and mother to 2. I have had depression since my teenage years but only formally diagnosed when I was about 20. After having my first child at 26 I suffered severe PND and I have been medicated since then. I had a major breakdown in 2015 a... View more

I am a wife and mother to 2. I have had depression since my teenage years but only formally diagnosed when I was about 20. After having my first child at 26 I suffered severe PND and I have been medicated since then. I had a major breakdown in 2015 and anxiety was added to the depression. More medication, psychologists, psychiatrist appointments and things slowly settled. However last year my brother died, then an aunt, an uncle, another uncle and my husbands aunt all within 12 months. We also had to have our dog put down. It's been 18 months now since my brother died but I still find I'm not coping and feel as though I haven't grieved the other deaths. Admittedly some were easier to cope with than others but I just can't deal with anymore loss! In an effort to live life to the fullest we are travelling for 12 months next year. My main concern at the moment however is I don't know if I even want to stay married to my husband. I want to do this trip and it has been our dream for years. I'm hoping it will help get things back on track and give us a chance to focus on our family and each other. My husband shows no affection toward me at all. We haven't had sex since February. He says it isn't me but I feel so alone and unloved. I don't want to think about separating or divorce but I don't know if I can continue to live like this. I am unhappy and I have no-one to talk to about this kind of stuff.

moving-forward Who could love me
  • replies: 2

Hello everyone, This is my first post and I am a little nervous. I am a divorced mother of three grown children . Two of my children are married and live in another state and one still lives at home . I would like to know if anyone else feels like th... View more

Hello everyone, This is my first post and I am a little nervous. I am a divorced mother of three grown children . Two of my children are married and live in another state and one still lives at home . I would like to know if anyone else feels like they will never be loved again? I was married for almost 20 years and have been without someone special in my life for almost 8 years now. I have been diagnosed with ADD, Anxiety and Complex PTSD in those last 8 years but have struggled with Major Depression Disorder since childhood. My self esteem bounces from a little to none . Friends tell me I am an attractive person and ask me why I am alone. How do you explain to someone that you have no self esteem without them running for the hills? I find if it hard to look in the mirror without crying. I am very unhappy with what I see. As I get older I am starting to look more like my father. My father was a very cruel person who showed no interest in me at all. We had no connection and I was terrified of him.... and his judgement. I have tried so many things to help improve my confidence and self -esteem . I struggle everyday with thoughts of everyone being better than me. I need help but have no clue where to turn. So I guess my question is..... how can I improve my self-esteem and finally be happy with what I see in the mirror?

Nadine_A Partner breaking up due to depression/children
  • replies: 3

My partner of 5 years has had depression for at least 10 years and has been on the same medication (that I know of). We each have our own children and we happily live separately for now, with an intent to cohabitate in the future. My partner has chil... View more

My partner of 5 years has had depression for at least 10 years and has been on the same medication (that I know of). We each have our own children and we happily live separately for now, with an intent to cohabitate in the future. My partner has children in their late teens that rarely come to visit/stay. We have a wonderful healthy, happy, respectful, honest and kind relationship. We never argue except for when his children visit. Initially they liked me, however they suddenly turned and for the past 3 years they disrespect me and/or ignore me. The children won't invite me to family gatherings or events. My partner doesn't like confrontation and finds it difficult to enforce respect from them. He is also fearful he will lose all contact with them. He has ended our relationship twice before. My disdain about his kids behaviour has sent his already depressed state into flight mode. Both times I should of respected his space but I was too concerned for him (and also very hurt) to leave his side during the time and we ended up reconciling (and him regretting the breakup) about 2-3 weeks later on both occasions. Recently I felt my partner was feeling down due to a financial worry. Following an exhausting discussion carried out over the last 4 days regarding his children's behaviour towards me and my request for some boundaries to be sent via email to them, he broke up with me via email yesterday stating he was leaving the country. I believe he has and has switched his phone off. He has blamed himself for letting his children cause me to be hurt and wrote he is "breaking up with me". I have no idea where he is or for how long. I will respect his space this time however I am devastated. I think the ongoing issue with his kids we can resolve together over time. Although not living together, we have a very committed relationship. As early as last week we both had discussed we were happy being with each other. Does this sound like it's a permanent separation? Do I email him in a few days? I am deeply sorry for causing him pain. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

Cs2h Feel all lonely
  • replies: 3

A little bit of story on me: i had 2 miscarriage before falling pregnant with my now 16months old daughter A. Because of the 2miscarriage I didn't enjoy my 3rd pregnancy as i was always scared of having a 3rd miscarriage. Once A was born I didn't get... View more

A little bit of story on me: i had 2 miscarriage before falling pregnant with my now 16months old daughter A. Because of the 2miscarriage I didn't enjoy my 3rd pregnancy as i was always scared of having a 3rd miscarriage. Once A was born I didn't get the mother daughter bond i wanted and instead of my husband family supporting me and try to make me enjoy motherhood they actually made me fall into depression. When my SILS & BIL came to the hospital the day A was born not one of them congratulate us they went straight to see A and saying how perfect she was and they didn't even ask me "how was i doing" for 16months they have never asked me "how i'm feeling". We have asked all the close relatives to do the whooping cough vaccine and my MIL has refused to do it because in her time there was no such things as whooping cough and for her doing this vaccine was kind of affecting her pride as a person. So i've asked her kindly to not put the baby too close to her face and definitely not to kiss her and because I've asked her to do that, i've got my SIL telling me that i'm disrespectful towards her mum and that the house i'm living is not my house and the room I'm using is not my room and that my MIL has raised 6kids so she knows what she's doing and what she's saying. Also my MIL wanted us to make a big party for the 1 month of our daughter but I refused because she didn't had her first set of injection and having strangers coming to see her, hold her and possibly kiss her was just a no for me. Again my SIL saw this as me being disrespectful because my MIL couldn't show her first grandchild to all of "her" friends. From there on my SIL has just completely make me feel invisible and that only A, my husband and my In laws was important in her life. So she would greet A with a big smile while i don't get a simple "hi" every decision that i made would be questioned and will always have my SIL having to put her input on it. Or if my in laws were to say something to us we wouldn't be allow to respond back because they took it as a sign of disrespect. An example, my FIL was teaching our daughter to slap the dog and my husband have kindly asked him not to do that but my SIL would say "why you telling dad off?" My MIL have call her grandchild "stupid and selfish" she have said that she will be ashamed of her if she couldn't speak their native language. I don't understand how people can act that way as if they don't understand my feeling!