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

Harry_harry Girlfriend leaving me after 2 years
  • replies: 11

Long story short the love of my life just one day didn't come home and tells me she can't be in a relationship anymore and that she still loves me. She left me because I was possessive and needy at times but refused to give me a second chance. Anyway... View more

Long story short the love of my life just one day didn't come home and tells me she can't be in a relationship anymore and that she still loves me. She left me because I was possessive and needy at times but refused to give me a second chance. Anyway I annoyed her to the point where she literally wants nothing to do with me, this is the person who we had both our life's planned out together. Our kids names already picked & so many plans. She said she just can't be in a relationship anymore. It's been 3 months and she has me blocked on everything and pretty much hates me. I've never felt so low in my entire life if anyone has edvidce it would be greatly appreciated

Alone_confused The right choice
  • replies: 8

Hi. This is the first time i have ever posted in a forum like this. I feel a little nervous. Im a middle aged guy. I’ve been married since I was 19, and now we have great children together. I guess we have always had the kind of relationship that isn... View more

Hi. This is the first time i have ever posted in a forum like this. I feel a little nervous. Im a middle aged guy. I’ve been married since I was 19, and now we have great children together. I guess we have always had the kind of relationship that isn’t focused on affection. We are both independent people and have successful careers. We don’t sleep in the same bed, we have been in separate rooms for several years now. I’m wondering, is this normal for couples who have been together a long time? I feel like this is normal for us. There was no real precursor to us going to separate rooms, it just seemed to happen over time. I think I do miss the intimacy. Which brings me to the topic of my post. At the start of the year, I became emotionally and sexually involved with a female colleague. This lasted about 2 months before I decided to finish it because it was so wrong. My relationship with my wife is okay I think. I’m not particularly unhappy, we don’t fight, we are good parents I believe. Our 3 kids are very grounded young adults that I’m very proud of. I decided I would not leave my wife or destroy our family. I don’t want our children to come from a broken home. However. I find myself missing the intimacy and affection I received during my affair. I still have feelings for the woman. My wife knows about my mistake. I was honest with her and told her. I felt sick seeing how hurt she was. But she agreed she didn’t want our family to break up because I was selfish. I said I thought we should go to counseling. But my wife didn’t think we needed to. I think these days my life really is all about the kids. I do find happiness and satisfaction in my life with them. Has anyone else lived in a situation like this?

Raewyn I am beyond miserable, scared to leave, scared to stay.
  • replies: 15

I am not sure that the 2500 characters is enough for me to write everything I need too. I need to get this all out. I do not have anybody left in my life to talk to.... In 2009 about a year after the end of my 10 year relationship (he was the love of... View more

I am not sure that the 2500 characters is enough for me to write everything I need too. I need to get this all out. I do not have anybody left in my life to talk to.... In 2009 about a year after the end of my 10 year relationship (he was the love of my life and he cheated on me), I had started to re-build my world... I had lost everything, house, his family, I miscarried. Two years earlier I lost my only family, my mum. I have no siblings or children. I moved into a house with a few books and a bed, I was severely depressed, PTSD, I started drinking at the local pub, every night. I ended up making a lot of friends there (country town), got a great job and met "S". "S" was very smart (very very smart), funny, had strong opinions, and very handsome (to me). I fell head over heels. ...at this time, I was feeling super confident, I was 34 years old, I was thin for the first time in my life (had lost weight through depression), and he just seemed perfect. He had two teenage kids (lived with the mum) who I adored. He worked fly in - fly out.. anyway...he moved in with me within a couple of months (he just started bring stuff over), he started telling me I was fat, he was going to strip clubs when he was away at work, he was treating me like a secretary (ringing me demanding I do paperwork for him), he smashed some of my belongings...he basically had control over me... in between all this bad, was lots of good, fun, laughs...it was so up and down...I was walking on eggshells mostly...over the next year or so, I lost my remaining friends... he hated them - they hated him, he simply made it hard for me, I didn't fight for them, I just let them go...and after a couple of years I was alone, just him and I. Everything for me spiralled out of control. Two years into it, and I found out he had had a vasectomy years before we met. I was devastated. I still am. I went into severe depression. I still am. He does not ask if I am unwell. I am still with him. We have not slept in the same room for 3 years. He left his job 3 yrs ago and never went back to work (lives off money from selling a house). I work from home. I cry secretly at night about not having a family. I am 42. I have no one in my life. I am scared to leave because I will really be alone, and I am already so severely depressed. We do not talk about how I feel, he goes silent.. As long as I act happy its all 'okay'. I keep thinking its me, like I have issues, that everything should be okay... I am not coping.

JWR Broken heart looking for advice
  • replies: 1

Hi all, My girlfriend of two years recently broke up with me out of the blue. We had been living together for a year and in my eyes everything was going great. We had recently purchased some items for the house (blinds, washing machine), had booked a... View more

Hi all, My girlfriend of two years recently broke up with me out of the blue. We had been living together for a year and in my eyes everything was going great. We had recently purchased some items for the house (blinds, washing machine), had booked a holiday in January and often talked about the future together. Her reasons for breaking up were very vague such as "I feel something is missing', 'I am not excited about the future' and 'we have lost our spark / chemistry'. She happily acknowledges we were best friends, loved each others company and had a ball living together. In my mind we had become a bit complacent living together in terms of keeping the romance alive but it wasn't anything that couldn't have been fixed and is quite common in relationships. Sometimes I wonder if she watches too much reality romance TV where the idea of love is sensationalised and isn't exactly reality. In addition, there have been some other things happen in her life lately that have had a big impact on her. She lost her job 4 months ago and is unemployed. Her career was so important to her so this has been causing her a lot of stress/anxiety and she has said she feels a loss of identity. Also, she has had to get some facial surgery lately which has left her with scarring. She is extremely self conscious about this. I wonder if these events have caused her some depression and as a result she is pushing me away? She has pushed members of her family away previously when under extreme stress studying at uni and for the HSC (this was before I knew her). For the moment we have agreed to give each other space and time to heal. We have said we are always there for each other and perhaps will be friends down the track. We have never broken each others trust, get on great with each others family and always have so much fun hanging out so in my mind we have the foundation of a successful long lasting relationship. I am just absolutely heart broken as I had never had a single doubt she was the girl I wanted to marry and build a future with. Do you think her current life situation is impacting her thinking or has she just realised I am not the one for her? Any advice on what to do from here? Thanks. JWR

tashi My Father dying distancing himself
  • replies: 4

Hi all sorry I feel like a bit of a serial poster but I find in my life no one gives honest genuine advice just sympathy that I don't want . I'm 23 and up until my dad was diagnosed with cancer we were very close . It is unlikely he will live past th... View more

Hi all sorry I feel like a bit of a serial poster but I find in my life no one gives honest genuine advice just sympathy that I don't want . I'm 23 and up until my dad was diagnosed with cancer we were very close . It is unlikely he will live past the next 4 years my heart aches to think about a world without him . I havnt had to deal with a lot of loss in my life . My father won't talk to me about it which I understand but he is becoming like a stranger to me especially ever since I had my son a few months ago . I feel like this should be the time to make memories together and for him to bond with his first grandchild it makes me incredibly sad that he always seems to be busy or when we do spend time it's awkward . I've tried to speak to him about it and he just tells me everything is fine . When I know it's not . I just wanted to make his time left special he is in denial and has refused any treatment which to me just feels like giving up .shouldnt he want to fight to be here with his children he is only 55 that's to young to give up ! What do I do everytime I'm not busy being a mum this is what I think about

Aaroninaus0 Broke it up with me
  • replies: 2

So me and my well ex now have been together for 3.5 years and I know not a super long time but we talked about marriage, kids and even named them all so it was fairly serious. For 3 of those years we lived between my house and her parents like one da... View more

So me and my well ex now have been together for 3.5 years and I know not a super long time but we talked about marriage, kids and even named them all so it was fairly serious. For 3 of those years we lived between my house and her parents like one day here one day there but we both still worked full-time. We moved out about 4-5 months ago and since then we kind of got into a routine and got comfortable with each other, and i guess started taking each other for granted. Now she could see this but I could not because I was so focused on finding a job I enjoyed and what type of career I even wanted to do for the rest of my life, it was a fairly stressful few months for me and still is. On the 3rd of this month she basically came home from a 2 day camping trip over the weekend with her friends sat me down and said we needed a break, she needed to work on stuff for herself and look I knew what it was the moment she said it so i picked a few clothes up for the week and headed over my parents, no big deal she was just going through a few things and needed space, so I thought. When I stepped back I saw the problems we where having and my part in these problems so I took this week to attempt to change the way I was with everything but in the back of my mind I knew she wanted to leave me so I would check up on her and what ever but she would never check in with me. She basically spent that week thinking of how to say to me on the following tuesday "We just arent working anymore" Its been a few god damn months of hardship for me and I spent that week thinking we where working on ourselves to better the relationship and she actually spent it trying to find the words to say to me, I felt so god damn hurt and angry that day. So after the talk i sped off to my parents and basically had a few days of seriously depression and sadness. Not once did she check up to see how I was doing, not a single god damn time. So I said to her I need to meet this was on the 13th at this time at 5am i had not slept all night. I went over there and kept fighting for her and she basically said I don't think we can fix this (a completely fixable relationship) and that there is no chance, she did not want to try not a single god damn bit. We had our little down moment but for her to completely not love me anymore, not care and not even try to make this relationship work It is so hard to stomach, every single night I have about 2-3 nightmares about it. I don't know what to do this sucks ass.

ayue For him
  • replies: 2

Title kinda says it all, the help I'm asking for isn't really for me: I've been in a relationship with a guy for about 7 months now, and recently he's been going through a period of self-doubt. I'm honestly not sure if it's depression since I know th... View more

Title kinda says it all, the help I'm asking for isn't really for me: I've been in a relationship with a guy for about 7 months now, and recently he's been going through a period of self-doubt. I'm honestly not sure if it's depression since I know that depression is different for everyone and I am in no place to diagnose him (especially as I've never had it myself), but regardless of what it actually is or isn't, it's definitely hard on him. He's very up and down lately - there are days where I'll spend the entire day with him and he's happy and smiling and in all truthfulness we don't do what we should be doing (studying) but it matters more to me that he's happy so I let it go. But then there are days where he can't convince himself to get out of bed - we can arrange to meet at 12pm, and he'll still be in bed at 4pm. We have exams coming up soon and I know he hasn't studied much, if any, and I'm worried. I love him to pieces and I wish he loved himself as much as I do but I understand that is a hard process to learn. I don't want to be more of a 'stressor' to him but I know if I don't drag him out to do things (especially study), he won't do them at all. I've probably over-done it lately: calling too much and too often, and I think it's starting to become nagging. His mother and older sister nag at him a lot already and he deals with it by ignoring it (not the best way but still) - and I think my insistence is starting to sound very similar, so I think he's starting to ignore me too. It's creating distance between us when we're not physically together and it hurts our relationship badly, hurts me a lot because little things bum me out, but right now, I think what's most important is him so I'm trying to push these feelings aside for now. I'm 100% determined to stick by him for as long as he'll have me. I don't want this relationship to become something he also feels is a chore or something he thinks he's doing badly at as well. I want to help him but I don't know how to - I don't know if the things I'm doing right now (spending a lot of time with him, trying to talk to him throughout the day, forgiving him easily when he messes up, etc.) are working. I'm worried that I'm with him too much but I worry even more that if I leave him alone, he'll spiral down because that's what it seems like happens. I've tried talking and he seems to understand in the moment but afterwards it's the same thing all over again. He's considered a psych but hasn't acted on it.

Depresso Is there hope for us?
  • replies: 10

Hi all, I've been dating a man for over a year now and have always been honest with him about my mental illness. Recently we had been discussing buying a house together and starting a family. I recently spent 6 weeks in hospital having ECT which is t... View more

Hi all, I've been dating a man for over a year now and have always been honest with him about my mental illness. Recently we had been discussing buying a house together and starting a family. I recently spent 6 weeks in hospital having ECT which is the most effective treatment for me. During that time, his parents came from interstate to help support him emotionally and also to help look after my dog (which he loves). I have no recollection of how they were during my stay due to the memory loss but they did visit several times apparently. My dr decided to release me early from hospital to spend a week with them and my dog. I appreciate that they have little understanding of mental illness etc and how hard it is to adjust to life out of hospital. And all the memory loss. (I had 20 ECT sessions). I did tell his parents that I appreciate mental health can be so unknown and they were welcome to ask me anything to help understand. There aren't enough characters here for me to explain everything that happened, but his mother was very nasty and aggressive to me, with the last straw "you said I could ask you anything, are you bipolar? No? Well you're certainly a mad bit*h and you HAVE just spent 6 weeks in a mental institution". I am still in shock by the naivety and cruelty of it. I immediately called a taxi and grabbed my dog and went home. All the time she was still abusing me. My partner was at work when this happened and he was upset at me for having left. (I appreciate it's hard for him being stuck in the middle). There has been very little to no communication between us since (a few days) but given how domineering his mother is (and he's an only child), if we work things out, is it even worth it? How can I get over that comment? I'm so tired of always being at a disadvantage in relationships because of mental health, and I am 36 and do want to have a family.

NorwayB I feel stuck
  • replies: 3

I have been with my beautiful boyfriend for three and a half years (since I was 20). He makes my heart so happy and puts an instant smile on my face. So why is my brain telling me to break up with him? Let me tell you about my situation ... I am stuc... View more

I have been with my beautiful boyfriend for three and a half years (since I was 20). He makes my heart so happy and puts an instant smile on my face. So why is my brain telling me to break up with him? Let me tell you about my situation ... I am stuck in my lease until January next year by which time the recruitment season for my profession will be over - it sucks, I know. My boyfriend and I have never lived together just us before. But we are aiming to next year. He lives two hours away from me and although we do spend great time together he always has to study. Which I feel has put a strain on me and how I feel about the relationship. We never fight or argue really. I have openly told him that I am having these thoughts and he was just so supportive of me - which makes me feel even worse! Why I am having these thoughts --- I hate them! Am I just scared of moving in together and taking that next step? Help me

Mumworrier Children with anxiety
  • replies: 4

I just posted yesterday for the very first time about my own anxiety but also realising how much I may have impacted my children. At times everything is fine but just lately my 10 year old cannot seem to go to sleep on his own and bedtime has become ... View more

I just posted yesterday for the very first time about my own anxiety but also realising how much I may have impacted my children. At times everything is fine but just lately my 10 year old cannot seem to go to sleep on his own and bedtime has become exhausting for everyone. More worryingly though is that I think he has picked up on my anxiety with illness and is now pretending to be sick. I am worried he has actually made himself vomit because he knows if he is unwell I will sit in his room until he falls asleep. He denies faking vomiting but I have seen him genuinely sick over the years of being his Mum and this feels unusual. He denies being worried about school etc when I asked if anything was bothering him. He is usually a happy and well-liked, if not maybe a little bit quirky, little boy but I am struggling to understand if he is genuinely sick or just trying to get attention or out of school or putting on a show for some other reason. At a loss!