Relationship and family issues

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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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Molly91 Advice please
  • replies: 18

Hello everyone, I'm very new to this.. My partner and I are an extremely close couple , very similar and we enjoy nothing more than to spend time with each other and our beautiful animals. I first met him through work and we instantly hit it off. I k... View more

Hello everyone, I'm very new to this.. My partner and I are an extremely close couple , very similar and we enjoy nothing more than to spend time with each other and our beautiful animals. I first met him through work and we instantly hit it off. I knew he was seperated but he told me they were going to be divorced and was only a matter of time as he wanted to progress in life with me and have a future. Fast forward 2 years and I'm still asking him when... I get excuse after excuse and he even gets defensive about it , saying "it's between us" and "it doesn't have anything to do with you" ect. 95% of the time, we couldn't be happier. Genuinely happy. But I feel that it does have something to do with me as I am meant to be in his picture. He talks about her all the time, still has contact, sends her birthday gifts and gives her staff discount. To top it off, he hides me from her. He has told me all this. I really don't know what to do. I have voiced my feelings now for 2 years and not even a tiny bit of action to get divorced or the ball rolling. I feel worthless and at the bottom of his priority list. She cheated on him and he defensive of her. They've been seperated nearly as long as they were married. We were meant to be moving into our first home together but I feel completely uncomfortable with that idea as her presence is too strong and involved. I need advice, I love him but I can't stick around to be disrespected. I'm a simple person and don't ask for much,I simply wanted him to put our future before his past, but he won't.

white knight Cutting ties, clarity and confidence
  • replies: 1

The ebb and flow can be confusing for many of us, the fluidity of allowing some to come closer to us on a personal level and others we push away and some far further. What action we take - is it over reaction, under reaction or should we not react at... View more

The ebb and flow can be confusing for many of us, the fluidity of allowing some to come closer to us on a personal level and others we push away and some far further. What action we take - is it over reaction, under reaction or should we not react at all? Most of those questions linger in the under confident whereas the confident do as they think is best for them automatically. Are the latter lacking guilt? Or the thinkers, the dwellers, full of guilt? Guilt has a large part to do with harming ourselves in terms of the inner turmoil we suffer in doubting ourselves. Yet us humans differ in so many ways and as a species we fall into conflict often. Those that dont have conflict- what does it say about them? In my observations the mean description could be "fence sitters" that do lots of listening, reply with neutral tones, like a social sponge without thorns. That not being critical, they are who they are and they survive easier in life among others far better without such controversy, but just as they are permitted to tackle the vastness of human swill so are those that find it difficult in their own world of disharmony. That spectrum includes is our own character and thats ok but the latter results in greater guilt and thats the core of this post Family and friends can possess adverse issues- their toxicity can include, manipulation, revenge, violence, verbal abuse, grandiosity, arrogance, possessiveness and so forth. When a family is divided not unlike marriage separation, the grief is on par with a death. Some families suffer parting of the ways that are permanent, then never patching things up is indeed like loved ones passing away as the damage done is so deep. Such conflicts are often caused by basic beliefs of how we all treat each other. In some of the male dominated professions I've worked in if a guy discusses his dislike and actions of another to other males in a group he could be seen as either disloyal or not containing the conflict with the person he has the issues with, either way he could end up alienated. That's one form of turmoil that can cause major issues not easily repaired. Guilt in your decision making can lead to major mental challenges as you battle internally for peace. This is where professional therapy is a marvel to not only cope with the guilt but sort through what could be irregular actions by the people you are interacting with. Clarity via therapy can confirm your reactions as appropriate or not for peace of mind. TonyWK

Toni_Hall Scared of my ex and missing my kids
  • replies: 10

My ex partner has a long history of being angry. He holds me completely at fault for our relationship breakdown three years ago, and has aggressively sought to alienate me from our kids, to the extent that my teenage daughter stopped coming to stay h... View more

My ex partner has a long history of being angry. He holds me completely at fault for our relationship breakdown three years ago, and has aggressively sought to alienate me from our kids, to the extent that my teenage daughter stopped coming to stay here after he claimed that I had an affair whilst we were still together. She sent me horrible, hate filled messages for a long time. Of late, she has sneaked over a few times and we've chatted about all sorts of things, but tonight she has suddenly told me she can't see me again. My 10 y.o. son (who still comes, despite being withheld apparently of his own free will) and I still have lots of time together, and have a lot of quality time whenever we can, but I do notice some things coming through in his behaviour - the first day or two back he talks to me like I'm dirt, and most of the time I have to be very careful about my approach to talking about anything he has done wrong, as he immediately tells me that it is my fault and becomes very angry and/or distressed in seconds, like a switch has been flipped. I can't even frown in his presence or breathe incorrectly, as he'll take it as a sign of anger from me and become defensive. I have no other support, no outlet for discussion, and am constantly working hard to avoid conflict with my reactive ex, and to support our kids without setting him off, giving them free passes to behave badly, or lose my (great) job because of the unreasonable demands my ex makes (if he has his way, he'll move my son to a third school in three years). He has the marital home and all of the resources, and despite custody and financial agreements, continues to do what he likes, when he likes. I have long given up aspirations of making this work ad a co-parent situation, and I'm now just trying to survive and do the best I can for our kids, whilst he manipulates my world and theirs at his whim. I feel so lost. I've been speaking with a social worker for 6 months, but she can't be here 24/7, and I can't keepholding this in. I know I'm doing everything I can, and I'm doing it the right way, but I'm exhausted. I can't take the kids away, because they will hate me for doing it - they love him, and he's done a great job of holding them emotionally captive. All I want is to have my time with them and not have to worry that he'll destroy them or my relationship with them over his need to be seen as a victim.

Vil I dont know what to do
  • replies: 5

I am a 22 year old living with my younger sister on rent. Her boyfriend stays with us 5 days a week (for free). That alone is difficult to deal with considering how hard I am working in a low income job, but Ive been dealing with depression and anxie... View more

I am a 22 year old living with my younger sister on rent. Her boyfriend stays with us 5 days a week (for free). That alone is difficult to deal with considering how hard I am working in a low income job, but Ive been dealing with depression and anxiety for quite a while too. I have a hard time cleaning up but I do my best to clean up before the day ends. For some reason, my efforts are not enough for my sister. She keeps telling me that I dont wash the dishes nor do I do any cleaning in the house that doesn't involve my dog. I clean the living room, all floors except for the bathroom and my sister's room and the balcony. I also do my dishes and clean the kitchen but not immediately after I finish eating. My sister cleans the bathroom and the kitchen when she cooks. Yesterday, my sister went to sleep without washing a couple of her dishes so I washed them with mine. I told her about it today because she ALWAYS tells me if I miss mine. She started getting angry about it and telling me that she never tells me if I dont clean. I know better than that. Our dynamic used to be the opposite: I was very clean, my sister was not so clean. She changed a lot after her boyfriend started coming over. I've told her about how I dont feel like doing anything at all during the day. I dont even want to take a shower let alone doing the dishes, but I still get it done. I just wish she were a bit more supportive, especially because of the amount of stress I have to go through with my mom and dad trauma dumping only on me(older sibling issues) and her boyfriend coming over.I recently had a surgery and my sister was supposed to accompany me but she forgot about it and scheduled to go to work on the day when it was her free day. She did this so she could skip work the next day to go out with her boyfriend. She never listens to me, never talks to me, everything is just so different. I wouldn't be feeling this bad about it but I do because I dont have friends because I dont leave my house. I wish I could talk to her about it but she is just too engrossed in her relationship to see me struggling to get through the day (I dont look like I struggle because that's just how I am, but Ive told my sister about it). Sorry if this feels more like a rant. Ive never done this before

scallopsarenice Relationship advice appreciated, I have a boyfriend but met someone new recently
  • replies: 3

I met the other person (Adam) at work… just several weeks ago, and we hit it off immediately. We have been seeing each other a couple times a week now regularly outside of work, going on dates. When we met we spoke about our past relationships. I did... View more

I met the other person (Adam) at work… just several weeks ago, and we hit it off immediately. We have been seeing each other a couple times a week now regularly outside of work, going on dates. When we met we spoke about our past relationships. I did tell him a had a boyfriend however, so I thought that would be it. We hung out after work, that night I went back to his place and we watched some Netflix and just chatted as friends. Next day we hung out again, and we had a long convo about our troubles and I also talked about how I have a friend with benefits, one thing led to the next and we were in bed together. The physical chemistry is great and I actually really enjoy it with Adam; prior I have not enjoyed it as I have had some bad experiences. He also ticks a lot of boxes in terms of my ideal guy in terms of height, body type/build, career & education, life goals just to name some. The problem is I have a boyfriend. We live together and it’s been difficult for me to explain where I’ve been and who with lately (to which I just lie anyway). It also makes any potential breakup even more difficult. I don’t want to break his heart because he thinks that we’re going to be together forever. My family loves him as well. In general my relationship with my bf (half a year younger than me, Tom) is loving and great but lacking in the physical compatibility department. I don’t even like kissing him sometimes, and view him more as a best friend nowadays. Tom has a great personality, really loves me, wants to trust me (he doesn’t know abt my cheating). For Tom, I’m his first girlfriend and he hasn’t had experience. I don’t know if I can marry someone who physically is incompatible but compatible personality and interest-wise. I feel he lacks the desirable characteristics and street smart skills that Adam has, but again Adam is older. I want to find out more about Adam first before I make any life changing decisions. I was told that work flings dont usually work out, or that people wouldn’t date and trust someone who was already in a relationship when they met. Should I keep seeing Adam and see how things go? Should I break up with my current bf? Im worried this is some kind of honeymoon stage and that the same cycle will repeat. I really do want Adam to like me and for us to become something but it’d be at a huge cost and gamble at this stage. Another option would be to stop seeing Adam despite how much I like him right now, and get back to my relationship with Tom

MattW5 MattW
  • replies: 1

Hi All, Long story short, my wife & parents do not get along, I put it down to different personalities & lack of understanding each other, my parents are simple easy going people but my wife has a more serious structured approach to things. Basically... View more

Hi All, Long story short, my wife & parents do not get along, I put it down to different personalities & lack of understanding each other, my parents are simple easy going people but my wife has a more serious structured approach to things. Basically this causes friction, between both sides & i am continually stuck in the middle of it which is extremely hurtful depressing, my wife continually says i need to put her & my son first, which in her mind is to back her up & tell my parents off, when she is just as much if not more in the wrong, the final straw was in when we went on family trip to Fiji with my parents back in March things were going smoothly, until 4 days in we had dinner together & my parents didn’t offer to pay the bill, at the beginning i said split the bills as we were paying she made a comment to me saying your parents are tight asses & didn’t even get a free meal out of them, i reacted by saying stop being childish i said split bill. The next morning we had a day trip planned together & she continued to make sly comments all day trying to get my parents to react, after the day had finished my wife went for a walk & my parents ordered room service for our son to our room, as i was feeding him my Mum knocked on my door to see if he got his food, i let her in as i shut the door my wife was outside & said great you shut the door in my face, this just set everything off i didn’t see her she then turned on my Mum saying she saw me coming & didn’t say anything they argued back & forth, as my Mum raised her voice my wife discreetly pulled her phone out to record her, while sitting calmly in the corner of the room with the intent to make my Mum look bad, my Mum left the room & my wife sent the footage back home to her family to have open commentary on it without knowing the full story of the drama my wife caused. It is now July she won’t let my parents see my son, nor let me see them without putting up resistance, i cannot ring them at home nothing, she said to only speak with them 2 times a week, i speak to them through the week while i am on my way home from work & this still bothers her yet she speaks to her parents every day & expects me have more to do with her parents then my own parents. I feel unless i cut ties with my family she will never be satisfied, it’s not going to happen so i am miserable. i just want to be able to have my son see my parents & also freely talk & see them by flying up to visit as i live away from them.

Toochatty Obsessed with my Mates wife
  • replies: 20

Hey Guys I need to get it off my chest as I can’t tell anyone about it and it’s tearing Me up. I am a married man& My Mate is also Married. His wife is a very kind caring person and the first time I had a one on one chat with her she really impressed... View more

Hey Guys I need to get it off my chest as I can’t tell anyone about it and it’s tearing Me up. I am a married man& My Mate is also Married. His wife is a very kind caring person and the first time I had a one on one chat with her she really impressed Me. The more I got to know her the more I liked her & really liked her. I would make up excuses to talk to her or txt her about trivial things, when she would reply to a txt it made me feel really good. I have sent her a lot of txt messages and she always replies but I know she has never messaged me first only replying to Mine. She doesn’t wear provocative clothing but I find her incredibly sexy , I keep looking at her photos on Facebook , when I hear She has spoken to another Man I get jealous. I fantasise about being with her & I can’t stop thinking about her. When I’m around her I feel like a dog on heat & nothing else matters. I know I shouldn’t feel this way about My mates wife but I do , I’m in love/lust/obsessed Obviously I can’t talk to My wife or Mate about this and I am scared to tell My mates wife in case she doesn’t feel the same and tells everyone not sure what to do hey

AudreyOnTrack Financially trapped with an angry husband
  • replies: 2

I really need some perspective. My husband says I'm blowing things out of proportion, of course, but I think my concerns are valid.My husband has anxiety. He grew up in an abusive household. I am now afraid he is perpetuating the cycle of anger and a... View more

I really need some perspective. My husband says I'm blowing things out of proportion, of course, but I think my concerns are valid.My husband has anxiety. He grew up in an abusive household. I am now afraid he is perpetuating the cycle of anger and anxiety with our children. We have a one-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son together, and I have a teenage daughter from a previous relationship.Now, we all know how anger rules a household, and this is something that he knows from his own childhood, but I believe he doesn't think his anger is a concern to the rest of the family because he is not as aggressive as his own father was. But just because he is not as bad as his own father was doesn't mean it's still not bad. I would also argue that he is not as bad as his own father because I have stood up for my children time and time again - if I hadn't, I'm not sure my husband would have put in the effort to try and control his anger.The breaking point was yesterday morning when our son spat out a mouthful of breakfast and my husband got mad, then started yelling in our son's face, "Stop crying, there's nothing wrong". I jumped in and took our son out of the situation immediately. I withdrew, got the kids and myself ready and went to work/daycare dropoff and didn't speak to my husband all day. When I tried to talk to him after the kids went to bed, he got angry that I didn't bring this all up this morning and left him to have a horrible day. He doesn't think this is as big a deal as I'm making it out to be, and that he's just trying to teach our son to listen to him. But then in the next breath was saying that he made a mistake and that I'm just waiting for him to make mistakes so I can accuse him of...I don't even know what. It's a whole convoluted situation. I would actually like to leave. I would like my children to grow up in a peaceful household. But even though I work a very decent job and earn a decent wage, I have three children to house and cloth and give a good childhood to - I'm not sure that leaving will be the best thing, mostly because that's another thing my husband said last night; that I'm putting the children at a huge financial disadvantage and I'll never be able to afford them. Oh, and that I'll be ruining his relationship with his children. Please, I need some perspective. Is there any chance I am actually blowing this whole situation out of proportion, and that his behaviour isn't really bad for the kids?

AudreyOnTrack I snooped on my daughter's phone and found out her stepmother undermines me
  • replies: 4

My daughter is 14. She and I have what I perceive to be a great relationship - she talks to me, laughs with me, tells me who she has a crush on, gets excited when we spend one on one time together, gets angry at me when I tell her "no" and every now ... View more

My daughter is 14. She and I have what I perceive to be a great relationship - she talks to me, laughs with me, tells me who she has a crush on, gets excited when we spend one on one time together, gets angry at me when I tell her "no" and every now and then comes and cuddles on the couch when we watch TV. She spends half her time with me, and half her time at her dad's house.Her father has a wife and together they have three other children. My daughter loves her stepmother, referring to her as her "other mum". That's fine. But I started to have my suspicions about how her stepmother talks about me. There were little things, like my daughter saying things to me that she clearly hadn't thought of herself. Offering opinions that clearly weren't her own.So I looked through her phone. Yes, I know that's not ok. I know it's private and that it was an invasion of privacy. It came from a place of genuine concern. I found that I was right, my daughter's stepmother openly and actively undermines me, says nasty things about me and seems to be trying to get my daughter to hate me.Things I found:1. Repeated instances of stepmother encouraging my daughter not to talk to me until I respond to messages stepmother sent me.2. Screenshots of message I sent to stepmother and she makes fun of my good grammar ("I mean, why does she feel the need to write so formally, it's just a message, it's like she's trying to show off!) I'm a professional brand writer; it's just how I write.3. Turning things I say into running jokes. For example, I had been encouraging my daughter to find a hobby to get her away from screens, and there were repeated instances of "haha, maybe that should be your hobby!".4. Many, many times where stepmother says things like, "I mean, I should just ask your mum to come have a coffee with me so we can be friends, but your mum would never come", which, for the record, she has never done.She also calls me rude. Now, to be honest, I am not the most friendly person to her, because I have had my suspicions for a long time about what has been going on. I am not overly friendly, I am polite, but never rude. I don't actually care what she says about me. But I do care that my daughter has this constant barrage of negative talk about me because it's never my daughter who instigates it, and she doesn't wholeheartedly engage in any of this. I want to put a stop to it.What do I do?

jd03 Unsure what to do at this point… :/
  • replies: 2

So it’s my birthday today. I’m only young hut I feel like a complete mess and I’m so scared my mental health is going to keep getting worse (like it has been) until I can’t bear it any more. Anyway, I had such a great day and was so happy to finally ... View more

So it’s my birthday today. I’m only young hut I feel like a complete mess and I’m so scared my mental health is going to keep getting worse (like it has been) until I can’t bear it any more. Anyway, I had such a great day and was so happy to finally have a carefree day where I could just relax and be myself. But we went to walk our dogs and a small fight broke out, where dad simply raised his voice slightly. This was a nothing fight but for some reason it made me a little upset because I feel like I can’t even go one day without upsetting someone/making someone angry at me (not even my birthday). I never used to be this sensitive, however I think a combination of anxiety, depression and a history of getting yelled at and getting lectured makes even small things upset me now. I should also mention that my depression/depressive states often get mistaken for me being grouchy too (which leads to everyone getting mad at me). Anyway when we got home I was giving it my all to hold back my tears (because I didn’t want my family to think I was upset on my birthday). I was basically told that I have no reason to be upset over such a small thing and that I have to have more tolerance over things like this. ‘Having more tolerance’ is kind of like a trigger phase for me now. Sometimes I am intolerant to some annoying noises etc but I get told this phrase day after day and it really hurts sometimes because it makes it feel like my emotions are invalid and I’m just a sook/cry baby. I just don’t know what to do because I love dad with all my heart and I’m the luckiest person material wise, but it really scars me when he gets mad so often and I have to just hold my emotions in. I’m so lucky to have what I have and I love my parents so much but at the same time I worry that I’m being emotionally damaged by staying at home (even though I don’t have the means to move away right now), but I also don’t want dad to be isolated and lonely when he tries to look after our family so well. I just feel like I’m stuck in this impossible situation and quite isolated and I just want to know that there is someone else out there who can relate or provide some advice. I feel like all my opinions are invalid but at the same time I love my family so much and I don’t know what to do. I’m just really down and I don’t like crying in bed alone on my birthday I just don’t know if what I feel is valid sometimes or not, and I’d really like to find out how to tell. Thanks all.