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

Guest_4681 Dealing with self obsessed in laws
  • replies: 1

Hi fellow overthinkers, Am in a fix , am struggling to deal with my FIL who is extremely selfish and double standard person, he visits and stays with us for a year for last 15 years..up until 2018 my MIL was alive and they both used to stay for a yea... View more

Hi fellow overthinkers, Am in a fix , am struggling to deal with my FIL who is extremely selfish and double standard person, he visits and stays with us for a year for last 15 years..up until 2018 my MIL was alive and they both used to stay for a year and them break for abt 6 months then again same thing...since my hubby is only son he has to be there for them. My FIL is extremely social and he has no probs reaching out to strangers, sometimes he calls ppl over wen we are not there...I feel vulnerable around him due to my past experiences with my in laws..they have given me the worst time of my life...thr is no real respect in me for them , it's only coz of my hubby that I put up with him..it's been 19years of marriage but my past still haunts me especially when he stays with us..I get extremely frustrated and keep winging about everything to my hubby...am a natural giver so it's hard for me to behave against my nature but with him I feel like not doing anything but end up doing more than he deserves..I hv an issue that am a rebel...I cannot take any inappropriate comment or fake emotions..I hv to give bk...i can be very upfront and blunt if I do not agree with any1...I hv to express my true emotion...I cannot fake it..these days I feel like a loser and helpless..I feel like a problem myself...my hubby ignores his behaviour and move on but I can't...sometimes I feel like giving up on this marriage itself where my hubby only corrects me and ask me either to ignore or being smart in replying...I feel unheard and unsupported..I hv 2 school going girls and I don't want them affected because of my decision...am on antidepressants for last 10 years and not working right now...I support my hubby in every possible way but I barely get any acknowledgement..am sorry guys I may sound very random but my thoughts are all over the place am finding it hard to gather my thoughts and express correctly...not sure wat to do..any suggestions or help will be appreciated..thanks a ton..lots of Love and Light y'all

Edna Average Emotionally drained - elderly and sick parents
  • replies: 2

Hi all, I haven’t posted in a while. I suffered burnout and depression after a really unpleasant work experience up until a year ago. Even though I managed to escape and find a better situation, I feel like I’m still recovering from a traumatic and d... View more

Hi all, I haven’t posted in a while. I suffered burnout and depression after a really unpleasant work experience up until a year ago. Even though I managed to escape and find a better situation, I feel like I’m still recovering from a traumatic and damaging experience. The new job is quite stressful but in a better way I guess but I’m still dealing with the fallout and it has severely impacted my physical health and emotional wellbeing. Trying so hard to develop and maintain healthier coping mechanisms, but can’t stick to regular exercise routines and my nutrition is very erratic.The thing is that now I’m coping with a very ill and elderly father and my mother not coping well either. I’m extremely close to both of them and in fact, my counsellor has previously identified enmeshment. I call my mother every night to check in, as they live over two hours away. I also see them every week or two when they’re in my city for medical appointments. Most nights I hang up from our calls feeling incredibly drained after hearing all the problems with her, my father and my older sibling. It has always been negative but is worse than ever. I also find myself offloading my problems with her and feeling terrible for it, but it’s as the old saying goes ‘misery loves company’. Lately I’ve been dreading the calls and sometimes skipping them to preserve the little energy I have left after a stressful work week. Some nights I can barely cook for myself and go to bed exhausted and scroll on my phone to zone out until I fall asleep. Tonight I snapped at my mother after she repeated a negative story in the same conversation. I just couldn’t deal with it after experiencing chronic pain (headaches) and work stress for the last two weeks. She got upset and hung up, which made me feel more guilty. I know if I call to apologise she’ll either ignore the phone or give me the cold treatment… It’s hard because I live alone and don’t have a strong support network, so I internalise everything and it’s making me really sick and I’ve put on over 15kgs through emotional eating. I’m booked to see a new counsellor next week to discuss coping mechanisms, but wondered if anyone has advice based on their experience? I want to distance myself but they need me more than ever. However, I feel like I need support too! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Localfruit Found my wife having affair with her ex-boss
  • replies: 1

I am a 50yr old man.Last week I tracked my wife and found she has been checking into a motel 20km from where we lived. I don't know how long this has been going on.I confronted her, and after a very long pause, she confessed that she had been having ... View more

I am a 50yr old man.Last week I tracked my wife and found she has been checking into a motel 20km from where we lived. I don't know how long this has been going on.I confronted her, and after a very long pause, she confessed that she had been having an affair with her ex-boss which she worked with for 12 years, and claimed they never had sex. Her ex-boss is from a senior management role. Her lies keeps going. I have already forgiven her for the 2 past affairs when we were married within the 1st five years (honeymoon marriage).My heart is shattered, and feel so much pain.We have been married 23 years. We have 2 children 17yrs and 14yrs.She never showed any signs of affair, although it is hard to forget her past affairs.I am always away for work for days in a week. We laughed and have dinner with kids occasionally. We have heated quarrels from time to time.Now she says I was to blame,- because I don't listen to her, don't talk to her or my kids. - And when I come back, all I want is sex. Unfortunately for her, I do have a high sex drive. So now she is having sex with another man???- She says I speak with a harsh tone to her and my kids.- she says I belittle her.- she says i am distant from my parents and siblings, which maybe true, because I am a very private person.I am not rich, and I (or we) worked constantly to build our dream home, and save up money. So one day, we can start travelling around the world.My world has just crashed, and I am having trouble coping. Please help.

Wanwi_S Cleaning
  • replies: 3

My partner and I have an argument about cleaning the house. He told me everything doesn't need to be perfect when it doesn't. He told me not to push myself too hard to clean when the dishwasher only runs once a day, washing machine run once a week. W... View more

My partner and I have an argument about cleaning the house. He told me everything doesn't need to be perfect when it doesn't. He told me not to push myself too hard to clean when the dishwasher only runs once a day, washing machine run once a week. We have a robot vacuum. I could do it all on my own but what I don't understand is why we are not sharing the load.We have a 2 year old and I'm pregnant. I told him if he likes to do it his way, I won't touch his stuff. He can clean whenever he wants in his own convenient. I will just stop asking for help becuase it's more exhausting than doing the cleaning myself. He said it's good, just like when he was single.

Blue_baby I need help healing
  • replies: 1

My boyfriend and I were together when we were 16 for about 7 months. We broke up and we’re no contact and got back together 3 years later. Our relationship wasn’t healthy at all on both our parts and I should’ve known that people break up for a reaso... View more

My boyfriend and I were together when we were 16 for about 7 months. We broke up and we’re no contact and got back together 3 years later. Our relationship wasn’t healthy at all on both our parts and I should’ve known that people break up for a reason but I obviously got back with him because I love him. My boyfriend and I have had a rocky history where he previously cheated on me during our first relationship and he admitted it to me before we got back together because he felt guilty. We had some problems with him sleeping with another girl. Although we weren’t exclusive or dating. He told me he loved me and slept with another girl. I had a few problems with him watching inappropriate videos of other girls online and listening to girlfriend simulation ASMR which got brought up three times until it ultimately stopped. it’s been long since this problem and we he hasn’t done anything like that and he’s honestly changed. We’ve had conversations about how he previously treated me and he openly admits he was young and under the influence of his “friends” who ultimately wanted to sabotage our relationship to try get with me right after we broke up. Today we were having a conversation about my body and how my dysmorphia impacts us being intimate. He opened up to me and told me he had slept with a girl from my highschool during the time we broke up and she was a lot bigger than me and he doesn’t hate bigger girls. I’m really upset over his past because he slept with people I knew and I know I wasn’t with him but it makes me feel disgusted especially because I’ve seen some of these people multiple times and had many conversations with them and feel stupid to know those girls where sleeping with him as I was having conversations with them. I feel like I’m constantly having to heal over so many things in this relationship. I really do love him and honestly he’s changed for the better but I can’t help but think I’ve been hurt too much and there’s so much history to get over. I fear I’ll look back later on in my life and realise I settled for less or be unhappy with myself and relationships in the end. I have anxiety so I constantly overthink. We moved 16 hours away together from our city to move in together and get a better jobs but also to escape where we came from because we honestly were so toxic and had so many people know about us and obviously news about whose been sleeping with who (as I mentioned my boyfriend slept with multiple people after we broke up). I currently can’t afford the rent and I’m far away from any support. I have no friends. I have no car and usually share my boyfriends car. I am also no longer in contact with my family as I had an abusive relationship with them. I still love my boyfriend and maybe the best thing for my situation is to continue with the relationship despite the trauma and hurt and try to heal because at the end of the day he is a different person to who he was. I just need advice on how I can heal and manage my anxiety and overthinking. Or if I am making the right decision.

Gamechanger I am totally over everything
  • replies: 11

I live with my almost 19 year old son. I have issues and am on DSP because of these issues. I work as much as I can and keep everything running although I don't feel like doing so most of the time. The house is always clean, bills paid, lots of food ... View more

I live with my almost 19 year old son. I have issues and am on DSP because of these issues. I work as much as I can and keep everything running although I don't feel like doing so most of the time. The house is always clean, bills paid, lots of food etc and I make nice meals everynight. My son is so disrespectful and he is seriously upsetting me. He does nothing but sit in his computer room swearing at idiots on the game. He spends his pittance from his part time job on weed and takeaway food. He had his idiot friend over the other night. They got totally drunk. His friend was asleep on the couch...my son was being totally crazy. Set fire to his pants by the back door, if I hadn't been aware of this the whole house could have gone up in flames. He was being disgusting, rude, scaring me and being so disrespectful to me. The day after he was ashamed and apologetic. He then had insomnia for three nights and again became argumentative and belligerent towards me. I have tried getting him help and he always bails at the last minute. I am at the stage where I am starting to hate him. He is ruining any semblance of a life I could have. I do not need to be in this big house with the big mortgage. I could live in a unit and have money and no stress. He is totally incapable of living elsewhere and I would not kick him out as he would end up dead. But I am ruined inside by his behaviour and the fact I am absolutely trapped. His 'father' has a lot to do with all of this but he has remarried and has always treated my son like a nuisance. My son hates him and wants him dead. I just want some peace and I think there is only one way to get that.

Katija Totally feel trapped
  • replies: 1

Hi we've recently moved into inlaws house to help mother in law with my bedridden father in law. They live in a unit in the back yard. We pay all the bills here, totally in control of that. She says this is our house and internally she doesn't say a ... View more

Hi we've recently moved into inlaws house to help mother in law with my bedridden father in law. They live in a unit in the back yard. We pay all the bills here, totally in control of that. She says this is our house and internally she doesn't say a word about what we do, which is great. But she interferes in every thing else. From fertilising the garden to mowing the grass. She criticising my kids, their haircuts etc. Some days I just want to run away...I cry a lot as my husband doesn't want to listen. He keeps telling me to change my attitude but I don't want to. She's the bully not me. It's really making me feel trapped. I don't know what to do or who to tall to.

white knight Disowning a family member
  • replies: 31

This is by far the most difficult thread I've ever written. Finally after using my heart as my guide all my life, my head is taking over in order to save myself from serious longer term harm. And that's the reason for this thread- limiting grief and ... View more

This is by far the most difficult thread I've ever written. Finally after using my heart as my guide all my life, my head is taking over in order to save myself from serious longer term harm. And that's the reason for this thread- limiting grief and moving forward. Blood is an attachment that cant be described. As children our parents are our life, our security, our nurturing. We never expect to disown them. Our own children is what we created, we protect, we feed, we devote...we never expect to disown them. How far do you proceed with a family member when the relationship is unworkable? If it is unworkable how long do you endure any toxicity before you enter a self protection/preservation mode? Forever? Some of us presume so. Or we live in hope that it will work out one day. An example- My first wife used silence as a very effective hurtful weapon. It isn't easy describing the feeling of being ineffective with combatting it. I divorced her in 1996. Only recently did I stumble on the reason why it is used as a weapon and what you can do about it. Google Silent Treatment: Preferred Weapon of People with Narcissism So, one of my daughters is 26yo and since she was 14yo she has showed strong traits of this. She lived with her mother and I had her for visitations every second weekend and holidays. Obviously her mother had a strong influence on her and that has been on display every time her and I have communication. Every two years or so my daughter re-enters my life to create havoc. At first its fine, we talk (only on Facebook messenger as that gives her control to block me if she so desires) then after a couple of weeks of great communication - she is gone! no contact. Why? Control. My daughter is in control of when she communicates. She is well aware of the hurt she inflicts. Recently I developed that attitude, now for the hard bit- getting on with my life with people that love and adore me. PS I recently read the following phrases- Not every time losing a person in your life - is a loss I believe that Narcissists deserve our compassion, but compassion does not involve giving them permission to hurt other people or overlooking any damage that they do.” “I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. I'm not weak, I was trusting. I'm not giving up, I'm healing. There is life after narcissistic abuse, Hold On! TonyWK

Will never understand Never understand
  • replies: 3

Well it’s been nearly five years since my son went to jail. The first 4 we thought was okay but in the past 6 months it’s been hell. We were blackmailed by not so nice people. Extorchist there called to protect our son they said. We did fold and gave... View more

Well it’s been nearly five years since my son went to jail. The first 4 we thought was okay but in the past 6 months it’s been hell. We were blackmailed by not so nice people. Extorchist there called to protect our son they said. We did fold and gave them a large some of money but when they threatened my sons life and said they were coming for me, that was the final straw, I went to the detectives but sadly unless we had proof that she threatened my life, we had nothing really. My son was in a cell .23 hours a day but finally got moved 3 weeks ago to another jail. I do wonder what will happen when he gets out. So many friends say he can’t come home but as a mother I have to protect him. I don’t think I will ever understand why he is we’re he is today because that wasn’t the son I protected growing up. Something has happened to him and he found drugs and alcohol to numb his pain but sadly at someone else’s expense. Will never understand or forgive my son for what he has done but he is my son. Why can’t friends not judge and just be there, I don’t understand. I no in a heartbeat I would be there for them, no judgement. When do you no to let go of that friendship?!

adamc Mum's Birthday Payback
  • replies: 1

Let me clarify the title. It was Mum's birthday last week and I chose not to buy her anything because of her nasty, putdown attitude towards me. I'm 39, Mum she treats and speaks to me like a petulant child, tells me off for buying DVDs for myself, t... View more

Let me clarify the title. It was Mum's birthday last week and I chose not to buy her anything because of her nasty, putdown attitude towards me. I'm 39, Mum she treats and speaks to me like a petulant child, tells me off for buying DVDs for myself, trying to tell me what I can and can't do with my own money and I always overhear her and my oldest sister saying things like "Wouldn't it be great if we had a dog? I want one but the chief won't let us have one." They've been rejected on every adoption application they've put in. Because of this attitude, I didn't get Mum anything for her birthday and because of this, Dad has said I'm not to buy him anything ever and Mum has said she doesn't want me riding in her car. She goes around saying "He buys his Dad something and buys his sister presents but can't be bothered to get his own mother something." On a number of occasions, she comes up to me and says "So, are you going to be buying me anything for my birthday/Xmas/mother's day?"