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

Struggling_with_it Confused by sudden change to custody agreement
  • replies: 3

I am just looking for some sort of advice here. Sorry if this takes a bit of time but I need to ensure you have some familiarity with the back story. My ex wife, we separated 8 years ago under the most bizarre circumstances. That is, she just came ho... View more

I am just looking for some sort of advice here. Sorry if this takes a bit of time but I need to ensure you have some familiarity with the back story. My ex wife, we separated 8 years ago under the most bizarre circumstances. That is, she just came home from a trip with her singing group and told me we need to separate, we got counselling and it all seemed good but when we got home I was told to still move out. After separation we arranged a shared custody of our two children, now this was organised around her singing (just chorus singing nothing professional) so I had access from Wednesday evening to Saturday evening every week. This worked well and suited her. We have been doing this same custody agreement for the past 8 years. Now in the last week suddenly my children do not want to come to my house and they dont want to show affection towards me. I am a very relaxed parent and when the children are with me I provide well for them but dont expect them to do any chores or any other things around the house, my ex is the opposite she expects the children to learn to be adults and basically fend for themselves within the confines of her home. This has come as an incredibly rude shock and from out of nowhere, now my children did a rehearsed speech that stated they wanted to be with their mum most of the time and only with me for every second weekend. I have devoted my entire being to my two children, everything I do and talk about is them. I adore both of them and have never been violent or aggressive towards them. I may raise my voice sometimes but that is it. How is it possible that my ex has, in such a short period of time (five days) turned my children to the point that they do not even want to cuddle me when i turned up to talk with them let alone they dont want to come to my home. I am at a total loss here and have found that it feels as though my entire heart has been ripped from my body. I am confused and very upset. My ex wife has unfortunately, and not stating this as a target, but it needs to mentioned, she has a history of mental health issues, post natal depression (7 weeks where I was Mr Mum to a baby and a 3 year old) and a couple of years ago she tried to self harm and was hospitalised again. Again I took care of the children. I am concerned that this history is a factor and could actually be putting my children at risk. Not sure what to do Your help or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated

Jason_B Is my marriage over
  • replies: 3

We have been married for over 13 years. I love my wife very much and want to grow old together. Tonight she has said that it is over. We both come from troubled relationships. She told me that I have never put her first in our marriage. E.G. of her l... View more

We have been married for over 13 years. I love my wife very much and want to grow old together. Tonight she has said that it is over. We both come from troubled relationships. She told me that I have never put her first in our marriage. E.G. of her loyalty was to look after me after surgery. On our first year dinner anniversary, I took a call that lasted 30 mins. I regret this. The biggest mistake I am gutted by was to keep a huge financial burden, that I thought I could hide and payout without her knowing. But I cowardly told her after the birth of our first child. I tried to fix the debt issue but it took about 6 yrs to pay off. I can see when she says that I deliberately trapped her, but I never intended it to be like that. A few years later we lost our 2nd child after about 20 week mark of pregnancy. Having our first child with me and no family around I was not there for her as she had to go through the birth, seeing the blood For the loss we did not speak about it or seek counselling. She blamed herself. I tried to be there for her but I don't think it was enough. I felt I had failed her big time. Over time we had our ups and downs never really spoke about it, the only things brought up was financial, debt and not putting her first. She brought up when I was away for work. I decided to go out with work friends for the day on vespers 2 guys and 2 girls. She knows I don't like bikes and brings it up why did I go on a vesper. But she doesn't believe it was a spur of the moment day. We successfully had our 3rd child and have moved from state to state because of my work. I feel that has put extra burden on us as she has to start new friends and her family is so far away. I know I have not been her ideal husband who has made mistakes in the past and regret. But I continue to make silly mistakes according. She brought up that I have never had friends over for BBQ' she or I have never taken her to any work formal dinners in 13 years. We had a work function a few weeks ago with partners and I didn't ask her to go. I didn't want.. she tells me that I continue to not put her first in our marriage. Our anniversary present for 13th year was a lace satin black top on shorts was the wrong gift as she hates satin especially black. If I have tried to do the right things in our marriage. I know I am not the best communicator. If I do mistakes like turn right not left or lead, it becomes a major issue. I don't want to lose her. I need help with our marriage

Jane17031703 Have me or my husband got depression or some mental disorder?
  • replies: 2

Ive always been a fairly happy girl, but with a few insecurities &low self esteem. Until I met my hubby I hardly ever cried. Now I never know if he'll wake up nice &loving , or indifferent&cold towards me. I have wondered about mental issues. If I br... View more

Ive always been a fairly happy girl, but with a few insecurities &low self esteem. Until I met my hubby I hardly ever cried. Now I never know if he'll wake up nice &loving , or indifferent&cold towards me. I have wondered about mental issues. If I bring up issues he will either give silent treatment &withhold love from me or lose temper, yell, &swear. Always turns blame on me(gas lighter) This sends me in to this meltdown thing. I don't know what it is, I just lose all sense of reasoning, crying, beg him to hug&love me. I feel lowest pits of low sad All I feel when I am low is that I so much want love. I say just hug me &say nice words. Every now and then he sighs a real reluctant I love u, ur a good wife. But usually he refuses &says when u stop crying I will hug u. He withholds love from me when I'm sad. I beg for love, he just refuses. Anyway, last night I tried to discuss something with him, he literally just screamed, called me dumb and swore at me. I got sad &started crying &asked him to stop swearing at me and calling me names. He yelled it's ur fault for being dumb, then I wouldn't need to call you dumb. I kept begging he kept yelling. I got lower and lower, it felt as though he was baiting me to go lower still. I kept on saying please just hug me &show me affection, I need u. He refused &said I was having a mental attack of some kind. By this time I wonder if I was, I felt so low, all I wanted was for him to hug me &be emotionally supportive. I was crying &yelling please love me, I need you, please. I don't think I had reasoning. He said I was having a mental attack of some kind. (He always tells me that I'm sad and it's my fault, he has never said sorry in his life or cared about anything that worries me in his life, he brings the blame onto me every time) My question is am I having a mental attack, if I am what can I do? Is this all my fault? Am I not seeing things clearly? Or is he trying to control my thoughts to switch the blame onto me and tell me there's something wrong with me? I'm just so confused and have started questioning if all this time I thought he had some mental issue, maybe it was me all along & I do need help. Do I need help or does he need help or both? He refuses counseling. I cant break up with him, Im a Christian &don't believe in divorce. & I have a kid with him, I'd never be able to be away from my kid for half custody, my child needs me with him. He hates being away from me. Thanks so much

jmn251 Sudden separation, isolation from daughters, how to deal with it
  • replies: 3

Hi, I had to leave home, am living in share accommodation and only get to see my girls once a week. So much time all of a sudden. How do you deal with the sudden isolation. I gave up drinking to so I am doing it sober so it's very real. Any suggestio... View more

Hi, I had to leave home, am living in share accommodation and only get to see my girls once a week. So much time all of a sudden. How do you deal with the sudden isolation. I gave up drinking to so I am doing it sober so it's very real. Any suggestions appreciated.

Jayne18 Bipolar husband wants out of our marriage
  • replies: 5

Hi everyone I'm new on here. My husband is bi polar and recently been diagnosed. He refuses to take meds until he has sorted out his legal problems. He got into trouble with the law this was while he decided he wanted to move into his workshop. he is... View more

Hi everyone I'm new on here. My husband is bi polar and recently been diagnosed. He refuses to take meds until he has sorted out his legal problems. He got into trouble with the law this was while he decided he wanted to move into his workshop. he is now on bail living in a caravan in our backyard. He now wants space from us (me and 10yr old son) he recently meet a girl on Facebook who he has become involved in with this was after I got angry and told him to sort other living arrangements a angry moment I regret. He now says I've pushed him away. And he wants space I'm at my wits end. Thanks for listening

Warhorse Split family over two continents, feeling guilt and sadness...
  • replies: 7

Hello, I am new to this forum but unfortunately not new to depression and anxiety. I have written and rewritten this post several times. I am finding it hard to put into words what I am feeling and what I need to find out from the other forum members... View more

Hello, I am new to this forum but unfortunately not new to depression and anxiety. I have written and rewritten this post several times. I am finding it hard to put into words what I am feeling and what I need to find out from the other forum members. My situation - I grew up in Australia, moved to UK in 2001 to escape an abusive relationship. Met my now husband in 2003 (married in 2007). Lived in UK up until Feb 2014 when we moved to Australia. Currently 5 months pregnant with my first child Husband away in UK until September trying to set up a new business importing Australian products to UK, he has already been away for a month. Step-son (18) who did live with us has moved back to UK due to a relentless guilt campaign by his mother which devastated husband and still hurts us both. Step-son actually started saying that we had 'forced' him to come to Australia with us and that we were 'manipulative' and 'only trying to hurt[his] mother'. In actual fact we moved to Australia 2 years ago only after asking stepson (he was 16 at the time) how he felt, he actually wrote a letter to his mother asking her to give him permission to come with us...we did not ask him to write the letter. He came over on a return ticket so he could go back at any time, however he developed a fear of flying and so did not want to get on a plane. Since being in the Uk with his mother for just over a year he is now saying he wants to come back and that his relationship with his mother has deteriorated. So...what have I done. It seems I have met a man and his then 4 year old son, ingratiated myself upon their lives, manipulated them to move to Australia after being 13 years unhappy in UK. Finally I get pregnant after 6 years of trying, it seems I needed to come home to Australia for my body to be happy enough to get pregnant. Husband returns to UK. Husband is not happy in Australia, he misses his mates, the pubs and his family. Work was supposed to be easier here in Australia for qualified trades, however it has not been easy at all. We have put all our savings and a small loan into trying to make a go of a new venture in the UK. I have wanted a child of my own and to live in Australia for so long...I feel guilty for wanting to stay here and not go back to UK...I feel alone...I feel sad for husband...I don't really know what answers or responses I want to see for this post...this is the tenth try at putting it into words...

Kaynine_801 Moving On
  • replies: 10

Hi, this is my first post. I have recently broken up with my girlfriend of 6 years. I am 27 and she is 31. We started to have problems with my commitment and her desire to start a family. For the last 3 years of the relationship we just weren't worki... View more

Hi, this is my first post. I have recently broken up with my girlfriend of 6 years. I am 27 and she is 31. We started to have problems with my commitment and her desire to start a family. For the last 3 years of the relationship we just weren't working that well together. So we decided to split which was instigated by her. We have been apart for 8 weeks and we have been in some contact, but I recently found out that she is dating someone else already. I believe that she had set up this new relationship before we ended, as she had mentioned in a fight that there was someone else who was interested in her and I should watch out, and after running into them by accident she confessed that they have been dating for 3 weeks and that she had mentally prepared for our break up months ago. I feel betrayed and destroyed by everything that has happened since we broke up, that she could move on so fast where I am so lost, confused and hurt. Is this guy better than me? Did she ever really love me? I still feel in love with her and care about her so much which makes this even harder. I am coming to the realisation that I need to move on and stop playing with the fantasy of us getting back together but I'm not making any progress in moving on. Any help?

Macand Losing a new love of your life I thought was permanent after already losing my wife to disease.
  • replies: 5

My wife died several years ago and almost 2 years later I bonded with a beautiful lady who had recently lost her husband to similar circumstances. We both have kids. At first I helped her deal with grief and support. It was a beautiful friendship whi... View more

My wife died several years ago and almost 2 years later I bonded with a beautiful lady who had recently lost her husband to similar circumstances. We both have kids. At first I helped her deal with grief and support. It was a beautiful friendship which developed after a while to romance. I was gentle with her and was patient as I wanted her to be sure. It was beautiful for a few years and we have been very supportive to each other and had no problem talking about our partners we lost and could talk about dark days together. The problem is I fell deeply in love and she couldn't move through properly and share our love with her old and dear friends. I have been treating it as a beautiful relationship for several years which I wanted to be everlasting but it appears she has only treated it like an affair secretly behind her friends and family. She would still arrange social nights with old friends but couldn't include me which over time has hurt me deeply. I kept getting signs the relationship would blossom but yet again she couldn't include me publically. This finally came to ahead and she has felt to end it. I know she has probably delayed ending it because she didn't want to hurt me and I have probably hung on too long as I didn't want it to end and only really tortured myself by hanging on. I have been distraught as I still love her but she wants to move on and wants to date again which tears me up. Does anyone have the same or worked through this situation?

somebodyinneed she left me
  • replies: 3

Okay from the beginning, ​I went to work and there was a new intern/ work experience placement . When I met her I didmt know what to say but over the day we began flirting and so on, I asked her out to dinner, she sai no, but continued to flirt with ... View more

Okay from the beginning, ​I went to work and there was a new intern/ work experience placement . When I met her I didmt know what to say but over the day we began flirting and so on, I asked her out to dinner, she sai no, but continued to flirt with me, whem the day ended I said goodbye and she kissed me, gave me her number and went home. She texted me later on apologizing to me saying that she was in a log distance relationship with someone in the us that shes dating a guy in the us who she never met in person. After talking it out over the weekend she said she wanted to be with me. Over th next 2 months we were doin this same loop where she got sad cox she betrayed this other guy amd then I cheered her up amd she was happy, we went on dates spet tie together I fell in love quickly because she is perfect. Sh told me the same. We were happy for a few months then one morming aftr a date the previous day she texts me sayng she doemst love me and tells me she is goimg to gi back ti beijg with thisnother guy. I objected obviously and by the time I even got to text back a wait lets talk about thi for a second she had blocked me, I have been trying for the past month to contact her and all she said to me was to forget about her. I need help because every night for te past month, I have cried myself to sleep thinkig about her, missin her and I have found my self thinking about things ive never thought of before. What do I do? I love this person very dearly despite the complications, I believe that at she did in fact live me too, I miss her every day I am constantly reminded of her and it really hurts nt being able to talk to her. I just cant give up on the feelings I felt when we were together, I was happier than ive ever been in my life, she makes me feel whole and complete, she filleda huge void in my life, but now that she is gome there is an even larger one left where she was, I just miss her so much. thank you for any help that is suggested ​

Chrisk Just need to talk
  • replies: 16

Been very lost. Lost my focus and my self esteem. Gf left me couple months ago and I'm not dealing with it very well. Feel like I lost my best friend. I've been drinking very heavily and just self destructing. I'm usually strong and very stable but I... View more

Been very lost. Lost my focus and my self esteem. Gf left me couple months ago and I'm not dealing with it very well. Feel like I lost my best friend. I've been drinking very heavily and just self destructing. I'm usually strong and very stable but I invested so much heart and soul into this relationship that it's left me a mess. Since the break up there's only been messages. No calls nothing. I just want to talk but she won't. One of her reasons was she suspected I was keeping in touch with an old gf. I wasn't. Nothing of the sort. I've been tried and convicted on pure supposition! It sux