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

Dr_Kim Understanding feelings of rejection. 
  • replies: 38

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like los... View more

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like loss and grief. You can’t have the good bits without sometimes experiencing the bad, it’s just the way it is! So we all need to develop ways of managing the difficult emotions that rejection throws up. Lets think about what those thoughts or emotions might be. Here’s some examples. 1. “I’m not good enough” This is a common one. It’s so easy for us to see what we think are faults and think that others can see them too and convince ourselves that these faults make us unlovable. These thoughts are often on replay from a nasty part of our brain, that low self-esteem part that makes us believe that unless we are “perfect”, we cannot possibly be loved or accepted. The honest truth is that we are all just imperfect passengers on the"bus of life”, doing the best we can with whatever we can in the moment! So welcome on board. Brene Brown has some wonderful YouTube videos about this, I'm going to share one below however also recommend you check out her channel as there are many more! 2. "Nobody will ever love me”. This is a very common thought and it comes from the anxious part of our brains that also seems to have a crystal ball! The anxiety centre seems to think it has very good predictive powers but it is a trap and don’t listen to it! It’s a complete and utter lie that anxiety often tells us. 3. “I’ve ruined the ‘perfect relationship’, now what?” Sometimes this is a stage of grief. Often, when we are grieving a loss, we go through a phase of idealising. Things like “it was perfect” are common because it conveniently erases all the things that weren’t that you don’t want to deal with. For example: I see this sometimes with patients who had terrible relationships with their family members and complain bitterly for years, and then once they pass away, the grief allows them to only seem to recall the wonderful times. In some ways, it a blessing, but it can mean in some situations that the hindsight is not always accurate. I also think that in viewing the relationship in an idealised way prevents any real opportunity to learn and grow from it. We can all gain from understanding how we went wrong in experiences so that we don’t repeat the same unintended mistakes. In summary, rejection is a common and necessary part of being in the game of life. To not be in the game because of fear would be a huge shame . Life is too short not to experience the many wonderful emotions that come from being ourselves. In Brene Brown's language: it’s important not to spend your time walking around the arena of life waiting to feel perfect so you won’t be rejected. Just kick the door down and step in and don’t let the critics get you down.

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

help1 At a loss
  • replies: 3

I was married to my wife for 25 years, she told me in February that she wanted to separate, I was shattered. In our entire marriage we have never argued or fought. The most that happened was she would go silent (which I hated) and we would eventually... View more

I was married to my wife for 25 years, she told me in February that she wanted to separate, I was shattered. In our entire marriage we have never argued or fought. The most that happened was she would go silent (which I hated) and we would eventually talk and get on well. She has told me that she loves me very much but is not in love with me anymore. Our children are all grown up and were very surprised by what happened as we were a very good couple. I am at a total loss, I have told no one of what has happened and I don’t want to. I thought by giving my wife space so she could sought out her feelings would be best and she would realise that we were made for each other. We are very cordial to show our children that you don’t have to fight or be bitter within a problem with your relationship. To top everything off I lost my job of 33 years a few months before the separation. I am still trying to find work unsuccessfully and all I can think about is being with my wife. Everywhere I look I see couples hand in hand and being together and that was our relationship and I miss it so so much. All I want to be able to do is talk with her, however, it really is just yes and no answers and asking how our extended families are going. I wish we could just talk like we always did as I feel the more space I have given her and the more we don’t talk why would she change her mind. I will be honest and I do think of ending it daily as it will take away the pain and loneliness, the only reason I won’t is what if she rings or wants to try again. I really don’t know how much longer I can hang on.beyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.

guest119 10 year relationship may be coming to an end
  • replies: 2

I have been with my husband for 10 years (since I was 15). Over the years we have had some up’s and we have had some downs. He has depression so a lot of our down periods coincided with that, but also I have recently found that I have anxiety and dep... View more

I have been with my husband for 10 years (since I was 15). Over the years we have had some up’s and we have had some downs. He has depression so a lot of our down periods coincided with that, but also I have recently found that I have anxiety and depression which would of contributed to a few of our issues. In 2011 I had an affair. We ended up reconciling in December, 2011. We have been a bit rocky lately, due to me being depressed and anxious and taking it out on him. Finally over the weekend I felt like things were better, and we were ok. That was until I came home from work Sunday night and he wouldn’t talk to me. Turns out my behaviour reminded him of when I was cheating so he looked on my Facebook. He found a message I sent to the person I had the affair with in January 2012 trying to make contact. He is rightfully devastated, and feels like every moment since then has been a lie. I am trying to explain that it is not, that I made a mistake and that I love him and only him. He isn’t sure if he wants to stay together. I feel so anxious. I haven’t eaten in 24 hours. I feel like crying but at the same time I feel numb. I just don’t know what to do to make this better.

morrow feeling sad
  • replies: 1

HeyI just wanted to use this forum to talk. I do chat to my friendsbut i dont want to continue burden them with my depression. I have battled on and off with depression and anxiety all my life. Isuffered bad in my early teens, however became stronger... View more

HeyI just wanted to use this forum to talk. I do chat to my friendsbut i dont want to continue burden them with my depression. I have battled on and off with depression and anxiety all my life. Isuffered bad in my early teens, however became stronger and seemed to find positivity and happiness. This was all well and good,however I have started sinking back into my dark days again, esp at night, I cant sleep and i feel pretty low some times.Its mainly because i feel lonley. Yes i have friends, but im 31, single, never married, no kids, live alone.I try what i can to stay social, i try to get involved in the spare time i have. My main problem is i am so unlucky with love. I am such a softie. I lost my father 7 years ago, and ever since his death I find it extremely hard to deal with losing people in my life, particularly men, I feel my life just has no substance,I started medication about 5 weeks ago after yet another split with a guy. I dont know that its helping all that much. The last few days I have noticed my mind randomly fantasizing about ending my life. I havent had these thoughts since I was 14 when I was getting bullied at sschool and surprise surprise a break up with a guy.I consider my self to be a nice happy friendly girl, I dont know whats wrong with me. Why does no one see what im worth.Im over it, its just hardbeyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.

Amali Extreme Anxiety Due to Break up
  • replies: 5

Hi, I broke up with my boyfriend 3 months ago. This was the second time I had to break it off because I couldn't trust him and he was emotionally manipulative. I excused a lot of his behaviour because he lost his mum to cancer and really hit rock bot... View more

Hi, I broke up with my boyfriend 3 months ago. This was the second time I had to break it off because I couldn't trust him and he was emotionally manipulative. I excused a lot of his behaviour because he lost his mum to cancer and really hit rock bottom. He was taking me for granted and I always felt he was living another life and enjoyed getting attention from other women and hiding our relationship. I have battled with anxiety due to this unstable relationship and insecurities that I formed due to it. I also suffer from pretty severe social anxiety. I had counselling last year and still went back to my boyfriend who caused a lot of pain.I have always been a ruminator and really cant understand why I'm obsessing over and still loving someone who couldn't give me what I needed. Even though his behaviour is what caused the break up, I can't help but care for him, and I struggling to see a life without him. I'm terrified of running into him, which happens a fair bit living in a small town and I just don't think I would cope seeing him with or finding out he is with someone else. I know this is probably normal for people dealing with break ups but I feel so physically sick sometimes that I cant see a way forward. I have been ignoring his texts as I know it's the only way to finally be free of him and heal properly but at the same time I have this overpowering sense of guilt for not responding as I know he still loves me and is hurting a lot. Any tips on dealing with a break up, especially when you already battle with anxiety. Thanks amali

Tex31 Feeling a sense of loss for someone I love...
  • replies: 2

Hi I'm feeling heartache and a sense of loss. I met someone a year and a half ago and we started seeing each other and it got pretty serious pretty quickly. Then he said he wasn't ready for a relationship he'd just come out of a bad one and he wasn't... View more

Hi I'm feeling heartache and a sense of loss. I met someone a year and a half ago and we started seeing each other and it got pretty serious pretty quickly. Then he said he wasn't ready for a relationship he'd just come out of a bad one and he wasn't in the right frame of mind. By that stage I had already fallen for him and he wanted to continue seeing me but left it up to me in whether i wanted to continue to see him or not as 'he didn't want me to get hurt'. Things cooled off for a while but then started heating back up again and we'd get just close again and it would go in cycles but we'd always end up back together and there was talks about 'us' and he's a bit of a thinker and would tell me he thinks about it etc. I always have a guard up and never tell or show people how i'm feeling and even though I had completely fallen for him I didn't tell him. When talks turned serious i'd joke or brush them off. I think I was just scared of how he'd react if I told him how I really felt. We were in a bit of an off cycle and didn't talk for a few weeks and I text to say hi and I was thinking of him and he wrote back and was talking about work etc and then in his next reply said he'd been seeing someone for about a month and how she was over but we could catch up another time. Without thinking I poured my heart out to him and told him how I felt about him and how I could see us being together and that I didn't push it earlier because he wasn't ready and had things going on in his life (losing job etc). I told him everything. He just said that he was speechless. I didn't want to tell him via text but it just happened that way. This was two weeks ago and I've tried to ask if to talk. I feel like it's open ended with the way he left it. Not knowing his reaction to it is making it harder to accept and move on. I also feel so much deep regret for not telling him how I felt when I had the chance. I can't help but wonder whether things would be different. Even though we weren't officially together we spent a lot of time together over the last year and a half and I really have never felt like this about anyone before. I can't tell if he wasn't interested in me or whether I could have changed things. I know he talks about settling down and i'm scared it will become serious with the new girl and that will be it. I feel like I've lost the opportunity of a lifetime and I just feel lost. I wish he'd talk to me. I just cry constantly and I can't snap out of it.

iamsotired Anxious son in London
  • replies: 3

Last year my eldest son and his wife presented me with a beautiful Grandson. They unfortunately live in London. Early this year my daughter in law returned very distressed to Australia, to stay with her Mum. My son had had an affair. I feel such sham... View more

Last year my eldest son and his wife presented me with a beautiful Grandson. They unfortunately live in London. Early this year my daughter in law returned very distressed to Australia, to stay with her Mum. My son had had an affair. I feel such shame and disbelief that a son of mine could do such a thing. It is very out of character, or so I thought. He has come out here to talk with his wife and see his son, but has returned to London. He feels ashamed. Recently on my Grandson's first birthday, I had a long and difficult conversation with my daughter in law. What she has revealed has opened so many ????? The woman he had the affair with has been very obviously chasing my son for two years. My daughter in law has even has words with her saying keep your hands off my husband. This woman works with my son in a ver stressful job. i also was inform ed that my son was anxious about their marriage, move to London, purchase of their London home and birth of their son. My daughter in law said she was tired of helping him with their anxieties, especially since he is a very poor communicator related to personal matters. My son is a brilliant finical lawyer, who was head hunted for his job. I am told that his job is his security now, he is anxious about leaving it to follow his family to Australia. But his anxiety at times is such that he will ring is wife here, at all hours. She has organised a therapist for him to see weekly and friends to drop in and check on him. i suffer from major depression, general anxiety and I am finding this whole situation over whelming if anyone has any advice, words of ..... Help

Dee81 Feeling Lost, Helpless & Like I Am Going To Lose My Husband.
  • replies: 3

I am 33 hubby is 37 and we have been together for 12 years, we have been married for 4 years and been trying so desperately for a baby with no luck. Earlier this year my husband was extremely sick, we were not sure what was wrong with him, if it was ... View more

I am 33 hubby is 37 and we have been together for 12 years, we have been married for 4 years and been trying so desperately for a baby with no luck. Earlier this year my husband was extremely sick, we were not sure what was wrong with him, if it was life threatening etc... it took 4 months to get a diagnosis and thank god his illness is something that can be controlled by medication. In July we started IVF to make our dream of being parents become a reality... I was 1 week into the medication for our IVF treatment when he decided to leave me, he says he doesn't know if being with me is what he wants, he says he has been unhappy for 12 months and looking at it now I see the signs of the start of depression back then. I am completely heart broken as he is my other half, he completes me... and I just realise how deeply in love with him I am. He says he loves me and he cares for me but can only be friends with me right now and he is not hopeful that our marriage will work, I am sure that this is from the depression but right now I am doing it tough... I cannot loose him to this... he's having a medication review and will be organising a psychologist who was recommended by our marriage counsellor... feeling lost and sad right now!! Shan81

missmumba too much too fast cant move forward
  • replies: 2

I split from my childrens dad after 4 years. I moved away with our children. I finally met someone and long story short I fell pregnant. I kept it to myself even from the biological father. I cried everyday and tried to ignore I was pregnant til I co... View more

I split from my childrens dad after 4 years. I moved away with our children. I finally met someone and long story short I fell pregnant. I kept it to myself even from the biological father. I cried everyday and tried to ignore I was pregnant til I contacted my ex and just blurted everything out.No matter what, I felt some sort of comfort from him as we shared such precious memories previously. He knew me better than anyone. I was vulnerable. He supported me to an extent. We got talking about getting back together and started making plans on the promise itll be a fresh start and id end my pregnancy. He said how he never stopped loving me and hes not moved on. I felt like I belonged and this man was genuine. So I went through with what I have always been against. I aborted my baby. Im so heartless. I cry everyday. I cant eat or close my eyes. I see pregnant people everywhere and I start balling in public. Even looking at my remaining children I know iv messed up so bad to the point I dont think I will ever move forward and be at peace. Not long after my horrible decision was finalized I found out my ex (soon to be partner again) had cheated on me previously. not just sex. Full on love letters etc. He used the names he used to call me which I thought was sacred and that was apart of our bond. I am totally shattered. He says hes so sorry and was the biggest mistake ever. It was some time ago now that he did but iv just found out. 6 days since Im without my baby. Without love. Iv given everything up for a life that never existed. Was all lies. Who am I? There's no going back. I want my baby

Denise_B_ Daughter hasnt allowed access to Grandson for 7 1/2 months & have 2 month old Grand daughter I've never seen
  • replies: 3

7 1/2 months ago I refused to lie for my daughter and so she used the 1 thing she could that would hurt she has refused to allow me time with my precious grandson who use to ring me daily and have regular Tuesdays with me and a lot of sleepovers. Whi... View more

7 1/2 months ago I refused to lie for my daughter and so she used the 1 thing she could that would hurt she has refused to allow me time with my precious grandson who use to ring me daily and have regular Tuesdays with me and a lot of sleepovers. While taking her to court is an option I dont want to. I know that the last time I saw Arthur was 9.24 on the 9th February. My heart feels like its being ripped out. I find it hard to function and I'm getting councilling but its hard to explain to people that you struggle to put one foot in front of the other. Then last night I was told by my son that My Daughter hates my guts. Like the knife in my heart just gets turned a little more. My daughter has not only stripped me of my grand son but of a chance to meet her new little daughter who is now nearly 2 months old. She has stripped her Great Nanna and Aunty of seeing the kids as well because they told her it was wrong to use the kids as weapons. They live 10 minutes from me and I cant see, touch or hold my precious angels. Arthur and use to have so much fun cooking, doing playground trips of all the playgrounds in the areas. I've had trouble with depression all my life and felt there was nothing good about me but when Arthur came into my life at 2010 I finally found my place. I was put on the earth to be a Nanna. He didnt see depression, or the chronic pain I'm in on a daily basis through medical conditions. He just saw the nanna who would take him for a drive looking for trucks, taking him to playgroup, Nanna Tuesdays, movie days with containers of popcorn, gardening, Nanna cuddles and kisses. I find myself lost, no purpose and wondering what is the point. Thanks for listening.

need_a_helping_hand Just dont understand.
  • replies: 3

Hi everyone. I guess this is the first time ive ever told anyone or let this out from under my emotions but i need help to know if im just over thinking things or am i just being blind sided by it all. Ok here goes. In the past i have had 3 propper r... View more

Hi everyone. I guess this is the first time ive ever told anyone or let this out from under my emotions but i need help to know if im just over thinking things or am i just being blind sided by it all. Ok here goes. In the past i have had 3 propper relationships where i was gutted when it ended. The first one i was only young and my partner had to move cities so we had to end it. It was the best relationship i have had as she was so faithful trusting and loving. The second one was a little up and down where she had slept with my friend and we were on and off a few times. The biggest one was when i went out for drinks with her by my side and with my other mates. She ended up sneaking off to chat up one of those other guys at a bar across the road. Im sure everyone knows what other type of guy im talking about... the one that always has the best of everything and everyone is talking about him. Anyway the night didnt end well as i left quite upset and ended up putting my hand through a window and spent the night in hospital. Once i had left hospital i went home to clean up to find out that my partner that didnt come see me in hospital ended up going home with that guy and having sex with him. I was gutted as i was dedicated to her but she seemed to take it as a joke. A few months go buy and we start seeing each other again but this time we had moved towns. We had to amazing twin girls together and i thort we were perfect. I had proposed to her and we were planning our wedding. I was with her for about 5 years alltogether but towards the end she had started becoming distant and didnt want much love from me. then one day i had seen a txt on her phone when i was getting dressed. It stated " yeah babe i sent ya my sexy pics, i sent them to your email so your partner wouldnt see them. pow!! i was hit in the gut as this was one of her guy friends that she was close to!! so i confronted her about it and she came clean. she told me that they had been sending pics back and forth but it wasnt serious. i mean why would you do this is you have kids with someone!! to cut that short she ended up sleaping with him while i was at work. so that ended our relationship and devistated our little girls. i was so hurt i didnt know what to do. Stupidly of me i went back every now and then and we had sex but we never got back together. Months past and there was another girl who i had knowen for ages that wanted to catch up. She wanted me just like i wanted her and soon we were dating