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

Nickname_16EBF092-F51D-42 Waves of shock 6 months on- husband cheated
  • replies: 4

It's now been 6 months since I discovered my husband had been cheating with other women (mfm also) mostly online sex. We have gone through an enormous amount of counselling individually and as a couple. In short we are staying together, he loves me, ... View more

It's now been 6 months since I discovered my husband had been cheating with other women (mfm also) mostly online sex. We have gone through an enormous amount of counselling individually and as a couple. In short we are staying together, he loves me, he is now deeply affected by his actions and we are slowly getting through it. We have been together for 26 years and since then I have never been involved with another man.Our financial issues are also a huge burden, which we are trying to address. Only our doctors know our situation, to tell friends and family would be catastrophic. i absolutely love him and am very slowly trusting and forgiving him - it's just excruciating. I have never experienced depression and anxiety so bad,even during having my first child. My psych described the situation as a trauma which I dismissed at the time but due to what has been happening maybe she is right. I am having episodes where the smallest of things can trigger utter despair, like going back to when I first found out. And it's not when I'm feeling particularly low - even on good days. It might be something like ironing a shirt I know he wore when he saw one them / the shirt now in the bin. Or the mention of an OS trip (one where he was there earlier and meet a woman (very young) and then met me at our rendezvous hotel). i have a high level of anxiety when I go out with my husband - what if he sees someone from that life? I can't trust myself with what I'd do. I'm not violent and very much a law-abider ... But I understand the ferocity of anger that can lead to hurting someone. When these shocks happen, at the time I can't stop it, it's like a spiral of despair. Somehow the mask goes on and I carry on, but if im on my own I end of the couch crying constantly. how do you stop these memories? How to deal with the triggers? Why is the pain still so severe. I didn't ask for any of this, it's not my fault.

jjac Can't move forward with bf until I get over lifelong mental illness
  • replies: 5

So, they say that you need to accept yourself and that you're enough. If another person doesn't like your faults, you should say goodbye. Well...that's not always the case, I've learnt. So I have OCD, depression and anxiety issues which cause some pr... View more

So, they say that you need to accept yourself and that you're enough. If another person doesn't like your faults, you should say goodbye. Well...that's not always the case, I've learnt. So I have OCD, depression and anxiety issues which cause some problems, impact the way I interact with the world, the things I eat, the places I go to and the things that happen. I do not cook at all thanks to this fear, and the best culinary treat you're going to get out of me is some toast or instant noodles. I've managed to manipulate my life into a manageable thing. My boyfriend is quite resentful of this, constantly brings it up and asks when I am going to cook for him, as the burden of cooking is solely on him. (never mind I clean rooms he never bothers to clean!) In past arguments he has stated if I can't cook for him, how am I going to feed our future children? That I can't "give them baked beans everyday." While he is right...I don't want to deal with it in a way. Like I constantly tell myself a child would be different, and everything would be okay...but I can barely prepare food for myself, let alone a partner...maybe I am not worthy of children? I've been with my partner for 9 years now, and I believe the main reason he hasn't proposed (a main point of stress for us at the moment, we came to an agreement on when...but i can't help but think he is bluffing to buy more time, now I wait to see if i lied.) is because I am not wife material yet. I have no idea how to change lifelong habits and fears, and constantly chicken out at the thought of facing up to my mental health at the doctor. I always try to get my physical health sorted out first, which is never fixed up properly. Sure I constantly think to myself that our friends get engaged and married much faster, I've known some of his friends 9 years and seen them date so many people, settle, get engaged and marry in the time we have been dating. It makes me feel bad about myself but then I can understand that I am not good enough. That's just a fact and it's really hard to get my head around the fact that despite the motivator that if I just tried harder I could get this...it still doesn't help me get better. My boyfriend has so many faults and I resent things...but he doesn't "have" to change, so why do I? He's allowed to be everything he is...but where's the line between personality and mental illness? I'm not considering leaving because he hates cleaning the shower. I just do it.

flowerjas my partner of 14 years has said boring with family life -wants a break
  • replies: 1

Our relationship hs been rocky last 8 weeks. His been distance with family life. Just recently told me that his bored with me,kids,work and want to live on his own and live caravan or hermit. His also said he wants a break but still live in home with... View more

Our relationship hs been rocky last 8 weeks. His been distance with family life. Just recently told me that his bored with me,kids,work and want to live on his own and live caravan or hermit. His also said he wants a break but still live in home with kids (young children). He said given a month to see what we want to do. My heart is broken now,angry and shameful. I have been supported with his bad bad habbits (which now stop completed but keep leaving for days without us knowing where he is). How can i be strong while still living together? Just want to be horrible but its not in my natural...

Just Sara I'm afraid of my own body
  • replies: 8

A few months ago I contributed some posts re sexual triggers. (Thank you Lats) Since then, things have become worse with me not even feeling safe to touch my own body. It's humiliating to say, but I've never had this problem before. My previous partn... View more

A few months ago I contributed some posts re sexual triggers. (Thank you Lats) Since then, things have become worse with me not even feeling safe to touch my own body. It's humiliating to say, but I've never had this problem before. My previous partner ignored and shunned me sexually most of the time. (He would kiss passionately and touch me, then walk away as an example) When things did happen, which wasn't often, he'd find a way to play it down or turn it into nothing. I stayed due to his promises of changing. Now that we don't have any contact, my relationship with myself is suffering. Each time I try, I have flashbacks of being 'taunted' and left feeling alone, unattractive and frustrated. This is very difficult to discuss. Of all the triggers I've had to deal with, I was so proud of things not affecting my sexuality. But this too has been shaken. Don't know what else to say. Dizzy

Redrose94 Breaking the umbilical cord... For good!
  • replies: 1

Hi everyone, im 22 and still live at home with my mum & younger brother (21) my mum has bipolar 2. & unemployed. It makes it very hard to have a good relationship with her, because she always tries to control me and my life choices. nothing I ever sa... View more

Hi everyone, im 22 and still live at home with my mum & younger brother (21) my mum has bipolar 2. & unemployed. It makes it very hard to have a good relationship with her, because she always tries to control me and my life choices. nothing I ever say or do is good enough. For example, I made minestrone soup today, and instead of appreciating what I cooked, she 'nicely criticised' the soup how I should've done it this way, or that way... Just shut up and drink the soup! my mum gets jealous of my success, she lives through my friendship circle and can't seem to stop gossiping about other family members, and everything is always so dramatic. she exaggerates, lies, controls & manipulates people to get what she wants. I'm sick of it. im aware I need to create boundaries... But how?! She is everywhere & our house is small so I can't just simply go 'into my room' how do I stop her from controlling me and having a hold on me emotionally? I can't move out, as I'm currently unemployed. Family therapy doesn't work because mum thinks she knows better than the therapist. Any advice would be helpful

Shanichro Want to mend but don't know where to start
  • replies: 2

Hi my first post so hope I put this is under the right topic. For 5 years now I've suffered depression and within the last year suffered anxiety on top of that. Having both has been an absolute roller coaster turned my world upside down. I can't focu... View more

Hi my first post so hope I put this is under the right topic. For 5 years now I've suffered depression and within the last year suffered anxiety on top of that. Having both has been an absolute roller coaster turned my world upside down. I can't focus, can't calm myself, overthink to the max,have no patience and am always moody, overanalyse everything and think the worst of everything and cry at the drop of a hat. I've had panic attacks and feel like a weight is constantly on my chest and feel nervous and sad so much of the time.I've had enough of it being this bad and I don't know where to start to get myself out of it I'm overwhelmed because I don't know where to start or how to keep at it and stick to it. Sticking to it is my biggest struggle before I just think horrible things of my self like telling myself to just give up your never going to get out of it your hopeless,your stupid you can't do this, you think you can but you cant. All horrible things that just take me back to square one. I have a great family and partner. My partner and I have been together for 4 years he is so great about the way I am and has never done anything to hurt me with what I worry about. I still struggle with thoughts that I had when we first started dating as in trusting him fully. I am terrified of being hurt and don't open up fully because of this to him. I think things up in my head of things I worry about him doing but never really would he do that and has reassured me over and over but I can't just seem to just realise and believe that. It's not even him it's my thinking pattern of always thinking the worst and getting worked up over something I thought up. I struggle to just get over the line and just trust him fully and I know my depression/anxiety is holding this back. i know I would be just so much happier and could start to mend if I knew where to start or how to start breaking this negative patten of thinking and start trusting and not thinking the worst of everything and like everything is going wrong. I want to be able to deal with things better. I feel I just can't break my negative thinking pattern. I just don't know how to or where to start. What have you done that has helped you break this ? Thankyou

CJ1398 Why can't I move on?
  • replies: 2

Around two months ago my boyfriend of 10 months broke up with me pretty harshly. I didn't see it coming and the only reason I got was that he only loved me when I was with him (we only just started on a long distance with me away for university). Sin... View more

Around two months ago my boyfriend of 10 months broke up with me pretty harshly. I didn't see it coming and the only reason I got was that he only loved me when I was with him (we only just started on a long distance with me away for university). Since this breakup I have fallen into a bit of a rut. I struggle to find reasons to get up in the mornings and just generally aren't a polite person to be around. Everyone around me has been telling me to find things that make me happy and to fill my life with them. I don't know whether I just don't want to or simply can't find something that doesn't remind me of our relationship. Ive always struggled with having friends and thought I had 3 pretty good ones. One is now my ex, the other one is now dating my ex and the third is struggling with her own relationship problems. I can't figure out who to talk to and how to cope with all of these changes. After he broke up with me we continued to talk for a while but it has since gotten very negative from him with insults to both me and my family to the degree where I just lose it at myself. I can't help but think all of this is my fault. I have tried to grasp that it isn't yet come back to me every time. Now I just want him to hurt as much as I do and to be as miserable as I am. That's not the person I want to be. Im scared to go and see a professional because I don't know where to start and who to start with, my family have enough problems without me adding to the mix and I don't want to be put on medication. i want to be the kind of person I was before all of this happened. I just don't know how to start.

Kalling Help us live with Narcissism
  • replies: 8

Our son's new family is dominated by a narcissistic mother. He's been married for 2 years now and has not realized her behavior is narcissistic. He is slowly being isolated from all of his family not only his parents but his brothers and their family... View more

Our son's new family is dominated by a narcissistic mother. He's been married for 2 years now and has not realized her behavior is narcissistic. He is slowly being isolated from all of his family not only his parents but his brothers and their family. We know she will be part of our family for a long time so we need to learn to live with her behavior and learn how to come become part of his life again before it's too late. There's been no arguments and we are hoping there won't be any but some of us are beginning to feel depression set in because of the isolation. Please help us live with this and not fight it because we know that will only lead to total isolation, there is a baby on the way and our hearts are breaking please help us, we don't want to cause trouble for him.

Kalling Help us live with Narcissism
  • replies: 5

We are a family just realizing that our son has married in to a family where the mother is a narcissist. We understand he hasn't and probably won't realize it for a long time. He has been married for a year and a half and over that time the mother is... View more

We are a family just realizing that our son has married in to a family where the mother is a narcissist. We understand he hasn't and probably won't realize it for a long time. He has been married for a year and a half and over that time the mother is slowly tying to isolate his family from him. Not only his mother and father but his brothers and their wives as well. It's coming to a point where our family is starting to break away from our son, we've been reading up on narcissism and have finally realized what the mother is doing to our family. We know that we cannot change her behavior and don't want to cause any pain to our son with his new family. We are feeling more and more isolated and really need to know how to live with this situation instead of bottling up our anxiety. We all had a wonderful family relationship but now I am starting to feel the depression setting in please help me survive our hearts are breaking to see our family in this state.

SquarePeggie Is therapy making me worse?
  • replies: 5

I'm in my early 30's and have had some form of depression and anxiety ever since a teenager. I grew up in a household that provided materialistically but I don't have any memories of affection or hugs and have an incredibly critical parent. I've neve... View more

I'm in my early 30's and have had some form of depression and anxiety ever since a teenager. I grew up in a household that provided materialistically but I don't have any memories of affection or hugs and have an incredibly critical parent. I've never really had a relationship and have had counselling for the past couple of years to help me get past this. However I feel that i'm not at the lowest point i've ever been. I hardly see friends as they are all in relationships and many now have children. My family live far away and visiting them is so stressful that I know the distance is for the best. I have tried online dating and have been on a lot of dates but I don't ever feel a connection and none have lead anywhere and now I get feelings of anxiety even just opening up the online dating app. I feel as though therapy has made me aware of my problems and now I feel so broken that I've lost all hope. I spend so much time alone and the thought that this is the rest of my life is crushing me. Has anyone else experienced getting much worse after having therapy and do you get past it?