Relationship and family issues

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Chris_B PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING: 3 important tips to get the most out of this section
  • replies: 0

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following... View more

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following 3 tips: 1. Do you really want to share this with the world? This is a public forum. Are you thinking of posting something that could identify you to a friend or family member? Once you've posted, you can't delete what you've written and we don't take posts down from here unless they've broken one of our community rules. This is because our members spend a lot of time composing replies, and there is a much wider audience that gets a lot out of reading what has been written. It's not fair to ask the community for support, then ask to have it removed once you've read it so others can't also benefit. Use discretion when posting here - think about the level of detail you are sharing, and think also about who might know you are posting here. Also, please keep it clean: this is an all ages forum and explicit discussions about sexual problems are not permitted. Threads and posts of this nature will be removed and your account placed on a moderation hold. 2. What do you want to get out of posting here? Relationship and family issues are stressful. Members sometimes post here seeking advice about a relationship that has broken down, but find themselves getting upset when they don't agree with the response they get. This is a peer support forum, meaning we are not mental health professionals. We are people of all ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of life experiences. While we aim for our discussions to be conducted respectfully, people here will respond with the truth as they see it, from their own experiences and perspectives. We are not here to take sides. Offence is almost never intentional, but it can be sometimes taken. The advice you will see here is not intended to be a substitute for professional counselling. 3. What other support do you have? Most people posting on our forums (about any issue) use this space as a supplement to other supports. This forum is not and cannot be a substitute for offline supports, but it is often a good place to start the ball rolling and find the courage for seeking help. If you are relying solely on an internet forum to resolve your relationship or family issues, you are likely to be disappointed. Check out the Healthy Homes section of our Healthy Families website for further information and resources.

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Duesentrieb Wife withdrawn
  • replies: 26

Hi guys,I am married to my wife for 18 years.Since the beginning she used the Silent Treatment (ST) in any conflict or when something didn't go her way. We discussed it but without any success. The fact that I always ran after her, trying to pacify h... View more

Hi guys,I am married to my wife for 18 years.Since the beginning she used the Silent Treatment (ST) in any conflict or when something didn't go her way. We discussed it but without any success. The fact that I always ran after her, trying to pacify her, didn't really help either. 2018 the ST increased. I wrote her a letter. She laughed it off by saying that I would be over-dramatic and that she wouldn't do anything. How could I be possibly affected. I even suggested counseling, but she refused categorically. Bringing up issues in the relationship has always been a difficult one. Often, she- gets passive aggressive (silent treatment, defiance, sulking)- use deflection (OK, but you.... )- projection (accusing me of not loving her, being happy when she is not around, etc.)- minimized the issue and my view (no true, I am sensitive, etc.)Tries to clarify something after silent treatment could lead to another round of it with her saying … if you would love me you would know what you did wrong I started to research, and it went from ST to narcissism. In addition, I learned that I am a people pleaser, emotional dependent, and anxious about conflicts. When she was angry, I switched into a childlike frozen state. As well I learned that the relationship is quite single sided when it comes to affection, attention, effort, etc.I stopped to run after her when she gave me the ST. I became more assertive but as well at times judgmental, resentful, etc. 2019 my wife found that I was in a Facebook group about narcissism and that I talked to other people about our issues. Both, she considered as a major breach of trust. I understand her anger and apologized. Since this time, she is totally withdrawn, stone-walls me, conversations are just functional, etc. I constantly tried to reconnect but without success. She just does not open up. If I ask I get just a simple "All OK". I went for counseling twice and both counselors confirm that she seems to be difficult (see below). I am at my wits end. The difficulties are one thing but the distance she creates kills me. Any advice?

G.P Unsure how to share with my partner/am I selfish?
  • replies: 14

Hello! Unsure how to explainthis, but wanted to get it off my chest. I've been with my partner for 6 yrs, we've been engaged & living together for 6 mos. It’s the first time we're living together properly. Understandably there are things we're still ... View more

Hello! Unsure how to explainthis, but wanted to get it off my chest. I've been with my partner for 6 yrs, we've been engaged & living together for 6 mos. It’s the first time we're living together properly. Understandably there are things we're still learning & it's tough! Lately, we've been arguing a lot about sharing, specifically a car. He recently left his job which provided him with a company car, his new job doesn't. I have a car that I don't use often (driving anxiety, another discussion), but was unwilling to share until I was convinced by him. His point was that throughout the relationship he’s given, sacrificed & invested in our relationship, & that it should be simple for me to share & help him out easily. In truth, he has. By nature, he's a giver, generous & willing to help me, & at times he goes above & beyond. However his weakness is struggling to ask for help, & my weakness is struggling to give help easily. So by him asking for help, it was a big deal. His currency is giving, & he felt betrayed & extremely hurt because I was unwilling to help him for 1 yr to use the car, since he views it as an item that shouldn't have more value than him. That wasn't my intention, I can't pinpoint exactly why I was unwilling to share. He's a good driver, & he's given a lot. I think I felt as though he assumed that he had the right to use it w/out it being an issue for me despite him giving so much? Also sometimes I place sentimental connections to certain items without realising. I don't know. I was also worried about the logistics, finances (the new job pays him less, but guarantees him a qualification, we're planning a wedding for next yr) with one car between us. He'll split petrol use, rego, servicing, so I'm unsure why it's hard for me. Maybe because I feel that the car is mine, & I can't let that go even if he's contributing to costs? I get paranoid seeing the odometer go up, I know it's silly, even if that's what cars are for. I know I've also given a lot in this relationship, & it's been hard for me too. I know I don't give as easily & freely as he does, so am I selfish? Am I not being a good partner? The situation was kind of resolved, but I don't feel ok. The semi resolved solution= he'll get a new car in a yr, when he's got more money, as it's been guaranteed by his employer that he'll get a pay bump (he negotiated it during contract signing), & that we'll split maintenance costs. How can I feel less resentful towards this?

splodge Adoption is a curse
  • replies: 41

I have always been depressed. I think of myself as a normal person but then I get a sickening jolt and realise that I am not. I blame this on being adopted. I was adopted as a baby in 1971 in London. Times were harsh I think for young women in that p... View more

I have always been depressed. I think of myself as a normal person but then I get a sickening jolt and realise that I am not. I blame this on being adopted. I was adopted as a baby in 1971 in London. Times were harsh I think for young women in that period. The sexual liberation of the 60s had come in but contraception was newfangled and abortion still illegal. It was also unacceptable for women to have children outside of wedlock. The result was a boom in illegitimate babies. Nowadays the norm is for open adoptions. This means that although the adoptive parents are the legal parents of the baby, that baby has full rights to know about it's biological parents. When I was adopted things were a lot more restricted and biological mothers and babies were estranged from each other. This seems completely twisted today but that was the reality. Not only that but the adoptive parents were never educated in any way to provide the support that an adopted child should have. The result for me was that I have had a really unhappy life. That is despite having prosperous, well educated and conscientious adoptive parents. Despite that seemingly advantageous beginning my life has always been wrong somehow. I have always been emotionally disturbed from a young age. I was obsessed as a child with "dreaming" . This dominated my young life and involved galloping up and down the room and living in a fantasy world. I also used to make little "spots" with cushions - places I tried to feel calm and safe. I was angry and destructive as a child and would throw away my birthday and Christmas presents. I loathed my birthdays. I tore up and threw away any photos with me in them. Adolescence was absolute hell. I had functioned well socially until then but then I realised something was wrong. I was unable to form relationships. My friends developed normally. They progressed into adulthood to sex, girlfriends, wives, careers and so on. I have never progressed past this point. I forced myself in my mid 20s to form relationships but it didn't work out well. I backed off in my late 20s to my lasting regret. I have now lived without any sex, love or intimacy for over 15 years. I have a postgraduate degree but unlike all my friends who have professional middle class jobs I have always lived on the margins. Now in middle age I realise that I am a really sick person.

Ashii Setting boundaries with family who have mental illness
  • replies: 3

I’ve posted here before about my experience being a carer to a sibling with mental illness.I’ve been having a lot of trouble with setting boundaries. My boundaries are often disregarded, forcefully entered (in the sense of my bedroom and personal spa... View more

I’ve posted here before about my experience being a carer to a sibling with mental illness.I’ve been having a lot of trouble with setting boundaries. My boundaries are often disregarded, forcefully entered (in the sense of my bedroom and personal space) and setting boundaries usually results in self harm, manipulation and/or anger.my sibling has also spoken about feeling possessive of me, jealous when I’m hanging out with friends and has previously said they enjoy causing other people pain when angry and feeling little to no remorse. They’re in contact regularly with mental health services and are looking into a BPD diagnosis.I have been thinking about potentially moving in with just the two of us, particularly because their support needs, but I’m unsure if that will make my current problem worse. Any advice around this would be appreciated.I’m wondering if I should contact their psychologist about what I’ve mentioned here and I’m also wondering how I can set boundaries in a way that has less impact than it does currently. Thanks for reading.

Velour Work situation, am I reading the flirting right?
  • replies: 3

So, I know this guy through a work situation. I can’t really go into details because it’s a bit complicated. But suffice it to say, he shouldn’t be flirting with me. I have two problems. 1. I’m not exactly sure how to read the situation and 2. I am n... View more

So, I know this guy through a work situation. I can’t really go into details because it’s a bit complicated. But suffice it to say, he shouldn’t be flirting with me. I have two problems. 1. I’m not exactly sure how to read the situation and 2. I am not very good at flirting. But, at different times, he has given me the following compliments: You are beautiful (he said this at least 2 or 3 times), I enjoy your company, you are a nice person, you always look nice, etc. He has caressed the top of my hand very gently, started giving me hugs when we would say goodbye, and one time he cupped the side of my cheek in his hand very gently. Sometimes he would also sit so close to me that our feet would touch, and one time he gently touched my knee. One time we were having a casual conversation and he mentioned a beach location and said “that’s where people go for a quick getaway” (I couldn’t tell if that was a flirty hint or not.) It all feels very close and intimate and flirty, but any one thing, or even all of them, are plausibly deniable.Please tell me I’m not crazy…he is putting out some major signals here, right?! Would someone do and say all of this with ZERO intentions?? What sign do you think he looking for from me? Please give me advice for how I can put signals out back to him. I have flirted a little back but I’m afraid my interest doesn’t come across clear enough. The worst part is that I like him a lot and this makes me feel more shy around him! He knows that I care about him, I think we feel really close to each other for some reason, but it just hasn't moved forward beyond mutual attraction and flirting.

alina_01 I’m having a really hard time-
  • replies: 4

I bet half of you couldn’t care less, but my parents are really strict on studying. I’m still in year 7, but the moment I come back from school, I spend the time up until dinner studying, trying to get better. My parents say that they won’t scold me ... View more

I bet half of you couldn’t care less, but my parents are really strict on studying. I’m still in year 7, but the moment I come back from school, I spend the time up until dinner studying, trying to get better. My parents say that they won’t scold me for trying my hardest, but deep inside I think they want me to be more like my sister, smart, pretty and amazing. I started off in a low math class at the start of this year, and aimed to move up. There’s this boy in my class who is really popular, he used to be in my math class. I’d admit I had the tiniest crush on him, but I dumped the idea the moment he started picking on me. “You suck at math,” “Bruh, your handwriting is so bad, how do you even write stories?,” “You’ll never move up” and I lost so much hope, that I actually gave up. In the end, I failed my semester test, and ended up with a score of 81% and I couldn’t get a better score than him, so he was moved up instead of me. My parents didn’t show their disappointment, but I knew that they were. My sister started off as a smart kid, and I just started off dumb. I doubt I would ever move up, but I still kept trying. Every time I make a mistake I feel so dead. I don’t think I should even work this hard to get nothing. but if I don’t, my parents will be even more disappointed. They always look at my sister as an amazing person, and I’m just no one. They don’t treat me the way she gets treated. Not only am I not allowed social media and games, they think that every time I get a bad score is because I’m going behind their back and going on social media and playing games. They think that something is going on at school and keep asking me if any boys are embarrassing me. I just say it’s ok, but it never is. I can’t tell my parents this because if I do they would make me transfer schools, and I don’t want to. I just wanted a normal life, no drama. But because of that kid, I have to suck it all up and pretend he doesn’t exist. But he’s going to be in my class for a while, and with my friend crushing on him and asking me to observe him for her, and me trying to avoid him…. I don’t know how this is gonna turn out.

sparrowhawk Accepting a lost friendship
  • replies: 3

Almost four months ago I left a community where I'd been living for seven years and returned home to live with my family. I'd been really unwell for some time and realised the lifestyle was not helping me to recover. Since that time I've made progres... View more

Almost four months ago I left a community where I'd been living for seven years and returned home to live with my family. I'd been really unwell for some time and realised the lifestyle was not helping me to recover. Since that time I've made progress, found some work, reconnected with friends, and rebuilt relationships with my family - I'd had limited contact with them in that time. I was very close to one member of the community, she was like a mother, support, and friend all rolled into one. In hindsight, I was probably too close to her. One of the hardest things about leaving was realising that I wouldn't have the same relationship with her going forward, and that did make me sad -- yet I (perhaps foolishly) hoped we would continue to stay in touch. She took my leaving very hard. She hurt me quite deeply in the leadup towards my leaving, saying that it was harder for everyone else than for me, and that she was angry with me that I'd made the decision to go. She really made the last few days of my time there miserable, which was all very surprising as it seemed to me to be very out of character. Even my mum noticed a difference in her when she came to pick me up on the final day. When I've had brief (written) contact with her since I left, it's always been very superficial and she's made barbed comments about the consequences of my decisions having impacted others (again reinforcing for me that "harder for me than for you" thinking), before closing off with "I wish you all the best". I connected recently with a friend who happened to work under this person and since left her job. She shared a very similar experience of passive-aggressiveness, hurtful language and petulance when she left her role, which made me feel that perhaps it wasn't just me. It's just now hitting me that I might well never see her again, and while a big part of me really doesn't want to open old wounds, I am sad at the loss of a friendship that meant so much to me, and of a relationship in which I felt safe, respected and valued. Part of me wants to hold on to a connection with her, which is probably why I've reached out to her at times -- but I'm realising more and more I'll probably need to accept she doesn't want anything to do with me. It's probably for the best, but it's seriously heartbreaking.

Vvp im having a really hard time
  • replies: 2

This is my first time on this forum and I don’t really like to share but I feel so lonely and helpless. I am a single mum and I'm blessed to have children but I'm living in a toxic household because my choice to continue living on my own was ripped a... View more

This is my first time on this forum and I don’t really like to share but I feel so lonely and helpless. I am a single mum and I'm blessed to have children but I'm living in a toxic household because my choice to continue living on my own was ripped away from me from my mother as soon as she found out I was pregnant she canceled my lease without my knowledge to force me to move in with her so here I am and I have been living here for 10mths now and the way she treats me mentally its unbearable and I feel my pain is overwhelming my strength, we are always colliding and arguing and she is so controlling to the point that everyone around me is believing her and her story and they are not listening to my side of the story because they think that I’m the bad guy I have no support so I’m constantly defending myself and my children.I was hoping to start a family and live a happy life with the farther of my children we were together for 6years but as soon as he found out I was pregnant he bailed. I have been applying for rentals but I constantly receive rejection mail. I don’t have friends so I can’t crash at their house for a night or 2 just so my children and I can have a break from all the negativity that surrounds us. Every possible detour that I hope is a solution for my children and I we ends up at a dead end.

jenijenjen This Forum helps
  • replies: 5

I joined this forum because I've been feeling so depressed and lonely. And after a couple of days I feel so much better. Not just from reaching out and getting wonderful advice, but also being able to use my experiences to help others. So thank you e... View more

I joined this forum because I've been feeling so depressed and lonely. And after a couple of days I feel so much better. Not just from reaching out and getting wonderful advice, but also being able to use my experiences to help others. So thank you everyone

CloudNine Coercive controlling partner. Wanting out
  • replies: 10

I have been deliberating for a number of months about writing a post on here and I’ve gotten to the stage in my relationship that I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Cutting a long-story short, I’ve been with my partner for 6 years now and I’ve been w... View more

I have been deliberating for a number of months about writing a post on here and I’ve gotten to the stage in my relationship that I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Cutting a long-story short, I’ve been with my partner for 6 years now and I’ve been wanting to leave for 3. The problem is, I constantly feel trapped and fearful of my partner because she is emotionally abusive. I know she is and I know what she is doing, yet I just can’t seem to get out. I’m naturally a very passive ‘go with the flow’ type of guy whereas she is very assertive, and I think it has created an unhealthy balance of power within the relationship that’s just festered for years. I don’t deal well with conflict, going silent in arguments and giving unhelpful “I don’t know what to say” responses. I know that’s a big issue and I want to and need to work on that, but it’s difficult when my partner sits on a hair trigger to go from 0 to 100 aggression, which is further exacerbated by her poorly managed anxiety. There’s a lot of other things that come in such as her codependence, not having any friends or social supports and because of that I’m her only friend and have to do everything with her.. and even then I get made to feel guilty if I want to do something that doesn’t involve her. It’s gotten to the stage where she manipulates me through my fear of her anger and all the guilt she piles up on me for how she feels, for her mood swings, her body image, her self-esteem, her lack of friends.. the list goes on. It’s always my fault and I’m constantly apologizing for everything to try smooth things over- did I mention I don’t like conflict? I don’t even bother arguing any more because I’m never right and she twists my words and makes me admit I’m wrong and I’m sorry for what I’ve done to her. It’s gotten to the stage where she’s pushing me to buy a house and I’m terrified of being stuck with that commitment over my head. I know there’s going to be a big argument later this week / this weekend. I guess I just need some advice on how I can end this.. I've tried relationship counselling twice- failed. I’ve tried writing letters, I’ve tried literally packing a bag and leaving but her phone calls and messages manipulate me into always coming back… I’ve tried turning off my phone but the guilt always gets the better of me. I’m just trapped in a never ending cycle of control, guilt, fear and absolute misery. Any suggestions or would be much appreciated.