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

Bubble89 Life with Guilted Love,Depression and Hopelessness!
  • replies: 5

Have had relationship problems with my parnter for over 6 months now,i want to leave and have tried to but have been made to feel guilty about leaving him with a mortgage etc..i told him id help and stay in a separate room until something could be so... View more

Have had relationship problems with my parnter for over 6 months now,i want to leave and have tried to but have been made to feel guilty about leaving him with a mortgage etc..i told him id help and stay in a separate room until something could be sorted but still am felt like im forced to stay. In the last 3 months I've become very close to another male and feelings have developed ive tried to tell my partner but he doesn't want to hear it,ive told him that i still love him though im not in love with him but he still wont let me go..so ive been seeing my male friend in secret and stayed in the relationship feeling lost miserable angry and hopeless as i sink further into depression..in a small way i should stay as it feels like my obligation but i know its not fair on either of us...feeling like im stuck between a rock and a hard place! Dont know what i should do,any advice?

elizabeths90 Struggles In New Relationship, Is He a Manipulator/Controller? Confused and Anxious
  • replies: 2

I recently started seeing someone who is turning out to be someone I didn't think he was. He went from being over the top kind and caring and wanting to move very quickly. This made me feel uneasy, and on high alert. Then his started saying things no... View more

I recently started seeing someone who is turning out to be someone I didn't think he was. He went from being over the top kind and caring and wanting to move very quickly. This made me feel uneasy, and on high alert. Then his started saying things now to make me think his anything but a kind and caring person.When i try to initiate anything sexual he'll stop .. I tried to organise getting off work early once to see him and in the end..I couldn't finish up early I got told it was all my fault and that I need to put effort in for things to work. Just a lot of really nasty texts messages to make me feel bad. These seem to happen a lot, he calls me a 'downer' or 'judgmental' when i'm talking about a particularly hard day at work and just venting - I feel I can, as he says whatever he likes to me when his had a rough day. Whenever I say "i'm sorry but that really hurt my feelings' in a calm and non angry way, just to express I didn't like it I get told 'I'm not putting up with your shit today' 'Goodbye, don't talk to me' 'Catch ya' it goes on to wind me with me apologizing for something I don't even know what I've done. His told me 'To be honest, if you just stopped eating and exercised you'd lose weight' I pulled him up on the comment and he swore at me.I'm just feel utterly confused if this behavior is not cool or if it is my fault and I am a bad person or a downer... I don't think I am and I don't think I exhibit those traits at all... I've been in relationships with abusers and manipulators before and I find I fall very easily into and get stuck.I'm honestly just feeling very confused, anxious and upset as I don't know what to do or who to talk to.

Stephenw Dazed and confused
  • replies: 2

Hi all,firstly I should start by saying I've been living with depression for about 3-4 years...With treatment and meds its been under control for quite some time, however recently I can feel myself slipping away again...In the past few years I've had... View more

Hi all,firstly I should start by saying I've been living with depression for about 3-4 years...With treatment and meds its been under control for quite some time, however recently I can feel myself slipping away again...In the past few years I've had a job loss, marriage breakdown, another short term relationship breakdown, house sale and trying to keep it together is bloody hard work...Being single as an early 40's guy for the first time in over a decade, I did what most men my age do.....slept with heaps of women....I guess it was a short term replacement covering grief...However recently in the past 2yrs I've met a woman that is fallen in love with, however I the past couple of weeks ....a friend of hers caught me on tinder....admittedly it was totally innocence reasons....myself and a work colleague were trying to find another colleague's profile....Totally childish I know, but now it's cause her to just shutdown, won't see me, won't talk to me, has blocked my calls.....everything....except email..I can't handle this.....sadly the harder I try to fix things the worse I'm making things...Shes makes me a better person and I'm a happier person around her...We would talk or text on a daily basis....I feel totally lost...I don't know what to do...She has asked for "time and space" which I'm struggling with...I don't know what that means and she is not forthcoming with anything other than saying I'm annoying her...I hate letting things just drag out...if there's a problem I'm determined to try and fix it...She just shuts down and hoping the issue just goes away...she hards confrontation...As each day passes I'm getting more confused, agitated and feel like I'm slipping again...Any assistance would be greatly appreciated...

es030609 Issues with the in-laws
  • replies: 7

I want to keep this short but I don't think I can without missing important details. I know most people have issues with in-laws so hoping someone can help. My husband hasn't spoken with his parents in 2 years. This year we need to mend & resolve the... View more

I want to keep this short but I don't think I can without missing important details. I know most people have issues with in-laws so hoping someone can help. My husband hasn't spoken with his parents in 2 years. This year we need to mend & resolve the issues and begin rebuilding some form of relationship for our children. Background in a nutshell: We have been together over 13 yrs, married for 6 yrs and have 3 daughters. We were young parents at 18 & 21. His mother has never liked me; she is rude & condescending and has even had his ex's over for coffee in recent years. She has always told me that I'm a bad wife, housekeeper and mother. This was magnified when our daughter was diagnosed with ASD, ODD & ADHD 4 years ago. I firmly believe she was the sole reason I was dx with depression late 2011. She was telling my husband I was bad at every opportunity and we even attended marriage counselling early 2013 because of her. I've never done anything except support, love and care for my husband and kids. I always had a fear that if I told my husband how she treated me when he wasn't around, that he would choose them over me. She did make a point of always saying 'he'll always be my baby boy' etc. I finally told him how she'd been treating me late 2013. He snapped! Words were exchanged and they destroyed their family, not me. His father turns a blind eye and won't discuss the past to assist in moving forward. In Sept last year his mother came to our home while I was at work to fill my husbands head with more crap and to tell him she's been diagnosed with a form of cancer. I had a panic attack at work and headed home quickly (I had never had one before so was shocked when I discovered what it was). She was ordered to leave our premises after telling my husband that I was 'poison'. With the news that she has cancer, I have made a decision that I have to put aside my fears and emotions and deal with this. If it's not dealt with asap, and her cancer gets the better of her, I potentially could lose my husband and our girls could lose their father; Emotionally, mentally and physically!I'm scared that they'll manipulate our children and our lives again. I have already told our girls that they can make the decision to see their grandparents on their own - I won't force them. And it won't be an overnight process. My husband has some healing to do. He wants his mum to apologise to me. We know that will never happen.

Bart10 Anxiety about my wife
  • replies: 5

My wife cheated on me years ago and I tried to forgive her and give her a second chance but I never really learnt to let go and didn't end up giving her a proper second chance. Recently we split up mainly because I had never learnt to let go. As soon... View more

My wife cheated on me years ago and I tried to forgive her and give her a second chance but I never really learnt to let go and didn't end up giving her a proper second chance. Recently we split up mainly because I had never learnt to let go. As soon as we split she went back to the guy she cheated on me with but someone sent me The messages she wrote to him. I wasn't so upset that she was flirting with him as we had split up but she said she loved him the whole time she was with me And basically disrespected our whole relationship. After reading the messages I wasn't angry with him or upset with her but frustrated at myself for not letting go the first time and giving her a proper chance to move on and I decided I want to be with her and actually give her a chance this time she says she wants to make it work too is am going to a councillor soon but at the moment I struggle every time I'm not near her my whole world is broken and every time she leaves the house I feel like I am going to have an anxiety attack

MisterM My sister reported me to the police
  • replies: 28

I can't forgive her, I can't forget it, I feel so angry about it. She thought I was going to hit her was her motivation for going to a police station to report me, I've not once in my life done so and never threatened to. It was all because I was at ... View more

I can't forgive her, I can't forget it, I feel so angry about it. She thought I was going to hit her was her motivation for going to a police station to report me, I've not once in my life done so and never threatened to. It was all because I was at her house to support my brother in law who was in a bad place mentally after the two of them had some marital problems. She wasn't home at the time. This happened a number of months ago, I am angry at her for doing such a thing and cannot wipe it from my memory. Me and my sister have been estranged for a number of years and have not spoken.

cazz79 Don't want to be alone anymore
  • replies: 2

I have 3 amazing kids so I'm never truly alone, it's not that type of loneliness. It's feeling like I have no one by my side to help me when my days are long and dreary. My x husband made me feel like I was disgusting he never showed any affection to... View more

I have 3 amazing kids so I'm never truly alone, it's not that type of loneliness. It's feeling like I have no one by my side to help me when my days are long and dreary. My x husband made me feel like I was disgusting he never showed any affection towards me except in the privacy of our bedroom. Since the divorce I had gotten myself together again and was happy, for the first time in over 8 years. I then met another guy, he had no kids, so when he moved in it must have been full on for him to step up and be the dad. And then I found out I was pregnant and from there it went down hill. I started to realise I would now have 3 kids and my partners attitude to my other 2 kids started to get mentally abbusive I let it go on too long and finally told him to leave. But I'm scared, I'm a single mum and suffer from major depression and who would want someone like me. I can't even stand me. I've put so much weight on, I am tired constantly I hardly sleep through the nights and my kids and my house are suffering. Just wish there was a miracle cure cos I want to be happy again and to be the person I know is hidden in me somewhere

PurplePolkaDots Turbulent Marriage - not sure what to do to make it better?
  • replies: 3

My hubby & I have been together 9yrs, married 5yrs; we have a beautiful dd (2 3/4yrs old) and I'm 30ish weeks pregnant with our 2nd dd. I have a history of depression, anxiety, low self esteem, etc - not a great childhood, mental/emotional abuse & ph... View more

My hubby & I have been together 9yrs, married 5yrs; we have a beautiful dd (2 3/4yrs old) and I'm 30ish weeks pregnant with our 2nd dd. I have a history of depression, anxiety, low self esteem, etc - not a great childhood, mental/emotional abuse & physical abuse from an alcoholic father.Some of the Issues we currently have:- I am a work at home mum; our dd is with me all the time so I have to do most of my business work when hubby gets home. Hubby looks after dd well sort of, of course she comes to see me thats ok but i expect hubby to come and get her and entice her to stay with him however it doesnt happen and i end up with a toddler trying to get my attention and i have to stop my work - I get annoyed at him that he hasn't come to get her. His solution is that i have to shut the door - this makes me feel uneasy and locked away, which makes my creative work hard to do.- I feel like hubby wont discuss plans to get everything we need done with me. He'll just spring on me he's going to mow the lawn, I not against him mowing the lawn - i get upset that he hasn't discussed it, hasn't taken in consideration what else needs to get done (especially my business) and that its on his timeline and I have to drop whatever i am doing/need to do to look after our dd. To me this feels like everything is how he wants it, and what i want/need doesn't matter- this one is a big one. Minimal Sex - we will go months without it. I want a healthy sex life, but I do think we have a discrepancy in our libidos - I'd be more than happy with once a fortnight/month, he on the otherhand it feels like even twice a week wouldn't be enough (but this part i think we could work out). I'm struggling to have interest (breastfeeding dd for 2.5yrs & being pregnant doesn't help), but my concerns are I dont feel like he is interested in me except sexually - if i talk about anything, as quick as he can he will change the subject wont participate in the conversation with me, doesnt make any effort to spend time with me, its always his friends, our dd, his rest time, etc.. . So sex feels like its me giving more, when i dont receive much - plus the way he acts with it, kinda like its his right as my husband the actual act feels like its more about him than us.. and I hate the way I feel about it/him..there are other issues here, we have seen councilors but nothing gets better, it doesnt get really bad well not yet - but I feel really alone in my marriage

Amanda 1956 So called friend betrayed a trust
  • replies: 5

Need some advice....a "friend" has betrayed my trust by trying to break my partner and me up.She has bad mouthed me to him saying I was using him for sex and that I was killing him. She ruined a holiday by wanting all his attention and pushing me int... View more

Need some advice....a "friend" has betrayed my trust by trying to break my partner and me up.She has bad mouthed me to him saying I was using him for sex and that I was killing him. She ruined a holiday by wanting all his attention and pushing me into the background. She desperately wants me to leave him so she can have him. My partner said I am imaging things and that she only wants to be friends. But her constant ringing him late at night for over 3hours at a time ,her lies about me which I'm glad to say he doesn't believe speak volumes Any advice please thanks

Gseek Separating with an expected Narcissistic partner
  • replies: 9

Hi, i have just gone through a separation with my partner (of 2 years) and i have now started to realise that there was a lot of Narcissistic behaviour. Throughout the relationship she would constantly turn any negative or criticisms back onto myself... View more

Hi, i have just gone through a separation with my partner (of 2 years) and i have now started to realise that there was a lot of Narcissistic behaviour. Throughout the relationship she would constantly turn any negative or criticisms back onto myself and needed to be continually provided with many material things such as clothes new cars etc. Looking back she would not acknowledge my feelings and continually left me feeling like i had done everything wrong. I was constantly apologising for things i had not done. During the relationship she was very protective and insistent that i didn't tell anyone i had purchased her a new car and she told many people she purchased the new car and also still told a lot of people she was a single mother where she thought that would provide her with a financial advantage. During the breakup and still to this day she has been telling a lot of lies and lying to myself about things her son and parents have said etc to try to gain more financial advantage through guilt.I have been blaming myself for all the things that went wrong and was trying to do anything i could to get back together. The problem i now have is that we have a significant difference in what she is entitled too post the relationship. (we were not living together long enough to be defacto and to be able to go through court). Not that i would want the emotional stress. My question is how do i approach her about her potential Narcissistic Personality disorder and if i should approach her about this? I would appreciate hearing from anyone in a similar experience and if anyone see's anything other than NPD My reason for this is because she has hurt a large amount of her family who do not understand her beliefs of entitlement (Which is know is fed by the Narcissism) and also caused a lot of hurt and distress for myself. I am on my way back from the lowest points now however i can see this continuing as she still tries to contact myself to "supply" her Narcissistic needs. I have read just about every online resource about her behaviour and NPD describes her behaviour exactly.