Relationship and family issues

Anything to do with managing relationships and family, including parenting, separation, loneliness, divorce, family and friendships.

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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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Mr K Am I self-Sabotaging?
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As I write this I'm living with the constant fear of heartbreak. After overcoming a separation/divorce I've tried to rebuild my life/confidence and move forward.I had been enjoying a new relationship but more and more in recent times, I'm feeling ver... View more

As I write this I'm living with the constant fear of heartbreak. After overcoming a separation/divorce I've tried to rebuild my life/confidence and move forward.I had been enjoying a new relationship but more and more in recent times, I'm feeling very much like the lowest priority in that other person's life.She tells me constantly that she's busy and although that may be true, after all we are all busy; I firmly believe we should find or make time for the people and things that are important to us. Last Friday we arranged to all meet up for dinner she and her one child me and my two children. I had hoped a meal would lead to other plans/ideas for the weekend but what actually happened really left me in doubt.Randomly another of her friends was at the same venue with her children and their grandfather. She then invited them to join us and for the remainder of the evening, I and my kids were essentially ignored.I didn't hear from her again that weekend until Sunday evening when she told me all the things she had done and said I hope you had a good weekend and didn't just sit around. I didn't really have much to say, I was still frustrated by the seeming lack of care and feeling taken for granted. Anyway, I've heard nothing from her since in a weaponised silence kind of way and now I'm back on the forums wondering how to move forward in life if all it ever seems to do is set me up for heartbreak and disappointment.

1970 Mum is grieving
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I don't know what to do. My mum lost her partner a month ago. She lives in the country and her neighbours/friends don't live there full time. My mum is also a drinker and I'm wondering whether she may have burnt some bridges there. She rings me cryin... View more

I don't know what to do. My mum lost her partner a month ago. She lives in the country and her neighbours/friends don't live there full time. My mum is also a drinker and I'm wondering whether she may have burnt some bridges there. She rings me crying that she doesn't want to live any more. I feel like I'm her only support and she expects me to 'fix' her situation. Then I feel lower than a snake's belly for feeling like this

emilou 2 under 2
  • replies: 1

Hi all, I'm just wondering how many of you out there are parenting 2 under 2 and how are you coping with the load? I feel like we're living in a 'no village' society and with my husband having gone through bipolar manic episode a month after the birt... View more

Hi all, I'm just wondering how many of you out there are parenting 2 under 2 and how are you coping with the load? I feel like we're living in a 'no village' society and with my husband having gone through bipolar manic episode a month after the birth of our son it's alot. I almost feel like it would be easier if he wasn't here but I still love him however I also feel like he is putting his own needs over our children. He goes out most nights after work to sit in the spa and sauna and go skateboarding and getting home when all the evening stress of putting the babies to bed is over and I'm struggling. Is anyone else in a similar situation and feel like they need to prompt their partner to help with every thing? Trying to work through a roller coaster of emotions and hard without the support.

dontknow-whattodo My boyfriend is confused about his sexuality
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I am female and my boyfriend has recently brought up issues that he thinks he might like both females and males. After being supportive of him saying that he could take however long he needed to figure it out he has now said that he might be gay. But... View more

I am female and my boyfriend has recently brought up issues that he thinks he might like both females and males. After being supportive of him saying that he could take however long he needed to figure it out he has now said that he might be gay. But he is unsure of whether or not that he actually is. He has many conflicting things going on in his mind as he is Christian and truly believes that going that way could effect what happens in the afterlife. So having these possible feelings are confusing him and he has no idea how to navigate this time in his life. I’ve asked him if he is attracted to females and he said that he doesn’t know and is saying that he hasn’t had great relationships with females in the past (his mother & ex who cheated). I have suggested to him that he should probably see a psychologist about those past trauma experiences as that would help him navigate his thoughts and feelings more but as he studied psychology for a couple years he thinks he knows better. He believes that it may be best for us to break up as he believes that he is hurting me by asking me to wait and doesn’t want to continue the relationship in case he might end up actually being gay. Is it wrong for me to want to continue the relationship until he actually knows what’s going on with his sexual orientation? I really don’t know what to do about this as I do want to make it work but am holding onto hope that isn’t there? Am I being naive? He made a comment saying maybe he’ll be begging me to take him back if he figures his stuff out and isn’t gay.

Dan075 Apparently my need for affection is actually insecurity
  • replies: 4

I've been wife my wife for almost 16 years. She was never overly affectionate in the beginning but what little affection she did display has almost diminished to nothing, or little more than the occasional quick peck type kiss. What I found interesti... View more

I've been wife my wife for almost 16 years. She was never overly affectionate in the beginning but what little affection she did display has almost diminished to nothing, or little more than the occasional quick peck type kiss. What I found interesting was a comment on a TV show last night where a person suggested that a need for affection either emotionally or physically was actually born of insecurity. My wife looked at me and said that's you. Additionally sex was never anything exceptional or frequent but as above it's literally a once or twice a month type deal. If I try again soon after I'm usually hit with a comment like "we've already had sex or you don't need it again. Her idea of sex is to start with no foreplay or lead up and get it over and done with. We've been together for 16 years and got married three years ago. We've both been married previously and I didn't feel the need to tie the knot again. I agreed to getting married as I know she has questioned my ture commitment to her and I thought it might actually bring us together. Getting married didn't change anything in that respect We're a fire and gasoline type couple and have had our fair share of clashes over the years, relationship stability isn't one of our strengths. I feel in reality we're probably more staying for our kids and because she doesn't really work, for her it's probably the comfort of being taken care of more than any kind of deep spiritual or intense chemistry but hey, we're still both here. Is she right, is my need for even a base level of affection insecurity on my part? Harder one, am I wasting my time, is it time to let go of something that's only been in decline for the past 13 years?

SmithAnnoush 17 yr old at home
  • replies: 2

Hi there I have a 17 yr old son who is fuelling my anxiety in me right now to the point where I cant sleep. He’s always made rash decisions - poor in retrospect - and he's recently decided to drop out of a great degree three weeks in cause he wants t... View more

Hi there I have a 17 yr old son who is fuelling my anxiety in me right now to the point where I cant sleep. He’s always made rash decisions - poor in retrospect - and he's recently decided to drop out of a great degree three weeks in cause he wants to do another one. This other one he starts in semester 2 and in the meantime he is doing nothing. He hasn't got a job. He sits around on his laptop all day. He applies for jobs every now and then but I’m not sure why he isn't getting them. He’s not offering to do housework off his own back. Of course he wont listen to me - I’m very accommodating most of the time but every now and then I blow up. We aren’t paying for anything for him other than unfortunately a phone under contract we bought him when he started uni. I can’t bear to see himwaste his days not doing anything. He could be learning to drive, finding an activity he loves. All his friends are at uni and working including his girlfriend. He makes these very impetuous decisions without thinking. He has a track history of it He’s a smart kid and did well in the HSC getting into a degree which is prestigious and which he was passionate about in yr 11. but he says it wont get him a job. So he's changed. I can’t bear the behaviour and attitude of disdain he has towards me when I ask him to help or remind himhe has to get up and make his life work. I’m at breaking point and can’t bear being in the house alone with him. What do I do and how do I manage this? If anyone has any advice for how I manage him and also my own mental health Id appreciate it. As an aside I have GAD so this isnt helping.

Helpforpartner Missing my unique best friend
  • replies: 3

Hello everyone,long story but basically my family life fell apart and I ended up going through all of my life savings. Eventually I became mega depressed and was constantly suicidal. when all hope was lost I met somebody who was to become my best fri... View more

Hello everyone,long story but basically my family life fell apart and I ended up going through all of my life savings. Eventually I became mega depressed and was constantly suicidal. when all hope was lost I met somebody who was to become my best friend. Sometimes she would call me when I was so very down and I almost thought she was psychic (and no I don’t believe in that stuff)! She became the only person who could life me up and give me energy. The only one to put a smile on my face. I’m very certain she saved my life and helped me to get out of bed and start becoming a productive member of society again. She became my favourite person. I was never interested in her in a romantic way at all, however I felt like I had a spiritual connection with her at some point. Now the sad bit. She seems to have gotten very busy and we don’t talk anywhere near as often. I miss her very much and I’m worried it’s just going to be less and less contact as time goes on. It makes me very sad. I was actually glad at one point I went through all my dramas cos if it wasn’t for that I would not have met my friend. Now I’m losing this too (or at least having MUCH LESS contact.1. Is it normal for someone to develop such a strong bond for someone who essentially saved them?2. Any tips for dealing with my sense of loss. I still have her but just 5% of what it once was.it sounds strange and some understand some don’t. She felt like a guardian Angel and I feel so sad and lost that the contact has dropped. I have lost of friends but generally people drain me but she did the opposite! I miss her lots but I don’t want to say anything and be a burden.

Emma90 Lonely - Partner of Addict
  • replies: 15

Hi everyone.My partner of 5 years has just relapsed. He relapsed last year and did a stint a few months ago in rehab for 3 weeks but last week relapsed again and it is bad. We live with his parents and they are threatening to kick him out. I actually... View more

Hi everyone.My partner of 5 years has just relapsed. He relapsed last year and did a stint a few months ago in rehab for 3 weeks but last week relapsed again and it is bad. We live with his parents and they are threatening to kick him out. I actually find myself hoping they do so he will hit rock bottom and get the help he needs. He has struggled with addiction and schizophrenia for over a decade and his ex girlfriend killed herself (drugs as well).I am not posting here for advice but I am very lonely and I have no one to talk to about this as everyone in my life is very judgemental and I just want someone to chat to so I don’t feel so alone please reach out if you want to chat to me.

MargaretK126 Partner feels as though his children don't love him
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Hi Everyone, New to the forum, My partner has two children from a previous marriage, 2 and 4. The four year old has ASD level 3 and is non verbal. There is no court Orders in place, however the current arrangement is: Week 1 - Tuesday afternoon until... View more

Hi Everyone, New to the forum, My partner has two children from a previous marriage, 2 and 4. The four year old has ASD level 3 and is non verbal. There is no court Orders in place, however the current arrangement is: Week 1 - Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning Week 2 - Monday and the weekend. We are looking to increase time however she keeps saying no. His ex partner is quite manipulative and rude to him and was a perpetrator of family violence in their relationship. He feels as if he cannot say anything to her without the constant fear she is going to blow up. Yesterday on our usual weekend the children had a party to attend to which she took them. Following their return to our house a few hours later, the children were very unsettled and crying not wanting to let go of their mother. Initially, my partner understood as they often do the same thing to us when we drop them off. However late last night, my partner broke down as he feels as though his four year old doesn't love him. I re-assured him as best i could however i was wondering if anyone could help with any ideas or strategies. I can see this is really debilitating for him and i don't want to step on anyone's toes as they are his children. Looking for any type of help really not sure what to do or how to help my partner here.

I_need_a_name I don’t like being a parent
  • replies: 26

I feel sick saying this because I love my children dearly, but I absolutely hate life with kids. Nothing can prepare you for the relentlessness of parenthood and how much of yourself you lose in the process. Everyone says it’s hard but you don’t trul... View more

I feel sick saying this because I love my children dearly, but I absolutely hate life with kids. Nothing can prepare you for the relentlessness of parenthood and how much of yourself you lose in the process. Everyone says it’s hard but you don’t truly understand what that means until you’re in the thick of it and once you’re there, I feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. If I disliked anything else in my life - where I lived, my job, my husband, I could leave, change careers, do something different, but you can’t take back having kids and yet it’s the one decision that I really wish I’d had more background info on before I took the plunge. I have a 5yr old and a 1yr old, they’re so very loved and clever, and funny and wonderful, they’re great kids and I’m a great Mum (mostly), but I grieve all the time for my lost life, all the freedoms I had and all the TIME I no longer have. I used to have so much choice in my day - I could spend my day sleeping, exercising, crafting, eating, listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks, binge watching tv or movies, relaxing, renovating our house, organising, literally anything I could imagine or think of I could do. All I do now is work, cook, clean and parent, there isn’t time for anything else. If I do get any free time, it’s post 8pm when the kids go to bed and I’m too tired from the day to do much more than sit in front of the TV and scroll on my phone. It’s such a crappy life. The kids needs are never ending, someone’s always in my space and requiring my attention, even if they just want to play, I feel like everything’s draining. I don’t want to play, or cook, or clean or do family admin etc., every task that fills my day now is not one that I would choose, all of them are required to keep the family running and someone has to do them, so I do, my husband is really helpful and we share the load pretty evenly but even so, we still both feel permanently burnt out. I can organise some extra time away from the kids etc. and I have done; feels great while I have that time but it’s always only a cpl hours, or a day max. and the second I have to go back to reality I hate my life again. I long for my pre-child life and all the wonderful things I could do with a day, presently i probably get about 10-30mins of each day to choose something for me and it’s not enough, I didn’t know how hard this was going to be and now I’m here and I don’t like it and I feel stuck. What can I do?