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

Flynn55 Adult children leaving home
  • replies: 1

Hi both my young adult children have just left home & to be honest I'm lost. One has moved interstate & the other several hours away. I feel like I've lost who I am other than a mother. I do work which I enjoy & am married though my husband keeps him... View more

Hi both my young adult children have just left home & to be honest I'm lost. One has moved interstate & the other several hours away. I feel like I've lost who I am other than a mother. I do work which I enjoy & am married though my husband keeps himself occupied & doesn't feel their absence in the way I do. I enjoy exercising & walking to keep my mind occupied but I literally feel lost.

Wallaby13 Feel like a terrible mum and wife
  • replies: 2

I have two small children and a wonderful husband and work in a job that I love, but my life is a mess and I feel like I am a bad person and doing everything wrong. I am always stressed and snap at my husband constantly. He questions everything I do ... View more

I have two small children and a wonderful husband and work in a job that I love, but my life is a mess and I feel like I am a bad person and doing everything wrong. I am always stressed and snap at my husband constantly. He questions everything I do and it makes me so insecure and anxious that I get angry. I try my best with my kids but I am often impatient with them. My mind is crowded with things I have to do, it’s relentless. I forgot my daughter’s Show and Tell twice in 2 weeks and missed a lunch order last week. The mental load is killing me. I love my kids but I wish I’d never had them. I look at child-free people with an envy so strong it makes me feel nauseous. We have no family support in our state and only a few friends. So many friends have moved away, faded away or 'broken up' with us. Recently one of my best friends told me she didn't want to see me again because I made her feel bad last time we hung out. I feel ashamed and upset about it. I thought we would be friends until we were grannies, making fun of the world together. Now I’m alone again. Oh, and I’m on anti-depressants and they do help with my diagnosed generalised anxiety, but I’ve put on 10kgs in 18 months because of them and it makes me feel so bad about myself. My husband and I fight constantly. We’ve always been different but those differences are really starting to be a problem in how we raise our kids and run our lives. I think I still love him, but I’m not really even sure anymore. We keep saying that things will be better eventually, but when is eventually? My daughter started school this year and it’s triggered her anxiety, which is now so bad that she can no longer be in a room by herself. We have to accompany her everywhere: to her room, to the toilet, outside. My husbands and I are taking turns sleeping on her floor, and half the time our toddler is up during the night too. It’s like having two toddlers. We’re run ragged. My husband just started a new job after months of being unemployed and it’s very intense. He’s always stressed (even more than me, hah!) but won’t go see anyone about it because he’s ashamed. I would love to see a psychologist. I used to have a great one but she moved away and now I’m going to have to get back on the mental health plan train. I’m not even sure what I want out of posting here. I guess I just feel like I can’t tell anyone else because everyone in my life has their own problems and I don’t want to be a burden.

Gamechanger I Will Never Understand Why They Treat Me This Way
  • replies: 20

I am almost 60 years of age. I have a twin sister. She and I have never gotten along. She was always a bully when we were kids. She sided with our brothers and the three of them made my life hell. Mum and Dad were very neglectful and did not do anyth... View more

I am almost 60 years of age. I have a twin sister. She and I have never gotten along. She was always a bully when we were kids. She sided with our brothers and the three of them made my life hell. Mum and Dad were very neglectful and did not do anything about this behaviour. As the years have gone by she has continued to be rude, uncaring, mean and downright nasty towards me. As I am a sensitive person I have not confronted her. I cannot actually believe the negative impact she has on my life. She is sanctimonious, judgemental, never validates me. She enjoys seeing me struggle with life and she never helps. All she does is judges me and tells me what I do wrong and tells me I am a loser basically. I have had a tough life and she sits back and smirks at me. Although I have managed to have my son (IVF) and sacrifice my beautiful home and life in 2007 as my husband was a violent alcoholic. I have a lovely home and my son is a beautiful person. I have done all of this on my own with zero help from her or my mother. I feel my whole life means nothing to them. Dad died years ago but now Mum is in her eighties and my twin sister has taken it upon herself to dote on Mum. They are as thick as thieves. I feel so lonely and unloved. My sister has always tried to hurt my feelings and she has lately been doing some really bad gaslighting stuff. I am struggling in general and her actions are making me feel so bad. She and Mum are still the same in that they stick together and exclude me. I am supposed to care about them but I hate them. I have never been treated well by either of them. I have had some horrid traumas in my life and neither of them gave me any care or consideration. I am writing this because I feel I have to dump them from my life. They bring no happiness. Only shame and guilt. Nothing I do is good enough for them. They ridicule me and never validate me. I think now looking back she was sick at birth and Mum was obsessed with her and neglected me. It is crazy that they bother and upset me so much at my age but I really am struggling over what to do. For what it is worth they both got very ill with Covid over Xmas and I was running around after them for weeks. They were never there when I had my shoulder operation, my laparotomy and indeed my c section. I just can't understand why. I have done nothing wrong. I am so distressed. I have a shit job and no life.

John55 Micro cheat by wife, over thinking it?
  • replies: 4

Hi guys, Feeling a bit lost at the moment, I've been with my wife for 16yrs married for the last 6 years. I went to use her tablet the other day and when I went to google it showed a ton of seraches for relationship tips for Sagittarius and Libra (sh... View more

Hi guys, Feeling a bit lost at the moment, I've been with my wife for 16yrs married for the last 6 years. I went to use her tablet the other day and when I went to google it showed a ton of seraches for relationship tips for Sagittarius and Libra (she's a Libra). Was confused as this isn't my star sign, the searches were like "how to know if a sagittarius like you" how to identify sexual tension" "signs he likes you" "sexual traits of sagittarius" "are sagittarius attarced to woman in a relationship" and on, and on, and on it went. There were lots more but my heart sank after seeing this, our relation ship is good and our sex life is good also, was blown away a bit after seeing this. I confronted her about it and she ended up telling me the Sagittarius was a friend of a friend that I haven't met but she has a couple of times, he said some nice things to her and she said she was just being silly, all in her head and that it was nothing. She went out with some friends 2 weeks ago, ended up out late with two friends who are a couple till 3:30am at a house party. When I asked her the next day she said she was with just our two friends as I was worried she was at a random party with no one she knew and maybe having a few two many. She seemed a little funny that day when I asked her who she was with. Now after confronting her about these google searches it turned out she was not only with our two friends (guy & girl, bf/gf) but also with this sagittarius guy all night and ended up at the party with him and he called her a uber home also. She admited she lied about this as she knew it was wrong but it still hurts as I've been hurt by the one person I've always felt safe, never to be hurt by. I'm not sure where this would of ended up if I hadn't caught this, I've been calm about it and understanding and she's cried a ton, I just can't think that she may have ended up lying and hanging out with this guy with one thing leading to another, making out and possibly cheating down the road. what are your thoughts, this has really thrown me off, this is so unexpected and just left me speechless, it doesn't feel like her, I feel like not letting her off the hook about it easily, I feel I want her to feel terrible but this is my wife who I love, the feelings go away but when the re-surface all I can think of is how far this could of gone. I know who the guy is and of course have looked him up on fb, I'm sure he's a really cool guy but this has made it really hard. Thanks.

bayside14 Found out wife has std
  • replies: 5

hi folks, bit of background I’ve been with my wife for 16 years married for 15 . We have two kids now teenagers. my wife is in mid 40s been having a few issues- we thought her body was going into menopause. She went and got checked out by the doc and... View more

hi folks, bit of background I’ve been with my wife for 16 years married for 15 . We have two kids now teenagers. my wife is in mid 40s been having a few issues- we thought her body was going into menopause. She went and got checked out by the doc and she has a STD . Is being tested for other things as well. it has been doing my head in though how she can get a std after all these years . I have been loyal to her never been in a relationship outside of marriage etc. we actually work together too.she seems to think she has had it all along before she met me . Though I have not asked the dreaded question if she has been unfaithful- should I refrain from asking and take her word on this or ask her and cause conflict. I actually don’t know what to do .

Braveatheart Found out hubby hit on my friend?
  • replies: 1

Well first time poster here and feel the need to express how much hurt and pain I'm feeling right now. Hubby of 20yrs with 2 now teenagers and living a comfortable lifestyle all is Rosie with the usual ups n downs married couples have that we normall... View more

Well first time poster here and feel the need to express how much hurt and pain I'm feeling right now. Hubby of 20yrs with 2 now teenagers and living a comfortable lifestyle all is Rosie with the usual ups n downs married couples have that we normally work through and get on with life. This time I feel I can't forgive and forget going forward after finding out 6yrs later my hubby hit on my friend one night when we went out he tried to kiss her and she pulled away and told him not to go there which she says he backed off. But this same night the pair of them didn't come back home till early hours in the morning and I've always sensed something happened between them that night. I have even had re-occuring dreams this has been niggling deep down inside me for yrs. So as things haven't been that great of late between hubby & I, I find myself reaching out to my old friend who I don't see that much anymore bc of lifestyle changes ect and asked her to be honest with me if hubby hit on her that night. She replied with yes he did he leaned in for a kiss on the dance floor but she didn't take it and further and that was it. She told me 3wks later hubby ran into her and apologised for his behaviour but I can't help but think more went on. She said the incident was put behind them and never discussed again. She didn't feel it was important to tell me and cause a drama bc she felt he was drunk and made a mistake. I don't know how to process this information and if one could say this is classes as cheating on his wife? I've been with this man for 20+yrs love him deeply but recently had my eyes opened and I've become aware that this 20+yrs have I been under a 'gaslight' as everytime when I tell him about certain things how they hurt me emotionally he tells me I need to get help I've mental health problems and I create alot of things up in my head and make a drama of them. I duno what do you guys think? Don't sugar coat it tell me your thoughts.

4300 Not sure what to do
  • replies: 2

Hi there, I have been struggling some time now with my own thoughts and self negative thinking. I think for a while I kept putting it off thinking it was just a bad day, however more recently it’s become aparent to me that through mediation I was fee... View more

Hi there, I have been struggling some time now with my own thoughts and self negative thinking. I think for a while I kept putting it off thinking it was just a bad day, however more recently it’s become aparent to me that through mediation I was feeling better. So now when I feel like how I felt before starting mediation I realise just how down and anxious I felt. I know this is now affecting my relationship with my fiancée and I want to get help. I just don’t know how or what to do any help or advice would be great.

TuffCookie Lovely husband, but I have fallen for someone else
  • replies: 3

I have been married for almost 5 years to a loving and caring husband. But for a few years, I have been feeling that I do not love him the same way he does me, and that we are two very different people. We could both do better. I have felt this for a... View more

I have been married for almost 5 years to a loving and caring husband. But for a few years, I have been feeling that I do not love him the same way he does me, and that we are two very different people. We could both do better. I have felt this for a while now but haven’t really put too much thought into it. Until recently, I bumped into someone I had feelings for a few years ago and I felt the feelings were back. We spoke briefly and he also confessed that he has feelings for me too, but we have to forget about it because I’m married. I am now hating myself for feeling this way, especially since my husband is a lovely person. I feel I’m a horrible person, I don’t want to hurt him but I also don’t want to stay. However, I feel he deserves better. Has anyone been in a similar situation and what did they do about it?

CherryOnTop I've become a crutch
  • replies: 1

My family is a mess. My estranged sibling (we're both middle aged) has all sorts of issues and my parents can't agree on how to handle it. He's not very nice and my mum sees that but my dad doesn't It's ruined their marriage but, because of their age... View more

My family is a mess. My estranged sibling (we're both middle aged) has all sorts of issues and my parents can't agree on how to handle it. He's not very nice and my mum sees that but my dad doesn't It's ruined their marriage but, because of their age and financial arrangements, they won't separate. My dad really bullies my mum and says nasty things to her and spends their retirement savings without asking her. He also shows little concern for her wellbeing. She has medical issues and he doesn't seem to care and when she says the stress makes it worse it has no effect on him. My mum and I get on well and have a lot of hobbies in common. I have tried to be supportive, although I am emotionally involved and sometimes I have to take a step back for my own sake. However, lately I feel like I am being used as a crutch. My mum wants to spend so so so much time with me doing specified activities and it's stifling. And if I say no, even if she only gave me short notice, then she brings out the emotional blackmail about how it will be one of the only things that makes her happy relentlessly until I give in or she gets super angry at me. If I ignore her then she just bombards me with calls and e-mails. Also "I'm stressed" or "I'm busy" or "I want to relax" are not valid excuses. Only a confirmed pre-existing appointment will do. She also keeps on buying things or do favours for me that I can do myself. I say yes because it makes her feel useful and hey, if I can cut down on some expenses in this current time then fine. But then she uses it to guilt me into doing things. I love her and I enjoy doing activities with her and I do feel sorry for her. But I also have my own stressors and commitments and I don't want to be used as a comfort blanket. But then I feel guilty when I say no. Advice?

SarBear_JT Ex best friend
  • replies: 4

Hey all I need some advice I have this ex best friend of 11yrs whom I haven’t spoken to in a year or two as I spent a lot of time helping her and I found out she slept with my boyfriend. She’s now trying to come back into my life asking for help and ... View more

Hey all I need some advice I have this ex best friend of 11yrs whom I haven’t spoken to in a year or two as I spent a lot of time helping her and I found out she slept with my boyfriend. She’s now trying to come back into my life asking for help and I’m not sure if I give her another chance or not as everytime I do she always shows me why I shouldn’t. I really wanna help her but is she taking advantage of my kindness? Do I help her or do I say enough is enough till she starts helping herself ?