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

Liz_ss How to maintain normalcy for children
  • replies: 6

I found out my husband has been cheating emotionally and physically for months if not longer. I am struggling to put one foot in front of the other. I am hurting too much to even think about reconciliation but I don't know if I want to slam the door ... View more

I found out my husband has been cheating emotionally and physically for months if not longer. I am struggling to put one foot in front of the other. I am hurting too much to even think about reconciliation but I don't know if I want to slam the door just yet so I am trying to pretend that everything is ok in front of my child. However I am clearly doing a bad job of it as they can see I am broken and sad and asked me not to leave. It broke my heart and made me feel they will think this is all my fault if we split. Anyhow, my question is, how have people dealt with this? Have you made up an excuse for why you are sad? Or any tips on putting on a brave face? I am doing my best but it is so so hard. The child is a pre teen and pretty intuitive and emphatic. I obviously don't want them to know what their father did

Whichway Can’t stop seeing my ex
  • replies: 5

My ex left me 18 months ago, it was an unhealthy relationship, I’ve got some mental health issues and I was extremely attached to her while I always treated her well, she didn’t treat me that great and tried to fix a lot of my problems. When she left... View more

My ex left me 18 months ago, it was an unhealthy relationship, I’ve got some mental health issues and I was extremely attached to her while I always treated her well, she didn’t treat me that great and tried to fix a lot of my problems. When she left me, I let her go willingly I knew that I wasn’t up to being in a relationship with her at that time, even though I loved her so much… I don’t have a lot of confidence- I’ve not contacted her since but here’s the kicker. I work in three areas - one area is where she lives, where we fostered our relationship she walks past me while I’m working nearly everyday there. Sometimes with new guys. The first year I accepted it - breakups are hard they suck it’s just the way it is it’s going to hurt… I tried to avoid it as best I could, gave my self time to heal.. then I left and went travelling for six months had a great time and didn’t think about her much. now I’m back and see her everyday and I’m still getting the anxiety/panic where I completely shut down and feel like dying and feel horrible and helpless for the rest of the day. It honestly is like PTSD. I see a therapist and live a really healthy life. Im at an odds for what to do, any helpful advice would be appreciated.

jlp11 Unhappy marriage and feel stuck ! :(
  • replies: 4

Hi I would like some advice from others I don’t have many people I can talk to but the stress and unhappiness , loneliness is eating me away I’m a married woman been married for 10 years I’m 36 his 60 we have 2 kids together he works 7 days a week I ... View more

Hi I would like some advice from others I don’t have many people I can talk to but the stress and unhappiness , loneliness is eating me away I’m a married woman been married for 10 years I’m 36 his 60 we have 2 kids together he works 7 days a week I look after the kids full time I also work from home doing dog grooming , do the housework, cut the lawn gardening 10000sqm block , everything as I would do single I can’t ask for help if I’m sick or even when was in hospital he couldn’t get the kids from school I had to leave , he has never helped me or been there for me at the start he was , his so tired after work he comes back has a beer watch tv doesn’t talk to me or the kids doesn’t want to know about the bills finances or anything to tired I have to make sure all is paid on Time , but the problem that’s stressing me out is he went bankrupt awhile ago due to his business issues and he opened a other one put me as the owner of the company yes it goes to my company his work money to pay bills that I feel stuck with it , all he says he pays to provide but won’t help when tax time or even want to know about the company or anything that’s due left it all on me , if he leaves tomorrow I’m screwed I also have a other son older from previous partner that I’m stuck paying child support for as his income has made my income higher , on top of this he puts me down constantly calls me a bad mum your a slut you rubbish your worth nothing that I mainly spend my evenings locked in my room to get away from him , he can’t talk communicate over talks me constantly we don’t get along but we are currently in a rental and I can’t afford to support my kids on my own with the prices of rental at this stage and don’t want to take them on the streets so I stay and the company I will have to sort out all the debts of tax without his money to help anymore, I also pay bills with my income and any extras I use my own . It’s such a lonely life and nothing but arguments every evening his home it’s not good for the kids but i feel stuck and have no where to go Also have few dogs can’t take I don’t no what to do feel neglected unloved if tell him how I feel he sends a laughter emoji or whatever

Jai6 I still love my ex-wife...is there surgery available or magic pills?
  • replies: 2

My wife left me 5 years ago. I divorced her 2 years ago. We settled financially 1 year ago. My son and I haven't seen her in over a year. She flew 1,000km to see our son and 2 cats last week and stayed three nights in our guest room. We did normal fa... View more

My wife left me 5 years ago. I divorced her 2 years ago. We settled financially 1 year ago. My son and I haven't seen her in over a year. She flew 1,000km to see our son and 2 cats last week and stayed three nights in our guest room. We did normal family stuff, went sight-seeing, went out to restaurants, laughed like a 'normal' family. We were not intimate. While she was sleeping in the guest room, I was hoping she'd come and talk to me to either close the door indefinitely or whatever. But she didn't. Instead, she was on What's App all night. Now that she is gone again for another year or two, I feel empty and sad? No, I don't suffer depression and no, I don't really want her back. I'm 60 years old and have freedom. But I miss her. I'm not seeking another mate. Even if I did find some interest in another woman, it would be unfair to pretend she's my new love interest. I'd be deceiving and disingenuous to another woman. My ex and I were a perfect 100% match. At least that what our friends said when they found out that we had split. They used think we'd 'go the distance'. What's wrong with me - or her?

Dylan72 Need advice
  • replies: 4

I have been seeing this girl recently and at first it was friends with benefits but I caught feelings, we had 4 weeks where we saw each another 3-4 times a week for hours and hours it was amazing and we loved each others company but once her uni star... View more

I have been seeing this girl recently and at first it was friends with benefits but I caught feelings, we had 4 weeks where we saw each another 3-4 times a week for hours and hours it was amazing and we loved each others company but once her uni started she shut down and didn’t see me for 2 weeks saying she is unsure and doesn’t know what she wants, she has lots of past trauma with men in her life as well as other trauma and this affects her when it comes to commitment and attachment, she finally saw me on Monday and it was just as friends as that’s how we decided to try she came over and it was all fine until the end where with no intentions from both of us we started kissing it’s was very natural but that was the extent of it and she said it’s fine and promised me, the next day she was all like i can’t do this anymore etc which hurt alot, and I asked if it’s cause she is scared of commitment or affection or even catching feelings and she said probably, I was devastated as I have caught heavy feelings and it turns out that I love her but 2 days pass and we reconnect because I was in a bad spot and today she was talking about how she just doesn’t want a friendship or anything and how it’s hurting her as well to let me go and it makes no sense why she would do that when it hurts, she doesn’t lie she is very honest girl which is a amazing, but she started saying well u can blame it on my issues etc, from what happend t has she maybe caught feelings or something or because naturally we kissed with no intentions she is scared of it turning into more cause of her trauma and that’s why she is saying she has no reason why she wants to go, like she says she had no idea why she feels it when it hurts her, is there any ideas with maybe trauma with me or in general can lead to pushing away as she said to me before that the way I treat her is different and new to her which might be part of why she pushed me away. Any advice would be amazing or people with similar experiences or trauma and have this kind of reaction, I don’t know what to make of this situation, all I know is I love her and it pains me so much. She is known to remove or freak out when people get to close to her etc. kinda like a defence.

Molly2_2 Being pressured into getting married and having children
  • replies: 8

Hello everyone, I’ve been having some trouble with my partner’s mother (partly his father) that has left me feeling upset, angry and anxious. My personal background I believe is strongly linked to this, so I need to mention it. For most of my life, I... View more

Hello everyone, I’ve been having some trouble with my partner’s mother (partly his father) that has left me feeling upset, angry and anxious. My personal background I believe is strongly linked to this, so I need to mention it. For most of my life, I have cared for my mother who has a physical disability, an illness, as well as her own depression. It’s hard, and throughout my adult life I’ve felt torn because it’s so difficult to progress with my education and career while also being there for her. Over the years, I’ve managed to find a way to balance (to a certain degree) these aspects of my life. This year I was so happy and proud to be accepted into a PhD program. I’m doing it part-time due to my circumstances, but I’m still happy about it. Another thing to know about me is that I have never wanted children. I am nearly 30 and consider myself to be childfree. I have no desire to raise a child. Not to mention, with my life circumstances, I don’t think a baby would help. I am very open about this. My partner also doesn’t want children. However, his parents (mostly his mother) are very traditional…and expect us to get married and have children. When I was accepted into my PhD program this year, my partner’s parents proactively discouraged me from enrolling. In the past, his mother has explicitly shoved baby clothes, pictures, etc, in front of me. She’s also made comments like “you’ll change your mind”, “every woman wants a child”, etc. It’s very frustrating, especially as she already has nine grandchildren. It’s not as if she’ll never experience being a grandmother, and most importantly, it’s my life and my body. As a result, I have not seen either his mother or father since the start of the year. Apparently, she did stop mentioning weddings and babies after a second confrontation with my partner. However, knowing her personality, I think this will definitely come up again, especially as I near my late 30s. I don’t know how to deal with her. I feel this anger bubbling up inside whenever I think about it, and I’m worried that I’ll say something horrible. Simultaneously, it makes me very anxious, and I also feel like I’m going to burst out crying.

escher_1999 Finding peace after being hurt during one of the hardest years of my life
  • replies: 2

I'm a doctor and met my ex (both in our early 20s) earlier this yr. He was my direct senior at the time and we'd known each other for a few mths, but were purely work mates at that stage. Then one day I received a call at work that my sister had suff... View more

I'm a doctor and met my ex (both in our early 20s) earlier this yr. He was my direct senior at the time and we'd known each other for a few mths, but were purely work mates at that stage. Then one day I received a call at work that my sister had suffered severe head injuries after attempting suicide. My ex was right next to me when it all unfolded. During the following wks our friendship grew and we became closer over a couple of mths before starting an official relationship. I've continued working full-time, studying part-time and tried to sustain my social life as best as I can since the accident. At this point I felt happy overall, though waves of pain would wash over me occasionally. //My ex is religious and I'm not. We had a few long chats about it and I'm open to exploring religion so we decided to continue dating. He talked to his family a couple of wks into the relationship and they didn't approve. He said his feelings were true and deep, and told me he wanted to fight for us. I trusted him, though I would've respected a decision to end things if he felt that way. Around the same time, his close friend of 4yrs confessed her love to him. He told me she wished him well but had given him an ultimatum that for them, it would either be a relationship or they couldn't stay friends. He affirmed that he wanted to be w/ me and said he'd give her some time to cool off. I didn't pay too much mind at the time. //Fast forward 2wks, he flew interstate for one of his best friend's weddings. She was also there and I trusted that he'd respect boundaries. It was a few days later when I picked him up from the airport that I sensed sth had changed. He said he'd been feeling that sth was missing for the past 2wks and after spending time w/ his friend, he realised that he loved her. He was crying so hard, even hitting himself at one stage as he was breaking up with me. //The pain I felt was excruciating. I loved him, but he knew the extent of my vulnerability at this time and chose not to communicate w/ me when he had doubts. Mb I wouldn't have felt this hurt if I wasn't already trying to process a deeper loss. The day after we broke up, he msged saying he'd wait patiently for my forgiveness, however long it takes. It's been almost 2mths since then and I've blocked him on all platforms to try give myself complete space to heal. I'm exhausted and far from feeling at peace.

gk_80 Work friend. It's never going to be a thing, but we can't separate, either. Is that OK?
  • replies: 8

I think what I need to hear is that life sometimes goes this way. You just have to live with it. Rewind. I've been very close to a work colleague for a year or so. I find this person intelligent, capable, and I do find them attractive. But they're ma... View more

I think what I need to hear is that life sometimes goes this way. You just have to live with it. Rewind. I've been very close to a work colleague for a year or so. I find this person intelligent, capable, and I do find them attractive. But they're married and I'm not. We've never stepped over the line physically in any way. I couldn't tell you the last time we even brushed against one another by accident in the office, let alone anything else. We did have what could be called an emotional affair for a few months, with online chat outside of work. It was fun at the time and not sexy at all. But we mutually ended this based on what we'd read about emotional relationships causing trouble for people, even if that was hard for both of us to stop. We've remained friends at work and I don't believe we can stop being friends. If we were the same sex and straight I'm not even sure there would be an issue here at all. All that said, I still feel I have some sort of romantic feelings for this person - as I feel they might have for me - but neither of us have acted on it. We don't talk about it. So to go back to the start, I think what I need to hear is that sometimes you come across someone you find attractive but you can't do anything about it and that's OK. That's life. You just bottle it up. On my side I don't want to be a home wrecker. On their side I'm satisfied they love their partner. I've never felt led on by them if that's what you're thinking. There's just a bond that neither of us can seem to let go of that sits outside of everything else. Have you ever been really into someone, knowing it's not going anywhere meaningful, but still wanting to be close to them and unable to let go?

Lolly121 Should I tell him?
  • replies: 9

Hi, So 6 months ago my partner and I of three years had a miscarriage and he wasnt supportive at all. We grew apart for three months after it. I resented him for not being supportive. We live together but hardly talked and didnt get along. i went out... View more

Hi, So 6 months ago my partner and I of three years had a miscarriage and he wasnt supportive at all. We grew apart for three months after it. I resented him for not being supportive. We live together but hardly talked and didnt get along. i went out one night got very very drunk and kissed a random man at the pub who then told me he was married. The man lives 3 hours away and I'll never see him again. He made contact with me to apologise and promised he will never tell a soul and to think of this as a small bump in my road and to learn from it. My partner and I have always said that if we slipped up once in our relationship ship we'd bother rather not know as long as no sex or emotions were involved. So I've respected his wishes, we have mended out relationship the last 3 months and are such a wonderful loving team. We had a second miscarriage this month and I'm an EMOTIONAL wreck. My guilt, shame and angry towards myself is unbearable.. I'm so scared he'll find out and hate me forever. I've loved my partner for 7 years. His my world and I'm so sad I made this mistake. I know if I was to ever do it again I would be open and tell him as twice is not a mistake. But I'm so scared we will get married have children then this will come out in 10/20 years time and destroy absolutely everything I'm so scared and worried. The man said he'd never tell anyone as he is married and for me to move on learn and forget what should I do ;( I'm a horrible person

peonie63 Love 4 weeks ago....disgust now
  • replies: 2

Hi I have been with my partner for 9 years, when I met him he was broken from a bad relationship. I had finally found andnequal liove - ourn motto was a relationship needs to be easy - tick tick. My cup was full and moved states to be with him. He in... View more

Hi I have been with my partner for 9 years, when I met him he was broken from a bad relationship. I had finally found andnequal liove - ourn motto was a relationship needs to be easy - tick tick. My cup was full and moved states to be with him. He initially looked at me with adoration. He always told me that he had it all but wasn't happy. He couldnt handle conflict so any argument would end with - oh so throw it back on me its my fault - which frustrated me no end. He struggled.with the dysfunctionality of his job and he was always the fix it man. He had many moments of job related stress and came out of it and a couple of times he lost it and would iphysically inact situations so he could get his point across. Just before he went away he was drinking alot and sleeping separately, his reasoning - well you always leave from me snoring so i might as well - his face was just blank and I said you seem weird he agreed - fast forward a week and he came back - he said he thinks he has had a breakdown and he didn't want to come home - then he started doing house.choirs like he was ticking boxing - from there he stopped.talking and looked at me with disgust - I have moved out - I sent a text to say I am hoping he is ok - the message I got back was horrific - said it was me not his work and accusations that are completely blown out of proportion - I am now second guessing everything - when he left his wife she changed passwords etc for internet and the first thing he has done - he's thinking I am her- his mum has bipolar and he was beaten as a child - his children have their head in the sand and dont understand the severity, I know what i need to do which is move on, but it all seems surreal.. anyone had similar situations