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.

Dwindling relationship

Community Member

My relationship with my partner is dwindling down to nothing. I have tried everything but I just can't shake the thoughts of leaving no matter what I try. She is not interested in couples counseling when I suggested it. We have 3 kids, two of them are under 4 and they are what is keeping me inside this relationship. I can't bear the thought of not seeing them every day and being there to love and support them. Whenever we have discussed splitting up, my partner gets hysterical and starts to get quite irrational. Saying things like I won't get to see the kids etc. etc. My mental health is suffering big time and I just can't see the light in this relationship besides being there together for our kids. 


Can someone please give me some advice if they have been in a similar situation or what my rights would be in terms of the kids if my partner refuses to have good communication and understanding with me if we do break up. I am just so worried that I will not be in my kids' lives on a regular basis. Like at least a 50/50 split. It breaks my heart to think about leaving because I feel like my reasons are not good enough to cause this pain and disruption in my kids' lives as they have not asked for this and do not deserve this. 

2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome


Times have changed since my divorce (2 young kids) in 1997. Parents are treated much more equally and if you have the will, and make the good decisions based on your kids location etc, courts often hand out 50/50 custody. That senario means also no child support favouring the other parent. Working hours etc all play a part in the courts decision. Talk to a family solicitor, highly recommended.


After 11 years of abuse from the mother of my kids I had to leave (and I had undiagnosed mental health issues like bipolar) so staying wasnt an option. I worried a lot as she was very lazy. I kept ringing the kids primary school checking to see if they made it to school on time etc and eventually broke down on the phone to the principle, she told me "kids are resilient much more than their parents". Yes, it is heart breaking and it will take time to adjust let alone listening to them say things like "we want to keep you"., But staying with your partner in a toxic environment can be equalling a burden for all participants.


You could attend a counsellor alone? Then she might join you. But if not I wouldnt divulge any information about those sessions, she can attend if so interested.


Mediation is compulsory now prior to divorce, so there will be some processes you both have to abide by. As far as good communication with your partner post split, I had a ex wife that for the 14 years until my youngest got to 18yo she made every conversation difficult. If in that situation again I would have communicated by text only. You cant force your ex to be nice, pity as some couples make the effort for the kids sake, others want revenge. 


Post separation try to keep busy. I suffered emotionally really bad for 6-8 weeks then bought a block of land and set about building my own kit home. Suddenly I was too tired to think about her nastiness. That's the key, be busy, be the best part time dad ever and you'll be ok. It matters not what your ex is thinking. 


Unfortunately going through legal means is the only way to protect your rights with some partners. 





Community Member

Hi there,


I have two young kids under five too and parenting is really, really hard. It's triggering for my mental health and there are days I'm so mad and blame my husband for things and I tell him, I'm sorry that isnt fair and I hate that I get mad as I'm anxious and upset deep inside. I wish your wife would go for counselling with you to get some open communication going. Maybe try the individual counselling first to learn some tips to speak openly with your spouse. I think Relationships Australia might be a good start if they could talk to you alone first? You might look online for the services available.  Divorce separation is sad for the little kids, the impact is great and it's a big thing to think about. So try to start with some therapy for yourself first and hopefully you can get some wins there. I've All the best.