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FIFO dramas

Community Member
I have been a FIFO wife now for 16 years. I am use to the 5 week on 5 week off roster and this isn't my problem. When our kids were younger we would take lots of holidays and have a lot family time together, but now that they can not take time of school I feel I have a boarder staying with me and not a husband, he has worked every school holidays for the last 3 years but we do have a few weeks at Christmas, so we do go camping then but that is the extent of it. My routine whether my husband is home or away is exactly the same but when he has his 5 week leave he has a fantastic social life, goes out regularly and in the last 12 months has had 4 great holidays with his friends. He doesn't do much with us and has very little communication with our kids, because he says he has nothing in common with them, my teenage son even told me the other day I am his favourite and that when his dad is home they never see him and this upset me. I have tried talking to him but he doesn't get it, he thinks I am just out there to hurt him and don't understand how hard it is for him. I feel like a single mother.
4 Replies 4

Community Member
Hi there Joy,

Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for coming here and posting.

Oh boy, this sounds like a very tough situation that you’re in. The FIFO situation for 16 years is a very long time; I just wonder, is there any end in sight for it, or for as far as you know, this is how it’s going to continue for the time being?

It’s brilliant that you’ve been able to try to talk to him about what’s happening when he does come home, but very unfortunate that it not only fell on deaf ears, but for him to come back with a reply that you are out to hurt him – and also the understanding factor. That could be a card to play back to him. Sure he works for 5 weeks ON, but then has his 5 weeks OFF and holidays and lives it up. Whereas for you, it’s 5 weeks ON and then another 5 weeks ON again and so on.

For his next time home, do you think trying to organise something, perhaps just for the two of you – say out to a dinner somewhere (and pre-book it) and also arrange for a baby-sitter? Do you think he’d be ok with something like this?

Or for a similar thing, but to do it with the kids as well? So all of you are able to go out for a dinner?

Another option I’ve just thought of, whether you could arrange for the kids to have a day off from school, like a Monday or Friday and arrange for a long weekend away somewhere (not sure where you live, and don’t need to know) but a long weekend to the coast, or to the country or to the snow? Something like that? Maybe camping, though with winter coming, that’s probably not the wisest option.

I’m suggesting all this, as I feel you really need some kind of break yourself; but at the same time, hubby could really do with spending some time with his family – his kids.

Would really like to hear back from you.


Community Member

Thanks for you feedback Neil, i am going to do some of the things you have suggested and am not going to listen to excuses. In the end he will lose his kids and he needs to rearise it.

Community Member

Hi Joy,

I'm really pleased to hear back from you and that you thought some of my ideas were ok.

Just another one, that might help - if you have friends close by, where you could all go out and do something as well; you know, perhaps another family with similar aged kids; sometimes doing something like this, might help - as with another family organised, it makes it a bit more of a locked in commitment for him.

But again, just a thought - and hopefully this has helped so that you may even have your own ideas of what "likes" there are. Hopefully the list is a decent one and the big thing will be for when he's next back.

Stay strong and if you're able to, it'd be great to hear from you again, or at least with how it all goes for you.

Take care,


Community Member

I was a single mum for 18 years... niw a FIFO wife.

This is harder.

As a single mum you have at least a level of emotional stability. You know you "got to have this".

The emotional rollercoaster that is FIFO wife is just cruel.

16 years? I salute you. And with kids?

How the hell are you standing? I hope I find your strength