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Fifo partner- changing negative thought patterns

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey everyone,

My partner was working FIFO last year and it was really tough.

He recently had a 3 month break from FIFO and has been working locally and its been amazing having him home all the time. However it was only while waiting for a new contract, he now has a start date in a few weeks and I am devastated. I always knew he would be taking another FIFO job as it is a great opportunity and beneficial for both of us long term but I think I was in denial about him leaving.

Now I'm terrified about him being gone for 3 weeks at a time, whether I will cope and how hard I know its going to be.

I'm struggling to support him or focus on why we make this sacrifice because the negative side is all I can think about.

Its really overwhelming me.

How can I change my mindset and thought pattern to focus on the positive? How do I stop myself being hounded by all these negative thoughts?

Any advice would be wonderful

Thank you all : )

6 Replies 6

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi GemAndLogan,

Thanks for your post.

I don't have experience with FIFO, but I do have experience with negative thoughts (heh), so hopefully this can be useful.

There are a few different ways to help focus on the positive -

- Write down the positive reasons and why you've both decided to make this sacrifice. It's much harder to forget them or dismiss them if they're there in front of your face. You may even want to hang up the list in the wardrobe so it's the first thing you notice (and your brain absorbs) before it gets all caught up in the negative thoughts.

- See what it is that the negative thoughts are - is it fear? Are you worried about being alone? Sometimes it can be helpful to challenge them and turn them into something more constructive. Fears of being alone can turn into plans of keeping occupied/doing new things.

- Try to accept the thoughts. They are after all, just thoughts. There are lots of calming types of practices (like mindfulness) that focus on just letting them 'be', without getting all hooked up on them. Even though the feeling of being overwhelmed is a pretty awful feeling, it's also a temporary one.

and finally- be kind to yourself. This is not easy for anybody to go through, so it's okay if you're having a tough time too.

Hope this helps,

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

GemAndLogan Hi I can see how a FIFO style of working can be a real strain on a relationship. Plus what it can do to a lifestyle. Not knowing just how long your job will last for ETC. If you are serious about the relationship and wanting to own your own place these days. Unfortunately these types of job are more common place. Leaving the employee little job security A good bank balance no security. You may have to trade off one thing for another. Which sometimes hard


Hi romantic_thi3f,

Thanks so much for the advice and your kind words, I really appreciate it!

I will try all of your suggestions and see what works!


Hi kanga_brumby,

Thank you for your reply and understanding

Yes, it's definitely a trade off and its a hard one.

I understand and support my partners reasons for working away, they benefit both of us after all but it is still so hard.

I guess I need to focus on the end result more

Thanks again


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi GemandLogan,

There are downsides to every job unfortunately. Some work away and that’s tough. My partner worked shift work in the mining industry and I remember how difficult it would be. But a lot of people also spend their entire days apart and what little time of an evening together and cranky and barely scrape by.

I think part of the problem has been that you’ve had this time together and have gotten used to having him around and being a normal couple, and now he’s got to go back. But I think it will be easier once you get back into the swing of things again. I found that making plans in advance such as booking holidays was also good as it gives you something to look forward to together. It also helps you not feel like you’re just living to work.

Sorry, I don’t have a lot of suggestions, but I promise you will get back into the swing of things again x

Hi Juliet,

Thank you so much

Yes unfortunately there can be downsides to all jobs

Focusing on the positives is definitely a good idea, we've already been talking about a holiday and things we're going to fix up around the house.

I'm just trying to focus on that and also tell myself that its not forever

Thank you so much for the reply and for the support

Gem : )