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Newly seperated and living together

Community Member

My ex partner of 10 years left me 2 weeks ago today. I am a FIFO worker and arrived home 2 days after our 10 year anniversary, put milk in the fridge and turned to give her a hug. She said I can’t do it anymore, I’ve packed a bag and I’m leaving now.

ove the next few days we discussed staying in the same house so it didn’t disrupt the kids. Solid home etc. she would stay with friends while I was home and come home the day I fly back to work. We agreed it would work and I assumed a mutual respect for the things we had for example “if you sleep with someone do it somewhere else”.

fast forward to the day I go back to work. Arrangements are made for kids to be picked up from school. I dropped them off and headed to work. After arriving and sending a text to ask how the kids were it was like pulling teeth to get any kind of response from her. Long waits between replies and no answer if I tried to call. She didn’t want to talk. I finally found out she’s started seeing another guy (under a week later) and he’s been staying at the house….. in my bed!

she had fobbed the kids off to family and friends so she can have this guy in my bed, the most disrespectful thing that could be done to someone in my opinion. At first I thought is was once or twice and after asking her to have some respect she hung up on me then texted saying I was being unreasonable

my anxiety is through the roof. My boss made mw go home and try and sort it out. I have been at home now for 24 hrs, I’m with the kids and she has gone somewhere else. Just before they go to sleep, one of the kids asks me if mummy’s new friend will be staying here all the time when I’m at work.

how do I respond to that. All I can do is take it in my stride and tell the kids I love them. Dad will sort it out.

5 Replies 5

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Jimmy.k, I'm very sorry as this must be so disheartening because you aren't sure how long your partner has been doing this behind your back.

When you are home, how can you be sure she staying with a friend or could it be with her new boyfriend, irrespective, it's not the most ideal situation for either you and/or the kids.

FIFO can be difficult in maintaining a healthy relationship, and I'm by no means saying this has happened here, but if a situation has to decided on while you're away, does put pressure on the person staying at home and the kids wanting both sides of the story from the parents.

The thought of someone else sleeping in your bed certainly wouldn't impress me either, but it's something only your partner can answer, not by sending them away to family/friends.

If you are separated hen I only can suggest having another residence apart from your family home where your kids can come and stay with you, then what happens you don't know about and the kids will be happier.

For help, then your kids can contact Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (5 years to 25) by phone, webchat, or online and will be connected to a trained counsellor who is capable of handling their situation and can relate to their specific age.

With yourself, as your boss has given you time off, then can I suggest you first go to your doctor who can organise what you need to get the help you need.

There is more to talk about, so when you are able to can you please get back to us.


Thanks Geoff. The difficult part about this situation besides the obvious is that I was the sole income for the family. All debts are in my name with exception to the home load. That is a joint loan. I have a lot of support but with the financial burdens I am facing I can’t afford to find a second residence. She can’t afford to pay for the bills with no income. It’s a really tricky situation. I’m happy to keep paying the bills and live with the arrangement we have. I just don’t want to be disrespected or pay for her new partner to enjoy the things I have worked hard for for my family.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Jimmy.k1980~

It is very generous of you to pay for all the day to day things and allow your wife to remain rather than demanding an immediate split. I've no idea if that would work long-term or not.

However it is obvious she is starting to live her own life, which is OK I guess, but is presuming very heavily on your good nature, home and and financial support in order to do so.

In the process your kids are coming in contact with her boyfriend, someone oyu do not know, and at other times being sent away from their home to family or freinds.

While it is a highly unpleasant situation for you perhaps the most important thing to consider is what effect this situation will have on your kids, now and in the future.

I would expand on Geoff's good advice and say that the Kids Help Line can be there for parents to gain advice concerning their children too.

So what do you think?


Hello Jimmy, thanks for getting back to us.

With the bills in your name, you might have to keep them on the bill until the next payment is due, or you could pay them up to date now, and then take your name off or change utility providers, then it's all her concern or she could ask her friend to help pay.

If you need to live in the same house then may be you could get a 'restraining order' on him, so that he can't live in your house and how your kids feel about him, may also help.

Another option is to sell the house and/or buy her share so she has to move out.

Always here for you Jimmy.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Jimmy

I feel for you so much. What a horrible set of circumstances to be facing. I hope you have plenty of support in this process of reforming your life and the lives of your kids.

If I was to put myself in your situation, I think one of the key questions that'd come to mind for me is 'What parts of my husband's new life am I prepared to fund?'. If I was happy to fund him staying home to look after our kids, not a problem. If I was prepared to fund the overall separation yet not him and some other woman reaping the benefits of the separation in the house I'm still currently living in, I'd see this as fair. You sound like a fair guy with having stated such basic terms. Agreeing to end the marriage contract is one thing, deeply challenging in itself, drawing up (verbally) a new contract now, one you both agree on, is a whole other thing. If one partner breaks this verbal contract, another needs to be established. The terms were 'No guy staying over in the house I'm still living in'. She agreed then broke it. New one might dictate 'You want the kind of life that serves you and not us, you need to look at funding it: If you're not going to stay at his place, you need to go out and get a job so you can afford to sleep with him somewhere else, other than here, even if it's at some hotel'. Out of respect for you and the kids, his place sounds like the best place to go if that's all your ex can afford for now.

Sounds like you might need to make her fully aware of the kinds of questions your kids are asking you, while making it clear to her that she should not be chastising them for revealing the truth of the matter. She chose to involve them the second she brought this guy into the house and that's not their fault. So hard to manage things for our kids when we're at a bit of a loss, when it comes to managing a challenge we've never faced before. While mine are 16 and 19, they're old enough for me to be honest with. At times, I'll honestly say to them 'I have no idea what I'm doing but what I do know is we'll work it out'. They're typically reassured by this, the 'We'll work it out' part because that's what I've always done. Often, it's done with help, support and guidance from others (with the bigger challenges).

My heart goes out to you as you work to manage your kids' lives as well as your own. .