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.

When to tell

Community Member

Hi, I’ve been with my husband 20 years and married 14! I have decided to leave him πŸ˜” Ive been unhappy for the last couple of years but he has no idea!

He is FIFO and has just been made redundant, coming home next week! We have a 3 night interstate trip booked for end of July.

So my question is do I tell him before we go or when we get back?

7 Replies 7

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jessbot and welcome to the forums,

To be blunt I don't think it will make a difference either way. If you've already made up your mind he'll be devestated whenever you tell him.

If you think you are willing to give him a chance to reconnect with you and maybe try couples therapy you could tell him prior to the trip and use the 3 days away as an opportunity to start fresh and try again.

If your marriage has ended and you're not willing to try is it possible to refund the trip so he has some funds until he finds a new job? Being made redundant is stressful enough let alone the shock of losing your marriage too.

You mentioned he has no idea you have been unhappy. 20 years together is a long time together. There must have been love and passion at some point? I keep wondering is it not worth telling him how you're feeling and seeing if you can rebuild your marriage?


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Jessbot

i have found that men do not always tune in to when a wife is unhappy. That certainly was my experience. My husband was totally shocked and angry when I told him. I wish I had talked to him about the issues much earlier and it may have had a better outcome. You have been given some good advice.. think carefully and talk to him about it before you make a final decision.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Jessbot, and a warm welcome to you.

Being in a FIFO marriage can be difficult, and there have been other posts being in the same situation, unfortunately.

I just wonder whether you have tried any counselling to try and rectify the problem but understand that FIFO can be a different type of marriage.

If you have been unhappy for a couple of years and he'll be home, then you need to decide if you want to have some counselling, if you are against doing this, I would tell him before the trip, because if you go then he will find out while you're away.

I wonder over the last couple of years whether you have been visited your GP regarding this situation because if you have been unhappy it must have been a real struggle for you and really hope you have had someone you could talk to.

This is so important and especially now over the next few weeks.

We hope to hear back from you.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jessbot,

Welcome tot he community here. Sorry to read about your situation. Only you can decide what is the best thing to do.

I also agree that communication is important. People don't know how we are feeling and what we are thinking unless we tell them. Other people can not read our minds. If you husband has been in and out of the home, he may well have little idea how you are feeling, especially when he is not there.

Another point is, sometimes when we do leave, the unhappiness follows us and sticks like glue. Are there things you can do to add more happiness to your own life?

I have been told that I can not rely on others to make me happy, I am not responsible for how other people treat me, but my actions can help them treat me the way I desire to be treated.

I also agree that telling your husband up front will give you both an opportunity to discuss issues.

Now he has been made redundant, he will be around more until he finds another job. Maybe that will be time to heal old wounds and make a new go of things in your relationship?

Only you can decide. Cheers from Dools

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey Jessbot,

Welcome to the forum

My partner is a FIFO worker and I understand how hard it can get, I am sorry you have reached a point where you want to leave.

As others have said, if this is what you want and you feel there is no fixing your marriage then I would just bite the bullet and tell him before the trip.

However have you told him how you feel? Is there any chance from your point of view of fixing this? If yes then having a discussion about how you're feeling and how to fix it might help, then you could take the trip away together which could be a chance to reconnect with your husband.

I wish you the best, only you can decide what the right option is


Community Member

Hello Jessbot,

Thank you for sharing your situation with us. 20 years is a long time to throw a relationship away, (that's two long service leave!) Most marriages breakdown due to lack of communication and we all get comfortable with each other but we tend to miss the vibes. Its only right to tell your hubby that you are not happy in life and if he still loves you, he will move mountains to make you happy. If he does not do anything about it then its only a matter of time of breaking up and moving out. Not sure what wealth you both have created over the years but I you have properties / cars, boats, investments, then then any family law solicitor will be happy to take your case and mint out money whilst you are not focused on this matter. I say, raise it with him and see if you can both work things out if not, then I may be facing the inevitable. We humans get into the comfort zone and thinks its ok to take our partners for granted but nothing should be taken for granted in life and we all have to pay our dues sooner or later in life. Have a chat to him and see if any action does take place in the coming weeks. Life is a gift and everyday is a blessing so is not healthy to live with anyone who makes you feel down. We all owe it to ourselves to be happy in life by taking up hobbies, making new friends, trying out new skills etc. I hope you take the relevant approaches so if you do decide to leave, you can be rest assured that you tried to save the 20 year marriage but he did not meet half way. Thank you once again for raising your issue here. We should all be happy in life or try to keep ourselves happy. This is something not taughted in our learning years, even at University. We must find our own passion in life and living with anyone should make life meaningful and worthy, not to put us down to sadness. You only live once so you owe it to yourself to be happy since it an integral part of health and well being. I wish you all the best in your decision making process and sending you lots of hugs to be strong during this dilemma in your life.

Community Member

Thanks for your reply😊

The relationship is definitely over! I no longer love him and I won’t be staying for the kids (17 13 & 9)

Yes there was love but that has gone in the last couple of years 😌

I am getting counseling to sort out a few things before I can leave, this has been the most difficult thing to decide in my life so far but I want ME to be happy and to not put myself and my feelings last to make everyone else happy πŸ˜”