{a fifo wife} how to help a stressed out partner.

by debbie on September 21, 2016


When you meet my husband, it’s hard to imagine he ever gets stressed. He is one of those men that have their shite together, how he got so lucky and married me I don’t know, but he did and so over the past 17 years we have taught each other more things than Wikipedia teaches you explaining the gist of Game of thrones. This is especially so with this relationship business and how to have a grown-up one.

So previous to being a grown up when my husband was stressed, went quiet and withdrew it would drive me insane. I would say he was sulking, being an idiot and complete doosh bag. Then one day, not overnight, I grew up, and I handle his stressful moments a lot better because it occurred to me it was not about me rather all about him and to think it was me, kind of made me self-centered. Especially when he had said what the problem was and it didn’t involve me but some big hairy bugger giving him grief.

Now because I’m an oversharer and we have just come out of a ‘stressful’ situation here are some tips on how to handle things when your partner is stressed out. It is no particular order and I’m not a professional.

  1. Don’t take their behavior when they are stressed out personally. When stressed everyone reacts differently. I like to eat, not sleep, over think, yell and on occasion run, he likes to withdraw and think- crazy I know. Which for a slightly neurotic girl like myself naturally meant one thing; it was my fault. Him not being able to talk to me in that moment means I would completely take it personally and hound the shite of him. Surprisingly this made the whole situation worse.
  2. Give them what they need. For most blokes, this is space and some time to brood in their man cave with their TV remote, lawn mower or shed. For women, it’s a packet of Tim Tams, a run at the gym or a natter with another woman. I think as long as they tell you what the issue is its fine for them to brood, eat or withdraw for a reasonable amount of time. Although if they are stressed for too long something needs to be said regarding getting help or clarity with delicacy or not depending on their personality and in extreme cases appointments made.
  3. Don’t take their need to tell someone else before you personally. There is a usually an excellent reason for it, especially in a close relationship. As long as they tell you, I think it’s okay to speak with someone else. I wrote about it here but consider the circumstance before getting hurt about them not talking to your first.
  4. Don’t try to fix the situation for them. This attempt at fixing makes it worse; trust me. We don’t need to repeat the scenario, but it makes it worse and you look like a dick. No one can fix a ‘stress’ other than the ‘stressee.’ To try and fix the stress just creates a whole new level of stress. As hard as it is to watch on don’t touch it. It’s a lesson only they can learn from unless you interfere and then it becomes yours.
  5. Ask them what they want you to do. My husband requires nothing usually but for me to just listen when his ready and I have learnt now to be patient. Whereas I like to eat, lose sleep, cry, verbally vomit and then want to be left alone while I regain my composure and the energy from the said stress.

Best of luck.






I watched from afar as she teased him, not really knowing what to do not being on my home turf.

He stood there twisting from side to side not really knowing what to do either. He looked over, and I gestured for him to come to me.

I bent down, and I said Bubba you can’t let her treat you that way.

He gave me this upside down smile to me he gives with a head drop which indicated to me he was upset.

I grabbed his hand and said let’s go; the party has finished.

We left the party, she not even saying thank you or goodbye to him; me keeping my opinions on manners to myself and headed to the car.

Stay with me next time he said. Okay, I replied with a heavy heart because he never wants me to go with him to parties. He has always been the drop and run kid when given the option.

So this party had hurt.

The truth is, this isn’t the first time I have heard about bad behaviour from girls towards my son, but it is the first time I have seen it. Typically I didn’t like it, and it took some control not to deal with it myself.

When I asked him why do you allow it to happen? He replied because she is a girl, it’s okay to be bossy.

That’s not bossy Bubby that’s just mean I said. There is a difference. Bossy isn’t a bad thing you are bossy at home. Bossy gets stuff done. What that behaviour is, is meanness.

I sighed because while we have made considerable progress as women, sometimes we are our worst enemy. Because times like this I do believe we have gone so far overboard with political correctness or equality, I can’t determine which because I’m not a ‘feminist’. I don’t understand ‘feminism’. I am just a woman getting things done, regardless of, but it’s ‘all’ becoming skewed. It’s flat out confusing.

Blokes, men, the good ones don’t even know where they stand anymore and teaching good one’s is becoming a minefield.

On my part, I have on several occasions spoken to him, and behind the scenes, to his teachers who do agree with me regardless of sex, it’s not okay to treat someone badly that what this is not a sexist issue.

Yet here is the clincher already in his mind because she is a girl she is allowed to behave that way and it’s been happening since he was in prep so this isn’t a new behaviour from them. She tells him along with several other young girls that their behaviour is acceptable because they are girls and just deal with it.

So my question is how do I teach my son that being treated by a girl like that isn’t acceptable just because she is a ‘girl’ without undoing all the ‘good work’ done. Leave your comments on the FB page? Or send me a PM? Suggest a book I can read?

XX Deb



{a fifo wife} Four little words

by debbie on September 13, 2016


Why have you pulled us out of school Mum? he asked as I reversed down our drive.

Well, I said concentrating on not running off the drive I won’t be home in time to collect you from school, I don’t like going to Cairns on my own anymore and I really really like your company.

I looked at him the at his brothers one by one.

Is that okay? I asked.

The smiles that went across their faces as they said in unison you like our company? was one I won’t forget.

Heck yes, I said. Your great boys. Your funny and sweet. I like being around you and one day when I don’t have to be your parent 24/7 we are going to be the best of friends.

Nothing else was said after that but smiles said it all and whilst I yelled or parented with confidence as I prefer to call it  that afternoon, those words “I like your company” changed my family again- for the better.








A few months ago I was talking with my husband about the issues I {we} were having with our son at school. He was at work, I was at home, and I was a wee stressed over the whole shebang. I was losing sleep over it as you do and having cried and sobbed my way through the conversation I finally said after a huge sigh but how are you? I’m okay he answered and yet I knew he wasn’t so I asked again.

I’m okay he answered and yet I knew he wasn’t so I asked again.

I can’t say he said.

Why not I said to him.

He replied because If I tell you my problems we are not focusing on yours and B1’s, and that’s adding to your load, not solving the current one. You and B1 are currently more important, so I want you to focus on that. My issues can wait. You can’t focus on him if you are focusing on me.

Now normally being the seeker I am, I would have hounded him to tell me, but the truth was he was right. At that very point in time, I didn’t have the capacity support to him in a way that would have been productive {or healthy} for him or me. I loved him for recognising and understanding that it wasn’t that I was being selfish, I wasn’t not wanting to help or share the load its just I couldn’t. I wasn’t able to be his confident and ear at that point because I was being B1’s and my own whilst dealing with no sleep.

So a few days later once we had sorted out B1’s issues I said hows things what was up the other day? And true to his word he spoke about everything that had been bothering him, and I at that moment I was able to give him my complete support and attention.

I would like to think that if the problem were pressing he would have spoken up or talked to someone else he trusts like a friend or colleague because sometimes you can’t support each other at the same time. This is when self-care comes in. In hindsight, this is something I have been doing for my husband for along time. If I know he can’t fix the problem or I think it will cause additional worry when he can’t do anything because he is in the middle of the ocean I won’t tell him until I have it at point where I can tell him but I will always tell him because not to creates something between us and it doesn’t sit right with me- for us, but each relationship and dynamic is different.

Ensuring you tell someone halves the load science tells us that. So telling a trusted friend a problem or gaining support from and outside source until you can share it with your partner is not a bad thing; its taking care or your mental health as well as theirs. Being entirely dependent on your partner for everything is not healthy not only for them but you. In a today’s modern lifestyle, I think we depend far too much on our spouses for everything. I think sharing the load between family and friends is good for everyone involved, it builds relationships, community and that can only be a good thing. Humans thrive on community science shows that too.

So when my husband says I can’t tell you right now, I’m completely cool with that. We can’t be everything to everyone all at once.


Life line 131114.



{a fifo wife} how to redeem yourself

by debbie on September 2, 2016


I cracked it last week at work. I don’t mean I yelled and screamed that’s not my style, instead, I sobbed hysterically. Sobbed, because after just ten hours sleep over 72 hours and prior to that an intricately well managed five-week swing my body was on I imagining on shut down. This Superwoman had been hit with her kryptonite; sleep deprivation and her cape was publically being put out for dry cleaning.

This particular Monday I went to work chanting the mantra it is just another eight hours you can do this and right up until I went to the toilet and readied myself for class I was okay. But I then looked in the mirror; perhaps the downfall of the whole scenario and proceeded to cry. I then couldn’t stop crying, and the more I tried to stop crying the more I hyperventilated. I started wheezing, squealing as I tried to hold in the tears. My poor unsuspecting work mate who had made the fool hardy decision to ask if I was okay was at this point not okay.

I left work crying and saying I was sorry.

Typically by the time I got home I was embarrassed at being human. I was embarrassed for having created a scene, looking like a crazy woman, taking the day off for a ‘nap’ and people thinking I didn’t have my crap together {which at that point in the corner of the room I didnt}.

I texted a dear friend and asked how do I handle the embarrassment of it.

She texted back pretend it never happened. Now ordinarily great advice because the reality was it was not a big deal I just needed sleep it was a as simple as that. No one was offended, no one died and no one was hurt in the making of that public ugly cry except me however to me even after a few days my public crash and burn it felt like a big fat pimple on my nose. Red and bulbous it was in my sight, it was annoying and everyone was trying to avoid it but couldn’t because it’s the first thing you see.

So I did what I do best I owned what had happened. I explained when asked why it had happened, no I’m not falling apart, yes I should have been getting more sleep not that being human was self-deprecating but I owned it all the same. A post about self care will follow when I have really learnt how to.

You see this scenario of apparent scene making is not foreign to me, with the exception of this emotion business making an arse of myself by overacting, refusing to see another point of view or admitting I am {or was} wrong was almost sport to me at one point in my life so I have got the redeeming ones self business down to a fine art.

Now whilst this ‘break down’ doesn’t really warrant redeeming because I’m human, the principals are the same should you have overreacted or been an arse in a situation that required more diplomacy.

  1. Realise we are our own worst critics. Determine if it needs ‘redeeming’ at all. Consider that you have may have blown it out of the water and it’s not as bad as it really is; my point in case. No one really gave a crap about my public ugly cry, fortunately, I don’t have the same problem as Kim Kardashian and have a syndication.
  2. Don’t worry if people see you as a neurotic. Neurotic is cute not everyone can be neurotic and who gives a damn what people think anyway. Brittany Spears doesn’t. She is neurotically cute, famous and richer than you or I.
  3. If you did make a mistake own it. Accept the fact you stuffed up. People appreciate it especially when its a major stuff up.
  4. Apologies if you must but don’t apologise otherwise. Justine Bieber knows this all too well hence ‘is it to late say sorry’; no its not but if you are going to say sorry follow it up with better behaviour.
  5. Learn from ‘it’. The most important thing. Chris Brown could really take note with this one.
  6. Move on. When talking to a well-known blogger once I asked her what do you do when you have made an arse of yourself on social media. She replied I understand it, accept it and post something with chocolate in it. I move on.

Chocolate really does make everything better.


{image with thanks to here}