Monday, September 24, 2007

When couples' work hours just don't jibe

Your significant other leaves for work at 8 a.m. and returns home at 5 p.m. Your alarm goes off at 1 p.m., you’re at work by 4 and you walk in the door at midnight.

To say scheduling some one-on-one time in your relationship is a tough task is putting it mildly. So how do couples reconcile incompatible work schedules?

Let me tell you – it ain’t easy.

My marriage operates on a whacked-out schedule; he works first shift and I work second. We often joke with friends that we’re like ships passing in the night. I come home and he’s asleep, he wakes up and I’m asleep.

We try to make it work because of a few lessons we’ve learned along the way:

1. Make the time you do spend together really count.
2. It’s OK to say “I love you” by e-mail or notes left on the refrigerator. At least you know you’re on each other’s minds.
3. It’s about give and take. Some times he goes to bed later or I wake up earlier so we can spend time together.

Do you have any tried and true ways to weather opposing schedules in your relationship?


Anonymous said...

My wife and I have some schedule imbalances and pre-sleep rituals that make it difficult to sleep together. She has to be at work at 4 in the mornings, and when she goes to bed, she goes to bed. I have to be in around 6:30, but I like to read for a while before I sack out. Where she's normally asleep before 10, it might not be until 11 (or later on some nights) that I finally go to sleep.

We've learned in our years of marriage that separate beds aren't necessarily a bad thing. That's true especially considering that we also don't like the same type of sleeping surface. She likes a softer bed, while I like something more firm. The Sleep Number bed doesn't quite get it for us; we move too much in our sleep.

Anonymous said...

If I ever found myself in a situation like that I would tell my spouse that one of us needs to either find a job that has roughly the same schedule as the other....or one of us needs to stop working.

To barely ever see your spouse due to work schedules shows a whacked out set of priorities. What's more important....your husband/wife or some job that could let you go tomorrow for no reason and with no notice needed??!!

We've gotten away from what's really important in life. And if one spouse not working would create a financial burden then it's time to trim back the lifestyle.

Hard truths, but truths none the less.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: you're a moron. We need our jobs. You don't need someone attached to your hip, do you? I feel sorry for your insecurities that you're showing here.

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about attached to the hip? The post was about never seeing your spouse due to work schedules. If work is placed in higher priority than family then something is wrong. If a spouse doesn't mind never seeing the other spouse then something is wrong. If you are in a situation financially where both people have to work and accept the off schedules then probably it is to pay for possesions that you think you own but really they own you. The moron is the person who does not understand this and has bought into this materialistic society to the point of sacrificing quality time in their marriage. How many people on their death bed wish they had spent MORE time at work and LESS time with their spouse? Think about it and grow some sense.

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