Working opposite schedule from your SO

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
2476 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

HappyHannah1980:  My husband is a police officer, and he has been working swing (5P-3A) or midnights (9P-7A) for most of the time (there was a bright shining month or two where he was on days and then it got switched again- grr!). 

It certainly takes effort from both of us to spend time together. He works 4 days in a row right now on the swing shift, so no dinners together and I “see” him briefly when I wake up in the morning and he is laying there snoring 😛

When my schedule allows for it (and his, since he can be too busy at work sometimes), I’ll either meet him someplace for dinner or meet him at the PD with dinner in hand. Is something like this an option, so that you could see each other at least once in the big blocks of time apart?

As far as weekends go, he’ll adjust his schedule to wake up and go to bed a little earlier, and I’ll stay up and go to bed a bit later. When he was on midnights, he really couldn’t do this to correct to a normal schedule because the schedules were too opposite, so we would have to make the most of the times when we were both up (usually around dinner time). 

I think in this case you need to talk to your SO about how you miss spending time with him and then try to make it a priority- even if it means you conforming to his schedule sometimes instead of the other way around.

It definitely is tough and takes some getting used to, but you can do it if both people make an effort!

Post # 3
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

HappyHannah1980:  Yeah, it’s tough.  My husband is a nurse and until 2 weeks ago, worked the night shift 3-4 days a week, including every other weekend.  Add to that that during April through August, I’m usually out of town M-F most weeks for my job.  We barely see each other!

When we ARE in the same place, trying make plans for mid to late afternoon seems like the best option.  It’s frustrating when he sleeps all day even when he hasn’t worked for a couple days, but think about if your SO tried to schedule something at 3-4 am on the weekend – even though you could go to bed at 8 pm in order to get a good night’s sleep or just get up in the middle of the night to hang out, it’d still be tough on your body.  I try to remember that when I get frustrated…  

He’s also really aware that he needs to get up even when he’d rather sleep, for his own happiness and the sake of our relationship, so he makes an effort.  If you can bring all that up without placing a guilt trip, that’d be good.  (Although I will say, I’ve known my guy for 15 years and his asleep self HATES getting up more than anything – we call it “Evil Scott”.  Evil Scott loves to ruin all our plans by ignoring me and ignoring Regular Scott’s desire to actually do stuff.  So it’s a constant battle for sure.)

Last thing, another trick is that we make plans with friends to go hiking or biking or skiing.  Evil Scott doesn’t mind disappointing me on occasion, apparently, but doesn’t want to flake out on plans with friends.  So he’s forced to get up.

Post # 5
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

HappyHannah1980:  FI often works 5:30am-1:30pm and I will work 2pm-9pm or 3pm-10pm. It can be hard but we find ways around it, we usually get 2 days off together that are full days so we make an effort to do something on a full day off. Most of the time though we prefer to sleep in and then go out for dinner and movies or if we are both feeling good we may have a day out somewhere.

Lately though it has been hard as it gets tiring fitting in wedding planning, working and household chores. Currently in the middle of moving house too so there is a lot on both of our plates! Going out for dinner once a week though is a nice treat 🙂 we will try to go to a few different places, or if we are lazy we will order pizza and watch movies and fall asleep on the lounge.

Post # 6
2196 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

SO is a teacher so he works the same hours 5 days a week, weekends off. I’m a nurse who works a mixture of days and evening (used to work nights but not anymore THANK GOD) and I work every other weekend. Sometimes it feels like I haven’t seen him for days! Or when I come home after a long day and he wants to do stuff, I’m just too exhausted and feel guilty that I just want to sleep. It’s a challenge but we work through it and celebrate the time we have together.

Post # 7
32 posts
  • Wedding: March 2015

I work a variable schedule, mostly nights 3-11 pm and a couple of day shifts on the weekend. My SO works 4:30 am to 3pm, 4 days a week and then has 3 day weekends. Our problem is that my schedule constantly changes and I never know what my schedule for the next week will be until the end of the work week. We never get to make solid plans to spend time together or go do fun stuff, and I can tell that it’s really starting to wear on our relationship. When we do have a couple of days together, we mostly just lounge around or try to do home improvement type things. We never really go anywhere or do anything fun. 🙁 That combined with the stress the job causes me really makes me want to quit, but since we live in a small town, there’s really not much of a job market. Most weeks I go for days without really seeing/talking to my SO other than on the phone during a lunch break or via text message. It’s sad 🙁

Post # 8
2240 posts
Buzzing bee

HappyHannah1980:  Ah, this is something you may have to just get used to. It’s really hard to date/be married to a night owl. (I should know, I am one!). We are wired differently from day people and it’s very hard for us to go against our internal clocks. It’s not so easy to force yourself to sleep, even if you know that you are going to end up pissing someone off by not getting up early later, it’s just not possible. It has nothing to do with being lazy. On top of being a nightowl, a person could also need 9-10+ hours of sleep to feel refreshed, otherwise they feel ill (I am in this camp). My FI could probably sympathize with you! I have definitely slept through morning plans and begged to be left alone to sleep more b/c I couldn’t fall asleep the night before. He knows me now and has adjusted his expectations. I make it up to him in other ways.

I was writing on another thread that I have been inclined towards having a nocturnal internal clock all my life and I’ve really gone against the grain all my life to fight it. It’s very uncomfortable to me, as I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve felt sick to my stomach or had terrible heart palpatations as a result of being exhausted. It’s one of the few things that if given the option, I might have changed about myself, were it possible! 🙂 Good luck with him!

Post # 9
149 posts
Blushing bee

Good advice so far….I’m pretty worried about this myself! My FI will be starting a job this month that is 10p-630a four nights per week. I work rotating shifts, either 7a-3p or 3p-11p, also four shifts per week. Thankfully our weekends off will be the same. But I am worried it will negatively affect our relationship as we will not see each other awake often! I am hoping to try and work more day shifts while he is on nights, that way we will have evenings together. We live together, too, so,I guess that helps a little.  

Post # 10
6171 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013


HappyHannah1980:  the boyfriend i had just out of college worked 3rd shift when we first started dating.  he wanted to be on my schedule and do things with me on the weekends, so he would transition back to a first shift schedule.  i know it messed with his system and he was tired all the time.  thankfully he wasn’t on third shift too long.

i think it is hard to do.

Post # 11
948 posts
Busy bee

My partner and I work opposite shifts – he’s on early days (starts at 6am), and I’m on true graveyards (start at midnight).  While this can make it hard for us to spend much time together during the week, it works for us.  It means our dog doesn’t have to spend much time alone at home (since there’s only a 4-5 hour gap between when he leaves for work and when I get home), we both get plenty of alone time (we’re both solitary people by nature, so this is critical for the health of our relationship) without having to arrange it, and we do still manage to spend time together.  During the week, this does mean that I end up having my sleep broken up on most days, since I sleep for a while, get up when he comes home, we spend time together, and then go to bed with him, sleep for a while more, then get up and go to work.  On the weekends, I switch to sleeping at night and we spend the days together.  His sleep schedule remains unchanged throughout the week.  This is largely because I have am better at adjusting to variations in my sleep patterns, while he suffers from insomnia if he doesn’t have consistent sleep patterns. 

Post # 12
906 posts
Busy bee

My parents work simular hours now but when my parents and I first moved to my second hometown, my dad was unemoyed so he took a job at us cellular and he worked the odd shift. During the two months before he got hired for MidAmerican my mom worked 7am to 330pm and my dad worked from 130pm to 10pm. It was difficult during those months but my dad had two days a week off ie wedesday and Saturday and we managed to still make time as a family. 

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