(Closed) Different work schedules are killing our relationship. Advice, please?

posted 6 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Can I ask how different the schedules are?  Like, he works nights/you works days, or what is the amount of time that you are both off?

I struggled with Fiance about this our first year living together.  He’s a (workaholic) teacher, and varsity-level football and basketball coach so August-March he leaves for work about 6:30am, and comes home at about 8:30pm.  Games days are much later.  When he gets home, he’s sooo exhausted from the day that within 15 minutes of sitting on the couch, he’d fall asleep.  I was not having keeping up all of the house chores, making dinners, and frankly moving an hour away from everyone I know to live with him and be alone every night.

I guess what helped us was the fact that he knew it bugged me if he didn’t keep up with his end of the work.  Our solution was I can do the *majority* of chores during the week, and he steps up his game on the weekends.  Also, we make it a point to eat together.  Yes, unfortunately that means dinner at like 8:30 many nights, but it’s worth it to me to get that time together (and I do snack before).  Weekends we also spend most of our time together, whether were out with friends (he’ll come with me for mine, I’ll go with him to see his), traveling together to see family, or just hanging at home.  It’s not always ideal, but it’s helped.  Even if you guys can only have breakfast together, maybe it’s worth someone losing 30 minutes of sleep (he does his best to stay up for a bit when he gets home) to have that time together. 

Post # 6
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@brideatbeach:  While we were not in the same situation, my husband used to travel A LOT for work.  Thankfully he was able to tranfer to a different position within the company recently but the travel got rather bad.  Here are some ways we were able to keep the flame alive when we saw each other rarely

– make phone conversations meaningful and quality.  No distractions around of tv, internet, friends etc.

– leave little post-it notes to each other hidden in places that you wouldn’t see right away.  This really helped us to see that it was all worth it.

– plan and really look forward to your date nights.  Don’t settle for the same old date nights, do some random things so you can experience something new together.  It helps get the new dating vibe back when you might be upset with how things are right now.

– Save house work for times when you are away from each other.  Have a chore chart or something so he can do his when you are at work and vice versa.  That way you can both cuddle on the couch together during those short times when you are together.  My hubby and I have ours on a white board in the kitchen.  We put a check mark beside what we have done so the other knows we have done it.  It works for us.

Hope these help.


Post # 8
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’d draw up a schedule of when chores will get done— not so much which chore happens when, but set aside an hour or two for each of you, each day, to do various chores. Schedule it when the other is out at work. So this might mean laundry gets done at a funny time of the day or you’re out grocery shopping at 3 in the morning. But it allows you to keep the hours when you’re both home and awake, free for you. No more feeling like he’s being lazy because he’s relaxing at the start or end of his work day because you’re relaxing on the sofa next to him, talking and enjoying each other. Also try to make a “getaway day” once a month, stay in a local hotel (watch for groupons for B&B’s, there are some very good deals to be had) and focus on reconnecting.

Post # 9
46670 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Lots of couples work opposite shifts without the fighting.

Can you not make a commitment to each other to stop the fighting? Instead, talk about what’s really bugging you and work towards a solution?

If you only get a day off together about once every 3 weeks, you don’t want to waste that day doing chores around the house, so obviously they have to be done as you go.

Do you both work 12 hour shifts or 8- that makes a huge difference. If you work 8 hrs, you each have 8 hours (over and above sleeping time) in which to do things around the house.

I’m sure you can find  a way to get things done and still leave some time for each other.

Post # 10
4272 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

It is only a problem if you make it out to be. I work evenings and sundays. Husband works days. Saturday is our only true time together. We eat meals alone sometimes, but it dosn’t bother us.

If it is getting to you, maybe he can talk to his boss and see if he can maybe get a day schedule.

Post # 11
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My solution probably won’t help, but we were in a similar situation a while after we started dating.  We worked at the same place – different departments, but on different shifts.  I was on 2nd shift (3:30-11:30) and he worked a normal day shift.

I quit my job and found one that was a normal 8-5 (ok, 9-6) M-F kind of office job.  I mean, I found a new job first, then quit.  But I decided I loved him more than my job and my job was affecting our relationship.  He’d try to wait up for me to come home but would be asleep when I got there.  When he was getting up for work I just wanted a little more sleep – although I did usually get up with him, then take a nap before going into work. 

Post # 13
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m having trouble with this too. I am a grad student, and recently switched research groups and while I am happier at work, I am also working 10-12 hr days 6 days a week. Darling Husband is a nurse, and works ~13-14hr days 3-4 times a week. It’s been this way for a couple months but after the honeymoon it’s started to wear on him more than he spends a lot of time home alone while I stay late at work. And I get frustrated that he has so much more time off than me and doesn’t help enough around the house. We’re trying to work on it, but it’s really difficult!

Can’t wait for grad school to be over so I can have a normal life again! Only…3 more years…blegh….

Post # 14
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

How about you guys decide on a schedule for who does what, when, so that there is no misunderstanding about expectations.

Sounds like a pretty simple communication problem, actually 🙂

Post # 15
9 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

@brideatbeach:  I know EXACTLY how you feel.  I love my husband with all of my heart, but I definietly feel the same way you do.  My husband works in a restaurant, and I am a receptionist.  He works odd hours.  It’s never the same.  And it changes all the time, last minute.  We fight over silly things too.  I feel like he’s not doing anything, but he is just trying to relax before work.  Never eating together.  Never getting any REAL quality time.

Here is my advice … take advantage of the time you have together.  You have an afternoon or a morning together … go do something.  Clean together.  Cook together.  You have a couple hours … watch TV together.  As long as you are getting even a little time together, it helps.

As for the arguing about silly things … try not to let it get to you.  I know, easier said than done.  The more you try, the easier it gets.  Don’t think like he isn’t doing anything and being lazy, think about all of the great things he does for you two.  Or think about the good things you are doing for your household.

Hope this helps!

Post # 16
4605 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’m right there with you. I just started a new job and FH and I never have days off together. We typically see each other an hour or two during the day, we get home around the same time, watch some tv, take the dog out and go to bed. It’s not much since we don’t really get to have dates anymore, but finding shows on Netflix that we both like is great. We watch an episode or two together and cuddle on the couch. Taking the dog out has also become more of like a date. We use that time to talk about our day, play with the dog and have discussions about things.

As far as chores go, during the week I don’t go into work until around 4, so while FH is in class, I will do laundry, the dishes and general cleaning. On the weekends I leave around 11 and get home between 8 and 10.  On those days FH takes care of the chores. On days like today and tomorrow, when I have to work but FH doesn’t, I’ll do a handful of things around the house but he does the majority because he hates not having something to do.

Right now it works, but I’m thinking that the chore chart will come in handy after I’m back in school again and neither of us will be seeing much of each other at all.

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