(Closed) Difficult work schedule and staying connected?

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
1030 posts
Bumble bee

Oh wow – that must be difficult!

I’m not in entirely the same situation – but similar. Except our was opposite – we worked together and saw each other 24/7. our conversations barely amounted to anything  because even things like “hey, this happened today” the response would be “yeah I know – i was there” (well, not exactly – but to that effect).

We did this for a year and it put a lot of strain on our relationship. We saw each other so much that when the weekends came we wanted ‘alone time’ and so hardly did ‘fun stuff’ together – it was such a rut.

A week ago, he left his job and it may only have been 3 full working days, but our relationship feels better already.


I think you need to have a serious discussion about your future – in what position will he stop having to work these kinds of shifts? will he still have to do crazy hours when he’s promoted? then what? does he have a back-up plan if he doesn’t get promoted in x months?

I work in recruitment and i can safely say that most promotions happen when the employee gets a new position somewhere else – that’s the most common way of getting the job you want with the pay you want. is he willing to work somewhere else?

If you’ve been living together and he’s got work hours like this, I think it’s safe to say he hasn’t put serious thought into engagement if it hasn’t happened already. Me and my guy have lived together for 3 years and I had to ask him what the deal was and he said he knew he’d marry me eventually, but hadn’t thought about when that time would come.

Guys work differently to girls. Sure you’ll get the guys who are like “oh my god i cannot live without you, marry me NOW” and you’ll get the guys who are like “i got all crazy-in-love like that when we moved in together and now I’ve forgotten about it because essentially you’re already acting like my wife”.

As for quality time together – maybe you should set a ‘date night’ every other week? one week on, one week off – that could work around seeing your friends but still having time together.

And what about doing little things for each other whilst you’re not at work? such as buying him a beer on the way home from work, and putting a note on the fridge when you go to bed saying “a present for you in the fridge – hope you had a good day x” – you don’t need to be near each other to show him you love him.

I saw a really cute blog post once about a girl and her husband who hide a tiny pirate figure in their apartment for the other one to hide – it’s so cute and a nice way of letting the other one know you’re thinking of them.


best of luck!!

Post # 4
176 posts
Blushing bee

@RunningNewbie:  Ugh. I am sorry to hear you’re in this tough situation. I really feel for you because I have totally been there. 

A little background: My SO and I have been together for over 3 years now. He has been a medical school student for the majority of our relationship. During this time I was finishing a second B.S. (taking 16 credit hrs. a semester) and working a varied relief position at hospital. My shifts could start at 4:30am or 4:00pm depending on where I was needed. Also when classified as a contingent relief position they are not required to give you a weekend off so I literally worked almost every single weekend (the only days my SO had off) for over a year. We also lived about 45 minutes away from each other for a portion of this time so it is not as though we could swing by to hang out for a little while. Now, I am in a graduate program/ dietetic internship and he is in his last year of clinicals (both graduating in May 2013). I have a more traditional schedule now, but some of his clinical rotations are making it difficult (night shifts and weekends). I feel like we can never seem to get our schedules to line up. I do not want to live together until we are married (nothing against those who choose to do so it is just a personal preference). This has made it especially difficult at times and is one reason why I am a bit eager for him to pop the question. (Sorry this got a bit lengthy. I feel like I am thread-jacking a bit here.)

Anyway, to answer your questions.

  1. To stay connected we have tried several things. If you have an iPhone or MacBook you could Face Time together when you have a spare moment (or Skype or whatever). I know you said he cannot really text at work but maybe you could while he’s at home. The face-to-face is definitely better than the phone. Also, we set one day a week that he would make sure to have all his stuff done so we could spend time together. Maybe you could have one day where you stay up to spend more time with him. Also, maybe have a standing “us-time” on Sundays. Maybe not the entire day, but make sure you do something for the relationship on that day. I agree with lookingglass about doing sweet things for each other. Maybe leave each other little love notes (I know it sounds corny but it might help).
  2. To be honest, it might put the idea of marriage on the back burner for him unless you make it crystal clear that this would not be acceptable for you. I think you have waited long enough to say that to him without sounding like a nag. I finally told my SO I’m not sure how longer I can continue to put forth the effort required to maintain this relationship as it stands currently (commuting back and forth on the weekends etc.). I feel like I need to feel that he is committed in order for us to move forward. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him or that I’m not devoted to the relationship but I deserve have my emotional needs met also. Maybe saying something like this in your own words will help. Also, you could ask him “what does this career change mean for us?”
  3. This is one of the reasons I will not move in before I am married because I am certain that this is how I would feel (despite the fact that it may not be the case). Maybe you should tell him you thought moving in was a stepping stone to marriage and see what his feelings are about that. Some men seem to think it is an alternative to getting married and do not feel they need to get married. I have seen some men that will not propose until they are ready to start a family if they feel like they should be married in order to do that. It is totally frustrating. Just be as honest as you can with him.

Best of luck to you!

Post # 5
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

1) Has anyone else had to deal with difficult work schedules, and how do you stay connected?

My FH and I had radically different schedules when we first started dating.  I worked Monday through Friday 8am until 5pm.  He worked as a server all hours of the day, evening, and weekends.  It was terrible.  On evenings I knew he was coming home after 8pm but before midnight I would nap on the couch so I could stay up later to spend time with him before going to bed.  On weekends he was off we made plans to spend time together; yes, we neglected our families a bit but we’re making up for it now that we have more similar schedules.  I finally convinced him to quit and he now works a schedule similar to mine and our relationship is definitely better for it.

2) Do you think this transition period of him trying to find a new job will end up putting any thoughts of getting engaged on hold for him?

He might be interviewing for the job because he wants to spend more time with you.  I would think this is a good thing but since I don’t know him I couldn’t comment on how it would affect whether or not he will propose.  I do know that having a good, stable job with agreeable work hours is usually a prerequisite for guys before deciding to propose.

3) How do you keep yourself from thinking you’re good enough to play “housewife” but not good enough for him to commit to being married? 🙁

I would say that is the biggest pitfall to living together before being married.  If you feel this way you need to tell him; he most likely doesn’t realize that your living situation makes you feel inferior.  I can’t say that this would make him more likely to propose but it would at least give you a chance to be heard and hopefully move him in that direction.

Post # 6
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Interesting topic here.

I work a 9-5 job, for the most part. My SO of about a year works a very different one, very seasonal, where from Sept – April there are no weekends off and late hours during the week.

When we first started dating, he was in that time schedule, which was fine, because I didn’t want to be smothering him anyway. We’d meet for dinner once a week and later on the weekend nights when he got out of work.

My biggest sadness/nervousness right now is when he goes back to that schedule in a few weeks. We’d grown very close and very serious in spending all this time together since April. Full weekends, many more nights. A significant amount of time that re-affirmed what we felt and that this was a good thing. It really made our relationship what it is – wonderful.

So how do I, at a year, when the relationship should be growing, and taking a next step, and getting more serious – go back to how it was when we were first dating? From 50 or more hours to more like 15, with no sleepovers and no full days.  I’ve mentioned my fear to him, but I don’t know if he realizes how much this will change things. I suppose it opens up the conversation of compromise, but I feel in many ways I already find myself doing that – staying up later (he goes to work later and stays up way too late!) to see him, my going crazy to ensure we have the most time together.

I guess I only hope he sees that it will negatively affect our relationship. He knows he can’t stay at that job forever. It’s one thing to work all weekend and such long hours if you are a doctor or another job that makes a lot more money – but he is not in that situation.

Good luck to you, – I hope you two can find a compromise and a way to spent more time together in time.

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