Post # 1
Hi there, I have been with my boyfriend for two years now, and he is a workaholic. He wants to get engaged soon and married (he is 30 and I am 21).
He is a great boyfriend overall, but there has been only one problem in our relationship that is concerning me. I feel like I don’t see him often. We live together and we spend mornings together 1-4x a week (1-5 h each, depends on the week.). Sometimes we go out in the evening once a week for dinner. A lot of the time he comes home late at 10pm and I am either sleeping, or see him for 1-3 hours before going to bed. Our schedules are very different as he works in the night alot and I work/study in the mornings 9-5. But it has never happened that we spend the whole weekend together. Sometimes he has a light week and I see him 3-4 times in the morning and sometimes at night we go out, sometimes he has a very busy week and I only see him once! It all depends on the months, where some months he works A LOT (like this month), and it makes me so stressed that I see this relationship going nowehre, and sometimes he has not so busy months where I see him often and our relationship feels balanced. How do I deal with this? How often do you see your boyfriend/fiance/husband? Am I having an immaturity issue? Is my relationship normal? We tried to set a date night but it never works out because his schedule changes so much, its the only thing we argue about and no matter how much I try, he seems to not want to give up working a lot. I feel he is being selfish.
Post # 3
liza660 : I don’t really think there is a “normal” because every couple is different and life circumstances can change. My now husband and I used to spend almost every evening and weekend together because we both worked 9-5. Then he started working a 24 hour schedule (48 off) so I saw him less. Then he went back to school and also had forced overtime, so I see him even less.
You have to decide if you want to sign up for a life with someone you aren’t going to see all the time. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, or that he is being “selfish” or not, it’s just what works for you as a couple. Many people wouldn’t be happy with the schedule that we have, but we make it work for us.
One thing that has worked recently for us is picking a date night once a week and sticking to it (it’s not on the same night of the week because his schedule changes, but we pick it out a week in advance and we stick to it).
Post # 4
I’m on the other spectrum in that we both work from home. My husband NEVER leaves the house and when he does, it’s with me. So when we go out for dinner it can be boring. We’re literally together alllllll the time. It’s whatever works for you, but you’re in school and things may change.
Post # 5
ValAsInVal : Thank you! For other people it is no issue, but it bothers me a lot sometimes, especially since I work and am a student, so my schedule is much less busy than him so I have more time to overthink it. Another issue is that I feel like he doesnt even realize its a problem for me, and he refuses to change so it makes me question whether I should leave the relationship.
Post # 6
Washingtonian : Thank you! 🙂 I kinda want your situation! More is better than less in this situation I think.
Post # 7
My husband and I are both military, and I see him roughtly 15-30 minutes a day 4x a week during changeover at work because we are on different shifts. Our weekends are three days long and I spend almost every second with him. It was hard at first because we used to work on the same shift so I literally saw him 24 hours a day. I miss those days 🙁
Post # 8
I see Fiance probably 5-6 hours in the evening every weekday (he leaves before I wake up in the morning), and usually spend at least a full day on the weekend together. We rarely have dates anymore but we have a lot of mutual friends so some of that time is spent with others too.
There have been times when one or other of us have been working more when it’s dropped to ~20 hours a week total and at that point for us the relationship struggles unless we’re both busy, so when he’s tied up in work I tend to work on my things and that usually balances things out. I think it’s the mismatched drives rather than the actual time spent together that tends to bother us though.
Post # 9
liza660 : That’s hard!
My husband works mon-fri 6-2pm, and I work 3-11p, days vary. He gets all weekends off but I don’t, so sometimes we see each other maybe 14 hours per week if I don’t get the weekend off. It’s really hard but sometimes I think it’s a positive. We have a lot to talk about and don’t take our time together for granted when we do get it. We tend to make more of our alone time then just sitting on the couch or whatever. We try new hobbies or new restaurants and really make “quality time.”
Honestly though some days I want to quit my job and find another that aligns with his schedule more. I hate not being able to be home, cook dinner, have a regular routine, etc.
So Yeah, it’s hit or miss for me… like most things, it has positives and negatives.
Post # 10
liza660 : My SO gets on a plane every Monday morning and returns Thursday evenings. My work is more flexible but sometimes requires evenings and/or weekends. The remaining time is divided between our plans together and spending time with our six children between two homes. We love each other, we both have careers and interests independent of one another, and we make it work. Sometimes (when I’m really, really busy with work and children) I think it’s a perfect arrangement and sometimes I hate it. We try to carve out some trips away quarterly. There is no “right” situation, there is only what is right for you and workable with the right person.
At 21 you should be working on developing your own interests as an individual in addition to your life with a partner anyway–you may never have such freedom to do so again! Enjoy it!
Post # 11
My husband is a consultant and his current contract is in Chicago. We live in NYC! So, he works in Chicago Monday through Thursday every week. He flies home Thursday night, but is usually home well after I’m asleep. I work on Friday, so we bacially see each other Fridays after 5:00pm through Monday, when he slips out of bed at 4:00 in the morning to go to the airport. And, he’ll be doing this for 2 years!
It doesn’t really matter how your situation stacks up against everyone else’s. If you don’t like it, you can talk to him and try to get him to change it. Or, you can accept the way he is and figure out how to get what you need from him. You can put a meeting into his work calendar. Meet him for lunch some days, or schedule a “weekend alone” once a month (go somewhere, or staycation in your home, but naked all weekend No interruptions!) But, if you are in love with a workaholic, that isn’t likely to change, no matter what. You just have to decide if this is what you want or not.
Post # 12
Some jobs do require a lot of hours. There’s no right answer to how much is enough for a relationship, but I can tell the status quo isn’t enough for you. Before we met, Darling Husband worked in a lucrative field with a lot of billable hours. Most/all the higher ups were divorced, likely related to the poor work life balance. You don’t have to stick around if you don’t feel fulfilled in the relationship.
Post # 13
va-in-ny : Sounds familiar! My SO has been flying to NY on the same schedule for years now!
Post # 14
beethree : We posted at almost the same time! We’re only about 6 weeks into this new “different timezone” contract. In fact, his first week at work was the WEEK OF our wedding! (timing wasn’t the best on that one!) We were lucky that all of his past contracts were local to the NY area, but we knew the separation would happen eventually!
I totally agree with your advice on “having your own interests”. Some separation is healthy!
Post # 15
Weekdays I see him when he wakes up, text over lunchtime, do (farm) chores together after work, have supper together, then we talk for about 20 mins before bed.
Weekends we spend most our time at home, relaxing, or occasionally shopping.
We we are together a lot here and there everyday. We seldom sit down and say “hey let’s spend time together. ” He is usually busy doing farm work during the evenings and weekend days. We usually spend more time together during the winter months when it gets dark early and there is much less work to do.