For most of us, having the evenings and weekends with your significant other is normal. But, for some of us who work entirely different shifts from each other, having an evening together or a weekend off together is far and few between. For my spouse and I, he comes home from working second shift to find me fast asleep, and I am usually gone and headed to work by the time he wakes in the morning. This is weekly routine which usually translates into the weekend. Such situations are extremely difficult to deal with, but it’s not impossible to find a balance to make the relationship work.
Here are some ways my spouse and I have learned to embrace and love our offbeat schedules:
No Matter What, Schedule Time Together
It’s important to make time for you and your spouse whether that means scheduling a date night where you have a sitter or relative watch your little one(s) or plan to have a meal together even if it’s a quick lunch date! If you’re able plan a weekend away together or full utilize a vacation meaning that you go somewhere verses having a “stay-cation”. Though scheduling time each month for quality time gets more difficult over time and requires continual effort it’s imperative to make any relationship work especially when working opposite schedules.
Small Gestures Go a Long Way
It’s easy to grow lonely when you go days without seeing your significant other, so make it a priority to practice small gestures to show your loved one that you’re thinking of them. Delivered flowers, a prepared meal waiting for them in the fridge or even a simple call or text message letting them know you care can go a long way!
Do everything you can to remind them that you’re thinking of them and that they are important to you.
Communicate the Annoyances
Little annoyances or let peeves can really build up over time if they aren’t addressed in a timely manner. Dishes are in the sink or the little messes everywhere is cluttering the home. When you’re unable to talk about such things as they come up, over time they will fester into something larger and can lead to unnecessary arguments and discontentment. These arguments can take up much needed quality time because of them needing to be discussed when you’re able to finally see each other. Don’t wait to address such issues until a time you see each other again, discuss them on the phone or leave a little note explaining your frustration. Use your time together for things other than arguing.
Discuss Possible Sleeping Arrangement Woes
Oftentimes because of working opposite schedules, the issue arises of sleeping arrangement woes. For instance, if your spouse works second shift and doesn’t get home until later, they’ll want to sleep in a bit longer in the morning. If you work first shift, you’re up and getting around by 6-6:30am and you have to be extra quiet as to not wake your spouse. Sometimes it can be difficult to be quiet and not wake your spouse. With my husband working second, I tend to wake up when he comes to bed and when I wake up in the morning to my alarm, he wakes up too.
It’s important to discuss ways to be some-what accommodating to your spouse. Whether it’s ensuring that you’re extra quiet in the morning or not hitting the snooze button over and over again will help minimize small arguments associated with sleep arrangements.
Make time for Intimacy
Though it may seem weird to schedule time to be intimate with your spouse, sex is one of the first parts of your relationship that suffers due to opposite schedules. Though some may argue that it’s a bit of a mood killer to schedule something that should be both spontaneous and natural, but when you’re not in the same place at the same time, it’s difficult to enjoy it in natural and unplanned nature. You’re able to reestablish intimacy and you tend to have something to look forward to if you schedule it. Do what makes sense. If mornings seem to work better, then make it happen. If evenings work better, then make that work. Similarly, if lunch works, make time for it then.
Embrace you Offbeat Schedules
One of the most important aspects of this whole article is to embrace and learn to love the offbeat schedules you and your spouse is experiencing. You must make the best out of a bad situation. Whether the situation is permanent or temporary, there is a positive that stems from having alone time. You’re able to tackle some of your projects or goals you’ve been putting off that you’d rather not do when your spouse is home. Without your spouse around, you’re able to do the things you really like to do without interruption.
With all that being said, it doesn’t make sense to constantly complain about not seeing your spouse, rather focus the negative energy into planning what you’ll do the next time you can have quality time again. Also, keep in mind that if work is really causing a bigger issue at home, chances are that your family is far more important than your job. So if you can quit your job, quit. You may be able to find something that works better for your schedule.
Image Credits: Danielle Jones