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Thread: Opposite Shifts

  1. #1
    SayWhen
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    Opposite Shifts

    I didn't want to post this, but I just need to type it out...

    When I met my husband I knew all about his work schedule. He has a VERY sporadic work schedule. Basically the best way to explain it is that he works 630pm-630am but some weeks it's only two days per week while other weeks it's five, six, seven...depending on OT, and he only every really knows the "final schedule" the week of. He also sometimes gets tagged with day work from 630am-630pm, but it's rare.

    My schedule is VERY consistent. I leave the house at 620am and get home around 430pm except for on Thursdays when I get home a little past 9pm due to school. This means that on heavy work weeks for my husband, I might see him a total of four or so hours, but that really isn't time spent together since he's usually getting ready for work or sleeping. For example, today I was home due to it being the weekend, but he's on work so he got home at 7am, went on the computer till 8am, then slept until 3pm. We went out briefly for an hour before he went to work, which was nice. Usually we don't get to do that on weekends that he has work.

    The problem is, I am starting to feel like I have a lack of quality time with him. Even on the slow work weeks, I still don't get home until 430 and then I have to go to bed at 9pm...usually when I get home I have to walk the dog, do laundry, clean up after the other pets, cook dinner, prepare lesson plans...by the time that I'm really ready to "relax" it's about 730pm and he never really wants to go to bed with me even when he is off from work. He will lie with me, but he usually gets up again and then comes back to bed later, which tends to wake me up and disturb my sleep. I still appreciate him being there while I do fall asleep...

    Anyway, lately I have just been feeling down about this. I envy people who have similar shift schedules...but then again I remind myself that it could be worse. He could be off overseas for whatever reason, or he could not have a job. I try to stay positive and make the most of my time with him. What's made it harder lately is that I think he is picking up on my vibe...he said to me a few times that "he's sorry he can't be a good husband" which really hurt me because I hate to think that he would EVER think that I feel that way. I talked to him about those comments, but he still makes them. He said he hates his schedule but he has to make money. I am thankful that it is a high-paying job, but obviously it is wearing on both of us. He's had this job for ten years.

    I admit, I have become a little resentful when he does things with friends and I'm at home. I really, really try to avoid this but it creeps up on me and I think I show it physically by not being as affectionate, and he notices. For example, he is big into concerts and he has cut back A LOT because he noticed me being cold whenever he'd spend nights out at a show with me at home. I feel so bad about this. I keep telling him to go to more shows but he says he won't because he knows "I don't like it." The truth is that I wish I could go with him but I have to go to sleep early for work. So when he goes to shows, I am again alone and yes, I am resentful but...how can I not be? I hate feeling this way.

    Sometimes I miss him, sometimes I am annoyed with him...most of the time it's okay, but right now is a hectic time for us both and to make matters worse his mom has just decided to leave his dad so he's going through a rough time with that. He's had to take a lot of time out for her which I TOTALLY understand, but now I feel like I'm being face with even less time to spend with him. That sounds so selfish...and I hate it...but I'm starting to feel pretty alone. I do spend time with other people and I do have hobbies/activities that I partake in...but sometimes I'll look around the house and just remember he's not here, and it's now to the point that it's almost WEIRD when he's here...because we have both been so busy and not really spending time together.

    Luckily he did just have a week off and that was AWESOME. I know he can't be off all of the time, but it was so needed. We had a great week. Then he went back and got slammed with overtime...he worked six days this week and is at work right now.

    I guess I'm just looking for insight, support, advice...I know I am not balanced in my thoughts, so maybe a quick slap from someone will straighten me out. I feel selfish, I feel like I should be able to find more independence. Is it wrong to want more time together? Is four hours a week normal? How would you feel...what would you do? Ugh. Sorry this is so long...

  2. #2
    civilservant
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    I wish I could see OG for 4 hours a week. Hell 4 minutes would be great.

    In all serious SW it's only normal that you want to see your husband, I'd be more concerned if you were enjoying all the time alone, but at the same time he needs this job presumably to keep your family unit afloat. I don't know what sort of work he doe,s, and obviously the economy is horrible, but would it be possible to at least look for something more regular?

  3. #3
    SayWhen
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    He works for Sunoco...he's a quality control lab tech for gasoline. It's a very demanding job. It's also very high paying...the people who work there call it "the golden handcuffs." He has said he doesn't like it, but he has to work there to support us which I understand. I am also conscience of the fact that it COULD be worse...like you said, you and OG don't get any time together right now. I just miss him, I guess. I wish I could go to sleep with him every night...but I also know that won't happen unless he gets another job, and that is not realistic right now.

  4. #4
    metrogirl
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    Is calling out sick for a day or two not an option at the moment for either of you?

    I was just talking to some of the guys in the shop here. One guy only sees his wife once a week. She has the typical 9-5 job, he works 5:30pm to 2:00am. When he gets home she is asleep and when she wakes up for work, he is asleep. When she gets home from work, he has already left for work.

    We actually spend more time with our coworkers here than we do with our own spouses which is kinda sad when you think about it.

    I was having a conversation with my boyfriend today, asking when he thinks we might get a chance to spend some time together. We both like to work overtime so we usually end up missing the chance to spend time together in favor of making money. When we can't seem to get our schedules to synch, one of us will call out sick while the other has their weekend off.

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    OptomisticGirl
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    It def sucks to be on opposite work shchedules. L and I have a 5 hour (currently 4 hours until my clocks go back) time difference but we essentially work opposite shifts. He works first, I work second - the only thing that saves us is when I'm going to work he gets off so there is that hour inbetween we talk. But it sucks.

    Is there any way you guys could plan a 'date' night were you do something together? I know they are hard to plan out with his sporadic work schedule but after he finds out what he works maybe plan for a few hours to just watch a movie at home? Or is there anyway you both could ask for the same day off a few weeks in advance?

  6. #6
    SayWhen
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    I actually took off last Monday to spend with him. He cannot take days off without repercussions so that's not an option. If he is working a long week, I sometimes don't see him for two days, but that is usually the maximum. For example, I'll go to work Thursday morning after not seeing him since Wednesday afternoon, then by the time I get home he's at work, then I don't see him till Friday afternoon...and sometimes he will have work again so I'll only see him for an hour while he's getting ready. Some weeks aren't as bad. Again, I am grateful that we do have SOME time together, knowing that we could be separated for whatever reason. I seriously do want to take more time off this week but I can't get into a habit of doing that. It really stinks because it seems that whenever I have a long weekend, he's working. I was wanting to plan a little getaway, but it just hasn't worked out schedule-wise. We are going to try to get away for NYE.

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    civilservant
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    Quote Originally Posted by SayWhen [Register to see the link]
    He works for Sunoco...he's a quality control lab tech for gasoline. It's a very demanding job. It's also very high paying...the people who work there call it "the golden handcuffs." He has said he doesn't like it, but he has to work there to support us which I understand. I am also conscience of the fact that it COULD be worse...like you said, you and OG don't get any time together right now. I just miss him, I guess. I wish I could go to sleep with him every night...but I also know that won't happen unless he gets another job, and that is not realistic right now.
    I know how you feel. How long has this been for? It's easy to forget why you're together in the daily grind, and miss that intimate contact. If its any consolation I'm sure h feels the same way. We make sacrifices that we never thought we would have to make. I think the important thing is to talk about the resentment- because if you don't it will only fester. There's nothing wrong with those feelings as long as they are talked about constructivky and not bottled up.

  8. #8
    SayWhen
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptomisticGirl [Register to see the link]
    It def sucks to be on opposite work shchedules. L and I have a 5 hour (currently 4 hours until my clocks go back) time difference but we essentially work opposite shifts. He works first, I work second - the only thing that saves us is when I'm going to work he gets off so there is that hour inbetween we talk. But it sucks.

    Is there any way you guys could plan a 'date' night were you do something together? I know they are hard to plan out with his sporadic work schedule but after he finds out what he works maybe plan for a few hours to just watch a movie at home? Or is there anyway you both could ask for the same day off a few weeks in advance?
    We do plan nights out together when possible. It's sad, but some nights if we just go to watch a movie I fall asleep because I am SO exhausted from work. I am thinking seriously about getting a different job soon because I feel mentally and physically exhausted and I think that is 50% of the problem. I love going out with him but it has been limited...we at least got to go out briefly which was nice, albeit rushed because he had to get to work.

  9. #9
    OptomisticGirl
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    Yeah, if he's the major bread winner, so to speak, it may be easier for you to find something more in tune with his schedule.

  10. #10
    SayWhen
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    Well I can't really get a night job that fits my education...I teach inner-city children and we went from 12 kids in our class last year, to thirty this year...it's SO exhausting, I feel like I'm drained at the end of the day. I think I need to teach somewhere that has reasonable class size/support...I have discussed this with my husband and he agrees, so I am looking. I will never work nights though...and I don't expect him to work days. I just need to find a good groove where I feel like I can see him, and that I won't get upset when he goes out on a night we both have off, only because it is so rare. I cannot really discuss that with him only because when I do, he stops going out completely. Even if I say, I still want you to go out...he refuses. If I don't talk about it, he starts going out again...so I figure that's for the best, and I just have to work on that particular feeling myself. At least texting is an option when he's at work sometimes...I cannot do that where I work...

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