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Am I allowed to be upset about this?


pufferfish

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My boyfriend recently got a new job. He got to choose which shift to take, and wanted to take one that started at 5 in the morning so he could get off early in the afternoon. Unfortunately, this would mean he'd have to wake up at 3:00 AM every day to get to work on time... which was fine with him, but we share a tiny studio apartment, and having him thump around for an hour and a half while getting ready for work would definitely keep me up. I'm a really light sleeper. And I have a demanding job that requires a lot of concentration, and I'm a mess at work any time I don't get enough sleep, so I really can't just get by being sleep-deprived all the time.

 

Because of that, I asked him NOT to take that early of a shift. Also because it'd mean he'd be going to sleep around 8 pm, which is when I get home from work, leaving us no time to see each other. He understood my concern, but said he thought I was being a bit selfish about it (which may be true, but gosh darn it, I want a good night's sleep!)

 

Anyway, I found out a few days ago, that he DID end up taking that early shift. He starts it next week. Not only that, but he chose a shift where he has Monday and Tuesday off, but works weekends. Weekends are the only days I have off, and now we won't be able to spend most of them together or go on any full day trips.

 

When he told me he took that shift, I got pretty upset (much more than I let on) and asked him if there was any way he could change it. He said he'd ask, but was pretty sure he couldn't.

 

I am so happy he has a job (he was unemployed for 3 months and I had to pay for all the rent, bills, food, his gas, etc. and used up most of my savings to do so). So at least now we'll be financially stable. But at the same time, because we live together in a ridiculously small space, I feel like we should be conscientious of each other's schedules and routines, including sleep. I feel a little hurt that he took this shift, even after I expressed my concerns about how it would affect getting a good night's sleep.

 

Now I'm worried that I'm just overreacting and I should just be happy and supportive he got a job. I can tell he's irritated that I'm upset about this.

 

Any objective opinions?

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You have a right to be upset, but I don't think you should take it out on him. Sometimes we have to sacrifice to be happy.

 

How would you feel if he turned to you & told you to accommodate your schedule to meet his? If he's working the early shift, I'm assuming he sleeps at different hours than you, too. Does he complain about anything?

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Maybe he is trying to avoid you? That is all I can think of. I would try to get hours/shifts around my so's schedule to find time with him as long as it worked with a schedule I wanted and needed. Although you can't center your life around someone. Maybe he thinks with this job he will be able to have a bigger place with you, I know graveyard makes extra money, does this? Or the same as regular shift?

 

Studio apartment: Him going to be at 8pm, you wanting to relax and watch t.v, CONFLICT.

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Listen to yourself...

 

He's been unemployed for months... this is a crappy economy... be happy that he has a job.

 

You'll find ways to adjust but it will be hard at first. It's not forever is it?

 

If you can't handle this bump in the road now then you probably don't have what it takes to make it in the long haul. Life is full of surprises and stresses... you need to learn to handle them with a bit more grace.

 

Sure it is fine to be disappointed but what is the alternative - he has no job?

 

Sorry to be harsh but you need a wake up call.

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Ear plugs work pretty well. I have phenomenally noisy neighbors and have to wear ear plugs and an eye mask to get a full night's sleep (I start work at 6am and go to bed at 8:30 myself; my college age neighbors get home at 2 am with thumping rap music playing and headlights shining into my home)

 

Compromise is necessary for now. I don't see my BF at all anymore. He was unemployed for two years, landed a job on the other side of town with different hours from me, and I literally have not seen him in weeks or barely talked outside of email. But he is employed.

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Studio apartment: Him going to be at 8pm, you wanting to relax and watch t.v, CONFLICT.

 

Wireless headphones from Sennheiser or Panasonic (amazon sells them, probably others as well). I wear them all the time at home, and they help keep the sound down at odd hours. He can try an eyemask to block out the tv light if needed. Should work out ok for the time being

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Thanks for the honest (and fast) replies!

 

You have a right to be upset, but I don't think you should take it out on him. Sometimes we have to sacrifice to be happy.

 

How would you feel if he turned to you & told you to accommodate your schedule to meet his? If he's working the early shift, I'm assuming he sleeps at different hours than you, too. Does he complain about anything?

 

 

Well, for the last three months I *have* accommodated my schedule to meet his, and I was happy to do so. We only have one apartment key, and he wanted to keep it during the day, but we didn't want to leave the apartment unlocked... I was working afternoons at one point, but if he wanted to leave the apartment in the morning, I'd have to leave for work 3 or 4 hours early so we could leave at the same time and lock the door... then I'd just hang out at libraries or bookstores until I had to be at work.

 

He will still be sleeping roughly the same hours I do (he'll be going to bed at 8, me at 10; he'll be getting up at 3, me at 6 or 7 (if I can fall back asleep after he leaves). He claims to only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night.

 

Lastly- he doesn't really complain about things; he's not very expressive in that regard I can usually tell when something's bothering him, but he tends to just get cranky and sulky rather than complain.

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Maybe he is trying to avoid you? That is all I can think of. I would try to get hours/shifts around my so's schedule to find time with him as long as it worked with a schedule I wanted and needed. Although you can't center your life around someone. Maybe he thinks with this job he will be able to have a bigger place with you, I know graveyard makes extra money, does this? Or the same as regular shift?

 

Studio apartment: Him going to be at 8pm, you wanting to relax and watch t.v, CONFLICT.

 

Thanks, I've wondered if he was trying to avoid me as well. I don't think so- I just think he doesn't want to work peak hours so the job isn't as busy. This shift pays the same as the later ones, though.

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Listen to yourself...

 

He's been unemployed for months... this is a crappy economy... be happy that he has a job.

 

You'll find ways to adjust but it will be hard at first. It's not forever is it?

 

If you can't handle this bump in the road now then you probably don't have what it takes to make it in the long haul. Life is full of surprises and stresses... you need to learn to handle them with a bit more grace.

 

Sure it is fine to be disappointed but what is the alternative - he has no job?

 

Sorry to be harsh but you need a wake up call.

 

No, I appreciate the harshness- don't apologize!

 

I should've mentioned, the reason he was unemployed for 3 months was because he wasn't even TRYING to find a job- it's pretty easy for him to find work in the field he's in. For two months, he just mooched off me, and we almost broke up because of it. Eventually I got tired of paying for everything and literally ran out of money, so he got his act together and took this job (it was the first one he applied to, and got it 2 days after he sent in his resume). So I'm happy he's finally taking some responsibility and initiative.

 

And the alternative would've been, he'd take a later shift, not that he'd be jobless.

 

Thanks again... I do wonder if this is symptomatic of a deeper problem with us- I think I got so fed up with him freeloading for those months, that I'm now just nitpicking at everything else. I ought to learn to manage the stress better, you're right

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Well certainly I wouldn't put up with a freeloader either... I can see where you probably already have some serious reservations here with this person.

 

AND seriously??? One Key???

 

No - there are toooo many ways around one key - get a second one made!!! Not hard and if you needed to speak to the landlord.

 

I think you let yourself be manipulated there coming home due to one key...

 

Well, I think if he is excited about this job and THIS shift be excited for him as he needs to keep the job. Who knows... after 2 weeks he may decide he wants a different shift... he may be the one to realize how tough this actually is rather than what he thought. And, if he is allowed to figure that out on his own it will be much more significant than you nagging him about it.

 

Good Luck!

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Ear plugs work pretty well. I have phenomenally noisy neighbors and have to wear ear plugs and an eye mask to get a full night's sleep (I start work at 6am and go to bed at 8:30 myself; my college age neighbors get home at 2 am with thumping rap music playing and headlights shining into my home)

 

Totally agree with this. Earplugs solve so many problems in life, from cr*ppy roommates to noisy neighbors to annoying subway riders. They are a must-have for pretty much everyone. Give it a try and maybe you guys can compromise for a while.

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If he had a choice in shifts, then I'd say you have every right to be upset. The not getting enough sleep is one thing that can (hopefully) be rectified with ear plugs, although I can see how being woken up at 3 am and then having to wake up a few hours later even some of the time is going to take it's toll on your body. The thing that struck me more than that was that his shift leaves very little time for you two to spend together. Sounds like he had a choice and disregarded your concerns. Did he give you a reason why? Besides that he wanted to be done earlier in the afternoon (why)?

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He's really sending you some very loud messages. When you share a small space with a light sleeper, you have to be on the same schedules. it's a part of life that some of us need out 8 hours. not only that, he has days off different than yours. you have a bigger issue here that the time change. he made a decision that does affect you, as his rommie, and affects your couple time (weekends) and he had a choice.

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Just let things progress naturally be grateful he is working for now andthat you wont be financially strapped as a couple. this in itself will ease many resentments from when he was unemployed. Support him with this shift he basically at this point needs to get back into the workforce and get motivated again. Deal with one thing at a time. if this shift over a period of time is doing more harm than good he is likely to be in a healthier work position to have this shift changed if he proves himself as a valued worker.. So for now let him get his self esteem back which we often lose when we are unemployed and doing nothing for extended periods of time..and just wait and see how the whole thing pans out....its not set in stone changes can be made...and we do need to sacrifice our time together sometimes to reach long term goals...

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Well I do think your being a bit selfish. You wanted him to coordinate everything around YOU, while not really considering the bigger picture which is the BOTH of you. You want him to have the same days off as you, work at a time that works for you, and be considerate of YOUR work. That's selfish.

But I can also see why you would be upset with him. It seems like he didn't really consult you nor did he take what you said into account. And it seemed like he selected a shift and days that would make your contact with him limited.

But to be fair maybe it's because HE is a morning person and would rather get things done early on than later. My mom is an early person, my dad is a late person. She would rather work extremely early and be done by the afternoon, while my dad would prefer to be done later on in the evening. This is because my mom gets tired during the evening and her best hours are early in the morning.

I don't know his reasoning--or if you asked--but it could be as simple as that. As you may know, when you have a job, you want it to be tolerable and suitable to your needs. If he works a shift where he isn't the most productive then the job will quickly become an annoyance. Also sometimes working those late shifts means extra pay and benefits--this may have been the case. Working weekends can sometimes mean extra pay and benefits. So in other words he may have chose this schedule for the pay and because it best suited him.

It wasn't right for him to NOT consider you.

I think that maybe from the getgo you should have asked him what shift he would want and why. And then you should have tried to figure out a way that both of you can sacrifice. Maybe he can get one weekend day off, and one weekday off. I mean I think that if the dialogue involved you TELLING him that you wanted him to work a certain shift, that this may not have went over well to him.

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