WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUL. 09, 2014
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How to Handle Having an Opposite Work Schedule from Your Spouse

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Working a different shift from your spouse can pose several challenges to your marriage, especially when you don’t have an effective get-together plan. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. However, for spouses living together, prolonged absence can spell doom. Whether you’re a security guard doing the graveyard shift at a bank and your partner is an emergency room assistant with an irregular schedule, you need to find ways of squeezing some time out of your busy schedules.

So, how do you achieve this?

Leave a note

The fridge knows too well about these notes. When you are leaving for work, make it a habit to stick a note on the fridge or somewhere your partner can easily locate it. You could draft a joke, an important message or a flirty message. If you have grown kids, find a spot in your bedroom. Leaving notes that get your partner smiling keeps the relationship growing and waters down the effects of an opposite work shift.

Communicate frequently

A good relationship no doubt thrives on the open exchange of ideas, emotions and feelings. When both of you are awake, communicate as often as possible. Call her and talk about the car you saw and want to buy. Tell him about the neighbor’s cat that was stealing your cookies in the middle of the night. E-mail her, send her a text or call him on Skype, whichever is suitable for you.

Ignore the little issues

It is common for spouses to argue about small issues: Why did you leave the bedroom door open? Why didn’t you place your dirty trousers in the laundry basket? And so forth. Such issues are never worth nagging about if you have different work shifts. Instead, pick his trousers off the floor and put them in, or remind her politely to always lock the door. This will help you avoid unnecessary arguments that can lead to domestic abuse.

Make appointments

When you have a serious issue to discuss, arrange a lunch or dinner appointment with your partner. You can ask your boss for a 20-minute break from work to discuss the issue. Talk about pressing issues immediately before they pile up and spiral out of control. You can even have a sex appointment!

Be on the lookout

Job opportunities that allow you to have matching schedules sometimes come and go without either of you noticing. If you stumble on a job matching your partner’s schedule, and it has a good compensation package, don’t think twice. Give it a shot! If you are super busy, you can ask your friends or relatives to alert you when they come across a job vacancy that matches your needs.

Plan vacations together

However opposite your work schedules are, there has to be that time when both of you will be on holiday. What better way to bond with someone you love than under that tropical breeze in the Bahamas after a long year of work and few romantic moments? Planning for a vacation together helps you look forward to spending time together away from the daily hustles. It helps you reconnect and rekindle your love life. Besides, you will also keep working hard to finance the trip.

You remember that little promise you made to each other; that you will stick together for better or for worse? Well, if an opposite work shift is threatening to ruin your marriage, remember the promise, smile, and appreciate each minute you share with your partner.

 

 

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