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Getting enough time together as a couple

joflier

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
3,511
Hi all. It's been a long time since I've posted anything on here. I'm just going through a hard time with my relationship right now, and just don't really have any friends that can relate to my situation.
Right now, I just feel like my so and I don't get any time together and I'm struggling to feel like I can make this relationship work the way things are. But, always a but.....but I don't see any way we can change our schedules. Both of our jobs require us to put in a lot of hours. His is worse than mine. He does 24 hr shifts almost every other day. He doesn't sleep too much during those nights at work, and so on his days off, he's tired and sleep deprived. He gets a 3 days off a week, but many times, those days off don't line up with mine. So I don't get to see him til I'm done with work, which is after 8pm. He gets a week off each month, but has a home in another state where his children are, that he needs to spend time at each month. So that just leaves us with very little. We can't quit our jobs. And he can't not spend time with his children. But I can't help feeling like I'm always alone. And now that I've been thinking about it more, my mind is just building it up to be a bigger and bigger problem.
What do you guys do that have to balance careers, families, step families, etc? When there just isn't much time together, how can you make things work? Is it possible?
We're both incredibly happy as a couple, otherwise. The time restrictions don't bother him as much as they do me. I really want to make it work and be able to have a thriving relationship, but I just have this feeling that we may not be able to.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Jo I am sorry about this situation. I can't relate from my own experiences because my relationship is very different than that re: time together.

But I do have one close friend who has a relationship that is similar. Her husband is a police officer and works shifts. And on top of that he leads a very busy extra curricular life. She is less busy, but works a normal 9-5 shift. And recently, in the last two years of their marriage, they have lived apart for about 12 months (4 months and then 8 months) because of her job requirements. And they are a very very happy and stable couple. I think they probably do not see each other very much, either. They live together (do you?) so they see one another in the morning for a while, and the evening, and talk a lot on the phone.

I think part of why their relationship works is that they have been together for about 10 years now. So they are very well established as a couple. They also both have similar needs for closeness versis alone time. So they are both satisfied with the amount of together time they have. And when they are together, they enjoy each other a lot and have many positive interactions.

But the biggest thing is the need for closeness versus alone time. It sounds like for you, you want more than you have. I admit, for me, I could not live the lifestyle my friend and her husband have. I would not live apart from my husband. And I like seeing him as much as I do -- we basically spend the vast majority of our time together. It is the amount of closeness we want. And perhaps it would be too much for my friend and her husband!

I suspect, as well, that their relationship will change a lot when they have kids. He will not be working beat anymore, so will have a more normal schedule, and she has a tenure-track job now in one location, so they will finally be settled in one place. I don't think that the amount of time they spend together would work well when they have kids. It is too hard to be a parent on your own, with a spouse who is away a lot.

So I guess my point is that if you want more closeness, and don't have it right now, then you need to find a solution. There is always a way, if you think outside the box. Since you are happy otherwise, it seems it could be worth trying to find a solution to allow you to be together more, to meet your needs. If/when you are married, it might be simpler to fathom making the kind of lifestyle change you might need to make to accomplish your goal of being together more. But I suppose that does not help you in the shorter term. Sometimes relationships do end because of impediments like this.It is sad, but you have to be realistic about the lifestyle you want to have and whether or not you can have it with this partner.
 

joflier

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
3,511
Thanks for your post Dreamer. I actually don't think we're that different in our need for closeness. When we're not working, and he's not traveling, we do everything together. We don't live together, but we always stay together on our open nights. I think it's the week long abscence that gets to me the most. I think it does not bother him because he has the giant positive of spending time with his kids. I don't foresee much in the way of lifestyle changes anytime in the next couple of years.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
DH and I were on opposite shifts for many years of our marriage. We could go 5-6 days without seeing each other at all. What worked for us was phone calls. Every time we would want to turn to the other and make a comment, we'd just pick up the phone. Texting helped a lot since neither of us were actually allowed to take calls during work hours. Just that little call/text helped us to feel connected and made sure we kept each other as priority. Often the calls were only about an observation, nothing of importance, but we both needed to be "heard."

Good luck to you both!
 

joflier

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
3,511
Yeah, texting has been a big help for us too! I think maybe we should try making an effort to make more phone calls though. That might help aid the loss of being physically present.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
That amount of time apart wouldn't work for me. My husband and I spend a ton of time together, and we spent a ton of time together before we were living together, too. (We dated for about 3.5 years before we moved in together.) We definitely have separate interests and go out with our guy or girl friends separately pretty often, but I couldn't deal with seeing him only a few days a week.

If I were in your shoes I definitely wouldn't be happy and honestly I probably wouldn't want to continue the relationship if there was no end to the time apart in the near future. Where do you see this relationship going? Do you think you two will get married? Will his schedule change in the future? Can you two move to where his kids are?
 

joflier

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
3,511
It's only been 2 1/2 years since my (ugly) divorce. I'm not yet at a point where I can think about getting remarried or even something as permanent as moving in together. Is it in our future? Perhaps. We certainly love each other enough. But I'm just not able to look that far into the future. I'm trying to make the best and the most of the here and now and take more time to figure out those farther steps. I don't forsee much of a schedule change, but I guess it's something we need to talk about. Moving to his home in the other state is pretty much the game plan for him. That's been his home all along, he's only here for work. Not able to get the same high paying job where he lived.
 

nkarma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
636
If you aren't happy with the status quo, I think you either need to go out of your way somehow to spend more time together or not and then you will continue to be unhappy which may result in a break up. I understand the not wanting to move in together thing, but maybe you two can come up with some way (more calling/texting as other suggested or something else) to have quality time together. Can you visit with him on his shifts? Bring him a meal to share or something?

Luckily if you two do get more serious, you will eventually get to spend time with him and his kids.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,938
Jo. This is the same relationship you used to talk about on PS, no? He is much older, etc.? Please correct me if I'm wrong, and many apologies if I've disrespected you.

That said, I think you need to date someone closer to your age. You divorced, and you went STRAIGHT into a relationship with someone who STILL cannot give you what you most crave--attention and love. I am sensing a pattern here, my dear. :blackeye:
 

joflier

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
3,511
monarch64|1306653006|2932994 said:
Jo. This is the same relationship you used to talk about on PS, no? He is much older, etc.? Please correct me if I'm wrong, and many apologies if I've disrespected you.

That said, I think you need to date someone closer to your age. You divorced, and you went STRAIGHT into a relationship with someone who STILL cannot give you what you most crave--attention and love. I am sensing a pattern here, my dear. :blackeye:
No offense taken. This is the same person. We've come a long way during the last year and made some solid committments. We're both very happy in our relationship. Except for me and this particular issue. We did sit down and talk about it yesterday and worked at coming up with some solutions. We're going to try and work in a few more phone calls. And I'm going to take a couple of long weekends during the summer so I can travel with him, even if it's only for a portion of his trip, that will make a world of difference. It's one of those situations where no one is at fault. It's just a tough circumstance. He's not to blame for wanting and needing to be a good parent. And neither of us is to blame for having to work hard to pay the bills. It still may end up being too difficult to make things work, but we both are trying.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,938
joflier|1306966981|2935695 said:
monarch64|1306653006|2932994 said:
Jo. This is the same relationship you used to talk about on PS, no? He is much older, etc.? Please correct me if I'm wrong, and many apologies if I've disrespected you.

That said, I think you need to date someone closer to your age. You divorced, and you went STRAIGHT into a relationship with someone who STILL cannot give you what you most crave--attention and love. I am sensing a pattern here, my dear. :blackeye:
No offense taken. This is the same person. We've come a long way during the last year and made some solid committments. We're both very happy in our relationship. Except for me and this particular issue. We did sit down and talk about it yesterday and worked at coming up with some solutions. We're going to try and work in a few more phone calls. And I'm going to take a couple of long weekends during the summer so I can travel with him, even if it's only for a portion of his trip, that will make a world of difference. It's one of those situations where no one is at fault. It's just a tough circumstance. He's not to blame for wanting and needing to be a good parent. And neither of us is to blame for having to work hard to pay the bills. It still may end up being too difficult to make things work, but we both are trying.
Ok. I support your decisions in this relationship and once again I truly hope you're able to work things out because it sounds like you really are in love with this man. Best wishes and good luck to you, Jo. I think your solutions sound reasonable.
 
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