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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone - my husband and I have been married for 8 years and have a wonderful 3 year old daughter. We work different shifts and have my mom help out so we don't have to put her in daycare. My husband works 12-8am or 4-12am and has rotating days off. I work four 10 hour days with Wednesday and weekends off. It was never a perfect situation but it worked ok. We can usually have a date night once every 5 weeks and are lucky enough to vacation together without our daughter for a few days once or twice a year. While that sounds wonderful, my issues always revolved around the time outside of those 10-13 days per year: never having couple time with my husband, personal time for myself, etc. I love the time we spend together by ourselves AND as a family with our daughter though it seems that recently these times are few and far between. My husband does work hard and is a great father but I often think that he disregards my feelings on our situation and thinks that nothing can be done about. We argue more than ever and lately it seems that I feel better when he's not around because I'm not reminded of him. I just seem to disconnect and detach when I'm alone and then when we do get together, it's great until I realize that for the next several weeks it's back to the grind. The same issues always come up and I'm about ready to crack. I guess we're going to try counseling, I just don't know how much it will help. I'm thinking that since I feel better when he's not there, it would just be better if we would separate. Anyone else deal with these sorts of issues? Any advice? Does marriage counseling actually work?
 

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For years my husband & I worked opposite shifts. great for the kids, one of us were always available, but it was brutal for us and very hard on our marriage. Look at the divorce rates for police officers, firemen, nurses etc. If I could go back in time, I would have done it differently.

Marriages have to be nurtured, Dr. Harley suggests that couples need to spend 15 to 20 hours a week together to maintain the loving feelings. You may have to make some tough choices to save your marriage.
 

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I deal with this all the time because SO travels and our kids are on different schedules. I despise it but deal because I love him and outside of the time/work issue, he's the best thing that has ever happened to me. He blows it off like its no big deal. Being gone 3 weeks out of the month is a huge deal! I fluctuate daily about whether to suck it up or end it. Is your hubby willing to look for a different job or are you? Your relationship sounds like its taking a back seat at this point and once every 5 weeks isn't adequate.
 

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I'm married to a cop and for years we worked opposite shift and it did do a number on our marriage. We fought a lot during those years. Things got a lot better when 1) he got on days and 2) I became a homemaker. Before these two things our lives were simply too chaotic to nurture a marriage. I was stressed, he was stressed and we took it out on each other.

I agree with you need to make some tough choices if you want to save your marriage.
 

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I'm married to a cop too and the constant changes do suck. We're on days together now, and he's a detective so he has weekends off, but he's on call every 5th week. His schedule has never really been regular, and he's been a cop almost 9 years. This summer he'll be on afternoons which means I will see him before I go to work, but not until late that night (if I can manage to stay awake). The worst was when he was on midnights.

I agree with Mavash in that you two are going to have to make some tough decisions if you want your marriage to work. My husband has said many times that if it came down to it, his job would have to go and he'd find something else. I would never want him to do that, he loves it so much, but he at least cares enough about our relationship to make the sacrifice. I was laid off for about a year when he first started, and I will say it was THE BEST for us. I think he liked me being home more than my kids did. He still talks about me not working even though the kids are grown. When he gets promoted, this will be a very serious and real option to take.
 

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I'm curious OP. If you're not together that much, what are you two fighting about?

I had to really sit myself down early on and accept the situation for what it was, and rationalize that the time apart wouldn't ALWAYS be that way. Thinking of it in temporary terms helped me to deal with our seperations better. When we were on opposite schedules (and now when he works late) we text more and leave little notes for each other. He always finds a way to put something in my car... he's very romantic (the stinker).

2 summers ago he got me a puppy. She's been awesome! I'm going through the empty nest thing on top of his work changes so he thought she would be a great help to me and she has been. Little things like this need to happen more so that you don't take one another for granted.
 

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I agree with everyone else. It will be hard for you to find compatible jobs and/or do the paid day care, but if you want to save your marriage, it's probably going to take a major change like that to make things work. You are already dangerously disconnected, and one or both of you may be vulnerable to giving up, an affair, etc. It really is that serious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We fight about anything and everything but it's mostly schedule related. My biggest is that there's not enough time for us with/without our daughter. He's a cop but was before we were married and it was never really a problem until we had my daughter. He decided to forgo day shift and work strictly second and midnights to take help take care of her.

I'm selfish. And I should suck it up for what it is but it's getting harder everyday and every argument we have.

We had a text argument at 3:30am while I couldn't sleep - he's working 12-8am. I just couldn't stop thinking about how difficult our situation is and that it's not getting better. I was pretty upset this morning but I'm at the point in the day now where I'm just numb and want ignore any contact with him when I get home from work. I've done this before and can handle my responsibilities better than if we try and talk about it. And that's why I think that it'd be better if we didn't stay together. We've always talked about counseling and I told him that if he thought it would help then it's up to him to set it up. A buddy of his recently went through the same conflict in their marriage, went to counseling and are now getting divorced.
 

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My husband told me that one of the first things he was told in the academy is that most of that class would be divorced in 5 years. The schedules, the type of work... it all becomes too much for a couple to sustain. We made a decision that we would not become a negative stat just because of his job. We would find a way to make it work. Our bond is greater than what we do.

Mid's are definitely the worst. He's not getting adequate sleep on top of the stress of the job. 2 factors working against him... then he knows he has an obligation to his family to be present but sometimes he's so tired he just can't be. As his wife, you're unfortunately left with the burden of holding it all together. Is it fair? NO. But the end justifies the means. If you want THIS man, you will have to sacrifice a hell of a lot. Your needs will have to take a back seat 9 times out of 10 because of his job.

I go to his co-worker functions and let me tell you, there are MANY unhappy wives and GF's there. One thing they all know though, I will be there, and I will be supporting my honey. Where you see him, you'll see me when it comes to social time. When he worked mid's there were times I took off sick days just to spend it with him. He worked a schedule where he'd be off 3 days in a row, and I knew by mid day 2, he'd be recharged and ready for anything. You're going to have to be creative. Fighting over his work isn't going to get you anywhere, because like he says, he can't do anything about it. I heard the same thing. It sucks but it's the truth.
 
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