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How do you cope with having a husband/partner who works long hours?

(12 Posts)
cupofteaplease Fri 21-Aug-09 15:57:25

My dh has recently started a new job, which is great because it is more money and stability etc. However, I feel the hours he works are going to influence our family and love life quite a lot sad

He works for 12 days in a row, then has a weekend off, then it's back to 12 days etc. His pattern for leaving the house and returning is like this:

M-F: 3.30am- 2.30pm
S,S: 3.30am- 12.30pm
M-F: 12pm- 12.30am
S,S: OFF

Bearing in mind that I return to full time work next month, and will be out of the house 7.30am-6pm, I can't see how we will get to spend any time together. When he is on early shifts, he goes to bed by 8pm, when he is on late shifts, he has a lie in (understandably), so we will be like ships that pass in the night. Already our sex life is on a decline because he is so tired all the time and I don't really enjoy sex at 7.30pm, only to come downstairs and do work whilst he goes to sleep, it all feels a bit... rubbish.

How do other couples cope with similar situations?

Disclaimer obviously in the current economic climate I am pleased that dh has a job and I am not moaning about that!

cupofteaplease Fri 21-Aug-09 16:08:48

Perhaps I should say anti social hours rather than long hours as I realise many folks have a 12 hour working day including the commute (dh's commute is only 15 mins each way, so it could be worse!)

Malificence Fri 21-Aug-09 19:55:37

Weird shift patterns have far more of a negative effect on your sex life than you realise.
You just have to accept that sex goes on the back burner when life/career/ young kids get in the way - keeping the intimacy is much more important.
We went from hubby in the Airforce when we married for 12 years to permanent nights when he left the forces ( 3 years), then working away periodically then rotating shifts, so basically 25 years of little sex, it's only now he's working Monday -Friday permanent noons that we have a good, regular sex life and it's bloody fantastic!
You just have to find a way to deal with it that makes you both not feel resentful.

naraloo Fri 21-Aug-09 20:11:54

It can be tough. My DH works 12 hour shifts - 4 days, 3 nights, 4 off then 3 days, 4 nights, 3 off.

We never have a consistent week although it works better now I am on maternity leave.

When I was working regular hours we used to see each other only about 6 mins a day!

I think you do settle down and get used to it - and make the most of his days off.

wheresclaire Fri 21-Aug-09 20:38:10

The only problem we have is when DH has a week off. I get so used to not having him around he just gets in the way! He even wants the tv remote. The nerve of the man! Seriously though, I agree with naraloo, you just get used to it. And the excited feeling in your stomach when you havent seen him for a day or two and his car pulls into the drive.. ahhh. Absence makes the heart grow stronger and all that!

lighthouse Fri 21-Aug-09 20:51:25

Quite tough honey! Can you afford to change your job to part-time? I work FT and have DD age 5, DH is going to Africa for 3 weeks to work soon and not sure how I will cope either. Last time he went I was PT and DD was in Nursery.

Malificence Fri 21-Aug-09 20:52:16

I think you should change your thinking about the sex at 7.30pm - it sounds like the perfect solution to me, but then I never want to sleep after sex, no matter how long and energetic the session.
At least then you are having regular sex so look at it as a positive thing, he's going to sleep happy and you can get up and do whatever till you're ready for bed, if you haven't got kids to compicate matters then I would honestly make the most of it - it's when you have NO time for each other that it becomes problematic.
I'm not surprised he's knackered though, those hours are horrendous!
Is morning sex not an option when he's on lates?

cupofteaplease Fri 21-Aug-09 20:58:41

My job goes down to 3 days a week from November, so I guess that will be better.

We have 2 dds who are early risers, so morning sex is a no-no. I would have to set the alarm for 5.30am at the latest in order to beat them!

I guess I could try and change my mindset about the 7.30 sex- that way at least we would be making the effort to have sex every other week!!

Obviously, it must be worse for people like lighthouse who have partners who work away.

lighthouse Fri 21-Aug-09 21:02:52

Not nec worse Tea but different in a way, was not being mean! We are all in differnt situations depending on circumstances, I have never found it easy.

cupofteaplease Fri 21-Aug-09 21:18:19

Oh God Lighthouse- don't worry, I didn't think you were being mean!! No, you are right, it is just not easy. I find myself wishing dh had a well paid 9-5 job. Never going to happen sad

lighthouse Fri 21-Aug-09 21:49:55

Chick! make the most of the time you have! not easy, for anyone whatever the circumstances, unless you are xtremely wealthy money is always the driving force, ie the trip abroad for us, crap but hey ho we will see how i cope! Don't book your sexlife, gets dissapointing if he/you are too tired for allocated slot IYKWIM.

When the mood takes!

Good luck mate! hang in there.

eeky Sun 23-Aug-09 14:28:55

early evening lurrrve sounds great to me! Why not try to make these eves when he is in bed early some quality time (hate that expression but you know what I mean!)Tire the kids out so they are in bed early if poss. Chat, catching up, maybe with a picnic supper /wine /DVD in bed. Progressing on further if you're both in the mood/not too knackered wink

Whilst dh gets an early night, I wouldn't be averse to getting on with chores etc downstairs, or maybe at least once a week try and get ahead with the chores (says the most disorganised woman in the universe blush) so that you too can have an early night, or a long soak in the bath with a good book.

I have always worked weird long shifts and you do adapt, don't worry.

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