Married life: Opposite schedules can have benefits

A few weeks before our wedding, my husband started a new position at his company that was on an overnight shift. He works four ten-hour days — Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. His new weekend is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

When we talked about him taking it, the benefits far outweighed the cons — more money, better benefits, a higher position. The weird shift hours were the only con we could figure. But I get off work at 5 p.m. and he doesn’t go into the office until 10 p.m., so we have the evenings together. Weekends are harder but we figured we could make it work. We are trying to pay off as much debt and save as much as possible in order to buy a house next year so the raise was a big factor in the decision as well.

At first, it was kind of fun. I was severely burnt out from the wedding planning so all I wanted to do every night was sit on the couch and do nothing. Having a bed all to yourself after you’ve shared it with someone else for nearly three years was nice. Being able to watch anything I wanted on TV without judgment or complaint was also enjoyable.

Cereal for dinner? Sure, because Awesome is on a backwards schedule and doesn’t eat at dinnertime anyway, so I don’t have to cook. I had all the benefits of being in a relationship without having to cook dinner or share the bed or remote control.

But once the novelty wore off, it wasn’t so fun anymore. You can only watch so many re-runs of CSI and Law and Order: SVU before you get tired of hearing terrible one-liners. I got sick of eating cereal or sandwiches for dinner and craved the days when I would make Parmesan chicken with mashed potatoes for us for dinner. And sitting alone on my couch every night was cool at first, but then I started to get lonely. I was going to bed and waking up alone.

Even on his off days, my husband was following a night schedule, which meant when I went to bed, he was getting on his computer or doing things around the house, and only coming to bed in the morning after I went to work. When we were both working daytime hours, we usually would talk all day, just about stupid stuff to keep ourselves from getting too bored at the office. Now I was working while he was sleeping. I was sleeping while he was working.

Obviously, it could be worse than just not having a lot of time together. Awesome could not have a job at all and we could be in a bad state money-wise. Or he could be on a schedule where we see each other even less than now. I try to see the good side — that we are saving money, paying off debt, and that my husband is working his way up the corporate ladder.

But the best thing that has come out of this whole schedule switcheroo is that it’s just reminded me of how much I love my husband. He is truly my best friend and I miss him very much when he isn’t around. It makes me appreciate our time together more. I find myself in a better mood when we are together, I’m more affectionate towards him, and the little time we get to spend together is so much fun.

So while I don’t love the schedule we have made, I just keep trying to think about how lucky I am to have my best friend and man that I love in my life at all. Even if it’s only for four hours at a time.