Are you searching for tips for keeping your relationship strong when you work different shifts? It is difficult to keep your relationship strong even when you are on the same shift but when you work opposite of one another, it can feel nearly impossible. Thankfully, it isn’t. For years my husband worked night shift and I was the daytime person. It was very difficult to be apart so much but we learned some little tricks along the way that helped us keep a good connection and I am happy to share these tips for keeping your relationship strong with you.
1. Make the Most of the Time You Have
The first of the tips for keeping your relationship strong is that you need to make the most of the time you do have together. Plan activities for the time when you get to be together. Look forward to those times. Anticipating the time together helps you feel stronger as a couple. My husband and I used to count the days down until he would be home with us again.
2. Be Intentional about Setting Dates
It is always important to your marriage to have date nights. It is even more important when you work different shifts. You have to be intentional about setting time aside to focus on your relationship. Make up for lost time and go out for a nice date together. One nice date can really carry you through for a while when you are apart.
3. Have Rituals
Having rituals is a comforting little thing to do together. It keeps you connected. Maybe it is that you eat dinner together before one of you goes off to work. Maybe it is that you have a secret code word you always say when you part that has a special meaning. Whatever the ritual is that you share, keep it up. If you don’t have one, it is time to start.
4. Always Call and Say Goodnight and Good Morning
My husband always called to tell me goodnight when he was on nights. Being home with two young children, I really looked forward to that phone call. Not only did I get adult conversation but I got some precious moments of his time. He usually called me on the way home in the morning too. Those phone calls made all of the time apart easier.
5. Leave Notes
Leave notes for one another! This is a good piece of advice for any marriage but it is especially helpful when you are on different shifts. It is so sweet to come home and find a note your spouse has left for you. I did this a lot when I knew I would miss seeing my husband completely. And I saved every one he left for me. Even a simple note saying I love you can brighten each other’s day.
6. Make Use of Your Technology
Technology is a wonderful thing for couples trying to stay connected. It is easier than ever to do that. As your shift allows, you can chat, text or even email. Those little things mean a lot. We all love seeing a message pop up from our partner, don’t we?
7. Remind Yourselves Why You Are Doing This
When you get frustrated and discouraged, remind yourself why you are doing this. Remind yourselves that you are working toward a better life together and to give your children. Maybe it won’t always be this way. If that is a good possibility, hang on to that. You are doing this so you can have a good life together, whether it is for a temporarily season or a more permanent one.
Working different shifts is very difficult but you can still stay connected and keep your relationship strong with these ideas. But I am sure there are more ways to stay connected when you are on different shifts. What have you found that works?