Are you married to someone who has a time-consuming career? This can put a strain on your relationship, especially if you are a parent. This means you have to do a lot of it on your own. After ten years of dealing with a husband who has a time-consuming career, I have come up with some tips on how to still have a good relationship.
Over my husband’s ten year career in human resources, he has had jobs that had very bad hours. The first three years, when our first two children were small, my husband worked from 3:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. This meant that I only saw him on the weekends. This definitely made parenting and marriage difficult.
Then, he took a job as a Human Resources Director at an amusement park. Now, this may sound exciting, and in many ways, it was for him but not for his wife and four kids. His hours were long and he worked every weekend. Needless to say, I have dealt with my share of losing time with my husband due to long hours at work. This has made me realize that there are things I can do to help keep the relationship going.
Stop Laying on the Guilt
If you are like me, you have made your spouse feel guilty when he has to stay late or go back to work because they are on call. I want to remind you that they are not doing it as a way to get out of time with you or parenting. When they have to stay late or leave, they feel bad already. Adding to that will just push them away which is the opposite of what you ultimately want to do. So, when you feel bad about your spouse’s career getting in the way, yet again, tell them that you will miss them but leave it at that. No sarcasm or snide comments. They will be able to work and want to happily come back home to you, instead of preparing themselves for either the cold shoulder or the arguments that will be waiting for them when they get home.
Appreciate the Time Together
When my husband was working at the amusement park, I found myself constantly being grumpy when he was around. I had lost appreciation for the time we did have together. It really affected our relationship. Eventually, my husband admitted that sometimes he stayed later at work just to avoid me because I no longer made him welcome in our home. Instead, I was mean and blaming him for everything. After he told me this, I realized what I was doing. My husband was avoiding me because I was now the problem, not his career.
Now I appreciate the time we have together. When we watch a movie together or just spend time talking, I make sure to tell him that I love him and appreciate all that he does for our family. I want him to feel welcomed and want to come home.
Plan Something Special
When you have time together, you want to make sure that you are still spending quality time together when possible. This does not have to be a date out, but it can. This could be a movie when the kids are asleep or even a nice massage. This will bring the two of you closer together. If you look forward to your time together, then you will be more likely to be in a good mood when they are home. It will also mean that your spouse will look forward to alone time with you. My husband and I have shows that we exclusively watch together each week. We wait until the kids are asleep so that it can be our special alone time activity. We cuddle on the couch and analyze the show as we watch.
Don’t Let the Kids Feel Like Things Are Only Good When Your Spouse is Home
Many times I waited until my husband was home to do fun things. My kids would complain about being bored and wanting to go do things. It is okay to do things without your spouse. Of course, when they are around, they should be involved, but there will be many times when they will not be able to. This should not be seen as if the world stops when they are gone. This will just create tension and problems for you and your children. Instead, go out of your way to have fun even when your spouse cannot be there. It will pass the time while they are away and it won’t feel so bad when they are gone.
With all of this said, I still have my moments when I forget all of these things that I learned. Even last night, when my husband was called back to work, I was a little cold because I was upset. Those moments will happen. Just make sure that you apologize later and try your best to not let their career get in the way of your happiness. Just remember that they don’t want to be away from you and would be home if they could. So, make your home inviting so that they will come home as soon as they are able.