Is your relationship under strain because you work days – or don’t work – and your partner works nights?
When one person in a relationship works nights and it feels like you’re hardly spending any quality time together, it can have a huge impact on your relationship.
However, it doesn’t have to have a negative impact.
It’s how you cope mentally when your partner works nights and what you do with the time you do have together that matters.
To help you out, here are 11 tips on how to cope when your partner works nights!
How to Cope When Your Partner Works Nights – 11 Tips!
1. Make Sure You Maximize the Time You Do Have Together
If your partner works nights and you cross paths in between sleeping and shifts, then you need to make sure that the time you do have together is quality time.
When you’re both awake and not working, you need to enjoy each other’s company – put ALL distractions aside.
If there is anything you can do to stretch that time out a little longer, too, then do whatever it takes to make that happen.
2. Leave Little Notes, Gifts, and Other Surprises for Them
One way to make your partner feel loved, even when they’re working nights, is to leave them little notes or gifts.
It doesn’t have to be anything big – even just a simple post-it note with a heartfelt message can make their day.
Other surprises could include their favorite snacks, flowers, or a handwritten letter.
It’s the gesture, the thought, and the surprise that makes it so special. Even if this seems cheesy for the type of relationship you have, I bet they love it!
3. Get Chores out Of the Way when They’re at Work
The last thing you – or they – want to be doing when you have time with your partner are household chores.
If you can, try and get all the chores out of the way when they’re at work so you don’t have those tasks getting in the way of quality time.
This could also mean cooking dinner in advance to getting their clothes ready, etc.
It’s the little things that count and go a long way to creating a more cohesive relationship and more time together!
4. Don’t Hold It Against Them that They Work Nights
Just because your partner works nights and you don’t get to see them as much as you’d like, you can’t hold it against them.
If you’re finding yourself getting angry or resentful towards them, then have a talk about how you’re feeling – openly and honestly.
Chances are, they feel just as bad about the situation as you do and are doing what they can to make it work.
I’m sure that in an ideal world they wouldn’t work nights and sacrifice their time with you, there must be a reason why they do.
5. Make Sure You Have Good Communication About how You Both Feel
One of the most important things in any relationship is communication.
This is especially true when one person works nights and the other doesn’t.
You need to make sure that you’re both on the same page about how you’re feeling, what your expectations are, and what you need from each other.
If something isn’t working for either of you, then talking about it and working on a solution together is the only way you’ll resolve it.
6. List All of The Positives of Them Working Night Shifts
It can be easy to get caught up in all of the negatives when your partner works nights, but there are positives too!
It’s a worthwhile exercise to list down on paper all the positives (and the negatives if you like), and I’m sure you’ll see that it’s something that works well in your family dynamic.
You can’t discount the importance of your partner’s job, to both them and your family.
7. Lean on Friends and Family for Support
If you’re finding it tough going, you should talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling.
It can be helpful to have an outside perspective on the situation, as well as a shoulder to cry on when you need it.
Struggling with your partner working nights doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone, so make sure you reach out when you need to.
8. Fill Your Time With Hobbies and Other Activities
If you find yourself with more alone time on your hands than you’d like, make sure you fill it with hobbies and other activities.
This could be anything from taking up a new hobby to going out with friends more often.
It’s important that you don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself or waiting for your partner to come home.
If you do, you’ll also come across as needy to them when the first thing they probably want to do is unwind after a long day (night) themselves!
9. Make Time to Really Connect and Be Intimate
One of the best things you can do to make up for the absence when your partner works nights is to be mindful about really connecting when you are with them.
This means being intimate in more ways than just physically.
It could be cuddling on the couch, talking about your day, or just spending quality time together without distractions.
All of these things are important in a relationship and will help to keep the bond between the two of you strong.
10. Maintain a Positive and Healthy Mindset
This is probably the most important thing on this list.
If you’re finding it tough going, it’s so important to maintain a positive and healthy mindset.
I know it’s easier said than done, but if you can do this then you’ll find that everything else becomes a lot easier.
I recommend meditation, this is something that helped me turn my life around when I had my own personal struggles, so I can’t help but keep bugging people to start!
If the concept of meditation is new to you, you don’t have to sit in a quiet room with candles (although that would probably help!).
You can get started with just a few minutes a day and even meditate in the shower, bath, in between house chores, and even while you’re driving!
11. If You Really Can’t Take It Any Longer, Let Them Know
If you’ve tried everything on this list and you’re still struggling, then it might be time to have a conversation with your partner about how you’re feeling.
It’s okay to admit that it’s tough-going and that you need some help.
Your partner can’t read your mind, so if something isn’t working for you then the only way they’ll know is if you tell them.
It’s tough when one person works nights, it really is. There is always a way around every problem, and I’m sure by talking about it you’ll be able to find one.
Even if your partner has to start looking for a day job, that’s not the end of the world and it wouldn’t be the first time someone had to do so to save their relationship!
Image credits – Photo by Fabio Santaniello Bruun on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.