When Your Spouse Works Night Shift

My husband and I are on different work shifts – I work days and he works nights. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t always easy being on a different schedule than your spouse but here are a couple things I’ve learned along the way.

It Can Get Lonely 

As he leaves our house for his shift at work and I’m alone in our house it gets very quiet (we don’t have kids or pets yet). Sure, I appreciate some alone time but I do get lonely especially when it’s time for bed. Over the years it has gotten better than when we were newlyweds but I do miss snuggling up to him late at night. I’ve found that keeping myself occupied with blogging, binge watching my favorite show, or talking to my friends helps keep my mind off being alone.

It Can Get Scary 

Okay – story time. We have a shampoo holder suctioned cupped to our shower wall and it was late one night (he had already gone to work) and I was in bed when suddenly I hear this loud crashing noise. You talk about scared –  I was terrified so many thoughts ran through my mind of what it could’ve been. I laid there with my heart pounding and finally mustered up enough courage to get up and see what it was. Sure enough that dang shampoo holder came off the wall and bottles of soap were scattered all on the bottom of the tub – talk about a sigh of relief!

But all that being said it can be scary staying home alone at night. When he is home I have a sense of safeness I don’t get anywhere else. Don’t let me fool you guys, I do enjoy sleeping in the middle of our king sized bed and sprawling out like a star fish but I did marry the man and I want to sleep with him! lol

Let Them Sleep 

This is a big one! Just remember that it is hard on their body’s natural cycle being on an off shift. Be patient with them and let them wake up on their own time. Even on the weekends. Do not text, call, or try to disturb them in any way. I struggled with this because I want him to come do things with me but I have to remind myself not to be selfish and let him sleep. He always gets up and yes there is always time to do plenty of fun stuff.

You Will Eat Dinner Later

Sure you don’t have to eat when your husband eats but I’ve always enjoyed sharing a meal with him at the dinner table. When he wakes up he’s initially starving so he will eat what we call his ‘breakfast’ aka a late lunch and won’t be ready for dinner until later than most. So, I’ll snack if I’m starving until we eat dinner which is anywhere around 7:30-8:30. Now my body has gotten used to eating that late so I don’t mind it at all.

You Will Take Awesome Naps Together

I love a good nap and I don’t know many people who don’t. When my husband doesn’t sleep well or doesn’t get in 8 hours you guarantee there will be a nap before work. Most of the time I am home for these naps so I get to enjoy them with him!

You Will get into The Groove of Things

After a while and you may even start liking the opposite shift thing. Like I said it wasn’t always easy for me but it has gotten easier now that we are in a routine. Just remember to stay patient and communicate how you’re feeling to each other.

I would love to hear from other woman who have significant others on an opposite shift – did you have the some of the same feelings? Are there still certain things you dislike about it? Do you love it and couldn’t imagine any other way? Let me know in the comments! 

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  1. This is all so true! My husband and I have flipped where he worked nights and I worked days then vice versa. Somehow [I’m not sure how!!] we made it work but we did!

  2. Yes! I know the feeling well. My fiance and I are on two different shifts and it is indeed lonely and scary at nights especially when the bugs get in(so not a fan of bugs). Sometimes I watch Netflix and try to stay up until he gets home. I hate when he has to leave especially if it has been a good day or we haven’t spent time together. I don’t love it but I understand it.

    1. Exactly! I love that you said you ‘don’t love it but you understand’ that’s the biggest part of the battle is accepting what is. When I was in college I used to stay up all night until he came home as well, needless to say I’m past that point now but definitely have been there and understand it. 🙂

  3. My husband just this week finally got off of his night shift, after years of being on it and we are already having a hard time adjusting from our old routine like yours! I totally understand the loneliness and the being scared! Taking showers was the hardest for me, I don’t know why, I guess I want to hear what’s coming?! But we do have animals, (lots of them), and having 4 big dogs around helps me feel very safe. I think y’all need to get one! They will snuggle you to sleep when your hubby is at work!

    1. That’s great to hear that he’s finally on a ‘normal’ schedule at work. Don’t get me started on the showers, I have my nights where I just hop in and don’t think about it but sometimes I do- I think it depends on what I watched on TV haha I’m a big crime show watcher! That’s great that you have a lot of animals! We LOVE animals and I would love to have a pet but right now we live in a rental house – so no pets allowed. 🙁 But definitely in our new house!

  4. This is all so true. Same goes for friends on the night shift — Let them sleep!Find new times to be together and stay engaged for sure 🙂

    1. Yes can’t forget about your friends. 🙂 It is hard reminding yourself not to wake them up because you don’t want them to ‘miss out’ but their bodies need sleep!

  5. Until this year, my husband worked a job where, for about 1/4 of the year, he had to work the night shift – but it was 12-14 hour nights. I commuted an hour to work, so we barely saw each other at all. It was so hard – much harder than I thought it would be! And I found, like you said, that bedtime was the loneliest time. I’m glad you’ve been able to find a rhythm for the two of you!

    1. Awh that sounds stressful – I don’t think people realize how much different shifts can affect a relationship but it does. I’m happy to hear your hubby is on a new schedule! 🙂

  6. Wow, this is so insightful! When we were first married, I worked 1-9:30 and my husband worked traditional hours. We still had night hours together, but had a few hours alone each day. It was great for me, since I am an introvert!

  7. I can relate to a lot of these. My hubby works 7-4:30 away from home, and then 8:30-11/12pm on his side business. Thankfully he takes a couple nights off a week, but I especially hate going to bed without him. After 3 years I’ve pretty much gotten used to it though.

    1. Yes time makes a difference at the beginning it was definitely harder on me than it is now! I’m glad he takes off a couple nights – can’t go wrong with a good date night! 🙂

  8. My hubby works a semi-opposite shift than me, and you’re right, it can be really challenging! He usually works until 3am, sometimes 4am (luckily from home) so I’m used to going to bed by myself. I do have the security of actually having him in the house, but the bed can get a bit lonely 🙂

  9. I have mixed feelings – although I enjoy the quiet nights sometimes, it can be challenging with eating dinner, sleeping schedule, waking up and getting ready in the morning.. although it’s not like that all week (he only works in the evenings three times per week), we are able to work around it and make the best of it!


    1. I agree – it’s nice having alone time but sometimes I get selfish and want him home with me haha. But I’m glad y’all are able to make the best of yall’s schedule! 🙂

  10. My boyfriend works night shift until 3 am and I work days. We have Saturday and Sunday off and spend those two days together. I find the nights lonely and try to fill my time but by day three it really starts to get to me. We send each other texts and he calls me on the way to work. I try to go to bed and then get up for an hour when he gets home but then I’m exhausted. I don’t live far from work but only get 1/2 hour so it’s quite rushed. I’m thinking of asking my boss for one day a week where I take an hour for lunch.

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