Strong communication skills are necessary in any relationship and it's difficult to maintain that communication when you're on differing schedules. In this situation, making an extra effort to reach out to your partner can make all the difference.
Keep the following tips in mind for maintaining a strong relationship:
1. Deal with conflicts as soon as they arise. When you're on opposite schedules, it's important to deal with conflicts immediately, because otherwise they begin to fester. It's tempting to just wait until a more convenient time, but many times that time never comes.
• With precious little time together, your instincts might be to ignore the conflict, but it's better to deal with it before it turns into something larger. If you can't discuss it face to face, arrange to talk on the phone.
2. Concentrate on quality time. When you're together, do your best to make this time count. Discuss your thoughts and do things that make you both happy. Avoid wasting the time away by discussing bills or petty issues.
3. Split chores. When you're both busy, it's hard to decide who should be responsible for what around the home. Decide on how you're going to split the chores ahead of time. Stick to an assigned schedule so there won't be any future arguing about who didn't do what and when.
4. Help each other. If you have the extra time, go out of your way to help out your partner. This action will show them that you care about them deeply. Being on opposing schedules is daunting at times, so every little thing you can say or do to communicate positive feelings to your partner is a good thing.
5. Leave love notes. These notes don't always have to be romantic or profound. Maybe you can just let your partner know that you made a special dinner for her when she comes home. It doesn't really matter what you say, only that you're adding one more way of talking to your partner when you can't physically be there.
6. Plan a vacation. When you find some time to yourself, sit down and plan out your family vacation. This can be a fun activity even if the vacation is taking place several months in the future. It allows you to picture a time when the whole family will be together without having to worry about the scheduling conflicts.
7. Make time for intimacy. Intimacy doesn't always mean physical intimacy, although it can. Being on opposing schedules is tiring and it may feel like you have more of a roommate than a partner.
• Find a way to remind your partner how you feel about him or her. You may only have a few moments together, but you can make the most of those moments.
8. Be there for each other. While you can't always physically be there, figure out a way to be there for your partner when they're going through a tough time. They may need to lean on you more often, and you don't want them to feel alone. You can send frequent emails or text messages, and make time for frequent phone calls as well.
While being on opposing schedules can present a challenge, it doesn't mean that your relationship has to be on the rocks. The two of you can still lead normal and perfectly happy lives. Use these strategies to help bring you that closeness, even when your schedules keep you apart.