You Asked: My Boyfriend and I Have Opposite Schedules

Dear Sugar --

I work a 9 to 5 job at a law firm while my boyfriend bar tends all night. When I am ready for bed at a normal hour, he is usually not because he slept during the day after getting home really late. The problem I have is that he stays out after the bar closes to clean up and wind down and then at least once a week he goes out afterwards without me. I obviously can't go since I have to be at work at 9am. He sometimes will arrive home just as I am getting up for work, which makes me so mad. If he would just come home when his shift is over, we could have something resembling a normal relationship. My boyfriend does not see that this is an issue, but it really bothers me that we have such opposite schedules. Things are great otherwise. Do I have a right to be angry about this or should I just let it go and be happy for the time we do get to spend together? --Left Out Lindsay

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Dear Left Out Lindsay --

I can see why you feel angry and hurt when your boyfriend goes out after work, but I think you need to take a good look at the situation and see if you might be able to compromise in some way. If his late nights typically only happen once a week, try cutting him a little slack. It is not uncommon for couples to have different work schedules and we all need a little time to unwind and relax outside of work, but it is important to make time to be together so you feel more connected to each other.

With that said, are you able to spend time together on the weekends or on your days off? I think you have a right to voice your concern if his nights on the town are making you feel second best next to his job. Let him know that the schedule he is keeping makes you feel alone in your relationship. Listen to how he responds. If he has legitimate reasons for being out so late, make sure you hear him out and try to come up with a compromise. If he gets defensive and hostile, those are good signs that he values his time out partying with friends more than his quality time with you. If that's the case, you might be better off without this man in your life. Relationships take work, but perhaps your opposite schedules act as too much of a road block for you to get what you need out of this partnership. Good luck.

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