Social Question

cazzie's avatar

Is this request too much to ask of a partner or SO?

Asked by cazzie (19108 points ) December 17th, 2011

Say that your partner travels a lot for a job and his flights often leave really early. Is it out of line for you to ask them to have their things packed the night before so they aren’t turning on bright lights and rummaging around in the bedroom and waking you up at 5.30am? Especially because you are working long hours and/or looking after small children?

What would you say if your partner gets huffy and put-out by your request?

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55 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t think that is too much to ask. I would think my partner was being quite selfish and thoughtless.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I feel that’s not only reasonable but also very considerate. If my partner would get huffy at that request then I’d think he either didn’t care much for me and/or was really self centered.

Some people get huffy as their response to feeling embarrassment or sorry they did something inconsiderate. Only you know if your SO is like that or just a putz.

HungryGuy's avatar

Yes, that’s very inconsiderate to not set everything out the night before.

And personally, I prefer night flights to morning flights, anyway.

cazzie's avatar

@HungryGuy night flights are not an option where we live as he has to make several connections to get to his destinations and the first leg is short. No 24hour flight schedules where we live. They stop about midnight.

muppetish's avatar

I always pack late into the night because I usually get my laundry done last minute, am still using the toiletries that I meant to bring along, and have that antsy “I’m forgetting something! What am I forgetting?” mindset. I share a room with my brother and I’m not sure how he feels about it. If he asked me to try and pack earlier, then I would do my best to get things done earlier. If I am willing to do that for a sibling, then I can surely do it for a Significant Other.

What kind of packer is he? Is he a night owl? What’s stopping him from packing earlier?

nikipedia's avatar

I guess it would depend on the circumstances. The last time I had to do an early morning flight, I packed as much as I could the night before and just ran out of time and had to finish in the morning. So there was some light-turning-on and rummaging around.

Ideally there’s some mutual understanding in that situation—the morning packer should be apologetic, and the needlessly awakened hopefully is forgiving.

But it sounds like the huffiness and being put out is the real problem here, no? Not the being woken up early?

LuckyGuy's avatar

If my SO was taking a flight, I don’t care how early or late, I would drag my ass out of bed no matter how tired I was and ask if she needed anything packed, wanted a snack, and I’d be waving goodbye as she pulled out of the driveway.
She is working not going on vacation! She already has enough stuff on her mind – getting ready for the flight, work, travel arrangements… and you are complaining that she is waking you up?! Really?!

Let me ask you something. When your SO walks out that door for the next 3–5 days, what image do you want her to have of you: a pouty complainer or a put together, helpful, supportive spouse?

Keep complaining about BS like this and you won’t have to worry about it for long.

(I was one of those travelers for a while. For every flight, my wife got up, helped me off, and kissed me goodbye. Smart woman. And I would do the same. )

Blackberry's avatar

It seems it has to happen anyway, unless people usually get ready without turning on lights or making noises….but yes….packing most of everything will make it so there will be less rummaging.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

An idea….a bit of a palaver….but it could save your relationship.

Can you sleep elsewhere on the night before a flight? Could you bunk on the sofa? Or bunk in with the kids….maybe buy a chair that folds out into a cot and sleep by yourself in another part of the house?

It sounds like your partner is a) disorganized b) not open to change c) nervous before a flight….and probably hacked off that you are sleeping while he has to get up and get out the door and “go out into the cold world of TSA groping.” I don’t blame him. Travelling used to be a dream. Now, it’s a small, adrenaline-inducing nightmare.

Sleeping elsewhere for travel nights will solve everything. Just get out of the way, completely, let him have full rein of the bedroom and bath and you can sleep peacefully, too. If he does it often, set up a permanent little place/corner of the house to place your cot/sofabed/chairbed.

augustlan's avatar

If this happens all the time, then I don’t think it’s too much to ask. How you ask can make a difference, though. If you asked nicely, at an appropriate time, getting huffy about your request seems odd.

Edit: I like @DarlingRhadamanthus’ idea. Sounds like a good compromise.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You have the wrong idea! The only way you would catch me sleeping as my SO walked out the door on a business trip would be if I was unconscious in a hospital.

A little less sleep is a small price to pay and the rewards are greater than you can imagine. Wake up and smile. Fake it if you have to but act pleasant dammit!

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Oh….if we could all be lucky enough to be with @LuckyGuy….:) I ‘m not being sarcastic, either.

That’s a great response…but not everyone is as fortunate to be a cheerleader at five in the morning. Studies have shown that not all people are “wired” for Mrs Cleaver chirpiness so early. Some of us…need sleep or just need to find alternatives.

(To be honest, I’m someone that can never sleep before a partner leaves on a trip and I am up usually….just because I worry. However, if this was happening very, very often…and I was suffering from exhaustion… I think I would need to figure out something else.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@LuckyGuy….I would agree with your response if he had no choice but to bang around at 5:30 in the morning. But he DOES have a choice, and if he continues to do it even after the OP asked him not to, then he is just down right rude. That doesn’t deserve any cheer leading, IMO.

downtide's avatar

I think he’s being rude and unreasonable.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I hear what @LuckyGuy is saying but isn’t that totally separate from what’s going on? Yes, she could wake up and offer to do all kinds of stuff but since he’s the one in motion, I think he’s rude not to try to be more considerate.

@cazzie: What if you offer to help him the night before on the premise it will make it less stressful in the morning, for everyone?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I fake it. I can be bleeding and have a borken arm and I will still hug you goodbye with a smile.
@Dutchess_III Keep up the complaining and he will eventually start skulking out of the house without making a sound. That’s when you need to worry. One of those times will be the last.
Yay…he learned…

Dutchess_III's avatar

If my husband was as selfish and insensitive as the SO’s appears to be, I don’t know that I’d mind if he never came back. He must act that way in other aspects of their relationship.

That song…“I make you laugh, you make me cry. I believe it’s time for me to fly.”

Jeruba's avatar

I agree with @LuckyGuy. I leave the bedroom light on all night so he can pack whenever he needs to. (And for his part, he does pack the night before, all but the final items.) And I always get up to see husband or sons off, no matter how early, with an offer to fix food, a kiss and a smile, and a wish for a safe flight. I wave from the door and don’t care if the taxi driver sees me in my robe.

A good farewell is important to me. You never know when it’s going to be the last one.

I am anything but a morning person. I told my husband-to-be that morning cheer was grounds for divorce. These days the crack of morning comes sometime after eleven, and I have to set my alarm to make a 2:00 p.m. appointment. It’s not about what comes easily to me but about what I think matters.

cazzie's avatar

He travels all the time. This isn´t a special case where he is going on a trip once or twice a year. He travels for a living. His bag is constantly half packed in the hallway. This is what he does several times a month, or he is actually GONE for the entire month.

He’s also a grown man. He is not a morning person at all. If I woke up to see him off, I doubt he would even notice me, much less have a civil world to say.

I ironed two shirts for him to bring and made sure his laundry was done. I do help and I also know, that if the shoe was on the other foot, he would not be as helpful to me. If I ever felt that he WANTED me awake to see him off (because we have been married for 10 years now and he has always had this job) I would. I used to get up with him and see him off, but when the baby was born, we got out of the habit because my sleep became extremely important. He never got up to the baby, so it was my sleep that was constantly interrupted. I think that is when his habit of sleeping on the couch in the living room started as well. It was trade off and he never ever complained. The couch was his habit and I never liked it and asked him to come to bed instead, but he just doesn’t.

I HAVE gotten up to look after those who can not look after themselves, ie: the children, after passing gall stones and he sleeps on. ER in the afternoon, walking the kids to school the next morning while he sleeps or has flown out to his next job. Did I ever tell you the time he forgot to pick me up from the ER? Yeah… so, shoot me if you think I’m the insensitive one here.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@cazzie: I’m sorry reading this, he sounds like he’s washed his hands of participating as a willing husband in your family.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You tell ‘em @cazzie! I feel your pain.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m with @cazzie. If this is a way of life for the two of them, it is unreasonable to think that she should routinely get up and send him off with a smile. Nice, perhaps, but well beyond the call of duty. It’s not like she has nothing to do while he’s gone, after all. She is working long hours and taking care of children and (though she didn’t mention it) taking care of all the housework while he is gone. This requires sleep.

An occasional morning sendoff might be appropriate, but I’m not sure how much he deserves it if he can’t take the time to minimize the extent to which his last-minute packing interrupts her nights.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@cazzie. In your Q you did not mention he was an insensitive dickwad. That changes everything. I am with you too.
I’m sorry for your pain. I’m not Dr. Phil, but this does not look like a stable, loving, long term successful relationship to me. If I were in your shoes I’d be eating right, exercising my butt off, getting new clothes, finding new interests and setting up second bank accounts while he was away for month. Don’t be blindsided.
Sleeping on the couch with no complaints is just too sad.
All that said, I would not complain about his noise in the morning. I would keep it to myself as further justification for my upcoming actions.

john65pennington's avatar

Can you sleep in a different bedroom?

Dutchess_III's avatar

GA @john65pennington. That kid of arrangement isn’t that unusual.

cazzie's avatar

@john65pennington he already sleeps on the couch. It´s just when he rummages around at 4am in the bedroom where he keeps me and his clothes that I get a bit annoyed.

@LuckyGuy I don’t mean to make him sound mean because he doesn’t even realise he is being insensitive. I always suspected he was a bit Aspergers, but the doc he is seeing now thinks it is more a case of ADHD. He just doesn’t relate to those close to him very well and he lives in his head a lot. Whether he means to or not, the result is the same.

I think this whole argument tonight is moot because it doesn’t look like I am going to sleep anyway tonight.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Jeruba Your husband is a lucky man indeed. (And he knows it.)

Bellatrix's avatar

I believe from @cazzie‘s post she has children to take care of and she works. She needs her sleep too. Two way street here, if he was considerate to her, I am sure she would be more accommodating to his lack of organisation.

john65pennington's avatar

I went through this same ordeal for many years as a cop. I got up at 430 and attempted to be as quite as I could. Then, one morning, a police boot came sailing out of our bedroom and hit me in the rear. My wife had had enough.

Our doctor gave her sleeping pills that knocked her out and all was well.

john65pennington's avatar

DutchessIII, I wonder how many couples do sleep in separate bedroom today? This is a good research question for someone on Fluther and are they still married?

wundayatta's avatar

There’s more of a problem here than rummaging around at four in the morning and you surely know it. He is not sleeping on the couch just because it is more convenient. Not if it has been going on since the baby was born. (Not sure if my timeline is correct—but I have the impression the baby came ten years ago?)

But even if it’s only a few years, this is a sign of a lot of covert hostility, in my opinion. I suppose it’s a big leap to make just on a few short bits of information, but tell me this is not the case. Tell me you aren’t worried about a lot more than being woken up on business trip mornings?

Do you guys make love any more? Are his trips longer or more frequent than they once were? How is his relationship to your child, otherwise? Does he resent the child? Did the child come between you and him?

He is clearly carrying a lot of hostility towards you and one of the ways he expresses it is by coming up with a plausible reason to keep you from getting sleep. He’s the breadwinner, and so it is his right, presumably. Somehow his work is more important than yours.

You guys are not be kind and generous towards each other. You no longer really give each other the benefit of the doubt. Tell me you haven’t been thinking about divorce. Does this seem like the way a marriage should be?

I hope I’m way off base here and reading much too much into it. Whether I am or not, I think you have something to worry about and that counseling could definitely help. You have stuff you need to talk about instead of sending covert hints about. If you are angry with each other or disappointed or feeling a rift between you, you have to talk about it. It’s easier with a therapist, but it can be done alone, too. So long as someone is brave enough to make a stink about it and then the other is willing to listen and talk for the sake of the marriage.

I hope I’m overreacting. Please tell me I am.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think it’s too much of a request. My partner is very considerate and would do that anyway.

cazzie's avatar

I dont think I can talk about this anymore.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@cazzie It’s okay. You don’t have to.

chyna's avatar

My ex had to leave at 3:30 a.m. for his job. I got up at 3 a.m. every morning to make him breakfast. He was a truck driver and I never knew if it would be the last time I would see him, so I always wanted to see him and make him breakfast and kiss him before he left. It was a pain, because I had to get up at 5:30 to get ready for work, but it was worth it to me.

Jeruba's avatar

@cazzie, as usual, more information changes the picture. In your place I believe I’d fantasize about changing the locks every time he went away.

janbb's avatar

I’m with you @cazzie – my husband would pack the night before and usually shower in the other bathroom if he had an early flight. A quick peck from a half-sleeping penguin sent him out the door.

ohVaNiLLaGoRiLLa's avatar

That is not to much to ask at all. That is reckless to pack the morning of the flight. Last minute packing of perhaps toothbrush and other items of that nature I could understand. Perhaps if they were really tired the night before and it only happened once in a blue moon it would be alright. But more than that is unnecessary.

chyna's avatar

@cazzie Just read the rest of your comments and I do agree with you. If it’s not give and take, there are issues.

Sunny2's avatar

You might offer to fold his clothes for packing the night before he takes off. He should have duplicates of toiletries in his bag so he doesn’t have to rummage about in the bathroom for anything.
What else may be going on between you is probably best saved for another question..

cazzie's avatar

@Sunny2 I ironed a few nice shirts and had a stack of tshirts ready for him in the living room. He has toiletries in a toiletry bag (that I made him, btw) constantly packed. Currently, he has one bag that is always full of stuff sitting by the door or in the hallway. In the past, he has had up to three sitting in the hallway, being tripped over. When he can´t be bothered giving me his dirty clothes to wash, he just takes the bag (or one of the three bags), dirty clothes and all and pays the hotel laundry service when he arrives at his destination. (avoidable expense he doesn´t get reimbursed for but typical of his mismanagement being a very expensive problem.) It looks like that is what he did on this occasion because the tshirt stack I made him was still sitting in the living room when I got up this morning.

He also has the option of living on board vessels and pocketing the accommodation allowance but opts for a fancy hotel. Far be it for him to have to economize because he has wracked up several thousand in debt. He’s spending the next few days in an expensive hotel, spending the kids Christmas present money. He will be reimbursed for some of that expense, but not until next month. Too late for Christmas.

Meanwhile, my mother in law bought me a new laptop, which I can not accept in good conscience, so I am returning it. If she won’t take the money back, I will buy some gifts for the kids and find her something nice.

I have to somehow get into the Christmas spirit and bake cookies and gingerbread houses with the kids today. Feeling more like Scrooge and the Grinch, though.

janbb's avatar

@cazzie It sound like you are in a lousy situation and the early leave-taking is just the tip of the iceberg.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@cazzie….The only thing I can say….is that you are not alone, there are a lot of women who have been/are in your situation.

It’s not the rummaging in the early morning, I think. It’s the idea that you have to basically be a single parent/caregiver, that you feel underappreciated (that’s putting it mildly) and that the one thing that allows you to continue caring/giving (sleep) is also a deprivation. Now you have added the financial challenges (his overspending) too.

Please find someone to talk to…if money is a challenge, call your local synagogue, church and find out if they have free/low-cost counseling available. I know that “Catholic Charities” runs a free or low cost counseling service, and you don’t talk to a priest or nun (usually) nor is religion espoused at all. Also, there are free counseling services at colleges (for trainees) and women centers.

I think that the holidays bring up a lot of “stuff”...it is even in my family right now and I don’t live near them. You have a right to be upset. You have a right to feel that you are not being heard. (Because you aren’t.) It sounds like you are in a marriage that is basically freefalling…so in the New Year, make a pledge to yourself. Make a pledge that you will do something to change the situation so that you are able to take control of your life again.

And in your moments of gravest doubt…know that you really do deserve better.

We are all here….when you need to vent/talk/question. Big hugs.

P.S. Take the laptop..you may need that more than any other piece of equipment in the next year….especially if need to look at other options for your life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ah hell. That so sucks, @cazzie. So bad. And I suppose, when all is said and done, he yells at YOU when there isn’t enough money to get something he wants.

Jeruba's avatar

No one really sees another person’s situation the way they do, but if I were to make a wild guess I would guess that the MIL is trying in her way to make up for her son.

If I were @cazzie I think I’d find it eye-opening to read over my own remarks pretending that they’d been written by someone else, just to see how I’d react.

cazzie's avatar

@Jeruba is right, I mean… there is a lot going on. At times it sounds really bad when you hear my side of the situation. He is going though a process to get a diagnosis for problems he has had since high school. We are on a list to see a family therapist because of our problems together and because the doctor who is going through the diagnosis process with him thinks it is important. We may have to wait a little longer than normal, because the doctor thinks it is important to have the sessions with doctors in his department, rather than go to the generic section of Family Therapy and find a councilor there who would be completely unaware of his diagnosis and case file.

He lives in his head, quite oblivious to the things and people around him a lot of the time. He lacks empathy and has NO long term planning skills and quite poor short term planning skills unless it is something he is obsessively focused on, which is irritatingly often. He is also really good and well practiced at appearing normal when he has to because he is smart; Off the chart kind of smart. He really had me fooled for a long time. He was never honest about things that have had a huge impact on my life now and the really weird thing is that I don’t think it ever occurred to him he was ever not being honest. They were things he had no idea would end up completely turning my life on it’s head. He simply had/has NO clue, like what it takes to look after children (especially his child with special needs), or deal with his unpredictable and bitchy ex, or how to budget money…. how would I look after his child and attend school to get the qualifications I needed here to carry on with my career… .. NO idea.

It just seems like little things other people would take for granted are such a huge deal with us. It makes no sense. I am baffled. Baffled baffled.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My heart goes out to you @cazzie….

wundayatta's avatar

I suppose I have no business saying this, but this is an advice site and so I’m going to share with you the two words that just popped into my head, @cazzie:

No expectations.

Now I am nearly as baffled by what I just said as you are by your life, but that’s what came up from out of the oracle and it’s up to me to try to make a little more sense out of it.

Maybe it’s not so hard. You have all these ideas about what you should be doing in life and how to live the correct life and then, not all of a sudden, but kind of like all of a sudden, you find yourself in a life you never expected. It doesn’t seem to follow any of the rules you were raised to expect.

You can fight and fight and try to channel it back into the life the thought you were meant to have, but I think that’s just going to continue to make you less and less happy. I think you have to give up. Instead of judging your life through the eyes of others (a parent or two, perhaps?), I think you have to give up and start taking your life as it is and moving on from there without judging yourself for success or failure.

As the cliche goes: it is what it is.

Why give back the laptop? Your MIL gave it to you, why do you second guess it? If you need it, use it. Unless you are in some power struggle with her. Even then, fuck it! Use it as you wish.

You husband’s money management issues—has he got asperger’s or something? It sounds like you will have to make a very strong, long term effort to retrain him if you want him to act more frugally. That means he has to agree with you about the necessity and wisdom of such a course of action. That means you need to understand why he behaves the way he does. I don’t think you see things the same way, and you can’t negotiate that until you both understand how the other person sees things.

I just have this feeling that you have some kind of invisible speed bump between the two of you and your communications hit that bump and veer off without you actually being aware of it. So everything is askew. To fix this, I think you need to consciously work on giving up your expectations about what he is saying and what things mean. You have to look at your relationship as if it is the first time you are meeting. Make yourself see everything without the weight of history and without your preconceptions about what he is saying and what he means and what he will do.

Maybe you can break out of old patterns of behavior and response, and maybe this will allow you to get closer to where you want to go.

One other suggestion. Allow yourself to be stupid. Ask questions as if you don’t know what he means. Forget what you know. You may be reading things into his communication that don’t really help you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Maybe you can break out of old patterns of behavior and response, and maybe this will allow you to get closer to where you want to go. Well said, @wundayatta.

jca's avatar

You know what I was thinking? He travels for a living, upsets his wife with his inconsideration, they don’t sleep together. He is so inconsiderate he apparently forgot to pick up @cazzie at the ER. Then read on and see that he could stay “on vessels” for free but chooses to spend money he does not have (@cazzie described it as the kids Christmas money) staying in expensive hotels. It makes me wonder if he is fooling around. Why the need for expensive hotels? Just wondering.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh God…

cazzie's avatar

@jca No, not fooling around. I can honestly see right through him when it comes to that. He just insists on the ‘better things’ in life. He feels the expense is justified because it is a perk of his job. He doesnt see the money as being an issue.. just me. Not only that, he doesn’t know the state of the ships or what the town is going to look like or how safe it is. I get it sometimes, but sometimes I think he indulges himself at our expense. One time, his accommodation didn’t get booked and the thought he would stay aboard ship, but there were no berths. He ended up sleeping on a pallet with plastic wrap for a blanket. No alcohol on board either and he would be at the mercy of the food on board. Finer things, see. Today, for example, he got a tip on a beautiful sea side restaurant near Pisa, so he probably got in a taxi and went. It is hard not to be resentful of that, when all I have is fish sticks, nor does he take any of that into consideration when he comes home. I do not go out for drinks and dinner. Each year, I can count the number of times I get out without kids on one hand.

@wundayatta I like your idea about ´meeting for the first time´ and I am going to suggest that as a way to move forward when we go to therapy. No reason to keep beating on the same old ‘dead horse’ subjects. The speed bump you refer to is resentment and Oh, boy is it a big one. As for his money management problems, I have been trying to work WITH him on that for 10 years, but he lies about things or avoids giving me answers that would make me worry, so, I don’t know what I don’t know, until the phone starts ringing and I over hear him talking to collection agents, or, in this last instance, the power company sent a letter and I had to call them myself to find out what the story was because he was gone. I don’t know what I don’t know. As for other things, it is easy to misinterpret silence.

The only solution for me is to break with what I have been doing and do something completely different with my life. If I don’t go back to school and get a job here I will continually be fucked.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@cazzie I’m going to admit first that I just skimmed all of the above responses. My first thought: His “rudeness” sounds unintentional to me. From your words alone, you are viewing him with subjective glasses. For your relationship to work long-term, you’ll need to alter your perspective. Start viewing him and these situations objectively.

You & I have a similar homelife. My husband and son have been formally diagnosed with AS.

Asperger’s is also known as the “A” trifecta:
-Autism
-ADD/ADHD
-Anxiety

The flight situation you detailed above is nearly impossible for a fella with ADD or ADHD to plan for without becoming anxious. The actaul pre-planning may be too daunting of a task without some assistance from you. My guess is that your husband is brillant at his career, but is coming off as not-so-bright to you when he does stuff like this around the house.

Whether your husband gets formally diagnosed matters not. How you both handle his actions and reactions is really what counts in your life together.

If he is huffy or put-out by your requests, you will have to attempt to speak his language. He is most likely mis-interpreting your request and is either taking it as snide, or nit-picky. I have learned I need to outright state, “When you do this it hurts me.” then I give examples of the ways in which I am affected by his actions.

I am going to recommend two books that have/are still working to create a more consistently pleasant relationship for my husband & I:

The Journal of Best Practices This book is like a text book example of an AS/NT marriage. It’s eery how similar it is to my actual marriage. My husband & I went to a book signing and spoke with the author. My husband was thrilled to find a book written by an adult, that clearly articulated the daily thoughts in his head.

Next, **I can’t live without this book: Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships

It is the only adult relationship book that hasn’t been depressing….also it’s the only book I’ve found that relates to real-life with actual solutions spelled out.

We’re going to be in therapy for some time. The books above have assisted us both in figuring out how to adjust our own expectations of one another and how to communicate to the opposite brain type.

I’m sorry to say that there is no simple fix or alteration to be made @cazzie. That said, I do think you may need to straight out tell him that if he will leave for a flight early in the AM, you will need him to pack and get ready the night before, and you will need him to sleep in another place.

The long-term solution to this if you really want it to work will take some expectation alterations on your end. It’s not simple. I have learned and am in the process of honing my part in my healthy co-dependent marriage.

cazzie's avatar

thanks, @SpatzieLover . I am going to be trying to read what I can and get my head around things.

He LOVES his travelling. There isn’t any negative anxiety about him hopping on planes every other week. He has anxiety when he stays here at home.

He has now been formally diagnosed. It is ADD with non-specific Autistic behaviours. He is still going to a psychologist and I am hoping that we can get into therapy together. I feel like we need a third party in the room at this stage to mediate. Any serious discussions soon dissolves into a pile of shit.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My husband & I read your response together @cazzie. My husband isn’t great with travel, mostly because it’s a rarity for him. But, from his perspective, for your husband the travel is his norm. So, when he comes home everything surrounding him feels like chaos. He most likely is sensory overloaded.

He needs a longer transition between work life & home life. If he won’t establish this on his own, then you’ll need to institute a down time for him. That may mean that he’d need an hour or two of alone time (no kids/no wife) after he gets home from a flight.

Once he’s ready to re-integrate into family life, you’ll have to set the boundaries. He needs to agree that after transition time he comes to the family with a positive attitude. If you are bringing him up to speed on family matters, he’s not allowed to judge your parenting, be egocentric, or to think only of himself.

When my husband transitions, he reads over a notebook of rules and tips he’s set for himself. Your husband may need to work with his psychologist on putting something together. Prior to his next therapy appointment, you may want to write down common issues you are having with written examples/conversational sticking points.

I am with you @cazzie. I know how isolating and all-encompassing this can be.

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