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Carolyn Hax / Life Advice

Color-Coded Calendar

Dear Carolyn,

I'm in a relationship with a great guy. We're talking marriage. Everything for the most part is wonderful, except for a communication issue that has become our "repeat fight."

I am a planner, and he is not. I'm on the road for work a few times a month, and he works overnights and sometimes goes for two weeks without a day off. We'd never see each other if I didn't size up our schedules and plan ahead -- at least, that's my opinion.

He says this kind of weekly micromanaging is stressful for him. His job already demands enough, and having to chart out his few free days freaks him out. He promises we're going to see each other without the constant planning because he misses me and will prioritize me.

He HAS always put our relationship first, so I don't doubt his best intentions. In his perfect world, he'd call me after work to see if I was free, and if I wasn't, he'd ask about tomorrow or the next day.

But I'd always be in limbo, still inclined to look at my schedule and keep a few days a week free to essentially be "on call" for hanging out whenever he decides he wants to. It doesn't seem fair.

In the end we both want the same thing: to see each other. Where is our middle ground? Do I need to give his way a try?

-- Color-Coded Calendar

Yes, if only because you apparently haven't.

You have, meanwhile, been color-coding his free days for quite some time. You think you'd never see each other, but you both know tight scheduling stresses him out.

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