Being a trucker’s wife can be rewarding but trying at the same time. One of the hardest parts of being married to a truck driver is nights, and sometimes weeks, without your husband. Here are 15 pieces of advice and tips about making the most of being married to a truck driver.
Being married to a truck driver means your husband is going to be on the road, and you’re going to be at home, sometimes for weeks at a time. If you do not trust each other, you’re in for a hard time. He has to trust that you will manage the home and stay faithful to him while he’s away. You have to trust that he will stay faithful to you and come home safe. Trust is key and essential to strengthening your relationship, and both of you must make it a high priority.
Some truckers seem to be married to their truck first, and their wife second. You deserve to be a priority in his life. This can be difficult at times because he can’t drop everything and come running to your aid whenever you want, but you shouldn’t feel forgotten or tossed to the side in the relationship. Just like in any other relationship, you should feel treated as a priority over the job. Make sure there are clear standards and expectations of what you are willing to go through, and what things are too much for you. Having expectations and boundaries will help both of you know what to expect and require from your relationship.
Your anniversary is an important date, but sometimes having a strict date for your husband to be home can’t always happen. An important part of being a trucker’s wife is being willing to be flexible. Even with the best planning and preparation, anniversaries might have to be moved forward or back to be able to celebrate them together.
Holidays can be important family events where traditions are built. Unfortunately, the trucking industry doesn’t take holidays. Products still need to be delivered, and often there’s a higher need around the holidays to make sure other families have the gifts, presents, decorations, and food they need for their holiday festivities. If you have the chance to be together for the holidays, make sure to spend meaningful and purposeful time together. If you are unable to be together, move the holiday. Your family can still celebrate the holiday, but choose to have it earlier or later than everyone else. Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s Day can still be full of unity and family if moved a week later or earlier.
Everyone views birthdays differently. For some people, their birthday is just another day and going to bed earlier that night is a great birthday present. For others, their birthday turns into their birth-week or birth-month celebration and if there isn’t cake, balloons, presents, and at least one person trying to sing the high part to Happy Birthday to You, something has gone wrong. Before you plan anything with birthdays, you have to know what is expected from those birthdays. You might like more celebration around your birthday, but your husband might be perfectly okay with doing a long haul on the day of his birthday. You need to communicate and be transparent about what you want to do with a birthday so everyone can be happy.
With kids, a trucker’s life becomes more complicated. You might be able to understand that your husband needs to be on the road for long periods of time, but it can be difficult for a kid to understand why their dad missed an important game or concert. To help fight against having a distant father, make sure your kids have constant contact with their dad while he is on the road. Daily phone calls work, but don’t forget texting, video chats, pictures, and video sharing applications. A great tradition to get into is letting your husband have dedicated time when he gets home to catch up on what has happened. Have your husband watch any missed concerts and look through every picture with your kids. While nothing can be as good as being there in the moment, it’s important to your kids to feel their dad’s love and attention to those events.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, but neither of you wants to be isolated from those who love you. Stay connected as a trucker’s wife. Make sure it becomes standard practice that both of you reach out to each other throughout the day. It hurts while he’s gone, but you can still talk, chat, and communicate about your days even if you’re separated by thousands of miles.
Truckers have a very specific vocabulary and slang that they use. To outsiders that vocabulary can sometimes sound like gibberish and create distance between you and the trucker. One of the most loving things you can do is to spend some time learning his language. It helps you better understand him, and lets him see that you are supportive and invested.
Being married to a trucker makes both of you feel like there is a giant wedge between you in your marriage. You feel constantly separated from each other, so why not take that wedge out and join him? Joining him on the road will give you insight into what he does, and give you quality time together. With some planning, you can turn a run of his into a paid family vacation and adventure.
When your husband is on the road, you might feel lonely, but you don’t have to be alone. Rather than sitting in your home waiting for your husband to show back up, reach out to the community around you and find support. Find other wives of truckers, friends, neighbors, church members, or family that will be there for you when you need help. Having a support network you trust and can turn to when times get hard is invaluable.
Even if you have a job and children to manage while your husband is working, you need to have time for you. You need to make sure you have time to do what you enjoy. It might not be easy or cheap to find a babysitter, but finding time to do something as simple as going out to a movie you want to see needs to happen. Treat yourself right and keep yourself busy. By having more in your world beyond work and waiting for your husband, you can enrich your life with more purpose and meaning.
“I’ll be home by Friday” are infamous last words of every trucking family phone call. He might have a goal of being home by a certain date or time, but weather, traffic, slow dock workers, a truck malfunction, a backed-up weight and measures scale, or a host of other issues come into play. These delays are not your husband’s fault. You have to be flexible with your time to work with his very flexible and malleable schedule. To expect that he must keep a strict schedule is not fair to him, and will only lead you to disappointment.
Both you and your husband have to be honest with each other. As soon as there are secrets in your marriage you will slowly drift apart from each other. Both of you must be committed to being painfully honest and transparent. Sometimes truths are unpleasant or uncomfortable, but it is better to be honest and deal with those uncomfortable truths, rather than keep them hiding and let them grow. Be honest about your feelings, fears, wins, losses, highs, and lows of your days. Be honest.
You don’t have time for hate. No matter how much you filter your contacts, there’s going to be some ignorant and offensive ideas about truckers and trucking families. It will hurt when you hear some of the offensive and degrading things some people say, but you must stay strong. Don’t let hurtful or narrow sighted people define who you are.
It can be tempting when your husband leaves to take it personally. It is important to remember that although your husband did leave, he is doing this because of his love for you, not in spite of you. He is not running away from you. He is not hiding from your family. He is not avoiding you. He loves you so much that he’s trying to provide you with the best life he can give you. He is driving for you, not away from you.
Being a trucker’s wife gives you the chance to make the most of the times you have together. These skills are invaluable to your relationship, and using them will help you come closer together and have a long-lasting connection.