What is the life of a trucker’s wife like? What are you to expect? And how do you cope when you are married to a truck driver? There’s no sugar-coating it, the trucker lifestyle is very unbelievable and challenging. Long days or weeks tend to take its toll on even the strongest of relationships, and it takes a huge combination of patience, determination, and understanding to navigate the bumps in the road.
Even an experienced trucker’s wife will tell you that life with a man on the road is a challenge. When the car breaks down, the bulbs die out or the kids get in trouble requiring an urgent parent/teacher conference, the husband might not be there to offer a helping hand.
These are things trucker’s wives have to deal with when husbands are plying the roads and routes. But then, with time these women tend to get used to it and sometimes they even laugh about it. However, those occurrences can be annoying when you are new to the life.
Indeed, when you are new, every gap and crisis seems very serious, every task seems more challenging and every week your man is gone feels more like a whole year. But so many good women have been through it and while they still have their own moments of despair, they have learnt to adjust accordingly. Attitude and experience make all the difference.
Whether you are a new or seasoned trucker’s wife, your struggle is noted and well acknowledged. Here are some of the ways the trucking lifestyle commonly affects marriages and the things you are expected to experience as a Trucker’s Wife.
Things To Expect When You Are A Trucker’s Wife
Communication Is Hard
Aligning or being on the same page with your significant other is often challenging enough when you are sharing the same bedroom every day, much less when you are in different states or even time zones. From creating a budget to coordinating childcare, every family decision tends to require input from both parties—which is more or less impossible when your husband is always the road.
Mixed messages and crossed wires can even evolve into fraught conversations and high emotions. And what happens if there’s an emergency and you can’t reach your partner on time? This is the point where patience and understanding becomes very imperative.
Every truck driver’s wife has likely asked the same question: “How long will you be gone this time?” Indeed one of the most common hardships among trucking families is without doubt the sheer number of days that your loved one is away. Relationships are hard to sustain when one partner is consistently in another part of the country.
This can be very challenging if your family, friends, or other support system doesn’t live nearby to spend some of those hours with you. While this may feel lonely or isolating—especially if you are raising kids—it can also be a great opportunity to connect with friends, start new hobbies, and maybe even explore areas in your town that your significant other isn’t particularly interested in.
The Worry Is Real
Just like it was mentioned above, creating a communication routine can help with some of these stress. Knowing your trucker’s route and staying aware of the road conditions while they’re gone can also help you stop playing the game of “What if…?”
The Children Also Feel It
For trucking families, another challenging part of the road is missing precious time with your children. Most times, little ones may not understand why their parent is frequently gone, and the emotional toll of missing them extends throughout the whole household.
Planning Becomes Impossible
Have it in mind that the road waits for nothing—not even Christmas. Although it tends to depend on what your loved one is hauling, you may not know what route they’ll be on from one week to the next, making it nearly impossible to schedule things ahead of time.
That concert you both want to see might not even work out. Your child’s parent-teacher conferences or birthdays might not even bring them into town. Whatever your trucker’s circumstances, you’ll likely spend at least a few holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other meaningful dates without them.
Income Can Go Scarce
Agreeably, truck driving can be quite lucrative, but note that your family may sometimes go through periods where the routes aren’t as plentiful and the pay checks simply aren’t coming in as much as before. This is without doubt a massive issue when there’s a mortgage to pay, groceries to buy, and school supplies to replenish.
You Become More Independent
It is normal to rely on your partners for things simply because you can—not because you actually need their help (though it’s always appreciated). When your loved one is a trucker, however, you don’t have the luxury of someone else picking up half of the slack.
When they are not around, it is an opportunity to discover a different level of independence in your day-to-day life. From things both small (taking yourself to a movie, fixing a broken pipe, mowing the lawn) and large (making medical decisions for your family, adopting a pet), you’ll find you are more and more comfortable being the ultimate do-err and decider when your trucker is away.
Tips on How to Cope as a Trucker’s Wife
Being a trucker’s wife can be lucrative but challenging at the same time. One of the hardest parts of being married to a truck driver is nights, and sometimes weeks, without your husband. Nonetheless, here are few tips to help you survive the turmoil that comes with being a Trucker’s Wife.
Learn the Language
Have it in mind that truckers have a very specific vocabulary and slang they use. To outsiders that vocabulary can more or less sound like Spanish and create distance between you and the trucker. One of the most loving things you can do is to spend some time learning this language. It helps you better understand him, and lets him see that you are supportive.
Do a Run With Him
Note that being married to a trucker makes both of you feel like there is a wide space between you in your marriage. Most times you feel constantly separated from each other, so why not take that wedge out and join him? Indeed 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.
As a Trucker’s Wife anytime your husband is on the road, you will definitely feel lonely, but you don’t have to be alone. Instead of sitting at 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, neighbours, 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.
Create Your Own Activities and Interests
Irrespective of the job or children you have to manage while your husband is working, you need to have time for you. It’s advised 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 needs to happen. Always treat yourself right and keep yourself busy. By having more in your world beyond waiting for your husband, you can enrich your life with more purpose and meaning.
Talk about Birthdays
You have to first understand that 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. While for some, 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.
So before you start making plans for any celebration or 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. Just try to communicate and be transparent about what you want to do with a birthday so everyone can be happy.
Make Time for Your Kids
Of course you can understand that your husband needs to be on the road for long periods of time, but it can be very challenging for a kid to understand why their dad missed an important game or concert. To help fight against having a distant father, always ensure 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.
According to experts, a good 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 imperative to your kids to feel their dad’s love and attention.
Always Stay in Touch Daily
Just like we already know, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but neither of you wants to be isolated from those who love you. Try to stay connected as a trucker’s wife. Always ensure 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 are separated by thousands of miles.
“I’ll be home this weekend” are infamous last words of every trucking family phone call. Note that he might have the inclinations 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 can alter those plans.
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.
Remember that both you and your husband need to be honest with each other if you always want to surmount the struggles that come with trucking. As soon as there are secrets in your marriage you will slowly drift apart from each other.
Remember that both of you must be committed to being painfully honest and transparent. Agreeably, sometimes the 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. Always be honest about your feelings, fears, wins, losses, highs, and lows of your days. Be honest.
You’ll Need Thick Skin
Always remember that as a Trucker’s wife you don’t have time for hate. Irrespective of 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.
The Distance Will Be Hard, But You Can Still Enjoy A Happy Marriage
It can be tempting when your husband leaves to take it personally. However, it is pertinent to remember that although your husband did leave, he is doing this because of his love for you, not in spite of you. It is never his intention to run 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.
Focus on Trust
Remember that being married to a truck driver means your husband is going to be on the road, and you are going to be at home, sometimes for weeks at a time. Once you do not trust each other, you are in for a hard time. You husband 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 paramount and imperative to build 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. Although 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.
Note that just like in any other relationship, you should feel treated as a priority over the job. Always ensure 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.
Plan for Your Anniversary
Marriage is a beautiful thing, and you anniversary is an important date, but sometimes having a strict date for your husband to be home can’t always happen. A critical 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.
Move Major Holidays
You your family holidays can be important where traditions are built. However, the trucking industry doesn’t take holidays. Products still need to be delivered, and often there’s a growing need around the holidays to make sure other families have the gifts, presents, decorations, and food they need for their festivities.
If you have the chance to be together for the holidays, always ensure 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.
The life of a trucker’s wife is never easy but it can be rewarding. Your husband has a profession you can both be proud of. He works hard to take care of you and your family. Most likely he has a good paying job, good benefits and is able to provide for your family well.
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.