Over-the-road trucking puts an unusual amount of strain on a marriage whether you are the married trucker or the trucker wife or husband. The spouse on the road and the one at home endure loneliness as well as their own unique stresses. It’s very difficult to maintain intimacy and joy with each other when you go days, weeks and sometimes months without seeing each other. Fears of infidelity often arise also. Thankfully, there are ways to combat these problems so both halves of the marriage feel supported and rewarded by their relationship.
Make sure that you contact your spouse at least once every day. A Monster.com article on trucker wives suggests that you may want to talk to your spouse at every three- to five-hour interval. Do whichever amount works for you, but aim for as much speaking time as possible, because the more you can communicate with your spouse, the better. By calling home often, it can seem more like you’re actually together because you’re still a part of daily events in each other’s lives.
A smart-trucking.com piece on trucker wives and spouses suggests that the two of you may want to share heart-felt notes to be found while you are apart. The trucker can leave the note hidden somewhere in the home and tell their spouse where to find it during one of their daily phone calls. Or, the trucker wife or husband can hide a note in the trucker’s items to be carried with them on the road. This is a meaningful and tangible way to show your love for each other at the crucial time, when you are separated.
Tell each other about songs you hear or movies you watch so the other can experience them too. You’ll enjoy more of the sense that you’re doing them together. In fact, on the trucker’s scheduled hours off, you could be on the phone listening to music or watching movies at the same time.
The smart-trucking article also stresses that you and the trucker wife or husband spend quality time together without the kids or anyone else to distract you from each other. So, if you’re home for four days, spend a certain amount of that with the family group and a certain sacred time alone with your spouse.
Don’t just lounge around at home during that sacred alone time. Go on dates, do special things together (even if they’re at home), or do something you used to do when you were dating.
In the Monster article, Kathy Harders suggested that you celebrate events and holidays when the trucker will be home rather than trying to stick to the calendar. The spouse might have Christmas early or late(the kids will appreciate early), or do part of Christmas while the trucker is home and save some for the actual day so kids don’t feel left out when their friends are celebrating Christmas.
Eliminate the sense that you’re living a separate life your spouse knows nothing about by sharing it with them. Take photos and videos of things you see (not while you’re driving), and tell them about things that happen to you. Big Truck Driving Jobs suggests that you bring home gifts from the places you visit while on the road.
The trucker and the trucker wife or husband need a lot of love and support from their spouse. It’s difficult to do this with limited time together and so many things occurring while you’re apart, so it’s important to make the most of every opportunity you get. Smart-trucking says it is crucial to give more than you take, to tell your spouse that you admire and respect them, and never belittle your spouse’s role.
Expanding on smart-trucking’s idea, let’s set a ratio for how much giving to do. Therapist Dr. Gottman created a “magic ratio” of 5:1. In his theory, you want both partners to have five times as many positive associations with each other as you have negative. If you don’t want to do the math on it, just try to make sure you have noticeably more positive interactions with your spouse as you have negative ones.
Some people take their spouses on the road with them. This could be excellent when you don’t have kids yet or the kids are grown. Some people even take their small children with them. You’ll have to determine what your trucking company allows. Ask them about their rider policies. They may have age restrictions, health requirements and lengths of time that determine your ability to do it.
A growing number of couples engage in team trucking. Similar to taking your spouse with you, it is particularly suited to those without kids or whose kids are grown. What is very different is that both partners make money with team trucking and you get the jobs done more quickly because one of you can drive while the other rests. Of course, this requires that both people get or have a CDL license.
While the trucking lifestyle is a strain on any marriage, these tips should lessen its impact. Remember to set frequent and meaningful communication as a top priority and to spend the time you have with your trucker wife or husband deliberately. You want to be supportive of each other and to create as many positive interactions with each other as possible to guard against the negative impacts of the trucker life.