No matter what anyone tells you, trucker relationships are challenging. Trucker wives and their trucker husbands (or the other way around), face a multitude of difficult issues.
The issues are not truly understood completely by anyone who hasn’t been in a relationship with a truck driver.
A trucking job is a tough one and comes with many stresses. It’s nothing new. Trucking has always been that way. That will NEVER change.
Both partners have difficult roles to fulfill. In a positive, workable partnership, both must GIVE more than they take in order that the arrangement works smoothly.
Here’s a few ideas to help trucker relationships not only survive the stresses and hardships of a trucking career, but also make for a good, healthy strong relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Trucker Relationship Secrets
Spend As Much Time Together As Possible
This is the number one thing that tears apart marriages and relationships, no matter what you do for a living. With a trucker’s career, It’s nearly impossible to master this issue 100%. But if both of you are aware that lack of time together is a real deal breaker, then you can both work toward making your partnership better, by working hard at this.
When you are home, be sure you have sufficient alone time together. ……together with kids, in-laws, the neighbors, football buddies or friends, DOES NOT count.
Experts say happy couples get 2 hours per day and no less than 15 hours per week, total alone hours. The 2 hours per day quota certainly goes out the window if you’re a long haul trucker, and the 15 hour per week rule is a challenge too. Strive for this goal even though it isn’t always possible
Tip #1 Plan for dates with each other. Go out for dinner, even it’s only for a burger or a pizza. Send the kids to the grandparents for the evening, preferably overnight.
BBQ some dinner or get take-out and just enjoy each other’s company.
Get a chance to talk and stay ‘tuned’ to each other.
Find and plan for things to do together. Making a special appointment or date with your spouse is very healthy for a relationship. It shows your partner that you choose to be with them and set aside special time to be with them without any other distractions.
This is probably the most difficult task to master in trucker relationships…. there just never seems to be enough hours in the day… especially for long haul truckers.
Learn How to Handle Stress
Both the trucker and the spouse (other half) have their own stresses. Due to the long periods the truck driver is away from home, when the couple are together, they want their problems and worries to be heard and recognized by the other.
It’s also a fact that the stay-at-home partner is often stuck with lots of mundane, repetitive chores: kids and their issues, pets, household maintenance, paying bills, maybe full or part time jobs, everyday issues.
They must deal with EVERYTHING that comes along, no matter what it is. They manage to build up one heck of a resume: plumber, mechanic, book-keeper, vet, doctor, multi-tasker, you name it. It’s not an easy role to play. Coping with the pressures of everyday life can be a challenge and it’s stressful.
The truck driver encounters many stresses on the road. So when the couple gets together, it’s only natural to want to unload their worries on each other.
This is often grounds for a collision…. a big argument. Both the trucker and their spouse want to be heard (have their feelings validated, as the experts say). Both want the other to know the hardships they’ve endured over the past few weeks.
Tip #2 Don’t make the mistake of taking out your stresses and frustrations on your partner.
If you’re overly stressed, be sure to let your partner know that you are feeling pretty tense at the time and REASSURE them it’s NOT their fault. Reassure them that you don’t feel any differently about them, because you are upset. This will often ease the tension and PREVENT unnecessary arguments.
Don’t waste your at home-time arguing with each other. Time together is too precious for those in trucker relationships.
Tip #3 Find ways to combat your stress levels. Reading, exercising, watching television etc. are great ways to unwind.
Keep Those Communication Lines Open
Both the trucker and their spouse, commonly suffer from feelings of loneliness and being unappreciated…..completely understandable.
Tip #4 Be sure to tell your spouse that you admire and respect them for all the big and little things they do for you. Talk about the things you do for each other and for your family, too. After all, these are things you do for one another out of love.
Don’t belittle the role of your spouse. Each partner has an important role. This is VERY DAMAGING to a partnership. It’s demeaning and it’s cruel. It takes ‘two’ to make the whole thing work.
TIP #5 Lots of chat and open communication is a good thing. Men need to understand that women deal best with things if they can talk about it…… it helps them cope. On the other hand, men have a tendency to avoid talking about issues, to make them go away, which often really stresses the woman!
Opposite, right? Try to meet somewhere in the middle.
Trucker Relationships: The Relationship Must Be First
Couples should agree and make a deal, that when it comes to important things, their relationship always comes first.
One of the biggest complaint of about trucker relationships, is the complaint from some trucker’s wives, that their hubby trucker seems like they’d rather be married to their truck. Don’t let this be you.
If it’s a must, spend some time for maintenance on the truck, but use your brain. If you over do it, your other half will be left feeling rejected. You may soon find yourself kicking stones down the road, and alone.
There are often choices to be made in life. Keep your other half in mind too, when you make these choices, not just yourself.
TIP #6 Always a simple and great happy relationship tip for any couple: tell your other half often, they are the most important person in your life…… and mean it.
Have Contact With Each Other, Every Day
This is vital. Having contact with your other half daily, reaffirms the relationship. It’s an opportunity to chat, even if only briefly about little things, the days events or just to hear their voice.
If either has difficulty expressing their feelings during a phone chat, that’s ok. Practice… work on it…. it’ll get easier with time.
Guys…it is NOT sissy, or stupid or unmanly to tell your significant other how you feel about them. In fact, it’s very sexy, you know! Just a few words of expression right from the heart, will go a heck of a long way.
It’s a little easier being in a marriage with a trucker, than it was 20 years ago…. Yep, cell phones. Cell phones, texting, email etc…. there’s lots of ways to stay in touch. Take advantage of it. It helps keep your relationship strong.
TIP #7 One call or text per day. Minimum. EVERYONE has the time to do this. It’s one of the best pieces of advice for any relationship, especially relationships with a trucker.
Trust is the Key to Successful Trucker Relationships
Face it. Couples either trust one another or they don’t…. not really any gray area here.
For the stay at home spouse, find things to do that you genuinely enjoy doing, to occupy your spare time. Try to avoid constantly stressing and worrying about what your trucker is doing 24/7. It’ll drive you crazy.
For the truckers who have spare time on their hands when on the road, there’s plenty of leisure activities: watching some tv, reading, call home etc.
There must already be high level of trust embedded in trucker relationships. If not, the whole thing will be headed for the rocks. It won’t improve when your trucker is on the road. In fact, the feelings of mistrust will grow and fester.
There is nothing more straining on a relationship than spending time checking phone records, scanning the sleeper berth, sniffing the air for perfume in the truck, or other spy tactics. If you’re doing this now, pack it in. There’s no hope.
Don’t second guess yourself. If things are not working out, seek professional help from a marriage or relationship counsellor or psychologist. Getting another opinion doesn’t mean you are weak, or stupid or unstable. Sometimes, it’s necessary to get another point of view, to help you see your situation in a different light…. someone who can guide you in making decisions for change.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go. But you need to respect yourself and know that you deserve a happy, stable relationship. Get out if you need to.
Tip #8 Master the trust issue, this if you REALLY want a happy relationship with a trucker. If there’s that all important trust element, there’s the greatest chance for trucker relationships to survive and make the whole thing work.
Honesty is a must, not an option.
TIP #9 Another great tip…..Write a heart-felt note. Truckers can hide it in a place in the house and tell their spouse where it is during a phone call. Same for the at-home partner…. tuck in the the trucker’s packed clothes, for them to find when on the road. This is an awesome little gesture that builds a strong connection in a relationship.
Success doesn’t come easy in trucker relationships. But if you are willing to work at it and give it everything you’ve got, chances are you’ll not only survive, but thrive and have a happy, contented partnership.
To sum it all up in a nutshell……. if a couple isn’t stable initially, a trucking career has the power to destroy what’s left of it.
Happy, strong couples can also have trouble surviving a trucking career.
However, it always takes 2 to make any partnership work. A trucking job presents a unique set of challenges. It’s not an impossible task, but trucker relationships do require lots of work and constant attention to keep the love alive and keep it going for a life time.