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. These issues are not truly understood 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 to create the foundations for a solid relationship.
Here are 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
Surviving the Relationships Hardships in a Truck Driving Career
Tip #1 – 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 doubles the effort involved in creating a healthy relationship between you and your spouse. However, there are ways to maximize the time you do spend together so you can tolerate your time apart.
To start, when you are back home from your trucking route, be sure you have sufficient alone time together. While spending time together with kids, in-laws, the neighbors, football buddies or friends can be fun or relaxing, this doesn’t count! This needs to be time for you and your spouse ONLY.
Experts say happy couples get 2 hours per day and no less than 15 hours per week together exclusively. The 2 hours per day quota certainly goes out the window if you’re a long haul trucker and the 15 hours per week rule is a challenge too. Strive for this goal even though it isn’t always possible.
When you are home, plan for dates with each other. Get a chance to talk and stay ‘tuned’ to each other. Date nights don’t have to be complicated. You know what you both enjoy but sometimes simple dates are the best.
- Go out for dinner, even it’s only for a burger or a pizza.
- BBQ some dinner or get take-out and just enjoy each other’s company.
- Send the kids to the grandparents for the evening, preferably overnight.
- Find and plan for things to do together.
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.
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.
Tip #2 – Learn How to Handle Daily Stress
Both the trucker and the spouse (other half) have their own stresses. Truck drivers are away for long periods of time. A trucker and their spouse lead very different lives no matter how much they share in common.
When a couple is finally reunited at home, that doesn’t mean the stresses of life don’t settle in. Each side of a relationship wants 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 also 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 can result. 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.
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 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. It is especially important not to belittle their stress. You are both experiencing different lifestyles and both come with their own burdens.
Don’t waste your at home-time arguing with each other. Time together is too precious for those in trucker relationships. It is best to find ways to combat your stress levels.
Reading, exercising, finding a productive or creative hobby and getting outside are great ways to unwind. Find a way to get your stress out and be honest with your partner if you are too overwhelmeD.
Tip #3 – Be Open & Honest With Your Trucking Spouse
Both the trucker and their spouse, commonly suffer from loneliness and feeling unappreciated. This is completely understandable. This is often because neither spouse is there to experience or support their partner during tough days. It’s when the distance is felt the most.
You may not want to complain or feel that your problems aren’t big enough to tell to your partner. This isn’t true. You should share the good and bad times with them. Just be certain that you aren’t making them feel blamed or isolated.
You can help your partner feel appreciated by simply telling them. 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.
Lots of chat and open communication is a good thing. This goes both ways.
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.
Tip #4 – Your Relationship With Your Partner Must Come First
Couples should agree and make a deal, that when it comes to important things, their relationship always comes first.
One of the biggest complaints in trucker relationships is that truckers often marry their truck first and their partner second. Don’t let this be you. Don’t get me wrong. You should be proud of your truck driving career, but you have also committed your life to another person. At the end of the day, they should be your top priority.
If it’s a must, spend some time for maintenance on your rig, but use your brain.
If you overdo it, your other half will be left feeling rejected. This goes back to scheduling time for your spouse. It is easy to let time slip by when you’re focused on work but don’t forget to make your spouse feel special too.
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.
Another great tip is to write a heartfelt 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 the note in 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.
Related Article > 10 Easy to Implement Health Tips For the Trucker
Tip #5 – 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 and it will get easier with time.
Ladies…sometimes you have to pry information out of your partner or husband. And sometimes they may not understand why you are stressed about something.
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.
Even when you are on the road, spending time together is key to a healthy trucker relationship. The invention of Face time, Skype, and other video call apps makes getting some face-to-face time a lot easier.
As much as you can, schedule video calls and audio calls so you two can stay connected. Even just short catch-up at the end of the day keeps you and your spouse on the same page and helps improve your relationship overall.
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.
Tip #6 – Trust is the Key to Successful Trucker Relationships
Face it. Couples either trust one another or they don’t. There’s 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 a 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, stupid or unstable. Sometimes, it’s necessary to get another point of view, to help you see your situation in a different light. A third-party individual can be objective and can guide both of you to make the right decision.
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.
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.
Related >How To Handle Truck Driver Burn Out
Tip #7 – Never Stop Working At Your Relationship
It’s really important to keep working at keeping your relationship healthy. It’s a task that has no end.
Simple Advice for Dating a Trucker
Understand that you’re getting involved in a difficult relationship. Depending on the route your partner runs, your truck driving spouse could be gone for weeks at a time. It is hard to not feel lonely. It is CRUCIAL that you value, trust and respect your partner. The distance can compound insecurities.
If at all possible, go on the road with your spouse. Not only will this give you an idea of what they experience day-to-day but will also give you some wonderful time to spend together.
The most important thing to do is be honest with yourself. If you struggle with trust issues, self-esteem issues or separation anxiety then dating a truck driving is not a good idea. Be honest with yourself and be honest with your partner.
If it is too tough then you should allow yourself and your partner to move on and find happiness elsewhere. It’s a difficult decision.
Simple Advice for Truckers Wanting a Relationship
Have an established regular route before you get involved with anyone is a good idea. New truck drivers or truck drivers switching companies can face a lot of stress and unpredictable routes during the first year. This adds a lot of stress and worry to even well-established relationships.
Make sure you find a partner that knows what it is like to date a trucker. If they have no experience with long distance relationships then do your best to take things slow.
Trucking Will Make Or Break Your 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.
When 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 two 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 lifetime.