Being the spouse of an over the road truck driver sure puts a new spin on the definition of marriage. If you’ve been married to a trucker for a long time now, you’ve probably adjusted to the lifestyle, if you’re new to the trucking industry – don’t fear – there is still room for love and marriage and happily ever after.
Over the years, we have heard some bad analogies for what it is like to be in a relationship with a truck driver. A lot of these come from people who just don’t understand, and can’t comprehend, the lifestyle. Here are a few you may be familiar with:
Imbecile: “So it’s like being single for most of the month,”
Trucker Spouse: “Umm, NO! I’m Married, remember!”
Simpleton: “Oh, you’re like a single parent,”
Trucker Spouse: “Yeah, with the benefits of a stable, two-parent, two income home . . .”
There are a lot more, but you get the point. Being married to a truck driver is none of those. If we had to compare it to anything, it is a lot more like a long-distance relationship – although not even that fully explains the lifestyle.
The trucker lifestyle is not for everyone. If you have sound, solid foundation built on trust, security and open communication, you’ll make so long as you work at it – as is needed for any marriage. If your relationship is balancing on insecurities, mistrust, and lack of communication, you are going to have to take a deeper look at both your marriage and your career choice.
Your marriage may be untraditional but, chances are, it is going to be a long and happy one.
Communication is Key
Dimwit: “Your spouse is always away; how do you even talk?”
Trucker Spouse: “Ummm . . . there are these things called phones and the internet . . .”
Communication is at the top of the list for any relationship, if it doesn’t exist then you are not going to get very far down the path of happily ever after. Keeping the lines of open communication going strong in a trucker relationship requires the use of technology – Skype, Facetime, texting, and so on. If we had to guess, which we are going to do, we’d say that trucker’s and their spouses probably chat more, text more and talk more than average married couple, well . . . those who have put a plan in place and developed strong communication channels anyways.
Develop rituals for communication and try to communicate as if you weren’t separated by miles of highway.
Sending a simple good morning or good night text is a simple way to say, “I’m thinking of you.” Did you see something peculiar on your way to work this morning? Send a picture. Check in and ask how the other’s day is going during lunch break. Make time to talk in the evenings to vent and laugh and share your days. It’s simple really, just use the tools that you have and don’t let the miles separate you when with the push of a button, they can be right next to you.
Be Careful of Outside Advise
Ignoramus: “Your marriage is doomed; don’t you know the trucker divorce rate is 75%?”
Trucker Spouse: “Actually the divorce rate for truckers is 19.14% (trust us, you’re not the only one who Googled it), well below the national average, so my marriage has a better chance of making it than your does.” MIC DROP.
Outsiders, do not understand what it takes to keep the flow of a trucking relationship together. A lot of this stems from their own insecurities about their own relationships. Some people are just not built for a long distance relationship, and they can’t fathom what it takes because they have never done it. They may be the needy type, who must be connected by the hip to their spouse, or the jealous type, or the insecure type . . . when they start painting your marriage with a negative brush – walk away.
The thing is, people, start lumping their own insecurities with bad, stereotypical information about truckers or give advice that just simply doesn’t cut it in this world.
You complain that your driver has been away a lot lately because it’s busy season, and they respond with, “maybe they should ask for some time off.” – Useless advice.
You call worried that your spouse did not phone home last night, they respond with, “do you think he picked up a lot lizard?” – Ridiculous assumption.
Every relationship is different – and while we can find similarities in the relationships around us, only you and your spouse can truly define what is good and bad in your relationship. When you are getting advice from people, who don’t really understand what it is like to be in a trucker relationship, keep this in mind and don’t let other’s pass their insecurities onto you.
Don’t Let Insecurities Block Your Path
Trucker Spouse: “He says he’s tired, but maybe he doesn’t really want to talk to me . . . my marriage is doomed.”
Trucker: “She said she had a bad day, but maybe I’ve done something wrong . . . my marriage is doomed.”
Yeah, we do it to ourselves too. It can be easy to let emotions run high and let your insecurities take over your logical thought process. All human brains have an emotional side and a logical side; the left side tells us to act logically, while the right side screams at us to follow our heart. Why is this important for trucker relationships?
While the logical side knows that a trucker is away from home for work, to provide for the family, pay the bills, ect., ect., the emotional side holds the insecurities and what if’s. When we start down this rabbit hole, we can misinterpret a lot, create problems where there aren’t any, and end up harming our relationships.
Letting our insecurities get the best of us, leads us to make assumptions about our partners – usually negative ones. Unless there are adequate signs of disruption in the relationship, it’s best to give your partner the benefit of the doubt and stick with the logical thinking.
Naturally, Being Apart Creates a Division
Just as it takes a special kind of person to become an over the road trucker, it takes an equally special kind of person to be at home. You lead a different kind of life, ruled and managed by a dispatch office. Being apart creates a division, but it doesn’t have to divide you. Take your time together when you can, keep the lines of communication open, don’t jump to conclusions and always remember to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Truckers can, and do, have long happy marriages. There are exceptions to every rule, but if you work at your relationship, you will master the art of being married to a trucker.