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Ten Tips for the New Truckers’s Wife

Any experienced trucker's wife will tell you that life with a man on the road is a challenge.
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Any experienced trucker’s wife will tell you that life with a man on the road is a challenge. It never fails, the only time the car breaks down, the washer quits or the kids get in trouble requiring an urgent parent/teacher conference is the day her husband leaves. It’s the Murphy’s Law of trucker’s wives. But, hey, those of us who’ve done it for awhile are used to it and sometimes we even laugh about it. However, those occurrences can be devastating when you’re new to the life of a trucker’s wife.

The Impact OTR Truck Driving Has On Families

While seasoned trucker’s wives have adjusted to the life, we certainly remember what it was like to be newbies. We remember what a change it was from having hubby home every night to having him home every few weeks. To help you transition from overwhelmed-wife to old-hand, read and remember the following tips:

  • Stay in Touch
    • When you’re used to speaking frequently, lack of contact is devastating.  I was already lonely and not being able to call my husband made things worse. When he began to drive solo, we were able to get cell phones. Life suddenly became bearable again. While we weren’t sure about taking on an extra bill with a new and uncertain income, the security of knowing we could call each other day or night was priceless.
  • Learn About the Trucking Life
    • When your husband becomes a truck driver, it’s easy to feel left out. There’s a simple way around that–learn all you can about the trucking life. There’s plenty of info available including books, websites and industry publications. Learn his lingo. Truckers have a language all their own. Buy a road atlas and look to see where your hubby is and how he got there. Make yourself a part of his new life. Remember, trucking is a family affair.
  • Do a Run with Him
    • This will help you see what life on the road is like. While you’re at home holding things together it sometimes seems like he’s out seeing the country and having a big old time. While this can be true to an extent, those of us at home have no idea of the loneliness, boredom or headaches that accompany truck driving. Getting out on the road with him from time to time will give you the perspective you lack when you’re safe at home.
  • Trust Him
    • Being separated for weeks is hard. It takes trust to keep those crazy worries at bay. Just remember, if your husband was trustworthy when he was home then he’ll be trustworthy on the road. Our truckers are working hard and they’re dedicated to their wives and families. Give your man the benefit of the doubt and unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, trust him! By the same token, don’t give him any reason to doubt you either.
  • Stay Busy
    • The consensus among trucker’s wives is to stay busy, particularly when you’re new to the life. Whether you’re doing projects around the house, learning a new hobby or spending time with family and friends, time passes quickly when you’re busy.  Staying busy helped get my mind off of missing him and eased the way into this new life.
  • Have Your Own Activities and Interests
    • While it’s easy to put your life on hold while he’s gone, it’s not wise. It will only make you clingy and boring. You need your own interests. All of us have some interest we’d like to devote more time to.  Maybe you want to paint or play an instrument or decorate cakes. Take this time to become proficient. Not only will it give you an outlet for your energy, it will impress your husband that you don’t turn into a vegetable when he leaves. Remember, truckers need strong, independent women at home!
  • Don’t Get Your Feelings Hurt
    • Realize that he has a job to do. He’s at work. If he’s too busy to talk or can’t be reached remember, he’s working! It’s not that he doesn’t care, but he has to get from Point A to Point B and there’s probably a dispatcher breathing down his neck to do it quickly.  Give him time to wind down and then you two will have plenty of special private time. Just don’t get your feelings hurt in the meantime. It’s an adjustment for him when he comes home and once he’s caught up on what he’s missed, he’s all yours.
  • Plan for His Return
    • By the same token, feel free to make plans for your husband’s return. Cook his favorite dish (but don’t do it until he’s getting close to home!), plan a fun outing for your family (but be flexible about when it happens), rent some videos to watch together, etc. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to when he’s coming home. It makes him feel welcome and lets him know you’re glad to see him.
  • Be Flexible
    • Realize that in trucking there are a million things that can go wrong. He can have a flat, be dispatched out on an emergency load when he was promised his home time or be kept waiting for hours at a shipper. Please don’t hold it against him if he doesn’t get home when he says he will.
  • Help Him Get Ready to Go
    • The life of a trucker’s wife is not always 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. That means it’s up to you to make the best of this life. It is possible to be a trucker’s wife and be happy. You just have to put the effort into it and give it time. Remember, a trucker’s woman is a strong woman!

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