Being a Truck Driver's Wife: It's Not for Everyone

by Marissa Kenyon
(Ionia, MI, USA)

Being a Truck Driver’s Wife: It’s Not for Everyone.

Long, lonely days, and even longer, lonelier nights make up a truck drivers wife’s life. A lot of woman take for granted their husbands being home every day or night, we trucker wives know better; we take nothing for granted.

We are pros at deciphering the lingo of, “I’ll be home in the morning.” We are aware of the fact that those words can easily translate to and become the phrase, “I’ll be home two mornings from tomorrow.” We have learned to adapt; to go with the flow, and just continue on with what we know; which happens to be loving our drivers through thick and thin, no matter what.

We are strong women, holding down the homestead, paying the bills, taking care of the kids and fixing anything that may break. We are truck driver wives.

When I met my husband, he was a foreman of a landscaping crew and was home every night. I remember getting upset when he didn’t get home until 7-8 pm. I laugh at the naive person I was then. He drove OTR years before meeting me and came off the road when his daughter was born in 2005. I knew of his love for driving truck and being an OTR driver, but I didn’t think that he would want to do it again.

When we got married we didn’t know that within 6 months he’d be back in a truck, being home on weekends only, and that I’d be here with the kids and doing what needs to be done, alone.

There are days when I wish so damn hard for a dedicated local run where he is home every night with us, his family. It is pretty much like being a single mom during the week when he’s gone. I get lonely and I even get downright pissed off about his career choice. As a child, most women imagine married life as two people living together every day, sleeping in the same bed at night, eating dinner together at night, and just enjoying each other’s company on a day to day basis. I was no different; I imagined all of that and more. What I didn’t imagine was being a truck driver’s wife and only seeing my husband 2-3 days a week.

I hear women complaining about their significant other working 10-12 hour days, and I want to scream at them, “Are you kidding me?! Be grateful!” I am jealous of these women. So jealous that I sometimes see red and wonder what the hell I am doing in this life style. I wish I could see my husband on a daily basis; we are missing so much of each other’s lives with this job he is doing and I think it royally, flat out stinks.

I can’t help but ask myself, “If he was a driver when I met him, would we be married today?” I really hope that answer is yes. I love my husband to the moon and back, and I am head over heels in love with him, but some days I wish we were actually growing old together. How can two people grow old together when one of them is only home on weekends?

Don’t get me wrong; I am totally swooning over my husband. He is my world, and my soul mate, and I will love him until the end of time. I am grateful to call him mine, I just never expected to live this life. This lifestyle takes a strong, independent, self-reliant woman who won’t take shit from anyone. I admit, that person was not me when it came time to join the ranks as a truck driver’s wife. It took a long time to get to where I am as a person and to be able to handle the stress of dealing with the issues of being alone, raising the kids by myself, and never having anyone above the age of 13 to talk to. It was so damn hard and I marvel at how far I’ve come in these past 3 years. It takes a confident, trusting woman to live this life, and I am finally there.

When you’re a trucker’s wife, you have to be crafty in finding ways to keep that spark in your marriage. For me and my husband, that means coffee dates on Saturday mornings, stopping at thrift stores when the kids are in school on the rare Friday mornings he is home, and talking on the phone often during the day and well into the night. If either of us have an issue, we talk about it right away, we don’t let our anger simmer until it blows up and causes a huge fight. I feel that communication is key when you are a trucker’s wife, and being able to fully trust each other is also a crucial element for a marriage to survive this lifestyle.

I am constantly sending pictures of myself, the kids, and the dogs to my husband so he can see that he is missed and wanted at home; and that it is not just a paycheck we are looking for. If I know he is having a rather rough day, I make sure he gets extra pictures, phone calls, and random texts that day to cheer him up.

If you are able to go out on the road with your driver even once, I’d recommend doing so. You will be able to see what it is like for him, and what he does on a daily basis. Plus, you can help him out. Whether it be helping strap a load, tarp a load, or just tightening up binders; my husband is always appreciative for the help and the company. And you get that one on one time with your man.

When you are a trucker’s wife, you need all the support and friends you can possibly get. But, if you are like me and don’t have many friends you have to find support in other places. I found an amazing group on Facebook for trucker’s wives. The Real Truckers Wives group is for women only, whose husbands, fiancés, or boyfriends are drivers.

Talking to fellow trucker wives has been a god send. They know exactly what you are going through because there is a great chance they have been through it or are going through it as well. The women in The Real Truckers Wives group do not judge, they let you rant and rave if you are having a rough day, and they give great advice.

These women are always available to listen when you just need to chat and they are always willing to laugh and even cry with you. I just wish I had found this group 3 years ago when my husband started driving and I was completely new to this and lost beyond words.

Being a trucker’s wife, I am now more tolerant of semi drivers when they pull out in front of me on the road, or take what seems like ages to get their trucks moving. I have ridden along with my husband before and I know of the demands that are put on a driver and the general day to day shit they are forced to deal with. A little wave and nod or even a little smile can make a driver’s day a tiny bit better.

I am more aware to the fact that that driver is someone’s husband, someone’s boyfriend or fiancé, and possibly someone’s father or Grandfather. I want my husband to be treated respectively when he is working, why is it any different for any other driver? I find myself coming to traffic lights, looking for a semi getting ready to turn, and if needed I am prepared to back up to make room for that truck.

It amazes me that there are so many “4 wheelers” that are totally oblivious to the fact that trucks make such wide turns and can’t stop on a dime.

So, the next time you see a semi; nod, wave and give a little smile; it could make their day.
It doesn’t matter if you married a seasoned driver or if they became one later on; it is important to show them that we are committed to them and that we stand beside them in their career choice no matter what. They need to know that they have complete support while they are away from home, providing for their families. There are so many drivers whose significant other is either betraying their trust or has done so, and there are so many drivers who are working themselves to death for their families at home and that home is crumbling because some women just aren’t strong enough to be alone.

I can’t imagine not being faithful to my husband and taking care of things at home while he is working. It’s just not even possible to imagine. According to my husband, he is lucky to have “a good woman at home”. He is my one and only, and I would never do anything to hurt him or betray his trust. I wouldn’t jeopardize our marriage like that.

While this lifestyle can be challenging, it can also be so rewarding. You have to have a strong bond and not be afraid to speak up when something is bothering you. Our drivers are not mind readers, and it doesn’t help that they are not home to see your body language and facial expressions and be able to know something is on your mind. Speak up!

I feel being a trucker’s wife has made me closer to my husband; when you talk on the phone as much as us, you talk about everything! There are no secrets, and there are no lies being told. There are some white lies being told my husband such as, “I won’t be home until tomorrow night.”, and then he shows up a few hours later with flowers. That, I think I can forgive. We tell each other everything, and I think that’s how it should be.

I take care of the day to day home life, kids and animals, and he is providing for us. We balance each other out; it wouldn’t work if we didn’t. Trucking is in my husband’s blood, and while I miss him terribly when he’s gone, I couldn't and wouldn’t ask him to stop. Now, if he decides to stop on his own, who am I to stop him?

This is my life and I am happy with it.

Comments for Being a Truck Driver's Wife: It's Not for Everyone

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Mar 16, 2015
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Thank you! NEW
by: Tiffany

My husband of 15 years literally just started today in driver training. I have no idea when I will see him next, so I am quite the newbie as a trucker's wife. Your post has truly helped me calm down over this transition. Bless you and all the other wives out there who hold down the fort, I hope to be able to channel some of your strength!

Jun 16, 2014
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Beautiful NEW
by: New truckers wife

Thank you needed that

Jun 09, 2014
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Its not for everyone, but you do a great job at it! NEW
by: Anonymous

Very beautiful writing Mars, Your honesty is so true. I am glad you have become the person you are and are there for Roy, He does what he does for you and the kids, his family, which I know he loves to the moon and stars and back again! I,m grateful he has a strong woman by his side, YOU! And if you look into the future this is only temporary, the kids are getting older (yes harder to deal with, with all those hormones kicking in)but look at it as a blessing, soon they will be adults out on there own and you can be in the truck with your husband (and 500 animals lol)seeing the states, Or maybe by then he will have a home every night job and you can sit on the front porch drinking coffee together while admiring you cherry blossom tree and how it has grown, like your relationship. I cant tell the future of which it will be but what I do know is you will have each other and be together, there will be many tough times, times you want to walk away, times you want to strangle the kids, but you two love each other, a real love and that will pull you thru, always! <3

Jun 08, 2014
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good advice and insight NEW
by: Balliet

Hello, this was well put and inspirational. My husband has been or only for a little over a year. We have had many of the "I'll be home in tomorrow morning" turn in to many mornings there after. He is normally home once a month but he also has been out for two or more months. Those have been the hardest. We have been blessed with a spot opening up on a semi local fleet, starting this week he will becoming home every weekend, the kids and I our very excited. I work a full time job Monday through Friday, I am hoping to get some Fridays off then maybe we can look at the Friday sales, I like that idea. Again thank you for a positive insight of your world.

Jun 08, 2014
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good advice and insight NEW
by: Balliet

Hello, this was well put and inspirational. My husband has been or only for a little over a year. We have had many of the "I'll be home in tomorrow morning" turn in to many mornings there after. He is normally home once a month but he also has been out for two or more months. Those have been the hardest. We have been blessed with a spot opening up on a semi local fleet, starting this week he will becoming home every weekend, the kids and I our very excited. I work a full time job Monday through Friday, I am hoping to get some Fridays off then maybe we can look at the Friday sales, I like that idea. Again thank you for a positive insight of your world.

Jun 07, 2014
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Wonderful insight NEW
by: Deb

Marissa, this is such a beautiful piece. I came away with a new appreciation of truckers and their families. You gave us a rare look inside their/your world with such clarity and emotion, it gave me pause. I've been quiet in the background for the past 5 years, and I've seen your growth and strength, and I've been so proud of your accomplishments. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and posting it on FB so we could find it. My best to the Kenyon family!!

Jun 07, 2014
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Know The Feeling NEW
by: Anonymous

Awesome You are so right I know my HERO-Husband has been a OTR Trucker for most of our marriage and like you I really enjoy the Real Truckers Wife group. We have been together 29+ years and he's been driving 34 it has been filled with many of tears, and laughter.I know all about being Ms.Dad as well as Mom and I wish more people respected the stress they have on the road! I am thankful for the CELL phones we talk several times daily the best thing as a gift is a BLUE PARROT. May God bless each and every wife or husband of a trucker because our job is hard on us as well.

Jun 07, 2014
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Don't agree NEW
by: Anonymous

Trucking has put a rift between us that I jump for joy & put on Kool & the Gang's song Celebration when he leaves for the road after having home time & get depressed when he gets ready to come home! Have no idea why he comes home!

Jun 07, 2014
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Truck Drivers Wife NEW
by: Anonymous

Heart touching! You hit the nail on the head Marissa!

Jun 07, 2014
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totally agree NEW
by: Anonymous

Well done and oh so true.

Jun 07, 2014
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love this NEW
by: Anonymous

just beautiful

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