Both sides of that white line.
by Jessica Hackett
(Buena Vista, VA, USA)
My name is Jessica. My husband has been a truck driver for 3 years. First he drove a dedicated route but with the company he was with at the time we quickly found that it was not enough pay to keep us going. So we made the decision for him to go OTR.
I won't say it was easy, because being a truckers wife is never easy, but we adjusted. After 3 years in the industry, and a stint of homelessness due to bad credit scores, he became burned out with the job.
So last year in May we made the decision to swap out. He stayed home with our two kids and I went out on the road. Now, 9 months later, I have hung up my keys and he is getting back to driving after a nice long break.
I decided to swap out with him for 2 primary reasons. One, to give him the rest he needed, knowing he would eventually go back to driving because he loves the job.
Two, to test my own self, I wanted to see if I could overcome some of my low self esteem issues and do somthing not many can say they have done.
In the 9 months driving I have learned so much, not only about being a driver, but also about myself and my family. I will say that I will most likely not go back otr again.
The emotional strain of being away from my family for such long periods was too much for me to be able to handle. But I come away from this experience better prepared to handle everything.
I am more confident in my choices at home and can now empathize with my husband while he is out on the road. And he can do the same now that he understands the strains I handle at home.
If I had to compare the life of a truckers SO to anything I would have to compare it to the SO of a military member. Yes the length of time apart is in shorter sections but so is the time they are able to be home between road times.
We do our best to keep in contact via texting, phone calls and Marco Polo video messaging.
We also write love letters and notes back aND forth to give each other on hometime. Be strong out there, find a hobby or 5 to pass the time and be proud of you SO.
It's a tough job, on both sides of the white line. And support for each other has to go both ways.