Overwhelmed by being a truckers wife...

by Mare
(New Hampshire )

My husband and I have been together for 13 1/2 years and married for 10 1/2. We have a 7 year old son, who is extremely active and strong willed. Having to hold down the home front is not completely new to me.

A year after we were together (and just moved in together) he was deployed to Iraq with our local National Guard. He was gone 18 months. But for the past 10 years I have had him home every single night. That was until he lost his job and decided to fulfil his dream of getting his CDL and driving truck. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but was not going to stand in the way of his dream, as he has never held me back from mine.

He got a job right out of school with a local company, driving regionally. He is gone most of the week, and home on weekends. I get that for most truck driver wives this is a dream come true, as lots of drivers are gone for weeks at a time. However, my issue is when he is home. He is not really here. He is on his video games or talking on his phone with buddies that are OTR drivers.

I get his buddies are lonely and trying to stay connected but I need him truely home when he is here. Body and mind. He doesn't help with much when he is home either. He says that he is not home to make the mess or dirty the laundry so why should he help do it.

Well I work full time as well. And I do as much as I can while he is gone, but I can't do everything all of the time. Sometimes something has to give. As we have almost no support system where we live. All the family has moved to warmer climates. I have tried to talk to him about it and things seem to get better for a short time, but then falls right back into the same old pattern.

Am I the only one that experiences this?? Am I asking to much of him??? And to make matters worse he might be switching companies!! To one that pays better, but will have him gone even more. I would really like to figure it all out before he takes his new position.

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May 18, 2016
Flawed logic but probably innocently done
by: Hervy

Mare, I see this situation occur for wives often. Husband coming home and not wanting to do anything. Your husbands response is logical in his mind and if it was applied to a deal with a neighbor about rental space, it would make sense.

However, this is a different situation, so it is not logical if he looks at the big picture. You see it, I see it but he doesn't. Think about how you can help him see the big picture.

The situation is not compartmentalized and neat the way he see's it. All men tend to compartmentalize and women are more aware and affected by how things are connected with each other. (Which is more realistic in the real world)

I would say one thing to try saying to him is, "supposed I told you that our child is not yours as much as mine because I take care of him more. Does that make him more of my child because you are not here?"

Plus, when he says that he is not there to make a mess, you could explain that you don't make a mess either, but you take care of the home that you both live in and you take care of the son that you both have and since you take on the burden of that while he is gone most of the week, then you feel that he could help you out by doing some of the work when he is home.

Here is another idea....

Make a list of the things that you take care of for the family while he is gone.

Think about a way to explain to him how you are a family and the stability of the family requires that certain things are taken care of. I appreciate that you when you are gone, you are working to bring money in, but I work as well. When I finish working I also take care of these things which don't just benefit me, but benefit this family which you are a part of.

Break out the list.

Then explain, you could take the same position that he does, when he gets home and say since you do everything when he is gone, he should do everything when he is there.

The reality is that both of you should share what gets done. When he is there, he should contribute to the home, not go on vacation from the family.

Now, if having this serious conversation doesn't work, i recommend coaching. It seems you have hope because at least he changes for a little while. Which means, he does actually care but I am guessing he just slacks back off, which is natural.

So if you break things down the way I suggested in a nice, calm manner. Not nagging, not mad, not rude or disrespectful but just matter of factly, that he will develop better habits.

At the end of your discussion, you might also have different list of tasks so that each of you will actually sign up for certain duties when he is home. That really takes all of the gray area out of it, and it is something that most men like. That might even be how he slacks off, it is not clearly defined what is expected of him.

So make a list of the specific things that you want him to do and what you will do together. I would say, have in mind what you want him to do but when you go to him about it, don't tell him have a list and kind of guide or lead him to the things that you want him to do.

A lot of men don't like that idea of being told what to do, many people don't actually so they are more resistant if they don't come up with the idea themselves. lol

Anyway, I hope some of what I have suggested helps. Good luck

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