Thus far, I have written directly to the wives, advising them on how to make your relationship better. How she can work towards and become that “supportive wife” of your career choice. I have made great strides to getting them to understand just where it is that you are coming from. However, with all the work that we as a trucker’s wife must do, there is JUST AS much that needs to come from you!
First and Foremost, you must understand this is YOUR career choice, and not hers. I have heard many men complaining on the cb about “My wife was crying because I am not coming home this week-end, Screw her if she does not understand I have to work.” I have to ask you- what is it exactly you want from this woman?
Do you want the faithful lap dog, that just waits on you hand and foot, that waits for you to come home, and yet, she should not have a say in anything that happens?
If this is truly your pattern of thought—then I have to say this- Your marriage is NOT going to work.
Up until now, it is pretty obvious that I am blunt, and opinionated. However, I also hold the key for YOU the driver to have both a fulfilling career and a supportive and content wife as well.
I have your wife thinking about what she can do at home to make your time there fulfilling, and a place to enjoy. A place that you want to come home to and a wife that is very happy for you to come home.
As with human nature, we so often want what we want, and tend to forget what the other person needs!
So often, my husband calls home (at least 10 times a day) hoping to have a conversation with me, unfortunately those calls are shortened by screaming kids, that are fighting, refusing to do their chores, or just being down right obstinate! When my husband is on the road for long hours, with that lonely drive, and often enough hearing the chatter of drivers, much like you I am sure. He wishes he was home, if not for just the day. Just to feel part of “us.” I realize that often enough, hearing me fight with my kids, or hearing the discord in the home can be a deterrent and seems to frustrate him, and make communication difficult. The problems at home are easier to face when you do not have to deal with it. But I make this challenge to you. You must decide what you want from your significant other. We already know what we want and need from you.
As Wives, we want to be part of your world, we want to hear from you- WE NEED to hear from you. It is not a question if you have time enough or not. It is however, a question of your dedication to the relationship. I realize fully as do your significant others, that even if you are a regional driver, there are loading/unloading times. There are times that you driver for 5-7 hours Straight. So why is it that we often hear “I am just to busy?” Ok, listen, point blank--- NOT ALL husbands are like that. I am addressing these issues to those of you that are like that! (Those of you that aren’t, my hats are off to you, and you deserve to be commended as a True driver, and a loving family man!) It is not easy for us, as wives to handle all that is given to us on a daily basis: screaming kids, bill collectors, irate parents, pets, chores, work environment if there is one. Now complicate that with being home all the time and not being afforded the opportunity to do what you want, when you want. For the most part, whether or not she married you as a driver or not, this is not her choice for you as a spouse. Grandiose dreams fill all of our minds, about the time we can finally be with that person we fell in love with!
Often, stepping out of one’s own box, and looking into someone else’s (the proverbial walk a mile in his/her shoes) can afford you some insight that you may not understand.
One of the biggest downfalls of this type of relationship- i.e., the non-traditional marriage that is classic of Truck Drivers and their wives-is that it is very strenuous on the wives at home, and more often than not, they become very up happy with their lives, and look for something to fill the void that you alone should be filling.
Adulterous relationships come on both end, from the driver, and the stay at home spouse. My husband is fond of saying “What you do not take care of at home, someone else will.” So I ask you, what is lacking from your point of view. What is it that she as your spouse can do, to make things a bit easier on you with in the relationship?
Harping? Nagging? Nitpicking? Ok, I understand that completely. But I am willing to guess it’s about not calling, about you being gone all the time, about what you do not do when you are home.
Have you actually listened? Do you spend time while on the road wondering what you can do to help her?
Yes!! Absolutely there are things that you can do ALONE to improve your relationship with your spouse.
The most common complaint that I hear, in my role here with the wives, is refusal to call, and lack of communication while you are gone.
Guys!! Come on, this is your flesh, you blood, your backbone, your support. These are the people in your lives that look up to you- that call you husband, father, and son. Yes, what you do directly affects who they are as well!
Your lack of communication no matter what you situation is not conducive to a long-term and lasting relationship. It does not take effort with your Bluetooth hanging in your ear, just to check in.There is NO EXCUSE for not checking in for days at a time, other than you just simply do not want to.
I caution you with this. If you continue to not call home, and to find excuses as to why it is so difficult to be in touch with loved ones at home- you may find, you no longer have a home to come home to!!!
Patience and Understanding!
There are times that as women, we simply need you to listen! I mean actually zipping your lip, and listen to what is being said.
For example: Your 2 year old broke your wife’s antique vase that was passed down for 6 generations, in the same day, your dog just chewed a hole in the carpet, you 4 your old is refusing to take a nap, her mother is harping on her about “how she needs a man that is home every day”, and the overall mood of the house is totally chaotic!
She does NOT need you to yell back because now you have to replace the carpet in the living room, she does NOT need you saying “Who does that old bitty think she is anyway”, she does not need you to tell her to “whoop his butt and put him back in bed.”
At this time, what she actually needed was a shoulder to cry on. Things that could be said in these situations are “Uh huh, oh baby I am so sorry, I know you have had a bad day, what can I do to help?” Not your unwelcome words of what to do!
She may follow it up with “I wish you were home, I need you.” Do not give her the standard pat remark “You know this is what I do for a living!” She already knows this. A simple remark like “I really wish I could be as well” goes a long way in healing her already frustrated demeanor.
Another thing, I have heard many many men say “I wish I could stay home instead, and she could do this for just 1 day.” Before you assume that I personally do know what your typical day is like- I do. I assure you the grass is never greener on the other side.—FOR EITHER PARTY!
With all of this being said, a pat on the back for your wife is HUGE! Just too simply say “I am so blessed to have an understanding wife” (even if just 20 minutes ago she was bitching about your job!) YOU MUST BE AS POSITIVE WITH HER, AS YOU WANT HER TO BE WITH YOU!
Things such as, “Wow, I don’t know how you do it all, or, I just want you to know that I appreciate everything you do for our home, and for our life”, will go a very very long way. But this is something that needs to be constant in your communications. Positive reinforcement! This is just human nature; we all need that proverbial pat on the back!
DO NOT BRING THE WORK WEEK HOME WITH YOU!
By this I mean, do not scold your 12 year old for back sassing her mother, she dealt with it already, unless she asks for the back-up for something that has happened, and expects you to have a say- do not go there! We as single wives, and FaMo’s, need to stand our own ground with the children.
My husband for the longest time would hear something that would go on during his time away, and then first thing in the door, jump on the kids. This is definitely not going to help the over all feel of the very few, and short days you are home. To know whether or not it is an issue she would like backing on- ask her! Point blank- “When I get home, would you like me to deal with this?” See what her answer is, and go from there.
Equally important is, if you have an argument on the road, unless it is not resolved; do NOT bring it up when you are home. Demand time with your spouse/significant other by yourself when you are home.
If you are home for 2 days, 1 day the kids should be at a sitter, and the next working on getting the stuff back together to go out again! Your buddies, your parents, so on and so forth, is NOT the most important thing here. Your partner in this life needs quality and uninterrupted time with you! Not with your buddy stopping over for a few cold brewski’s. We need to touch base, with our hearts, our minds and our souls to refresh, and be ready to start that long lonely period with out you, all over again.
What we as women have got to get you guys to understand is this! This was NOT our choice (even if we married you as a driver!!!) When we looked in your eyes and said I do, we did not realize how badly this was going to affect the beautiful relationship we had. So with your understanding and patience, and of course thoughtfulness, it will make things much smoother.
Parenting from the Road
Although it is very difficult, it is possible to parent from the road too. However, since you are NOT home, it is important to speak to your significant other about how this can be done.
Personally, I see no need for my husband to do so while he is gone. It is way too hard, he may hand down punishments that I am then expected to follow through with. Although he does not totally agree with my punishments either, it is something that we have agreed to disagree upon.
For most though, a father should be able to listen to the wife complain about what the child did. You could then discuss what the punishment should be—make sure it fits the crime (so to speak). When you have both agreed on the punishment, it is quite possible for you to speak to the child on the phone, and hand down the punishment that you both agreed upon. That would give a definite feel of dad, even though he is not there, is still involved in the child’s life. That would also help with the mother’s at home. Since you will look like the bad guy in putting on the punishment—hey come on, seriously, its hard being a stay at home mother, especially a single stay at home mother!
It is not always easy, but you still NEED to call your kids, and talk to them. It is not easy being raised with OUT a father—and that is exactly what is happening. Like it or not, it is true. Week-end Warriors are the closest thing (home every week-end) that a child will get as a father figure.
Tough to digest I know, yes, you will always be their fathers, but it still adds to the dynamics of the child’s outlook on his or her own life!!! You ARE a very important part of their lives, and you NEED to make sure they know, that even when you are NOT there, you still are available to listen to them, to be there for them, even if it is from 3000 miles away, and through a phone line!
**I realize that what I have said here will ruffle some feathers. I do however, also realize this is most likely the same thing your wives/significant others have told you! Point blank, it is a fact, and it is something that you need to absorb. This is coming from a 3rd and impartial party that does understand fully, both the driver’s point-of-view, as well as the stay at home wives!
So now its time to buck up, step up, and start working on the issues. Let’s reiterate what I have said here.
Communication—a must have, and not every few days, but a few times every day
Patience and Understanding---give her those pats on the back, and zip your lip—and just listen! Be positive, if u want her to be as well!
Do not bring your week(s) home with you – Make the time home worth while! Something that she has to hold onto while you are gone! Quality time is a MUST since there is not Quantity of time!!!
Parenting while on the road – it is possible, talk to your spouse about appropriate punishments, and YOU hand them down. Communication while on the road with your children is important, you must find a way to be a parent from 3000 miles away~!
In conclusion, it is not easy being a stay at home single wife. It is difficult and made more difficult if there is not a supportive spouse on the road. Marriage should come before the truck! The “other woman” The Big White Woman with the screaming turbo’s, could be the death of your relationship, if you do not stop for just a moment, and consider what you can do to help her through what she is feeling without you!