Not the Title, Just the Life

by Ricki
(Anchorage, AK)

I have been with my truck driver for 11 years. We are not married. He has helped me raise my 3 kids from a distance and has been as supportive as he could be from 1000's of miles away.

We started out seeing one another every weekend. We lived in Alaska and he drove to Canada every week. It was great. I could take care of the responsibilities at home while he was away and concentrate on taking care of him on the weekends.

We moved to Arkansas then Oklahoma. He was home about 2-3 days a month, then 2-3 days every 2-3 months, then 1-2 days every 4 months. I had to move back to Alaska for work.

I haven't seen him in person in 16 months. Words can't describe how much I miss seeing him, touching him, having a cup of coffee with him. The kids are pretty much grown now and I thought all these years that we would be able to see each other more when the kids grew up. That hasn't been the case.

I have filled my time by doing the most outrageous things over the years from rescuing skunks and raccoons, bottle feeding calves, working as a jailer and bailbonds man to volunteering for the fire department.

Anything to keep my mind busy and not dwell on the fact that there was just never time for us to see one another. It seemed there was always something more important. Money, bills, kids and schedules.

I've never cheated. Never wanted to. I don't think he ever has either. However, I know he is lonely. I have always been happy when there was someone around for him to talk to. For him to be able to get out of the truck for a while. betcha! Not of other women, but of everyone that could have a conversation, meal or his time.

Two weeks ago he called and said he wants to see someone else. Another trucker. He says he doesn't know what he wants. The feelings he describes are the same ones I have felt for years, but didn't want to burden him while he was away. I have always considered him to be at work 24-7 when he was away from home.

When he told me I did my best not to cry on the phone (because you know we always try to handle things on our own so that they don't have to deal with things while they are away). I put on my happy face as usual and tried to put up an understanding front.

Turns out that's all it was. I woke up angry one morning when I had been asked out by a man at work the previous day and realized that I may be free to see him and he may be the one that all the girls at work are gaga over, but I wasn't the least bit interested. I have the man that I've always wanted and I didn't even get the chance to put up a fight for my relationship.

After 11 years of being faithful and as supportive as I was allowed and giving him unconditional love, of handling all of the home-front crap alone was I really going to just roll over because I was worried about him and how he was feeling?

Well if you know me you know that I don't roll over for anyone. I fight for what I want. I called him up and told him this wasn't going to work for me. I had never demanded anything all these years. Had not been allowed to show him any affection or do nice things for him like a girlfriend gets to do and that I want a chance to make things work. Oops!

I have insisted that I fly down to Chicago and go in the truck with him for at least a couple of weeks. I want a chance to see if we have any thing left after a 16 month absence and a new doubt about him possibly being interested in someone else.

My friends are split. Those that know Steve are confused by the thought of him being unfaithful because it is so out of character and they believe as I do that he is just lonely. The others just voiced what they had been thinking for years, that he has been unfaithful all along. My gut says that's not true and my gut is usually right. I found out that he has been looking around on a dating sight for about 8 weeks. He didn't actually subscribe so that he could have conversations with these women, but he was still looking.

I know how lonely the past 16 months have been for me and I can only imagine how much worse it must be for him being stuck in that truck ALL the time. He hauls blades so every load is has a permitted route and he travels in a group of 3 trucks. He works all the time.

Trust is there, communication has become blah. We talk everyday on the phone and because he has kept his trucking world completely separate from me all these years and I don't want to worry him while he is away we stopped talking like we used to. Problem is he is my best friend and we stopped talking and sharing.

I don't know what to expect. Wish me luck. I have learned the hard way that trust is not enough. You must have communication and you guys need to let us know that you want to see us. Just because we act like it's ok that you couldn't make it home as planned doesn't mean that we aren't just means we don't want to make you feel any worse than you already do.

I know that there are women out there that take advantage of you guys, but we are not all like that. There are still a few of us that are faithful and want to be understanding and supportive. We know how easy you make our lives in some ways, but we made a commitment (even if we aren't married) to take the good with the bad.

Neglect is the worst form of abuse. I still love my truck driver, but absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder!

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