Being a used semi truck driver can be hard work – tiring hours behind the wheel, cramped sleeping arrangements, and dealing with grumpy drivers. Long haul trucking is one of the most stressful jobs you can perform. One of the most difficult aspects of long haul truck driving, however, is being away from your spouse and children for days and weeks. It can be challenging to preserve a great relationship during long periods of separation. Here are some ways you and your partner can keep your relationship strong.
Talk Every Day…
With modern technology, you can communicate with your spouse just about anywhere and anytime. Therefore, it is relatively simple to set aside a certain time every day to call home from the road. Make sure the time is consistent. This way you and your spouse are able to tell each other about your day. When you don't communicate regularly you begin to feel like strangers. It's hard, but please do talk every day.
...But Watch What You Say
When your driver is away treat it as if they are at the office and choose to communicate tactfully. Do not address big concerns or problems which can affect their performance on the road. They need to be able to concentrate on driving and not a recent argument or emergency. Will telling him or her right now that the water heater just exploded, or your son failed math really help? Some issues can wait until your driver is stopped for the day or even comes home.
No Door Dumping On Homecoming Day
When your driver arrives home, it may be tempting to just hand them a list of things to repair or deal with. Just don't. Is your trucker a hired hand or a spouse? Now is the time to learn to deal with problems on your own as much as possible and as soon as they occur. Leaky faucets, switching car insurance or painting the living room red are not that important in the scheme of things. Write down really essential issues to deal with together when your driver comes home. This way, you can both enjoy the time you have at home together.
Make Your Time Together Count
When you arrive home, it may be tempting to just sit around and relax. After all, you are probably tired. But how do your spouse or children feel about this? They may feel resentful, hurt and ignored. Instead, try to participate in one or two activities together. Something as simple as eating dinner together or going for a walk helps strengthen bonds.
Also, part of making it count is to not take time off from your family while you take time off from your job. Realize that you still have a role as spouse and parent when you are home and you may have to fix a broken door or help with homework.
The transition between who has the reins while you are on the road is tricky. While you are away driving, you must allow your spouse at home to make decisions about money, kids, and the house. You cannot do it all from your truck. Both of your lives will be easier if you hand the reins over. When you return, don't be tempted to undo or change things. You can take over the reins while you are home; just don't turn the entire horse completely around. When you leave once more, your spouse has to be able to function all alone once more.
Appreciate One Another
Your driver does not get to enjoy the stuff of real life like you do, such as hot meals, a real bed, and the ability to go shopping or to the movies. Their schedule is wake up, drive, grab a quick meal, drive some more, and sleep. Every day. When your driver comes home, be appreciative and try to cater to their needs. Your driver is going to have to hit the road again soon. Drivers, be sensitive to the fact your spouse is doing it all alone. Don't show impatience or criticism over the small things.
If both partners in your trucker relationship make an effort to strengthen each other in these ways, your relationship can be on the right road to success despite long absences.