A Monthly Column written by Kelly Livingstone, founder of atruckerswife.com, and
published in Truck News Magazine. Do NOT copy without permission.
My husband is a new truck driver. He just completed the training and his first
week alone was really hard and frustrating. I am trying to find ways to help him
cope with the frustration. New Truckers Wife
Dear New Truckers Wife,
When he calls you, be patient and let him sound off and get it out. Remind him
that it wonít be this frustrating for long. I am not sure what part of it he is
having trouble with, but as with any new job, itís always tough to remember
everything and keep everything straight. So many people think that truckers just
drive trucks, but there are a lot of things they need to know. Log books can be
a nightmare, keeping track of on duty driving, on duty non-driving and off duty
times can be a really hard thing to calculate until you are more familiar with
things. All the safety checks, the scale limits, other company requirements, and
the list goes on and on. When you add all these things to the already stressful
situation of driving a huge tractor and trailer, well, letís just say I have a
lot of respect for how these drivers handle themselves. Itís not something that
everyone can do.
Does he have someone that he can call if he has questions? Maybe he can keep
notes on the things he isnít sure about and ask when he can talk to someone at
Be as encouraging as possible and listen to what he is getting frustrated about.
Learn about his job the best you can by asking him questions. Perhaps if you ask
him about things, he will feel more confident in the fact that he can answer
Encourage him to call you when he can, sometimes, just sounding off and getting
it out will help to relive some of the stress. It does get easier, heíll learn
My husband runs long haul and is gone for anywhere from three to four weeks at a
time. When he comes home, I clean up around the house, I get all prettied up,
make something really nice for dinner and try to make it as homey as possible
for him. I really want him to know that I am happy heís home. When he gets home,
he jumps in the shower (OK, I get that part), parks his behind on the couch and
turns on the TV. I am wondering if he even notices all the work I have gone to,
to make him happy and comfy in his own home. Iíll walk up to him and stand in
front of the TV and say how glad I am to have him home and he says that he is
glad to be home too. But, thatís it! I want to hug him and have a good time
together when he is home. A nice meal, maybe a cuddle and a movie if TV is his
thing, whatever! But I want to be near him. All he does is sit in front of that
tv. I havenít told him how I feel because I donít want to fight or make him feel
bad when he is home for usually only three days.
How can I make him see me and not that darn TV! Feeling Invisible
Dear Feeling Invisible,
You need to talk to him and let him know how you feel. He probably doesnít
realize how much work you go to for him. He may think that the house always
looks like that, that you are always pretty and doesnít realize that
macínícheese is normally whatís on the menu when heís not home.
Try something creative, next time he comes home, jump in the shower with him,
order in pizza and have a couple rented movies on hand that the two of you can
watch. Throw a blanket on the floor and make popcorn and hang out.
You know your husband, try to come up with something in his comfort zone, but
that includes you. Make a nice dinner, but instead of eating at the table, put
up a couple of tv tables and eat beside him.
When heís on the way home, tell him you would like to make a special dinner for
him, ask him what he would like to eat. That way he does know that you have made
an effort to do something for him.
Tell him how much you have missed him and want and need to feel close to him
when he is in town. As much as his relaxing is revitalizing him for the next run
out, feeling close to him is for you.
Donít be afraid to let him know how you feel. If you hide this from him, it
probably wonít change.