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Dear Kelly,

A Monthly Column written by Kelly Livingstone, founder of atruckerswife.com, and published in Truck News Magazine.
Do NOT copy without permission.

October 2005

Dear Kelly,
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 the company.
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 you.
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 in time..
Kelly

Dear Kelly,
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.
Kelly

©2005 Kelly Livingstone
Please do not reprint without permission

More Dear Kelly

Latest Column

October 2005
...ways to help him cope with the frustration.
How can I make him see me and not that darn TV!

September 2005
Sibling rivalry subsides when Daddy is home.
Hubbie's put on a few.

August 2005
Summer ideas for children with Daddy on the road.
Family is giving me a hard time with our decision to have hubbie on the road.

July 2005
Not just "a trucker".
A Trucker's Husband.

June 2005
My man is missing me
Wanna talk trucker.

December 2004
Celebrating Alone
Gift Hunter

More of the archives coming soon...

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