On the Road Again . . . Relationships of a Long-Haul Trucker

With the proper instruction and preparation, becoming a truck driver is certainly an obtainable goal. However, such a goal may come with a price depending on your family structure and situation.

Being a long-haul truck driver can place a tremendous amount of stress on your family life. As with any relationship, there's sure to be conflict. However, as a long-haul truck driver, many of these conflicts must be dealt with and solved long-distance. With this in mind, if you're in a relationship, which is already experiencing troubles, a trucking job may not be the best choice.

As with many professions, stereotypes can follow. Some people (with little or no understanding of the trucking industry) believe truckers lead somewhat of a rock star lifestyle; out on the road, different towns, with plenty of opportunity to meet many new people. This preconceived notion can cause a major strain on a relationship; especially, if your significant other buys into this stereotype. A lack of trust will always be present, causing further stress on the relationship. Now, let's take this issue even further. If your spouse or significant other doesn't trust you on the road, they may believe they are entitled to be promiscuous or behave in a manner in which they choose while you're on the road.

However, just because you're a long-haul truck driver does not mean your relationship(s) are doomed. The key seems to be "choice." Hopefully, you made a wise decision when choosing your significant other. It's important to find a spouse who is very compatible with you and your occupational lifestyle. With that being said, there are some very simple strategies one can utilize when choosing a mate. A couple of the most important strategies to utilize are given below:

a. When you think you've found the "one," take about a year to really get to know and understand them. See how they can relate to you being gone days at a time. During this time, observe any issues that you may find unsettling (i.e. jealousy, abusive tendencies, etc.)

b. Use visualization as a technique, to see if you can picture yourself with this individual for 20 plus years. If you can, then you may have found the right one!

While this is not meant to be an advice column, if you take your relationship seriously and make it a priority, you should be able to weather any storm that may come your way. As with all relationships, especially those involved in the trucking industry, there are some common pitfalls to be wary of:

• Lack of communication (especially important when you're on long trips!)
• Money problems (make it very clear who is in charge of the money accounts to make sure bills are paid on time when you're gone, etc.)
• Neglecting the needs of your spouse (very important to give your spouse and family a great deal of attention when you're back from a trip; they haven't seen you in a while.)

As a truck driver, you must be able to confront and handle any issues that arise; but be ready to do it from a distance. This is why good communication is so important, and should be a priority in your relationship.

In the end, being a truck driver can be a rewarding career and also allow for a stable family life, as well. By using common sense when choosing your partner, keeping communication lines open, and being a supportive spouse; a trucker's relationship/marriage should be no different from any other relationship. As the saying goes . . . "absence makes the heart grow fonder!" So, after days on the road, on the way back to your beautiful family, kick on "Home Sweet Home," by Motley Crue; call your honey and let the lyrics ring out . . . "I'm on my way. Home Sweet Home!"

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