I belong to various trucker related Facebook groups and often see women posting that they are considering joining their significant others on the road so I thought I would share my story and maybe give some advice.
The view from my window is amazing; always changing, some days do seem like I’ve seen it before, others filled with awe and wonder.
I am an OTR trucker’s wife and I chose to leave my wordly possesions in a storage unit, say good bye to my family, parents, sister and eighteen month old nephew who I adore more than anything in this world. I joined my husband, who has only been driving a couple months shy of a year prior to going OTR, but with the intent that it would happen soon.
What makes a 35 year old woman leave a job of 8 years, her family and friends to live on a semi truck and be with her spouse 24 hours a day 7 days a week? It is not a lifestyle for everybody, sometimes I question if it was the right decision when money isn’t like it used to be, or my husband and I get into a small argument and the only choice is for one of us to leave the truck and go where? And to be honest, sometimes I miss missing him.
We will have been together for 7 years in November, married for 5 years in August. We have always talked about having kids, maybe relocating to a slower paced town and just how awesome we would be as parents. We are each other’s best friends, we laugh hysterically together, we both have an odd sense of humor and would rather spend an awesome Friday night at home with pizza and Redbox than out on the town surrounded by a bunch of people. But, as time has proven, us just wanting to be parents wasn’t going to be enough to bring a baby into the world. We suffered a miscarriage in December of 2013 and our urgency to be parents seems to slow down. My husband always wanted to be a truck driver and with him out of work for over 2 years, our marriage was suffering.
He got an email on a Monday saying that CR England would train him and pay for his training, which he would reimburse through his paychecks once he was done. And that very Friday he had packed his bags and I dropped him off at a bus station for his trip to Southern California.
My husband, whom I hadn’t been without for more than a night since we had moved in together was gone for two whole months. I slept on the couch in the living room every single night with the television on because I had never been so alone. I missed him like crazy, and our arguments seemed more often because we were so far apart. Once he started working and was able to come see me every few weeks it did get a little better, but it just didn’t feel right. Truck drivers come with a stigma; if they don’t see their spouse or significant other very often they tend to look for the company of women elsewhere, and I was already somewhat of an insecure person so I knew this wasn’t going to work. In October of 2014, my job was beginning to crumble around me, with a new boss and new rules I felt I was being eased out of everything I had been doing and then while my husband was home on a 34 I found he had been conversing with other women online. That was it, that was all I needed to know. I either had to jump off this sinking ship or mend the holes and get to rowing.
Within a few weeks, my bags were packed and I was now the passenger on my husbands truck. While it wasn’t a complete cut and dry transition, those shadows of his actions loomed above us, I made sure to honor my decision and not let it overtake my spirit. We spent a couple of months on a dedicated fleet for a big box store, the miles weren’t great and after losing my income we had to work really hard at not being angry at each other when we didn’t have enough money. A few weeks ago my husband got a notification that another fleet wanted him to come work for them and we were going over the road finally. We have been on the go for a couple of weeks now, calling truck stop parking lots our home most nights. We no longerhave rent and utilities to pay, but we sleep together on the bottom bunk not allowing for much room to move and the hot and humid southern nights do make it difficult when you have a furnace sleeping next to you. But I am having the time of my life, I am getting to road trip with my best friend and he’s getting paid for it. Most people don’t get to do this sort of thing until they’ve had a family and their kids are grown and gone and they are much older.
If you can go on the truck with your partner, do it. If you’re young and not yet sure where you want life to take you, spend some time seeing the world, it will inspire the hell or of you. I have wanted to be a wife, mother and teacher my whole life (my job of 8 years was in the preschool field), but being on the road, I am a wife, a writer/ blogger, a photographer and have had some amazing inspiration for writing stories. We may or may not have kids and I’m okay with that, maybe we will wait a couple of years and adopt a few children. If your relationship is invaluable to you and your trucker is wanting to make it work as much as you are, give it a chance. You will be faced with difficulties, as most of us are in any decisions we make in life, but sometimes it’s the leap of faith that makes you (and your relationship) stronger.