Being a truckers wife, well, it isn't much fun. You either have a man who is always out of town and comes home to sleep and get his clothes clean, or you have a trucker who is home most nights, but often exhausted. Many days being married to a trucker feels like not being married at all.
Of course, my darling trucker has not ALWAYS been a trucker. This is the first time in all the years I've known him that he had a job he loved. Even when he hates it. When I met him in 1996, he had a suspended license. I'd love to take credit for pushing him in the right direction to clean it up, but it had nothing to do with me. I simply encouraged him to find his passions.
That's what marriage is about, really. Supporting your spouse even when you think they are wrong.
Pushing them to greatness, not bullying them into hiding.
My trucker is very spontaneous, I am a planner. I need everything to just be perfectly organized. We compliment each other. He makes a sudden choice to go away, I make sure we have everything we need. It is very hard for me to just get up and go at a moments notice, particularly since we had kids. It is also very hard for him to understand why it takes me so long to get us packed. But we make it work. And by the time we hit the road, we've moved past the stress of the trip (read: quit screaming at each other) and can enjoy vacation. He is happy knowing we are free from the daily grind, I feel happy knowing that if my kid trips in poison ivy while getting eaten up by mosquitos because he's throwing up in the bush and he has an asthma attack... I'm covered. Well, maybe not so extreme but ... who am I kidding, I need it this way. I am a paranoid mama.
Marriage is work. I know that my mom and my dad had tried to explain what it takes to keep a marriage alive. Especially since theirs ended in divorce. I don't want to ever deal with divorce. It will be an absolute worst case scenario if it did occur. Each time we struggle through a tough patch together, we end up feeling a bit closer, a bit stronger and a lot more united. We can not predict every bump in the road, but we can still move forward together.
Often, this little fact is forgotten at the time, but we have survived some pretty crappy situations and I'm sure the worst has not passed us by yet.
So, even when things are good, we work. We make time as often as we can. Our kids are getting bigger and it's getting a little easier to find a sitter for all three. With his weird trucker hours, I rarely go to bed at the same time as he does. So, if the Angel Baby is in bed, I can leave the boys playing for awhile and go sit with him for 20 minutes to talk about those things we don't want to discuss around the kids.
We hit rock bottom now and then, try something new to work on and keep moving. It's when we forget to talk regularly, or just don't talk at all, that the problems hit. When your marriage is weakest, that's when disaster hits. The Murphy's Law of marriage!
I read. A LOT. He doesn't. But after this many years, he has tested some audio books and is willing to talk about what I have read, so I'm okay with that. As long as we are still finding new ways to be more together, I am okay with the reading. I was lucky enough to win a copy of Project: Happily Ever After from Alisa Bowman. I may not have been in the moments of trying to plan my truckers death or writing his eulogy at the time I received it, but let me tell you, when I started reading her blogs about marriage I think I was there. (I will be sharing more about this book soon, so watch for it.) .
Friendships require a lot of give and take. Marriage is the most important friendship you will ever have. You have to be friends, raise children if you have them, share financial stress and planning. It is a personal business. As long as there is something to look forward to, it's worth putting in the effort.
I have been in the mindset of "for-the-kids" and it does nothing for the kids. My whole life revolves around my children. But I am starting to see what so many others have, I need to work on the marriage more than parenting. After all, the trucker will still be here when the kids move away. At least, I want him to be.