Balancing work life with home life is difficult. Sometimes, you don’t get to be there for important things or people because of your job. Sometimes, the work requires so much mental and physical energy that you don’t have enough left to connect with the people you love. Drivers with spouses and families struggle with this more than most. Their jobs require odd and often long hours away from home. They don’t get to be present for ball games, family breakfasts, and bedtimes.
Relationships always require quality time together. If you and your spouse sleep under the same roof but always spend your days apart, you have to establish some points of connection and carve out quality time together or risk drifting away from one another.
Here are some things you can do to put yourself on the road to a better marriage:
- Make daily contact with your spouse: It could be a phone call, text, video chat, etc. Make conversation happen and show interest in your spouse’s life by asking questions, listening to the answers, and then giving a response of your own. People feel valued when they are asked personal questions, then see the other person has really listened to them by that person’s response. Remember to always be safe and follow the regulations when doing this. Utilize break times and off-duty time to connect. Keep in mind hours of service regulation. (https://www.thebalancesmb.com/freight-trucking-dot-hours-1361484
- Make the most of your time at home: Help your spouse out with chores, go to your kids’ activities, and sacrifice time for yourself in favor of time spent with them. We all know the cliche of the dad who’s too busy at work to make time for his family because it happens in real life. Having a family and a spouse means giving them time and energy you could be spending on yourself. The choice is sometimes hard to make, but the rewards are always better.
- Learn your spouse’s love language: Everyone feels loved more in some ways than in others. Does your spouse love to get gifts? Do they love to just spend time talking about the day? Do they love it when you do the dishes or pay a bill? Check out this website for helpful information on love languages. (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
- Be romantic: The more you’re away from your spouse, the more creative you have to be in a romance. But that makes it more fun. Often, the long-distance romance works best with gestures that show your spouse you spent time and energy for them, even when you couldn’t be together. That can mean a sentimental letter or email, a flower arrangement delivered to home or their workplace, or something even more creative. (see resources below)
- Talk about your spouse and kids: Bring them up in conversation. Show people their photos and tell stories about what’s going on in their lives. Did your daughter make the varsity team? Did your son start walking on his own or say his first words? Did your wife get a bonus at work or husband finish that furniture project for the den? Celebrating the family you love will help you feel connected to them.
The most important thing to know when your relationship is hard or in bad shape is that you are not alone. There are lots of drivers who make their marriages work in spite of the odds and who have gained support, encouragement, and peace at home in the process. Romantic gestures and daily connection with your spouse while you’re away, spending time with your family whenever you can and learning their love languages, and keeping them on your mind; all of these methods will help you keep your marriage healthy and your family close.
Here are some more resources that we recommend: