As some of you may have read my husband has returned to OTR (over the road) truck driving. Typically, he is on the road for about two weeks then home for a few days or more. Right now we’ve agreed for him to run a but harder than usual because with the kids getting bigger, we desperately need a larger home to accommodate them. It hasn’t exactly been easy thus far, but it hasn’t been horrible either.
I managed to survive my husband’s enlistment well enough, though this time around there are certainly more children to take care of! Really though, I do feel so blessed that I have a husband who is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to give our family what we need-and I am grateful that I am a woman who is willing to manage the home front on my own.
Though this hasn’t been easy, it is completely doable. You both just have to be committed to the bigger picture and follow these 5 rules:
Rule #1: Remember you are on the SAME team
Just because the two of you may be world’s apart doesn’t mean your intentions aren’t the same. Your spouse is working hard to better themselves and provide for you and your children (if you have them) and ensure the stability of your future, together. What you are doing at home is just as important as what they are doing away from home. It takes two to build a life together.
Rule #2: Have patience.
It can be extremely difficult to effectively communicate with one another over the phone, whether it is speaking, texting, video chatting, emailing-whatever. From time to time you are going to desire a meaningful conversation or you (or they) may have something to talk about that has been nagging at the back of your mind. Timing doesn’t always line up the way it needs to to have a real conversation when you are so far apart. You may call and your spouse is sleeping or extremely busy working. When these things happen remember to keep cool and have patience.
Rule #3: Cherish the moments you do get.
When the stars align and you do get the opportunity to really talk-cherish it. Give your spouse your FULL undivided attention. Mute the TV, forget about social media, don’t check your email. This is your time. It is immeasurably valuable. Don’t squander it, you’ll want to hold on to those moments when the loneliness seeps in.
Rule #4: Don’t be afraid to seek support from family.
Having someone else to talk to when your spouse is unavailable can be really helpful, and it saves you from unloading on your spouse when you do talk. If you are like me, a SAHM without much of a social life don’t count out online support groups. You would be surprised at what you can find online. It enables you to connect with like minded individuals, and helps you to feel even if only just a little less alone and isolated. Try to find ways to get yourself out of your own head-even if all you do is keep a journal. Do something.
Rule #5: Do something just for you.
So many of us neglect ourselves, especially when life gets a little stressful. Part of maintaining a healthy and happy relationship is maintaining a happy and healthy you. Take a walk, read a book, get your hair done-anything that brings you some joy. You can’t be there for your spouse if you can’t be there for yourself.
I hope these rules can help those of you in similar situations. Remember, you are not alone, and no matter where they go, your spouse always remains with you. You carry a part of their heart after all, as they do a part of yours.
Love one another. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay positive.