I recently moved to Alberta to be with an incredible woman who has captivated and captured my soul with her charm and intelligence. This will be the third union in my 87-year lifespan and the most significant in terms of sharing a life together. Maturity plays a huge role in romance.
My first wife, although her father was a long-haul owner-operator, never quite grasped the concept of my being away from home for more than a day or two. Sometimes it was a couple of weeks before I came home. I was a good father taking our three progeny, two boys and a girl, with me on many occasions right across the continent and into the Excited States, adding to their geographical knowledge and expanding their social acuity and awareness of how the world works in the western hemisphere. This relationship ended after 32 years due to addiction. Thankfully this has since been corrected for the sake of two grandchildren - a great blessing.
The second union was a wonderful love-filled romantic whirlwind that also lasted for 32 years but ended with two terrible diseases which took the life of my cherished spouse. She understood the trucking life, having been a hostess in a large truck stop in eastern Ontario and having acquired a license to drive a semi, which was a big help on the road. We learned and shared a great deal of life’s philosophy and nature while together, both on and off the road. In fact, in order to be more effective as a team, we both took a life skills program in different venues because it was so intense, and later, as a safety supervisor, I applied the tenets to my role as a mentor.
While on the road, likely because of my age and experience, I became a bit of a sounding board for other drivers having issues at home. Sometimes the imagination runs rampant, and drivers have too much time to think negatively about their love life. One common assumption is that while he is away, the wife sits around all day watching TV or drinking coffee, or perhaps wine with other wives, and does little else while her hubby is out there in all kinds of weather, traffic, facing customs and other challenges a driver endures on a daily basis. If children are involved, the wife certainly is a busy girl with all the parenting and household duties left for her to accomplish without the help of her partner. Daily phone calls home with the right attitude do help. I would challenge the driver to go home, take the children off his wife’s hands for the duration he’s home and assume as many of the household duties as possible and see for himself how the love of his life “sits around doing nothing” while he’s out busting his butt.
One such situation with a driver from Manitoba changed dramatically. After our CB chat, I met him several trips later, and he was profuse with his gratitude for our two-way talk. Another driver, a bull hauler, noted for his tendency to get riled up over an imagined offence, took my advice to think only positively about the activity at his home base and to also take charge and give his love some free time. He was surprised and delighted at the changes that occurred from his genuine attention. There were many other successes and only a very limited failure rate by drivers who refused to change but continued with the masculine fallacy of supremacy in the family unit. These certainly would result in a sad arrangement and might even leave a damaging psyche in the case of the offspring.
I would encourage the married reader and those with girlfriends or fiancés to think about equality in terms of their relationships. As drivers, you do work hard, I know, having experienced over 50 years of travelling the length and breadth of North America and hauling most commodities on flat decks, A, B & C trains, reefers and dry vans, but never livestock or logs. It was a very rewarding life, but I am aware that times have changed dramatically in the twenty or so years since I hung up my chain-drive wallet.
The first secret to a successful relationship is communication between partners and meaningful interaction without negativity, rancour or intense emotion. Most battles may be avoided with honest, from the head and not the heart, direct communication. Secondly, be happy and content within yourself. Others, especially your loved ones, will be attracted to you. Any necessary changes begin with you. Each of us, and only us, are responsible for our own behaviours. No one else can “make” you happy, angry or sad. Only you have that power. Thirdly, instead of focusing on complaints and people bashing, which only tends to exacerbate the problem, focus on the good things about your relationships, especially those of your partner, and those strengths will increase exponentially. That’s called behaviour modification.
Do not assume those who interfere with your progress on the job got up that morning, intending to ruin your day. Think only positive thoughts. Negativity has absolutely no reward; positivity is its own reward. Be well and be safe and motor with care and love in your heart … 10-4!