Ever had one of those days? And by “those days” I mean the kind where you just want to leave your significant other at the nearest bus stop and be done with them?
I’m betting you have. I know I have. In fact, you’ve probably even given in to impulse and thought about leaving them while they go inside for the scale ticket or you’ve been fantasizing about driving off into the sunset alone or even gone as far as actually leaving them on the side of the freeway. But really all you need is a few moments alone yet some bratty screaming kid tries to break down the bathroom stall during your last moments alone before you have to get back in the truck with them for the next 1,000 miles or whatever.
I feel your pain.
The chain of logic – or lack of it – when you decide you simply can’t go on can vary hugely depending on your emotional state, your sleep state, your stress level, hunger, and a whole bunch of other physical and psychological factors. How you arrive at your decision may be a long and complicated journey, full of twists, turns and inexplicable leaps. But really how much does their chewing really bother you? And if they sing out loud yet another verse of the same oldie but not so goodie again, you’ll really lose it!
If your significant other is a good one, he or she will talk to you honestly about what’s going on – which may be why it is so tempting to run to the nearest bathroom stall or bury your head behind the sleeper curtains. You may not want an honest opinion from a trustworthy professional if you are just frustrated or exasperated. But, just like it’s a good idea to have a friend on speed dial when you are getting ready to eat the entire chocolate cake – with ice cream – it’s good to have an emergency plan for those days when you want to make a drastic change like leave your S.O. at the nearest truck stop and speed away.
First, stop. Learn to communicate better. If they are making you crazy, it’s okay to take a breather. Get away from the hustle and bustle of a truck stop. Use one of those free showers to hide. We won’t tell. Communication is huge. No, you don’t have to scream at your S.O. just how bad their singing is, perhaps next time join in as loudly as possible. Have some fun with it. Or if you really just need a few minutes, before you pull your hair out, close the curtains and take a few moments. Or go inside the truck stop and use the bathroom, stay there for a good ten minutes behind several locked doors. I don’t care if you use the bathroom or not, just use that few moments to get a little distance. It’s hard to do 24/7 with anyone. Let alone someone you love.
Next, make sure to get off the truck as much as possible together. Go inside the truck stop and have dinner together. Look for truck friendly parking nearby your favorite restaurant, or drop your empty trailer and park bobtail, if your company allows. Park the truck and get a hotel every once in a while. Most hotels have truck parking nearby or can refer you to some nearby. Go see a movie. Most movie theaters will let you park for a few hours if you’re paying to see one. Just check with the manger, they’re usually accommodating to truckers. Just get off the truck and be together as a couple. Enjoy each other. Keep the romance alive.
Now that you’ve gotten off the truck, talk to your S.O. But not about trucking. Talk about the last movie you streamed. Talk about that trip you’ve been planning. Talk about how cute the grandkids were last visit. Just keep the lines of communication open. You’re on the truck 24/7 why chat about work again?
Lastly, shower apart every once in a while. Nothing says kill the romance like watching your significant other do their business right in front of you or vice versa. Seriously. Nothing wrong with having time alone and meeting up for dinner afterwards.
If your mechanic suggests that you are in danger of crashing if you don’t get your brakes fixed, you will probably either get them fixed or park the truck. Pay the same heed to your significant other. Communicating with them can be difficult but there is no reason to crash over spending too much time together or not communicating effectively as a team.
Of course, bad communication is not the same as not getting your brakes fixed. But it could be almost as bad if you’re relationship is about to crash and burn due to a lack of it.