May 01

Being an over-the-road truck driver automatically means that you are one who specializes in long distance relationships.

Think about it. You are on the road hauling freight for days, if not weeks, on end and have very little contact with others.

I think it is very important to acknowledge this and the difficulties that can follow. All too often, I see truckers who ignore the fact that most of their relationships are long distance ones.
 
Ignoring this fact of life on the road makes the typical feelings of a long distance relationship (emotional distance, feeling lonely, having those little miscommunications over the phone and e-mail, and many more pesky problems) often leads to feelings of depression and isolation. The next time you might have this feeling, ask yourself, "Where are these feelings coming from?" There is a great chance that they stem from one of those long distance relationships.

Having a series of long distance relationships is not necessarily a bad thing. Obviously, many need to do this in order to make a living. I just want to stress the importance of acknowledging this and then taking this into consideration the next time you have feelings of isolation, loneliness, and so on. At least for myself, if I know why I am feeling a certain way, I can handle it much better.

Here are some ideas on how truck drivers can handle these long distance relationships and feel as fulfilled as possible:

  • When discussing serious subjects, especially with your partner, use phone (or webcam, if possible) in order to help with accurate communication. Your tone of voice can often make a world’s difference in regards to working problems out or causing new ones!
  • Be sure to make your calls when you still have good energy. If you call at the end of your day, this can really hurt enthusiasm and attention.
  • Keep as much of a mix of e-mail, phone, and old fashioned letters as possible. Everyone is used to getting calls and e-mails. A quick postcard from the road can be a neat little thing that most people enjoy and are not expecting.
  • Send a small and inexpensive gift to your loved one. Again, this can mix things up a bit and be fun for both parties involved.

 

Buck Black is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with truckers and their families. His private practice is at the Heartland Clinic in Lafayette, Indiana, but he offers affordable consultation via phone and Skype at TruckerTherapy.com. Black also has clinical experience helping adolescents and adults with a wide range of problems including relationship issues, substance abuse, anger management, anxiety, and depression. Follow @TruckerTherapy on Twitter to learn more.

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