To Trust or Not

| September 03, 2002

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Ellen Voie, author of the trucking book Marriage in the Long Run, recounts a sad story from a former trucker’s wife.

“The very first thing I felt when I found out I had crabs and then, later, gonorrhea, was disgust,” Voie says she was told by the woman, who declined to be identified. “I felt violated and betrayed. I took a vow with this man, the father of my three children.”

Her husband accused her of infidelity, then said he got the diseases from a toilet seat. Finally, he admitted he’d been with a prostitute, but expressed no remorse. They divorced, and he remarried.

Some truckers’ wives and girlfriends are particularly at risk for a sexually transmitted disease because they are in the dark about the ready availability of prostitutes to over-the-road truckers. Others know of the temptations their men face, but – rightly or wrongly – feel secure because they have a trusting relationship.

“When my hubby was driving alone, I always trusted him,” says Alice Aber, a trucker’s wife. “We have so much love for each other, neither of us would risk screwing up what we have for some cheap thrill.”

The typical wife of a trucker, especially a new driver, knows little or nothing about prostitution in trucking, says Phyllis Horsman, who as manager of employee support at Covenant Transport counsels trucker families. “I’ve never heard someone concerned about the women they meet on the road,” she says.

When wives or girlfriends express suspicion about their mate, it concerns the man being with a female trainer or team driver, or the man not calling home after being a week or more on the road. “When minds begin to wander, they imagine the worst,” Horsman says.

In some cases, a wife or girlfriend would be shocked to know the extent of her man’s sexual preferences, and the consequent risk to her.

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