Sensitive self-reliance

Most trucker’s wives are proud of becoming self-reliant, but some quickly discover there is a price to pay for their blossoming independence.

“When you fix something around the house for the first time, it makes you feel good,” says Julia Adams of Altoona, Pa. “But it can be a touchy area if you make hubby feel like you don’t need him anymore.”

He will unconsciously expect the home he left to be unchanged on his return. Sudden shifts in the balance of power can be unsettling and even threatening. Give him time to adjust to a stronger you. Keep in mind that the husband who left behind a wilting violet incapable of hammering a nail may feel lost if he comes home to a fix-it queen.

“My hubby eventually got to the point of being proud of me and the fact that I could install a kitchen faucet by myself,” Adams says. “He also realized it meant fewer honey-dos and more quality time together when he’s home.”

I love to call my husband in the truck and ask his advice. Not only does it allow him to be part of my daily life, but his experience is invaluable in everything from personal problems to household repair.

Save some tasks for his return. While you may think you’re doing him a favor by taking care of everything, you risk making him feel like a visitor in his own home. Remind him how much you value his help by asking him to take care of tasks you particularly dislike. For me, it’s hauling heavy trash cans to our local dump and mowing the lawn.

New trucker’s wife Marissa Boston of Springfield, Mo., has learned that self-reliance can cut both ways. “He comes home and fixes his own meals most of the time and sometimes washes his own clothes,” she says.

While he might sound like the ideal husband, most of us want to do things for our drivers while they’re home. The real trick in trucking marriages is not how well we cope without the other person – it’s how well we join the fabric of our separate worlds.



Handy help
These days, there’s plenty of do-it-yourself help available at home improvement stores, bookstores and online.

www.doityourself.com
Has information on home maintenance and improvement tasks and forums where experts answer questions.

www.bhg.com
Has step-by-step instructions on how to fix or build almost anything around the home, from Better Homes and Gardens.
www.howstuffworks.com
Shows how things around the house work.

www.lowes.com
Has a library and offers step-by-step directions.

www.homedepot.com
Shows you how to fix it, build it, install it or decorate it.

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