Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Husband Lied to Me About What Job He Wanted to Pursue”

From the forums:

I need some much needed advice on what I should do. My husband became a truck driver a little over three and a half years ago. He did not have his CDL when we first started dating. I knew that he wanted to drive for a living, but it was always explained to me that he would drive over the road for a couple of years for experience and then he would pursue something local that would get him home daily. Unfortunately, I feel like I have been manipulated to pursue a relationship with him based on false information. His intentions have been to continue to drive over-the-road even though it has been something that I have expressed displeasure with from the very beginning. I’ve never complained but only have expressed how I feel when asked. He seems to think that the only way he can make a good living is if he is gone for weeks at a time. Had I known that this was his intention from the beginning, I would have delayed getting married and having a child.

I’ve never been interested in having a long-distance relationship. Even in my teens there were guys that wanted to date me, but the minute I found out they lived hundreds or thousands of miles away I became disinterested. That is my preference. I understand that there are wives and even husbands that do ok with being away from their spouses for extended periods of time, but I’m just not like them. I’ve been given the advice to have my own life (which I do). I’m a full-time mom, employee, and nursing student. I’m not up under my husband nor do I want to be. I feel that because I’m not happy with my husband’s plans to continue over-the-road truck driving and I’ve expressed that I’ve never been interested in being with someone in a long-distance relationship, I’m a bad person. He’s made me feel selfish for not supporting his dream, but I’ve functioned like a single mom without complaints. I’ve only discussed with him some of the challenges that I’m facing with trying to juggle everything. The only reason I even told him how I felt was because he asked. I’m starting to resent him because I feel like I was lied to, and I’m really having second thoughts about whether this relationship can last when we have such differing views about such an important decision. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! — Trucker’s Wife

What you have is a problem with communication and expectations. You had an expectation that your now-husband would be a certain way and that he would stay that way, always. But over the course of what one would hope to be a decades’ long marriage, people change. Their jobs change, their demands and responsibilities change, their interests often change, and sometimes their ideals and values change. As committed spouses, we work to adapt to those changes in ways that don’t compromise our own integrity. This often requires some sacrifice; it definitely requires communication – communicating what is working for you and what isn’t and trying to find some common ground and areas where you can give and take. If a spouse is making more sacrifices than he or she is comfortable with and a compromise can’t be met, then that’s when conversations about how and whether to continue the partnership need to take place. It does not sound like you are having these conversations. It doesn’t sound like you’re expressing much about your feelings at all, actually. Why is “the only reason” you’re telling him how you feel is because he asked?! This is your life! Take some ownership here.

I suspect you have some feelings about being a burden on your husband. “I feel that because I’m not happy with my husband’s plans to continue over-the-road truck driving and I’ve expressed that I’ve never been interested in being with someone in a long-distance relationship, I’m a bad person.” You’re *not* a bad person for wanting your husband home, for not wanting to live as a single mother for weeks on end while your husband is on the road. It’s not only ok to have these feelings and to express them, but also it is necessary for your marriage. When you continue to suppress your voice, to quiet yourself, to make yourself as small and as compliant and as invisible as you can so to avoid confrontation or whatever negative thing you’re afraid will result from speaking up, you foster resentment and that resentment grows at the same pace as the space you inhabit shrinks. The more you try to curl yourself into a tiny, quiet little ball, the more that resentment in your chest builds like a fire until it burns down your marriage, until it burns down your spirit. Put that fire out, girl! Speak up! Tell your husband how you’re feeling and work with him to find a solution that addresses your family’s financial needs, your husband’s career interests, and your need to have a husband close to home on a regular basis. I promise that there’s a compromise there if you both are willing to look for it.

I think it would behoove you both to meet with a marriage counselor who can help you two figure out how to communicate. Marriage, like life, is ever-evolving. This won’t be the last time you’re faced with something in your marriage that doesn’t meet your needs. This won’t be the last time that expectations you had when you agreed to get married are challenged. Change doesn’t mean you’ve been betrayed; it doesn’t mean you’ve been manipulated and lied to. Evolution isn’t an affront to the status quo; it can be an invitation for growth. I hope you’ll take the invitation and see where it leads. A good therapist can be a wonderful guide as you – and your husband – follow the path, especially when you’re first starting out or when you face any new bumps or challenges. Good luck!

***************Follow along on Facebook,  and Instagram. If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

11 comments… add one
  • avatar

    brise April 19, 2021, 9:20 am

    Put your foot down. Say explicitely and definitely that this plan is for you out of the question. Be the bad guy if your husband plays that game – lame of him. It is obvious that this is not a life or a very lonely and unfair one, where you have all the burden of childcare, housecare, and so on.
    Make it clear that for you, this is a deal-breaker. You will go and he will pay you childsupport if this goes on. Make it clear and forget all guilt about it. It is really totally normal of you, and good and sound, to refuse such a life.
    Ask him to retrain and find an other job as soon as possible. And prepare yourself for divorce, because I am not very optimistic here. He doesn’t listen to you and doesn’t have at heart to simply share family life. You seem pretty angry too. You organised your life. It won’t change much, frankly, to be single again.

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  • avatar

    brise April 19, 2021, 9:23 am

    You should also forget this strange idea that you shouldn’t express your opinion, only if asked. We are not in the 19th century anymore, where girls were supposed to remain silent at social events except when asked a question. You are a grown-up, a spouse, you have a 50 % right and responsibility in your family choices. Sit down your husband and speak clearly. If you can’t reach an agreement, then you have to walk.

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    • avatar

      allathian April 20, 2021, 3:47 am

      Hard agree on this one, although my guess is that the OP said it because she didn’t want to come across as a whiner. But expressing your needs in a relationship is not whining.

      She’s a mom with a young child, working at least PT, and also a nursing student. This schedule would overwhelm many people, even with a husband who sleeps at home and does his share of the chores. I’m not surprised she’s feeling some resentment about this. The fact is, even if they got a divorce things wouldn’t change much for her. But maybe it might be better to wait until she has her nursing diploma and can get a full-time nursing job.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie April 19, 2021, 11:28 am

    He doesn’t get to live his dream job if his “dream” puts all of the day to day burden of home and family on you.

    As a married father he can have dreams, but they have to include the cost to his wife and child. His dreams aren’t more precious than your needs.

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  • avatar

    Another trucker's wife April 19, 2021, 12:22 pm

    It might be that your husband has discovered that OTR trucking is more profitable than local jobs. Good luck on getting him to counseling–virtual may be a possibility, but when your job is driving and the loads are time-sensitive, stopping for that sort of thing isn’t always possible. Being in a relationship with a trucker is difficult and it’s certainly not for everyone. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  • avatar

    Bittergaymark April 19, 2021, 12:25 pm

    Much of this is on you. If you don’t want to marry a truck driver and have a baby… well, then DON’T!

    But soing so only to then later whine and complain about it on here is a lousy look. And — frankly — a complete waste of time.

    Honestly? What are your husband’s skills and other career prospects. He very damn well may be right in that trucking is the way he can best earn a solid living. You seem to live in a fantasy world where men should both read your mind and only take jobs that best suit you.

    How’s that working out for you?

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    • avatar

      Debbie D. Key April 20, 2021, 6:34 am

      She says he wasn’t a truck driver when they met and said he would only drive for 2 years and then look for something local. Had he been upfront, she wouldn’t have married him. Its hard to make good decisions when people hide their intentions. If he really wanted to spend time with his wife and child, he would find a way.

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      • avatar

        Bittergaymark April 20, 2021, 10:53 am

        Whatever. When they got married — he was driving that truck. When they had the baby — he was driving that truck.

        🤷‍♂️

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      • avatar

        anonymousse April 20, 2021, 11:11 am

        She said she knew he was planning to drive.

        “I knew that he wanted to drive for a living, but it was always explained to me that he would drive over the road for a couple of years for experience and then he would pursue something local that would get him home daily.”

        Yeah, and then things change, like you get locked into a contract with a company. Or have to pay for expensive repairs to the truck you technically lease and have to pay for. It’s not a surprise that his career options may have changed after he’s been working for years. People make plans all the time and then life happens and sometimes plans change.

        The issue is they don’t communicate at all like married couples should.

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  • avatar

    Miss MJ April 19, 2021, 5:14 pm

    Wendy is right – communication is key. But also, the economy sucks for a lot of folks right now and it may well be that your husband really can’t make the kind of money driving locally that he can driving OTR. You mention that you’re in nursing school – is it possible that once you graduate and start working, your financial situation will change so that it’d be feasible for him to take a job that pays less? If so, then framing it as “this too shall pass” may help you get through until then. BUT! You have to communicate with you husband to even get to that point. If he’s absolutely dead set on this being his only career option and dream, well, then that changes the conversation.

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  • avatar

    ron April 19, 2021, 5:47 pm

    It is almost certainly true that the husband can earn more driving OTR. So three questions: can the two of you agree that it is ok to live on the reduced income that your husband can earn driving locally? Can you earn more $. Is part of the issue that your husband just enjoys the OTR trucking life-style and doesn’t want to work locally and be home every night? If for whatever reason your husband stays OTR, then you have a decision to make.

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