Are truck drivers romantic? That is what we asked Thomas Miller when we talked with him a few days before Valentine’s Day.
He assured us, “I am a romantic truck driver,” but gave much of the credit to his wife, Misty, and their two daughters – Mackenzie (17) and Kylie (26) for keeping him on the right path.
Thomas must know something about romance because he has been married more than 25 years to Misty and driving over-the-road at the same time. He started driving three months after his oldest daughter’s birth 26 years ago. He has been driving for Prime Inc. the last 20 years.
“I have a couple of well-rounded kids,” he says with pride. “The oldest attended college on an academic scholarship. The second is still in high school. They’re both good kids.”
“It takes an incredibly strong woman to raise two kids, essentially alone,” he remarked about his wife, Misty. At the same time, Thomas says he believes the secret to their strong relationship lies with “constant communication.” Calling, texting, emailing and using FaceTime are all part of their routine.
“What happens when the two of you disagree?” we wondered, knowing some people avoid uncomfortable conversations or areas of conflict when they have so little time physically together. Unfortunately, this strategy of avoidance is not usually healthy for relationships and can create resentment and erode good feelings over time.
Thomas assured us he and Misty sometimes do have “excited conversations.” “If things heat up too much,” he said, “we wait until I can pull the truck over because she doesn’t want me driving when I’m upset. Likewise, I would not interrupt her day as a teacher to discuss a disagreement. We don’t put it off for days, weeks, or months at a time because that’s a disaster.”
“The number one thing is that Misty keeps me informed. Sometimes she burns up the phone with FaceTime. Being apart can be tough on a marriage. It takes a lot of teamwork.”
Words of Advice to Would-Be Romantic Drivers
A lot has changed in the last 25 years to help drivers stay more connected with those they love. Here are some specific suggestions from Thomas Miller:
Communicate, communicate, communicate – use every means you can to stay in touch.
When you go home spend as much time as possible with your wife and children. Thomas emphasizes what his wife wants most is one-on-one alone time with him, e.g. dinner together and maybe a movie.
Do not forget your daughters on Valentine’s Day!
Do things you enjoy together when you are home. Thomas and Misty enjoy riding motorcycles and love going for a ride together whenever possible.
Get to know your partner and what makes her happy. She may not be the hearts, flowers and chocolate kind of woman.
When we signed off Thomas was heading off on an adventure with his 17-year-old daughter. He again emphasized the importance of giving time to people you love. “No amount of money will replace your presence with them.”