Line One
Marriage in the Long Run

Stress... it's everywhere. We live with stress on a daily basis. These people on the highway who pull out in front of you, the store clerk who is more interested in her phone call than in checking you out, and the telemarketer who refuses to leave you alone during dinner. These stresses are the little things that add up and make us more pressured to get through our day intact than we realize.

How do we conquer the stress monster? There are numerous books and tapes on stress, but do we really have a handle on avoiding or overcoming this daily phenomenon?

The University of Arizona did a study on stress. They phoned 1,500 people every day for eight days to ask them about their stress levels. What they found won't surprise you. The triggers that set us off involve things such as arguments with people at home or at work, worrying about someone's health or people in trouble and, of course, problems with money. These are the things that eat away at us all the time. The interesting thing about the study was that the people who they called actually told the researchers they would miss the daily interaction with them when the study ended.

What are they saying? That these folks liked being interrupted by the university callers in order to talk about their stress? Apparently they felt a sense of peacefulness to share their concerns, even with an anonymous voice at the other end of the phone.

The fact that people feel a sense of isolation these days is the reason for this column. Some people may feel that the issues we discuss are trivial. Why worry about your weight, or what to do with your children when you need a break? Why don't we cover more important issues, like legislation or education?

If you read the rest of this magazine, you will find lots of information to make your business successful. This column is intended to make your home life more successful. Women married to truckdrivers often feel that isolation, and wonder if they are alone in their worries.

They are not. We use this forum to share our ideas in overcoming some of these stresses. Many of us don't have a mother or grandma to help us out and offer advice in our daily activities. Who can we turn to? We are fortunate to have the wisdom of thousands of readers who are willing to offer their suggestions and share the successes in their lives.

You may read about ways other women deal with their situations. You may agree, or you may look at the idea and say, "Whoa, that won't work for me!" That's okay. No one ever said that we all make every effort to keep full our husband's glass of iced tea. We just acknowledge that some women feel that way, and their marriages are successful, so maybe they have some insight we should consider.

Some of us may not fit into the stereotypical mold of "the trucker's wife." That's okay. Just like reading a recipe book, you take the ideas out that you think will work and the ones your family will like, and leave the rest alone.

So, we would like to thank those of you who take the time to write about your families and marriages. Every single letter is read and receives a reply, so you know that it is important to offer that wisdom for us to share. In the coming issues, we will share some more of your challenges with others, and we ask for your good sense in dealing with them. Thanks for your contributions to this column. LL