The oilfield isn’t a job… it isn’t just a career. It’s a lifestyle. We don’t live our lives out in days. We live our lives out in hitches, always thinking 8 weeks ahead. We don’t plan based on how we can arrange our schedules – we plan based on what the oilfield dictates HIS schedule will be. It takes a lot for families to be separated for weeks at a time – oilfield wives are on their own with planning, budgeting, carpooling, child rearing, errand running, juggling schedules for the kids’ activities and their own work activities, and everything else in between while their oilfield men are out sacrificing time with their families, beating up their bodies, working themselves to the bone for 12 hours a day EVERY DAY, risking their very LIVES in order to make a living.
Oilfield men don’t get sick days. They don’t get to oversleep. They don’t get to knock off early or take a long lunch. Trapped in the middle of the ocean for 4-5 weeks at a time, my husband can’t decide he wants to run out to have a drink after work or meet up with friends to grab a bite to eat. He doesn’t get to call his boss and say he’ll be in late because he doesn’t feel well or didn’t get enough rest.
He can’t drag his feet getting out the door when he’s headed to work because being late doesn’t mean missing a few minutes – it means missing a FLIGHT. He doesn’t have a 20 minute commute. He has an hour ride to the airport, 1.5 hour wait to board the plane for a 75-minute flight followed by a van ride to the hotel at which he is up and waiting in the lobby by 4am for another 1.5 hour van ride to the heliport where he waits a couple of hours to ride a chopper 1-2 hours out to his rig depending on where it’s positioned. If he is late to the lobby, no one is waiting on him and if he misses that van, no one’s coming back for him… and even then, he is FULLY expected to get himself to the heliport ON TIME in a city 500 miles away from home. Once he’s there, he’s lucky if he has 2-3 hours before his shift begins after a LONG 15 or so hours of traveling broken up by what basically equates to a power nap.
For 28-35 days STRAIGHT, it’s work 12 hours a day, period. No exceptions, no slacking, no option. I’m not a perfect woman and he’s not a perfect man, but I am proud to share my life with him and honored to have him as my husband. It’s hard to put into words how much I appreciate his efforts and everything he does to keep his family secure, happy, and furnished with everything we need and most of what we want.
I love you, Barry :) I hope you never think that we don’t understand the difficulty, the importance, and even the danger in what you do and the pressure of existing and advancing in a field that literally leaves no room for error. My husband is the shit!
I love him for that.
What’s This Series About Anyway??
I believe that strong marriages rely on three key elements:
- Love – unconditional
- Communication – uninterrupted
- Affirmation – uninhibited
Everything else stems from how healthy the couple is in those three areas. Because of this, I’ve started communicating my love for my husband through weekly affirmations… those simple statements of truth that let him know I see all the ways he expresses his love for me. I’ve written a lot about what kind of wife I am and how I love and support my husband. This is the other side of that :)
Read them all by clicking here: What I’m Loving!