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Just a Guy Without His Wife

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My wife is out of town and, gulp, I have to admit I sort of like it.

man eating

Bruce Sallan: The reason she's gone I don't like, as her mother is having some serious surgery, and we're all concerned. Putting that aside, I must say I'm enjoying the alone time. In short order, I will miss her, as I love her dearly and appreciate all the good she brings into our house, for my boys and myself. But, for the moment, it's sort of cool.

My parents were of that "other" generation. They met when they were 17 and 14, married in their early twenties, and were together EVERY day of their lives, unless one of them was in the hospital. EVERY day, for 66 years. No typo. They also had lunch together nearly EVERY day. Theirs was a love for the ages.

A second marriage, today, is just different. We bring all the proverbial baggage to the party and we're more set in our ways. The benefits of our marriage far outweigh the disadvantages, but being a little messier, not worrying about cleaning up, letting out the occasional burp, eating with my fingers when the food just is screaming to be picked up -- these are all things I'm temporarily enjoying.

Our marriage has had its challenges from day one, as we are inherently pretty darn different. That is the appeal, at times, and the struggle. The things we share and agree on cover the important stuff, but those differences do crop up, so this brief alone time is fun.

Okay, it's only been 3 hours since I dropped her off at the airport. But, what do I know; I'm just a guy.

next: Family Learned Over Internet That Son Was Killed
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Bruce Sallan July 25, 2009, 1:30 PM

Okay, it’s been a week now and the GOOD news is my mother-in-law came out the surgery just fine. Her spirit and attitude is terrific and she’s heading home sometime today.

The bad news is the house is falling apart! Laundry is piled everywhere. Dust balls are flowing through the house as cobwebs accumulate in every ceiling corner. The dogs are ravaging the neighbor’s trash cans for food while our frig has some strange growth coming out of the vege bin. My teen came home last nite at 2 a.m., apparently drunk and not sure where his bedroom was. My tween has finished all our ice-cream - 10 cartons of Hagaan-Daz. As for me, I haven’t bathed since my wife left and I don’t understand why the squirrels and other local animals follow me when I walk the dogs? We’ve run out of dishes as the sink is too full of them for us to reach the water handles. Are we supposed to flush toilets or is that smell normal?

Erin July 25, 2009, 4:12 PM

I think you’ve let out a dirty little secret. Hate to break it to you, Bruce, but we girls LOVE when our guys are gone, too. We get to gossip all we want, not cook meat every meal, or clean up after our slob of a husband, hang out with the girlfriends “you” don’t like, etc. Same thing, so don’t think you have a lock on this feeling. Good topic. Love your blogs.

ame i. July 25, 2009, 6:19 PM

My parents married at 18 & 19 & celebrated their 42nd anniversary this year.
I married at 20,had my daughters when I was 29 & 21, lost my husband when I was 35.
My “now” husband and I will celebrate our 2nd anniversary in a couple months. This is his first marriage, my (our) daughters are his only children. He had just turned 46 when we married.
He works 90 miles away from our home. I hate the days when he works late,hate even more the few times a year when he must spend a night or two away from home.

Suze July 26, 2009, 12:55 AM

My parents were together for 31 years, and after my father died, my mother never married again. I’m 42 y.o. and married for the second time. I need to travel as part of my job, and that’s when I enjoy that little break from the everyday routine.

Anonymous July 27, 2009, 11:51 AM

This article was funny. I too enjoy my alone time and i think my hubby feels the same way. Distance can bring you closer I believe.

Connors July 29, 2009, 2:49 AM

VERY funny blog - and an even funnier follow-up. Can definitely relate - neither my wife nor myself are wired to spend all of our time together. Still, too long apart and we miss the closeness. A delicate balance is probably the key.

Bobby July 29, 2009, 2:32 PM

Nothing wrong with a little ‘down time!’

David July 29, 2009, 4:26 PM

As with many aspects of relationships, this is going to vary from couple to couple. Growing up with no siblings, I long ago became accustomed to being on my own; I have long been able to fill my “alone” time; and indeed miss it when it is limited or rare. Translated to the world of couples, I don’t like, and don’t need, sensing that my partner and I are joined at the hip; I am comfortable being without her unless such an “alone” period is prolonged. On the other hand, I always avoided long-distance relationships, because they include far too little “together-time” for my taste. I have a colleague who cannot stand to be away from her husband for more than 36 hours…she and I have been on business trips 3-4 days long, and starting Day 2, all she can talk about is business at hand AND how much she misses her husband. They have been married happily for more than 25 yr., and in fact got married at roughly age 22 after having known one another for LESS THAN 2 weeks! I don’t “get” any of that, but as I said, it all varies from one couple to the next.

Wendy July 29, 2009, 8:33 PM

That made me smile.

Kathi Browne July 30, 2009, 12:06 AM

I must admit I enjoy the first evening when my husband leaves on a trip. The dishes wait in the sink, I fix my favorite vegetarian dinner, and I take over his side of the sink… but then it gets lonely.

So now… the night before he leaves, he sleeps in a t-shirt that he places on my pillow the next morning. I sleep in his shirt until he returns. I love smelling him at night. It makes dealing with everything else just a little bit easier.

Ari July 30, 2009, 3:16 PM

I am a 34 year divorced male (was married for only two years). I am now contemplating proposing to my current girlfriend. When I first got married, I was only 25 and just getting started in the very stressful profession of being a stock broker. Though the divorce was the best thing that could have happened, it still pains me to think that I failed at soemthing. Now that I am older, I truely think that I have met my soulmate. We have more fun when we are with each other than when we are apart. But I think time apart is healthy, its just finding that happy median.

Susie July 30, 2009, 3:24 PM

Bruce: Good story. I have been married 18 years and I still like it when my husband goes away on business trips. It seems my teen boys behave when it it just the three of us.

Arnie  July 31, 2009, 3:12 PM

i miss my stepmom
Now that she’s gone I feel like i need to clean certain things. Looks like her training is working. :/
I also miss the food. Chili and pizza have been good, but everything else not so much.

Loren August 2, 2009, 3:09 AM

Good blog honey! Just make sure those toilets are flushed before I get home and the doggie hairballs floating along the kitchen floor best be swept up too. Also, thanks for not trashing the place so bad that our beloved housekeeper, Bessie, quit. xoxo

Never August 2, 2009, 3:39 PM


Freedom is free but it still has a price. Love her well when she comes home and you will have a happy home and cleaner home.

Seperate apart time = change… change is good as it allows you a different perspective to reflect from and have fun that you may otherwise not have… all is good! Enjoy!

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