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When My Husband Goes Away, I Finally Get My Way

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single momIt’s 9 p.m. and I’m tucked up in bed with a box of cereal, a jar of peanut butter and a laptop maxed full of downloads. The kids are calm, satisfied and breathing audibly in their room. The thermostat is exactly where it should be. Everything I need is just where I’ve left it. My whiteheads are popped and my hairy bits plucked into submission.

The good news is I’ve just had eight days of “me” time, give or take several hours with the children, moving at a pace chosen by yours truly.

The bad news is my husband is due home in the morning.

Ah, alone time. I never used to dream of it, pine for it like the boy next door or a bag of Reese’s Pieces. I was always a people person, evolving into a couple person: reow! But somewhere along the timeline of our marriage my subconscious began airbrushing the other human beings from my fantasy bed. Even as a mom, once desperate for another adult with whom to share the daily grind, I’ve begun to cherish my freedom. My reactions, hearing news of my husband’s impending departure, have segued through the years from panic and depression to mild disappointment, neutrality and finally euphoria. Recently, while celebrating our 10th anniversary, my husband and I considered what we could do in future to keep the flame alive. I suggested he go away more often.

Sometimes romance is in the eye of the beholder.

I can’t be alone in feeling this way, however callous it may sound. I couldn’t be the only mom in the sisterhood to relish sofa suppers, basking in the angelic glow of my twitter feed. Am I alone in preferring to graze on nuts and berries rather than cook the meat-and-two-veg that’s required when there are two of us around?

Call me a saddo in sweatpants and no bra, but sometimes I prefer silence to the pleasantries of married life. “How was your day, dear?” [grrr] “Whatcha reading?” [grits her teeth] “Remind me what we’re doing this weekend – every hour from Friday evening through to Sunday night?” [gaaaaahh]

“Let’s get it on.” [feigns sleep]

I guess I just take it all for granted.

It’s a good problem to have, as they say. If I had real problems, I suppose I’d welcome the daily banter and civilized mealtimes. I’d go back to hiding my design magazines inside the Economist and keep my jeans buttoned throughout the day. I can hack it, if it helps keep the flame alive.

I just happen to know what else helps more.

(Photo: BananaStock)

7 Comments

  1. Frances

    March 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I love this! You are not alone girl, trust me. I cherish every moment I get alone at this point, and my husband and I are only hitting the 5 year mark in a month.

    I never understood the people out there who insist that everything must be done with your partner or you’re in a bad marriage or you’re a bad spouse or lover. I take mini vacations alone, or with my eldest daughter because I have always been a solitary person and I don’t think my marriage would have lasted this long without a few weekends alone. It doesn’t help that my husband is a total homebody that thinks watching a House marathon is a vacation.

    You keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.

    • NotThumper

      March 30, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Totally agree! My husband is my best friend but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I firmly believe that some time apart is necessary for a healthy relationship. That time alone could be a mini-vacation or even just an afternoon going different ways and doing different things.

    • LiteBrite

      March 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Count me in too!

      I love my husband, but I love my alone time mostly because I just don’t get much of it anymore. Recently DH went on a week-long work trip, and it was AWESOME. After the boy went to bed, it was just me, the sofa, and the TV remote. I could make what **I** wanted for dinner. I could get things done on MY time. In fact, when DH asked me what I wanted for my birthday I said, “The two of you. Out of the house. THE WHOLE DAY.”

      I wouldn’t trade DH or my son for the world, but I sometimes miss having the entire living room to just me and the cats.

  2. Rebecca

    March 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Absolutely! I never love my husband more then when I’m coming home from a week long visit at my parents. The words “I have to stay late on Wednesday for team building” are music to my ears. I love my alone time!! I like to put the kids to bed early and paint my nails while watching pride and prejudice in sweatpants:) my hubby thinks any bedtime before 9 is to early, and hates the smell of polish and kiera knightly;)

  3. Amy

    March 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I control the tv. I don’t have to watch sports. My children are little and a headache, but there is peace. I can take a bath with the door open. The recycle goes in the recycle. I love him. I miss him after awhile, but my alone time and freedom to shop at will, that’s awesome. Still together after 7 years. But I love his overnight shifts!

  4. Genevieve

    March 31, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Am I the odd one out? I cook what I feel like eating, if mr does not like it he cooks his own dinner, never a complaint heard. I paint my nails when I like, wear sweatpants all day if I want too as well.
    Perhaps because I stay at home with a newborn while he works 14 hours I cherish every oment together.
    I’ll see what happens when I go back to work….

  5. Carolyn

    March 31, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I like that the replies include looking at social media websites-for some reason when husband is gone, I get totally engrossed in Facebook, funny web sites etc-before I know it HOURS have passed lol. Eating Lucky Charms for dinner is pretty sweet too! I still get all weirded out when he is gone-because it’s usually on surf trips=paradise-but, I try to make the best of it and treat myself.

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