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I went to college when I was seventeen and had roommates. I had a few false starts and at twenty got an apartment and lived alone. Well, I had Killer the eight pound poodle with me. Can I tell you something you may find difficult to believe?

I was never lonely.

Nope, not me. I loved living alone. I loved the solitude, and the quiet. I loved not sharing, and not being forced to speak. I loved my own messes, and my own cleaning solutions. I met my husband at 25 and we were married and living together when I was 27. I had seven years of living alone and loving it. I considered myself to be a an independent woman. I still do.

He left today for a ten day trip. My husband left around one this afternoon. At 9am I was crying into the pancake batter. It’s not so much that we can’t function without him, it’s that we don’t function well. My husband and I have reached a wonderful point in our marriage where we’re interdependent. I need him and he needs me, and some days it’s almost 50 – 50. Most days it isn’t. Most days he gives an awful lot more or I do, but every so often we’re hand in hand tackling the same amount of duties together.

I’ve got some projects to tackle, so I can make good use of my evenings. I’ll have a lot more time available as I won’t have to do his errands or iron his shirts, but I also won’t have someone to share dinner with. Someone to start the kids’ showers. I won’t have a husband who brings out the trash or carries the bins in from the curb. I don’t have him next to me right now, holding my hand loosely, and not asking me to talk. Because sometimes a really great marriage means you don’t have to talk all the time.

The kids are okay. Alexander cried twice today, and I know he wouldn’t have if my husband was here. Jane will be fine, but in three days she’ll start to fall apart. We know what to expect, we’ve done this before. I’m treading lightly with the kids, they’re extra helpful for me, and hopefully we will manage this with some amount of grace. Hopefully.

16 thoughts on “Marriage”

  1. I can really relate. I was single until age 36 and then married and had Sara by 39. Mark and I have had 18 (almost) great years together. However, this past year Sara and I moved to LA from Montreal, Canada because Sara auditioned for a part and got the gig! So now, Mark and I commute back and forth from Montreal to LA, but I am really here 3/4 of the time. And so I REALLY miss Mark. Not ALL the time, but from time to time. And I can only imagine what Sara feels like!

    Life is a journey, and marriage is a great part of that journey. This year has been “different” to say the least. But the old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is REALLY true. For me, anyway. Can’t wait to see my sweetheart again soon!


  2. This is incredibly written Jessica. I was quite moved by this. I hope to one day have what you describe. Finding the perfect counterpart means more to me then all the fame in the world that my photography could bring me. To many more years of hapiness, understanding, and shared quiet understanding moments between you and your husband.

  3. This was especially poignant for me this morning because Dave is leaving for a trip this week. Finn misses out on his swim lesson with daddy, I miss out on someone warming my freezing feet when I get into bed. It’s the little things, the everyday things that seem to be the hardest for me when he’s gone.
    The first few times I realized how much I missed his presence in the house, I wanted to kick my own ass, struggled to be more ‘independent’ more my old self. Now, I’ve settled into acceptance that while that girl was amazing, with her independence and wholeness as a solo person… so is this woman, even if she hates to sleep alone and doesn’t want to bring in the garbage cans and misses seeing how happy her son is when his daddy walks in the door.
    Lots of well wishes to your family for a smooth week.

  4. when Tony started traveling I was a wreck. Which was odd as we have had to love apart several times when we have moved for relocations. I knew me, and I knew I needed a plan:

    netflix(chick flicks)
    popcorn(just salted)

    All by myself, my preferences, in my bed, after the kids went to sleep. It is small, but it gave me something to look forward to rather than dread: bedtime.

    *hey, did you catch that Freudian error of ‘love’ rather than ‘live’. I am so tickled by myself.

  5. I am with you, Jess.
    Before kids I was fine when Hubby had to travel.
    Now I hate it hate it hate it. But nothing like he hates it when I travel. He is a complete mess. So much so that I really try not to. He is a total mess if any of us are gone. If our daughter (13)sleeps over at a friend’s he literally paces the floor until she calls to say good night and then tosses & turns all night.
    (I don’t know what it’s going to be like when there are BOYS coming around.)
    Anyway, sympathizing. Hang in there, Mama.

  6. Same sentiments here. I wish you well enough. By the way, Kids who study utility bills (electric, water and gas) in order to save energy learn a lot about financial literacy and responsibility, and they grow up to be better CEOs. Support Green My Parents: The Youth Movement to seed the Green Economy! Earn over $100 at home for families and save the Planet! So vote for 1 million youth to win $250k at then join us on Facebook at
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  7. I love this post!! I also lived alone for 5 years before I was married and I loved it. I still love my solitude. but I can’t stand for my husband to be out of town. I hear you that it is not just that he helps you with the kids, it is his presence that you miss.

    We have been married for almost 32 years, and we are more and more interdependent all the time. This is the main reason I have become an entrepreneur instead of working in an office all day, we are home together most of the time! Trust me, it just gets better and better over the years.

  8. awww… i know how you feel. i married when i great run of living by myself. of course that could be because we had 5 kids in the family. and now i love married life. if i didn’t love my husband maybe i wouldn’t lol.

  9. I found this post extremely unnerving since the reaction you, Jessica, had to your husband leaving is the same one I have when separated from my dog for more than 12 hours.

    Hey, at least I don’t have cats. That’s something to hold on to.

  10. Just now reading your post and I must say, it was refreshing. I’m not sure if your goal was to teach, but because I’m always looking for “life lessons” I learned two valuable things that single and married people can benefit from. Here’s the first. So often single people miss out on being “single” because they spend their entire single lives looking for a mate and longing to be married. The fact that you were never lonely says a lot about how secure you were as a person. Could it be that your security with where you were and who you were made you even more appealing to your husband? Lesson #1 is be content with where you are and who you are.

    Lesson#2 is for all us “independent women”, me included. I was a divorcee with two children for eight years before remarrying. I was extremely independent because I had no other choice. Once I remarried it was difficult for me to mesh my independence into my new life. I did not understand as well as you did about being “interdependent” but still remaining “independent”. It took me a while to get that lesson, but eventually I did.

    I echo Michele’s sentiments, “Now, I’ve settled into acceptance that while that girl was amazing, with her independence and wholeness as a solo person… so is this woman, even if she hates to sleep alone and doesn’t want to bring in the garbage cans…”

    I love it!

    Thank you so much for sharing a little piece of your life.

    Wanda Collins

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