When Her Husband’s Away, She Doesn’t Miss Him – Letter to Hax

Yes, you can be married, but if your spouse is a jerk, is selfish, is abusive, or isn’t meeting your emotional needs, you can be lonely within a marriage.

Yet, a lot of Hollywood movies and Christian culture presents this “fairy tale” version of marriage that if you just find the Right One, you’ll be complete, never feel lonely, and so on.

I was engaged to a guy for a few years. I could sit in the same room with him and still feel all alone, so being part of a couple is NOT a guarantee you’ll have companionship or be fulfilled. You won’t often hear that from Christians (or even secular sources) who extol the wonders of marriage.

(Link): When Her Husband’s Away, She Doesn’t Miss Him – Letter to Hax

(Alternate Link to same letter)

Dear Carolyn,

My husband has had to travel for the past several weeks. We have young kids. I haven’t missed him at all.

Not as a partner and not even helping with the kids, since he doesn’t do much.

He is a good dad, but he and I constantly bicker when we are together (both of us are to blame for that). Maybe we could improve our marriage if I could find a way to bring this up to him, besides “it’s easier not to have you here.”

But marriage counseling is not going to help because he can out-talk any therapist.

— Husband Absent, Don’t Care

That’s some heavy contempt you’re nursing there — a toxic emotion in a marriage. (Check out John Gottman’s work, www.gottman.com.)

You can get counseling on your own to work through this, and to find some ways to tell your husband how you feel that aren’t hostile. You can also work on some strategies for addressing the division of labor so that you can cross it off the list of reasons to resent the man who is supposed to be your partner (and whose relationship with you is the primary model you’re providing your children).

Short version: Less bitterness, more work to make it work.

Even if your differences are irreconcilable, finding a more respectful, cooperative, positive tone will bring dramatic improvement to the example you set, no matter what next step you and he decide to take.

[Reader input]

Re: Don’t Care

Huge red flag. I still remember that feeling after a business trip over 15 years ago. I wasn’t “happy” to see my boyfriend at the airport. Did I do anything to fix the situation? No.

Married him and then felt that same feeling years later after he’d been away.

Eventually divorced. The truth will follow you around. It’s mean like that.

— Anonymous

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