My husband Jim was out on the road for most of September carrying pets across the country to waiting masters. So many friends asked me how I managed while Jim was gone since I am not use to having Jim gone. They asked if I was lonely with him gone.
My answer was “no, not really”. But we were also texting or talking to each other daily. A couple of times I just really wanted to talk to him about something specific and I was able to call him and have that conversation. Knowing someone loves me and is thinking about me even in their absence does not produce loneliness. At least for me.
But I have known loneliness in my life. As the old western country song says, “sleeping single in a double bed”, now that is loneliness. When I was married to my first husband, he was out wining and dining clients while I stayed home and raised small babies by myself. Some nights he came home, some nights he didn’t. But the expectation was always there that since we were married he would come home. I never mastered the art of giving that expectation to God even though I had plenty of nights of practice. In hindsight, I don’t know for sure that God wanted me to give that expectation up. Marriage is about being faithful to the one you have committed yourself to. And that was not happening in our marriage.
Being divorced was much less lonely because I was not continually dealing with unmet expectations, resulting in heart ache and disappointment. Honestly I can say I don’t remember being lonely during my 13 years as a single parent. Exhausted – yes, doubts about parenting – yes, but loneliness – no!