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More About Lonely Married Moms

Jessica from Life as Mom asked the following question about my review of Married Mom, Solo Parent by Carla Ann Coroy: 
 

Does she address the fact that women for centuries have dealt with this? I imagine that the experience cannot be unique to our time, especially given the huge number of wars in world history.

An excellent question.  No, Carla Anne does not dwell on history.  Her focus is on supporting Christian women in the difficult situation of being married but alone. 

A Sailor's Wife Looking Out to Sea, from www.urk.eu

However, Jessica’s question raises a vital point.  Throughout the centuries, soldiers, sailors, pioneers, merchants, persecuted believers, and many other men were often far away from home.  There have indeed been many married solo moms throughout history.  Undoubtedly it was very, very difficult for them (especially for the wives of imprisoned persecuted believers, of which there are still many), but there are two huge differences that most of today’s lonely married moms face.

First of all, because being alone was not a private matter, there was support in community.  If all the other men in the community were off harvesting, then all the other women were alone, too. There was support and understanding, even if all you did was cry together after a bad day.  If all the other fishermen had gone off, there was loneliness, there was terror during storms…and your friend understood because her husband was out on those deadly black waves, too.

Military wives nowadays have this community, at least in Canada. 

But wives of businessmen, academics, workaholics, visionaries, church workers, truck-drivers, and computer addicts have no such supporting community.  Instead they face questions like, “Where is your husband anyways?”  Or pointed advice, “You can’t have a good marriage unless you spend time together.”  Or the poisonous barb, “Are you sure he isn’t having an affair?”  Rather than encouraging such women, others ask, “Don’t you think it’s because his dad’s always gone that he acts like that?”  Or even, “Just tell your husband to stay home.”  These are the comments of Christians.  Most worldy advice is even more blunt: get a divorce.

Carla Ann gives godly support to women obliged to defend their husbands while wondering the same things themselves.  

Furthermore, since most modern absent married fathers (businessmen, academics, workaholics, visionaries, church workers, computer addicts, etc.)  all have some degree of control over their hours, the terrible question inevitably arises:  Is he away because he has to be, or because he wants to be?   How does a godly woman deal with the resultant feelings of shame and abandonment without sinning?

Carla Anne answers that question.  She deals with all the emotions.  She discusses how to respect an absentee husband and how to teach the children to respect their absent father. She discusses the sadness and loneliness as well as practical issues.  She even discusses the emotional conflict that comes later: if he doesn’t want to be here, do I still want him to be?   

For more information, read my review of Married Mom, Solo Parent.  If you are a Christian mom with an absent husband, do get the book.  It will encourage you, pass on practical tips, and show you how to walk this path in a God-honoring way. It could also make a life-changing gift.

Thanks, Jessica, for the question.  I pray that this discussion brings hope and relief to many lonely hearts this Christmas.

For more encouragement, visit  Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers, No Ordinary Blog Hop, Encourage One Another Wednesday, and Women Living Well Wednesdays.

7 Comments

  1. FishMama says:

    Really, thoughtful answers. I would also point out, too, that in the modern age, we have different expectations of husbands and fathers than was “average” hundreds of years ago.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      That is so true!

  2. Lori says:

    Interesting post. Does she ever discuss the possibility that some wives may not be making the place a husband wants to come home too? This was my case for 23 years. I was constantly upset with my husband and we argued all the time. He could never live up to my standards…Thankfully, I have changed and he loves o be at home and with me.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      She does point out how to make home a pleasant place and continually encourages women to be kind, understanding, loving, godly wives. That’s one of the strengths of this book. And this book does focus mostly on those men who are away because they need to be, at least most of the time.

      How wonderful that you were able to change and that your marriage is now happy. Carla Anne’s husband is at home a lot more now, too, but he had to change his job for this to happen.

      Annie Kate

  3. Kim says:

    We see the world through our own lens, and I am so thankful you have expanded my view today. Being so blessed and so happily married, I never really considered what it might be like for lonely married moms. Thank you for reviewing this book!

  4. What a thought provoking post! It is something I must share with a friend who is in the same position and has little community. My husband is a visionary, and I am alone often, but less and less now. Praise God! Blessings to you, Annie Kate, as we celebrate the Christ child come to dwell among men. Do you celebrate it in Canada the same time as the US?

  5. Anna-Marie says:

    Interesting, I will investigate this book. My husband is going on a deployment next year and will be gone for 4 months I am dreading it:(. Normally we are very close family so the prospect of going it alone even for a short duration is pretty upsetting to me. But I don’t have alot of support around me to ease the burden. Stopping by from NOBH

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