I think this might be the biggest reason that spouses and significant others of chefs find my website. Many of us are sitting at home on Saturday nights while most of our friends are out and about . . . yet our chefs are at work and we are home by ourselves (or with the kids) and are lonely.
It’s interesting. Loneliness has looked different to me at different times in my life.
When we were first married and my husband and I were working opposite schedules, I would get home, eat dinner by myself, and spend the night alone. I was lonely. I missed him. I wished he could be home so we could spend time together. I hated having all that time without him.
I found ways to occupy my time while he was at work. I watched TV, worked on my weekly Bible Study, did pages in my scrapbook, etc. But I would still think of him many times during the night and miss him. I was lonely. It was silent in our home and I struggled with the long hours he was working. I hated having all that time to myself.
Fast forward 19 years and the loneliness looks different. (I wish I had more time by myself – LOL!)
Our home is full of noise and little people. I am no longer alone in the afternoons and evenings when my chef/husband is working. I am surrounded by 3 children.
Yet somehow I still get lonely. The kids keep me company and talk my ear off. (I love them dearly, but do wish the house was a bit quieter.) I always have someone to do something with, although it might be playing a game of Go Fish or Just Dance instead of going out for a nice quiet dinner or going on a quiet walk. How is it that my life is full of people I love, yet I’m still lonely at times?
For me, it’s because of 1 reason. And as I think about it, it’s actually a really good reason. I am lonely because I miss my best friend. Of all the people here on earth, my chef/husband is the one I want to spend time with and when he is working a ton of hours, I miss him and get lonely. I miss talking about life. I miss laughing. I miss him making jokes. I miss him helping cook. I even miss him falling asleep on the sofa next to me because he’s so exhausted from work. I just miss him!
While this loneliness of being a chef wife, stinks, I am so glad to be married to my best friend and that after 19 years, we still want to spend time with each other more than with anyone else.
During those times I’m feeling lonely and really missing him, I try and think of something we’ve done together recently or look forward to a time soon he is supposed to be off. I’m thankful for hobbies that keep me busy on the nights he is working. I’m thankful for friends who come over and keep me company.
Being alone and lonely isn’t easy as a chef wife. Is that something you struggle with as well? What do you do to keep busy when your chef is working?
From one chef wife to another,
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My husband is a pastor who also has to have a second part-time job to make ends meet so I know what you mean about spending long hours away from your best friend. Sometimes when I’m really lonely I send him a quick email/text telling him how much I miss him and love him. It’s a nice way for us to connect without pulling him away from his job for a phone call that could potentially get too long.
It’s nice though to know that the loneliness means you married your best friend. Martin Luther has a quote that I love, “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” One of these days I’m going to get that printed up for our bedroom wall because I think it fits our marriage.
Love that quote. That would be a great start to a blog post!! Oh, and I love calling and sending texts too! 🙂
what a sweet post! I love the way you describe missing your best friend, what a true mark of a great couple!
Thanks Michelle. Glad it came across as sweet and not depressing. 🙂
To add to this.special occasions like christmas ,our hindu festivals and here in dubai when people are planning the long weekend on eid, it leaves a feeling of sadness.im struggling to maintain this relationship .i eat all my meals alone .i m just not happy.may be a little more sad today.
Yes – special occasions and holidays are even harder. And eating meals alone gets old really fast. 🙁 I’m so sorry.
There no exaggeration in this article. In my household we have 2 chefs, 2 cooks and a dishwasher. Everybody works Saturday’s.
My wife the Pastry Chef finally had a Saturday off and she had the place to herself. I don’t schedule myself to have Saturday’s off because everyone works and I get lonely.
That’s a lot of crazy schedules in one house. Are you ever all off at the same time?
This made me cry, and I’m not a crier. I spend a lot of time alone and with the kids. Friends want to do dinner and if it’s on a weekend I know my husband will be at work. His intense work ethic is a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to hear someone else feels that way.
Yes…blessing and a curse. I get it! 🙂
I’m feeling the same! He had just gotten off of work, and he didn’t really talk to me or tell me about his day. That night, he said goodnight and I asked him if he loved me. He just said yeah. Sometimes it’s hard not to think that everything is related to me and our relationship. I sometimes thinks he doesn’t love me anymore. But I have to remember he worked 15 to 17 hours each day and is exhausted. I wouldn’t want to talk either if I worked that. Great blog though! It’s very relatable.
Good point. I probably wouldn’t want to talk either after working that many hours! Hang in there!
After working in the restaurant industry for over 18 years on amd off before finishing my degree and working in social service and now education, you think I’d be used to his schedule. Nope, the loneliness doesn’t get easier nor does explaining it to others. I often get asked or told repeatedly every church visit or family event or otherwise “he’s working”. I used to come home and cry and yes, again, you think I’d be used to it… But no, I was a cook, server and a bartender. Yet he’s a sous chef and an exceelent one at that. Needless to say, he’s at the beck and call of the restaurant and sadly, no, it doesn’t get easier. One of the myths that drive me nuts when I get asked frequently when someone asks what my husband does is…”he must cook for you ALL the time” or “you must eat good”. Yep, that’s true on occassion and yep, my kids and I have expanse palates and my kids have had many exotic eats more than the average. However it sometimes grows angst riding when you meet someone and they ask and it’s just a reminder of how lonely you are.
Those kind of comments drive me crazy as well, and I agree, they are a reminder of the difficulties we face. Hang in there!
More often than not, there’s a lot of ignorance with the field. Many people have this belief that Food Network and PBS and the like show what true chefs do. I have had numerous conversations with so many educating them this is not the case.
Thank you for all you do and thank you for creating such an outlet for chef wives to have a place to support each other.
My husband is a private chef for a family of 5 and their friends and whoever else joins them for dinner parties every night, and I’m home with our 4 month old baby.
Ya At first I loved the fact that he doesn’t work restaurant hours anymore, but now he still gets home late because he’s also become the manny. We argue about him being home late a lot . I love family time and yes sometimes he gets home really early and sometimes late but I think because I’m so family oriented , I miss him so much more. He calls me when he goes grocery shopping for the family and for dinner everyday and we talk all the time but it’s the fact that he’s not with his own family and he’s literally doing everything for this family. To driving the kids around , taking their gym bags to gym when the mom who doesn’t have time for her own kids can’t do it because she’s too busy online shopping. He has to cook and do everything that the mother does and she’s home spending her husbands money. It frustrates me because she doesn’t take into consideration that my husband has his own family to come home to and he has to see to their family first before coming home to his own. Her husband is really nice and let’s my husband home early sometimes when he’s done cooking but when the wife is home then my husband has to drive her kids up and down to wherever they need to be and still cook.
That’s felt good to let out haha . But that’s just my current situation. Maybe I’m crazy but I’m just tired of being home alone with the baby and not having daddy home at a decent time. We still cook when he gets home but we then have to eat at 10 or 11 at night when he gets home. The struggle is so real man.
What would you say was something that assisted you to cope with the loneliness? I worked in a kitchen, went back to school to get out of it, and now I have an opportunity to open a restaurant with someone very competent. My wife feels like she’s destroying my dream, but yet doesn’t want to live the life of a single mother.
Oh that’s hard. I think the key to loneliness is surrounding yourself with others….a lot. It’s hard, because I’d prefer to spend that time with my husband a lot of the time, but I also understand that his job is the one that supports our family. My husband has tried a few other jobs out of the restaurant industry and each time, has ended up back in the kitchen and excelled. Even after 24 years, I struggle with loneliness at times. Having time by myself is nice, but too much time, just the girls and I is hard. We do a pretty good job of keeping busy during the seasons of his job that are crazy, but I do still struggle with loneliness. All that to say…and really nothing to say…except that it can be hard and I understand both sides. Best of luck to you and your wife as you make the tough decision.