The Struggles of a Chef Wife – Loneliness

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Loneliness.

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!)

The Struggles of a Chef Wife - loneliness

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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,

Jennifer

 

 

PS:  If you can relate to this post, will you think about sharing it with others using the buttons below?  Thanks!

16 Comments

  1. Jennifer S.

    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.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Love that quote. That would be a great start to a blog post!! Oh, and I love calling and sending texts too! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Michelle

    what a sweet post! I love the way you describe missing your best friend, what a true mark of a great couple!

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Thanks Michelle. Glad it came across as sweet and not depressing. 🙂

      Reply
  3. An

    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.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Yes – special occasions and holidays are even harder. And eating meals alone gets old really fast. 🙁 I’m so sorry.

      Reply
  4. Jon Kirk

    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.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      That’s a lot of crazy schedules in one house. Are you ever all off at the same time?

      Reply
  5. Cassie

    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.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Yes…blessing and a curse. I get it! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Noel

    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.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Good point. I probably wouldn’t want to talk either after working that many hours! Hang in there!

      Reply
  7. Cat

    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.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Those kind of comments drive me crazy as well, and I agree, they are a reminder of the difficulties we face. Hang in there!

      Reply
  8. Cat

    Thank you.

    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.

    Reply

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