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Single Wife Survival Guide

Are you living the life of a single wife? Married with children, managing life
while your husband is away? Self worth Analyst, Karen Eddington, shares
stories of three moms and the strategies they use to survive life as a “single

There is a new term being expressed by women, “I’m a single wife.”

Many married women are struggling to balance motherhood and the
demands of life without the presence of her husband due to work, school,
military service, and other life obligations. We often dream of having a
happy life and picture a perfect husband, 2.5 kids, and the white picket
fence. When in reality the husband can get pulled away, the wife is trying
to manage a household alone, and the white picket fence is off its hinges
waiting for someone to get the time to fix it. One mom shared, “I
didn’t get married to be alone.”
Another mom expressed, “I can’t
do this. I feel like I’m battling life without help.”

The Struggles of a Single Wife:

Some of the biggest struggles of the “single wife” include exhaustion,
hopelessness, unfulfilled expectations, depression, marriage struggles, (did
we mention exhaustion) resentment, fear of judgment, inadequacy, and
stability. (Don’t forget exhaustion)

The Single Wife’s Survival Guide: Courage
If you are going to survive your role as a single wife, you are going to need
courage. Courage is a combination of hope and strength. Feelings of
courage can come from within and can come from connecting with others
who have gone through a similar situation. One of the best thoughts for
this situation is: “May I have the courage to deal with my

It seems that at some point in life every family is going to have to balance a
“single wife” situation. Husbands do amazing work supporting and
providing for families and moms could use some encouragement as they
battle their own unique circumstances. Here are three women that may
help you develop your own courage.

Find Courage from Elizabeth Jensen:
Elizabeth is a mother of two, including a baby with Down syndrome.
“Life right now is crazy but then it seems like it always has been. My
husband is finally graduating with his Master’s degree in Civil Engineering
and there is some kind of normality in sight. We have been married for 4
1/2 years and my husband has gone to school full time and worked
everything from full-time graveyards, 3 part-time jobs, to working part-
time, working on his Master’s thesis, and taking classes. It has always been
a little hectic to find time together but when we added two kids to the mix,
it got even crazier. My husband’s usual schedule has him at school most
the day and then he comes home for an hour or so, eats dinner and is off
to work. If nothing else we have learned to really appreciate each other and
the time we have together. We don’t get to go on a lot of dates but even
finding a evening to watch a show together or make dessert at 11 o’clock at
night when he gets home from work. Taking advantage of the little things
makes a huge difference in making it through another week, month, or 4

Find Courage from Shanley Jaffa
Shanley went from an established career as a pharmaceutical representative
to now focusing life as a wife and stay-at-home-mother to her baby girl.
Her husband travels for business often leaving for a full week at a time.
Shanley shares, “I love being a mom, but motherhood is all day long. It
would be easier if I could have breaks, but when you’re a mom there are no
Shanley also expressed the difficulties that come during the
transitions of her husband’s schedule. It is hard to get used to him
leaving and also coming home. “Sometimes it’s the hardest when he
comes back home. I get used to being independent and I forget that I need

Find Courage from Mary Ballif
“Being sick or having kids while your husband is away is the worst. I
just hibernate till it is over. I don’t worry about cleaning and cooking is very
basic. You just have to go into survival mode.”
Mary is expecting her
4th child and her husband serves in the National Guard. “I really do
enjoy our life and the military has been a blessing. I am glad my husband
is willing to help me so that I can support him in his military service, which
he loves.”

Mary shares, “Deployments are REALLY hard. Routines are important
because it helps us feel a sense of security, but the occasional deviation is
what helps get everyone through. Sometimes the best remedy is to just do
something out of the norm. We also do countdowns which help time to go
by a little faster at times. For two-week trainings we just count the days,
but for long deployments we countdown by holidays (12 holidays seems a
lot shorter than 180 days).”
Mary’s best piece of advice was, “The
best way to get through is to buckle down and just do it.”

Karen Eddington is a Self-Worth Analyst and has spent over ten years
researching women and teens. She is the author of Today, I Live and directs
many community outreach programs on self-esteem. For more information
you can go to

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