After She's Gone: A survival guide for men who find themselves living alone

By Peter Mulraney

Personal growth

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Doing those things she used to do for you
Sometimes it feels like life happens to you, especially when your journey intersects with death, divorce or desertion; or you find yourself temporarily separated from the woman who had been taking care of business at your place.
It happened to me. Around five years ago, my wife, who had been looking after me in Adelaide, Australia, for thirty something years at that point, decided she wanted to broaden her horizons by becoming an educational consultant in New York. Yeah, you got it, the one in the United States of America. That's a tad more than a cut lunch and a water bottle trip from my place - by 747.
For reasons associated with financial commitments (the bank still wanted its money) and maximizing my retirement savings plan, I chose to stay at my job in Australia.
No need to feel sorry, it's working out fine. We're still married and we get to spend time together in two different cities, in two different parts of the world, in two different time zones, and I found out about Skype.
But, I found myself living on my own again, for up to four or five months at a time.
There's only so much stuff a woman can leave behind in the freezer, and if she's left for good, she may not have left you anything in the freezer, and she's certainly not going to be on Skype, telling you how to cook whatever it is you want to try this week.
In a way, I was lucky. Being a country boy, I’d had some experience looking after myself when I was at university. We country kids had to leave home and come down to the city to study, and I ended up living in an apartment with a couple of my brothers. So, I had some basic cooking skills I could fall back on. And, having been one of those collaborative husbands, who shared the housework while we were raising our kids, I knew how things about the house worked.
My wife would say that I was well trained. I might not have mastered much in the kitchen, but at least I’d done some sort of an apprenticeship over the years. I might not make the bed the way she wants it made, but at least I know how to make a bed, and I’ve done enough supervised cleaning to know which end of the vacuum cleaner is the business end.
Having looked after myself successfully for a while, I thought it might be useful to share what I know, so that anyone finding himself in a similar situation, would have access to a basic survival guide written by a fellow traveller, one who had survived by acquiring the basic skills required to look after himself.
Disclaimer: I'm no expert, I'm simply a practitioner who has relied on the ideas discussed in this book, and lived to tell you about them.



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