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Lonely Adam

Lonely Adam



My husband just doesn't seem to get it. He came home over an hour late last night without so much as calling to tell me that he wouldn't be on time. This is the fifth time he has done this, and we have only been married three months! It may seem petty, but it upsets me greatly. I don't want him to see me as a nagging wife. What should I do?


This may be disappointing, but it sounds like your husband is acting like a pretty normal guy. And you sound pretty normal too. That's why you are having this problem.

There is something you need to know about men. They are loners. Being in a relationship is unnatural to them. They do not automatically think about how their actions affect someone else. The default emotional state of a man is loneliness.

This is not true of women. A woman has an innate sense of relationship, of connection to others. A woman naturally shares herself and bonds with others. A man does not. She is a relationship being, he is a lonely being.

Of course, it is a big generalization to say that all men are loners and all women are connectors, and generalizations are never accurate. But to say generalizations are never accurate is itself a generalization, and thus not accurate either. So let's generalize: While there are of course many exceptions, generally speaking, man's natural state is to be single, woman's natural state is to be in a couple.

There is a solid base for this theory. It stretches all the way back to the beginning of time, to the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve.

Adam was created alone. His original state was that of a bachelor. But Eve was created from Adam. She was never single. Eve, by her very nature, was a relationship being, because she was created with her partner next to her. She had an inborn sense of interconnectedness; she intuitively knew that we are not alone in this world, that our actions impact others, and that we can and must be sensitive to those around us. This was innate to her psyche, for she was never alone. But all this was new to Adam. He had to learn what a relationship means and how to be aware of another, for at his core he was a lonely being.

Adam is the essential man, and Eve the essential woman. And so until today, women are relationship beings, and men are lonely beings. Not that all women are good at relationships, and not that all men are hopeless hermits. Rather, women are more likely to know how to bond with others, and men are more likely to keep their emotions to themselves.

So your husband has no idea why you are upset when he comes home late. He may be thinking, "Why can't she occupy herself until I get there? Is she so insecure that she can't look after herself for an extra hour or so?" What he doesn't yet understand is that while he is a loner, you are a connector. You don't need him to be physically with you all the time, but emotionally, he must be with you all the time. If he would just call to say he is late, you would not feel alone, because he showed that he cares, that he has bonded with you.

Eve's mission was to help Adam come out of his isolation and learn how to connect. You need to do this too. Explain to your husband that it is not his lateness that upsets you; it is that he wasn't considerate enough to communicate his lateness to you. Help him understand that he is no longer alone, and show him how beautiful the world is when shared with someone else. Give it time. You can't cure existential loneliness overnight. But if you persevere, with gentleness and love, he will open up that lonely place inside him and let you in. Then you can share your lives in your own Garden of Eden, and never be lonely again.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to
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Discussion (31)
May 2, 2013
being a woman's friend takes more work than being a man's friend in general is true. but a bus full of women are more likely to work together then a bus full of men
April 24, 2013
We men are loners but our bonding capacity is greater than women's. Get twenty men that doesn't know each other for a 1 week sightseeing trip. Do the same with women. After a week bonds are created between men and possibly some case of friendship for live. Women fight each other even before the bus departed, and after 1 week there are cases of eternal enmity. We have friends even from childhood, they have foes since then (and see our friends as effective competence). There's no such thing as feminine bonding, call it something else.
April 23, 2013
have you lost it?
A Jewish marriage begins with the signing of the Ketubah (legal marriage document) in which the groom pledges to be a good and faithful husband. The opening paragraph states that the husband has committed to his new wife, saying, "I will work for you, respect you and sustain you."

he is not respecting her in any way
Hahn Jackson
April 23, 2013
it might also be something more basic- like if he's late w/out a heads up- dinner gets ruined because its planned around his arrival time.
October 15, 2012
left waiting without a call
Once the spouse has been told that you'd like a courtesy call on impending lateness and they still won't, they put the ball in your court. You can call them and ask on their progress on returning if it matters to your plans and that may work. Or assume that you are free to do whatever you like and do it. Therefore on his return he can't expect that you'll be ready to cater to him in any way unless he hits a moment in your receptive availability, though remain amiable and friendly. Never waste time waiting unnecessarily like a bereft puppy locked in the laundry waiting for masters return. A vibrant woman with a life to live is happier in herself and more desirable to get back to as well. When a person realises they are running late and now face displeasure they often feel more like putting off the miserable home coming further and get even later. If he feels like prisoner so early in a marriage he might not come back at all one day not so far away. Stop sweating such small stuff so soon
vic, au
November 15, 2011
I understand the response that indicates there is good news and bad news---the good news is your husband is a normal guy, and the bad news is that most guys are inconsiderate, self centered dolts. Well, yes and no. To cop out to "everyone behaves like this" may ring with veracity, but the hurt engendered by his attitude is still very real. In order for any marriage to successfully navigate the potholes there MUST be communication and understanding. How can you love me and not know what hurts me? You belong to yourselves, and to eachother, and if he is this callous after a few months, when the honeymoon should still be in full swing, what have you to anticipate after ten years, a few kids, mounting bills and commitments, and an even more necessary imperative for understanding and caring? Fix it now.....
May 23, 2011
excellent answer. The key is understanding the difference.

As for saying in the artice as well about what the man should do if the wife responses negativley... .. you can't cover it all in one answer to one question.
Clovis, ca
March 18, 2011
Wedding Planning Guide
You did it! Thanks for posting this informative post.
Wedding Planning Guide
New York, United States
March 7, 2011
Garden of Peach/ Women's Wisdom
These two books, the first for men and the latter for women, are probably the most popular books on marriage. The author is
Rabbi Shalom Arush. Read it and reap.
brooklyn, NY
March 2, 2011
Adam and Eve
Good article. However, I wished you would have explained what a husband should do if he did call his wife to say he was going to be late and his wife told him how unacceptable that is, regardless if his boss forced him to be late. Sometimes men try to communicate and they get scolded so they avoid the call and just have one fight when they get home instead of one at the office then another when they get home.
Lincoln, NE
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Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to
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