My Husband Left Me For Hippies: Make Your Own Commune


A few months ago, my husband decided he was finished with our marriage. Or, more accurately, he decided he was finished a long time ago, but he only recently informed me. We hadn’t been fighting; in fact, I thought we were doing quite well, but that just goes to show what I know. I would like to be able to share the details, but, to put it in very generous terms, my husband had difficulty talking about what led him to his decision. If I had to speculate on his reasoning, I’d say he just lost his damn mind. However, since the “experts” say divorce is never simply one person’s fault, let me just say we apparently want very different things from life.

As it turns out, my husband is not suited for what he would call “mainstream living.”

It is embarrassing to admit my marriage has failed, but it is even worse to have to accept that I have been rejected in favor of modern day hippies. husband(The long beard he was growing should have tipped me off.) My husband has decided he wants to live in a co-housing community. He wants to rent a room in a large house and create an urban utopia with his housemates. He wants to make granola together, have regular potluck dinners, grow food in the yard, and just be among like-minded people.

These types of communities already exist so clearly he is not alone in his thinking. He even tried to get me on board. It’s not that I completely reject the idea; I suppose one could make a decent argument on the benefits of living this way. It’s just that I don’t want to be around people all the time. I don’t want to husbandspend my evenings talking about the environment, or how to end wars, or 500 ways to make tofu, even if I do actually care about those things. (Well, maybe not the tofu.) My idea of a perfect evening is sitting around without my bra on, holding a glass of wine in one hand and a pint of ice cream in the other, while binge watching serial killer dramas on Netflix. I really do not want to have to share my wine and ice cream. Clearly, misanthropy and cooperative living do not mesh.

In spite of all of my objections to my husband’s vision for how to make a meaningful life for himself, I will admit that he is right about one thing: forming connections with people is important. Going through this divorce has left me emotionally wrecked. I have had to admit defeat and surrender myself to the fact that, as stubborn and independently- minded as I am, this is not something I can go through on my own.

This means I have to sometimes call people late at night and force them to listen to all of the terrible things I am wishing upon my husband, or they listen to me sobbing over the fact that I don’t want him to go. It means I have to let people treat me to dinner sometimes or let them take my kid off of my hands for a few hours. It means that I have become a needy mess, and as uncomfortable as that feels, it really is OK.


When it comes to friendships, I have an embarrassment of riches. I truly have some incredible people in my life. My friends are the kinds of people who will drop by unannounced with flowers and chocolate, and not even care that I am wearing the same pajamas I was wearing the last time they saw me; they are never offended by the absent bra. More importantly, when I start ranting about all of the ways I have been wronged by that man, they always take my side. Somehow, without even being aware of it, I have cultivated my own little community, my own private utopia. Maybe we aren’t actively doing anything to make the world better, but we do make each other’s lives better, and I don’t think that is insignificant. My community of friends would never ask me to share my ice cream and wine with them, even though I would, but best of all, I don’t have to live with them.

Read Abra’s second column. third column. fourth column. fifth column. sixth column. seventh column.

About Abra Mims
Abra Mims is a writer and mom, residing in Boston. She is the voice behind the blog Brown Mom, White Baby, where she writes about parenting, race, and relationships. When she is not writing, you will most likely find her attending a concert or hunting for vintage Pyrex pieces in the thrift store.
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13 Comments on My Husband Left Me For Hippies: Make Your Own Commune

  1. Beautiful piece by Abra Mims, such honesty and so heartfelt!

  2. I think you are extremely lucky to have friends that support you. A true friend is someone who is “always” on your side no matter what the situation. People who understand that sometimes you just need to vent, unload, and can sit quietly and listen are rare. Beautiful article Abra.

  3. Abra, I am so sorry that you’re going through such a hard time. I have been thinking about you and your mom. I hope you had some red velvet cake for her. I have a big hug for you. You are a wonderful writer just like your mom. My thoughts are with you. Love you lots.

  4. This is a wonderful article. You are very lucky to have such wonderful friends.
    I can completely understand not wanting to be around people all of the time. Being around people during my work day is more than enough for me.

  5. People are tricky, for sure. My daughter once asked me what my least favorite animal was and I told her “humans.” But, I think it may also be my favorite so it gets complicated. lol

  6. Hi Abra, I have a friend who often talks/jokes (I can’t honestly be sure which one it is) about starting or belonging to a commune. My answer: They probably don’t let you wear deodorant because it’s bad for the environment.
    I’m so sorry you’ve had to live this. I don’t want to make light of it because it would be devastating. But in an effort to lighten the mood, (although you did a brilliant job of conveying this in your article) at least your friends don’t smell like BO.

  7. “My idea of a perfect evening is sitting around without my bra on, holding a glass of wine in one hand and a pint of ice cream in the other, while binge watching serial killer dramas on Netflix. ”

    Abra, we just need to get matching best friend charms now. It’s like you read my mind. 🙂

    Hugs to you and herpes to your ex.

  8. I fear I could be writing this same article in a few years. My husband has been researching “alternative living” situations for a while now and is thinking of forming his own “shared cooperative” on the other side of the country where a friend of his has land. I’m hoping that this is just some mid-life crisis fantasy, but I’m already bracing myself for the divorce because I won’t live that way–I’m just “too conventional.” I like my wine and indoor plumbing too! I’m glad I stumbled on your blog because at least I know I’m not alone. Thanks.

    • Ugh. I’m sorry you are having to deal with this. I remember joking (or at least I thought I was joking) about how I was scared my husband would just take off to go live in a co-op. I had no idea he actually would. I just came across this book “Strangers Drowning,” which talks about extreme do-gooders. It’s scary how much it resembles my life. But I guess oddly comforting. I hope your guy comes around.

  9. Omg!! This is my life story right now verbatim. My husband is leaving me and our two children to live on a commune where polygamy and drugs Are rampant. He has expressed repeatedly he wants to experiment with lsd and mushrooms, IMO I think he already has. My husband also tried to get me on board, to which the answer was a resounding abso-fucking-lutely NOT.!!! I’m currently still in the divorce process, he just got “served” two days ago. Beyond this whole hippie community thing he’s decided to throw away his family for, my husband was actually a toxic person in so many ways, so as devastating and heart wrenching as this all is for me, I truly do believe it’s for the better. I am sad though I invested a decade of my life with the person only to have it all come crumbling down like this. Anyway thank you for sharing your story! I am right with you on not sharing my wine or ice cream either!;)

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