John likes routine, so when he comes back home one day to find his wife gone, he is very worried. He’s not sure why she’s left, but the more pressing issue is the possible disruption that her disappearance could cause to his routine.
He pretends that she still lives with him. At the supermarket, he buys meals for two. At work, he puts up her pictures at his desk. Over a few months, he builds a routine around the illusion that he still has a wife at home. He settles into this new life.