It is normal for me to go through a whole day interacting with no adult other than my husband. On those days when I do personally interact with another adult, it is often only in passing. The non-home events in my week are church, church stuff, and a frantic shopping trip. It's gotten to the point that a conversation with an adult can make me feel genuinely anxious, like I'm going to forget my lines. I almost never interact with men.
This is a not inconsiderable source of not un-tense relations between not-at-home moms and not-un-at-home moms. Those not-at-home moms are the faces and bodies our husbands see all day. They laugh at our husbands' jokes, congratulate him on his successes, know why he's in the foul mood he never explains to us. They're more familiar with his daily life than we are because he's too much of a man to bring his problems home. And that's without even considering how their existence negates the validity of ours.
Small church pastors' wives don't have this too bad. Most of the women with whom my husband interacts most regularly and personally are honorably crowned in white. But I think almost every woman is at least somewhat afraid of Jolene. I won't spell out potentials, because no matter how unlikely your situation, you've probably got at least one like this, or this, or [shudder] that. If we were at a ministry hive swarming with chirpy DCEs and Worship Conceptualizresses and Ministrices of Hot Chick Ministry, I'd be dark about his invisible days spent in human commerce while I sat home getting saggy and puked on, making suppers no one likes as the un-held baby yowls, and having no earnings or tales of my genius with which to charm him. Their familiarity breeds her contempt.
Waving one's husband off every morning as he goes out into a world packed with Other Women is uncool. There's an appeal to joining that world yourself just for the appearance of leverage: How's about if we're neither of us too friendly, see? This is not to say that I don't trust him (if I didn't, I obviously wouldn't be writing this). It's just an objection to current social norms, which I do my best not to practice even though I'm stuck breathing the corrosive fallout.
One of the hardest person-types for me to be civil to or about is a known Jolene.