He is separated from his wife, her decision, and he wants his family back. He knows if he pushes too hard he will push her further away, though, so he is spending a lot of his lonely time trying not to call her.
We have all been there. I wrote a poem about it. I published it in my chapbook, A Heart I Carved For a Girl I Knew, which I had handy. So I read it to him as I drove down Lindell:
"That's what I need to do," he said. "I need to take that pill."
I take not calling her like a pill,
one a day, I can beat this thing,
one day at a time, I don’t need to
call her, it won’t do any good,
it will only make it worse,
she isn’t answering my calls.
I accept this truth like a pill,
I take one once a day, all day long,
you can’t call her, don’t call her,
she isn’t answering your calls,
shut up, you sad, stupid man,
put down the telephone, take a pill.
And then we put down the phone.
My sketch is of a "turn of your phone" sign at Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon, part of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.