Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Commuter marriages?

A recent article in the Detroit Free Press highlighted the concept of "commuter marriages" as couples who are unable to afford to move and/or sell their homes are faced with the reality of living apart (at least during the work week) so that one of them can work. Some live apart in different cities while others have to go so far as to live apart in different countries. It is estimated that approximately 3.6 million couples live such a lifestyle, usually so not to uproot the children.

This type of living situation poses a litany of challenges to couples and their marriage. Not only is it expensive to travel back and forth and maintain two residences, it usually forces one parent to be the primary household decision maker as well as caregiver of the children in the other's absence.

Interestingly, a 2007 article from Time.com states that the divorce rate for commuter couples is no different than those couples living together in a conventional manner. Similar to the scenario of a deployed service member who is away from his/her spouse for a prolonged period, couples tend to focus on the positive memories of one another when separated. Instead, the most challenging part may be when the couple finally reunites and must learn to live together again.

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