Commuter Marriages

Meher Ahmad highlights a growing trend:

Married couples who live apart for reasons other than legal separation [has] nearly doubled since 1990, when roughly 1.7 million American couples did it.

How much of that is for financial reasons, however, isn’t clear. Whereas couples like [Allen] Shainman and [Collette] Stallone live in the same city but in two different apartments, Candice and David Knox live and work in different states. “People think that we’re weird,” said David Knox. “When you’re married, you’re supposed to live together. It just freaks them out.”

But the perks may outweigh the “weirdness.” Considering you wouldn’t get in fights with your significant other about petty things like dishes or walking the dog, living by yourself also means that you can effectively “do you” but file for joint taxes. Professor Aaron Ben-Zeev of the University of Haifa argues that couples who live apart, while lacking daily intimacy and interaction, gain in other aspects of their relationship:

Distance may focus the partners’ attention on the profound aspects of their relationships and hep them disregard the superficial ones. And if the profound aspects are perceived to be positive, then the whole relationship is seen this way. Like other incomplete romantic experiences, commuter marriages are also typically romantically intense.