Is your commute ruining your marriage?

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A long commute comes with an obvious list of downfalls — super-early wake up calls, unexpected traffic jams, the fact that it costs a half-a-day’s pay to fill up the gas tank each week — but according to a recent study by a researcher at Umea University in Sweden, there could be another, more unexpected consequence of a long commute: divorce.

The report, which analyzed 10 years of data on more than 2 million couples in Sweden who were either married or cohabitating, found that those in which at least one person had a long commute (more than 30 kilometers, or about 18.6 miles each way) were 40 percent more likely to get divorced than couples with shorter-distance commutes. Chances of separation were highest during the first few years of long-distance commuting, as couples struggled to adapt to the new routine.

Not surprisingly, a big contributor to the higher divorce rate among these couples was the added pressure that a long-distance commute put on life at home. Often, since time spent at home was diminished for one spouse, family and household responsibilities become more burdensome for both spouses, though specific effects differed based on which person did the commuting, as well as the couple’s view on gender roles.

According to the report abstract, for example, “The thesis shows that men’s long-distance commuting may serve to reproduce and reinforce traditional gender roles on the labor market and within households [since women spend more time at home and therefore complete more of the household duties]. On the other hand, women’s long-distance commuting can lead to more equalitarian relationships on the labor market and within households [since more of the household responsibility falls on the man’s shoulders].”

However, the study also found that couples in which the woman was the long-distance commuter often experienced more stress — especially in those with traditional views on gender roles — because the woman still felt responsible for a large part of the household and family duties. It also seemed that the overarching tendency was to fall back on more traditional gender roles, as the study found that men were more likely to commute long-distance, while women tended to work closer to home.

Overall, while a long-distance commute was a challenge for many couples, those who were willing to adapt and find creative ways to overcome it were successful. According to the report, “commuters with active, problem-focused strategies can handle commuting challenges efficiently.” Successful coping strategies included viewing commuting time as personal time, and using it to listen to music, read (if using public transportation), or mentally shift between work life and home life; as well as setting and sticking to family calendars and schedules to create a more predictable home environment.

What do you think about the correlation between commuting and marriage? Do you think it’s valid? Share your thoughts, below.

 

116 Comments
  1. Why would a study for 10yrs from Sweden mean anything to us here? I think we’re used to commuting, whatever the distance, and once we’ve made the adjustments to our lifestyle, it’s fine. I use it as ‘decompression’ time between work and home, and have only had a short commute ONCE in 25+ years!!

    • I agree. I used to enjoy the quiet time to relax after a long stressful day at work. I did, however, feel like there was never enough time to do the household things that I felt were exclusively my responsibility. Once I got ove that hurde, it was great!

    • Cathleen you couldnt be more right! the commute gives me time to unwind from work and let all the trials of the day get worked out in my head… Then when I get home to my family I am strictly focused on them.. I LOVE having the “decompression” time.. its actually has HELPED my marriage… Just started the long commute a year ago…

  2. This is so true I live in Detroit Michigan my boyfriend and I share a car. Your dops me off at work most off the time making the commute to work dreadful. As he drove I would set in the passenger deat planning an excape to leave the relationship. My advise if your are in a relationship and there’s only one car. Investing in another car would help save or prevent the relatioship from going sour.

    • Pink Lady, in my opinion (for whatever that’s worth) it’s ridiciulous to blame your one-car commute on your failed relationship. My husband and I of 25+ years have car-pooled a 25 mile one-way commute for 10 years. We spend the time in the car “catching up” or, sometimes, not saying a word. It’s just nice to be in the company of someone I know is committed to the relationship same as me. The relationship was in trouble whether you were sharing a car, riding a bicycle built for two or riding in a horse-drawn buggy.

      This study is out-dated and moot.

    • Pink Lady—WTF? If all you can think of is a way to leave him, leave him now you’re just wasting his life and yours. Not much of a relationship if you’re just a bump on a log while he drives. Life’s to short to live with or be a dud. He deserves better and so do you.

  3. I live the commute have for 16 years I’m done and so is my marriage. It’s the stress and time that takes away from my own life. I spend an avarage of 12 hours a week in my car – too me that’s time wasted, I’d much rather be enjoying something I want to do than sitting in my car.

  4. This kind of article makes me glad i moved to a small town in the mountains. I work from home so i rarely ever have to get into a car and there is no traffic where i live period.

    • I moved from a large city to a very small town. I drive 150 miles 5 days per week to get to and from my job, that doesn’t even cover my bills, not to mention the 125.00 per week for gas. What work do you do from home?? Are there actually ligit ways to earn a living from your home computer?

  5. Are ya kidding??? 40 years together and he dumps me-the only long-distance trips or commutes were on vacation from Fl to NY. Does this count???? Only asking because we’re almost done 7/15/2011, but we travelled in are early years of Marriage! Hope you have answers, I don’t!!! Sue Davis (it’s his BIRTHDAY, HAPPY-HAPPY, John. Luv ya SUE. NOT!!!!!

    • Well Sue, if you were this angry, bitter, and slightly unhinged before the divorce, you might not have that far to go to find your answers.

      • Such a man response. 40 years is a long time to wash a guy’s dirty socks and underwear to have him walk out . . .

  6. I live slightly north of Detroit, MI in farm land where a long work commute is 9 times out of 10 required for a career. I grew up with my mom driving a long distance for her job, and when I interviewed for my job that’s now 30 miles one way, they asked if the long commute was going to be a problem. It’s not, and I honestly don’t feel it’s put a damper on my fiance’s and my relationship at all.

    • Fiance? You have no idea how things like this effect a MARRAIGE. Wait 10 years & a couple kids, then get back to us son. I guarantee your entire world will be different.

      • L.A. AREA almost 12yrs and 3kids and we both commute to our jobs! no such thing, yes it can be stressful MANY times, but you are commuting for a reason-right? communication is the key factor in all relationships-yes we get home tired, frustrated from the traffic but we all have to do what we have to, whomever uses this as an excuse for a divorce is not being honest or they were just with the wrong person! before you commit to a far distance job “communicate” to your spouse and share the responsibilities at home! it takes two to make a marriage work! GOOD LUCK ALL OF YOU :)

      • I did 20 years in the military YOU WANT STRESS !!! now I drive 30 mins to work each day and I LOVE IT can think on the way home and listen to any type of music I like If i want to sing to my self I will its great I love it but then again I get up at 4am so I don’t have to deal with too many crackpots on the road

        • I agree with the forementioned comment from Deanna. Thank you for your service to and for our country. God Bless America! May He watch over and guide us all in these current tribulations.

          • Again, THANK YOU for your service! My husband did 24 years in the Army and sometimes his commute wasn’t far, since we lived in military housing. However there were long hours and deployments that took him away from family. We survived the TDY’s and deployments. Communication is the key word in any relationship. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! We have been married many years…now his commute is 15+ miles a day. He calls on his way home and we talk, uninterupted. I love my husband and cannot wait for him to be home!

  7. The drive I wouldn’t say is what increases divorce, it just lack of respect in a marriage. I drive 1 hour each way to work Monday-Friday. I dont mind the drive, in the morning I drink my coffee and and on the way home I listen to the radio. The problem arises when I arrive home and nothing is done. Even if my husband beats me home or has the day off, I still cook dinner, do the laundry and generally straighten up. I have even been the one to go to the store on my way home if something is needed for dinner. I think it all comes down to consideration and respect of another persons feelings. It takes 2 incomes today to raise a family, especially if one is headed off to college. And it should take 2 people to take care of the household. But the door should swing both ways…

    • I agree! I put approx 75 miles a day on my car. My husband is fully retired and doesnt do anything! I still have to clean house on Saturdays, cook dinner, fix his breakfast, and help with yard work. I imagine being divorced myself!!

    • I had a commute of 1.5 hours each way if there was no traffic. My husband worked 20 minutes away from home as a school teacher so was out of work by 2:30 each day. Nevertheless, I would often get calls on my way home asking what was for dinner. ??????? Anyone else see a problem with this? Sooo frustrating. Besides making dinner, I also had to find time for all of the other household chores. So I can see how a long commute could take a toll on a marriage if there is not a lot of respect and sharing of responsibilities. Needless, to say, I am not married anymore.

      • its called men…they are all alike and we are stuck with them….notice how many of the commuters are WOMEN on this blog…because we can handle it!!!!!

        • Are you kidding me right now? Anyone who offers themself to commute “1.5 hours without traffic” is signing their own divorce papers. If she was more committed to the marriage than her husband as she claims, she wouldn’t be griping and whining in the first place. Second, men are definietly NOT all the same and I’d much rather spend a night out with them than a girl’s night with you. My husband and I have been married for 12 years and have 3 kids. His commute is 45 mins each way to Sacramento Mon-Fri. And I know traffic in Sacramento is worse than wherever you’re from. My husband gets home, helps out, picks up, plays with our kids and still has time for himself. It’s not about the commute. It’s about selfishness and childishness with 50% of the women on this article seem to either possess or the other 50% who attracted their D-bag husband who possesses them.

        • You know, yes men are complicated. But they are simple creatures. They don’t get the small hints. You just need to be straight forward with them and not beat around the bush. So yes you have a long commute to work, boo-hoo. If you aren’t happy with something he is or is not doing then tell him!! My fiance and I are both in the US Navy and we have about a 30 min drive to work everyday, let alone being on deployments and being away from each other for months on end. If you women are all complaining about a little commute and being upset because your man expects you to cook dinner after you get home, then tell him!!! He can’t read your mind ladies! You should be happy that you even get to come home to him sometimes! Try going months without seeing your loved one or not knowing when the next time will be that you get to speak with him.

        • Well, my wife doesn’t work and still expects me to share in the household chores. I do them, but wonder how things would be if I didn’t have a job and she did. I’d love to hear from some “kept men” out there to see if their wives split up the home chores.

      • You are all generalizing about men my wife and I happlily married for 16 years both drive 50+ miles to work one way I get home before she does and always start dinner and other household chores. So dont say its a man thing just because yours is LAZY!!!!!

      • Tammy, I always ask my wife what’s for dinner on the way home (we commute together) and she always asks me what cocktails am I making for happy hour. Maybe if you got him involved with planning an evening together you’d still be married! We just celebrated our 26th anniversary..

      • DITTO to what Tonnye said. There is more problem to a relationship than just the commute. The commute just exacerbates a situation which already existed.

    • I have been married for 23 years. I served in the military for 8 years, my husband served for 26 1/2 years. We have moved more times than I can count. My husband served 2 tours in Korea and we finally have a house. We both commute to Washington DC. I commute Monday through Friday and my husband commutes Fri-Sunday. I have been lucky, although don’t get me wrong we have had some rough patches, but things have leveled off and now my husband helps clean during the week and has dinner ready when I get home. Commuting is not a problem. You just need to communicate.

  8. Nearly every “article” I see written by a woman throws out “selected”, “taken out of context”, or downright false or misleading data, information as gospel to convince women to get out of whatever “relationship”, “marriage”, “shack up” situation they may be in.
    The “women’s magazines”, “women’s movies”, “women lawyers”, “women’s groups .. yes, even the YMCA” of of course NOW are constantly beating the drum 24 / 7 that women are victims of horrible men.
    My wife works in the public school district and sees on a daily basis the permanent damage done to kids by drug-using, chain-smoking, alcoholic slutty women that have lots of tattooed, drunken, drug-using boyfriends for their sexual “recreation”.
    A long commute means absolutely nothing to solid, values-based couples that actually love each other ..but articles such as this one are designed to make commuting a dark side thing that ends marriages and “relationships”..what a barrel of bull !!!!!

    • Not sure what your talking about, My husband used to commute 35 miles away for work, it was horrible. Then he got a job very close to home, was home at the same time as me everyday helped out around the house shared in responcibilities things were great. Now he has went back to work with the 35 mile away employer and Im miserable. He comes home late, has to leave early. I can’t ask him to cook because then the kids wouldn’t eat till 7:30, or do laundry because it would not be done in time for bed, and he somehow figures that because I have an hour or more before he gets home from work that Im now a house wife. I dont know if its the commute or just the mind trip the extra time away plays, but from experiencing both sides of things in a reletively short period I would say this study is acurate, Oh and we are a moral and loving couple.

    • You act as though every woman is out to destroy the wonderful harmonious world that you live in. This article only suggests that commuting could be a contributing factor to the divorce problem. But it also suggests that people can overcome the problem. They need to work at it. If your lifestyle is so perfect, then why the pissing and moaning over an article?

  9. I’m a guy over 50 and never worked so hard for so little in my life. For the past year or so I’ve been driving over 60 miles each way to my 12-something/hour job. My days off are usually spent doing yard maintenance for other people (averaging 15-40 miles each way). Easy? Not for me. Times are tough and hard on relationships. It takes a real understanding of this reality to keep a relationship together. Although measly, I have an income. I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I have someone who loves me and is understanding of these times. I could go on, but my point is this; I believe that a majority of relationships fail (especially in tough times as these) because people don’t know what it means to count their blessings and realize that things could be worse….and actually are for so many others.

  10. So Stupid! 100% of divorced people eat food. Does that mean if you eat, you’ll get a divorce? 18 miles is not a big deal. It’s the USA. That’s normal here. Who paid these people to do this study? Sign me up!

  11. What a bunch whiners and losers. Okay SUE your marraige sucked and you were also at fault… get a life everyone and stop blaming your commute to work.

  12. I don’t agree with “Ron” as this was not a gender based study and he is twisting this article to fuel his own agenda. Anyway, from personal experience, I have recently moved closer to work for gas savings and more time with my children and it has made a positive impact on my marriage. Granted, the time to myself during the drive was nice but being home is better. I think because I am happier – he is happier. If you are content with the drive then it will not affect a solid marriage – but ANY improvement is always welcome in my opinion.

  13. Thank God i live in the City and work 10 minutes way from my house. Its a blessing having to leave my house at 7:45 am and clock in at 8:00 am. That 5 minutes i use to make coffee, Life Is Good.

  14. I drive 40 minutes to work each day and then 40 minutes home. It is definitely nice to get home and be able to kick your feet up after a hard days work. My partner works equally hard, so a lot of times they don’t get home much earlier than me, so we work together to create meals ahead of time or plan out the week. We also have saved lots of money so that we don’t have a lot of financial woes, that we have to stress about. We live within our means (no smart phones/data plans, basic cable, don’t buy new clothes every week); and this helps as well. I think that money woes are a bigger burden on marriages, and If I were the wife who’s husband doesn’t help with dinner, and makes you do the shopping on your way home from work without any praise or help… I would kick him into shape real quick or he could look for another wife. What a lazy pig.

  15. Hard to tell I have been traveling to other states for work since I got laid off in 2007. 2008: AL; 2009: NM & KY; and 2010 & 2011 in WA. Good news, I’m working; bad news, my wife doesn’t know me anymore. While our marriage is rocky after 26 years, I’m paying off my mortgage and children’s college. If I was home all the time, we’d probably be divorced!!

  16. Guess you all have the wrong partners! My husband drives 7 minutes to work and I drive 45 minutes each day and we have 5 kids – all teenagers. He get’s home 1 hour and 1/2 before I do and he cooks dinner, picks up things on the way home, does his own laundry and makes sure the kids pick up their things. It’s studies like this that makes me even more grateful for what I have. We’re working on our 4 boys, hope they learn from their dad, if so, those will be some lucky girls!

    • Thats awesome but how does he feel about it, he probably works just as hard as you right? So why should he have all the responcibilities? Its not about the commute necessarely but I do believe its about the things you put on the other just because they are home first. People have to commute, work is scarse and you take it where you can get it. But how you help in your own home thats entirely up to you,.

      • Whoever gets home first SHOULD get things started. I certainly wouldn’t screw around doing nothing while my wife’s driving home and I would expect her to get things going if I were the one with a long commmute.

  17. Another reason why western society is ’3rd world’ when it comes to moral or family values. Seriously…a commute causing a divorce? When will this bs feminism, por n and other gibberish in our society cease? Our kids don’t even have role models. People from the so-called 3rd world have ’1st world’ when it comes to keeping the family together.

    Modesty (dressing and acting modestly), values etc are thrown out the window and in the west we are taught only to get a partner thru se xual attraction. Women are especially victims to this: just go out on a fine summer day, and you will see why women wear shorts much shorter than what men wear…bleech disgusting!

    There is no point of having millions of churches in the west when majority of people don’t follow the basic 10 commandments.

    • catholichristian, are you kidding? “bs feminism?” You’re so sexually repressed that you can’t even write the word without breaking it up into parts, probably out of fear that it might offend your eyes. I’ve seen too many family remain together simply because they were Catholic, when that was exactly the WRONG thing to do.
      “disgusting” shorts? Wow. You must vomit everywhere if you go to the beach.
      There is nothing in the 10 commandments that says a long commute or shorts are sinful.

  18. Who is anyone to say the study is invalid!? It simply says there is a 40% greater likelyhood of the marriage ending in divorce. If that is not your experience, then you fall in the 60%. I for one agree that a long commute is stressful. I commute 95 miles ONE WAY which did add complications to our lives, but my husband and I have worked it all out. I fall in the 60%, but that does not make the study invalid.

    • In the sampling that they took. Everyone that I know that commutes that is married, has stayed married, and they’re happy. These couples spend more time with each other, and are much more family oriented. I think it all depends on occupation and location than just the commute.

  19. In U.S.A keep in mind —– every co worker, friends , relatives e t c that you commute to see do stay at considerable distance— so its just not enough to say commuting a considerable distance could lead to a divorce —- just not convincing enough

  20. Well, I can tell you that also being out of work now for almost 15 months can cause divorce too. So I dont know which is worse. Seems we are a Society doomed to divorce either way.

  21. The long and short of it is people commute because that is where the jobs are. People commute because they can make more money there than here (whereever here is). People commute so that their kids can have safer communities to play and go to school in than where they work. People commute because they make more money there, but housing is cheaper here.

    We’ve been together since 1967. We commuted, at times together, other times apart. We’re still together, but don’t commute anymore. Children have other relatives as contacts when both commuted.

    My daughter and her husband are commuters. They can live on a lake, and have the calm life and work in a more populated area. When their child was verey little I suggested they pay the higher price and have the kiddo commute with them-due to emergencies-tornado warnings, illnesses, whatever. As the child got older, he’s at a private preschool midway between home and work but also close to a grandparent for emergencies. The kiddo is well adjusted as happy and smart. The parents show no signs of stress, lack of love for one another, or anything else. People do what they gotta do to make it. And they do what they gotta do and are still happy.

  22. I definetly agree. I was in my first year of marriage and the long commute from Lakewood to Burbank (used to be from Laguna Beach) put great stress on the our Marriage. I could not make dinner with my wife because of traffic. If we agreed to meet friends for dinner or drinks on a work night I couldn’t make it. I was too late to get to Ball Games. I was very irritable and starting drinking more. My wife was very upset on the missed time and events. something had to change. Fortunately, I changed jobs much closer to home, 5 miles no freeways. Now there is more time together, plenty of time to do things and plan things that won’t be cancelled. Our quality of life has improved and our marriage is flourishing…..

  23. 18.6 Miles, you call that a commute? That’s a drive to the grocery store in the US. I know friends who commute 90 miles every day. Btw, I’m working from home and I’m wondering if the divorce rate for this category isn’t higher than the commuting one (part joke part serious).

  24. Are you kidding me? My 100 mile commute SAVED my marriage. I don’t have to be home with the lazy men in my life for 2 additional hours a day! Thank goodness!!!!

  25. I’m married, my husband doesn’t work. He’s always upset because I’m way too tired to do anything when I come home. I have to drive everywhere because we only have 1 car. I have done everything to try to make this work, but when his expectations of me became overbearing I just didn’t want it anymore. I’m beautiful, sweet, young and responsible. The only thing holding me back from getting a divorce is fear of him hurting me. It’s not commutes that hurt relationships its people. During the time that I had a long commute my husband did cheat on me. If the relationship is already failing a long commute makes it easier for the other person to cheat is all I know.

    • thats sad Erica…two people together and neither’s needs are being met, and the only reason of staying together is from fear of being apart. The sadness is worsened with knowing that this typed of “relationship” is all too common.

    • Erica, If you’re afraid he’s going to hurt you; get the hell out of there now! There are places that help women who are abused. You have the car…leave NOW!!

  26. Anything which causes you tension in your personal life will be a potential sore spot in yoru relationships. It inevitably bleeds together, if you have a good “tude about your commute, you’ll be good. If you’re a mad angry person and resentful then that’ll show up in your relationships. This study simply shows that 40% of people with long commutes hate it and don’t cope well with it which I would expect.

  27. This is so very true .I have been talking to my husband about finding a place to live that’s closer to where I work. An 8 hour day’s work actually becomes a 9 and a half day. I feel like it takes away precious time wasting it on the road in traffic. Lord a pray for some relief from this dilemma.

  28. I have been commuting for about 20 years. The furthest my commute was 76 miles, now it is 46. I think it is what you make of it . . . Yes I listen to music or a ball game on the way home all the time. I have been married for a lovely 23 years and still in love with my wife. She also stays very busy, she just recently started a new job fairly close to me, so we car pool and have dinner on the way home sometimes.

    I am sorry to here the sad stories from some of you. As for the men that refuse to go to work shame on you, make life easier for your wife. The old saying is so true, a happy wife is a happy home.

    Good luck to all . . . I will pray for all that seem to struggle with this.

  29. I commuted 1- 1 1/2 hours each way to work and back M-F, on top of being a full time student and taking freelance side jobs on the weekends. My now ex-fiance sat on his behind all day (unemployed), playing video games with his son. I came home and still had to deal with cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, etc. I’m actually thankful for the commute for giving me time to think about what I really wanted and deserved. I left him.

    • wow i hear is “my husband is lazy so i left him” …… i guess speaking to your spouse is a hard thing to do for many. if many would express their concerns to their spouse, they would understand and be willing to work things out. because reading these comments is essentially hearing “he/she should know what i expect”….. guess what it does not work that way. Both have to have a very open communication with each other. this seems to me as a long term communication problem not a commuting problem.

  30. Lay down that play boy magazine and those drinks to get 1 night stands at the bar and pick up the Bible…our sins are causing the destruction of the west. We have less children because of gays/lesbians/swinging etc. STDs on the rise. ANd families all broken apart. Our society is taken over by islamaniacs, etc. Jesus said ‘You will reap what you sowed’. And its happening! We act like pigs, we will become like pigs and cattle. – slaughtered by islamics.

    Its time for serious reflection and turn back to God. Women should dress like Catholic nuns and men should stop encouraging and making women think they can get a partner only if they become the biggest sl ut.

    • As a Catholic I am offended by your comments. Dress like Catholic Nuns? Calling women sluts who do not dress or think like you? Not what I learned at Holy Trinity. Love, tolerance, respect and honesty. Seems to work.

    • I think you’re just cursing the darkness. Your attitude is extremely reactionary. You can’t make people adapt to your brand of morality with all that anger and spitting!

  31. My husband cummutes 85 miles each way each day(when he is working closest to home). We have been married since I was 16 (22 years now:) and all I can say is, you have to be commited to making it work. Sure it means more house type work for me but it also means more alone time and hot driving with other angry commuters for him. Be commited no matter what is causing the stress. If you can just get a divorce because you spend a little more time apart or because you are stuck in a car for most of your day, I am wondering, how commited were you when you decided to get married?

  32. This is just another useless study I have had commutes fron 150 miles to 3000 miles and away from home 3 weeks at a time and we have been married for 33 years. where do they come up with this crap I hope grant money was not wasted. the commute is not responsible for divorce couples who are unwilling to communicate are. People seperate due to abuse and mostly selfish motives if a marrage will survive there have to be a partnership and compromise. So what is next this crap is nothing but BS. When are couples going th be accountable for ther own actions and stop blaming accept responsibility for our own actions

  33. this article a load of crap….really???
    money and infidelity are the main causes of divorce, not your crappy commute…ever heard of communication?
    moronic.

  34. Seriously, tbis is news? Like how they had to throw married or cohabitating. We are talking sweden, lol thats funny stuff. Sounds like they had to throw anyone in that group to “make” a survey.. regardless, worthless money spent here and worthless news to anyone.

  35. I spent 20 years with a horrible commute. Left the house at 6:15 am and got home at 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm. It was a HUGE strain on the marriage. It is a wonder we survived those years.

  36. We both commute about 50 minutes each way in the opposite direction. We’ve been married 32 years and the commute just means we are more tired in the evening. As others have noted, if you communicate, and help each other as much as possible, this does not cause conflict. Thursday evening or Friday night tends to be “dinner out” as we both don’t feel like cooking! Wouldn’t trade him for the world!!

  37. You know, yes men are complicated. But they are simple creatures. They don’t get the small hints. You just need to be straight forward with them and not beat around the bush. So yes you have a long commute to work, boo-hoo. If you aren’t happy with something he is or is not doing then tell him!! My fiance and I are both in the US Navy and we have about a 30 min drive to work everyday, let alone being on deployments and being away from each other for months on end. If you women are all complaining about a little commute and being upset because your man expects you to cook dinner after you get home, then tell him!!! He can’t read your mind ladies! You should be happy that you even get to come home to him sometimes! Try going months without seeing your loved one or not knowing when the next time will be that you get to speak with him. If you truely love someone then you are not going to let driving to work break you apart. You are both driving to work to help support each other and your family. One of the biggest parts to a successful relationship is COMMUNICATION! If you don’t communicate, how are you going to know what makes the other one happy, or what to get done around the house or how will you know how the other feels.
    If you let a simple drive to work, no matter the distance or traffic, ruin your relationship with the person you love, then you weren’t really in love in the first place.

  38. Get it right now.marriage is about two people,at most times with other people.when chidren comes along, we get used to each other,we feel used,we may want to discard as we do when we used things up.You stay for life when you seee your partner and your relationship as part of you,not things you throw away We have missed it all along.

  39. I would LOVE to have this “problem.” My husband is and has been unemployed for over a year …he would drive to Alaska if he could find a job!!! It’s NOT having a communte that is going to cause a divorce :(

  40. The partner who must remain in the home sometimes thinks “why is he/she gone so long; am I not worth coming home to; is he/she hacing an affair?” And the negative feelings keep building up. They mjust be defused by talking about them.

  41. A lot of emotion is seen in most of these posts, and as such, most can be taken with a grain of salt. All marriages have their issues, whether there is a long work commute in the mix or not. Some marriages are stressfull enough as it is, but without added pressure, will last a lifetime, while others with no added stress will still end in divorce within the first 4 years.

    I think we need to take a look at the study for what it’s worth, and leave emotion out of it. Over 2 million couples is a lot of data to average. Of course you’ll have some that will thrive in this situation, no one is disputing that, BUT statistically over 40% don’t. This article does not go into the other factors involved which led to that 40% figure, but the fact remains, nearly half of the 2 million couples who had at least one person making a long commute every day, ended in separation.

    I for one make a commute of over 86 miles each way, every work day, and my marriage is suffering PARTIALLY because of it. I can’t afford to just quit my job, because the job market has yet to come back in satellite communications, which leads to one of our other (and more profound) issues…finances.

    I can attest to the validity of the fundamental ideas of this article…I get up at 3:30 am, leave at 4:10, work 12 hours, and get home around 7:40 pm, and still have to check work (and personal) emails from home. Then family concerns (groceries, bills, family issues, etc. keep me up ’til 20:30 or 11:00 pm. I never have time for quality family time. We have a 4 year old, and a 2 month old who suffers from a lot of gas problems, so my wife never gets any sleep, and my old haven of sleeping 6 to 8 hours on the weekends is now a distant memory.

    It really scares me to think that we may make that 40% list, and yes, the drive does play a major factor, NO MATTER WHAT COUNTRY YOU RESIDE IN.

  42. I`ve been commuting for several years. Work in Alaska, live in Michigan. Eight weeks on, two weeks off. Been married 26 years. I must be lucky, and got a good one. I remember signing something years ago, Till Death do us part. Wonder what they meant by that?

  43. Sometimes I wonder if half the commenters on here even bother to read these articles until the end. The last paragraph says, “Overall, while a long-distance commute was a challenge for many couples, those who were willing to adapt and find creative ways to overcome it were successful.”

    So quit bitching about how a study in Sweden means nothing for us here because “we get it” or “WE adapt”… the study takes note of that very aspect and really, it’s just another study that the internet news sources love to throw up on their front page for quick reads. Well, quick reads that people still only skim.

  44. I don’t know why they decided to do the study in Sweden. Us Americans are different when it comes to commuting. We work more hours than they do every week, and are used to having to sacrifice family time vs. work time (incl. the long commute). In Sweden, they are more family oriented and try to even it out for all of the their citizens between family and work. My opinion on the actual subject: If I were the one commuting, I would LOVE it. I have 3 kids at home and am married. I don’t get enough alone time/down time to transition between work and home life. The kids would love to see me more (of course), and my husband would probably hate it, only because it would mean that he would have more parenting duties than he would normally like.

  45. I’d be interested to see if the “commute” studied includes bumper-to-bumper gridlock traffic, or simply a normal 30-minute/30-mile commute with a steady flow of traffic. I’m only 25 miles from work, but my commute is an hour one-way on a good day. My commute consists of freeways in order to get into the Los Angeles area; I’m up at 4:30, leave at 5:30, and typically don’t get home until nearly 6:30. The drive is brutal to and from home when you throw in the 5 freeway, 405 freeway, etc. The constant gridlock IS stressful, and although I’ve been doing it for over 12 years, it’s still is frustrating. I am married, and have two kids at home, also. By the time I’m home at night, I’m exhausted. I’m fortunate my husband is typically home earlier, cooks dinner for the famly, and generally has a more flexible schedule. With the commute leading to stress, exhaustion and frustration, it’s easy to see why some commutes would certainly take a toll on a marriage. And in the SoCal area, 30 miles doesn’t typically equate to a 30 minute drive during commute times…..

  46. My commute just increased, and that has caused our marriage addtl stress. Hopefully the routine settles again. I can see this study as valid. I think if for the duration of the relationship, the communte was always long, there is no problem. But, when it increases, the shift in amount of time at home, and who covers chores, and care of the kids…life gets stressful.

  47. I love my commute to and from work. It is an hours drive and it allows me time to get pumped up and ready for my day and it allows me time to unwind at the end of my day. My husband has half the commute that I have and he never stops complaining about his commute or the time I spend on mine. As for division of housework, there is no division. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. He hates my commute and I hate that he is lazy. Hard on our marriage? Absolutely!! But we live in the mountains so a commute is a must if we work.

  48. If you have to commute long way – at least don’t be cheap, buy yourself a car you will not be disgusted to spend so much time in. Think – it’s the place where a major part of your life is spent; do you want to waste it in a shaking, squeaking, leaky clunker, or you want to be pampered by whatever you like and can afford?
    25mi one way, NJ highways that quite sometimes turn into parking lot without a warning – but I love my Volvo XC-70. I know it’s a bit above what I really should have with my income and social status – but I’d rather cut down on dining out and all those must-have gadgets and last fashions, but wouldn’t have to waste my life sitting inside that cramped lowly [whatever make and model you can think of].

  49. i commute about 35 minutes to and from work everyday…Since i travel against traffic the commute is generally speaking free and clear except for the occasional rubbernecking , accidents or unexplained traffic. But no matter how u slice it, the commute, especially after a 10 hour work day is taxing and draining on that last bit of energy i have to enjoy the rest of the evening at home. I find that the stress of the day along with the long ride home leaves me with little energy to do any household chore(cooking dinner etc.) nonetheless communicate/interact with my partner of 31 years. So i would have to say that a long commute does infringe upon the quality of a relationship and depletes energy that could otherwise be used to nurture the relationship. A job 5 minutes away or better yet within walking distance from home would certainly be better on the nerves.

  50. My spouse works from home so I’ve always had the longer commute. I do the grocery shopping, cooking and some of the cleaning. I also do some laundry on the weekend. He does the rest of the cleaning, takes care of the trash/recycling and the rest of the laundry. I think this is a pretty equitable distribution of work, but he’s always complaining that I don’t help enough around the house. Since I earn virtually all of the income … shouldn’t that count for something?

  51. I can easily see how a long commute can be hard on a marriage. My old commute was at least 45 mins at legal speeds and favorable traffic. I didn’t dread going to work, I hated the drive. Now, it takes half the time to get home and I don’t feel that extra stress at the end of a long day. I don’t know that associating the commute with housework is necessarily appropriate, but I’m sure that it impacts the mood of at least one member of the family. Finding ways to minimize that impact could probably reduce the incidence of divorce.

  52. I agree with most of your comments. I’ve been commuting for up to an hour if traffic’s bad for the past 4 years and have been married 6. I love my decompressing time spent reading if I choose to catch the train or talking to my xtending family if driving. It not only gives me motivation to focus just on my wife and kids but also to not feel guilty about not wanting to talk to friends or extended family once I get home. It’s all in how you communicate this time to your spouse and how you manage your time when you get home.

  53. I drive 112 miles each way to get to work. It’s a job and it pays the bills so you do it and my spouse understands that this is necessary to pay the bills. Jobs are hard to get specially good paying and stable ones so be happy if you have a good job and a spouse that loves and supports you.

  54. I find it amusing to read comments about long commmutes wrecking anybody’s relationship. Sheesh, is that what your life is all about? How long you spend commuting?! Whah-whah-whah. Grow-up! You do what you have to do to pay the bills and make it work, and if your relationship is that sucky that commuting is destroying it, then you are kidding yourselves. Your relationship must already suck to begin with. Or you do. I am married and we have commuted for years on end. We’ve even lived apart in different states for a year one stretch and close to that another stretch (job related). For 11 years one of us traveled to various cities and states, and to Europe and Asia. Now, for the past 7 years, one of us travels 4-5 days per week. If it’s your job and is what pays the bills and you love each other, you learn to make it work for you. And NEITHER of US has cheated! Trust one another, talk daily via phone calls, webcam, make the most of your time together. One day you’ll retire and have lots of time together. Also, one of us raises the kids and things are pretty okay. So, am I the man or the wife? Not saying.

  55. Pingback: Drive to work = Divorce? « Job Talk with Anita Clew

  56. Just because it works for you means it works for everybody?
    Ridiculous.
    You are the exception. Most people in relationships would not put up with that level of separation. It sounds extreme. Wait until old age to actually spend time together? Actually admit that just ONE of you raises your children? Don’t your kids miss that parent? Not to mention that’s definitely one thing you won’t get back in old age–all those wasted years away from your family. Sounds insane to me

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