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Why are more married couples living apart?

Why are more married couples living apart?

From Gwyneth Paltrow to Julia Roberts โ€” some say separate addresses may be the key to cementing a marriage. And now it is becoming a growing trend called “living together”.

Evan Whitney and husband of 15 years, Jonathan Mead, experienced it firsthand.

Whitney said, “I wanted to see who I was when being somebody’s partner, being somebody’s wife wasn’t at the center of my universe.”

The couple decided to live together remotely in February 2020, before the pandemic lockdown forced Americans inside. Mead stayed at his home in Oregon. Whitney moved to Los Angeles – a thousand miles away – where a planned few weeks turned into 11 months of living together.

“I really felt so spacious to be able to accommodate my needs, my wants, my desires,” Whitney said.

It’s important to note, living together, known as a LAT relationship, doesn’t always mean long distance.

LAT is about lifestyle choice and can range from a few miles to thousands of miles physically separating a married couple.

Long distances are usually the result of changing circumstances. Between 2000 and 2022, the percentage of married people living apart increased by more than 40%.

The latest US Census figures about 3.89 million American married adults – living apart – will live in 2022.

Author and lifestyle journalist Vicki Larson says that absence can make the heart grow fonder.

“The people who are really choosing this as a lifestyle are often people who have had children from prior relationships,” Larsen said. “As Esther Perel says, desire needs some room. Ask anyone who’s in their LAT relationship one of the best things. And they’ll definitely say sex.”

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For Whitney & Mead, space made way for both partners To focus on emotional and mental healing.

“If I take this time for myself, it means I can better reflect on my relationship with my partner; and be really clear about what I need, what I need, and what we have in the first place.” Build something stronger than that,” Whitney said.

The idea of โ€‹โ€‹living together was highlighted in The New York Times in December.

The article cited women’s well-being as a driver for the decision, allowing them to take advantage of the benefits of marriage while avoiding the burdens of the traditional household.

Larsen said, “It subverts people’s gender roles for women, you know we’d be the cooks and the cleaners.”

“Having that space at that time allowed me to be really clear about how I wanted to express, celebrate, honor and accept my gender,” Whitney said.

However, the lifestyle comes at a cost โ€“ two homes mean two rent or mortgage payments.

government statistics show The average person living alone spends about 36% more on housing annually than a married couple living together.

Whitney said, “It takes a lot of planning; it takes a lot of financial security to do it over a long period of time.”

And getting married while living apart may not be for everyone โ€” insecurity and jealousy can force couples to split. secret?

“Communicate, communicate, communicate. You have to have a lot of trust and you have to establish ways to grow that trust together because you’re not around,” Larson said.

Today Whitney and Mead live together under the same roof. He said it was motivated by the political uncertainty during the last presidential inauguration.

“And also, I think we’ve both reached a point within this experience where we’re like, well, I think we are. I think we’re good,” Whitney said. “We don’t have to be together. But we are actively choosing every single day to be together. And I think that’s just piece of what I’ve learned, and what I’ve gained from living apart. “

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