Read, Run, Repeat

A tale of fitness, books, food, and life in between

I love you, now leave?

on May 15, 2013

I heard the most ridiculous thing on a local radio station this morning … the AM deejays were discussing the new trend (scenario? lifetyle?) of married couples each having their own home and living seperately from one another.

My first reaction — WHAT? (actually it was more like WTF?!)

The discussion on this was based off of this article from the Telegraph in the UK … it begins with the story of a couple that choses to live apart, even with a 14month old daughter and note that what they call a “controlled absence” is a permament arrangement. The article goes on to say that 1 in 10 people in Britain who are in a committed relationship are choosing to live apart — and that this trend is spreading to America, Western Europe and Australia. The article goes on to give details of a study that has been done on the Living Apart Together (LAT) trend, and gives lots of statistics. One of the  sentence reads:

“At a time when nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and long-term co-habitees, often with children, are at least as likely to separate, isn’t it encouraging to see people trying different ways of arranging their emotional and domestic lives?”

Again – WHAT??

I understand that sometimes there are situational issues that require couples to live apart – military, sickness, family issues … Completely understandable. But to choose that way of living for no apparent reason other than “this is what works for us” or because a couple can’t figure out a compromise? I just don’t get it! To me, this is just another sign that the institution of marriage is dying.

I’ve briefly mentioned that I have already been married and divorced  – and I most definitely agree that there are situations that warrant divorce. In my case, we were too young and we’re ready for marriage. It wasn’t a healthy relationship by any means. Every relationship is different. But P and I are now approaching our 5th year together – and we’ve owned our home for almost 4 years now. We are not married, but yet, I know that he is my soulmate and makes me whole. I also know that he and I work very, very, VERY hard at our relationship…. (most days anyway!).

I will admit that there are some (and sometimes many) days where I think “being single would be so much easier”, and it probably would. But I feel incredible lucky that I have found unconditional love and the person that I can’t live without — and yes, sometimes I do have to remind myself of that when he’s driving me bananas! Let’s face it, relationships do take work – you have to learn how to communicate, listen, love, and compromise with this other person – and that’s not always easy … or fun! But being in a committed relationship means that we do the work — it means that we want to work though the tough stuff together — it means that I always have his back and support him — some days it means that even though I don’t like him very much at that moment, I still love him deeply and want us BOTH to be happy. In the same dwelling.

The couples in the article mentioned that some of the drawbacks to living apart was the extra cuddles and affection that they miss out on. To me, that’s HUGE. What about the love notes, and gestures that we do for one another, what about the random hugs in the kitchen, or the family walks in the summer, holding hands while we plow through the DVR, or spraying one another with water when we do the dishes — and who would keep my feet warm in the winter when I refuse to wear socks?! Who would make me laugh on those days that I just want to cry? To me, it’s those little moments that make up the relationship — and I don’t know how any of those would happen if we lived apart. Besides, I would miss him terribly!

Both  P and I enjoy time apart — but we CAN do that in our house at the same time. I have realized that I really do draw energy from doing things alone at times (see introvert post!). I also have a tendency to be a little clingy at times — but I’m working hard at that (key word: working) .. and I also know that have other relationships are just as important. I need my friends. and time to puruse things that make me happy. So does he.

I think many people think/hope/forget that relationships take work and that everything isn’t just amazing all the time. But honestly, you can’t figure out a compromise so you can live in the same house? And how does this affect children? I’d like to see the stats on that honestly.

So basically, my “WTF” response is really a “I think that’s a horrible idea.” There’s a way to make it work – you just have to figure it out.

And now, on a selfish side note that’s completely unrelated, I would so appreciate any good vibes and prayers you could send this way today — niece Olivia begins her ATG (drugs kinda like chemo) treatment today for her aplastic anemia — we don’t know how this will affect her yet or what the side effects will be. I’m just praying that this is the start of some serious healing … at 8 years old Livi is far braver than I will ever be.

Happy Wednesday friends — let’s get over this hump!!

QUESTIONS: How do you feel about this LAT thing? Good idea? Bad idea? What’s your feeling about marriage in general?



2 responses to “I love you, now leave?

  1. Karen says:

    I’ll be sending good healthy vibes To your niece.

    I know for me living apart would not be an option. I like to snuggle and be with my husband way to much! I love being with him every night when we go to sleep and seeing him each morning.

    But I also think that every relationship and every couple is different, and if living apart works for them and allows them to maintain a relationship in the best way possible for them, then I’m all for it for their well being.

    • Brittany says:

      Hi Karen! Thanks for the good thoughts for Liv! You’re right about every relationship is very different, and while I dont know how it would work for me — couples should do what’s right for them! A healthy relationship apart is always better than being miserable together!

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