When two people are in love with each other, the natural next step is for them to live together. However, for many couples, living apart together is the way to go.
What is living apart together? It is just like it sounds. It is when a couple is in a romantic relationship but living at separate addresses. Living apart together is not just for unmarried couples, though. Many married couples are sick of living with each other and have decided to stay married but live in separate houses. This living situation has helped stave off divorce for many couples and even improve their marriages.
Is this growing trend right for your relationship? Here is what you need to know.
What Does it Entail?
When couples live apart together, they stay in their relationship but without the frustrations that often come with living together in the same house. They continue to live their life as usual in their own home. Many couples have their arrangement due to their careers, but for some, it is a personal preference. It allows each person to live where they want. One can live by the beach, while the other can live in the mountains.
Living apart together is almost like having the best of both worlds. A person is in a relationship but still gets to keep their independence. There is no need to share anything.
It can be tricky for married couples, though. It means maintaining two separate residences. However, when married couples live apart together, it is often because the marriage is on its way out. This option is often a last-ditch effort to save the marriage. It can help because absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you are getting sick of your spouse, living apart together gives you some breathing room. You get the space you need to determine whether or not the marriage is worth saving.
Benefits of Living Apart Together
Many couples prefer to live apart together due to the following benefits:
- It gives you time to yourself. When you live with someone, you hardly ever get time to yourself. When you live in your own home, your time is your own.
- There is less tension and conflict. When things are not going well in your relationship, you can just head back home. You do not have to be in the same room or even the same home as someone with whom you are arguing.
- There is more happiness. You feel more independent. You can engage in your favorite hobbies and see friends without worrying about how your partner might feel.
- There is no worrying about the small stuff. Who is making dinner? Whose turn is it to do laundry or take out the trash? When you have your own home, you are responsible for everything. There is no conflict about household tasks, which means you and your partner can focus on spending quality time together.
- It is an alternative to a nasty divorce. Splitting up is difficult emotionally and financially. By living separately, you can come and go as you please and get the time and space you need to work on your marriage. It is almost like a separation.
Disadvantages of Living Apart Together
While living apart together may seem like the ideal situation for many couples, it is not without its downsides. Here are some things to consider:
- It can bring about insecurities. Since you and your partner are not together all the time, they may feel jealous about how you spend your time. Your partner may demand more and more of your time to assuage their fears.
- It may lead to infidelity. Since you and your partner do not live together, it is possible that you may grow apart and decide to find a new love elsewhere. However, infidelity can happen in any relationship, whether or not a couple is living together.
- It can detract from the relationship. Many problems in a relationship need to be dealt with face to face. When a couple does not live together, it makes it harder to solve issues in the relationship.
- It is expensive. Two people under one roof can live more cheaply than two people in separate houses. At the same time, saving money should not be the only reason to be with someone.
- It is not socially acceptable. Tell someone you and your spouse are living apart but still married and you are bound to get some raised eyebrows. Not many people have heard of living apart together nor do they agree with it, so this brings about concern in couples who do not want to be judged by friends and family.
How to Make it Work
Living apart together is not for the faint of heart. It requires a strong commitment as well as effective communication.
Make no firm plans. Feelings can change over time, so it is good to check in frequently to see how things are going and whether or not the arrangement is working.
If you are unhappily married, living apart together may be the right choice. It will either help your marriage or make it worse. If you have children, it is a good idea to live close enough to each other so you both can continue to be a huge part of their lives.
Seek Legal Help
If your marriage is on the rocks, then living apart together might give you the space you need. It is often used as a last resort for married couples, but can be used for unmarried couples as well.
If you are heading toward divorce, Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you understand your options. To learn more, schedule a consultation. Fill out the online form or call (954) 346-6464.