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Managing Marriage for the Long Term
Old 04-21-2016, 11:51 AM   #1
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Managing Marriage for the Long Term

On the escapist thread the thought came to mind about a number couples I know who can not live together and still stay together for the sake of finances, kids, sanity, etc. Two close friends have the situation where one lives in the house and the other in a condo less than two miles away, another couple stay together for eight months and then the husband goes to Florida for the remaining four months. Both couples have long term marriages, 30+, do things together and seem to have perfectly happy marriages that work for them. In talking to these folks they admit, living part has saved their marriages.

Just curious if anyone else knows people who have this arraignment and your thoughts ? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:00 PM   #2
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I really don't know about anybody else's marriage.

Frank and I are not married, but we both were married (to other people) at one time so we know what that is like. Neither of us wants to ever marry again, and we are enjoying living next door to one another but not in the same house. We keep our finances completely separate as well.

We absolutely LOVE living apart and seeing one another every day. I'm not saying it is the solution for everyone but I think it is great. We don't smother one another. I hire a handyman to fix things around the house, and a lawn guy to mow, so I am pretty independent and I love not having to nag to get things done. F somehow manages quite nicely too, even without a wife to cook, clean, and wash his clothes. Also, with separate finances all of those money arguments completely vanish.

Would my (former) marriage have been saved by this type of arrangement? To be honest, I don't know but I suspect not. My ex was gone over 50% of the time anyway, due to the nature of his sea-going job. If he had lived elsewhere as well, then the contact might have been too little to sustain a relationship at all.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:14 PM   #3
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On the escapist thread the thought came to mind about a number couples I know who can not live together and still stay together for the sake of finances, kids, sanity, etc. Two close friends have the situation where one lives in the house and the other in a condo less than two miles away, another couple stay together for eight months and then the husband goes to Florida for the remaining four months. Both couples have long term marriages, 30+, do things together and seem to have perfectly happy marriages that work for them. In talking to these folks they admit, living part has saved their marriages.

Just curious if anyone else knows people who have this arraignment and your thoughts ? Thanks in advance.
Not exactly the situation stated above but along the same lines of human behavior. I had a pretty long term thing going on at one time with a lady I met shortly before I left the Air Force. She had several years remaining before retirement. So for about 8 years we did like Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn in the movie "Same Time, Next Year"

It was always fun when we were together, and when we were apart, writing and emailing and acting as if the other one was a part of our life. But the longer we knew each other, the more the incompatibilities starting showing up. As you've already concluded, it didn't work out once she got close enough to retirement for us to see the details of the relationship.

My conclusion was, the only way we were able to stay together so long was because we were actually apart most of the time. Had we been a normal boyfriend/girlfriend couple we'd have lasted maybe a whole 6 months to a year at most. And Lawdy forbid what would have happened had we been foolish enough to actually get married during that time!

So, yes, I can see where living semi-separate lives can actually keep a relationship going rather than end it. Especially if the people involved have been together for a lot of years.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:21 PM   #4
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I have a friend who is still married because it is easier that way financially than being single again (2nd marriage for her, 1st for him). She is the main and pretty much the only bread winner since he got laid off a few years ago and have refused to get another job (He recently started some internet business that brings in a few hundred dollars a month while she brings in $100K a year.). He is a very nice person from what I can tell - He helps out around the house and is very caring when she gets sick, etc. She is however very stressed out carrying all the load financially.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:27 PM   #5
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As you've already concluded, it didn't work out once she got close enough to retirement for us to see the details of the relationship.

My conclusion was, the only way we were able to stay together so long was because we were actually apart most of the time. Had we been a normal boyfriend/girlfriend couple we'd have lasted maybe a whole 6 months to a year at most. And Lawdy forbid what would have happened had we been foolish enough to actually get married during that time!
I was in a relationship similar to the one you mention. We got together only on weekends at the end; we maybe talked for about an hour during the weekend. We were together for years and as I got older, I couldn't envision continuing on in this manner.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:34 PM   #6
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I was in a relationship similar to the one you mention. We got together only on weekends at the end; we maybe talked for about an hour during the weekend. We were together for years and as I got older, I couldn't envision continuing on in this manner.
I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one. Not that I'm reveling in your "failure", if you can call it that. It's actually a success. People knowing what they really want and not succumbing to social encumbrances.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:44 PM   #7
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She is however very stressed out carrying all the load financially.
"Back in the day," many men felt this way. Sounds like it can be a problem for both sexes now........ Modern times.....
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:47 PM   #8
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I just retired 5 months ago. My wife and I have no plans to split up, but we have very different ideas of how we want to spend our retirement years.

DW has no plans to retire when she is fully vested in her pension in 5 years, and wants to continue to live, as her parents did, in the house where we raised our kids. I, on the other hand, want to move south.

DW has no interest in compromising and being snowbirds, so pretty soon I will start living at least 6 months each year in a southern retirement - friendly and tax-friendly state by myself. The balance of the year, I will return and live with her.

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Old 04-21-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
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As a side note, I broached the idea of "living alone together" in this forum 1 or 2 years ago when DW and I started discussing the possibility. More than 1 person told me that I needed a marriage counselor, lol.

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Old 04-21-2016, 01:03 PM   #10
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I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one. Not that I'm reveling in your "failure", if you can call it that. It's actually a success. People knowing what they really want and not succumbing to social encumbrances.
LOL, I get it.

I am now happily married to someone who is very easy to get along with, and we spend a boat load of time together without annoying each other or wanting to stay away from each other. So far, so good

This is not to say living alone together is a wrong thing. Whatever works for a couple.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:11 PM   #11
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Oh yeah, I forgot. My friend's dad who lives in the US (now deceased) was married to a woman living in Netherlands. He flew over to see her once a year for a month (maybe two months, but I think she told me one month). I don't know how many years they were married (I don't think they ever lived together), but I imagine for many years (I've known this friend for about 20 years and I believe she told me about this early on.) See, whatever works for a couple...
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:14 PM   #12
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I broached the idea of "living alone together"
Togetherness seems to be a continuum stretching from the need to spend 100% of your time in shared activities to couples who are comfortable spending months apart.

DW and I have been hitched for 46 yrs and dated for several years before that (since our sophomore year in high school). Yet, we've always been fairly comfortable being independent and, at least for limited amounts of time, being apart.

While we do most things together, we have separate hobbies, take some separate vacations, don't share all our friends, tolerated my work related travel fine in the pre-FIRE days and even went to distant separate colleges before marriage. That need to be together, holding hands 24 X 7 just has never been there. I think that has helped us avoid becoming part of the divorced 50%. Not to paint with a broad brush, but it seems like couples from our youth who were wildly infatuated with each other and needed to be together at all times no matter what are all long divorced........... I'm sure there are exceptions.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:14 PM   #13
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It's interesting to read these stories, and perhaps it's that our marriage (going on 5 years) is still young, but my primary complaint at this point is that I don't get to spend enough QT with DW because of my weeks-or-months-at-a-time travel for work, her (less) weekend travel for work, and her later hours four out of five days during the week. Now, we got married a little bit later (35 and 31, first marriages), so maybe that's part of it, or maybe it's just that it's still "new".

I have wondered aloud how we would adjust to being around each other all the time, though I think both of us recognize the need for "me" time as well. I have more of it than I want right now!
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Managing Marriage for the Long Term
Old 04-21-2016, 01:24 PM   #14
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Managing Marriage for the Long Term

I'm not sure I understand the managing marriage for long term concept, only for tax purpose and for not splitting up assets and investments, otherwise what's the real reason. But I do know of a couple live in such a way. I never understand it. My husband and I has been tight before we got married and still tight after marriage. We even worked together 3 times in the past 30 years.


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Old 04-21-2016, 03:15 PM   #15
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On the escapist thread the thought came to mind about a number couples I know who can not live together and still stay together for the sake of finances, kids, sanity, etc. Two close friends have the situation where one lives in the house and the other in a condo less than two miles away, another couple stay together for eight months and then the husband goes to Florida for the remaining four months. Both couples have long term marriages, 30+, do things together and seem to have perfectly happy marriages that work for them. In talking to these folks they admit, living part has saved their marriages.

Just curious if anyone else knows people who have this arraignment and your thoughts ? Thanks in advance.
A relative did this not to save the marriage, but to save the business. Only in the last couple of years did they actually divorce, but I think they had separated with separate houses/lives about 10 years before. They still interact often as they both run different parts of the business. Theirs is a professional relationship now. I thought it was brilliant of them to view their fading "relationship" from a financial perspective rather than an emotional one, as this has benefited each of them substantially.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:46 PM   #16
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....Just curious if anyone else knows people who have this arraignment and your thoughts ? Thanks in advance.
Not here, but there are days it sounds like a very good idea.

Actually, i have a friend who married a guy 20 years her senior who for many years lived 1500 miles apart but still saw each other occasionally... I always thought it strange as do some of our other friends... and I always thought that perhaps they were essentially separated.... until he moved back here last year. Whatever.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:31 PM   #17
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The father of one of my good friends leaves immediately after Christmas for Arizona, returning in early April while his wife stays here in Canada. He has been doing this for 30 years (once the kids were on their own) and they have been happily married for 55 years.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:02 AM   #18
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LOL, I get it.

I am now happily married to someone who is very easy to get along with, and we spend a boat load of time together without annoying each other or wanting to stay away from each other. So far, so good

This is not to say living alone together is a wrong thing. Whatever works for a couple.
Same here. In many respects I think it was the luck of the draw for both of us. No deep analysis going on when we first started dating or moved in together. We have some friends who are entering retirement without compatible goals. Painful to watch.
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:56 AM   #19
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:57 AM   #20
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It definitely works for some: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/09/15....html?referer=
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