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Old 04-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #41
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This is an interesting thread but the OP seems to want only a certain type of response or some very specific experience.

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Originally Posted by trapperjohn View Post
I'm almost ready to RE and move to a warmer climate. DW has no interest in retiring or moving anywhere at any time in the future. We're seriously thinking of remaining married, but living apart....in our case, living quite a long way apart.
This begs the question, do you plan on getting together regularly? Is this a situation where each will have a base but both will spend considerable time together across both locations? Or, each remains in a different location all of the time? An additional question, is the plan to live together once again in the future once some criteria is met, or is this an indefinite separation?

Edit to add: the intention of these questions is not to look for more details regarding the marriage, its to help find the specific experience needed to post more helpful responses.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:02 PM   #42
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I believe that most people who have relationships are looking for certain things. Companionship, intellectual stimulation, sexual gratification, physical help with things like moving the furniture or sewing on a button. All of these can be outsourced for money or other forms of payment, and some of them can be satisfied to one degree or another on the phone, but it gets kind of thin.

I know one couple where the woman was retired for several years, and the guy retired a couple years ago, maybe five years after she had retired. Though she had plans for some activities that they might do together, he was off for China 3 months after his retirement on a 2 year contract. Her friends of course all advised her to get a lover and fast, but as best I know she was too intimidated to give this much thought, though I do not know, and do not want to know.

I know I want no part of any of it, but she is pretty good looking in that austere Northern European way and she is a skilled dancer so she might be just what some other guy is looking for.

But there is plenty of time for her to reconsider any of this, as he announced that the has never in his lifetime been happier and he re-upped on his contract. My guess is that he may never return, though he has invited her to visit him over there twice I think. Meanwhile she tries her best to deal with the obvious and humiliating rejection that both of them seem to ignore.



Ha
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:24 PM   #43
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The only living apart example I know of involves a friend of my wife who married a submariner who was away long stretches. The mom, and independent type managed the kids and her job. The batch of kids went off to college and the dad came home from sea for good. That's when the relationship ended. So the moral of the story, I guess, is "apart can be good"?
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:26 PM   #44
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There is a HUGE difference between doing this while working and doing this while retired. In the first case, you are generally moving away and living apart because you have to... due to the location requirements of the job. In the second case, you are generally moving away and living apart because you want to and not because you have to....

I don't know any couples who lived in different parts of the country 100% of the time while retired, without gravely insulting the spouse (by valuing the spouse less than, say, climate, or some such triviality) and ending the marriage.

... Sounds to me like you want to hear what you want to hear.
+1

FWIW, I certainly didn't find FinanceDude's post to be offensive. The initial post indicated that you and your wife "cannot or will not find an acceptable compromise". Any couple in that unfortunate situation might well benefit from a sincere heart-to-heart, and/or counselling. That is not the same thing as suggesting that either or both partners are bad people, or not properly respecting their marital vows.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:36 PM   #45
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I know two couples who have done this. In one situation the wife fell in love with Florida, moved there, and became a real estate agent, while the husband stayed in the DC area and ran his business. They would see each other for a couple of weeks a year, mostly holidays with the family.

The other one the wife stayed in the DC area, continues to work, and has a very busy social life. The husband spends 9 months in San Diego being nanny to his grandkids, then comes home for the summer when his teacher daughter has time off. But even then they go their different ways.

In neither case do they have anything I would call a relationship. They are married, but have very little to do with each other. I don't see how it could be otherwise, personally. But good luk to you if you decide to go that way.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:24 AM   #46
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Sorry, but you may have bigger marital problems that you realize. I know "it's cheaper to keep her", but really? Maybe some serious joint soul-searching needs to be in your future. What does your gut tell you?
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:31 AM   #47
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I have done it for a few months when I was younger, with my husband (now ex-husband). It was very difficult for both of us, but he was laid off and couldn't find anything where we were, so it was necessary. We decided to do it for *our* future.

I did the same thing with my SO (now ex-SO). Circumstances were not quite the same. He found a job of his dreams (He already had a very good paying job), and decided to move out of state. I decided to stay behind because although nothing was stopping me from moving with him. I remember I felt that I wouldn't have done what he did because I valued being together more than a "job of my dreams", but I understood where we was coming from. I also felt that that was the tone of our relationship (put ones wants and desires first and see if the other can compromise/cope.) We still intended to continue our relationship and we did. I did move eventually to where he lived (1.5 years later - better paying jobs where he moved.), but I felt I knew where I stood in our relationship.

Obviously, marriages/relationships are defined differently by different people, and priorities can be so different depending upon what you expect/want from the relationship, so it's hard to compare the living arrangement other couples have, but personally, I would want to be in a relationship in which my spouse/SO values our togetherness more than job opportunities (unless you cannot make a living where you are), or social network, or a good weather (unless there are some medical reasons a good weather is highly beneficial.) This is just me. I know many people do what you are tentemplating on doing, and it is a perfect arrangement for many people (I can tell that from some of the posts others made. Some married people are more loosely coupled than others). I am just not built in the way that I would enjoy that kind of living arrangement. (I didn't.)

I know this is not my thread, but thank you for posting your question. I am confirming with more conviction what I value in my relationship!
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:50 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I believe that most people who have relationships are looking for certain things. Companionship, intellectual stimulation, sexual gratification, physical help with things like moving the furniture or sewing on a button. All of these can be outsourced for money or other forms of payment, and some of them can be satisfied to one degree or another on the phone, but it gets kind of thin.
This is a good point. I know that these things were an issue when DH and I lived in separate houses for over a year. Many of these were mitigated because I saw him almost every day. The house I was in for the last year of this was literally 2 minutes from the house he was in. We both use computers a lot so we would often spend a couple of hours a day on Skype talking. Even after we moved into our current house (together) we have separate offices but still talk on Skype a lot while each on our own computers. The help with things is one that I think is sometimes not thought about much. I had other people with me (teenage children) but there was no doubt that I had to do a lot more stuff than I have to do when DH is with me. I could call him to come over and help with things since he was close but I still did more stuff on my own.

Another point to make from an ER standoint is that things were more expensive in having to maintain two households. In our situation it was still the best alternative. But, this is still an important point to consider

However, you have to remember that you have to pay for 2 places to live 2 sets of furniture, 2 internet connections, 2 electric bills, 2 insurances whether for a home or tenant's insurance, etc. Even groceries tended to be more expensive since you couldn't share the cost of certain things.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:22 PM   #49
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The only experience I have with this is my late husband's very frequent and often extended travels (longest was 26 days, average was 1-2 weeks) for his j*b. It was not a choice, but a necessity. I hated the constant time apart, but in the long run it kept our marriage fresh.
I was very proud of what he was doing.
I am very independent and had my own social life. The locals always wondered when they saw me out by myself, but I just laughed at their small-mindedness. We had no children, so I was free to do what I wanted to.

These days...Mr B and I live together, unmarried. He is retired, I am voluntarily unemployed. He has interests that I do not share, and vice versa.
So I go on 1-2 day overnight trips to go to the lake, visit with former cow*rkers who have camps, and may even do a bus trip solo if a decent one pops up on the horizon. He encourages me to continue to do so, without dragging him along. I think he likes being
King of the Castle, i.e. bachelor time with the dog.
I attend Legion functions with him whenever he asks me to. Some can be a bit dry, but we both like to go as a couple. We mingle together and separately throughout the night. I am meeting some really neat people.

I would never consider living apart for any length of time.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:44 PM   #50
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I know a couple who have been married about 30 years. Around 6 or 7 years ago the husband's employer was bought out by a megacorp. He took a position at the other end of the state as a temporary measure to stay with the company. He moved there and came home most weekends. This later turned into an opportunity with the megacorp in Florida. The wife stayed here in Ohio because their adult kids are here and she likes their home and this area. He flies home every two weeks for a long weekend and then goes back to Florida.

In their case they are doing this for his job. I hope it's worth it for them. I hope it's a case of absence making the heart grow fonder and that he still feels like he's coming home to her and his family rather than visiting.

After so long this no longer looks temporary. To outsiders it looks strange, but that shouldn't matter if it's what works for them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:55 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
This is an interesting thread but the OP seems to want only a certain type of response or some very specific experience.



This begs the question, do you plan on getting together regularly? Is this a situation where each will have a base but both will spend considerable time together across both locations? Or, each remains in a different location all of the time? An additional question, is the plan to live together once again in the future once some criteria is met, or is this an indefinite separation?

Edit to add: the intention of these questions is not to look for more details regarding the marriage, its to help find the specific experience needed to post more helpful responses.
Good questions, MichaelB.

We truly have not decided anything yet. We have no idea if I will even do the living apart together thing at all. We have no clear idea where I'd live if I moved south, when I'd move, how often we'd visit, how long, or if the arrangement would be temporary or permanent.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but I simply don't have any answers for you.

I really only asked the original question to find out if others have experienced it....I'm not looking for any advice on how to apply it to us. I'm looking for how others made it or did not make it work.
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