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Living Apart Together
Old 04-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #1
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Living Apart Together

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.

Kids are all grown and living scattered across the country. Finances and healthcare are also not an issue or consideration.

Recently I read that many couples consider this living arrangement because they cannot or will not find an acceptable compromise. It's called "living apart together".

I'd like to hear from any of you who have tried or are now "living apart together". Is it working for you. If not, why not?
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:10 PM   #3
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That goes both ways.....When the cat's away...
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:15 PM   #4
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Wow - is this the only major thing you two disagree to agree on?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Even though Frank and I prefer not to live together, I can't imagine wanting to live in different cities and not share our daily lives together, and all over something as trivial as climate?

In the past, before retirement he occasionally had to do contract work out of town and we were both miserable being apart. We emailed many times each day, used real time messenger and video programs in the evenings, and so on. Skype would be the present day program used, I suppose. Back then it was Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, or Netmeeting.

We still missed one another tremendously, enough for him to drive 5.5 hours each way every single weekend for a year or more, so we could be together.

Each couple has to work these things out, so I will bite my lip and not say, "ARE YOU CRAZY??" But, your plan would probably not fit into our retirement bliss.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #6
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I wonder how Obamacare would price that on two different state exchanges?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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I am trying to fathom how someone can choose a place over a person and expect that person to continue to feel loved, honored, and cherished. That is just my opinion, of course. I guess you could say your wife is choosing a place over you as well, but you are the one who wants to move. Can't you be snowbirds or something?

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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I also can't imagine this working out well.

If it was me, I would just plan several extended vacations in warm places in lieu of moving out....JMHO.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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I am trying to fathom how someone can choose a place over a person and expect that person to continue to feel loved, honored, and cherished. That is just my opinion, of course. I guess you could say your wife is choosing a place over you as well, but you are the one who wants to move. Can't you be snowbirds or something?

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DH says he would never even sleep in a different bed in our house, never mind move to another state. Although I probably wouldn't be able to hear his snoring if he did. Hmmmm

But whatever floats your boat.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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"DW has no interest in retiring" is probably the key phrase here. Work is her social interaction and outside of that what interests does she have? What do the 2 of you do for fun? Outside of the house I mean.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:43 PM   #11
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DW and I kinda "lived apart together" for extended periods of time between 2005 and 2012. She travelled a lot for work and was sometimes gone for weeks at a time (although she tried to come home for a few hours on the weekends when possible). We are both independent individuals but I think that the distance was disruptive, even for our strong marriage. I think that it created an emotional detachment over time, on my part at least, that I would say had the potential to shake the foundations of our marriage. I am glad that we made a move in 2012 to end this situation.

I have read that houses with 2 master bedrooms (one for her, one for him) are all the rage right now, so it seems like a lot of married people live somewhat separate lives. But I think that distance adds a great deal of complexity.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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If you ultimately decided to do this and truly wanted to be married and just not on paper, since you would be the retiree, the onus would be on you to do all the traveling back and forth. With her still working, I would find her unwilling to do all the weekend travel. Doesn't sound like an exciting future together. If having a solid marriage was a priority, along with escaping the area, I would dabble my toes into it by a few extended snowbirding trips, and go from there while maintaining the home as the permanent residence. If I didn't have my SO, I would be relocated. But I also know the distance would crumble the relationship, and ultimately the happiness of moving to where I wanted to go, could not match the satisfaction of staying and being with her....so I just travel out there in short bursts 5-6 times a year, during the week while she is working.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:18 PM   #13
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I do know a couple that did this . They came to Florida to visit friends and at the end of the visit he decided to retire and stay . He bought a villa.She returned to New York and would visit . She eventually sold their town house and moved in with him.They laugh about it now.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #14
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DH and I lived in separate houses for about 15 out of 18 months. At first it is because we were selling one house and we wanted the pets out of the house during the sale period and we owned another property so each of us stayed for awhile in that property while the other stayed in the house (the other property had a very small, old house that wasn't big enough for us and our kids who were home at that time).

Then after we sold the house, the 2 kids still at home and I moved into a rental while DS lived in the old property that we owned since we couldn't have all the pets at the rental and we could have them at the old house. We lived apart there for a year.

However, this house we sold and the old house on the other property we owned were 15 minutes apart. Once we sold that first house, the rental was rented specifically because it was literally 2 minutes away from the old property where DH was staying with the pets.

We saw each other most every day and spent a lot of time on Skype particularly in the evenings. You can get used to anything but by the time we finally bought the house we are in now and could be together we were extremely happy to be able to be in the same place again.

It is hard for me to fathom being hundreds of miles away. I've seen some people who work far apart during the week and then commute "home" on the weekend but that can be hard to sustain for the long-term.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:39 PM   #15
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It sounds like you need to work on your marriage, there are underlying issues if you are at an impasse..........
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:45 PM   #16
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A friend's parents do this. He goes to Palm Springs every winter while her mother stays here. In their case, they really should get a divorce since they don't live together when he returns.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #17
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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.

Kids are all grown and living scattered across the country. Finances and healthcare are also not an issue or consideration.

Recently I read that many couples consider this living arrangement because they cannot or will not find an acceptable compromise. It's called "living apart together".

I'd like to hear from any of you who have tried or are now "living apart together". Is it working for you. If not, why not?

To me the differences are not about the weather, it's about being ready to retire. Have you made a financial independence presentation to her (I'm assuming you would be FI if you are retiring), your DW might not know what the FI situation is, and thus wants to keep working. A lot of people keep working just because they haven't done the math. It might take some time for her to ponder being FI, as people just get into the routine of work work work!
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:57 PM   #18
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Different strokes for different folks ! Go for it and if it works for you, wonderful. I know many couples who live together that in reality are actually living far apart.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:57 PM   #19
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I have a friend who allegedly does this - he lives in FL and she lives in New England. I saw him for the first time in years at her mom's memorial service last summer and only see her occasionally so I'm not really in the know but that seems to be their story and they are sticking to it.

I really don't know it that's the way it is and they are making it work or whether the reality is that they are substantively amicably divorced but without the divorce decree. FWIW, he is ~20 years older than she is.

In any event, not the way I would want to live but to each their own.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #20
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Warren Buffett and his first wife lived apart for years and stayed married.

Warren Buffett Tells All: The Women in His Life - TIME
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