There is a new trend after divorce when getting remarried, which is each person keeps their own home.
Some divorced folks whose subsequent marriages are in their second decade or so, claim living apart is their secret to marital satisfaction.
Keep in mind, these are people who do not have a child together who would be shuttled back and forth between two places. These couples are childless or have offspring who have flown the nest.
Why is this occurring?
In one case, a couple could not decide which location to live in. Although neither had nine-to-five jobs, they had work commitments tied to their residences.
He freelanced in London and she was an artist near Cornwall who painted exquisite landscapes. They felt that they had loads of time to decide where to live which turned out to be the key to making this work.
He spends long weekends enjoying the bucolic countryside around her cottage and she likes the excitement of a few days in London. They use their time apart for some solitude or getting together with local friends.
What surprised these two was that they had already hit upon the solution – to continue their current lifestyle permanently . When together, they are very focused on each other.
How does living in separate households work?
- Are you both independent types who crave alone time or do not want someone around 24/7, no matter how much you are in love? One couple who each have been divorced, are both in education. He is on the faculty of a college and she is a therapist in a primary school. They live nearby in their own houses and have been together for nine years. She states that they would “Drive each other crazy” if they ever lived under the same roof.
- Logistically is it better to have your separate places? This may be due to having to be near elderly parents or a family member with a terminal condition. Another example is when job commitments are in different places and each wants to keep their house.
- It may be temporary, such as when someone has a job contract that will be finished in several months. A divorced woman with a beloved elderly cat married a divorced man who has a severe allergy to them. The cat was not going to be around much longer. She was at her condo every day to feed and be with the cat, sometimes spending the night, particularly at the end. Her husband told me that he has such respect for his wife. They knew this was a temporary set-up and the cat died six months after their marriage. This woman has no regrets since her eighteen-year-old companion lived out his final days in a familiar place.
- Maybe one is a big city person and the other loves farm life or living in the countryside. This does not have to be an either-or situation. Living separately part-time and commuting to be with each is doable. It helps when the couple’s places are an easy drive or linked by good public transportation.
- Two opposites may attract, yet not be able to live day-to-day with each other. A divorced woman wed a military man who was a widower. He had been married for fifty years and was used to things being done in a certain way, plus has quirks from his time in the military (extreme neatness). She is a creative artist who is oblivious to a mess and is attached to her tiny home. He bought a condo a block away and so far, this situation is working out for them.
- Families may not mix well. I asked my divorced friend what was the happiness secret for her subsequent marriage which lasted twenty years. She replied “Because we each had our separate houses.” Bill lived forty-five minutes away near where he worked. He was active in their mutual church which was near Ellen’s house. Living part-time with Bill mostly avoided the touchy issue that his adult daughters intensely loathed Ellen. Bill doted on his daughters and could spend time with them, while sparing Ellen of this ordeal. These women were vindictive after his death so Ellen was glad to have had only a few sporadic interactions with them while married.
The majority of people want to live together when married.
For others in different situations, be creative and think outside of the box. A life coach can help devise a plan for how to be together when there are some constraints for residing in one location.
Situations change and living apart may end up be temporary.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.