Risk of Divorce Increased by Long Commutes

Risk of Divorce Increased by Long Commutes

In our society, there are many factors that go into what makes a good marriage, and many that may lead to an acrimonious divorce. Most of the factors tend to be rather obvious: a good marriage requires trust, open communication, and a certain level of agreement of what the marriage lifestyle should look like and the values that control it. The well-known factors that may lead to a divorce generally reflect distrust between the couple, a mismatch in lifestyles, closed communication, and a disagreement over finances and how money should be spent. Though these are the most well-known factors that govern the health or decline of a marriage, there are some less well-known external factors that can have a significant effect on a happy marriage and lead to divorce. One of these lesser-known external factors that affect a marriage and can lead to divorce, according to a recent study, is a long commute.

Strong Correlation Between Long Commutes and Divorce

According to a study performed in Sweden for a period of ten years, evidence compiled under the study demonstrated that there is a link between marital strife and the length of a person’s commute. These days, as our cities have expanded, and suburban life is extolled, the choice of where we live and work has moved us into longer daily commutes. In the Swedish study, long-distance commuting, or 30 kilometers (18.6 miles or more) lasting 45 minutes in a car, was associated with a 40 percent higher risk of divorce and separation than other couples that did not have as long of a commute or did not commute at all. The study also isolated certain factors that made the divorce-commute correlation stronger: the commuter being a man and the relationship is less than 5 years old.

Why Long Commutes Affect a Marriage

Why would a long commute affect a marriage so drastically? There are several reasons for the strong correlation between divorce and a long commute.

  • Relationships are kept together when the couple spends quality time together. A commute dips into the time that the couple could spend together. When the couple is separated during work hours, and then another hour in the morning and evening, that means there are only a few hours left in the day for the couple to reconnect.
  • Commuting is stressful. Long commutes and stints in traffic can have psychological effects on those who suffer through a commute day-in and day-out. Commuting leads to anger and frustration, and that stress can bleed into the individuals’ personal relationships. This is exacerbated when the couple is unable to spend quality time, and whatever time they do have together is lined with stress.
  • Commuting leads the non-commuter to take on more domestic responsibilities. Where one commuter is constantly in traffic, another may take a job closer to home so that he/she may be available and close in the event that the couple has children. This can also lead to the person at home being forced to take on more domestic responsibilities while the commuting individual is stuck in traffic. An imbalance in domestic responsibilities may lead to marital strife.

Some Married Couples Remain Unaffected

This does not mean that every couple where one of the partners has a long commute will lead to divorce. Though the study showed a strong correlation where the commuter was a man and the relationship was less than 5 years old, the study also suggested that those couples who have dealt with a long commuting for more than 5 years only had a 1 percent spike in their rate of divorce as compared with non-commuting couples. The reason behind this figure is most likely attributed to the fact that a couple that has dealt with long-term commuting has most likely figured out how to practically deal with the realities of the long commute.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Mount Pleasant, Charleston Area

Divorce is a serious issue and may be a necessary next step. Contact Klok Law Firm LLC today for a free and confidential consultation if you are pursuing a divorce in Charleston. We are happy to help you today.