Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Long Commutes Make Bad Relationships

A new study surveyed two million adults in the U.S. who are married or live with their partners, and discovered that long commutes to and from work often mean disaster for relationships. Of the participants who commute at least 90 minutes round-trip each day, 40% “were more likely to separate from their wife [or husband] or partner.” Separations usually occurred in the first year or two of the commute.

Do you have a long commute to work? Do you feel your relationship suffers as a result?

77 comments… add one
  • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I think my relationship does suffer because of my commute but I don’t live with my boyfriend, which exacerbates things.
    I bought a house in a neighborhood I wanted to live in, before I started dating my current boyfriend. Its over half an hour (depends on traffic as to how much over) from my house to the place we both work. Its only 15 minutes from his house to work, and he lives south of work while I live north.

    I chose my house to be closer to the city- I thought my dating prospects and lifestyle would be served best by spending more time in downtown and wanted to be close-ish to both. Of course a couple months later things were getting serious with my boyfriend who lives way far from town and now I find myself commuting to his house, commuting to work, and barely ever going to town at all.
    On days I stay at his place I pack my overnight stuff before I go to work, then go straight from work to his place. I can’t justify the hour-plus commute to go get my stuff after work. So I don’t see my house until the next day after work when I go home. (part of that is just wanting to make sure its ok… scars of the previously mentioned home invasion a couple years ago. I have an alarm system now, but still always wonder if everythings ok over there.)
    Some days he stays at my place, but I know he hates the extra commute. I feel guilty forcing my chosen commute onto him but I do want to sometimes see him AND see my house. Its been a major source of our arguments for most of our relationship. He’s gotten better about it now (for awhile he thought I got all the perks by staying at his place close to work, but I finally got through to him that I make sacrifices to stay at his place too), but some days when the traffic is extremely bad I wonder if he’ll dump me rather than have to sleep at my house again and battle the traffic.

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    • Marie June 6, 2011, 5:06 pm

      Totally understand – boyfriend lives 30 mins away (without traffic, 1 hour with!) and since he doesn’t have a car or roommate I end up always being at his place. It is a HUGE hassle and he doesn’t understand how many things I am missing when I stay at his place. Grrr, hopefully moving in soon so this won’t be an issue soon.

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    • SpyGlassez June 6, 2011, 5:16 pm

      Used to do this; I lived an hour away from my BF. He was/is unemployed and I was teaching near where he lived, so it was generally me coming up to teach, staying a night, getting up to drive home to my other job, maybe coming back up for the weekend, or else him riding down with me and then me having to bring him home on a Sunday, then drive back home for my work there. And since the fulltime job was retail and just above minimum wage, it was too much for the cost of gas to do it. That’s a large part of why I moved up here (he was still in school here, so it made no sense for him to move down to my place even though I liked it better).

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    • sarah June 6, 2011, 7:14 pm

      I used to date a guy who lived about two and a half hours on a good day away from me. It made more sense for me to drive to him because I had roommates and he had a snazy penthouse all to himself, but I absolutely HATED the drive. To lure him into driving to me more, whenever he would drive to my place I would send him texts telling how excited I was getting waiting for him to come over, and that the anticipation was driving me crazy and turning me on. If I drove to his place, I would be dead exhausted and would not really be in the mood for anything (did I mention my car did not have air conditioning as well? Total mood killer.) Eventually his penis did the math and he started to come over to me way more often ;).

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      • dude June 7, 2011, 3:02 am

        so you sexually manipulate your boyfriend.

        great work.

      • Sarah June 7, 2011, 11:21 am

        I like to think of it as sexually communicating. Either way, works every time ;).

      • kali June 7, 2011, 4:41 pm

        I like that his penis can do math. That’s an unusual talent for that particular organ. 😉

      • Calliopedork June 7, 2011, 4:35 pm

        Its more positive reinforcement than manipulation

  • LolaBeans June 6, 2011, 3:25 pm

    I live a 5 minute walk to my boyfriends and a 15 minute walk to work 🙂

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    • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 3:49 pm

      Thats like the commute I had in college. My boyfriend and I lived in the same dorm, in which I was also an RA. 3 floors up to see my boyfriend, 4 floors down to go to work, 10 minute walk to class.
      I miss those days!

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  • Kristina June 6, 2011, 3:30 pm

    My dad works at various places during the week and one of his longest commutes is nearly 90 minutes. Not only does it affect his relationship with my mom, but it makes things harder for the whole family (when I’m home) because he gets home much later (especially because of the nature of his job).

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    • katiebird June 6, 2011, 5:21 pm

      My parents divorced a few years ago so my parents relationship is nil, but my mom has a pretty long commute. I’m 18 and a freshman in college, but when I still lived at home there would be some days where my mom would leave for work at 7am (before I woke up) and wouldn’t come home until 9pm which was really hard on my brother and I. It really sucks for my brother now since I don’t live at home, he’s home alone for 5-6 hours every night. He’s old enough to stay home that long, but he definitely gets lonely.

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      • katiebird June 6, 2011, 5:22 pm

        typo, i keep forgetting that i’m technically a sophomore now!

      • Kristina June 6, 2011, 6:22 pm

        Ah, yeah..I’m going to be a junior, and I wasn’t supposed to be home this summer, but I decided last minute to. My dad usually comes home between 8:30 and 9 pm, but sometimes it might be as late as 11 pm. Though, it can be nice to have the house to myself (or with my brother) from time to time.

  • emjay June 6, 2011, 3:31 pm

    I believe this has some merit to it because when I was driving 30-40 mins to work and then another same amt of time home, we would fight all the time. Now that I go to school ten minutes away from the house we own, there is no more fighting. Traffic drives people crazy!

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    • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 3:45 pm

      “Traffic drives people crazy!”
      Truer words have never been spoken.
      I can feel myself getting agitated when I spend too much time in traffic. I get angry at the radio for not playing a song I want to hear, even.
      A 60 minunte commute with no traffic would be preferrable to 20 minutes with gridlock all the way.

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      • Christy June 6, 2011, 3:48 pm

        As someone with a 60 minute minimal-traffic commute, I would put up with a lot in order to get an extra 40 minutes of sleep in the mornings and an extra 40 minutes at home in the evenings. Besides, a 20-minute gridlocked commute is like 5 miles–it’s practically bike-able.

      • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 3:54 pm

        Ok maybe 60 v 20 was a bit of an exaggeration.
        I have 2 ways to get to work. One takes about 25 minutes and is stop and go all the way. The other takes about 40 minutes (its the long way), has $1.30 in tolls each way, but my average speed is over 50 mph. Then they both get to the same stretch of road that takes another 15 minutes and is stop and go. Most days I choose the long way… even though it costs more and gets me up earlier, its better for my blood pressure (and my brakes!). Sitting in traffic makes me grumpy.

      • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 3:58 pm

        Oh and the other great thing about the long way is it gives me time to drink a can of soda (hate coffee, live in a hot place, start my day with an ice cold diet coke), eat breakfast, sing along to the radio, and get mentally prepared for the day.
        The SpaceySteph who takes the short way gets to work cranky and exhausted, before the day even starts.

  • Christy June 6, 2011, 3:46 pm

    I live an hour from where I go to grad school and 1.5 hours from where I work. I live at home since I’m paying for school and home is free, but it means that there’s not even time to casually date. I barely have time for life as it is, I don’t want to go down by work/school on the weekends, and I know it wouldn’t be fair to whomever I would be dating.

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  • AKchic June 6, 2011, 3:48 pm

    It really depends on the situation. There are many folks here in Alaska that deal with “slope” or “camp” schedules. Depending on the season and the industry, a person could be out in the field, up on the slope, on a CAT train, on a boat, etc for 8-12 weeks at a time. There are some that can’t handle it and cheat – both at home and within the remote locations with other co-workers. Some have “arrangements” approved within their marriages/relationships.

    For some, the “downtime” is a good reason to put up with it.

    Then we have those who travel from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley area to Anchorage (a 50 mile+ drive in all weathers) or from Girdwood to Anchorage. On a good day, we’re talking a 45-60 minute drive without traffic. With traffic and snow/ice – 2-4 hours. If there aren’t accidents. Only one road going out of town in both directions.

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    • silver_dragon_girl June 6, 2011, 4:03 pm

      Totally random and OT, but every time you mention Alaska I am newly surprised that the state is the source of the AK in your screen name. I know better, but I still always assume it’s a reference to assault rifles!

      Ok, moving on now…

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    • lk June 6, 2011, 4:20 pm

      That arranged cheating thing makes me sad.

      I hope it’s working for those people.

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      • mcminnem June 6, 2011, 4:47 pm

        It’s not cheating if it’s arranged. Everyone knows what’s going on and agrees with it. It’s an open relationship – and for some people, the only way NOT to cheat.

      • lk June 6, 2011, 4:56 pm

        That makes sense logically…but emotionally…I can’t get my stomach ache to go away when I imagine it.

        To each his own : ) Like I said, I hope it’s working for them!

      • SpyGlassez June 6, 2011, 5:21 pm

        Hey, there’s nothing wrong with it not being what works for you – perfectly fair to admit and to know about yourself. Like you said, what’s important is that it works for the people involved. Not everyone’s a monogamist, though everyone should at least be honest about whether or not they expect monogamy.

      • mcminnem June 6, 2011, 10:10 pm

        I hope I didn’t come across as critical! I definitely know what you mean – I feel the same way if I imagine my boyfriend with anybody else (or me with anybody else!). I’m absolutely a monogamist. It’s just the sense people tend to have that non-monogamous relationships are somehow flawed or that the people who have them have some kind of emotional issue that bothers me. I feel like we should be realizing at this point that there is no “normal” when it comes to what turns people on or what works in relationships. As long as everyone is happy and getting what they need, then I’m all for it. 🙂

  • Anna June 6, 2011, 3:56 pm

    My commute to work is about 35-40 min while my boyfriend’s is only 15-20 min, and we do live together. The commute does stress me out, but I have plenty of time to recuperate when I get home because we also work opposite shifts. I work days and he works nights. Our relationship is terrific! I actually stay up to cook him dinner when he gets home from work around midnight, even though I have to be back up the next morning for work. I know I don’t have to but it’s the only time I get to see him so it’s worth it to me. So no, my commute itself does not cause stress in my relationship. It doesn’t hurt that I love driving though, and absolutely love my ’86 Audi turbo 🙂 So maybe if your commute stresses you out, you just need to buy a car you love and treat every stoplight as if it’s the drag strip. Have fun with it!

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    • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 4:01 pm

      Its true, my mood during my commute has definitely improved since I purchased a new car (’11 Nissan Juke, yeah turbo! also yay XM radio!) although when I sit in traffic I think of all the premium gas I’m burning. When I get the open road, I do enjoy turning that bad boy loose!

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      • callmehobo June 6, 2011, 4:18 pm

        I love hearing people talk about how much they love their Nissans! My dad is an engineer at one of their plants, so we’re pretty much Nissan exclusive… but they are still awesome!

      • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 7:30 pm

        Haha I totally love mine. The juke looks a little.. odd. In fact I was totally against getting one but my boyfriend kept rattling off the specs until I agreed to test drive it.
        A few weeks ago my boyfriend and one of his coworkers were in the parking lot at work and his coworker pointed to my car and said “Ugh can you believe how ugly those new Nissans are?” To which my boyfriend replied, “Um, thats my girlfriend’s car.” Whoops! Open mouth, insert foot.
        To drive one is to love one, though, even if its kinda ugly. I have a turbo and a CVT and they’re awesome.

      • Bethany June 7, 2011, 9:50 am

        I drove a ’97 Altima for years and I loved that car dearly. I would still be driving her today, but I moved to the city and sold her because I walked/biked to work and no longer had a need. Tell you dad, Good Job! I had many great times in that car.

      • kali June 7, 2011, 4:47 pm

        LOVE LOVE LOVE my 1973 Datsun 240Z! But it’s not a commuter car.

        I used to have a 60 minutes commute but I listened to books on audio. Made everything much better.

      • kali June 7, 2011, 4:48 pm

        I know better: it’s a 1971 Datsun. My bad!

  • Schwinny June 6, 2011, 4:00 pm

    My commute is over an hour each way and my job is really busy. He travels a lot for work, too. The combination of the two means we don’t have a lot of quality time together during the week. Sometimes the weekends are bad, too. We cope by acknowledging the problem and doing our best to make time for each other. We are also making plans to move in the near future to cut back on my commute.

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  • frankiegreen June 6, 2011, 4:04 pm

    My BF and I both work from home, and live about 6 miles apart. Not a bad deal. What gets us is our pets. He has one dog, I have two, but his likes to munch on mine so they can’t be together.

    I think I would go insane with a commute- traffic stresses me out without rush hour.

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  • Painted_lady June 6, 2011, 4:11 pm

    To be perfectly honest, while I hate the money I spend in gas, my commute keeps me sane in some ways. It takes me awhile to be happy to be awake, and by the time I’m at school I’m ready for the day, I’m in a good mood (or better, at least), and I’ve had some time to myself before I throw myself into a room of rabid moody tweens. I’m also usually worked up and stressed out by the end of the day, and my hour drive lets me decompress. Audiobooks have been my saving grace, too – it’s like spending that hour reading. I require a lot of alone time, and with my commute I get to do that without taking much time away from my relationship.

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    bagge72 June 6, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I think it adds some stress to the relationship, but it also depends on the type of person. Me personally I have a 25 minute drive, a 45 minute train ride, and a 10 minute walk just to get to work, and I’m perfectly happy with it (then on days like today I have another 30 minute drive to my second job). If it were an hour straight of driving I would be miserable everyday, because of sitting in traffic. My fiance has a 45 – 60 minute drive one way everyday, and everyday it puts her in bad mood, because she sits in traffic all of the time, and she also has very bad roadrage to begin with. Sometimes this can be really stressful on the relationship, because if it is a really bad day, and something else very small might have happened during the day it feels like she is taking this out on me, even though I’m sure she’s just upset, and doesn’t want to deal with anybody at all. It just hurts me I guess to see her let it ruin her whole day, and also takes a toll on me, because it happens a couple of times a week, and the silent treatment that I get sucks.

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  • lk June 6, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Hmmm….I’m not sure if the COMMUTE is so much the issue as what a long commute signifies about work/home life. And although I sympathize with the traffic issue, it’s never THAT bad; it’s just other humans in other cars, haha.

    Having a long commute probably indicates a situation where a person has committed (long lease, mortgage, etc.) to a living situation but for whatever reason (limited options, high salary, competitive field) must work far from home. Stress and/or financial strain might explain more relationship failures than simply travel time.

    I did a 90-minute to school for several years and I really enjoyed the time to myself to think, listen to the news, listen to music, etc. I thought it improved my relationships because it was reliable down-time. Admittedly, I’m a bit of an introvert but I’m extroverted as well and it really charged my battery. I felt lucky!

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  • HmC June 6, 2011, 4:16 pm

    You non Southern Californians with your 30 min “commutes” are so cute.

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    • Rachelgrace53 June 7, 2011, 12:05 am

      Exactly what I was thinking… Not the SoCal part, because there ARE other spread-out, traffic-jammed cities. But 30 minutes is definitely NOT a commute.

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  • Turtledove June 6, 2011, 4:28 pm

    My husband and I went through a couple of phases with our daily commutes. At first, he had a super short commute and I had a very long horrible one. We did alright because he also worked longer hours than me, but we wound up eating out too much because I was too tired and cranky from my day to want to cook. Then his office moved to about 2 miles from mine so we carpooled. We thought that would help us catch up, but then we wound up bickering over scheduling constantly. About the time our lease was up, my car died. Talk about a blessing in disguise. We figured we could either take a car payment or we could pay an extra $200 a month in rent to live close to work and share a car. We found a place that’s walking distance for him and a 2 mile drive or bike ride for me. Definitely cut down on the amounts of bickering and we both found we had more time for each other. We’re also perfectly happy sharing a car once I learned to drive a stick.

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    • dobby June 6, 2011, 4:35 pm

      Thumbs up on the stick shift!! Everyone should know how to drive a stick. I will never own an automatic, even if it means in the near future I won’t be able to buy a new car…

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      • SpyGlassez June 6, 2011, 5:23 pm

        I always said that….until I got my automatic Honda Civic. I would have bought a stick, but I did NOT like the way it shifted (it just felt clunky, and it seemed geared really low). But then I learned on a Jeep, so it’s totally different. 😀

  • silver_dragon_girl June 6, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I did a commute to an internship in Kansas City when I was in college. 45 minutes on a good day, an hour and a half on a bad day. I hated it, because I had a VERY used car at the time, and once I blew out a tire on an 8-late highway. On a bridge. I also got lost in the city a few times. Aside from those things, it was always really depressing to work a full day on Friday, get all excited for the weekend…and then spend an hour stuck in traffic. By the time I got home I was too worn out to do anything very fun.

    Later I lived in Tacoma, WA, working for a retail sales chain that reserved the right to send me to any location within 55 miles of where I lived. At the beginning, the 20 minute drive to work was fine, but then they switched me to a place that took an hour on I-5. Not at all fun, especially since that was before and after a 12-hour shift without any breaks.

    Now I live in a minuscule town in the middle of nowhere, and my commute is about 3 minutes. It’s amazing. 🙂

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    • SpyGlassez June 6, 2011, 5:32 pm

      They could legally make you work 12 hrs without shifts?? That doesn’t sound right.

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      • SpaceySteph June 6, 2011, 7:33 pm

        I’m not sure of the legality but I used to routinely work 13 hour shifts without breaks, so if they’re breaking a law alot of people sure are getting away with it.

      • RoyalEagle0408 June 6, 2011, 7:48 pm

        It’s definitely not legal. Anything more than 6 you’re supposed to get a 30 minute unpaid break. Plus there’s something about paid 15 minute breaks, but I don’t really know the details.

      • Kristina June 6, 2011, 9:56 pm

        After 8 hours, the law says that you are to get a 15 minute paid break as well.

      • Addie Pray June 7, 2011, 1:23 am

        It depends on your state. (The law varies state by state on this issue; there’s no federal law.)

      • silver_dragon_girl June 7, 2011, 10:49 am

        They got away with it because it was a sales position, and unless there were customers in the store you didn’t necessarily have to be working. As long as the store was neat and tidy and everything. I mentioned it to a person who’d been working there a long time, and he said that someone had made a big deal about it a few years before, and that’s how the company got away with it.

        But yeah, I definitely think it’s illegal, because often during those 12-hour shifts, I was by myself in the store, and couldn’t even leave to go eat lunch. I had to bring it with me and eat it while hoping no one came in.

  • Pam June 6, 2011, 3:34 pm

    I divorced my ex-husband becuase of the commute (although he tells everyone its because he suspected me of cheating on him… because of the COMMUTE)
    I lived, worked, and kept house in the city that met in, he took a job (with a contract!!!!) at a mine which was fly-in ONLY (in emergency it COULD be driven in 12 hours) which necessitated him living in a camp situation for 7 days at a time (leaving me to do eveything that a “wife should do in a marriage” PLUS work full time and go to school full time (at his request) with 2 kids under 7) for EIGHT years.
    Yeah… I got sick of him being away, and of him being tired, moody and upset over his flights, commutes, and work (never mind my “lack of wifely skills” with keeping a perfect house, quiet kids, and bringing in enough money)…
    When someone lives or works outside the home it really really has the ability to destroy the relationship. I wasn’t only “mine widow” to say “screw this” and move on with my life

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    • ReginaRey June 6, 2011, 3:43 pm

      Seems like the commute may have been more a blessing in disguise than the reason you divorced! Without it, you may never have discovered some pretty awful red flags about your ex-husband – his distrust of you, his leaving you to do everything in the marriage, his criticism of your abilities. Somehow I think that even without the commute, these things would have come out anyway.

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    • dobby June 6, 2011, 4:30 pm

      I hear ya – had the same type of marriage minus the kids. Ex had a job that took him on the road 25 days a month, when he was home he would get pissed that I had to work and couldn’t take off a week every month to hang out with him. But he insisted I work so we would have more money to “pay off our debts” which wound up going to pay his gambling debts because, well, he had nothing else to do for those 5 days since I wouldn’t take off from work and hang out with him. It as a really, really crappy 4 years…

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  • Amber June 6, 2011, 5:36 pm

    I recently went from an hour to an hour and fifteen minute commute to a 15 minute commute, some days I almost forget to turn in to work because I think I can’t really be there yet. I think the biggest effect the change in commute has had on our relationship is me. Before I would leave at 6:45 and get home at 6ish on good days. I would come home tired and irritable and not wanting to do anything. Now I’m just happier in general when I get home because I haven’t been sitting in bumper to bumper bridge tunnel traffic! I can definitely see a long commute taking its toll on a relationship, we did it for 2 and a half years and I was DONE at the end!

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  • RoyalEagle0408 June 6, 2011, 6:15 pm

    My commute isn’t bad, though I take public transportation, which makes it less stressful. Part of what makes my commute home so awful is the long days I work. The bus doesn’t run as often at night (and the fastest way home is a bus that doesn’t run after 7), meaning it can take upwards of 90 minutes if I leave work/the gym after 7:30. I’m usually gone at least 13 hours a day (though have been gone 16), which is one of the reasons I’m single. I know my lifestyle/work schedule/soon to be school schedule isn’t conducive to spending quality time with someone.

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  • Reality Bites June 6, 2011, 6:26 pm

    I’d be interested to see the same statistics for couples who work separate shifts. Our commutes don’t really bother us as we tend to spend the time chatting on the phone with each other. But our relationship downer is that I work an 8 to 5, but he goes to school during the afternoon and works nights. He’s usually walking in the door as I’m leaving for work, and is home maybe an hour in the evening before leaving for work. So I sleep by myself every night and see him less than 7 hours during the week. Even on the weekends when he is not working, he stays up doing homework until 5 and then sleeps until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It’s definitely the biggest strain on our marriage and I sometimes wonder how it’s going to affect us if it stays this way for a few years.

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  • sarah June 6, 2011, 6:43 pm

    I honestly think it depends on how you let traffic get to you. Until recently I had an hour and a half commute to work (three hours total, its what I deserve for workin in LA) for close to four years. It can get incredibly waring, especially when your bf or people you live with are in a good mood when you get home and all you want to do crawl in the fetal position and stop being all stabby at random bastards on the road. Then I decided to start listening to books on tape in traffic and always make sure I left early for work and a ton of my stress went away. Instead of being moody and bitchy when I got home, I ended up relaxed and ready to enjoy the night. Now I live super close to my job which I love, but my bf still has a long commute, so he downloads podcasts on his ipod to listen to. An interesting distraction can make or brake your sanity on the road.

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    • dobby June 6, 2011, 6:54 pm

      Agree on the audio books. I have 45 minutes each way and I listen to audio books. So much better then the news – which is totally depressing. I check them out of the library so I don’t have to buy them, go through about one a week or so. Recommend it to anyone with a long commute.

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      • kali June 7, 2011, 4:53 pm

        Yup, yup, books on tape, on my iPhone, on CD, from the library, or buy them AND there’s even a place like NetFlix you can ‘rent’ them from!!

  • Liza June 6, 2011, 8:31 pm

    Thank goodness that this isn’t my situation, but my boyfriend’s previous coworker had one of the worst commutes I had ever heard of. She got married to a banker that was promoted to his companies NY office, just as she finished her PhD and got a great job in Philly. They lived in Manhattan, so each day she would go take the 4 hr (I think?) train to Philly and then drive (in a car that she left IN Philly!) 45 minutes to work. Then she would return home each night. Ahhh! In some ways, I think a LDR might be easier than a horrible commute. Not quite sure…!

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    • RoyalEagle0408 June 6, 2011, 8:47 pm

      It’s a 2 hour train ride. 2.5 tops.

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  • Cporoski June 7, 2011, 6:36 am

    My husband and I are dealing with this. When we first got married we found jobs in the middle of where we each lived previously. His commute was 50 minutes and he hollared and carried on about it. So I left my job and we moved close to his job. Now, my new company way was acquired and we relocated. So he has a 20 minute commute with traffic and I have at least an hour and 10 minutes. It is 41 miles so any delay can make it well over 2 hrs. There is no question that there is resentment on my part because I did everything around the house compensating for his commute and now I am melting with no support.

    Also, I have gained 20 lbs since I started doing this and it has only been 7 months! ouch!

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  • Bethany June 7, 2011, 9:57 am

    My dad commuted about an hour and a half each way for 7 years when 2 of his company’s offices merged into one- It was a really stressful time for them because his company was downsizing, and because of the commute. Eventually he quit and now works .7 miles away from home. I was away at college during some of his long commute time, so I don’t know how stressed things got at home, but I can tell you that my parent’s relationship has become so much less stressed now that my dad works closer to home. He has a lot more free time to do thing that he enjoys, and if he needs to get some work done on a weekend he can just go to the office, instead of doing it at home and everyone having to be quiet and give him space.

    Personally, my fiance and I each have about a 30-45 minute commute- His in the car, mine on foot/the train. I’m pretty unwlling to go for anything longer than that. We both value our free time, and our time together too much.

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  • Ashleigh June 7, 2011, 11:49 am

    I can agree with this. My fiance has a commute that, if there were no traffic would take him 20 mins, but generally takes him at least an hour to an hour and a half. Contrastingly, I work from home. I find that he gets jealous of my working situation at times, which causes friction. It also affects our relationship when he has a particularly bad drive. He comes home in a foul mood, ready to nit-pick and criticize me for any perceived misdeed. He will usually stop when I point out that he’s taking his frustration out on me, which is not fair, but it definitely adds stress to the relationship.

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  • TheOtherMe June 7, 2011, 11:59 am

    I work from home. It does make a huge difference in my stress level.
    In other words,” relaxed T.O.M. = good for the relationship “

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  • BoomChakaLaka June 7, 2011, 2:10 pm

    Ah, the commute. I have a 1 hr commute to work, but usually go to night classes, which take me 1.5 hours to get back home.The BF has a 20 minute commute to work and a 30 minute commute from class to home.We live about an hour train ride apart, a 30 minute car drive (with traffic).

    The nights when I stay at his place, the commute to work is 10 minutes. Not to mention when we come back from class its 30 minutes.

    But, we’ll probably continue this arrangement because I like living at home rent-free. I’m starting to ache for the shorter commute though…

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  • Candace November 19, 2019, 7:34 pm

    My boyfriend and I met on October 27th, although we had been chatting via FB prior to finally meeting in person. We live about 45 minutes away from each other (which turns into at least an hour and a half during rush hour traffic). I don’t believe in love at first sight, but if it exists, this is it. We’re inseparable. It’s been less than a month, and he insists on driving out to see me every day when I’m off work. If I have plans with my friends, he then insists on driving over after my plans just to fall asleep with me. I try to tell him that he should stay in on those late nights, and that some time apart is healthy, but he refuses. Says I’m worth every mile of the drive. I return the favor and go out and stay with him on the weekends. I’m currently on the verge of closing out the lease on my rental home (move out date is December 11th) and we are already in talks about meeting halfway and finding our own place together. That way the commute won’t be much different for either of us to and from work, and we’ll both still be close enough to visit our families and friends. For now, the commute is doable, and although many would tell us we’re moving too fast, this is about as real as it gets. We’re both in our thirties and have experienced enough good and bad relationships to know that when you know, you know…you know? Life happens at break-neck speed, and I genuinely believe that if two people are determined enough to be together, they’ll push through in spite of the odds/statistics and find a way to be together/put an end to the long-distance for good.

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      Dear Wendy November 20, 2019, 8:29 am

      Moving in with someone you’ve known for a few weeks is a *really* bad idea. Are there examples of people who did such a thing and are still happy decades later? Sure. But there are so many more examples of people who rushed into cohabitation only to have it blow up in their faces spectacularly. I know it’s a romantic notion that the reason someone spends every moment he can with you is because he’s fallen so insanely in love, so quickly, and what you share must be magical – the real deal, etc., etc. But there are other far less romantic reasons someone might have and be so ready to spend all his time with you, and those reasons should worry you. In the end, what’s the rush? Sure, move closer to where he lives since you’re moving out of your rental anyway, I guess, but give it another year of getting to know each other before you sign a lease together. What’s the harm in that?

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      Skyblossom November 20, 2019, 11:09 am

      Definitely agree with Wendy. If this is the real thing it will last through another year of dating without living together. You are in the rainbow and magic phase of getting to know someone. Everything is wonderful and beautiful. You don’t notice the problems. You have to give it at least another year to let that phase wear off and then see if you still like them. Giving it two years is even better. Many people who are together and happy at one year are broken up before they reach two years.

      You’ve known each other less than a month. Chatting online doesn’t count in relationships. Build time into your relationship. Keep your own place so that if you feel the need to break up you have a place to live. Don’t get a pet together. Don’t buy furniture together. Don’t live together. Just enjoy your time together and get to know each other much more deeply. You need to see them when they are up and when they are down. You need to see how they handle stress and family and conflicting schedules. You need to see if they remain a nice person even when stressed or do they take out their stress on you. You need to see more of their work ethic and how they handle money. You need to discuss in depth long term plans and goals. Not just do they have long term plans and goals but are they actively working to achieve those plans and goals. You need time to see if their actions match their words. Time is your friend.

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      • anonymousse November 20, 2019, 11:55 am

        Another thing is that the things you find romantic, I find suffocating and could be potentially controlling. You shouldn’t be spending all of your free time together. He shouldn’t be coming over every night, no matter what. You find this evidence of love and romance, I see control. Pump the brakes, sign a lease for your own place and see how it goes. Life doesn’t move at breakneck speed. Do you notice the word breakneck in there? Be careful with yourself. You lose nothing by moving things slowly. Spend a few nights alone a week. Don’t cut out your friends. Good luck.

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        Skyblossom November 20, 2019, 12:38 pm

        I also feel that the guy insisting on going to her place every night is a red flag. It could be that he loves sleeping with her and wants lots of sex. It could be that he is afraid that if he isn’t there someone else will be. It could be controlling and dominating.

        She also needs to give it enough time to see if he is honest.

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      CurlyQue November 20, 2019, 12:46 pm

      The fact that you tell him that time apart is healthy and to give you some space and his response is that “he refuses” isn’t healthy. His behavior sounds suffocating and isn’t sustainable long term. Wait to move in with him! You met less than a month ago and apparently immediately jumped into exclusive labels, give this relationship some room to breathe.

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      • Kate November 20, 2019, 6:11 pm

        This sounds like the classic case of going from zero to 100 in a month, only to flame out in less than 3 months. Or love-bombing by a sociopath. Either is possible, but this isn’t what a healthy new relationship actually looks like.

      • Kate November 20, 2019, 6:13 pm

        And yes, specifically this:

        “ he insists on driving out to see me every day when I’m off work. If I have plans with my friends, he then insists on driving over after my plans just to fall asleep with me. I try to tell him that he should stay in on those late nights, and that some time apart is healthy, but he refuses. ”

        No, I’m not bitter, I’m happily married to someone I met online in 2012.

    • anonymousse November 20, 2019, 8:36 pm

      It sounds like he doesn’t trust she is alone at night and that’s why he refuses to stay at home.

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    • Vathena November 20, 2019, 10:01 pm

      List of things in my refrigerator older than your relationship:

      Jar of mayonnaise
      Trader Joe’s pineapple salsa
      3 lemons
      Mustard (yellow, Dijon, honey)
      String cheese
      Baby carrots

      My kid is still eating Halloween candy she got when you’d been dating for 4 days. Slow. Your. Roll.

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