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Can a long commute hurt your marriage?

Many of us have come to accept a long commute as a way of life. It's fairly common for those of us in the Atlanta suburbs to drive an hour or more to get to a job in the city-and the commute in Atlanta metro is one of the worst in the United States.

It's rare to find someone who enjoys a long commute on a daily basis, but can being on the road for a good chunk of your day have more far-reaching effects? A recent study says a long commute can have a negative effect on your marriage.

Research from Sweden featured on, says that when a spouse has a commute of 45 minutes or longer, the marriage is 40% more likely to end in divorce. However, if you've been married five years or longer and one of you has a long commute, the number doesn't change- maybe you've adapted and figured out ways to weather the storm.

Contributing factors

A longer than normal commute can have effects on your health and ultimately, your relationship with your spouse. The following might be the reasons why:

  • Longer commute times come with a high emotional toll. You may develop feelings of resentment and bitterness about missing time with your kids or spouse.
  • It may leave the other spouse limited options for job prospects as they may need to stay local for work and may also need to take on more of the household duties.
  • Commuting just isn't fun and spending an hour or more fighting traffic leaves you crabby and frustrated as you walk through the door.
  • The extra money may not be worth the additional time away from your family. This research suggests that it takes roughly a 40% pay increase to make the extra time on the road worth it.

So, while that new job opportunity in the city might be appealing, weigh your decision carefully. If you have the option, spending more time at home might end up being the better choice.

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