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Can a long commute affect my marriage?

Marriage can be an enjoyable prospect, enhancing the quality of your life and making your days better. It can also be a challenge. Added stressors like children, work schedules, household responsibilities, money and extended family can create difficulty in any marriage. But what about your commute time - does that affect your marriage?

An article on says yes. A study mentioned in this story suggests that a 45 minute or longer commute contributes to a higher possibility of divorce by 40%. This might not be true if you’ve been doing it for a long time (five years or longer) or were commuting before your relationship, but the study finds longer commutes do affect marriages.

Contributing factors

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

  • The extra money may not be worth the additional time away from your family. The Forbes article mentions that it takes roughly a 40% pay increase to make the extra time on the road worth it.
  • Longer commutes come with a high emotional toll. Missing out on time with kids and spouse can make you feel sad and bitter.
  • When one spouse is away from the house more, it limits the job prospects for the other spouse who might need to take work locally to be around for children. The other spouse may also need to take on more of the household duties, which depending on how you handle it, can create resentment and bad feelings.
  • A commute of an hour or more in rush hour traffic adds additional stress to anyone’s day, so you may not be in the best mood when you get home.


If you’re contemplating whether or not to take the new opportunity in the city, and have a choice, weigh your decision carefully. Choosing to spend more time at home to keep your relationship intact might end up being the better decision.

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