Long commutes to work are not just a drain on your pocketbook and a waste of your time. It turns out that they also increase the likelihood that you will get divorced. A recent study that looked at the effect on marital relationships of one or both spouses adding a long commute to their routine concluded that the longer commutes were very destructive. Couples that introduced a long work commute into their lives had a 40 percent increased risk of divorce.
The study looked at couples who began their marriages with short commutes, then changed to a long commute. Couples with long commutes to begin with were not part of the study. In fact, in many parts of the country where long commutes are the norm, divorce rates are often below average. The length of the commute itself does not seem to be the predictor of divorce, but the stress created by the commute or the change in the commute does seem to indicate a greater likelihood of divorce.
Consistent with the conclusion that stress created by a commute is the actual cause of divorce, the study found that long commutes were more stressful for women than men. This could be because women usually have greater expectations of performing housework and child care, even if they have full-time employment. Longer commutes by husbands leave wives at home for longer periods of time without assistance. Longer commutes by wives leave women more exhausted at the end of the day, with still-high expectations of domestic work to be done.
Pittsburgh divorce lawyers noted that the study found that couples with long commutes were at the greatest risk of divorce within the first few years of marriage.
Ironically, many experts say that working from home may not be the answer. Spouses not having enough space can be as stressful as having too much.
Source: CBSNY “Study: Long Commute Could Lead To Divorce, Separation” 5/25/2011