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Since when does loving someone mean living together with him 24/7? Since when do deep feelings and emotions between two people mean that you're built to cohabitate and function well under the same roof?

Since never, if you ask me.

There's a new trend for looking at relationships and marriages in a different light. It's called Living Apart, Together (or LAT for short). LAT couples recognize that they just aren't built to live together — but they still have feelings for each other. They live in their own homes, apart, but share time and love as a couple.

Sound strange? Not at all. It makes perfect sense, if you think about it. Just because you have feelings for someone else doesn't mean you enjoy that he can't operate a dishwasher or pick up after himself. He may love your spirit and smile but may be completely irritated with the way you handle your finances or your friends.

You're two different people with two different personalities, sets of traits and unique quirks. Your hearts may be beat as one, but the way you live may not match up.

The result is that the first few months living together are great. Then the real world creeps in and day-to-day living brings out the less desirable aspects.

People in a rocky relationship did one of two things: Either they stayed together or they didn't. End of story. They got over their differences or learned to get along, or they got the hell out.

LATs take a different angle. These couples separate living arrangements and emotions. They love together and they live apart. They realize that who you love and where you live are two very separate issues.

LATs aren't sick of seeing each other or grumbling about picking up after each other. They stay loyal and faithful and they actually look forward to the times they're together. Huh, imagine that! It almost sounds like a foreign concept.

But it works.

LATs spend time together, and then they go back to their respective homes to look forward to the next time they'll be together.

Some LATs met, dated, and married and they've never lived with each other. They feel proud they found a way to stay together and uphold the vows they made to each other. (Most marriage vows don't include the promise to live in the same house. Did yours?)

Some LAT couples have children together. The children thrive. Mommy and daddy are happy, and the kids see plenty of each parent. A family unit? Definitely. A healthy environment for raising children? Yes, indeed.

A better option than divorce to save the marriage? You betcha. It isn't stay or go, it's save the marriage and split up the living arrangements. Decide whether you and your spouse have truly fallen out of love or whether the pressures of living together just threw a stick into the mix.

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  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 04 January 2013 23:22 posted by Guest

    To this post: I love what you wrote. Did you know that Simone de Bouvier and her partner lived together in two homes for all their life times?

    When I read this book I was very thrilled back then, it is still the same now. If I and my husband had lived in 2 homes instead, who knows, I might be more happy now. (As it is I want a divorce, but see now way out of the marriage - due to many issues. No I don't need help from any of you or a marriage counseler. I know what I know.)

    To this I want to also add the option of living together polyamory plus as discribed ablove.

    For those who marry - can you imagine you will never ever have sex with another one? No kiss with another one? You are the "property" of your spouse/partner/mate FOREVER? It is worth thinking about the article above AND about polyamory living style.

    Thanks for that quality post. I love it. Maybe I can manage to live like that - including poly. I hope so.

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 02 January 2013 12:19 posted by Guest

    Living apart: Been married 45 years and lived apart for all those years except our wedding night. And that was disaater city. I didn't realize he had a sex problem. I explained what had to be done and he said you got to be kidding. I have to stick this where, that was disgusting, totally mindless and a horrible way to treat our bodies. That will never happen according to him. The next day he said he was sorry and didn't meant to hurt me or my feellings. He admitted he didn't realize he had a problem with sex and intimacy he was a virgin. He only touched himself to go to the bathroom and shower. But had no desire to have sex with me or anyone else. I really thought he was scared of sex and me. He said he loved me as a friend only and wanted to stay married. But suggested we live apart in our own places. Now the only time we communicate is when we go to see the tax lady, then lunch.

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 13 October 2011 22:35 posted by Guest

    My husband and I have lived: My husband and I have lived apart our entire three years of marriage. Although it sounds like an ideal arrangement, it was our downfall. We were never able to develop a marital foundation and we are now going through a divorce. Not for everyone.

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 12 October 2011 22:20 posted by Guest

    Living apart, together: Wow! I suggested this as an option before getting divorced. Ex-husband said, "No way. You either stay or go. All or none." He is black and white, I'm all about grey area and will consider this idea (without being married) for whomever comes into my life.