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.