Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Can a long commute hurt your marriage?
It is bad enough that Atlanta traffic eats up our time, our gas and our patience. But according to a recent study, traffic problems may also be taking their toll on our marriages.
The drive from Gwinnett County to Fulton County is not an experience that many people in the Atlanta area relish. The phrase root canal comes to mind. In fact, Atlanta is known across the country as being a hotbed for traffic jams and congestion. Experienced family law attorneys have heard their clients' many reasons for divorce, but a recent study indicates that all congested roads lead to divorce.
Researchers tracked the commutes and marriages of two million couples in Sweden from 1995 to 2000, and they found that the risk of divorce goes up 40 percent for people who have long commutes. Granted, Georgia does not share that much in common with Sweden. Georgia is hot, and Sweden is not known for its balmy weather. Additionally, long commutes are relatively new to the Swedes, while we have been dealing with them for years. However, the research does have some implications for married couples regardless of where they may live.
The researchers found the rate of divorce increased the most during the first few years of long commute times. By five years, the rate of divorce appeared to level off. The researchers also noted that most of the long commuters were men. This often compelled women to seek jobs closer to home so they could shoulder more of the household responsibilities. It appears that the addition of a commute, like other significant life changes, can add stress to a marriage and lead to divorce.
Source: The Local, "Long commutes 'bad for marriage': Swedish study," Rebecca Martin, 5/24/11