Could a Long Commute Drive You to Divorce?


If you're seeking divorce advice in Pasadena and routinely drive for hours to get to work, experts say one might have led to the other.

A new study out of Sweden finds that spouses who spend long periods of time stuck in traffic or on buses and trains getting to the office are 40 percent more likely to break up with their husbands or wives.

Couples in their first few years of marriage who spend more time on the road than with one another are at the highest risk. Researchers found that husbands with a 45-minute-or-longer commute came home exhausted and were less willing to help out with household duties, opening the door for big conflict.

The Swedish study pooled statistical data from 2 million Swedish households between 1995 and 2000. Researchers from Umea University said that 45 minutes or longer for a commute could potentially damage a marriage. In homes where the husband travels daily to get to work, wives often settle for jobs closer to home; this can translate into less income and a bigger responsibility to manage the bulk of the family duties for the women.

Relationship expert Jean Hannah Edelstein says if one partner is staying home and one is commuting, problems are inevitable.

"The commuting partner - who is more likely to be male - might feel like he shouldn't have to take on equal responsibility around the home because he's putting in the long hours back and forth to work. But the partner who is home more might then feel she has been forced to take on too much responsibility and is being pushed into a more traditional female role," she said.

Tough news during a time when jobless claims are at an all-time high and people are willing to do more to get - or keep - a job. Seems like people are stuck between a rock (commuting and sacrificing time with their spouses in order to bring in money) and a hard place (spending money on divorce and/or getting gouged at the pump).