July 24th, 2009

I’d been living apart from my husband, Mr. J, for over a year before I realized that there was actually a term for people such as us: couples that lived apart.

The most common reasons couples live apart are due to military service or they met on-line they lived in different states or even different countries.

The first time I ever read the term “commuter couple” was in Microtrends by Mark Penn .

He states that per a 2006 study more than 3.5 million people are part of a commuter couple.

Penn’s entire book was an interesting read. You can check out his website here He acknowledged that many commuter couples are indeed military or involved in on-line long distance relationships but he pointed out that the largest growing segment of commuter couples were those who were separated because their careers keep them apart.

That is where I come in. My husband accepted a position out of state and due to a variety of reasons, I didn’t follow. Within weeks of his taking a better, more fulfilling job out of state, I was offered a promotion at my company. I took it. And our fate, for the time being anyway, was sealed.

We are two of the 3.5 million Americans living in a commuter marriage.

I’ll check back in soon with how that’s working out for me.

Generally we see each other every other weekend. We are within driving distance and every other Friday my husband pulls up stakes (grabs his suitcase and his cat) and comes home for the weekend.

Once I had that vernacular: Commuter Couple or Commuter Marriage, I found it much easier to find more resources. One of the best books I’ve read on the subject is The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart by Tina B. Tessina

Her website can be found here.

She takes the definition even further and includes people who physically live together but never see each other due to shift work or traveling, such as a long distance trucker.

Regardless of what you consider yourself: living together apart, a commuter couple, in a long distance relationship, spouse deployed for a finite amount of time, or just a friend turned up to support me, drop me a line. I’d love to hear about your experience in one of these wacky relationships that millions of people are making work!