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Commuter Marriages

Benefits For Commuter Marriage Couples

Clearly, the commuter lifestyle can bring some benefits to the marriage relationship. Trust and commitment tend to be rated as high for couples that successfully negotiate a commuter marriage (Maines 1993). In addition, cooperation and enhanced communication skills, along with "flexibility, common interests, interdependence, and a desire for self-actualization" are also reported (Winfield 1985, p. 174). Couples in later stages of family development who have achieved financial stability and who perceive well-being in their marriage have also been associated with more satisfactory commuting.

The individuals in the commuter marriage also may benefit from this lifestyle. Research suggests this lifestyle brings increased autonomy, achievement, and feelings of satisfaction for the individual as well as enhanced self-esteem and confidence (Chang and Browder-Wood 1996; Groves and Horm-Wingerd 1991). There is a greater ability to pursue one's career without some of the everyday family constraints, as well as an opportunity for developing one's self-identity and self-gratification.

Further, the commuting lifestyle affords individuals the possibility of greater concentration and more time at work by separating work and family responsibilities (Bunker and Vanderslice 1982). Catherine Chang and Amy Browder-Wood (1996) reported that female commuters experienced less psychological and physical difficulties if they could successfully resolve role conflicts, whereas males reported improved relationships with their children and feeling more effective in the parenting role. Finally, Patterson-Stewart and colleagues (2000) reported that commuters from racial minorities indicated that this lifestyle allowed them to counter employment limitations, prior assumptions that people might have about their abilities, and negative racial stereotypes and oppression. However, in spite of the myriad benefits, commuter marriages still face numerous obstacles.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaModern Marriage & Family IssuesCommuter Marriages - Demographics Of Commuter Marriages, Benefits For Commuter Marriage Couples, Challenges Faced By Commuter Marriage Couples