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Commuter Marriages

Coping Strategies For Commuter Marriage Couples

In order to maximize a couple's capacity to cope with the commuting lifestyle, intervention should begin at the decision-making stage, with a discussion of how to integrate work and family. Issues to consider for a commuter marriage are: (1) how financially stable the family is (i.e., will the commute produce undue financial burden?); (2) what stage of the family life cycle the family is at; (3) how much time individuals have spent by themselves, and how they react to alone time; (4) how systematic the couple is in making decisions; and (5) what kind of time frame for reassessing whether or not the lifestyle is working has been developed?

Coping with commuter marriage is significantly supported if the couple can more easily afford the increased financial costs of the lifestyle (Farris 1978; Gerstel and Gross 1982; Anderson 1992). Additionally, if spouses have no children at home, are older, have been married longer, and have at least one established career, commuting seems to be easier. Those spouses who can tolerate periods of separation and enjoy spending time alone also seem to adjust to and cope with the lifestyle most easily. Finally, using a more systematic or planned decision style helps many couples to express higher satisfaction with their decision to commute and their adapting to the commuting lifestyle. However, it is important to recognize that entering into a commuter marriage is a decision that couples make. Reevaluating the implemented decision to assess its effectiveness also is critical for enhancing family well-being.


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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