Many things have changed since the baby boomers were the age millennials or Generation X are now. We’ve looked at how the rise of social media has affected marriage and divorce, as well as the impact of recent global economic downturns on when couples choose to marry. Both of these are indicators of a larger phenomenon though, and that is the fact that the world, these days, is a much smaller place.
Forty years ago, we didn’t have the same transport infrastructure, with fewer and smaller roads, infrequent rail services, and, as annoying as they are, bus replacement services were not the sort of thing transport companies thought to put on. And that’s only within the country. Budget airlines have made overseas travel available to a greater number of people, and something that everyone can partake in more frequently. Inevitably, this has given relationships a new way of functioning – long distance. The Internet was in its very infancy, and technology now common place in Smart Phones was considered the stuff of science fiction movies.
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that once a couple decides to marry, cohabitation is a given. This view derives from views which were prevalent forty years ago. However, for many couples, this isn’t the reality. A few years ago, Terri Pous, a woman in a long distance marriage herself, gathered the stories of over 300 couples who have, for various reasons, chosen to live apart. The most common reasons were education, familial or work commitments, military service and immigration issues, but any number of factors can result in a long-distance marriage.
More recently, Vrutika Shah shared in Vogue that being in a long-distance marriage is “actually pretty great”, shedding light on the positive points of long-distance relationships, something which is usually obliviated. Amongst these points she talks about the capability of having a complete independent life from your partner and not merging into each other’s personality. To her (and many of you will agree with this), it seems a big problem that most of her friends cannot leave the house without their significant other. Another positive point is the exhilarating sensation you get when you finally get to see your other half – Vrutika describes with great fondness the game she and her husband play every time they are at the airport parking lot trying to find each other, and that when she finally spots him, every cell in her body launches her towards him – a pretty magical sensation.
This is the reality in the 21st century for many people across the world, including celebrities. Due to their work, many celebrity couples have to spend time apart, and many have opened up about their experience, sharing positives and negatives.
are long distance marriages more prone to divorce? Well, it would seem the jury is still out on that one. Many couples have proven to the world that not living together doesn’t mean that there is something ‘broken’ within a relationship, but that being long distance comes with different challenges than when you live together, and it’s how you work together to overcome those challenges that will ultimately answer that question.