Today in gloom and doom news (thanks, Men's Health!), a new Swedish study reports that people who commute 45 minutes or longer have a 40 percent greater chance of getting divorced than those who don't. Ugh! When I imagine long commutes, I think of Los Angeles, where Jack and I used to sit in stop-and-start traffic for hours on end each day. But here's the thing: Neither Jack nor I have ever had less than a 45-minute commute since moving to NYC 10 years ago. What's more, both of us think of that as a good, mellow commute.
Erika Sandow, PhD, who authored the study, said, "All that time on the road is stressful for the commuter and takes its toll on families." Makes sense to me. Though I no longer have a commute (unless you count my morning shuffle from bed, to coffeemaker, to home office), Jack does. But for the most part, he enjoys it. He uses the time to read (when he gets a seat on the train) or to listen to his iPod (when he has to stand). To him, it's a period of decompression bookending his stressful job. My feeling is that if you aren't finding your commute stressful, it sort of doesn't matter how many minutes long it is -- and it's probably not doing anything terrible to your relationship. What do you think? How long is your commute, and how has it affected your relationship?
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