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Is commuting bad for your marriage?

No one likes sitting in traffic for hours at a time, but New Yorkers don’t typically have a choice. According to a 2017 survey, the average round-trip commute for those who work in the city comes to nearly 58 minutes. That’s around nine minutes longer than the national average of 49 minutes.

Several studies confirm that long commutes and their attendant traffic jams have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure, stress levels, and overall well-being. For example:

  • According to an article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, driving over 10 miles to and from work each day is associated with higher blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes.
  • The same article found that 10-mile commutes can be associated with higher cholesterol levels, blood pressure increases, and depression.

Did you know that long commutes can also increase your chances of getting divorced?

Til work do us part?

A 2013 study carried out by the University of Sweden suggests that people whose commute lasts at least 45 minutes each way are more likely to divorce than those who have a shorter travel time. The research analyzed data for millions of Swedes who were married or in a committed relationship over a 10-year period (1995 to 2005) and revealed that:

  • 11% of the couples studied had broken up by 2000.
  • 14% of couples in which at least one of the partners commuted over 45 minutes separated, compared to 10% of those with a shorter commute time.

The outcome wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. The report indicated that relationship breakdown was less common for people who were already commuting long distances when they got married or committed to their partner. Those with a lengthy commute for over five years were only 1% more likely to divorce than non-commuters.

The implication that longer commute times can affect your relationships makes sense. No one likes wasting their valuable time by being stuck on the highway or wedged into a crowded subway car or bus. It’s exhausting, stressful, and leaves you with less time to spend with your family.

Not all couples will be impacted by a frustrating commute in this manner. Millions of New Yorkers drive or take the subway for hours to get to work, and their relationships remain intact. But if a marriage or relationship is already experiencing challenges, then the frustration of daily travel can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

If it appears that you are headed for divorce in New York, then protect yourself by hiring a divorce attorney who can listen to your story, explain your options, and develop a legal strategy that concludes your case as quickly as possible.

Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York divorce and family law attorney with over 36 years of legal experience. He offers free in-person initial consultations. You may set up an appointment by calling 718-329-9500.

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