Living Separately But Married: Can it Work?

Living Separately But Married blog cover

Are you living separately but married? It can be a difficult decision, and it’s something that divides opinions. But it can work for certain couples when it’s done in an intentional manner. This blog post is about couples living separately while maintaining a close relationship rather than living separately after breaking up.

When considering living separately while married, communication and compromise are both key. Both partners should discuss the reasons why they’re considering this option and the potential impact on their relationship. During this time, it’s essential for both parties to be honest with themselves and each other about their individual needs. It’s also important to talk through any potential legal implications of living apart, such as filing taxes, finances, and dealing with insurance.

7 benefits of living separately while married

There are several reasons why couples may choose to live separately while married. Here are the main advantages of this arrangement.

1. Enables both parties to have their own space.

Living separately while married gives each partner their own space and privacy when needed, which allows them to take a break from one another during stressful or busy times. This can help the couple maintain their relationship and not get too overwhelmed by being constantly together. Some people need more space than others, and living in each other’s pockets doesn’t suit everyone. Having privacy and space can be particularly beneficial when someone is dealing with a mental health issue or just needs some time to themselves.

2. Helps to keep the spark alive.

Having separate living spaces as a couple can also help to maintain attraction because it keeps a certain element of mystery and surprise. This can be especially helpful for couples who have been together for a long time and are facing a period where the relationship feels stagnant. There is such a thing as becoming too familiar as a couple, and separate living spaces can help to keep the spark alive in a marriage. Essentially, it can help to keep the relationship fresh and prevent couples from getting too comfortable (read: bored) in each other’s company.

3. Enables independent lifestyles.

When couples have separate living spaces, it encourages both people to pursue lifestyles that suit them. This can be beneficial for couples who may have very different tastes in activities or body clocks, as it allows them to do their own thing without disrupting their partner. Even if two people can love each other deeply, sometimes their lifestyles simply aren’t compatible. This can make it difficult for them to both live in the same home.

4. Fewer arguments around housekeeping.

When couples live separately while married, they don’t have to worry about compromising on domestic roles (i.e., dividing housekeeping chores). This can help to ease tensions related to domestic obligations within the marriage. As a result, both parties may feel less stress concerning these matters over time. In addition, if one person is naturally tidier than the other, it can prevent arguments about how the house is kept on a daily basis.

5. Geographical flexibility.

When couples live separately, it affords them a certain degree of geographical flexibility. While it can be difficult to live in separate countries or states for a prolonged period of time, there are specific cases where this can make sense. For example, it can come in handy if one partner has to travel for work or wants to be in a certain area for educational or cultural reasons. It can also enable a couple to move to a different city or country at their own pace. Say, if one person moves a few months ahead of the other.

6. Allows both parties to pursue their goals.

Living separately while married enables both people to pursue important goals. This can help to encourage growth and new experiences for both people. For example, one partner may pursue a professional degree or take on an exciting job opportunity without having to uproot their partner. It can also give both parties the freedom to follow their own passions and hobbies without feeling guilty that they are neglecting their spouse.

7. Greater appreciation for each other.

Finally, living separately may lead to both people feeling a greater sense of appreciation for each other. When couples get used to having each other around all the time, they can end up taking each other’s presence for granted. If one or both parties don’t feel appreciated, it can have serious consequences for the relationship. Having that space apart from one another can be a refreshing reminder of why you love each other and the special bond that you share. It can also make those times when you are together that much more meaningful.

These are the many benefits of living separately while married, despite the fact that it isn’t always accepted by society. As you can see, there are many advantages to this arrangement that can help to maintain a healthy and dynamic relationship.

9 potential challenges of living separately while married

So we’ve looked at the benefit of living separately while married, but it’s not all sunshine and roses. Here are the main challenges that come with living apart while married.

1. Decreased intimacy.

Living separately while married can lead to couples feeling disconnected from one another. This is particularly likely if they don’t spend much time together. It’s important for couples in separate living spaces to maintain a certain amount of quality time and communication in order for their relationship to stay strong. Feeling like you are growing apart can be difficult to deal with and is a valid concern for couples that live separately. You need to make more of a conscious effort to integrate your partner into different aspects of your life.

2. Increased financial burden.

There can be financial implications involved with having separate living spaces. This is particularly true if both people have two separate residences. In this case, you have two sets of outgoing in terms of rent/mortgage, utility bills, council tax payments, furniture costs, etc. You may also encounter extra costs if you are traveling back and forth to see each other. Before deciding on this arrangement, it’s important to weigh up the monetary costs of living separately.

3. Difficulty coordinating plans.

It can be a little more difficult to make plans when you and your partner live in separate places. This is because you can’t coordinate plans quite as easily. This doesn’t have to be a massive deal. But when you want to make plans, say you want to see mutual friends or book a vacation, it’s not quite as simple as popping next door and having a conversation. You either have to call each other or set aside time to meet in person.

4. Loneliness and isolation.

Living apart while married can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially if you don’t have any family or friends in the area. If either partner struggles with these feelings, it’s important to discuss it and find ways to combat it. This could include scheduling regular Skype calls or making more of an effort to join activities and groups in the local area. There are also plenty of online support groups available to people who feel lonely.

5. Higher chance of miscommunications.

Miscommunication is more likely to take place when couples live separately. This is because you don’t have the ease of walking over and having that spontaneous conversation. In addition, when living apart, couples generally spend less time together, which can increase the risk of misunderstandings. Essentially, it can be harder to ensure that you’re on the same wavelength and that you both have an understanding of each other’s perspectives.

Cleaning the house

6. Missing out on everyday life moments.

Living away from your partner can mean missing out on some of the everyday moments that many couples take for granted. These could range from a quick cuddle when someone is feeling stressed to watching TV together. Or simply just sharing a moment drinking coffee in the morning. This isn’t the end of the world, but these moments can build a deeper connection with your partner.

7. More difficult to share chores.

When living separately while married, it’s not always as simple to split chores and cover for each other’s weaknesses. In a shared household, this situation is much simpler. Both people tend to take on responsibilities that they are more proficient at. For example, one person may be better at paying the bills on time, while the other might be a natural when it comes to fixing things. When living apart, you don’t get the benefit of each other’s complementary strengths and weaknesses.

8. More difficulty to create a sense of being a team.

It can be more challenging to create a sense of being a team or family unit when a couple lives in separate spaces. When two people live under one roof, there is often an increased sense of commitment and unity when it comes to making decisions. However, when a couple lives separately, this is a little harder to foster. This can lead to a lack of “togetherness” and can make it harder to create a deep connection.

9. Not always seen as socially acceptable.

One final point to bear in mind is that having separate living spaces isn’t always seen as socially acceptable. If it works for you, it shouldn’t be an issue. But there are still some members of society who may not understand your living arrangement and be judgmental. This can make things difficult in some ways, particularly if you have close friends who don’t approve. However, as long as you’re happy and content in your relationship, this shouldn’t matter.

So, there are also downsides that come with living separately while married. But just because a couple chooses this path, it doesn’t mean that they are any less committed to each other. As long as the arrangement works for both parties and allows them to be happy in their relationship, it can be a great way to live.

Separate bedrooms while married

Some couples choose to live in the same home but in separate bedrooms. This can be for a number of reasons. One of the main ones is to ensure that both people get the sleep they need. This could be due to different sleeping patterns, snoring, or any other factor that affects their sleep quality.

Seeing as sleep is essential to our well-being, it’s important for both people to be well-rested. If you’re always getting a good night’s sleep, it makes it easier to show up as your best self, which will result in a smoother, happier relationship.

Having separate bedrooms also allows both partners to have a space that is their own. They can enjoy some alone time or simply escape from each other if they need it.

Similar to having separate living arrangements, you need to ensure that you maintain a certain level of intimacy to keep your relationship strong. Physical intimacy is an essential part of being married, so you should ensure that this remains a part of your relationship if it’s important to you.

Communicating about living separately while married

It’s not always an easy conversation to have, but it’s important for a couple to discuss their wishes and expectations when it comes to living separately while married. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone’s needs are met.

Moving house

When having the conversation, start with positive statements about what you value in your relationship and why it’s so important to you. Then, clearly state what isn’t working for you and why.

Your partner is more likely to empathize and take action to help when you give a reason. For example, instead of simply saying that you need space, explain how the current situation is impacting you on a daily basis.

Try to start statements with “I feel” instead of “you always” because it’s less accusatory. Once you have said your part, take time to listen to your partner’s perspective. Make it clear that you respect their point of view and that you are taking it seriously.

Ultimately, try to think of yourself as two people who are trying to solve this challenge as a team rather than it being a battle where there is one winner. In order to figure out if you can come to a compromise, you have to weigh up what’s most important to you as individuals and as a couple.

Final thoughts on living separately while married

Living separately while married can be a great way to maintain independence and keep your relationship strong. It can also give people space to work through issues that they need to work through alone.

But, as we’ve discussed, there are challenges that come with living apart, too. However, these potential issues don’t have to materialize if they are dealt with in the right way.

Ultimately, it’s up to the couple to decide what works. As with many aspects of relationships, communication is key. If you choose to live apart while married, it’s important to talk openly and honestly about your expectations.

If you found this post helpful, you might also want to read Lonely When Married.

“Matching people using personality types is such a simple and powerful concept. So Syncd helped us find love, even in this difficult time. You’ve really changed our lives. In fact, we’re now married! Thank you.”

– Ben (INFJ) about Indy (ENFJ)

Go to store Get your personality compatibility report