Is Separation Marriage The Key To Long-Lasting Love?

Getting married is the easy part — it's staying married that many couples seem to struggle with. We are all told that marriage takes work, but when life gets in the way, sometimes simply loving each other and putting in effort still isn't enough. According to Forbes, as of 2021, less people are getting divorced than they did about two decades ago. But take that with a grain of salt — their research also indicates that less people are getting married.

Still, though, just under 2 million people tied the knot in 2021 and many of them will continue to stay happily together and reap the benefits of marriage. There are scientific reasons why marriages fail, but how marriages succeed is often up for debate. When we picture a traditional marriage, we see two people in love living together, sleeping side-by-side, and creating a family — however that may look. But do you really need to live with someone to be married to them? Research indicates you don't, and it may just be what your relationship needs to stay strong.

Why living apart can lead to increased happiness in marriage

Living apart from your spouse, or as it has been termed, separation marriage, may seem unfathomable to some. To put it simply, separation marriage is when a married couple chooses to live in a different place than their spouse, whether that means a different house down the street or a different locale altogether. According to a study published in The Sociological Review (via Sage Journals), while couples have been living apart for quite some time, and doing so successfully, they haven't been very open about it. Their reason for hiding their living situation is due to the fact that it is not considered traditional or socially normal.

Recently, though, a couple in Japan opened up about their experience with separation marriage. They told BBC News (via YouTube) they chose to live this way because they wanted "to maintain their lifestyle" and "combine the benefits of both being married and being single." For the women, the pressure of maintaining the entire household was gone and for both of them, their happiness and their marriage benefitted. But is it really the key to keeping your love strong forever?

How to know if separation marriage works for you

If the idea of separation marriage sounds intriguing to you, it's important to understand the dynamics. According to Psychology Today, this type of marriage agreement can work really well if both members of the couple are doing it for the right reasons. One of the biggest reasons people may choose to live apart has nothing to do with love. In fact, they may be perfect for one another but not vibe under the same household. This could look like a couple who has different definitions of personal space or even finances, or a couple who deals with things like allergies or other related issues.

Another reason couples may choose to live apart often has to do with their careers. If one person has a job that requires them to travel often, living apart can make those dynamics much easier. And if you are wondering how the outside world views this type of marriage, many women feel that separation marriage is actually a good thing. During their interview, the Japanese couple admitted that men often look down on their marriage while women feel envious of it. But regardless of how or where you and your partner choose to live, ensuring you are both happy is the true key to long-lasting love — whether that's under the same roof or not.