Your Ride to Work Could Tank Your Marriage - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Your Ride to Work Could Tank Your Marriage

By Sanjena Sathian


Because it’s the global commuting age, baby, and nothing less than love is at stake.

Good news, all you Sandberg devotees and Slaughter naysayers: Having a long commute doesn’t have to doom your relationship. The flip side: The long morning drive-time could definitely tank your love life. 


Percentage by which committed couples are more likely to break up when one of them must travel at least 45 minutes to work, according to a Swedish study

Committed couples are 40 percent more likely to bust up when one of them has to travel at least 45 minutes to work,  found. But here’s the rub: The odds are better for hard-working ladies than for their male partners.

While it’s true that men are more likely to have a long commute than women, it turns out they can’t handle it nearly as well. More male commuters in the study fell off the commitment wagon, whereas relationships had a better chance of success if the woman was the long-distance traveler. More reason to hope — and to hang on: Couples who managed to keep on truckin’ for at least five years significantly upped their odds of sticking together for the long haul. 


Americans, like Swedes, are commuting farther, according to the U.S. Census — but our average commute time (25 minutes) is still less than the world’s average (40 minutes). Maybe those of us dealing with a stressful commute — one that stresses our love life — can use that stretch of time on the train or highway for several calming deep-yoga breaths.

Or we could just move to Malawi, where the average commute time is a whopping two minutes.

Anne Miller contributed to this story.

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