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Long commutes may increase chances of divorce

Want another reason to hate rush hour traffic? Here it is. According to a new study, long commutes to work may increase the likelihood that your marriage will end up in divorce.

The study that came to that conclusion was performed in Sweden, where scientists examined new commuters and found that those making long commutes to work had a 40 percent increased chance of divorce. The study found that long commutes are more difficult for women than men and that the highest risk for divorce is during the first several years of long commuting. That is especially the case in marriages where both parents work and one parent is responsible for taking care of the children. In those cases, long commutes can be very stressful on a marriage.

While the study seems to have the ring of truth for many divorce lawyers here in the United States, others say that long distance commuting is a fairly new phenomenon in Sweden. In fact, sources say that long distance commuting is commonplace in New York, but that New Yorkers actually have a relatively low divorce rate.

Telecommuting or working from home, though, can be just as stressful on a marriage as the Sweden study says long distance commuting is. Many family law attorneys say that they see in their practices that working from home can stress on a marriage where that person was previously out of the home for 10-12 hours.

Clearly, there are many factors at play in looking at what causes divorce. Long commuting is just one factor among many.

Source: CBS New York, “Study: Long Commute Could Lead To Divorce, Separation,” 25 May 2011.