Could long-distance commuters be on a highway to divorce? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Could long-distance commuters be on a highway to divorce?

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -- Could your commute be bad for your marriage? According to a new study from Umea University,  long distance commuters could be traveling a highway to divorce.

The study found long-distance commuting increases the risk of divorce by 40-percent. It also found most long-distance commuters are men, and when the husband commutes, the wife often takes lower-paying or part-time jobs closer to home and takes on a larger share of the household responsibility.

Women who commute long distances feel more stress, time pressure and less successful at work. Not surprisingly, the study found income and careers benefit from commuting, but the social costs should be considered.

Landon Eustache makes commutes from Huntersville to Uptown Charlotte each day where he works for Bank of America.

"I don't really think that's true, I mean for me at least," he said. "The commute is not really that bad."

Eustache also said he actually uses the drive home to decompress so he doesn't bring the stress of work home to his wife, Carla.

"I definitely use the ride home to decompress," he said. "I'll listen to the radio a little bit and just relax."

But Greg Frey, a divorce attorney said time on the road is one of many added pressures on couples these days.

"As interesting as that study may be, it's not so much the act of commuting," said Frey. "It's the stresses one is under away from their spouse. The Dolly Parton days of 9 to 5, I can't sing the song, but I understand the principle, don't exist anymore."

Eustache disagreed, and said a shorter commute wouldn't necessarily make things easier at home.

"I don't think the marriage is really impacted one way or the other by the commute," he said.

However, some participants in the study did say a longer commute helps their marriage. They said it makes the time they do spend with their spouse more precious so they don't waste time arguing over petty things.

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