Commuting long distances can negatively affect marriages

A Swedish study with a sampling of two million people generated interesting data

Editor, The Record:

As Mission is a bedroom community and about three-quarters of us commute out of town for work, does long distance commuting affect your marriage? And if so, how?

Studies conducted worldwide suggest the longer the commute, the poorer the marriage. The rate of divorce increases significantly as the length of the commute increases. Findings report a 45/40 ratio, a 45-minute commute (one-way) correlates with a 40 per cent increase of divorce. It was also found that the probability of divorce happening occurs within the first five years of commuting. The largest of these studies conducted to date used data from more than two million spouses in Sweden between 1995-2005.

Applying these findings to our community is quite upsetting since a large percentage of us commute great distances to work. The reasons for having to commute vary. Most of us simply want to live the suburban dream. The trend in our community is that young couples purchase homes as they are affordable, and Mission provides an opportunity to have a larger house, and more property than in the GVRD area.

The average Missionite spends about two full days a month driving to and from work. One must not forget, the further we drive the fatter we get, the lonelier we become, the more stressed we are, the more socially isolated we become and the more pain our bodies endure. Also, being sedentary for long periods of time, we don’t have time or energy to look after our children properly, let alone ourselves and our overall quality of life is decreased.

One has to prioritize what is important to them when choosing to reside in a bedroom community like ours if they commute long distances to work. If having a healthy marriage is near the top of your list, you must consciously choose to work on it and yourself to be more spiritually, emotionally and mentally balanced to make your marriage work.

Just to clarify, I love where I live, I love my life, and I wouldn’t choose to call home anywhere else. I feel compelled as a member of our community to create awareness around the effects of long-distance commuting to work has. It’s important to highlight the social consequences that commuting entails. For instance, how are children affected by growing up with one or both parents commuting long distances to work and how marriages suffer as a result.

I believe as a community we must demand decent paying jobs and more of them be created in this district.

Artur Gryz

Mission