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Hazards of Commuting

Without reading the original studies, I’d take the quantitative claims of these recent findings with a grain of salt, but it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that long commutes are generally stressful on relationships.  I would agree there are a variety of stress factors.  High on my list would be time and energy away from the relationship, and the stress of commuting itself (including what that does to the couples’ daily reunion transitions, as the author points out).  For distressed couples I think it’s really worth considering whether a luxurious lifestyle is worth the stresses required to sustain it, or whether more personal resources devoted to the relationship at the cost of a simpler existence would yield a happier life.  These considerations multiply geometrically when children are in the picture, since children’s well-being (which predicts their well-being, happiness, and success in life) is primarily determined by the parents relationship with each other, even more than each parent’s individual relationship with each child.

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