Posted by: Wendy Shalit
Topic: Living together…apart. What do you think of the trend toward committed couples keeping separate residences—or one home with separate bedrooms?
I have also noticed a trend toward couples keeping separate residences—or one home with separate bedrooms. Many married couples tend to blame snoring. Excess weight, poor general health or a deviated septum can all contribute to this bane of domestic life. While it may seem easiest to pick up and take your pillow and teddy elsewhere, in the long term a separation in the bedroom usually spills over onto other areas of married life.
Many years ago, I heard a Rebbetzin (rabbi's wife) chatting with a single girl. The girl was saying how wonderful it was that her friend's husband was studying Torah at night (from 7pm to 9pm) during the couple's first year of marriage. How dedicated they were! And what a sacrifice they were making. Needless to say, this wise Rebbetzin had quite a different take on things: "It's not really a sacrifice"--she replied, much to the girl's shock--"because she doesn't really know her husband well enough, yet, to miss him. It is not good to study in the evening for the first year of marriage."
OK, I realize I'm making a leap here between the religious world and society at large, but I think this woman touched on a universal point: Couples might be "okay" with being separate, and yet this is not necessarily good for them, or the bond that they could develop if they worked through their various issues instead of separating.
I'm intentionally leaving out unmarried yet committed couples, because I think this is a whole difficult kettle of fish which merits, yes, a separate discussion.