Married and living apart

by singlemomseeking on August 22, 2010

Living apart together

So, when are you guys moving in together?

Our friends and family have been asking us this question a lot more these days. It’s understandable: we’re getting married this fall… and we haven’t figured out how we’re going to live together. We know we want to, we’re just not sure how.

“It’s under negotiation,” Chris likes to tell people, as he gives me a big smile.

And it’s true: every day for the past few months, we’ve been talking about all the various scenarios in which we might live together. They include buying a home together, moving into one of our homes, adding on…

In the meantime, we’re “living apart together.” Otherwise known as “LAT.” Supposedly, this is a popular trend among European couples. And the idea is sort of rubbing off on me — at least for now.

The biggest stress right now is our overhead — and the fact that we go back and forth a lot. Between one mortgage and one rent – not to mention our utilities – we’ve got a lot on our plates. Don’t get me wrong: we’ve been house-hunting weekend after weekend, as we consider buying a place together. But here’s where it gets complicated:

Currently, he owns his small home, and I rent mine. They’re both one-bedrooms, which are five miles from each other. When we stay at either place, it’s quite cozy. Yet, I’ve got with a growing tween, so living in a small home together is going to get cramped quickly.

Besides, my kid and I have moved a lot since she was born (five times and counting). Although I’m SO excited to get married, I’m not any rush to toss another transition on her. And although I do my best to stay positive about packing – and unpacking boxes – moving just makes me pull my hair out.

Add to this the fact that I love our little home and our neighborhood… and I’m just not in a hurry.

Does anyone else relate? Got any ideas? I’m all ears.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

JB August 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I know I was married and she had a daughter that was 6 when we met. In our 10 years together, we moved 7 times. The last time, and really the time before that, we said “we’re not doing this to her again”. But, in the end, it’s what’s best for the family.
If it’s only a 5 mile difference, I suggest you make do with your place, or find one near you so that you don’t have to uproot her from her school.
Best of luck to you. I think finding a worthy relationship has become the hardest challenge any more. Kids come first, without doubt or question, but a strong relationship is pretty close. :)

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singlemomseeking August 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

@JB and @Jenn: You’re right: my daughter’s school is also a big part of this decision-making process!

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Kevin August 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Hey, I’m probably late to the partyin sayingthisbut congratulations on getting married.

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Jenn August 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Just thinking out loud here…seems like the more you include her in the decision and minimize the changes (maybe move but not out of the school district so she can keep her friends and extracurriculars), the easier it might be on her. Where does she want to live? That being said, the relationship between the married grown ups should probably take priority, as it’s the core of the new family.

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Molly@Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce August 23, 2010 at 5:27 am

You know, since my divorce I have been thinking that cohabitation is not a prerequisite for marriage. I would love to have a relationship with two places for those moments in which someone wanted some space or alone time.

I wrote a piece on this when my ex told me that he missed living with me and the kids. Check it out. http://www.postcardsfromapeacefuldivorce.com/171/a-room-of-ones-own/
It’s nice to find your site, BTW!

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T August 23, 2010 at 7:24 am

Ah yes… welcome to my hell. ;)

Obviously this decision is a little different than ours because mine and Rascal’s comfy homes are 200 miles from each other!

But still, it’s essentially the same. Who’s gonna move? And yes, does the children’s discomfort become the main priority or does the couple’s relationship? I mean, I got divorced for MY sake, not necessarily for my children’s sake. However, in the end, it benefited all of us for them to have happy parents. Do I use this precedent to uproot us with the hopes of the same results in my current, serious relationship? Do happy parents make happy children or am I being selfish by moving them away from their comfort zone?

See?

In other words, you got me, honey. I’m still sorting it out myself. Maybe you should look for a bigger home close to her school and turn his into a rental?

Good luck to you both!!

.-= T´s last blog ..Loving myself on my path =-.

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Heather {Desperately Seeking} August 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

Neither one of us had a house that would house all six of us… for two months, we crammed ourselves in his house (my daughter slept on the couch) until the house we were remodeling was done…

and then we took the plunge… we all moved into something that was OURS… not his… not mine… but OURS… all of OURS… it was new for all of us…

and yes, we have houses to sell, but we purged, and we made things OURS… and today? All four of them started new schools… but they did it TOGETHER… and I’ve found nothing better for our blended family than to be doing things together for the first time… (but regardless of what you do? it’s going to be a little tough… but it all works out….)
.-= Heather {Desperately Seeking}´s last blog ..God Speaks Through the Remains of the Pumpkin War of 2009 =-.

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singlemomseeking August 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Yes, Heather, I also love the idea of a fresh start, and “OURS.” My vision doesn’t always match the economy… but I’m remaining hopeful.

P.S. Readers, if you missed the post about Heather’s sweet wedding, you can check it out here:
http://singlemomseeking.com/blog/2010/05/why-this-single-moms-300-wedding-inspires-me/

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Linsey August 23, 2010 at 9:39 am

What if he moves in with you… and then rents out his house? I also like what Jenn said.

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Eathan August 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Interesting. My grandparents lived in 2 separate homes until my grandfather retired. My grandfather owned a thriving business in a large metro city for years. Monday – Thursday he lived in their city home. Friday-Sunday he spent in the country with my grandmother and their kids. This worked for them for 30+ years. Anything is possible if both parties are willing.

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Kat Wilder August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I am all for living apart — it will save your marriage!

OK, I jest. But, the main focus must be your daughter, her school, her friends. It gets harder and harder to move as they get older, as their social life is everything, Mom! (eye roll, there).

If you ever plan to live together, it would be great to find a house now (to buy or rent) in the area close to her school. Then, you suck it up until she graduates high school.

Yes, kids survive moves and whatnot, but they really, really want to keep their life as normal as possible; what does M. think?
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..Your perception is your reality =-.

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singlemomseeking August 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm

@Kat Wilder: If you asked my daughter, she’d say that she wants to stay put in our home… and he’d keep his home. She doesn’t seem to mind the back and forth — as long as (as you say!) her friends/school are central.

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How Does She Do It Mom August 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I think you are doing the right thing…this is a period of transition for ALL of you. It is a big change going from being single-mom to newly married mom who was single for so many years (trust me!), going fron bachelor to step-dad and not to mention tween who gets a new step dad.

Anyone who tries to overlook all that transition is just being silly and not very insightful. When my fiancé moved in it was quite quickly but we were well aware of the transition that we were ALL facing and that is was going to take an inevitable adjustment period!

I think that doing things YOUR way and not the way everyone else THINKS you should do things is your best bet!! sounds to me like you guys are thinking it all through! :)

Best of luck!
.-= How Does She Do It Mom´s last blog ..Life- Love &amp Lemons…Episode 3 =-.

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Deesha August 24, 2010 at 7:43 am

Welcome to the LAT club, mama! xoxoxox
.-= Deesha´s last blog ..“Are Brad and Angelina Really ‘Co-Parenting’ Are We” =-.

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singlemomseeking August 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Ah, Deesha, thanks for having me at the LAT club! You’re a pro now.

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Mindy@SingleMomSays August 24, 2010 at 7:55 am

My advice is to find a new place sooner rather than later. The older your daughter gets the harder it will be for her to change schools (if you decide later the current situation isn’t tolerable) but with any luck you will find something in the same district. Wait it out at your place and rent his home while you search for what fits!
.-= Mindy@SingleMomSays´s last blog ..Asking Too Much =-.

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Momma Sunshine August 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I vote get a brand new place together. Though, the idea of living apart isn’t a terrible one. Married and not living in the same city might end up being an option for CBG and I, who knows…. ;-)
.-= Momma Sunshine´s last blog ..Vacation So Far- Triumphs and Challenges =-.

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Samantha August 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

I’m late in wishing you congrats on your upcoming marriage. I’m so excited for you! I’m jumping on the bandwagon in a few months as well and am in sort of the same dilemma. What to do when we get married during the middle of the school year? Make the transition right after saying, “I do” or wait out the rest of the school year to make the move? Unfortunately, it’s not an across town move but more like half way across the country.

So I may be joining the LAT club for a time, maybe even a couple of years as he will be deployed to Afganistan a few months after we are married.

Maybe the living separately for a little while (or long while) will make your hearts grow that much more fonder…
.-= Samantha´s last blog ..How My Journey to Financial Freedom Began =-.

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Kendra August 27, 2010 at 8:47 am

I’m not sure the living apart startegy is a bad one aside of the financial standpoint. Let’s face it many “couples” live apart in their own homes already. One spends all their time on one floor, in the garage etc. I think just maybe by not taking all that time for granted it maybe is more fun and has more meaning.
.-= Kendra´s last blog ..Time for Laundry Detergent Brands to Change Laundry Cups =-.

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Tiia Jones August 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

It is such a hard transition. I liked the idea of living apart and tried that for quite a while until my daughter finally said, “This is kind of silly Mom!” I do think changing schools at that age can be big-time traumatic. Good luck with the decision!
.-= Tiia Jones´s last blog ..Get Your Own House in Order Guest Post =-.

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Trisha August 27, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Several years ago I married a man who was 61 (I am 15 years younger) when we tied the knot. He had never been married before though had lived twice with women. I have two children who were 18 months and 5 at the time of my divorce. We met the summer my first husband and I divorced and we “dated” for 15 years before getting married. We married because we love each other yet we both knew that living together full time would never work so we’ve maintained seperate households. Most people look at me in bewilderment when I mention “Dan’s house” or “My house” in conversation. We are actually quite happy. I have never known of anyone else who live like we do so finding this website was exciting.

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QTMama August 30, 2010 at 10:02 am

Wow, this is something I haven’t considered.

I’ve literally sat here thinking for a while … Yeah I suck at this.

I know whatever decision you do make sweets, it’ll be the right one. :)
.-= QTMama´s last blog ..Full Moons- Dunkin’ Donuts and … =-.

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Sharon Sommerhalter August 31, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Big decision to make for you, but what a nice reason for it (congratulations on the upcoming wedding!) As a parent I know how important it is to consider the kids and their needs. I think that always leads to the best solution anyway. My son is a bit older now but I remember the Tween years vividly, whenever I had a decision to make that would impact him in any way I would include him, ask his opinion. I was always amazed at how wise that little (at the time) guy was, and it always helped ease whatever the “transition of the month” was.

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V4p0rs61rl August 31, 2010 at 11:46 pm

After a year of looking, my HTB finally found a job- but its in another state. We are still looking for a job closer to home but live in a wonderful small town in a rural area where there aren’t many opportunities. He found the job right after our boys started school so moving with him wasn’t an option, especially since he is still a temp. So we are doing this for the next 9 months until our wedding day and seeing him on the weekends until then- it kind of stinks. I never heard of LTA though, thats exactly what we are doing!

I can relate to being resistant to moving with your daughter in tow, but I think as long as its in the same school district that moving one last time into a home that you guys will own as a family can only be positive. There is something permanent to owning a house, you can unpack your boxes and take a deep breath knowing that your home. :) Best of luck!
.-= V4p0rs61rl´s last blog ..He got it =-.

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GLSD September 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm

We did the back and forth for a year. The drive was 5 1/2 hrs. Mainly hubby drove home Thurs and went back to work Sunday night. On other occasion I would fly for the wkend. It worked for us. When you’re a blended family, you have to think deeper into it and consider M.’s needs. I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Can’t wait to hear all about the wedding. I don’t comment often, but I’m still reading your blog and so happy for you, M. and LG

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Lillian Reese September 2, 2010 at 9:20 am

I’ve just read your blog for the first time and find your writing to be very inspirational! As a single mom for going on 16 years now (oh my God, has it really been that long?!), I find myself identifying with every sentiment and laughing at so many familiar scenarios. Thank you for saying so eloquently what many of us are thinking, but so often can’t put into words.
.-= Lillian Reese´s last blog ..Little Mouse Learns About Money Is Here! =-.

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Scott Alpert September 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I like your writing style. Let’s face it relationships are complex, especially with a child in the mix and all the social pressure of living life “the right way”. Cohabitating gets difficult with financial difficulties, the raising of the kid, and space constraints. My fiance and I have difficulties in these areas as well.

I’ve opted to move in with her and rent out my condo, but we are crampt and starving for space. The good news is we can talk about this, but all the while the wedding date gets pushed further back because all the small particulars have not fallen into place.

I’ll keep reading and see how you figure all the complexity out.

Scott

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Abby January 2, 2013 at 8:58 am

Actually after we were married my husband hated sharing the same house together, plus he hated marriage,sex,intimacy and me of course. We decided to have a house built like a duplex then he has his space and his stuff and garage and I have mine. Paying bills is easy, I have mine and he has his (credit cards). He pays all the bills on the house, when I see a bill I put it in his mail box. Yes we have separate addresses. Weve been doing this for 45 years, we never communicate to each other

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