When we speak of our marital status we use terms such as — single, married, divorced, widowed. I think there is another term that should be part of the list, one that is extremely common in this day and age. I call it the Married/Single status.
My definition of this term would be a person who is married to another, but spends most of their time alone, functioning at home and socially as a single person. Reasons are varied. Sometimes this arrangement is by choice, both partners in the marriage having an agreement that they have this legal sort of connection, but are free to do their own thing. Sometimes this arrangement is fallout from things beyond their control, such as a job that requires frequent travel for extended periods of time. For example, military couples where one or both are deployed. However, I also see and experience a category of the married/single where the day-to-day life of the couple habitually keeps them each operating in separate worlds, despite the fact that they believe they are married and reside under the same room, and share a strong emotional bond, yet spend little time together. For them, time seems to be a precious commodity.
These couples do report that they want more time together, and often try to make those connections happen, but the driven nature of one partner or the other, sometimes both, keeps them chronically in a pattern of two ships passing in the night. These couples also report that many days can go by when they do not share meals together, may not see each other upon waking or going to sleep, and may only realize that they are bonded if they bump into each other during a fitful sleep. These couples typically say that they love each other, can’t imagine not being married to each other, but all outward behavior patterns seem to tell the world (and each other, at times) that they live and function on two separate planets!
Is this good? Not good? Healthy? Unhealthy? Yes, we do have to factor in different personality styles, different attachment styles and needs, career demands and responsibilities, personal goals and aspirations, family demands, extenuating circumstances.
But is this married/single pattern becoming the norm in our society? How do you think this may help or harm a marriage and family life? Do share your thoughts!
For a long time I have realized that I am a married/single, not always sure if I like it or not. In some moments, not, in others, not a problem. Have made the best of it, concluding it is what it is. In my case, this pattern is dictated by intense career focus and demands compounded by a driven and hard-working personality. There are plus and minus aspects to the way it affects the lives of the two partners. And I see this happening in more couples than ever before… Just curious as to what others think. Look forward to hearing your replies…