“Living apart together” is a phrase that has been peaking in the media again recently. This is when a married couple chooses to live in separate homes while staying married. From my research, most couples interviewed said they were moving into their own space because they preferred the independence and freedom it gave them.
When I heard about this style of married living, I thought it had to be a joke. Then I researched and discovered tens of thousands of people live this way and believe this is a healthy factor in their marriage.
I can’t wrap my head around why couples would think this is a beneficial step in a healthy, God-honoring marriage. Isn’t one benefit of marriage being together? What about growing together through daily interactions?
The world has a way of taking things and twisting them for evil. A couple could justify living apart by saying, “Well, he snores, so I will sleep better.” Or “She likes to stay out late with friends, so it is better if she is in another home.” Through the twists of the enemy, a person could start believing the lie that living apart would actually be healthier for a marriage.
Marriage isn’t all about one person. It is about two people coming together to serve one another with unconditional love and healthy amounts of grace. Marriage requires quite a bit of sacrifice. I’m not suggesting that you put your needs aside for the remainder of your marriage to fulfill your spouse’s needs exclusively, but when we think of others first, we tend to be less selfish.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Our three oldest kids are all getting married within ten months of each other. It has been fun as they all prepare for marriage. We give them advice along the way, but some things they will have to experience to understand. For example, my daughter and son-in-law were laughing with us about their differences in thermostat preferences at night. They said it was something that was never mentioned in pre-marital counseling. Over the first month of marriage, they have figured out how to adjust the thermostat so they are both happy.
Reasons like this are why some of the interviewed couples stated their marriage works best if they don’t live together. The days will come when you may wish you had another home to slip off to for some peace, but the reality is that learning how to adjust to your spouse is part of the beauty of marriage. It is a team effort.
We must be on the lookout for how the world seeks to twist the sanctity of our marriage covenants. The enemy is sly and is ready to offer us things of the world. Protect your marriage. Protect your thought life. Protect how you interact with each other.
Be quick to handle disagreements and issues so you can be a unified team in your marriage.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11