By Joseph Loftus
‘This living arrangement is the secret to our happiness’
Most couples will have their own methods and ideas about how to maintain a long and happy marriage, whether it’s regular date nights or trips away together.
This is a slightly more unique measure though – simply not living with your spouse.
One woman has explained how this has worked for her and her husband.
Bianca Turetsky, 43, and Dr. Peter Bach, 58, got married back in September 2021 and from the outset decided to stay in their own respective abodes.
Turetsky lives with her cat Cleo in the apartment she has stayed in for a decade, whilst Bach still lives at the home he shares with his teenage son.
In an essay published for Today, Turetsky explained how it was important for her that she had her “own life” before getting hitched.
She wrote: “Saying ‘I do’ for the first time at age 42 meant having my own life built already.
“Following the traditional playbook wasn’t going to make anyone happy. Why did we have to live by old conventions? Why couldn’t we make it up as we went along? Who says what a good marriage should look like?”
There was another factor that helped the couple decide to live apart – her husband and his son are very allergic to cats.
Recalling the moment she found out about this, Turetsky said: “I soon learned that both Peter and his then teenage son are severely allergic to cats. Like the throat-closing-up kind of allergies.
“[Cleo] would never be able to be a part of a home with him, and I had no plans to have a life without her — no wedding ring was worth giving her up.”
And by the time Bach’s son left home for college, the couple decided they wanted to continue living separately.
Now, they spend a few nights a week at each other’s place before returning to their respective homes for some alone time.
“Most people we tell about our unusual living situation move pretty quickly from surprise to curiosity to, in some cases, a little envy,” Turetsky stated.
She explained that it’s a 38-minute journey between the abodes, and that she could do the journey “in her sleep.”
Thanks to living separately, she said that every “mundane weekday evening still feels like a date” even after being together for almost six years.
Bach does plan on finding a place a little bit closer to her, but they have no plans to permanently share a place any time soon.
“I think this living arrangement is the secret to our happiness,” Turetsky concluded. “It’s become a cliche that the secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms. We’ve settled on separate boroughs.
“This is not what I expected marriage to look like. It’s so much better.”