"My last husband would lie around like Al Bundy and expect me to be waiting on him all the time," Ms. Toohey said. "Evelio helps with the dishes and he's grateful for what I do. When we see each other, he takes me out to dinner and doesn't expect me to cook every night or do his laundry. And when I do cook, he appreciates it."Hmmm... So the idea is that living with a woman ruins the man? How do we know the Al Bundy guy would have been any good if kept at a distance? Or are you going to say it's only possible to be Al Bundy if you've got a woman putting up with it?
She can take her time putting her 5-year-old daughter to bed, she said, without worrying that there's a husband in a nearby room "competing for attention."
[Researchers] have even identified a new demographic category to describe such arrangements: the "living apart together," or L.A.T., relationship. These couples are committed to sharing their lives, but only to a point.I like the idea, but I'm also skeptical. There are different reasons to want to live like this. Some couples probably just don't like each other that much, or they love autonomy more -- including the freedom not to have to show respect and concern for other person all the time and not to have the other person seeing everything that you do. As the article notes, in many cases, there are children who are not the natural children of the two adults in the current couple. Wanting a love relationship with someone doesn't necessarily mean you want him as a parent for your children or that you want to parent his children. And if both sides of the couple have children, those children don't necessarily see themselves as the Brady Bunch.
"Although social pressures encourage stepfamilies blending, only one out of three stepfamilies survive," [Jeannette Lofas, a clinical social worker, said.] "I always say to people, would you go on a plane to San Francisco with your child if you had a two-thirds chance of not surviving it?"A strange comparison. Forming a family and then failing produces a breakup, a visible failure. Not forming a family can hurt too, but life goes on continuously, with no perceptible failure point.
[T]he rise in L.A.T. relationships may be due to a growing unwillingness to compromise, particularly among members of a generation known for their self-involvement.Oh, it must be a trend. Gail Sheehy has written a book about it. So, yeah, Baby Boomers are selfish bastards. And old folks get set in their ways and don't like anybody messing with them.
"In many cases Baby Boomers want to have the freedom to live on their own terms," said the author Gail Sheehy, whose latest book is "Sex and the Seasoned Woman" (Random House). "As you age, you have more commitments and possessions in your life that you are attached to that the other person may not want to share."
Carolyne Roehm, the New York socialite and author, is similarly unwilling to sacrifice control of her space. Ms. Roehm, 54, said she is perfectly happy with her extreme version of the L.A.T. relationship, with Simon Pinniger, 53, a businessman who lives 1,700 miles away in Aspen, Colo.Uh, yeah. Let's have a guy with a nice place in Aspen. But wouldn't it be better to have several guys, with housing in various quality vacation spots? But it's only a trendy L.A.T. if they are both devoted to each other. Well, that ought to keep her/him from cheating on you. What! You slept with someone else? But I thought we were a L.A.T.!
Ms. Roehm said she is not interested in making compromises to move in together, even if that makes her sound selfish.Let's hope Pinniger doesn't read that the wrong way.
"I have my own life, my own identity and want to keep it," she said. "I like having the things I love around me."
But the relationship doesn't suffer from the distance between them, she said; after all, she was willing to fly out on a moment's notice when Mr. Pinniger voiced concern about the color of his fireplace stones.What about the color of his moods -- the ever-changing, delicate human manifestations that only a live-in partner can know? Oh, please, I care about his damned fireplace stones! Did you know my boyfriend has a stone fireplace in Aspen?