*Some footage in this video is from the film ‘Two’s a Crowd’ directed by Tom and Jim Isler/gloamingpictures.com
SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Experts say a lot more married couples are happier together when they’re living apart.
Some refer to it as “live apart-ners,” and while it may seem unusual, this type of non-traditional living arrangement has become more common.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 1.7 million married couples in the nation choose to live apart and say the popularity of “live apart-ners” is growing.
Lisa Haisha of Sherman Oaks says her husband of seven years lives four blocks away.
“We’ve been living separately for almost our whole married life,” Haisha said. “He would come over for dinner on weekdays. Sometimes we’ll go out to dinner. He’ll call and say ‘let’s go out to dinner’ and we’ll meet someplace or I’ll go pick him up or he’ll come here and pick us up.”
Haisha says the couple initially planned to move in together but when she moved her stuff in, they realized how small the space was.
“We want to be the wind beneath each other’s wings not clip each other’s wings,” she said. “It’s almost like a very functional divorced couple. You know, a couple that divorced but are on great terms with each other.”
Even after Haisha gave birth to the couple’s daughter Ava, now almost five, she and her husband continued to live apart.
“So she’s with both of us a lot. Then just me. And then sometimes with him,” she said.
Marriage and family therapist, Dr. Jane Greer, says the looming 50 percent divorce rate has couples worrying about the future before they say “I do.”
She says living apart allows them to avoid all the daily, little conflicts that can lead to big problems down the road.
“It enables each person to have some of the autonomy and just have their own space,” Dr. Greer said.
Allen Sheinman and Collette Stallone wanted to get married but neither wanted to give up their apartments … so they didn’t.
“What it would mean is that we could be married and still feel like we’re dating,” Sheinman said.
But these “live apart-ners” do admit there are some financial burdens when it comes to this lifestyle.
The maintenance of two homes eventually brought Sheinman and Stallone back together under one roof.
Well, sort of.
“We divided the apartment up to my half and her half,” Sheinman explained.
Ultimately, Haisha says, she and her husband avoid all the business of being married and just enjoy the marriage.
“It helps us maybe be grateful for what we have instead of just taking it for granted,” she said.