This morning I read an article on MSN Lifestyle about married women living separately from their husbands. The women in this article, most of them married 20 years or longer, have experienced the typical scenario of moving straight from their parents' houses to their husbands' houses. They talk of never being able to paint a wall the color they want or set the temperature at a comfortable level for them without it always being a compromise. Renting an apartment in the city and visiting the husband for conjugal visits supposedly helps them learn more about themselves and experience a sense of independence that they never felt when they were younger.
My first thought when I read this article was, "This is a rich person's problem." Practically every woman I know who has been married for more than 10 years, myself included, could benefit from having a space of her own where she could do whatever she wanted for two or three days each week. Being able to afford it, however, is pretty much a pipe dream. I can't even get a corner in my house to myself, never mind a separate apartment to go to three days a week. I can't imagine my husband being OK with a large chunk of our income going to support a separate residence that he has no say-so over.
Let me be clear. I don't expect that my husband is supposed to be my everything. I engage in many activities without him. However, if you need so much independence that you have to live in another house, then maybe you shouldn't be married. In the article, they call it a new definition of marriage. I personally call it dating.