You may think of your job as just a way to pay the bills. Sure, your commute into Dallas every morning isn’t always a delight. But as long as you get paid on time, you’ll keep doing it. After all, the choice between commuting for your job and having no job is an easy one.
While inching along US-75 to work may not be the most pleasant part of your day, it may surprise you to learn that this extra time in the car can affect you more than you think. According to a study in the Journal of Urban Studies, the time you spend sitting in gridlock twice a day has two important effects on your life.
Commuting affects your wellbeing
Sitting in rush hour traffic is inherently stressful – especially when you’re worried about getting to the office in time for an 8 a.m. meeting. The study found that being in extended, tense situations before and after work decreases your overall satisfaction in life. It makes you less happy and more stressed. In fact, it found that people who commute more than an hour every day need to receive 40% more compensation in order to be as happy as those who do not commute.
Your wellbeing affects your marriage
Naturally, if you spend an hour unhappily sitting in traffic on your way home, you’ll come back to your spouse and family with less energy and positivity for them. Over time, this can wear on your marital relationship. The study found that people who commute more than 45 minutes have a 40% higher chance of separating from their spouse.
How does Collin County fare?
The average commute time for Collin County residents is 26.4 minutes – which is higher than the national average of 25.5 minutes. However, some members of the community travel more than 90 minutes a day for work in Dallas. Based on the findings of this study, such residents would have a higher risk of their marriage ending.
What can you do?
Not everyone has the option of leaving their job – even if the commute time is long. But there are still things you can do to make your commute more enjoyable, which can help you and your family in the long run. You may want to make your commute more enjoyable by:
- Listening to your favorite music – the kind your kids can’t stand
- Listening to a fun podcast or book on CD
- Listening to an educational CD about a topic you enjoy
- Call your spouse (if you have hands-free technology) to catch up on their day
Finding ways to stay engaged and entertained on the road may help your marriage. However, not all marriages can survive long commutes and other marital issues. Learn how the collaborative divorce process can help you obtain a less stressful divorce — an option that is better for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family.