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You might be wondering what LAT even means. It means ‘living apart together’. This is a situation when two people are committed towards each other but live separately in different houses. Senior couples above 50 are not untouched with concept of living apart together.
Studies have found that seniors in their 50s or even more have begun to embrace it and has become quite popular amidst this generation. Despite all the positives that it might have, it doesn’t come without its own bag of disadvantages. If your partner and you are thinking about LAT, you should also know the pitfalls that it carries with it.
You have shared a household with your partner for many years now. The both of you are accustomed to having each other around and share a lot – right from analyzing the morning newspaper to the last cup of coffee at night. Even if there are arguments in between, days that go by without sex, or even a proper sit down conversation the both of you still know that the other is around. LAT means having to wake up alone in bed and also going to sleep at night alone. Your spouse won’t be around all the time and you will be seeing him/her only when the both of you plan to get together. No matter how many friends you spend your time with during these in-between hours, when you are at home alone the loneliness will slowly creep into you.
Your partner and you are broad minded enough to take LAT into your stride and give it a try. You have done your research and spoken to experts and you feel that living apart for a while will bring the both of you closer. But, don’t think that it means that your circle – your family and your friends – all will accept it. It is not easy to accept such a concept. So, be prepared for sniggers, sarcasm, or even a kind of a finger pointing – all of which will seem to tell you that you needed to have gone through a separation at this stage.
You might find that your decision is making them move away from you. While you cannot hold back someone who does not want to be with you, you should always try your best to explain your stance and the real reason behind wanting to do LAT.
There are many cultures that only understand marriage and are just about beginning to understand divorce. You will have to assess the kind of background that you come from and if the society that you are a part of will accept LAT. In the mind if your partner and you, may be both of you are doing no wrong and are just trying your best to find some excitement back into your lives, but it might be that the people around you don’t understand it. You might then face a lot of brickbats from your neighbors, those at work, or just become the faces of a new gossip in town. Be ready for these but don’t let it get to you because at the end of the day what is more important is to salvage the relationship that you have held so dear for so many years.
It is one thing saying that we trust each other while deciding and then going about implementing LAT and a completely different story in actually believing so. When you don’t see your partner everyday and don’t really know the nitty-gritty of what he/she is up to, then it is quite possible that your mind conjures up situations when you think that you are being cheated upon. This is what you must remember – a person can be unfaithful even while staying together. So, you need to have faith in your partner and believe that he/she won’t do it. In fact that is what LAT actually tests.
At your age staying alone can be a little unnerving. This is not only because of the loneliness but more for those times when you are ill and alone. When someone is unwell, no matter what the age, he/she wants someone to look after him/her. At your age, when the body has become weaker then the need for another human around becomes even more necessary. And who knows what danger is lurking round the corner? Who knows if an emergency ambulance is needed? It is times like this that LAT might start to look like not such a great option after all.
Seniors often become the targets of theft and burglary. So, if you are staying alone it just might be that you are being kept a watch on. And someday, you might find that robbers have entered your home! At your age, how much can you do? It would be tough to overpower them and the sheer fear that you will feel can get to you. When two people are together, the presence of mind is more and one also feels more safe and secure. So, if you are in the LAT phase of your life then choose a safe neighborhood to live. At home keep the burglar alarms on, the house well locked, and keep emergency numbers handy.
Nothing in this world is all good or all bad – living apart together as well. Yes, it might help you salvage your relationship but it will also bring with it its own set of insecurities. When both of you are contemplating LAT, go through all the details and then decide what is best for you.