Some couples are choosing to live apart to save their marriages


by Mia Gradney/ KHOU 11 News

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 10 at 10:34 AM

HOUSTON--You’ve heard of long distance relationships, often prompted by a work situation or something unavoidable. But what about couples who purposely choose to live apart--even when it’s a matter of just a few blocks?

After 28 years of marriage, Lise and Emil Stoessel are still very much in love, even though they haven’t shared the same address in some time.

"We’ve been living separately for the last five years," said Lise.

The Stoessels hit a rut, but were not willing to give up after 28 years together. So, they moved away from each other. They found a way to make it work five miles away from each other.

"It’s not just about getting your own little needs met," explains psychologist Phyllis Koch-Sheras. "It’s about creating something really powerful."

She adds that couples need to stop focusing on the rules and focus on themselves.

Dr. Koch-Sheras and her husband have been together for 37 years. They wrote a book about lasting love, guided by the "4 Cs" and tossed out the main rule of conventional marriage—living together.

In their book, commitment is number one, followed by cooperation. They recommend creating a statement about your relationship so you are reminded why you are in this journey.

The doctor said, "We put communication third."

Finally, there’s community --share it with other couples.

In sickness and health ‘til convention due you part? It’s your choice.