Are Separate Bathrooms Leading to Divorce?

Are Separate Bathrooms Leading to Divorce?

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By Megan Segura

When it comes to marital advice, many couples are happy to share their own secret to wedded bliss. "Never go to bed angry" and "plan a weekly date night" are words of wisdom commonly doled out to newlyweds, but there's one tip that may be causing more harm than good: Make sure you have separate bathrooms.

In an article on Goop, Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami make the case that separate bathrooms could be contributing to staggering divorce rates. 

"It was just last year we met Windsor Smith, interior designer and author of Homefront: Design for Modern Living, at a dinner party where this very subject came up. Smith, who specializes in designing upscale estates for powerful people, said that, in her experience, when a couple opts for separate bathrooms it usually leads to separate houses and eventually, divorce."

Dr. Sadeghi and Dr. Sami make the case that by having separate bathrooms, couples are missing out on major bonding time. For example, spouses are no longer communicating as they shave or put on makeup to go out to a party, and they're not talking about their respective days while brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed. The doctors say there are also many bonding factors working on a subconscious level when two people share a bathroom. 

"Post-workout clothes thrown on the bed, hair caught in a brush on the counter, a spouse’s pillowcase and even a shared towel give off olfactory cues that deepen the bond, whether we know it or not."

While these two experts are convinced of the importance of sharing a bathroom, real-life couples have conflicting views. Heather Dubrow of The Real Housewives of Orange County told Radar Online, "We have separate bathrooms. That keeps our marriage alive!” Rita Wilson, who's been married to actor Tom Hanks for 28 years, has a very different POV. When asked what she sees as a the secret to a successful marriage on Watch What Happens Live, she said, "We really like each other and we laugh a lot together, and I think you have to share a bathroom." Her reasoning? "Because that's when you talk to each other -- when you're getting ready and you're brushing your teeth and you're laughing..."

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One of the biggest reasons Dr. Sadeghi and Dr. Sami say separate bathrooms are a bad idea is that it lessons couples' ability to compromise and settle arguments, like deciding who gets more counter space or whether to squeeze toothpase from the middle of the tube or from the bottom. That said, surely spouses who are attached to their individual bathrooms can find something else to argue about.

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