Staying Married by Staying Apart

O. O. McIntyre // Married couples in Manhattan are trying to knock the divorce evil for a row of shanties by living in “double apartments.” The double apartment is a committee apartment for each, one floor above the other—and the husband commutes, as it were.

More than 100 couples, recently wed in New York, are trying out this independent scheme to maintain their freedom—to be happy although married. Fannie Hurst, the novelist, is living in this manner and her marriage is a success—“the dew is still on the rose.” She and her husband live in different parts of town and once or twice a week go to tea or to the theatre together.

Three new and gorgeous apartment buildings announce that they will have a few “double apartments.” The husband may entertain in his own way and have separate servants and whenever his wife needs an extra hand at bridge she can knock on the dumb elevator for hubby to sit in.

Real estate men say the “double apartments” are mostly occupied by bachelors who have been married late in life to younger women. Of course, only the rich are able to keep up the double establishments.

At a big club the other day an old bachelor who had recently married appeared preoccupied at the 4 o’clock Scotch and soda time. He kept snatching fleeting glimpses at his wrist watch. He was taken to task by his cronies.

“I haven’t seen my wife for ten years.” he explained, “and I have a tea engagement with her at 5. “All the time she was living one floor above, but the arrangement is to see each other only by appointment. And she had been busy with social affairs.

On East 60th street a happily married couple live across the street from each other in separate private dwellings. She is an artist and craves solitude. The other week they met in Palm Beach, neither knowing the other was there.

From syndicated column published March 4, 1922

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