THE ” ‘I DO’-PLEX”: Secret to a Happy Marriage?

Duplex home
Duplex home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Today, a friend and I  met for lunch. I hadn’t seen her since she married — again.

“Where are y’all living, now?” I ask, sipping my tea.

“We live in a duplex.”

“Oh? How do you get along with the neighbor?”

“Fine,” she said,  smiling drolly. “He’s my neighbor.

“Whoa!” I  catch the tea  spewing from my nose. “Gotta wrap my head around this. You’re saying that you…and your husband….”.

” We live in a duplex,” she says, with a nod. “He lives in A. I, in B.”

“So,” I asked, in my best Dr. Phil impression. “How’s that working out for you?”

She wiggles her eyebrows. The naughty-girl from within lights up.

I lean back and shake my head.

 No way could my man talk me into  that. To me, marriage equals one husband, one wife, one roof.

“So, where do you sleep? On your side? Or his?”

“His. Mine. Depends.”


She leans forward. “All right, here’s the deal. He and I love each other, right? But our differences could  be game-changers. I’ve gotta have my fur-baby; he’s allergic to dogs. If we buy a duplex and each take our half, I get to keep my dog where I want.”

“And you’re living in a duplex for that reason alone?”

She shakes her head. “Not all. I also have a bazillion pictures of kids and grand-kids on my walls. Having my own space allows me to keep them that way.”

“And we decorate differently,” she adds. ” Look up minimalist in the dictionary and there’s his picture.  Me?” She winks. “Girl, you’ve seen the way I live. I’ve got some big-honkin’  furniture. And I like my stuff where I can see it.”

“It’s the best of both worlds,” she concludes. “Togetherness and me-time. He’s got his man-cave. And I have my chick haven.”

The server appears. “Separate tabs for you ladies?”

When she reaches for her check, I  shoo her hand away.

“Nah, this one’s on me. You just gave me an idea.”

Sounds like a plan to me.  What part of it works for you?


15 thoughts on “THE ” ‘I DO’-PLEX”: Secret to a Happy Marriage?

  1. Hey Ms. Kim! Not sure it would work for hubby and me all the time, but the notion certainly has its place. (If my house were bigger and I had a truly dedicated space all my own I’d be fine.) For some folks, this obviously works. I knew of an older couple that shared a two-family. He lived up and she lived down. My son currently has a friend whose divorced parents have recently started hanging out together and dating, I guess. They enjoy their time together and retreat to their own spaces. Keeps ’em from fighting, I suppose. Finally, I worked with someone whose hubby worked nights and she worked days. They had no kids and had dinner together every night. She often bragged about what a good marriage they had. Uh…okay. I’d probably have an awesome one too, if I didn’t have to deal with my significant other most of the day.

    Great post! Have a good one 🙂

    1. Not that I’m complaining about my hunny, lol. I’m just saying marriage is work, and my guy and I work hard to make sure ours stays solid.

      Think I’m done now. 😉

  2. We enjoy meeting up in our big bed my husband made. Sixteen years of marriage has led to our having zones we inhabit for space….he, the garage, where he putters and listens to music, and I have my little office space, where I can write. We also go to the gym on separate days, for a little extra time to ourselves. Connection and space keep us best friends and lovers.

    1. Basically, what we’d do, too, shanjeniah. Time apart makes time together that much more fun. For us, the only reason to have separate-but-together quarters would be my dog, my schtuff, and our two, ingrained, but differing schools of thought on those topics.

  3. I have actually joked about this–living next door to my husband instead of with him or at least having Victorian-age His and Hers bedchambers. But in actuality, I think that defeats some of the purposes of marriage–to grow past those differences, learn to give and take, and identify as one family together. I understand the appeal, but I think I’ll pass on the duplex idea.

    By the way, I actually did live next door to my husband when we met, so I married the boy next door…then promptly moved in. 🙂

  4. After twenty years of hangin’ with the same guy I can tell you this idea has merit. You know how in those Victorian romance novels the heroine gets her own suite and lays there at night wondering if her husband will visit? Moving to the sofa because he’s snoring is a lot less sexy.

  5. After almost 38 years, this sounds like a great idea to me. And technically, they are under one roof. When I saw the movie “Frida,” I liked the way they had two completely separate buildings joined by a walkway on the top floor. I miss the days when he used to travel a couple of times a month, sigh.

    1. Hey, Jodi! Thanks for your feedback. I’ve had mixed reviews on the idea behind this one. But, boy, has it brought the viewers/visitors! 🙂

      Yeah, it does have its merits, especially for couples who don’t want to part with some of their stuff or their fur-babies. Also, couples who’ve “been around the block” a couple of times seem to like the idea.

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