Your husband works a half hour north, and you travel a half hour south. Your home is precisely midway. Fair, right? Yep, but maritally inauspicious—that’s what Irene Huang and her colleagues at the Chinese University of Hong Kong found when they studied American couples that commute every day. If, like many couples in the study, you and your partner commute in opposite directions, your marriage may be unhappier than you’d be if you were going in the same direction every day
. Even if you don’t leave for work together
. What happens in your subconscious, Huang and her colleagues wrote in the study, is that the commute takes on more general goal-related associations. Travel in the same direction and you feel as if you’re sharing the same goals in life; travel in different directions, and you’re not.