Chinese Women in Living Apart Together Relationships
Drawing on 39 in-depth interviews with people aged between 23 and 57, this paper finds that even though some study mothers see positives and benefit from couples’ living apart together (LAT) relationships, increased child-care responsibilities, financial dependence, and loss of a career and support networks all suggest a negative impact on women’s personal and marital life. On the one hand, moving away from a focus on the role of wife can be somewhat liberating at the same time that the focus on motherhood can be overwhelming. And the result of these priorities can be a further distancing from the other part of the family—the husband. For men, finding jobs in urban areas and acting as the sole breadwinner has not only showed masculinity but strengthened his status in the family. However, men may also experience pain and anxiety because of work pressure and family separation. Therefore, in order to understand the embodied experience of Chinese study mothers in LAT relationships, we should recognise the differences in historical and societal context of each country.