LAT (Living Apart Together) Transnational Couples: Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing

Rashmi Singla, Ambika Varma

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Abstract

The axiom ‘intimate couples stay under the same roof’ has been challenged globally, with couples increasingly maintaining separate residences across nations. This is a phenomenon that has received little academic investigation.
The paper presents preliminary results from an ongoing research project, which explores LAT transnational couples, i.e. partners who are residing/have resided in different countries (for a minimum of one year) primarily related to dual careers. Within a theoretical framework combining gendered emotional reflexivity, digital-communication and spirituality, the relationship dynamics are studied. Through in-depth interviews with 17 heterosexual- and three homosexual-couples we explore the psychosocial aspects of togetherness and separation, emphasizing ‘good practices in sustaining relationship’.
The states of being together and apart are intertwined, leading to mutually enabling and constraining factors for the couple in many ways. While quality time together, construction of fun memories, parting rituals, systematic online contact, and spiritual acceptance emerge as resources, mobility costs (economic, temporal and affective), pressure to have quality time, work/ life segmentation, society- and social network related dilemmas, restrictive migration laws, emerge as constraints.
Lastly, ‘good practices’ for promoting the mental health and wellbeing of LAT couples are delineated along with suggestions for relevant services for those experiencing psychosocial problems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Jan 2019
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event4th International Conference On Counselling, Psychotherapy And Wellness - Christ University , Bangalore, India
Duration: 3 Jan 20196 Jan 2019
Conference number: 4
https://www.iccp2019.com/
https://www.mypadnow.com/iccp2019

Conference

Conference4th International Conference On Counselling, Psychotherapy And Wellness
Number4
LocationChrist University
Country/TerritoryIndia
CityBangalore
Period03/01/201906/01/2019
OtherThe conference, fourth of its kind, seeks to create a platform to share research and practice in counseling and psychotherapy and traditional healing practices within a context of multiculturalism and diversity. The conference is organized by Christ University, Bangalore in association with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education(OISE)(University of Toronto), Center for Intercultural Studies, University of Verona and Society for Integrating Traditional Healing into Counselling Psychology, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry (SithCp3).
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