Weak Job Market Literally Driving Couples Apart

The recession has thrown a growing number of two-career couples a new challenge in their marriage – geography.

With the economy sagging, job hunts are increasingly taking laid-off workers to different cities from their already employed spouses, according to a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday.

The Journal cites a recent survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas that found 18.2 percent of job hunters relocated for their new jobs in the second quarter of this year – a big jump from 11.4 percent a year ago.

Couple that with Labor Department statistics showing more than half of the country's marriages consisted of two working spouses, and it's easy to see how job hunts present added complications for families with established roots in a given locale.

One couple - Donny Quinones and Elinor Soriano – had to embark on practically separate lives just two months after their wedding, with Quinones moving to Maryland for a three-month contract job while Soriano stayed behind in New Jersey to continue working at a pharmaceuticals-communications company.

Soriano said she would consider moving down to Maryland if her husband had long-term job security, but even then, it would be difficult to give up the stability of her current job for the uncertainty of a weak labor market.

And job hunts aren't the only thing putting distance between families – a depressed housing market adds another layer of complications.

Even when a spouse wants to reunite with their better half in a new city, selling their home delay that for months and sometimes years.

But there are some factors that soften the separation for many – technology like webcams and Internet telephones can keep long-distance spouses in touch like never before, even if it's a poor substitute for actual touching.