Brad Falchuk and Gwyneth Paltrow

Brad Falchuk and Gwyneth Paltrow attend a ceremony honoring Ryan Murphy with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 04, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Could Separate Homes Be The Key To A Successful Marriage?

Local doctor disagrees with actress' coach

June 11, 2019 - 5:23 pm

(WWJ) Could separate homes be the key to a successful marriage?

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that she and her husband of five months live together only about four days per week, each with children from previous relationships.

While Paltrow's intimacy coach advised her that living apart will help her relationship fresh, Birmingham psychiatrist Dr. Howard Belkin, who specializes in marriage and family counseling, disagrees.

He says living together under one roof is the crucial to building a strong relationship.

"You're trying to build intimacy, not just between the parents, but a closeness between the parents and the children," he told WWJ's Dr. Deanna Lites, "whether they're both your children or some are from one spouse, some are from the other." 

Dr. Belkin says when you're not always together you never learn to compromise or deal with conflict.

"Part of having a real mature adult relationship is being able to fix your problems by staying together," he said. "If you each have your own place and you know that if something goes wrong you're only gonna see this person for a couple of days, being able to get away so quickly and so easily kinda destroys that forced intimacy that you have to have." 

When kids are involved, Belkin added, he doesn't think the separate homes setup sends the right message.