A married couple spent 8 months living separately to save the relationship — then moved back in together
- A married couple who spent eight months living apart have finally moved back in together.
- Sana Akhand told Insider that she and her husband Adnan fell into a rut after seven years of marriage.
A married couple who spent eight months living in separate apartments in New York City have moved back in together – but they won't rule out doing it again.
Sana and Adnan Akhand tied the knot in their early twenties and had been living together for just under seven years. Sana, 32, told Insider in February that she and her husband experienced their marriage falling into a rut. In attempts to save their relationship, they decided to live in different homes and manage their finances separately.
Sana said that they envisioned a marriage where they kept their independence; they didn't want to slip into traditional husband and wife roles. But the opposite happened.
Sana's story went viral on TikTok in January in a video she shared that has over 1.5 million views as of Friday. The couple agreed to live apart for a maximum of three years, but they decided to move back in together in June — eight months into the experiement — after he started a new job on the West Coast.
Speaking to Insider from their new rental in Los Angeles, California, Sana said distance made the heart fonder and she wouldn't say no to living apart again.
Adnan, she said, has "changed a lot." On top of appreciating her more, she said he's become "more affectionate and loving." Traditional marriage dynamics can get "stale," she added. Living away from Adnan has reignited their intimacy, passion, and "excitement to be together again."
With their new residency on the west coast, Sana said that they plan to lead a bi-coastal life with homes in New York City and Los Angeles. She is still to the option of living separately once again.
"Part of it makes me wonder if us living together right now is a test," Sana said, noting she is writing a book about women, relationships, and self-love. "Is more space going to make it better and easier? Or is this just a lifestyle that people can and should do?"
She added that the one scenario in which they would stay in the same home long-term is children. "If we did have kids, we would definitely live together full-time," Sana said. "Not doing that alone."
But moving back in together has its challenges, Sana says
After spending months living separately, the process of moving back in together has been "an adjustment," according to Sana.
She explained that at first they were excited to be back together and spent every day with each other. But after three weeks, Sana began to feel "completely depleted" and slipped into old habits, like making Adnan lunch and dinner every day. She said she felt depressed and didn't feel like her usual self.
"I stopped doing all of the things that I learned over the past eight months and said that I would never do again," she said.
She and Adnan decided to set up "boundaries" so that they each had independent time. Sana said that she wanted more time alone and with her own friends.
"Monday to Thursday, we do our own thing," she said. When Adnan works late, she said she takes those days to pursue her hobbies of painting and drawing.
Weekends they spend together.
"Friday night, we're cooking dinner together; Saturdays, the phones are away," she said.
While it's not easy to distance yourself from the person you love, Sana said she is "actively making sure I don't make him my entire world."
Another challenge has been reconciling with members of her family who she said don't understand why she and Adnan lived apart. She added that family members were swayed by the negative opinions of strangers commenting about their lifestyle on social media.
"They let what other people were saying get to them," Sana said. "Coming up against societal norms is going to make people uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it."
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