Divorce vs. Long-Term Separation I recently learned that a cousin by marriage has relatives who never divorced. They just have lived separate lives for about 30 years now. Both husband and wife have gone on to have a second family with new people and everyone is fine with this. Obviously this is none of my business; but I am puzzled as to why one would want to remain married to someone you clearly no longer love. What happens with health insurance and wills? Technically your legal spouse is entitled to that. Then again in some states after 7 years you are considered to have a common law marriage. Does this make the people involved bigamists? I'm sure some of you have been in, or are currently involved in a situation like this and I am really curious as to why. What do you gain by staying married to one person while living a completely separate life with another?