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Kim Duncombe takes a family portrait with three of her five kids, Matthew Jr. (from left), Raegen and Kassie; and also her husband, Matthew Duncombe (pictured on iPhone). Matthew spends two weeks at a time away from the family while running pipelines for the booming oil industry in western North Dakota. (Luke Franke / Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald)

Couples work to keep ND oil boom from making their marriages go bust

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Big and bold on the chalkboard in the Duncombes’ family kitchen is a countdown.

It’s in the heart of the home, a place where family members will pass by it countless times a day.

It simply reads: “Days until Dad comes home: 16.”

It will be 16 days — more than two full weeks — before the family of seven is reunited again.

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