While living together may have short-term advantages, it comes at a high long-term cost. Living together is an easy way to "try out" the relationship before committing to marriage. While the idea of "test driving" a car before you buy it is a good idea, it doesn't apply to marriage. Living together is basically a "pretend marriage" and nothing like the real thing.
Today the picture is quite different. Why has living together before marriage become so common? There are several reasons. The first, of course, is the overall secularization of culture. Living together before marriage naturally signals that a couple is sleeping together before marriage — a violation of the religious proscription against premarital sex.
Other reasons for the increase in cohabitation rates are more practical. For example, couples often cite the economic benefit — sharing rent, utilities, furniture, etc.
The most popular reason couples decide to live together before marriage, however, is to test their compatibility in the long run — particularly in regards to marriage. Having often grown up as the products of divorce, men and women alike have come to see cohabitation as a low-risk, low-cost way to test out a marriage-like relationship and avoid the pitfalls of their parents.
Does the evidence support that premise? Answers to this question are often given in unsatisfactory ways. Those with a religious agenda frequently cherry-pick older studies that cast cohabitation in a negative light, while ignoring recent research that offers a more positive take.
Yet the proponents of living together can be too dismissive of the significant data which casts doubt on the benefits of cohabitation, instead relying on anecdotal evidence of its positive and protective effect.
The reality, as usual, is a bit more nuanced than most people recognize. The available evidence, in fact, challenges the views of both the pro and con camps. Yet, almost a dozen studies conducted since the s have shown the very opposite outcome — that cohabitation prior to marriage is linked to lower marital happiness and stability and a higher chance of divorce.
The cohabitation effect was thus an issue of correlation, rather than causation. Nonetheless, as cohabitation has become more common, and been picked up by a broader and more conventional swath of the population, its negative impact on divorce has indeed declined, and even disappeared.
A recent study that analyzed only those couples that had been married sincefound no link between cohabitation before marriage and instability afterward. As one researcher sums it up: During the cohabitation period, a pattern of partial commitment, even if subconscious, becomes ingrained, and then is carried over into married life.Large majorities of married, non-married and cohabiting couples believe that having and raising children without being married is fine and that living together before marriage may help prevent divorce.
Great News About Living Together Before Marriage. A new study calls into question all those depressing stats you've heard about its leading to divorce.
Recommended Posts. Alternative to FEGLI Option B. Recent Posts. Alcoholism and Verbal Abuse; Hyponatremia and Alcoholism. Millions of couples are living together before marriage in this modern world and it’s safe to say that you won’t look weird if you decide not to wait until your marriage.
I t’s time we stop worrying about old ideals and take a step where we have the power to control our own lives. Living Together Before Marriage: Part 2 November 18, by Dr. Diana Kirschner 1 Comment In Part 1 of living together we looked at the transformed social landscape, a place in which the number of people living together had surpassed those who were married.
It is known that one out of two marriages will end in divorce. According to Dr. Harley, in “Living together before Marriage”, eighty-five percent of the divorced couples were cohabitating before marriage, otherwise known as: living together.