Living Together Before Marriage

In my article “When do You move in Together?” I address the issue of cohabitation in relationships; highlighting things to consider when thinking about moving in together.  But what do the experts say about living together before marriage?  In a recent article done by the New York Times the author highlights surveys and experience.  A survey done by the National Marriage Project gave results that 2/3’s of 20 something year olds believe that living together before they are married is a good way to avoid divorce down the road.

Men and woman have different ideas associated with reasons why they live together. Women typically see it as a step towards marriage, while men tend to view it as a way to test the relationship or to postpone more commitment.  Communication becomes key here; understand each other’s reasons for wanting to move in together.  It is not that cohabitation definitely leads to divorce, but that people who move in together before marriage have less conventional ideas about marriage.   People who cohabited tend to be less satisfied with their marriages. But why?  I believe we just get ahead of ourselves.  We tend to think that enjoying things quicker means that we will enjoy them more.  Studies show that patience and taking time in the relationship yields better results with overall relationship happiness.

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5 comments

  1. AmazinglyBrash

    I don’t believe in marriage (law binding) at all…. I believe love is a faith like your word should be a faith. There isn’t a high commitment than being bonded by words and honoring them without a third party. What is more spiritual than two people having the ability to walk but choosing to stay. Living together is a test like any other…. A couple’s ability to pass every test, will measure how committed they are to one another. People look for so many definites in love (marriage, children, and even bills) but the truth is there isn’t any definites, just two beat heart that will die without one another. I say, the reason people lose their partners is because they live beyond the emotions, they ignore all logic, and they find people to please them as pose to someone they would want to please. Commitment is lost because it is being forced instead of accepted!!!!!

    • Carolina Courtland

      Marriage is much more than just a piece of legal paper. It’s a social, often religious and legally binding committment that changes all kinds of things in one’s life.

      Take for instance: my husband’s family is my family now. If I weren’t married to him, his niece would be nothing to me, merely my boyfriend’s niece. As her aunt, however, if her parents were to die, I would be able to file for custody. As a girlfriend, there’s no way a court in this country would grant me custody.

      And that’s just for starters, I could go on about marriage for pages.

      • AmazinglyBrash

        I agree the legal paper allows you the flexibility to have legal rights…. which in turn gives you the stability of a last name, control of y’all estate (if something was to happen to your husband), and religious notoriety. All those things are earthy….I am talking about the spiritual connection of marriage. Two hearts meeting for the first time and feeling at home in one another…. I am talking two people that commit to one another’s souls. They are bonded and committed to love and live in that commitment until they die or the love dies.

        I don’t know about you but my family is in my heart….I have blood family member that are strangers and I have friends that have been family. We don’t need to be legally bonded to prove we’re family; we know that by how we feel. With that being said, I am not gullible enough to think that without the paper work my family will be as protected in the case of my death….or I can get custody of a partners children before the family without paper work, but the sad truth is that is the only reason I would consider law-binding marriage not because it somehow allows me to for add to my love or makes me feel a strong connection. Actually, I would feel that it lessened “my faith and commitment” because I would have to sign a law contract just to prove my spiritual contract of love truly exist. If a person’s word stops being enough than the spiritual connection of our actions wouldn’t have a narrator!!!!

    • misskjelstrom

      Thank you for the comment. I agree with you that couples must endure and pass tests together. However, as I have pointed out before, April Beyer, shares with us that traditions work. I do believe in the institution of marriage-law binding or not- but I do agree with you that commitment is much more difficult to define.

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