Thursday, February 26, 2009
Living Together Before Marriage
I had this question asked to me at a party recently, and my viewpoints totally started a firestorm of controversy. Personally I have no problem with Cohabitation, it's worked out great for me, and if I could do it all over again with Norio, I definitely would (but I would pick the apartment next time;).
Everyone else in the group was vehemently against it. The population was a group of uber-religious Christians, so maybe that was a skewed demographic. But I do want to test the opinions out there.What do you think of cohabiting? Do you think it helps or breaks the relationship?
I moved in with Norio a year after we started dating. He was the first guy I ever moved in with and it seemed the natural step in our relationship. Of course there was some conflict, for example, I'm a night-owl and he's a day bird...but as we adjusted our habits, gave each other space, respect and communication we were able to successfully navigate the waters.
I wouldn't marry someone that I hadn't lived with first. You never really get to know someone until you are in their face 24/7. You are forced by the closeness to develop a deeper intimate relationship; and when you have conflict, you have to deal with it (instead of each person going to their own apartments and then ignoring the issue later on). You find out things about the other person that you never really knew, things that might be dealbreakers for you in the future. You figure out how to manage money, cooking and household tasks and what you each think your gender roles and expectations are. Sure, you could do this in the first year of marriage, but what if you move in with your new husband and absolutely hate living with him? What do you do then?
Studies claim that couples that cohabit don't often make it to the altar (about 42% don't eventually get married.) I think that's a good thing, because they realized sooner rather than later that they weren't compatible and broke up. Better they split while they were cohabiting then after marriage, joint mortgage and a passel of kids.
The group also claimed that studies show that people that cohabit don't get married ever. While they were throwing inane statistics around, they also said that cohabitation leads to early divorce (before the 3 year mark of the marriage).
It's interesting because while Googling these supposed facts (which most are touted by other religious 'living together is a sin' groups), I came across a bunch of other facts that they didn't even realize.
- In France and Germany cohabiting couples have a slightly lower risk of divorce. So maybe the divorce in the US is a cultural thing versus because of cohabitation. After all, we live in a disposable society, with a belief in starter marriages, quickie weddings and Vegas hookups. America thrives on the premise of instant satisfaction, and many people don't take into account that a relationship takes real work.
- If cohabitation is limited to a person's future spouse, there is no elevated risk of divorce. Take that! So as long as he's the right guy, there isn't a risk of divorce. I wouldn't move in with a guy that I didn't think was the right guy anyway!
- In the U.S., cohabiting couples taking premarital education courses or counseling are not at a higher risk for divorce. So the reasons cohabiting couples divorced probably wasn't related to the Cohabitation but related to the fact that they were unable to navigate communication, trust and respect issues; a foundation that everyone knows is intrinsic to any good relationship. Counseling is an asset to any serious relationship.
The group also went into the whole Sex Before Marriage thing (which is a post for another day *roll-eyes*).So what do you think about Cohabitation? Would you ever do it? Have you done it? What has happened in your relationship when you shacked up? Was it worse, better or about the same. Do dish.
Labels: Girl Talk, Relationship issues
Posted by Vixen @ 4:21 AM ::
10 trainees letting it rip!
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