What You Should Know About Living Together Before Marriage

What You Should Know About Living Together Before Marriage

What You Should Know About Living Together Before Marriage

Does cohabiting before marriage work?

Studies now show that about half of all marriages will be preceded by periods of cohabitation. This is now fast becoming a norm rather than the exception, as many young people will cohabit with, at least, one romantic partner before they settle down.

Many factors contribute to the appeal of cohabitation as an option for the prosecution of romantic relationships. For one thing, it makes some financial sense against the backdrop of recent world economic conditions, with the sharing of bills and all.

The disillusionment and fear that many young people now have towards marriage, the increase in ambition for career fulfillment (especially among women), and wider availability of birth control are contributing factors to the rise in the trend of cohabiting.

Aside from the above, many cohabit in endeavours to narrow down the chances of divorce after marriage. This is based on a belief that living with someone before marriage will help you find out if you both get along and, ultimately build marriages less prone to divorce

The evidence on ground have widely proven this expectation to be wrong. Many couples who cohabited before marriage (many of them, for many long years) still ended up divorced. No clear reasons are attributable to the “cohabitation effect” but one thing is certain; cohabitation doesn’t really help in forging a stronger marriage.

There are a few factors which could make some cohabitation projects become relationship sinkers:

Undefined Cohabiting

Many couples in their 20s just kind of slide into cohabiting; they’re spending a lot of time together and they (think that they) really like each other. No real thoughts about what it means and no real commitments about where and how far either party is willing to take it.

A Difference of Agenda

Many slide into cohabiting without any clear cut definition of what the collective expectation should be. This creates a situation where each party has different expectations. For instance, while one may view it as edging closer to marriage or greater commitment, the other might see it as a testing period with no real change to the status-quo, and the options still being open.

This kind of imbalance is bound to have negative effects as both parties will end up relating differently to and expecting differently from the relationship. if and when such situations end in marriage, there is a high likelihood that one party is reluctantly involved while the other may be exhausted from over-performance. manipulation and over-investment. The marriage then isn’t starting on a good note.

An Under-Valuing of the Cohabitation Investment

Cohabitation is already a kind of marriage. Many say that they want to first cohabit so as to get to know each other better before the big step into marriage. Cohabitation, however, is already a big step.

if you really think about it, it’s practically on the same emotional and psychological demand level as marriage; which is why it shouldn’t be done carelessly. Sure, many start out saying that anyone who is no longer satisfied in the relationship can walk out at any time, but it never really happens that way, does it? Why? Probably because cohabitors will, most of the time, go into it wanting it to work out, just as in a marriage.

The months or years of living together will very quickly go from “seeing how it goes” to “making it work”. and by the time, they are getting married, it’s more about making sure that all the effort put into the relationship doesn’t go to waste than it is about taking any new step forward.

The Solution….

Well, in my opinion, cohabitation requires the same clarity of purpose as marriage. Each person’s intention and level of commitment must be clearly and fully spelled out. Cohabitation seems to work better when it’s a deliberate step towards committed partnership and marriage. And when you think of it like this, doesn’t it make sense to ask; “why not just get married?”

What You Should Know About Living Together Before Marriage