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Moving In Together, Is It A Good Move?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 08.21.08
Moving In Together, Is It A Good Move?
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Ever since people started moving in with each other before marriage, researchers have been studying the effects. Years ago the idea of an unwed couple living together made many people uncomfortable and raised quite a few eyebrows.

Today, the idea of couples cohabitating has become a lot more common. According to a report by the National Marriage Project at New Jersey's Rutgers University more than half of couples in their first marriages lived together beforehand.

Reports that came out some 20 and 25 years ago revealed negative effects of living with a significant other before marriage. The divorce rate proved to be substantially higher than those who did not live together before marriage. Researchers today believe this was due to the fact that cohabitating couples back then were considered the rebels and may have not been interested in marriage to begin with.

As living together before marriage becomes more common, the more important it is for couples to discuss this exciting next step in their relationship. A recent CNN article discusses a few important things that couples should consider before taking the plunge. First, the reason for moving in together should be understood by both partners. Decide together whether this is the next step toward marriage or you are just doing it out of convenience and financial need.

Lee Richey, a marriage and family therapist, says a couple should ask themselves if they are going to truly commit to each other's well being on every level. If the answer is no, then they should reconsider the big move. Richey also suggests couples find a new place together rather than moving into their spouses already established place of residence. This will help to make the couple feel equal ownership over the space.

What do you think of moving in with a partner before marriage?

In what ways do you think this move could benefit or hurt a committed couple?

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  • didama By didama

    I am really of two minds on this. While, I think its ok for a couple to move in together before marriage, I don't think it helps make the marriage a stronger one if they do marry. I don't think couples should move in together if they are doing it to see how married life would be. The fact that you live together before does not mean you will feel the same way after marriage. Marriage is forever (or at least its supposed to be "death do us part") and therefore, completely changes the living together dynamic once you are married. The escape doors do not exist. I believe that women should consider whether this is the person you want to be with everyday. If so, then great! But, don't look at moving in together as a testing ground!

  • piano13 By piano13

    I think it's a great idea if there is a decent level of committment. I'm not so sure about doing this in a new relationship. My husband and I lived together for 2.5 years before marrying 31 years ago. We both felt like we really learned about each other, and learned how to negotiate and compromise early in the relationship. Living with a roommate is not the same as living with someone you have a desire to want to live with--it's not just saving $$ that brings you together. In 1974, when we moved in together, it was not an accepted practice, and we hesitated mightily about telling our parents. When we did, there was not easy acceptance, but when they could see we were happy, and we were going to make a long-term commitment to living together, they came around. It worked for me, and at that time in Calif., the divorce rate was about 60%. We were the only couple of all our friends who did get married after the living together.

  • notanlines211 By notanlines211

    I lived with my husband for 1year before we were married and it was pretty great, it was 11yrs later the trouble began and now its been 26 and still trouble so i don't belive living together makes alot of difference unless the trouble begin earlier.If I had of know that first year what would have happened later I am sure I would have left then.I don't really see it as a testing ground because people change after years not just in a year.

  • southerndiva By southerndiva

    I have been married twice. My first husband and I did not live together before we were married, and our marriage didn't survive the first year. I was terrified of getting married a second time, so when my now husband proposed, I turned him down flat. We lived together for 5 years before we got married, and it was the best decision for us. But not everyone is the same.

  • jjrolland2003 By jjrolland2003

    My husband and I bought our 1st home 3M before our wedding. I know this wasn't a long time but what I learned was the experience of living with one another did not prepare us for the reality of marriage. In our 4 year courtship we didn't argue at all really including the 3M before the wedding. Once we were married we argued about everything for the 1st 6M or so. I don't feel that living together is a good indicator for married life. My husband and I are about to celebrate 5 years of marriage this fall and 2 kids later we are happy as ever its hard to believe we struggled so much in that 1st 6M. As an additional comment. I've know friends to move in with boyfriends and along the way they've broke up while under the same roof which is very complicated. I hope anyone getting ready to make the "move" would wait for that someone they can see marrying sooner than later.

  • fburke11 By fburke11

    When I was younger, I believed that everyone should live together before they got married. I thought that it was a good idea to learn how the other person lives and determine if they have any quirks that you can't live with forever. I still believe that will work for some people, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. I think if two people are truly committed to staying together forever, not living together before marriage will not lead to the failure of their marriage. I agree that living together is definitely not a testing ground for the way married life will be.

  • familygirl2008 By familygirl2008

    I think this is still a really touchy subject even in 2008. My husband and I lived together before we were married and I really don't think it helped our relationship at all. This is the first marriage for both of us. I moved into his already established home. We have been married for 3 years now and have a 6month old baby and sometimes I still have a hard time thinking in terms of "our things" On one hand I agree with the therapist that mentioned living in a new house instead of moving into a space that was already occupied. On the other hand based on my experience emotionally and financially I would say that living together before hand is just not the way to go. If we could start over I can honestly say that I would have not lived with my husband until after we were married.

  • radsal By radsal

    After 22 yrs of marriage i divorced and now I am living with someone and have for 1 year...i would probably not remarry without having lived with someone. however i don't believe that living together is an absolute but it is an indicator cause even in a 365 day live in arragement you will still see the flaws and know if you are able to live with it.

  • JEM4612 By JEM4612

    I wish that I had lived with my 1st husband before we got married. He said his religion didn't believe in it. If we had lived together, I would have realized that his drinking was every night and not just him "celebrating" our special nights together. My second husband and I lived together for 2.5 yrs before getting married and I think it was the best thing for us. I think many times living together allows the couples to see the other person's bad habits and allows them to decide if those habits are ones they can live with (i.e. he will never clean the bathroom unless asked to versus he drinks 6 beers a night). There have been no "surprises" with my 2nd husband like there was with the 1st one.

  • seajunkie By seajunkie

    I do not believe that couples should live together before marriage. If people are living together before they are married they are not following God's plan for a successful marriage. Marriage is about more than just living with another person, more than documented cohabitation. A marriage is about trust, partnership, and life. Read what 2 Corinthians 13 has to say about love and I think you'll see what I mean. If you are considering living with a boyfriend/girlfriend, determine first if they are a potential spouse. If they are, hold off on moving in together and seriously examine marriage. Maybe even participate in marriage counseling. If you cannot see yourself marrying your partner, then why prolong the relationship? Discuss the situation and then end the relationship because there's something better awaiting both of you.

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