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?
I absolutely disagree with living together before you are married. This is completely because of my religion. If I had no religion, I can see how this would benefit a relationship, however, I believe that this is completely wrong. No if's, and's, or but's about it.
My husband and I waited until we were married before moving in together and I have to say that I am SO glad we did. People who say you don't truly know someone until you live with them are mistaken. We've been married for over 3 years and each day gets better and better. Not living with him prior had absolutely no effect on how well I knew him. I have several friends who did the same thing as us and would agree 100%. Getting married and being newlyweds was so much fun for us because it was all so new and exciting. Based on what I've seen with people I know, it seems that those who DO move in together end up having relationship problems and there just seems to be a lack of commitment on one end or the other. A lot of the excitement dies down and there's not much reason to even get married anymore. The pursuing of one another stops and the dating stops. On the other side I do have to say that I've seen things go great as well. I'm just speaking from personal experience and opinion. Obviously, it's to each their own.
I have not been married, but my fiance has been he is 10 years older than me and has 2 daughters. Living together before we get married has probably been the best thing for us. It let us know what we were getting our selves into, I'm 22 and living with a 10 year old and 8 year old who are going to be my stepdaughters getting to know their ways and his ways prior to marrage has been a real eye opener. I love my fiance and his daughters with my entire heart, I think it would have been more of a shock to all of us if we got married, moved in, became stepmom, this eased everything one step at at time. Its not for everyone, if you love each other you can make anything happen.
The first time i was married we lived together first for a year, young 19 we got married 12 years later divorced. Now married to my ex-husband's best friend we are happily married with two kids and lived together at first to. I think it just depends on the couples willingness to belong together, not who has lived with who and how long. You've got to both make it want to last.
My husband and I have been together for 18 years. We lived together for the first 7 years of our relationship and have been married for the last 11 years. I love him more today than ever. I think living together was a wonderful experience and would do it again. I think the thing that worked for us was that we took both living together and marriage as serious commitments and approached them that way. We didn't use living together as a "trial" for marriage. More we loved each other and it was a natural step/progression in our relationship. Since neither of us wanted children, there was less "pressure" to get married, and we did it when the time was right for us and we wanted to continue to grow in our relationship in a new way- e.g. we had finished school, found our professions, and were on the verge of purchasing our first home vs. a rental.
I believe moving in together, at the right point in a relationship of course, is very important for a couple. Learning each others habits in the home, roles they take on or choose not to, and being around them for more than few hours or days at a time will tell a lot about your relationship and how you may survive during marriage. You may also learn a few things you don't already know about your partner, good or bad, such as they are an amazing chef or they leave the toilet seat up ;)
I BELIEVE MOVING IN TOGETHER COULD MAKE R BREAK UR RELASHIONSHIP. EITHER UR BOTH READY R UR BOTH NOT. AND WHEN THINGS COME TO A HEAD THEN TIME WLL TELL. BEING IN THE SAME LIVING ENVIRONMENT WITH SOMEONE COULD ALTER THEIR COMFORT ZONE. NO MATTER HOW MANY EGGSHELLS EACH OF WALK ON, THINGS WILL COME TO A BOILING HEAD. THEN THE TIME WILL TELL IF UR BOTH COMMITTED ENOUGH TO PUT SOME PERSONAL DIFFERENCES ASIDE TO ACCOMIDATE EACH OTHER.IF U HONESTLY PUT THEM ASIDE U WILL EITHER LIVE IT MISERABLE R SPLIT. IF U AGREE, BUT N UR HEAD SAY HMMM WATEVA. U PROBABLY WILL ROLL URSELF RITE INTO MARRIAGE.
I think that couples that are thinking marriage is the next step should move in together, but in the same right you do not truly know someone until you live with them. Dating is different than living together. You never find out the annoying things until you do, at which point you either learn to live with it or you don't. I would much rather learn those things before I walk down the aisle.
I don't understand why living together before marriage would create higher divorce rates.
I personally will not live with my boyfriend until I'm at least engaged. I don't think there's anything wrong with it but it's a personal choice. I feel the way I do more so because of the "why buy the cow" mentality.
I have no problem with a couple moving in together. That could be because over 33 years ago, my husband and I moved in together. We lived together for three years before we had one child, a son, who we raised together all those years. Finally in 1989, we decided to get married and we have been happily married ever since. Has it changed us? No. Did it make a difference to live together or get married first? I think at times we may have given up if we had been married but we knew we didn't have any legal ties and if we walked out that door that was it. So I think we worked harder because we knew that once we gave up there would be no turning back. Our son is now 30 years old and living on his own and we are married and enjoying married life together. It is a personal decision that each couple has to make between themselves. If they can be comfortable living together without that "license" then go ahead do it and when you are ready you will know.
Personally, I think living together first is a great idea. My husband and I lived together for 3 years before we got married, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. I will also encourage my children to do the same. That said, you do have to make responsible choices when making such a huge decision. I don't think every couple should live together, only those seriously considering marriage. We knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together, so it just made sense to move in together. Honestly, getting married didn't change anything except my last name and how we filed our taxes. Marriage is a state of mind that can exist with or without a legal piece of paper. If you're not at the point you need to be in your relationship, it won't matter if you live together first or not.
A recent study found that if the only person you live with before getting married is the person you end up marrying, you're actually LESS likely to get divorced. But if you live with more significant others than just the one you end up marrying, you are MORE likely to get divorced. So previous studies are really old wive's tales in some cases.
I think that by the time you are ready to commit to being married, you should know each other so well that it wouldn't matter if you've lived together or not!
I think you should only live together if you have a wedding date and will be married.
wow, such a variety of responses! my children are 21 and 23 and i wholeheartedly encourage them to live together before committing to be married. if i had lived with their father, we would never have married - we divorced after 11 years but should have much earlier. there were things i would never have known about him before sharing space. and vacations together don't count because you are in a fantasy land for that week - no concerns about work, schedules, bills, $$ . . . i am now in my 13th year with my current husband and still amazingly happy. ironically, he traveled so much our first year of marriage we hardly lived together!!