By Straight Male Friend Marcus Osborne for GalTime.com
Periodically, I meet people who still hold fast to the idea of not living with your significant other unless there's a wedding addendum attached to the live-in love agreement. Now personally, I don't care one way or the other if a couple decides to "play house."
There are some definite old-schoolers, traditionalists, and religious types who, in no uncertain terms will not go for "living in sin." Ever. If I ever get married again there's no way I'm not moving in with her first.
There's no amount of sleepovers that come close to duplicating the day-to-day rigors of life with another human being sleeping next to you each evening. No plurality of extended vacations matches the daily grind of working through financial decisions big and small. And let's not forget the wealth of easily concealed habits that conspire to drive one to stand up and say, "Hi, my name is Marcus…and I'm an alcoholic."
Let's keep it real…when you live with someone, you sometimes discover how little you actually know about them and then you have to figure out how to make your dysfunctions work with their dysfunctions..
Maybe I'm crazy for wanting my daughter to live with her fiance (years from now I pray!) for at least a year before they decide to lock it down. Rather her discover that the guy is a d-bag before the paperwork is done. If she's living with him, she can just walk out…if she's married to that joker…I might have to pull a Suge Knight to extricate her from the situation.
Related: Are You Unrealistic About Romance?
And Daddy doesn't want to do that. (For the cool-impaired, please google "Suge Knight")
Here are some facts pulled up about cohabitation:
- Living together is considered to be more stressful than being married.
- Just over 50% of first cohabiting couples ever get married.
- In the United States and in the UK, couples who live together are at a greater risk for divorce than non-cohabiting couples.
- Couples who lived together before marriage tend to divorce early in their marriage. If their marriage last seven years, then their risk for divorce is the same as couples who didn't cohabit before marriage.
- In France and Germany cohabiting couples have a slightly lower risk of divorce.
- If cohabitation is limited to a person's future spouse; there is no elevated risk of divorce.
- In the U.S., cohabiting couples taking premarital education courses or counseling are not at a higher risk for divorce.
So what do you think? Should folks shack up? Wait until marriage? Why should or shouldn't they?
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