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Living together before marriage

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psaddict

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
105
Hi! I''ve become totally addicted to these boards, and love all the dresses, rings, etc. I''ve been gazing at. However there was one issue that really bothered me that I read several posts on in my browsing/searching of old threads. I just had to say something about it and didn''t want to bump one of the super-old posts. A few people were talking about statistics that showed that couples that live together before marriage are more likely to get divorced. Using this as evidence that people who live together first are just simply more likely to have a bad marriage is crazy! There''s a very simple explanation. The type of person who absolutely does not want to live together even for a month before marriage very likely has some very strong moral convictions, likely because they and/or their family are very religious. So what''s a person like that going to do when their marriage goes sour? Will they look into getting a divorce? Probably not. Again, because of their really strong religious/moral beliefs.

I personally plan to live with my guy before we tie the knot.. and I absolutely want to. I think that if someone doesn''t want to move in with their boyfriend before marriage because they''re afraid the guy will "get comfortable" and never commit to them... maybe that''s not the kind of guy you want to be with anyway. Living together teaches you so much about another person. No matter how in love you are from dating them, living together day in and day out can show you sides of them you never had any idea existed. A friend of mine recently decided to move out of the apartment she and her boyfriend shared, because after living together for a year, she realized that he was completely incapable of picking up after himself, helping with housework, etc., even after she had talked to him and told him he needed to help out many, many times. She hadn''t realized just how bad/messy he was even after 3 years of dating while living apart. Can you imagine if she''d learned about this after marriage?

So... I''m all for living together first. I''m also sure that if I was married and my hubby cheated on me, I would want a divorce. I just wouldn''t be able to look at him the same way if he slept with another woman while we were married, and know I would be miserable!! Meanwhile, someone with really strong religious feelings about marriage & divorce might just grin and bear it, even if they were miserable. So, if that happened to me, I would be adding to the "living together first and later divorced" statistics, while they''d be adding to the "didn''t live together first and now still married" statistics.

Sorry-- this was a little long! Just wanted to get that out, and let all you ladies who lived together before marriage know that you aren''t more likely to have a miserable marriage. You''re just more likely to get out of a miserable marriage if that should ever happen. *knock on wood it doesn''t for anyone here!*

(of course, to each his own, and I don''t mean this to be offensive to those who specifically choose not to live together before marriage! Just saying that our chances of having a happy marriage are equal.
)
 

laine

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
696
Hi psaddict,
Not sure if you saw this thread: https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/cohabitation-statistics.51943/, but some of those topics have been discussed on here. It seems generally accepted that there is some correlation between cohabitation and divorce, but it is spurious, that is both are correlated to other factors, such as less traditional morals (not necessarily religion). It is also fairly accepted that reason for cohabitation is correlated with the likelihood of divorce, that is, couples who cohabit with the intention of marrying are no more likely to divorce than couples who do not cohabit.
 

indecisive

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
1,240
Oh goodness... people should just live thier own lives how things work best for them. Every situation is different and don''t worry how others are doing things!
 

sunshine14

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
247
I''m not going to comment on the religious comments in the original post, but I will give my 2 cents on living together.

It''s different for everyone.

I live with my bf and am very happy that I am. It started out partially out of convenience (moving away to a different city while I went to school) but I''m glad we''ve had the chance. We''ve definitely grown closer, are within 6 months of getting engaged (well..I know....*boy time*), and I think we''ve learned A LOT about eachother.

However, having said that, I don''t think there is anything I''ve learned that would have made me feel upset had we not lived together first and just got married. I''m a big believer in not living together before marriage as a "test". I knew when we moved in that I was sure he was "the one." Granted, I do think there is a difference. When arguments happen as they invariably do, it feels different. When you aren''t married and have a fight about something semi-serious, there is always that sense of "can I deal with this or is this going to be a major problem?" Its not like I think about leaving...its just different. because if we were married, it would be more of a "we have to deal with this because it is not going away."

My sister and her husband did not live together first. Not for religious reasons though. My sister told me that their first year of marriage was difficult in the sense that they were adjusting to living with one another...each persons quirks, levels of cleanliness etc. She said it took about a year to get the kinks worked out, but because they were married, clearly there was never the same "uh oh" feeling that I get once in a while when I argue with my bf!

I feel like I have gone through the "first year adjustments" already. Do I think we have less of a chance of a happy marriage? I hope not! Was this right for me? Definitely. Is it right for everyone? Definitely not. Is he taking longer to propose because we live together...probably!

Ha! So bottom line...I''ve seen the stats, and I don''t necessarily agree or disagree with them...but I don''t live my life by stats so I''m happy with the decision I''ve made. To each their own, right?
 

RoseAngel04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
865
Date: 12/10/2006 10:22:10 AM
Author: indecisive
Oh goodness... people should just live thier own lives how things work best for them. Every situation is different and don''t worry how others are doing things!
I''m with indecisive on this one....

FI and I won''t be living together before marriage, but that''s just US. People should live their lives the way the see fit and according to their own beliefs.
 

snlee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
5,891
I think the most important question is why you want to live together. I feel like living together before marriage is ok IF you are in a committed relationship and you both have discussed where the relationship is going. If you are going to be engaged in the near future or engaged then living together before marriage isn't a bad thing. However, ultimately, it really depends on each couple.

psaddict, I started a thread about this a few years ago. You can find it here.
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
227
i think that living together before marriage ends up in higher divorce rates because when you disagree on issues and have some pet peeves, disagreements, etc as the result of living together... you are more likely to carry all those issues and disagreements, etc over into your marriage at the get go. unlike if you haven't been living together before, you don't have the stressful issues at the start of your marriage. who wants to start their marriage with stress and grudges about living issues? that can't be good. i thiink that marriage is supposed to be about accepting each other with faults and learning about those faults and embracing them instead of carrying pre-grudges about someones habits before you get married. i say living together before marriage is a bad idea especially since i think that your marriage is stronger when you have get used to living with someone after you get hitched because you are adjusting together and communicating together whereas people who live together may be too comfortable and they won't have any sense of change in their relationship from live in to married. strong relationships can deal with any disagreement through communicating and don't need to live together to see what another person is like in order to see if they can live together in a marriage. marriage is about accepting a person and loving them regardless of their habits even if you have had no prior knowledge of it.... living together before marriage is a fairly new in our society and i think thats what is also bringing the divorce rates up or at least contributing to it as some research studies have shown. better communication does not result from living together. good communication comes from good, healthy relationships. marriage does not mean living together. marriage is a life long commitment that is more than living together. if you go into marriage thinking marriage is just living together, your marriage has a high chance of failing. marriage its putting the other person before you in all aspects (socially, emotionally, physically, financially, pyschologically) of you life for your entire lives.

i know that if i lived with my fiance before we got married, and he saw how i lived, he would not want to marry me.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
I take statistics with a BIG handful of salt because it''s pretty much impossible to get an absolutely positive statistic. I think it just depends on the people in the relationship as someone said before. For me, I would never marry someone without living with them first because an important part of a relationship is learning to work your problems out, and a lot of things come to the surface when you live together. I think it is better to live together and learn to live together amicably before marriage because what happens if you get married, move in, and then realize that you just CANNOT live with someone? You never know until you try it, and marriage is supposed to be for life, so I think you should do everything possible to prepare for that commitment in advance.

*M*
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Date: 12/10/2006 10:22:10 AM
Author: indecisive
Oh goodness... people should just live thier own lives how things work best for them. Every situation is different and don''t worry how others are doing things!
3460875% in agreement! It''s been completely disproven that the actual experience of cohabiting prior to marriage has any increasing effect whatsoever on the chances of divorcing later, that it only has to do with the likelihood of those two people to divorce at ALL (whether they lived together first or not).

People rely too heavily on stats to tell them what to do. 38% of couples that cohabit break up or divorce. Does that mean you shouldn''t cohabit? Only if the fact that 43% of marriages OVERALL end in divorce means that you shouldn''t ever get married.
(which I have yet to see argued on PS, while cohabiting remains this "hot topic")

If we wanna play the stats game... anyone notice that:
~~the divorce rate is 5% LOWER among couples that cohabit than those that don''t? While that''s almost negligible, it''s still lower.
~~Plus, the rate of pre-marriage cohabitation has gone from only 30% in 1980 to 85% in 2005--all while the divorce rate has remained completely stagnant since the mid-80''s. That would be another clue that more cohabitation is NOT equating more divorce.


...Can you tell I just took a final exam on this exact subject two days ago?
haha


P.S. If you want the sources for those stats, they''re all from the following academic journals/books that I used to write a term paper on this a couple of weeks ago. Do not trust the internet for statistics, anyone can write ANYTHING and publish it online as "fact."

Journal of Marriage and the Family
American Sociological Review
vol. 53(1)
Demography
vol. 42
Population: An English Selection
vol. 9
Law & Social Inquiry
vol. 23(1)
The Future of Children
vol. 15(2)
Continuity and Change in the American Family by Lynne Casper (my professor)
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 12/10/2006 10:58:30 AM
Author: sunshine14
.

However, having said that, I don''t think there is anything I''ve learned that would have made me feel upset had we not lived together first and just got married. I''m a big believer in not living together before marriage as a ''test''. I knew when we moved in that I was sure he was ''the one.'' Granted, I do think there is a difference. When arguments happen as they invariably do, it feels different. When you aren''t married and have a fight about something semi-serious, there is always that sense of ''can I deal with this or is this going to be a major problem?'' Its not like I think about leaving...its just different. because if we were married, it would be more of a ''we have to deal with this because it is not going away.''
I completely agree with this. That''s why I think it''s possible that people who live together before marriage may not actually make it down the aisle. They can''t get past that tough first year because there is a lot of "can I deal with this?" going on.

I would have possibly made a break for it with my own live in situation...except that it was very difficult since he was from Australia and would have had a very difficult time moving out (no credit here). We were forced to work through it. But I definitely felt doubts about our relationship if we had a bad argument. Now if we had the same argument, I''d take it more in stride because I made the decision to marry him til death do us part.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 12/10/2006 6:30:01 PM
Author: TravelingGal
That's why I think it's possible that people who live together before marriage may not actually make it down the aisle.

I may be in the minority, but I actually think that this is a good thing. A lot of couples divorce or separate over issues that they had had since the beginning, that they thought they could work through, but once the "newness" wears off they decide it's not worth it. I would rather have people living together, finding out there are "little things" that bug them too much to deal and decide not to tie the knot than people marrying and THEN discovering those little things and divorcing 5, 10, 15 years down the road once there are children and families and careers involved.

ETA:That said, I completely 100% support people not living together before, if that's what's right for them. I just don't like to hear arguments against cohabitating citing a higher divorce rate amongst those who do live together, because it simply is not the case.
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 24, 2003
Messages
1,678
Date: 12/10/2006 6:18:23 PM
Author: musey

People rely too heavily on stats to tell them what to do. 38% of couples that cohabit break up or divorce. Does that mean you shouldn''t cohabit? Only if the fact that 43% of marriages OVERALL end in divorce means that you shouldn''t ever get married.
(which I have yet to see argued on PS, while cohabiting remains this ''hot topic'')
And that''s the real issue, isn''t it....so many marriages end up in divorce, period! I actually thought the divorce rate overall was closer to 50%. You always hear "one out of every two marriages" ends up in divorce. Has it gone down from 50% or was it not really that high to begin with?

Some neighbor friends and I were discussing this a little while ago. We were wondering why, if the divorce rate is so high, most people in our neighborhood are married couples in first marriages, not remarried or divorced. I mean, if approx. half of all marriages end in divorce (that''s what we thought anyway), then how come in our neighborhood there''s only two remarriages and one divorcee out of over 20 couples? Are we just a special neighborhood to have a 15% rate? Or is it only a matter of time before 7 more couples eventually split up? I once read that the divorce rate is skewed by people who tend to marry/divorce more than once but I don''t know how true that is. But yeah, the bottom line is who really cares as far as what it says about their own marriage? My husband and I are either going to stay together or not, regardless of what the other couples are doing!
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
227
yeah, but thats what marriage is all about. its about working issues out and accepting someone as they are regardless into your life and adapting to their way of living and working out problems and still maintaining love and respect for each other that you (plural) vowed under god. to me, personally, in my opinion, i think that living together before marriage is cheating in certain aspects because you shouldn''t have to live with a person to find out by living together whether or not you should marry them. you marry for love, not for dusting or dirty laundry or clutter. besides, you (plural) learn about habits even without living with a person. to me, because i feel strongly against living together before marriage, because its pretty shallow and insecure if dirty laundry or clutter or ocd cleaning determines compatability or whether or not you will love a person. i have much more respect for couples who start out fresh and continually work together despite differences. and i''ll say again, in my opinion, you (plural_ are starting your marriage off with so much stress if you carry over pet peeves you knew about before you got married. everyone has their faults, and no one is ever going to be the perfect human being and no one is going to live exactly the way you live. no one is ever going to live up to your expectations, and you (plural) can''t expect a person, even if you live together, to meet that ideal. if you live that way, no one will ever be the love of your life cause they won''t be perfect enough. why let the love of your life go if he can''t make the bed every morning?

as a born-again christian, i believe that marriage is about two different people coming together and communicating despite differences and faults and ways of lifestyle. marriage teaches you about sacrifices and you learn and accept a person and love a person UNCONDITIONALLY, whereas living together before marriage does not because living together for the first time after marriage bounds you by the marital vows of for better or worse as long as you both shall live even if you hate him/her soo much when he can''t make the bed in the morning but you still love the person at the end of the day because thats what you vowed. i think that living together prior marriage in my opinion, would give a couple complacency because they would still hate the person at the end of the day cause he can''t make the bed, and you don''t have the new sense of change and respect in your relationship and love that you vowed under god at the end of the day.

its not just statistics, but *research studies/case studies* have reported that living together before marriage isn''t good.

i don''t know if my arguement is clear, but i say don''t do it!!!!
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 6:36:47 PM
Author: musey

I may be in the minority, but I actually think that this is a good thing. A lot of couples divorce or separate over issues that they had had since the beginning, that they thought they could work through, but once the ''newness'' wears off they decide it''s not worth it. I would rather have people living together, finding out there are ''little things'' that bug them too much to deal and decide not to tie the knot than people marrying and THEN discovering those little things and divorcing 5, 10, 15 years down the road once there are children and families and careers involved.
I agree with you. This is exactly how I see it... only you worded it a lot better than I would have, I''m sure!

*M*
 

goldenstar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
1,045
I also agree that everyone is different and whats best for one person is not best for another. Thats why I kinda don''t see the point about debating this because there is no right answer. That being said...

I don''t plan to live with my BF until we are at least engaged. I''m traditional in that way and it''s just my own choice. I want to have something to look forward to, setting up a home/living together, so that marriage will feel more special to me.

As for your example about your friend who moved out because her BF was too messy, here is my take: I COMPLETELY understand how that would be extremely frustrating and would cause a lot of stress. However, for me being messy is not a "deal-breaker", or a serious character flaw. If your friend moved out because of her BF''s habits, maybe there was not enough of anything else to keep her in the relationship. If I was with an amazing man (which I am
) messy habits are not going to make me leave him. There are ways to get over that type of problem (counseling helps, or getting a housekeeper?haha). The kinks of living together can be worked out, so for me its okay if I find out about them after marriage. Sure, you will see a side of your partner that you never knew existed, but ideally you will already know the most important things, e.g. goals, values, feelings about children etc.. If you move in together after marriage and learn things that make you want to leave, maybe you didn''t know each other well enough to get married in the first place.

I also don''t feel that living together is always an accurate "test" to see how marriage would be, because without marriage there is usually an exit clause in your head. If you''re not married, its easier to say "I cant take this" and leave. But if you''re married you should be saying "We have a problem, and we''re in this together so how are we gonna fix it?". In the first scenario, people might be thinking "okay, we are just testing things out to see if it will work. if it doesn''t work, then i can leave." but if you''re married its more like "leaving is not an option. the only option is talking about it and finding a solution." I think that if you are living together before marriage its easier to pick up bad habits because there is less of a pull toward developing problem solving skills. Then these bad habits continue into the marriage.

Also adding to the divorce statistics are the couples who shouldn''t get married but do because they are comfortable and want to keeps things the way they are. These people would be getting married for the wrong reason and thus would be more likely to divorce.

Millions of happy couples lived together before marriage. What it comes down to is the couple themselves
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Date: 12/10/2006 6:39:18 PM
Author: Maria D
And that's the real issue, isn't it....so many marriages end up in divorce, period! I actually thought the divorce rate overall was closer to 50%. You always hear 'one out of every two marriages' ends up in divorce. Has it gone down from 50% or was it not really that high to begin with?
There was a jump in the '70s when no-fault divorce was made legal, because a lot of unhappy couples were not comfortable placing blame... so they just stayed married. Once "Irreconcilable Differences" was added to the list of acceptable reasons for divorcing, the rate jumped up to almost 60% for about two years.

After that (in the '80s) it leveled off to around 46%, and now it's at 43% (relatively stagnant but still lower than it's been since the mid-'70s).


Are we just a special neighborhood to have a 15% rate? Or is it only a matter of time before 7 more couples eventually split up? I once read that the divorce rate is skewed by people who tend to marry/divorce more than once but I don't know how true that is.
This is actually still a mystery (according to my professor, anyway)! I think it depends largely on your region of the country... I grew up in rural Illinois where the divorce rate was very low, but here in LA about half of the people I know have divorced parents. I would think that the number of people who marry/divorce multiple times isn't large enough to skew the statistics of the entire nation, but I could be wrong! I'd be inclined to think that it's more that the large cities (with their temptations and economic strains) are skewing the results of the more "normal" areas to live.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 6:41:19 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
yeah, but thats what marriage is all about. its about working issues out and accepting someone as they are regardless into your life and adapting to their way of living and working out problems and still maintaining love and respect for each other that you (plural) vowed under god. to me, personally, in my opinion, i think that living together before marriage is cheating in certain aspects because you shouldn''t have to live with a person to find out by living together whether or not you should marry them. you marry for love, not for dusting or dirty laundry or clutter. besides, you (plural) learn about habits even without living with a person. to me, because i feel strongly against living together before marriage, because its pretty shallow and insecure if dirty laundry or clutter or ocd cleaning determines compatability or whether or not you will love a person. i have much more respect for couples who start out fresh and continually work together despite differences. and i''ll say again, in my opinion, you (plural_ are starting your marriage off with so much stress if you carry over pet peeves you knew about before you got married. everyone has their faults, and no one is ever going to be the perfect human being and no one is going to live exactly the way you live. no one is ever going to live up to your expectations, and you (plural) can''t expect a person, even if you live together, to meet that ideal. if you live that way, no one will ever be the love of your life cause they won''t be perfect enough. why let the love of your life go if he can''t make the bed every morning?

as a born-again christian, i believe that marriage is about two different people coming together and communicating despite differences and faults and ways of lifestyle. marriage teaches you about sacrifices and you learn and accept a person and love a person UNCONDITIONALLY, whereas living together before marriage does not because living together for the first time after marriage bounds you by the marital vows of for better or worse as long as you both shall live even if you hate him/her soo much when he can''t make the bed in the morning but you still love the person at the end of the day because thats what you vowed. i think that living together prior marriage in my opinion, would give a couple complacency because they would still hate the person at the end of the day cause he can''t make the bed, and you don''t have the new sense of change and respect in your relationship and love that you vowed under god at the end of the day.

its not just statistics, but *research studies/case studies* have reported that living together before marriage isn''t good.

i don''t know if my arguement is clear, but i say don''t do it!!!!
I can understand your argument, although I disagree. Living together, as you said, isn''t about the dirty laundry or the bed making, but about meshing your lives. And some people just can''t do this very well, no matter how much they love each other. Although I see that you are saying, if they love each other they WILL find a way to make it work. I guess I just think that life is so unpredictable that it is wise for a couple to understand what living together will be like. DH and I moved in together about four months before our wedding and it was one of the best things we ever did. We learned almost instantly how to solve our problems and work through cleaning issues (as you mentioned, haha). And our marriage is extremely strong because of this. But some people just aren''t so lucky and they realize after that they don''t love this person enough to compromise and then they end up being stuck in a marriage that they can''t get out of. And I think this happens because people don''t understand exactly everything that marriage entails. But I think the safest thing for any couple is to do what makes both comfortable. If everyone did that, I bet cohabitating or not cohabitating would make absolutely no difference on so-called statistics.

*M*
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Stats are just what they are: numbers. From what I''ve seen in my college stats classes and here in numerous discussion about the subject, one can use the numbers and have them say whatever they want them to say.

I agree with indecisive; to each their own. It strikes me as funny that some people insist so much on justifying their choice.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
I agree with you musey...it''s probably a good thing in most cases, although I do wonder if some of those couples and the bond of marriage in that first year of living, would they have managed differently?

That first year for us was tough not because of pet peeves on chores, etc, but because we had to learn to argue with one another. We both dealt with issues so differently and I was getting a lot of "well, this is how I am and you knew that." But as I looked back, I began to see that we WERE trying and we both were changing. It took many months for me to see that the graph was inching higher, albeit it slowly.

You know Maria D...I find it interesting too that all my friends are still married to their first husbands. Some of them have been married 2 years, and others have been married for 12. A few of them don''t seem totally blissful in their marriage, but I know they just keep trying. Actually, the ones that don''t seem blissful seem that way mostly during football season when they become football widows!!


biblo, you said "marriage teaches you about sacrifices and you learn and accept a person and love a person UNCONDITIONALLY". A nice ideal to shoot for, but pretty tough to attain...in marriage or otherwise. Love betweena romantic couple is not unconditional for most humans. Yes, I want to try to love my husband without conditions, but if he cheats on me, beats me, etc would I still love him the same? While I would hope women wouldn''t love a man who would do that, there are plenty of marriages where these issues are a reality. And sometimes the issues don''t have to be that severe...I know women who suffer from neglect.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 12/10/2006 6:41:19 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
you marry for love, not for dusting or dirty laundry or clutter. besides, you (plural) learn about habits even without living with a person. to me, because i feel strongly against living together before marriage, because its pretty shallow and insecure if dirty laundry or clutter or ocd cleaning determines compatability or whether or not you will love a person.
I hesitate to speak for anyone else, but I do think that we are not talking about habits of cleanliness as what we'd want to learn about pre-knot. There are much bigger issues (spending habits/financial priorities being only one). I appreciate the sentiment of "marrying for love," but for a large portion of the population, marriage is not as simple as "love is all you need."

Case in point: my lovely cousin got engaged about this time three years ago, after dating her boyfriend for four. They chose to have a short engagement; they were in love, the parents approved, everyone in her family LOVED this guy. They moved in together for a "trial marriage," and they both agreed that they would act 100% as though they were married. Not two weeks in, my cousin made an Emergency Room visit: she wanted to go out with her girlfriends, he said she "belonged" to him now as they were "married," and long story short she ended up with a broken arm and twin shiners on her face


Had they not "trial marriage-d" before their wedding day, she would have discovered this after it was too late to simply walk away.

THIS is an extreme case, but after witnessing all this I can't really see the argument for **unconditional** love.


ETA: TravellingGal--same thought at almost the same moment! Romantic love is nearly impossible to make unconditional, as much as we may want it to be.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 6:57:01 PM
Author: anchor31
Stats are just what they are: numbers. From what I''ve seen in my college stats classes and here in numerous discussion about the subject, one can use the numbers and have them say whatever they want them to say.

I agree with indecisive; to each their own. It strikes me as funny that some people insist so much on justifying their choice.
Yes, I do too, although I see it more as understanding. I like to understand everyone''s views whether or not I agree and I hope they can understand mine, too. It helps the world be more compatible, since there are no right answers in life!

*M*
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
227
but why would you have to live with a person to find those things out? if you have good communication and spend time with each other and truly love a person for who they are regardless of their faults, you won't have to live together prior to marriage because you will know about the person in all aspects of their life and know he is right for you.

for me, and my partner, we strive to love each other unconditionally and we know our faults and differences without living with each other. i know our marriage is strong and we both love god and give our marriage to god for strength. no one in either side of our family has gotten a divorce as of yet. as long as god is on our side, we have good communication, and strong marriages around us or for anyone else, in my opinion, there is no reason to live together before marriage.

to me, trial marriage is the kiss of death for a marriage.


sorry i was giving cleaning/messiness as an example....
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
Date: 12/10/2006 6:18:23 PM
Author: musey

Date: 12/10/2006 10:22:10 AM
Author: indecisive
Oh goodness... people should just live thier own lives how things work best for them. Every situation is different and don''t worry how others are doing things!
3460875% in agreement! It''s been completely disproven that the actual experience of cohabiting prior to marriage has any increasing effect whatsoever on the chances of divorcing later, that it only has to do with the likelihood of those two people to divorce at ALL (whether they lived together first or not).

People rely too heavily on stats to tell them what to do. 38% of couples that cohabit break up or divorce. Does that mean you shouldn''t cohabit? Only if the fact that 43% of marriages OVERALL end in divorce means that you shouldn''t ever get married.
(which I have yet to see argued on PS, while cohabiting remains this ''hot topic'')

If we wanna play the stats game... anyone notice that:
~~the divorce rate is 5% LOWER among couples that cohabit than those that don''t? While that''s almost negligible, it''s still lower.
~~Plus, the rate of pre-marriage cohabitation has gone from only 30% in 1980 to 85% in 2005--all while the divorce rate has remained completely stagnant since the mid-80''s. That would be another clue that more cohabitation is NOT equating more divorce.


...Can you tell I just took a final exam on this exact subject two days ago?
haha


P.S. If you want the sources for those stats, they''re all from the following academic journals/books that I used to write a term paper on this a couple of weeks ago. Do not trust the internet for statistics, anyone can write ANYTHING and publish it online as ''fact.''

Journal of Marriage and the Family
American Sociological Review
vol. 53(1)
Demography
vol. 42
Population: An English Selection
vol. 9
Law & Social Inquiry
vol. 23(1)
The Future of Children
vol. 15(2)
Continuity and Change in the American Family by Lynne Casper (my professor)



Musey, you must be a badger! I went to Madison for my undergrad. "Once a badger always a badger"



As an academic who studies family demography...I can say a little about the statistics as well.

Much of the literature shows evidence of a few mechanisms between the relationship between cohabitation and higher probabilities of divorce:

1) Some work suggests the type of people who cohabit are different than those who choose not to (i.e. the relationship between cohabitation and divorce is due to selection, not the act of living together). People who cohabit may be unsure of their relationship, for example. While people who choose not to cohabit may have strong traditional views or do not feel the need to live together before marriage, etc.

2) Work on ethnic differences in the relationship between cohabitation and divorce shows that this relationship varies by the race of the couple. For example, Hispanics who live together are not more likely to divorce if they cohabit first, while whites are.

-Academics are still only speculating as to why this is the case, but some suggest that the two groups cohabit for different reasons (Whites as a "test" before marriage, Hispanics as a "replacement" for marriage). Thus, cohabitation may have a different meaning for the two groups.

3) Often cohabitors are not the population groups we might expect them to be. For example, many couples who cohabit are not young people before their first marriage. Often they are couples who are divorced, widowed, or elderly. This changes the nature of the statistical trends and the way we think about them.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 12/10/2006 6:57:37 PM
Author: musey

Date: 12/10/2006 6:41:19 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
you marry for love, not for dusting or dirty laundry or clutter. besides, you (plural) learn about habits even without living with a person. to me, because i feel strongly against living together before marriage, because its pretty shallow and insecure if dirty laundry or clutter or ocd cleaning determines compatability or whether or not you will love a person.
I hesitate to speak for anyone else, but I do think that we are not talking about habits of cleanliness as what we''d want to learn about pre-knot. There are much bigger issues (spending habits/financial priorities being only one). I appreciate the sentiment of ''marrying for love,'' but for a large portion of the population, marriage is not as simple as ''love is all you need.''

Case in point: my lovely cousin got engaged about this time three years ago, after dating her boyfriend for four. They chose to have a short engagement; they were in love, the parents approved, everyone in her family LOVED this guy. They moved in together for a ''trial marriage,'' and they both agreed that they would act 100% as though they were married. Not two weeks in, my cousin made an Emergency Room visit: she wanted to go out with her girlfriends, he said she ''belonged'' to him now as they were ''married,'' and long story short she ended up with a broken arm and twin shiners on her face


Had they not ''trial marriage-d'' before their wedding day, she would have discovered this after it was too late to simply walk away.

THIS is an extreme case, but after witnessing all this I can''t really see the argument for **unconditional** love.


ETA: TravellingGal--same thought at almost the same moment! Romantic love is nearly impossible to make unconditional, as much as we may want it to be.
Yup, I agree. Unconditional love is something they preach at you at church so you don''t go running out and getting divorce. Yet almost every church group I''ve ever been to would be understanding if someone divorced a wife beater. While it doesn''t say it in the bible that you can divorce such low lifes (at least I don''t think so), it certainly does say that husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church, so that seems like an out to me.


I grew up in church and still retain my faith, as it is important to me. But I just think that unconditional love thing is too unrealistic. Even between a parent and child, love sometimes goes awry.

Some people are just less capable of loving others more than themselves.
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
227
i would disagree that the divorce rate has remained stagnant since the mid-80s. the last stat i heard was the high 50s and growing!
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
You are completely free to disagree that it has remained stagnant, but as I said in a previous post, don't disagree based on something you've "heard." I have spent the past three months researching this exact subject, and all of my statistics come from academic sources (including US census data)--so are 100% reputable. You can not believe what I quote on here--and you shouldn't! What you should do is go and research it yourself, and find out what's what.

ETA: kcoursolle: a Trojan, actually!! Did Lynne used to teach over there?
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 7:01:28 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
but why would you have to live with a person to find those things out? if you have good communication and spend time with each other and truly love a person for who they are regardless of their faults, you won''t have to live together prior to marriage because you will know about the person in all aspects of their life and know he is right for you.


sorry i was giving cleaning/messiness as an example....
Some people change after marriage or after you move in together, as Musey''s example showed. You can never COMPLETELY know a person. We don''t even completely know ourselves because we change as we mature! With major life changes, people''s personalities can also do a 180. Just knowing someone intimately does not mean that you will know how they will act once you live together. I dated my DH for 5 years before we moved in together and we saw each other everyday, and there are STILL things that surprise me about him!

*M*
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Date: 12/10/2006 7:01:28 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
but why would you have to live with a person to find those things out? if you have good communication and spend time with each other and truly love a person for who they are regardless of their faults, you won''t have to live together prior to marriage because you will know about the person in all aspects of their life and know he is right for you.

for me, and my partner, we strive to love each other unconditionally and we know our faults and differences without living with each other. i know our marriage is strong and we both love god and give our marriage to god for strength. no one in either side of our family has gotten a divorce as of yet. as long as god is on our side, we have good communication, and strong marriages around us or for anyone else, in my opinion, there is no reason to live together before marriage.

to me, trial marriage is the kiss of death for a marriage.


sorry i was giving cleaning/messiness as an example....
You really believe that if you love someone, that you will know about the person in ALL apsects of their life prior to marriage? Ha! I stilll am finding things out about my husband!!!

I don''t think there is a one shoe fits all situation. To say trial marriage is the kiss of death for a (all) marriage is ignorant. That is like saying if you don''t live together to check things out before you tie the knot, ya ain''t gonna make it.

I''m actually not a fan of living together before marriage, and would not have lived with TGuy beforehand if circumstances hadn''t warranted it. But for us, it worked out wonderfully, and I am so glad we did. We learned a lot.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
Date: 12/10/2006 7:08:35 PM
Author: musey
You are completely free to disagree that it has remained stagnant, but as I said in a previous post, don''t disagree based on something you''ve ''heard.'' I have spent the past three months researching this exact subject, and all of my statistics come from academic sources (including US census data)--so are 100% reputable. You can not believe what I quote on here--and you shouldn''t! What you should do is go and research it yourself, and find out what''s what.

ETA: kcoursolle: a Trojan, actually!! Did Lynne used to teach over there?
Ha ha Musey, you can tell you did this for you class! You sound like me when I have written a 15 page paper and I''m just giving information left and right about everything I have written. Gotta love school!

*M*
 
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