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Living Together

Is Cohabitation a Good Choice?


Did you know that living together is considered to be more stressful than being married? Many believe that couples who live together before marriage have a rockier journey in marriage.

The answer to the question as to whether or not cohabitation is a good choice depends on where you live, if you have premarital education, and if you marry the first and only person you live with.

If the above three aspects of cohabitation fit your profile, you will not increase your chances of being divorced. (see Cohabitation Facts and Statistics for more information)

Why Some Researchers Believe Couples Who Live Together Are at a Greater Risk for Divorce

  • They may be more accepting of divorce.

  • They may be less committed to marriage.

  • They may have married for the wrong reason, e.g., pressure from family or having a child together.

  • They may think they know all there is to know about marriage already.

  • They may have too high expectations of married life and get disillusioned early in their marriage.

  • They often have poor conflict resolution skills.

  • They may not be able to handle financial decisions together.

Reasons Couples Decide to Live Together

  • Economic or practical reasons.
  • Concerns about a long-term commitment.
  • Fear of divorce.
  • Convenience.
  • To give the relationship a trial run before marriage.
  • Lack of faith in marriage as an institution.
  • Escape from family home.
  • Compromise with partner who doesn't want to be married.
  • Companionship.

Cohabitation Concerns

More than 50% of couples who live together before marriage end up apart either through just moving out or divorce later on.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, unmarried couples account for some 5.5 million households in the U.S. Evidence also shows that couples who live together may not discuss important or troublesome issues in their relationship.

CWA (Concerned Women for America), in their article Cohabitation up 85 Percent state, "Americans are turning to cohabitation as security against divorce. But in doing so, they are placing their cherished relationships in even greater jeopardy. Cohabitation is not the answer to the rising divorce rate. Understanding, communication, selflessness, and commitment to the marriage vow is."

Cohabiting Problems

  • Parental disapproval
  • Lack of common purpose
  • Gender issues
  • Division of labor disagreements
  • Money problems

Questions to Ask Yourselves Before Living Together

  • Why do you want to live together?
  • Are you aware of the possible higher risk factors for divorce for cohabiting couples?
  • Why don't you want to get married at this time?
  • Are you aware of the legal aspects of living together?
  • Have you considered having a cohabitation agreement?

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