Does living together before marriage give the relationship a better chance of success? Not necessarily apparently...
Anyone who has ever found himself or herself in the position of living with someone without benefit of marriage has undoubtedly met with criticism.
And just as surely, they have probably shot back with the popular argument that living together before marriage gives your relationship a better chance of lasting because it allows you to get to know each other better.
This is certainly a valid argument, especially to those who did not live together until they were married and suddenly found themselves adjusting to each other’s little personal quirks. Sharing living quarters can be one of the most difficult parts of married life so why not do something that will help you get over that hurdle beforehand?
No gurarantee that living together before marriage makes the relationship stronger
While it seems reasonable enough, there is a great deal of research that shows this particular argument doesn’t hold up as well as you might think.
Yes, it can help to know what it’s like to live with someone before you marry them and for many couples it may even be a financial necessity, particularly in today’s economy. But none of that actually guarantees that it will lead to a stronger marriage.
When you look at the bigger picture, the facts actually prove just the opposite
When two people choose to live together without being married it can show a lack of committment to the idea of marriage
If marriage, and the commitment that is necessary to make a marriage work, is less important to you then it’s much less likely that an eventual marriage would last.
Taking a cavalier attitude toward marriage doesn’t lead to a strong, lasting commitment
And combining your households, particularly your finances, before marriage can also lead couples to stay together out of convenience rather than any real desire to build a life together. It becomes the easy way out and that’s not the solid foundation that a lasting marriage requires.
Of course, every couple is different
In fact, couples who move in together after becoming engaged but before actually marrying don’t have the same kind of commitment problems that cohabiting couples that aren’t engaged have. In that case, it’s just a baby step toward the eventual goal of marriage that the couple has already agreed upon.
What makes any marriage last is a strong, loving commitment by both partners and the desire to put in whatever amount of hard work may be necessary to keep their relationship strong.
Partners who live together before marrying are showing that they want the frills without necessarily taking on the hard part and that mentality automatically makes it harder to form and maintain a strong marriage.
While living together first may seem like a perfectly simple practical decision and may well work for some couples, the facts show that in most cases it isn’t the basis for a lasting marriage.
Obviously, the choice is yours but before you make that leap and decide to live with him think about all of the possibilities and make sure you’re doing what’s best for you.