Skip to comments.Living Together First Doesn’t Make Marriage Last, Study Finds
Posted on 03/02/2010 9:28:22 AM PST by reaganaut1
Couples who live together before they get married are less likely to stay married, a new study has found. But their chances improve if they were already engaged when they began living together.
The likelihood that a marriage would last for a decade or more decreased by six percentage points if the couple had cohabited first, the study found.
The study of men and women ages 15 to 44 was done by the National Center for Health Statistics using data from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted in 2002. The authors define cohabitation as people who live with a sexual partner of the opposite sex.
From the perspective of many young adults, marrying without living together first seems quite foolish, said Prof. Pamela J. Smock, a research professor at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Just because some academic studies have shown that living together may increase the chance of divorce somewhat, young adults themselves dont believe that.
The authors found that the proportion of women in their late 30s who had ever cohabited had doubled in 15 years, to 61 percent.
Half of couples who cohabit marry within three years, the study found. If both partners are college graduates, the chances improve that they will marry and that their marriage will last at least 10 years.
The figures suggest to me that cohabitation is still a pathway to marriage for many college graduates, while it may be an end in itself for many less educated women, said Kelly A. Musick, a professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell.
Couples who marry after age 26 or have a baby eight months or more after marrying are also more likely to stay married for more than a decade.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This has been known for decades. Apparently, they keep doing the same studies, hoping to get a different result.
When divorce laws were made “we just don’t get along”. thats when people stopped working to keep the marriage together.
The rate of “shackup before marriage” leading to “divorce” used to be 85%.
That's because people were more circumspect about who they married.
At least when they "come apart", the guy won't loose everything he's worked for over his entire lifetime.
And also because there was not this pervasive sense of entitlement that makes people impossible to live with.
We're still doing fine. :-) My wife said that my contract expires after 50 years, then we'll see about re-upping it. I've still got 30-odd years to go, wish me luck. :-)
However, I'd posit that there's a big difference between two professional late-20somethings making a considered decision to live together for a short while before marriage, and a couple of teenagers right out of high school playing house for an indeterminate amount of time. This "study" likely doesn't think too much about that.
Why not some of the same concepts for marriage? Just askin....
Well I have a different take on this that just like divorce statics they are skewed by those who do it over and over, same here.
Should I still be looking for the other shoe to fall?
She said "Go for it!". I suspect that she figures (correctly) that I won't remember why I wanted the four 20s to begin with.... :-)
I have heard this fact for a while as well. I also figured it had something to do with people’s morality. What I mean by that is that people who think it is morally right to wait to live together until after you get married probably are more likely to have a moral worldview that is against divorce. Does that make sense since I know I can be wordy at times?
That is true, in the 1960s the studies said the same thing, also in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s.
I agree with the age factor. I think commitment also factors in. Hubby and I had been in a committed relationship for 4 years before we joined households, and we knew it was a permanent arrangement. We just hadn’t gotten around to getting the piece of paper. Of course, when you’re in your early 40’s and 50’s, you’re a little more settled in your mind with what you want and what you’re committing to. At least, we were.
If you’re practicing marriage, you’re actually practicing divorce.
When people didn’t shack up, there was no ‘no-fault’ divorce.
It makes perfect sense to me!