Here are some statistics on living together before marriage from Michael McManus, author of the book Marriage Savers. Statistically speaking, living together is not a trial of marriage, but rather a training for divorce.
The number of unmarried couples living together soared 12-fold from 430,000 in 1960 to 5.4 million in 2005.
More than eight out of ten couples who live together will break up either before the wedding or afterwards in divorce.
About 45 percent of those who begin cohabiting, do not marry. Another 5-10 percent continue living together and do not marry.
Couples who do marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce than those who did not.
Only 12 percent of couples who have begun their relationship with cohabitation end up with a marriage lasting 10 years or more.
A Penn State study reports that even a months cohabitation decreases the quality of the couples relationship.
Here are some more statistics relating to the children of cohabiting parents.
Children of cohabiting parents are ten times more likely to be sexually abused by a stepparent than by a parent.
Children of cohabiting parents are three times as likely to be expelled from school or to get pregnant as teenagers than children from an intact home with married parents.
Children of cohabiting parents are five times more apt to live in poverty, and 22 times more likely to incarcerated.