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Five Myths About Living Together Before Marriage
Christian Post ^ | 05/04/2012 | Dan Delzell

Posted on 05/04/2012 8:50:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

So you think there are advantages to living together rather than getting married. Before you close your mind any tighter on the issue, check out these five myths:

Myth #1
Living together first will tell us if we are right for one another.

No it won't. You are comparing apples to oranges. Just because one tastes good or bad to you doesn't mean the other will taste the same. Marriage is a totally different proposition than simply living together. Marriage is built upon a promise before God to remain faithful to one another. Living together involves no such promise. You could fail at living together with someone you may have succeeded with in marriage. It all depends upon how much both people are relying on God for assistance and love. By the way, the divorce rate of couples who live together first is significantly higher than for those who do not.

If your partner will not commit to you for life, don't deceive yourself into thinking that he or she will be willing to make that commitment at some later point. Marriage is a promise to stay together. Living together for many couples lasts about 18 months, give or take. At the end of that year and a half, you still have no idea how your partner might have done if you both had taken the plunge and made a lifetime commitment to one another. Now you will never know. You settled for the easy way in and the easy way out. Your shot at true love with that person gets blown away with the wind if you decide to shack up first.

Living together prepares people to find reasons not to get married. Marriage, on the other hand, is based on unconditional love and a lifetime commitment. It is not an "audition" for marriage like you have with cohabitation. All of us are imperfect and bound to slip up at various times during the audition. Talk about conditional "love." It's "I love you" now....and "I will really love you" once you prove you are worthy. You better walk on eggshells in that situation. It's get pretty dicey in a hurry....and awkward.

Myth #2
Living together will show us if we are sexually compatible.

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No it won't. That would be true if you were animals....say dogs for example. You are human beings. You both have a soul. Sex between dogs is only physical. Sex between human beings was designed to be physical, emotional, and spiritual. God designed it in such a way that sex outside of marriage will never produce what I would call a "spiritual orgasm." That is why it leaves you still feeling empty after the physical orgasm has gone away. Without a spiritual union through Christ, sexual compatibility is only measured in a superficial way.

If you have not yet had sex in marriage while both of you are born again and living for Christ, then you have no idea what you are missing. It is the total package....body, soul, and spirit. No wonder people without that union are often drawn to continue experimenting sexually to try to satisfy their hunger for a spiritual union in sex. That hunger can be satisfied, but only in marriage and only when both the husband and the wife are believers in Christ.

Myth #3
We are just as committed to each other as a married couple.

No you're not. Neither of you are "all in." You are both "hedging your bets." You are both still "kicking the tires." Your "commitment" is conditional. It's not "for better or worse." Instead, it's "for better or....see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya." Anyone in that situation must surely feel the pressure to perform. You have been given a trial run by your partner. Aren't you lucky.

Deep down, you know in your heart that marriage is far more than a piece of paper. It is a promise before God to love and cherish your spouse for life. People who only shack up also make a promise, sort of. "I promise to do my best....and to watch you very closely to determine if you are worth it. If it doesn't work out....oh well. It's not like we were married or anything."

Myth #4
Our friendship won't suffer by moving in together.

That's what you think. Your friendship will soon become tense and uncomfortable. You went from courtship to "no man's land." You're not married, but you're not really dating either. How boring....and unnatural. No wonder the comfortable feelings of friendship soon turn into the awkward feelings that come with shacking up. It's "friends with benefits....minus the unconditional friendship." There is always the fear of being kicked to the curb if you don't measure up. No security. No deep peace. Hence, you end up with a strained relationship that is fraught with angst. Not exactly the ingredients of a healthy friendship.

Myth #5
We can love one another just as much without marriage.

No you can't. God says so. It would be true if you had evolved from a monkey. In that case, the Bible would only be a storybook filled with fantasies. As it is, you did not evolve from a monkey. You were created by God in His image. He consists of three Persons in One God....Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You too are a being that is three in one....body, soul, and spirit. Monkeys are not three in one. God did not institute marriage between monkeys. God did not promise to bless a union of monkeys.

You have no idea how much love can fill your heart for your partner until you receive God's love in Christ and get on the "marriage train" for life. Comparing living together to marriage is comparing apples to oranges....and maybe even to bananas....you know, the kind monkeys eat.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.


TOPICS: Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: cohabitation; marriage; moralabsolutes
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1 posted on 05/04/2012 8:50:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

My wife and I lived together for two years before getting married. Three kids and close to thirty years later, we’re doing just fine.


2 posted on 05/04/2012 8:53:42 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: SeekAndFind

While there are, of course exceptions, overall research does show negative results, especially for children. This is learned, surprisingly from a very liberal but honest prof.


3 posted on 05/04/2012 8:57:26 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: PapaBear3625

I see many women who are taller than men. Does that tell me that women are taller than men in general?


4 posted on 05/04/2012 8:58:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

While there are, of course exceptions, overall research does show negative results, especially for children. This is learned, surprisingly from a very liberal but honest prof.


5 posted on 05/04/2012 8:58:39 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: SeekAndFind

Although I agree with the list for the most part, and believe it goes against God’s will for us to live together before we are married, I have seen the sexual compatibility thing in action. In my first marriage, my then-wife was happy with sex every few weeks at the most. And she literally denied it for the last 14 months of the marriage. It was 20 years long and, to be clear, she divorced me, without cause, completely out of the blue. I never saw it coming.

Now I’ve been married to my wife for 14 years and we are in our late 50’s. I feel uncomfortable discussing frequency but will say that most married 20 somethings would be jealous. We never tire of each other and it is a very important part of our relationship to this day. And as the author points out, it is both physical AND spiritual.


6 posted on 05/04/2012 9:03:16 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Having my then-girlfriend move in with me back in ‘93 revealed something about her I never expected and it happened within the first month. She was 27 and I was 34.

Much to my surprise and disgust, she vehemently resented the fact that I would close the bathroom door behind me when I sat down on the toilet. “It’s just a force-of-habit kind of thing”, I explained...”I don’t even think about it. But at least I don’t lock the door when I close it.”

I meant no disrespect, nor did I mean to shut her out of my life. To her, it meant that I must not have loved her very much if I had to close the bathroom door while I went about my business. In my mind, I was enjoying a bit of personal privacy while at the same time, respecting her olfactory comfort zone but she just didn’t get it.

Apparently, she had no concept of common domestic courtesy and once I was able to wrap my head around that, I realized that the relationship and living arrangement were far less than ideal. We were so far apart yet there we were sharing an apartment as though we had as much in common as did the long-married couples we knew including neigbors, my parents, aunts and uncles and friends of mine.

I ignored the warning signs and I was in denial. She was just a crude, vulgar and ill-tempered idiot who thought everything was always supposed to be about her.

Now that I know what to look for and what to avoid, I think maybe there could be a next time with somebody else whether we’re married or not.

Live and learn.


7 posted on 05/04/2012 9:48:08 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth again.)
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To: cuban leaf

Your first wife obviously didn’t truly love you-—she was selfish and not selfless—as true love makes you want to please and sacrifice for the one you “love”.

Too many people equate love to “lust”. It is not about how many times you have orgasms, etc., it is all about how you make your spouse feel about themselves and God. You should always want to please those you love and promote the Good. This is ultimately what makes you happy—pleasing God and others. God has to be where there is selfless love-—always.

Marriage is a special male/female commitment which includes meeting the sexual needs of their spouse. Women are conditioned and taught in today’s atheist (godless) culture to despise male needs and marginalize men to mere animals-—as men are taught and conditioned to think women (and now men {homosexuals}) are just objects for lust—a means to an end. (The Church calls this extremely evil). It is the intentional dehumanization (communism) of man. No person will be “happy” treated with no respect for their fundamental natures.

Atheism has no respect for the opposite sex and the Nature of man and woman. Their beliefs reduce man to a base animal and urges. There is no spiritual aspect to man in their reality. Christianity is founded with the profound knowledge of Natural Law Theory which they embrace (rejected by Marx) which does not separate the physical and spiritual elements of men and women. Emotionally healthy human beings can never have their rational or their spiritual natures separated and it wasn’t until the Postmodern German Philosophy became prevalent in Europe and then America that this paradigm shift occurred. The Pope writes extensively on this transformation of Europe.

Compartmentalizing faith and reason and denying the true (whole) nature of man is the aim of Atheists/Marxists/socialists—so that they can make a colony of termites who can not use reason and knowledge and are slaves to their passions and urges. They are easy to control and eliminate. Their lifestyles do not promote trust and love and belief in God.

My point: There is no Love without God.


8 posted on 05/04/2012 10:01:14 AM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m fairly conservative on a lot of issues but I guess I’m a liberal on this one. I’ve seen from experience — myself and others — that living together really is a good “test run” for marriage. You don’t know someone until you live with them. I think it actually strengthens marriage by giving you a trial period before you make the commitment.


9 posted on 05/04/2012 10:11:29 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Amen & Amen!
Back in the 80s I was employed by a large Engineering firm (70 to 300 employees) there was a number of young couples that just lived to gether.
One I remember most, I learned the names of their partners, when I seldom knew the names of both married couples. They could say, “MY Wife, or My Husband.” Those could only call their live-ins by name.

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Tha He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church. Foe we are members of His body, of His flesh, and His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning the church. Nevertheless let every one of in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:24-33)


10 posted on 05/04/2012 10:12:41 AM PDT by Letmarch75
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To: SeekAndFind

My wife and I lived together for 2 years before getting married. It was the best decision we ever made. And it had nothing to do with any of those myths. We were aware that you don’t truly know a person until you live with them.
It’s one thing when you are seeing someone, you are always putting up a front. Truly knowing someone cannot happen until you live with them and the front is taken down.
Again, best decision we ever made.


11 posted on 05/04/2012 10:12:54 AM PDT by Durbin
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To: PapaBear3625

Ibidinum.

(What you said)


12 posted on 05/04/2012 10:14:03 AM PDT by patton (DateDiff)
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To: savagesusie

—Your first wife obviously didn’t truly love you-—she was selfish and not selfless—as true love makes you want to please and sacrifice for the one you “love”.—

This. I’ll never forget the first conversation we had right after I was served papers:

Me: I LOVE you, D***Y!
Her: The D***Y you love is a figment of your imagination.

She turned out to be right. And you nailed her. I just never thought she could be that mean, even though the signs were clear.

And yep, when you get married your reason should be because you want to please the other, not because you want them to please you. Her narcissism eventually became quite plain to everyone.

This actually very much states what happened to me after 20 years and having three children who, at the time, were 10, 13 and 16:

http://www.fredoneverything.net/Divorce.shtml


13 posted on 05/04/2012 10:21:01 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Given the number of people who do not live together first but still get divorced, that way is apparently not working either.
14 posted on 05/04/2012 10:22:44 AM PDT by gdani
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To: Durbin
It was the best decision we ever made. And it had nothing to do with any of those myths

Exactly. People who are against it think that people live together to have sex. My experience is that people just want to see if they are compatible. I know a number of older people who are looking for companionship after the death of a spouse who live together before marrying. That especially is an issue if both come to the marriage with their own assets and families. You want to make sure a marriage is right in those circumstances before you take the plunge.

15 posted on 05/04/2012 10:23:13 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: savagesusie; cuban leaf
Your first wife obviously didn’t truly love you-—she was selfish and not selfless—as true love makes you want to please and sacrifice for the one you “love”.

Exactly. Love involves making an effort to make your loved one happy, regardless of whether you happen to be in the mood.

16 posted on 05/04/2012 10:23:19 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: SeekAndFind

Sorry, but God is great and this post is dumb.


17 posted on 05/04/2012 10:27:15 AM PDT by SaxxonWoods (....The days are long, but the years are short.....)
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To: PapaBear3625; savagesusie

I’ve said for about 25 years that EVERYONE is both loveable and hateable. When you marry someone you make a commitment to be “on their side”. You will constantly be aware of their loveable side (as a mother would be).

When you fall out of love with your spouse, it is not about them. It is about you. A person can not be responsible for another’s feelings. We all must be responsible for our own.


18 posted on 05/04/2012 10:27:42 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SaxxonWoods

RE: Sorry, but God is great and this post is dumb.

Well, don’t stop at that, TELL US WHY !


19 posted on 05/04/2012 10:33:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Durbin

“Truly knowing someone cannot happen until you live with them and the front is taken down.”

If always leaving the bathroom door hanging open is part of taking down “the front” then I don’t want to know.

“Love Stinks” is just a song by the J. Geils Band.


20 posted on 05/04/2012 10:34:35 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth again.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Given the character of modern social conventions, sensibilities, and judicial intrusion, I no longer see marriage as a worthwhile institution EXCEPT for those with religious motivations.


21 posted on 05/04/2012 10:42:42 AM PDT by papertyger ("And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if..."))
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To: SeekAndFind

This kind of thing is always mistaking correlation with cause. It’s not the what it’s the who. If the two people are a good and supporting couple that will be able to make a long term commitment then they are a good and supporting couple that will be able to make a long term commitment whether or not they move in together before marriage. If they aren’t then they aren’t and no amount of waiting for marriage or not waiting for marriage will change that.


22 posted on 05/04/2012 10:42:42 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: gdani
RE: Given the number of people who do not live together first but still get divorced, that way is apparently not working either.


Here is an Interesting article I'd like to share...

Those who live together before marriage are the least likely to marry each other.
A Columbia University study cited in New Woman magazine found that "only 26% of women surveyed and a scant 19% of the men married the person with whom they were cohabiting." A more comprehensive National Survey of Families and Households, based on interviews with 13,000 people, concluded, "About 40% of cohabiting unions in the U.S. break up without the couple getting married." One of the reasons may be that those who cohabit drift from one partner to another in search of the 'right' person. The average cohabitant has several partners in a lifetime.

Those who live together before marriage have higher separation and divorce rates.
Psychology Today reported the findings of Yale University sociologist Neil Bennett that cohabiting women were 80% more likely to separate or divorce than were women who had not lived with their spouses before marriage. The National Survey of Families and Households indicates that "unions begun by cohabitation are almost twice as likely to dissolve within 10 years compared to all first marriages: 57% to 30%." Another five-year study by William Axinn of the University of Chicago of 800 couples reported in the Journal of Demography that those who cohabit are the most accepting of divorce. In a Canadian study at the University of Western Ontario, sociologists found a direct relationship between cohabitation and divorce when investigating over 8,000 ever-married men and women (Hall and Zhoa 1995:421-427). It was determined that living in a non-marital union "has a direct negative impact on subsequent marital stability," perhaps because living in such a union "undermines the legitimacy of formal marriage" and so "reduces commitment of marriage."

Those who live together before marriage have unhappier marriages.
A study by the National Council on Family Relations of 309 newlyweds found that those who cohabited first were less happy in marriage. Women complained about the quality of communication after the wedding. A physical relationship is an inadequate foundation upon which to build a lasting lifelong relationship. A study by researchers Alfred DeMars and Gerald Leslie (1984) found that those who live together prior to marriage scored lower on tests rating satisfaction with their marriages than couples who did not cohabit. A study by Dr. Joyce Brothers showed that cohabitation has a negative affect on the quality of a subsequent marriage (Scott 1994). Cohabitors without plans to marry were found to be more inclined to argue, hit, shout and have an unfair division of labor than married couples (Brown and Booth 1997).

Those who are sexually active before marriage are much more likely to divorce.
A study of 2,746 women in the National Survey of Family Growth performed by Dr. Kahn of the University of Maryland and Dr. London of the National Center for Health Statistics found that nonvirgin brides increase their odds of divorce by about 60%. Some would argue that cohabitation does not automatically mean that sex is taking place. However, cohabitation and sexual relations are related or that there is a strong correlation between them. Sex usually does accompany cohabitation (de Neui n.d.); Webster's Dictionary, in fact, defines cohabitation as "living together as or as if husband and wife." If cohabitants live together like "husband and wife," having sex is a very reasonable expectation. Therefore, the assumption is made throughout this writing (granting some occasional exceptions) that cohabitants do have sexual relations.

Those who have had premarital sex are more likely to have extramarital affairs as well.
Premarital sexual attitudes and behavior do not change after one marries; if a woman lives with a man before marriage, she is more likely to cheat on him after marriage. Research indicates that if one is willing to experience sex before marriage, a higher level of probability exists that one will do the same afterwards. This is especially true for women; those who engaged in sex before marriage are more than twice as likely to have extramarital affairs as those who did not have premarital sex. When it comes to staying faithful, married partners have higher rates of loyalty every time. One study, done over a five-year period, reported in Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles indicates 90% of married women were monogamous, compared to 60% of cohabiting women. Statistics were even more dramatic with male faithfulness: 90% of married men remained true to their brides, while only 43% of cohabiting men stayed true to their partner (Ciavola 1997). In another study published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family researchers analyzed the relationships of 1,235 women, ages 20 to 37, and found that women that had cohabited before marriage were 3.3 times more likely to have a secondary sex partner after marriage (Forste and Tanfer 1996:33-47). It was also found that married women were "5 times less likely to have a secondary sex partner than cohabiting women" and that "cohabiting relationships appeared to be more similar to dating relationships than to marriage."

Those who live together are likely to have a fleeting romance rather than a lasting relationship.
A romance is not the same as having an ongoing relationship. Relationships take time and work to develop and maintain; romance is a positive feeling toward another person. Romance without relationship is a brief encounter at best. Romance, in today's disposable society, is hastily devised and easily discarded at the first sign of conflict or disillusionment. There is no lasting commitment when times get tough. Good relationships are built upon knowing and enjoying each other on social, recreational, spiritual, intellectual, and communicative levels, not only the sexual level.

Those who have "trial" marriages do not have better marriages.
Trial runs or half steps, to test whether the relationship "works" are not successful, in fact quite the opposite is true. Research indicates that couples who live together before marriage have significantly lower marital satisfaction than those who do not cohabit and they have weaker marriages, not stronger ones. Conventional wisdom says it is acceptable to have a "trial period" to "try the shoe on first to see if it fits" or to "test drive a car before you buy it." For marriage, however, just the opposite is true! "All a man's ways seem right to him..." (Proverbs 21:2). A newly married couple makes a deliberate effort to accommodate each other because they know their relationship will be for life. They want to build compatibility, not test it. (Harley 1996). Walter Trobisch said that,"sex is no test of love, for it is precisely the very thing that one wants to test that is destroyed by the testing."  Laura Schlessinger, host of the nationally syndicated "Dr. Laura" radio show, scolds people nearly every day for "shacking up with your honey." It's the "ultimate female self-delusion," Mrs. Schlessinger says, listing cohabiting as one of the "Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives" in her book of the same name. "Dating -- not living in -- is supposed to be about learning and discerning" about a prospective mate, she says.

Those who live together have no lasting commitments or responsibilities.
Cohabitation involves "no public commitment, no pledge for the future, no official pronouncement of love and responsibility. Theirs is essentially a private arrangement based on an emotional bond. The 'commitment' of living together is simply a month-to-month rental agreement. "As long as you behave yourself and keep me happy, I'll stick around."

Marriage, on the other hand, is much more than a love partnership. It is a public event that involves legal and societal responsibilities. It brings together not just two people but also two families and two communities. It is not just for the here and now; it is, most newlyweds hope, 'till death do us part.' Getting married changes what you expect from your mate and yourself. Some would argue that "the marriage license is only a piece of paper" and that "if God knows the heart, then He knows the truth of the marriage" and therefore being "married" by the church or state is an imposition and irrelevant. We are, however, admonished to obey the laws of our government in Scriptures (c. Mt. 22:21; Mk. 12:17; Lk. 20:25), which requires us to have legal marriages. (Common law marriages are recognized, in varying forms, in only 16 states - see the "Legal Reasons").

Jessie Bernard in "The Future Of Marriage" states: "One fundamental fact underlies the conception of marriage itself. Some kind of commitment must be involved...Merely fly-by-night, touch and go relationships do not qualify. "People who marry "til death do us part" have a quite different level of commitment, therefore a quite different level of security, thus a quite different level of freedom, and as a result a quite different level of happiness than those who marry "so long as love doth last." The "love doth last" folks are always anticipating the moment when they or their mate wakes up one morning and finds the good feeling that holds them afloat has dissolved beneath them."

Those who live together miss something in the maturing process.
In this "alternative lifestyle," the aim is to have all the benefits and privileges of a mature, married person without accepting the responsibilities which maturity demands. Crudely stated, "why would you buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" Our society encourages people to focus on the present and live for today -- "if it feels good, do it." But the act of formal marriage implies an emphasis on the future. Cohabitation also points to a missing ingredient in the process of becoming mature: the willingness to make commitments and live up to them. A willingness to defer immediate pleasures in pursuit of a worthwhile goal is a mark of maturity. People who make a commitment and accept total responsibility for their choices are more likely to develop self-respect, personal pride, and integrity. Persons who go from one relationship to another develop patterns opting out of a stressful situation rather than hanging in there and dealing with it; these patterns can carry over into a marriage (Anonymous n.d.). See the resource on relationship maturity.

Those living-together avoid dealing with some of the joint decisions that married couples have to make.
For example, money and property tend to be either 'his' or 'hers', not 'ours.' Consequently, it isn't all that important how he or she spends his or her money. In-laws are rarely a factor; they often disapprove and stay aloof from the couple. Nor do most in-live arrangements have to adapt to children (Dunagan 1993).

Those who live together often have a "marriage of convenience" or a "marriage of compatibility" rather than a marriage of commitment.
"Marriages of convenience" are disposable; marriages of commitment are lifelong and not to be dissolved. Commitment means being determined that the two of you will stick it out no matter what ("whether in sickness or in health...so long as you both shall live"). When there is an agreement without commitment it is easy to give up. When there is a commitment ahead of time, you hang-tough through good times and the bad and don't bail out at the first sign of trouble. As one pastor put it: "Imagine building a wonderful house, but without nails. In the first stiff wind, it will collapse" (McManus n.d.). Commitments are said and kept "before God" and with His help, and "in a the company of people"; an agreement is made between two people and kept only as long as it continues to be convenient for either party. A lifetime commitment, provided by marriage, is needed in order for a relationship to be pleasing to God. When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, he pointed out her lack of commitment (Jn. 4:16-18). The Bible says men are to love their wives like Christ loved the Church. Christ was so committed, that he died for the Church (Eph. 5:25). The Bible also says that a husband must not divorce his wife (1 Cor. 7:11). That's commitment to stay and continually work on the relationship (de Neui n.d.).

Those having premarital sex may be fooled into marrying a person who is not right for them.
Sex can emotionally blind. Real love can stand the test of time without the support of physical intimacy. "If you establish a mutually satisfying sexual relationship, you lose objectivity and actually cheat on the test of time. The only way to rationally decide whether your love is for keeps is to remove any preoccupation with eros, sexual love. Otherwise you may marry a mirage, not a person you really know."

Those living together have superficial and significantly weaker relationships. Researchers have fund that couples who live together before marriage have weaker marriages (DeMars and Leslie 1984). Anyone can make love, but not everyone can carry on a meaningful conversation. A good relationship is much more than physical intimacy. Beauty is more than skin deep; there is a deeper intimacy of the mind and spirit that takes the time and commitment of a marriage to develop to the fullest. Physical attraction is insufficient glue with which to build or maintain a lasting relationship. A more recent study at Johns Hopkins University, again confirmed that couples who cohabit have quite different and significantly weaker relationships than married couples (Schoen and Weinick 1993:408-414). They determined that men and women looking for someone with whom they could cohabit search for "characteristics such as education which can reflect a short-term ability to contribute to the relationship." The researchers found, "While cohabitors anticipate time together, married persons anticipate a lifetime." They also discovered that most cohabitations end within two years and that "cohabitations are not informal marriages, but relationships formed by looser bonds."

Those who live together have more difficulty resolving conflicts.
Attempts are made to resolve conflicts with a hug, kiss, or more--rather than developing the ability to talk through them. The qualities that hold a relationship together - trust, honesty, openness, deep friendship, spiritual intimacy - take time and effort to develop. When you focus on the physical aspect, you short-circuit that process. Physical intimacy is a mistaken attempt to quickly build emotional bridges, but relationships built on such an inadequate foundation eventually collapse. A recent study at Penn State University (Brown & Booth 1997) comparing the relationship qualities of 682 cohabitors and 6,881 marrieds, (both White and Black, aged 19 to 48 years of age), found that cohabitors argue, shout and hit more than married couples.

Those who live together before marriage can kill the romance.
A woman most often see living together as romantic, while the man views the arrangement a "practical" solution that will help them iron out differences and strengthen their love (Scott 1994:80). In fact, live-in couples may find it harder to build lasting love precisely because they have lost their starry-eyed, romantic "illusions."

Those who live together before marriage often lay a foundation of distrust and lack of respect.
Mature love is built on the security of knowing that your love is exclusive. There is no one else. Premarital intimacy causes you to wonder: "If he or she has this little control with me now, have there been others before me and will there be others in the future too?" As suspicion and distrust increase, you slowly lose respect or the other person. The trust factor is an important ingredient in a healthy marriage--the knowledge that each partner can relax and be him/herself at the most intimate level without the fear of doing something that will drive the other away -- is missing from the living-together arrangement (Anonymous n.d.). Premarital sex lays the groundwork for comparisons, suspicions, and mistrust. Real trust grows in the context of the life-long commitment within a monogamous relationship of marriage.

Those who live together do not experience the best sex.
The best sex is found in the marriage relationship. It is reported that if a couple abstains from sex before marriage, they are 29 to 47 percent more likely to enjoy sex afterward. In a study by Dr. Evelyn Duvall and Dr. Judson Landis, evidence was found that premarital sex was not as satisfying.

A study by Linda Waite, Ph.D., a sociologist at the University of Chicago and reported in "Psychology Today," found the frequency of satisfaction rose considerably after couples adapted during marriage. Married people lead more active sex lives. While cohabiting couples have similarly high levels of sex, married men and women have more satisfaction in the bedroom. That's because married people know the tastes of their partner better and can safely cater to them, while the emotional investment in the relationship boosts the thrill.

A recent Michigan study, found that individuals who have never cohabited outside of marriage were more likely to rate their relationships stronger than those who have cohabited (49% of non-cohabitors rated their relationship a "10," compared to 36% of those who have cohabited) (Michigan Family Forum 1998).

In another recent study by the Family Research Council titled "What's Marriage Got to Do With It?" found "72 percent of all married 'traditionalists' (those who strongly believe out of wedlock sex is wrong) report high sexual satisfaction. This is roughly 31 percentage points higher than the level registered by unmarried 'nontraditionalists.'"

Sexual happiness grows only through years of intimate relationship. The height of sexual pleasure, usually comes after ten to twenty years of marriage (Fryling 1995). Good sex, Frying says, begins in the head. It depends on intimate knowledge of your partner. The Bible uses the words "to know" to describe sexual intercourse (e.g., Adam "knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore" a son (Gen. 4:1). Real love described in scripture elevates human sexuality from mere animal sex to intimate expressions of love and commitment. Psychiatrist and medical researcher David Larson, after researching the subject with Mary Ann Mayo, says that "The most religious women are most satisfied with the frequency of intercourse...and were more orgasmic than are the nonreligious" (Larson and Mayo 1994:14).

Those who live together often face parental disapproval.
It is difficult to keep the secret quiet. Lies have to be told over and over again to cover up the truth. There are issues of monetary support from parents, what to do with the partner's possessions when they visit, and guilt about going against their wishes and lying to them(Jackson 1996). The fear of loss of parental support is substantial (Johnson 1996).

Those who live together hurt their children.
Penn State sociologists Wendy Maning and Daniel Lichter estimate that 2.2 million children in America live with one parent and an unmarried partner (Stalcup 1996). Children need the love and care of real parents. Unstable and broken relationships traumatize children for life. Children of cohabiting couples who come from previously broken marriages get mixed messages and view their parents as having a double standard. For example, the cohabiting parents have great difficulty establishing moral guidelines for their children, especially when they reach the dating age.

Those who live together before marriage often lack a common purpose.
Many couples drift together. They date, have sex, sleep together, spend a weekend together, eventually begin to bring clothes, toothbrush, etc. for the convenience and one day look up and realize they have migrated into a shared living arrangement. The lack of common purpose is a problem then, Johnson (1996) says, because now they are deep into the relationship and haven't begun to talk about the important things, like "are we going to work it out? What is going to be our future? What is going to be down the road?" They have not thought about "being obligated to the other person." "They don't want to be committed. They want it where they can get out pretty easy if they want to. Easy to walk out the door." Realistically, marriage carries with it a lot more expectations -- a house, a car, all the matching silverware, and the couch. Cohabitation is a way of getting out of all those expectations

Those who live together before marriage do not have an egalitarian relationship.
Even though most young people claim to want an egalitarian marriage, studies have found that invariably living arrangements for cohabitants follow the more traditional role format. According to Johnson (1996), men tend to go to school, go play, come home and they want their meals cooked, the house clean, their clothes ready to go. Women find themselves on the short end of the stick performing all those very roles that are contrary to egalitarian marriage.

Those who live together before marriage do not have specialization of responsibilities.
The evidence clearly shows that "living together" is qualitatively different from marriage. The commitment of marriage makes specialization in chores and responsibilities sensible; spouses count on their partners to fill in for them where they are weak. By contrast, cohabitation is unstable, easy to get out of, and makes specialization less rational.

Those who live together before marriage have less support and benefits. 
Marriage is far superior to cohabitation at connecting people to others - work acquaintances, in-laws - who are a source of support and benefits. It links people to a world larger than themselves.

23 posted on 05/04/2012 10:45:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: discostu

RE: This kind of thing is always mistaking correlation with cause

_________________________

I can agree with you to a certain extent.... however there are STUDIES made regarding this issue.

See for instance, Post #23 above.


24 posted on 05/04/2012 10:47:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

My husband and I didn’t live in the same time zone until we got married. Had absolutely no problems meshing lives. I will tell my daughter never to live with someone who doesn’t respect her enough to marry her.


25 posted on 05/04/2012 10:51:35 AM PDT by JenB
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To: SeekAndFind

Remember there are lies, damn lies and statistics. The studies can only see results, they can’t tell you causes. So the studies say folks that move in together are less likely to stay together X amount of time under whatever condition the study posited. But that doesn’t mean that moving in together causes problems, it could be that the type of PEOPLE that move in together are less skilled at finding/ being a good long term mate. That’s what I mean by the difference between correlation and cause, just because B follows A doesn’t mean A causes B, it could just mean that people that A are more likely to B whether or not they ever Aed.


26 posted on 05/04/2012 10:53:10 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: JenB

Good advice.


27 posted on 05/04/2012 10:53:44 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: SeekAndFind
The study is correct, but I think it misses something. My bride (of 8 years now!) and I didn't live together. Never crossed our mind. But because of who we are, and were, we had a more realistic view of what marriage is. To be blunt, you sign on and can't sign off.

Many who live together don't have that view. Or rather, those who view living together outside of marriage ok are more prone to viewing marriage as a “temporary” thing than those who view living together as wrong. In other words, it isn't shacking up, it is how you view commitment.

28 posted on 05/04/2012 10:59:25 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

All just a bunch of religious nuttery. Wife and I lived together before our marriage after we were engaged, no sense in her renewing her apartment. Been together nearly 20 years and doing just fine. In fact, living together DID answer a number of good questions about us.


29 posted on 05/04/2012 12:25:34 PM PDT by CodeToad
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To: redgolum

RE: In other words, it isn’t shacking up, it is how you view commitment.

Well, isn’t that what marriage is all about in the first place?


30 posted on 05/04/2012 12:30:01 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

If you’re doing marriage right it is. But not everybody gets that. Look at Larry King, Elizabeth Taylor. I know a guy who’s married to his 2nd wife for the 3rd time (and yes there was a number 3 and 4 in there). Some people don’t get it, and those people are probably more likely to live together without marriage because they’re prone to declaring commitment they aren’t really committed to. In a world of starter marriages and trophy wives we’ve gotten really good at screwing up relationships before they even start.


31 posted on 05/04/2012 12:42:53 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: SeekAndFind

We lived together several months before marriage—today is our 27th Anniversary—3 kids, 4 Grandkids, and happy—Its really about commitment to one another— Marriage is a long race—not a sprint. Its something both must work at and each one give 60% Marriage, Vows to God etc.... 1/2 of them fail in any case. Its about what you put into the union.


32 posted on 05/04/2012 12:55:33 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes it is. BUT, that is not how it is viewed by many people.

When we went through pre Cana in my wife’s old parish, and in my Lutheran one, both the priest and the pastor said the same thing. Many people view marriage as a conditional contract. Their job was to make sure that the applicants to marry knew what the Church expected, and what they should expect. The priest said that he had told people “I will not marry you just yet”.

To often the marriage is about the wedding, and not about the rest of your life.


33 posted on 05/04/2012 1:04:10 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade
yrs, she didnt share anythingYes it is all about what you put into the marrage.

my first wife and I were married less then 9 ys ahd didnt share anything, all my $$ paid the bills and her was for what she wanted.

second wife and I have been married for 23yrs this july and together for 24yrs in September! we shared everything, household stuff to $$.

34 posted on 05/04/2012 1:05:53 PM PDT by markman46 (engage brain before using keyboard!!!)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade
Yes it is all about what you put into the marrage.

my first wife and I were married less then 9 and she didnt didnt share anything, all my $$ paid the bills and her was for what she wanted.

second wife and I have been married for 23yrs this july and together for 24yrs in September! we shared everything, household stuff to $$.

35 posted on 05/04/2012 1:06:59 PM PDT by markman46 (engage brain before using keyboard!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

How about people get married under the eyes of God instead of the Law. Most people who believe in God would be willing to do this more if it had no law/legal concept and those willing to get married under the Law can deal with divorce as they do now. Frankly see no reason to get married under the law at this point. It cheapens the commitment.


36 posted on 05/04/2012 1:12:52 PM PDT by CJ Wolf
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To: savagesusie
My point: There is no Love without God.

I agree with you 100%.

When I was a young man without real faith, animal lust without commitment was the motive and intention -- the rest were excuses for living together.

Today, as I understand my faith, we still have betrothal, engagement then marriage. After the betrothal ceremony, the Lord prepares and links the internal minds of the man and woman -- the spiritual. The Lord is the source of Love and Wisdom -- the wife is the receptacle of love, the husband, wisdom. Both are equal partners that complement each other. When a couple's minds are so linked, they commit to marriage with engagement and finally marriage. Sex prior to marriage is contrary to Divine order and if you do and don't follow through, you have effectively made the woman a whore.

We call this Conjugial Love and believe couples that have this are together for eternity and appear at a distance as one angel. I believe my wife and I have this and it took work to get it -- we had to fix things rather than throw it all away. We have a very low divorce rate within my church.

37 posted on 05/04/2012 1:14:12 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Evil Comes from Falsity, So Share the Truth)
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To: SeekAndFind

Parents should make sure that their teens read materials such as this article. And, unfortunately, these days, young teens should be exposed to these truths that have been tested and shown to be correct for millennia.


38 posted on 05/04/2012 1:14:52 PM PDT by Tau Food
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To: CJ Wolf

Marriage under the law exists for property. It’s all about asset sharing while both are living and inheritance when somebody dies. Always has been.


39 posted on 05/04/2012 1:46:58 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: PapaBear3625

Same here. We lived together for a little over a year (to save money at first) and have been married for 27 years now.

No kids though.


40 posted on 05/04/2012 1:50:41 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are just useless and useful idiots.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Good article.

Missing component, though, is the grace from the Sacrament of Marriage — a true covenant with God.


41 posted on 05/04/2012 4:05:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: SeekAndFind

My husband and I didn’t live together even one day before we got married. He didn’t even move his stuff into my place until after we got back from our honeymoon.

And we don’t regret it at all. The article is spot on.


42 posted on 05/04/2012 7:17:44 PM PDT by reaganaut (VAB! Voting against both Romney and Obama. Constitution party, here I come!)
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To: All

No issues with compatibility or any of the other myths.

We dated for one year and were engaged 2 years before we were married. The reason we didn’t live together is that we are both committed Christians, so none of these invented issues that are actually excuses were a problem.


43 posted on 05/04/2012 7:30:23 PM PDT by reaganaut (VAB! Voting against both Romney and Obama. Constitution party, here I come!)
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To: PapaBear3625

We did, too, and we’re 30 years later, but I have to say — the minute I said “I do” our relationship changed tremendously. I knew it in my bones. And we were just in front of a judge; I couldn’t have done more (thot I was going to die, haha).


44 posted on 05/05/2012 6:26:10 PM PDT by bboop (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? St. Augustine)
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To: CodeToad

What were you going to do if she got pregnant just as you were coming to the conclusion that she was insufferable? Were you thinking of the potential risk to a child of having parents who were not yet married?


45 posted on 05/05/2012 6:39:31 PM PDT by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: married21

‘If’ is for children.

Your question is just as easily asked, “What were you going to do if she got pregnant just as you were coming to the conclusion that she was insufferable after you were married?”


46 posted on 05/05/2012 7:16:11 PM PDT by CodeToad
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To: CodeToad

“If” is for people who assess risks.

People need to do much better at getting their heads together before their bodies.


47 posted on 05/05/2012 9:16:53 PM PDT by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: SeekAndFind; 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; APatientMan; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
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Excellent article and appropos for people of any faiths. Of course some couples do live together without marriage and wind up marrying happily. But most do not.

48 posted on 05/06/2012 11:45:00 AM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: SeekAndFind; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...

ping


49 posted on 05/06/2012 11:58:32 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: CodeToad; SeekAndFind

Same here. My wife and moved in together while we were still engaged. It just didn’t make sense for me to extend the lease on my apartment. Despite S&F’s links, at 20+ years we’re still in love, still together, raised children to adulthood, etc. I think he’d have us believe, that those who don’t believe as he does are doomed to a life of misery pain.


50 posted on 05/06/2012 2:52:25 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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