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Couples Should Live Together before Getting Married
In my mother's house it was never discussed whether I should live with someone before marriage. In my culture, you are not allowed to live together until after you are married. Since I did not have the chance to live together with my husband while we were dating, it was difficult during our first year of marriage. We argued a lot, mostly because we were afraid of the unknown and the possibility that we had made a mistake. Living together before making our vows would have reassured us about a lifelong commitment. From my own experience, I believe that couples should live together before getting married, so they can start to know each other on a closer, more personal level; moreover, they can start thinking about the compatibility of their future spouse.
Couples start knowing each other on a closer, more personal level when they live together, which prepares them for a married lifestyle. For starters, you learn what your partner likes and dislikes, although this isn't always easy. There is a lot to discover about your partner and from your partner; the only way to do this successfully is to move in together. For example, does he like broccoli, female mud wrestling, sleeping with the windows open? Maybe he likes to spend the whole weekend on the couch watching basketball! Believe it or not, it's little details like these that can often make or break a relationship. Second, you learn what kind of bad habits you and your partner have and whether or not you can get rid of them. I really don't like it when my husband forgets to fill the ice trays, forgets to replace the empty toilet paper holder, or leaves the toilet seat up; I, on the other hand, tend to forget to put perishables in the refrigerator after I take them out for cooking, and I leave the clothes in a pile, all wrinkled, when they come out of the dryer. Moreover, you can see how much fun you have with each other and realize how much you would miss by not getting married. Try to plan a vacation in advance, have a dinner date in town after work, or go to the movies on a Wednesday night when you know you have to get up for work the next morning.
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If my mother read this essay, I don't think she would be shocked or angry. She has lived in America for 12 years now and sees the wisdom in new traditions, such as couples living together before marriage. She has been a good listener when I had problems in my marriage, and since my father died, she has shared many of the problems they had as a young couple. I realize now how much she suffered, and I don't think she would want anyone to suffer like she did. Now she tells me: "you need to find your own way in life and be happy with your choices." This is the best advice that I can pass along to others, including my own children.