Relationships and Marriage - Couples Should Live Together before Marriage

Relationships and Marriage - Couples Should Live Together before Marriage

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Couples Should Live Together before Marriage

I've heard on numerous occasions that one of every two marriages ends in divorce. Although I believe this estimate to be high, there is no question that divorce has become a common occurrence in today's society. I think the biggest cause of divorce is people getting married too soon. Couples should live together before they marry.

People become enveloped in a sort of euphoric haze when a relationship first begins to take a serious turn. The object of your affection seems to be perfect in every way and can do no wrong. You want to spend all your time with this person; often neglecting anything you enjoyed pre-relationship. In effect, you lose your individual identities and become Siamese twins (thus the term, "joined-at-the-hip"). Thankfully, this stage in a relationship is only temporary. However, many couples mistake this hormonal surge as the sign that this is the one-and-only person they could spend the rest of their lives with. When the haze dissipates, only the strong relationships survive. If each couple contemplating marriage during this phase were to move in together first, the perspective the couple would gain on their relationship would prove whether [or not] their feelings were deeper than pure physical attraction or lust.

It may sound clichéd, but you truly do not know someone until you live with that person. When a couple lives together, the comfort level between the two gradually increases until nothing is sacred. Little quirks that a person tries so desperately to keep hidden eventually come out into the open. Sometimes these quirks are too much for a person to live with; other times it is a combination of many that push them over the edge. Maybe you could deal with dirty clothes on the floor, but how about a total disregard for all household cleanliness? Living together before marriage clears the air and reduces the possibility for major surprises that could lead to marital strife.

Sex is another issue that tends to cause problems in marriages. Of course people can have sex and not live together, but the sharing of a bed each and every night certainly facilitates the activity. At the risk of sounding promiscuous, one should "test the waters before jumping in." Sexual compatibility is extremely important in the satisfaction and happiness of a marriage. Sometimes compromises can be made on behalf of each individual, but it would be better to know if a person was incapable of satisfying you sexually before nuptials.

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"According to the US Census Bureau, unmarried couples account for over 4 million households in the US." In fact, "today in the US, 1 in 3 single women choose to live with their partners before marriage." (1) Many of the people I know (myself included) have lived with another person and had the relationship fail. I lived with a man for four years before the relationship ended. Had we married, I would be divorced right now. I can provide no more substantial proof of living together reducing the occurrence of divorce than that fact alone.


United States Census Bureau. "A Few Facts on Cohabitation." 1996-1999. 09

Sept. 1999
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