MadameNoire Featured Video
1 of 16

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/katleho Seisa / Getty

Studies have found that couples who cohabitate before marriage are at a greater risk of divorce. I, personally, found these studies troubling. Or rather, I found the fact that people have flocked to them as proof that couples shouldn’t live together before marriage very troubling. It just isn’t practical or reasonable to state that living together before marriage wouldn’t give a couple some advantages. I’ll go so far as to say that not living together before marriage is dangerous (I’ll get to that later). It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with a partner—you don’t know what it’s like to live together until you live together. Some couples will say, “Well we practically live together.” No—you don’t. You always have your own place to escape to and the knowledge that you have that place. That changes everything. I’d like to dispute the dangerous belief that couples shouldn’t live together until marriage. Sure, couples who live together first are at higher risk of divorce, but I don’t think it has much to do with living together. Here are the actual probable causes.

 

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/PeopleImages / Getty

The delay was a symptom of something else

If you have a couple who lives together for many, many years before tying the knot, this begs the question: why did they wait so long to get married? The fact they cohabitated before marriage may not be the reason they divorce, but the fact that they delayed marriage in general for so long could be a symptom of an underlying issue.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/Peter Cade / Getty

It was bound to come out eventually

Whatever the trouble was delaying marriage in the first place is bound to come out eventually. Just because it comes in out marriage, doesn’t mean that living together prior is what caused the problem. But by living together for years, the couple who was perhaps already doomed was able to put off marriage for a while.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/krisanapong detraphiphat / Getty

They don’t come from religious families

Couples who don’t cohabitate before marriage often do this because they come from religious or conservative families who prohibit it. Their desire to live separately before marriage isn’t actually a desire at all, but an observation of some mandate.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/Korrawin Khanta / EyeEm / Getty

So they feel free to divorce

Those same conservative families who prohibit living together before marriage may shun the idea of divorce so, even if this couple does find—once they live together—that they aren’t happy together, they feel too ashamed to divorce.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/LeoPatrizi / Getty

They’ve been together a long time

A couple who lives together before marriage is likely to be together before marriage for much longer than a couple who doesn’t cohabitate before marriage. In other words, the cohabitating couple may be together for five or six years before tying the knot, whereas a couple who doesn’t live together may only be together a year or two before marrying—they rush marriage, so they can finally live together.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/hundreddays / Getty

It’s as if they’d been married

So, knowing that cohabitating couples may simply date for many years longer before marriage, they may just not have that much time left to tolerate each other by the time they marry. A couple who is newly married and just living together for the first time has a lot of patience for one another still—they’ve barely been in each other’s space before.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/svetikd / Getty

They openly discuss their needs

I believe that couples who live together before marriage are generally more comfortable with stating their needs, demands, and desires. They live together so they are forced to become very vocal about their needs.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm / Getty

Like their need to divorce

A couples’ ability to be vocal about needs may extend to their ability to be vocal about wanting a divorce. A couple who is just living together for the first time after marriage may not be comfortable openly communicating. They may want a divorce, but not have the level of comfort to say it.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/svetikd / Getty

Distance can be stabilizing

The truth is that, what you don’t know can sometimes…make you stronger. At least, on the surface. A couple who dates for years without living together develops a dynamic full of facades, secrets, and mystery. They don’t show each other their full, true selves.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/skynesher / Getty

Distance becomes the norm

Once living together, the couple who didn’t cohabitate before marriage might just have a dynamic now of hiding things, and putting on a façade. They’re never fully themselves, so they never really discover how compatible they are (or aren’t). They get by, with everyone putting on the face they must put on to make the marriage work. They’re used to putting on a perfect face, because they lived separate for so long.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/LumiNola / Getty

Conservative couples reproduce quicker

If we can agree that many couples who won’t live together before marriage are religious or conservative, then it’s not a leap to suggest that those same couples have children sooner. Whether they don’t believe in birth control, or feel that making children is their responsibility to their religion or traditions, they may make kids sooner than couples who live together before marriage. That means that, should they want to divorce, they have a big thing (kids) making it quite difficult.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/svetikd / Getty

Liberal couples delay family

If couples who cohabitate before marriage tend to delay marriage, they likely delay having kids, too. They’re just moving on a slower timeline. So, their desire to divorce may come up before any kids come into the picture, making everything much easier. Unless, of course, they have a baby in an attempt to save their marriage.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/gilaxia / Getty

Conservative couples have less experience

Conservative couples who don’t live together before marriage may have been conservative when it comes to dating, in general. In other words, they may not have had many other relationships before getting married, and may not be totally aware of what else is out there/all the ways a relationship could or should feel. They have little compare to, so they may not know what they’re missing.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/Aja Koska / Getty

Liberal couples know what they want

Liberal couples who cohabitate before marriage have likely dated around and when they feel unhappy they know there is life beyond this relationship. In other words, they do have other relationships to compare their marriage to, and do know that things could possibly be better.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/Stígur Már Karlsson /Heimsmyndir / Getty

An antiquated financial agreement

Conservative couples may have an agreement where the man handles the finances and the woman doesn’t touch them. This can leave a woman who is unhappy in her marriage feeling like she can’t leave, because she’s lost the knowledge to financially support herself.

living together before marriage

Source: Gettyimages.com/Adene Sanchez / Getty

Versus financial freedom

A more liberal couple may consist of two people who are both breadwinners and are both involved in the finances. The woman doesn’t feel afraid to leave. She never stops gaining education regarding finances and she never leaves the workforce for her marriage. She has a way out.

TRENDING ON MADAMENOIRE
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN