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#1 Old 05-06-2008, 09:39 AM
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What's your opinion on living together? Do you think it's good preparation for marriage? Do you think it's a bad idea? Why or why not?



If you live with someone or have before, what are/were your biggest reasons? How is it/did it work out?
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#2 Old 05-06-2008, 09:44 AM
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i wouldn't marry someone who i hadn't lived with. actually, i wouldn't marry someone anyway, but if i was going to, i'd really want to live with them first. all those lovely little suprises you'd have otherwise... hmmmm.
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#3 Old 05-06-2008, 09:54 AM
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I agree with HCJ, I wouldn't marry someone I hadn't lived with. So, yeah, to co-habitation first.
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#4 Old 05-06-2008, 09:57 AM
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Hi Kara, I have no intention of living with the guy I plan on marrying until we marry. I lived with someone before after dating for 3 1/2 years, and it didn't work out once we got married. We moved in together because of financial reasons. We couldn't figure out why we were paying for two rents when he was spending majority of the nights at my house.



With that being said, the research studies indicate that living together prior to marriage is a bad idea and the percentage of marriages that last after living together is smaller than the percentage of marriages that last who have never lived together. I personally plan on giving my marriage the best possible chance to last.



Here is a good article from Rutgers: http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publicat...LT2%20TEXT.htm
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#5 Old 05-06-2008, 10:05 AM
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I was just going to say exactly what mrosev14 said, research shows that living together before marriage is risk factor for divorce. That being said, it doesn't mean you're 100% for sure going to get divorced...it just means that the odds are higher. But there are TONS of other risk factors too (e.g., age, education, length of engagement, etc.)



However, knowing all of this, I do live with my fiance. It's worked out quite well so far. It was mainly a budget thing, as we were paying two rents when we were together most nights. I never had a room mate before, so if anything, that was the biggest hurdle for me. I'm used to a lot of "alone" time.
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#6 Old 05-06-2008, 10:17 AM
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I'm all for living together. In fact, for me it was absolutely neccessary. I lived with a guy who I thought I was going to marry and I am so so glad I did. I found out all his little habits, who he really was, and who we were together. Thank God I did too cause it gave me a glimpse at how awful our future would have been. I ran... and fast lol.



Years later I met my Husband. We moved in together very quickly. I knew it was essential to live with him first so we made a pact that we would live together for a year and see how we stood. Through it all we had great love, we married, and are very happy. I felt like that was the responsible thing to do. I can not personally imagine marrying someone who I hadn't lived with. It would feel like I was marrying a stranger.
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#7 Old 05-06-2008, 10:23 AM
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in australia, living together has been the norm for years. i dont think anyone even calls it shacking up anymore.
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#8 Old 05-06-2008, 10:30 AM
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I can't imagine not living with someone before marrying them.



As for the research, is it possible that the types of people who don't live together before marriage are more conservative and less likely to get a divorce because of perhaps their religious beliefs? Just a thought.
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#9 Old 05-06-2008, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mrosev14 View Post


With that being said, the research studies indicate that living together prior to marriage is a bad idea and the percentage of marriages that last after living together is smaller than the percentage of marriages that last who have never lived together. I personally plan on giving my marriage the best possible chance to last.



Here is a good article from Rutgers: http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publicat...LT2%20TEXT.htm



I never liked this study... it's such an obvious point. Conservative types who wait to live together till marriage are less likely to divorce? no kidding. I read it in Cosmo the first time, and was blown away.



I mean increasing the odds of a successful marriage by the timing of a certificate? I don't know why the success of a marriage is judged by how long it lasts.



I live with my boyfriend and I love it, and I don't know why we'd live apart. He is the best roommate I have ever had and it just feels so natural to be with him. Of course I don't know if we'll last forever, and neither of us are really the "marriage is forever" types.



I wouldn't trade my life right now for the longest marriage in the world.
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#10 Old 05-06-2008, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by fyvel View Post

I can't imagine not living with someone before marrying them.



As for the research, is it possible that the types of people who don't live together before marriage are more conservative and less likely to get a divorce because of perhaps their religious beliefs? Just a thought.



you beat me to it.
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#11 Old 05-06-2008, 10:35 AM
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I'm all for living together. In fact, for me it was absolutely neccessary. I lived with a guy who I thought I was going to marry and I am so so glad I did. I found out all his little habits, who he really was, and who we were together. Thank God I did too cause it gave me a glimpse at how awful our future would have been. I ran... and fast lol.



Same here. I am all for living together before marriage. You really get to know a person when you live with them. I would never marry someone without living with them for a few years first.
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#12 Old 05-06-2008, 10:37 AM
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that article is quite interesting. the national marriage project seems to be as well.



i spose it really does depend who you are as an individual, what your intentions and expectations and perceptions are, what you're in it for, how much you have vested in making it work, the skills and support you have behind you, etc.



i think perhaps a decent percentage of the people who aren't co-habiting before marriage have a very different mindset overall about marriage to those who are. i think a lot of them might not be co-habiting for religion or moral based reasons, and see marriage as a seriously unbreakable lifelong tie to one person, for the same reasons.



they might have more spiritual and community support and councelling pre and post marriage, and a different upbringing, which makes different behaviours, roles, and interactions appropriate. they might be more prepared to stick it out for the long haul and work their asses off to fix it, if they are confronted with all sorts of unknown problems. they might also be prepared to make the best of a bad lot and stay in an unhappy marriage, where others might give it a good shot, but eventually decide to walk away. similarly they might take a lot more time and learning to be really truly sure before they commit, cos it is an unbreakable deal that they're entering into.



i don't know if more co-habiter marriages ending in divorce is a good thing or a bad thing. i'm sure nobody wants to be in an unhappy marriage, just as nobody gets married thinking 'ooh, a divorce in about 3 years time will be just ideal'. but how many people who cohabit and end up divorced do so because they know things really aren't 'right', because they've lived in situations that weren't as 'wrong' before? how many non-cohabiters stay married and wish they were divorced, but don't have that insight into a normal or healthy cohabitation situation, or a community structure that tells them that its ok to not succeed, and to admit that its just not fixable, and walk away from a broken relationship, instead of bandaiding it for 40 or 60 years?



personally i'd rather know what i'm getting before i sign up for it. and admittedly i'm not signing up for it, cos i don't need or want to. that doesn't make me less commited, or give me an easier ride, or more risk of failure, it just means i don't have a piece of paper legal string tying me to my man. if i was gonna walk away, a wedding dress and name change wouldn't stop me or make me think twice, neither would it be more likely to make me stay. but then, i'm me.
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#13 Old 05-06-2008, 10:40 AM
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I wouldn't marry or get a civil partnership with someone I hadn't lived with. It's a necessary part of finding out whether you could cope with them forever, to me. But I've never lived with an SO.
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#14 Old 05-06-2008, 10:42 AM
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Then there's the data on this page, which says that cohabitation increases risk of divorce in the UK and USA, but decreases it in France and Germany, and that "if cohabitatation is limited to a person's future spouse, there is no elevated risk of divorce."



I don't know how data on cohabitation and divorce is collected, but I can see all kinds of reasons why the cohabitation-increases-risk-of-divorce statistic may be misleading. For example, people who don't cohabit may be more likely to be very religious/conservative and therefore wouldn't divorce anyway. Also, avoiding divorce isn't necessarily the goal when it comes to marriage; having a happy marriage is, and sometimes that's just not possible with the person you're married to.



I moved in with my fiance about a year before we got married because we decided it made more sense to buy our house then than wait a year and keep paying two sets of rent. I had never lived with anyone before--spending nights together in each other's apartments isn't the same--and adjusting to it took me quite a while; and I had a few thoughts about calling off the wedding because of it. I'm glad I got the chance to work it out while I still felt I had the option to leave, so that I knew I was staying and working through the problems we had because I wanted to, not because I had to. (Incidentally, the problems haven't entirely gone away. I just decided I could live with them.)
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#15 Old 05-06-2008, 11:07 AM
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I wouldn't live with a man before marrying him. Personally, I think it's wrong for me to live with someone before we get married or even to have sex with someone before marriage. I think marriage is a commitment that married couples have to work out at every day. Living together and having sex are privileges that come along with marriage.



That being said, I do spend weekends over at my boyfriend's place. I don't consider that living together and were able to spend more time together. I'm not sure if that sounds counter-intuitive to what I just said in the beginning of the post. I'm not saying living together before you're married is wrong, but it seems wrong for me.



In case anyone's wondering, I'm a 26-year-old female who's only lived with parents or with roommates. Im not particularly religious or conservative at all, but I suppose I would be considered a little conservative on my views of this subject.



To what hoodedclawjen mentioned, I also think pre and post-marriage counseling are wonderful ideas. It lets you get an outsiders perspective on the relationship between you and your SO.
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#16 Old 05-06-2008, 11:13 AM
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...is it possible that the types of people who don't live together before marriage are more conservative and less likely to get a divorce because of perhaps their religious beliefs? Just a thought.



I have a couple of relatives who are married to each other and detest each other, but can't get divorced because their flavor of Christianity forbids it. I really feel sorry for them - their marriage is an unending source of misery for them both.



Interestingly, many 'liberal' Christians now shack up after getting engaged but before getting hitched, which I guess gives them time to wiggle out if there is a serious mismatch in one way or another.



What are the chances of politicians passing a law requiring people to shack up before getting hitched? As GWB says, "not on my watch".



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#17 Old 05-06-2008, 11:30 AM
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I wouldn't want to marry someone without living with them. Like isowish, I need to know I can cope with their habits and such for a lifetime before that kind of commitment. That said, I've only ever lived with people I'd consider marrying.
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#18 Old 05-06-2008, 12:39 PM
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Living together is so much fun! But makes the break up so much harder.
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#19 Old 05-06-2008, 12:45 PM
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I would prefer to live with someone before entering a civil union with them. I think it's an important test. Like gilli said, though, I'd only live with someone I could see myself ending up with for the long run. The only thing that's kind of a bummer is that nothing would change when you got united. No big move with all the excitement.
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#20 Old 05-06-2008, 12:48 PM
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I would prefer to live with someone before entering a civil union with them. I think it's an important test. Like gilli said, though, I'd only live with someone I could see myself ending up with for the long run. The only thing that's kind of a bummer is that nothing would change when you got united. No big move with all the excitement.



There is a bit of a change after being married but the lack of excitement with the big move is a negative. Not big enough to make a difference though.
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#21 Old 05-06-2008, 02:07 PM
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I would prefer to live with someone before entering a civil union with them. I think it's an important test. Like gilli said, though, I'd only live with someone I could see myself ending up with for the long run. The only thing that's kind of a bummer is that nothing would change when you got united. No big move with all the excitement.



That's really ineteresting that you see it that way. I felt that there would be so much excitement that trying to fit a move in with everything else would have been too stressful. I am so glad we already had the house because that way when the planning, extended family pre-visits, wedding, and honeymoon was over, we could relax together... not move stuff. If you wanted the big move though you could always live with someone and then move after the wedding or move from an apartment to a house together.
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#22 Old 05-06-2008, 02:18 PM
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i guess i see it as a good thing if i'm moving more than 1,000 miles away to do just that.
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#23 Old 05-06-2008, 02:26 PM
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i guess i see it as a good thing if i'm moving more than 1,000 miles away to do just that.



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#24 Old 05-06-2008, 02:44 PM
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With that being said, the research studies indicate that living together prior to marriage is a bad idea and the percentage of marriages that last after living together is smaller than the percentage of marriages that last who have never lived together.



Here is a good article from Rutgers: http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publicat...LT2%20TEXT.htm



Others have brought up the fact that the sample is likely to be skewed along religious and other factors. And that a successful and happy marriage is more than just whether it ends in divorce or not. I've known couples married for decades who loathe and verbally abuse each other. Is that kind of marriage successful and should it be held up as something to protect? I've known couples who had really good relationships for decades and then decided to separate in their 50's after the children had grown as they had grown apart and it was done amicably. Was that marriage a failure?



What I think hasn't been said is the unfortunate fact that it is not uncommon for cohabiting couples who are drifting apart to get married in the hopes that that will somehow make a difference and strengthen (save) the relationship. Many think of "getting married" and marriage as some magical event that will make everything better. Of course these marriages won't work out - the relationship prior to the marriage wasn't working and getting married will only postpone the inevitable breakup. Some couples have children for the same reason (to save the relationship), which is even worse.



Personally, I lived in a co-ed college dorm with my future husband three doors away from me. The fact that I started to go out with him after a year of seeing him all hours of the day and night, in all states of mental and physical competence, meant that I had few illusions about him that could be shattered! We lived together for 5 years before we got married and we've been together for over 19 years. Not that an individual case is proof of anything...
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#25 Old 05-06-2008, 04:22 PM
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My mum practically forbade me from ever marrying someone I didn't live with first



I've been living with the bloke for 6 years now so I don't think she need worry any longer!
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#26 Old 05-06-2008, 04:24 PM
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My mum practically forbade me from ever marrying someone I didn't live with first



I've been living with the bloke for 6 years now so I don't think she need worry any longer!



My mother was totally the opposite. She's calmed down a bunch though.
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#27 Old 05-06-2008, 05:05 PM
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Even though I am opposed to living with someone prior to marriage, my mom would prefer me to. She thinks that it is a good way for people to find out if their marriage would work. I however, still hold firm that I don't want to live together prior to marriage. I also am not religious so it isn't for that reason, it is based strictly on the studies that have been done on cohabitation.
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#28 Old 05-06-2008, 05:37 PM
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I don't base my life on studies, because everyone is different. I don't base my life on how things turn out for others. Like others have mentioned, the study seems biased, anyway. That said, it's good you are doing what feels right for you and your relationship.



I would never marry anyone that I havn't lived with first.
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#29 Old 05-06-2008, 05:42 PM
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The studies don't show everything. They aren't remotely proof that living together before marriage will result in divorce or never marrying in the first place. It only shows a correlation. I think its mostly the attitudes of the people who are willing to live together before marriage. There tends to be a more relaxed attitude toward breaking up later when things don't work. A lot of the people wait till they are married have much more conservatives views and will naturally have lower divorce rates.
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#30 Old 05-06-2008, 09:56 PM
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I would not live with someone before marriage, but I don't fault those who do. That said, if you're livin' with my man before I marry him, you got some 'splainin' to do!



Although, perhaps if I really wanted to cut the wedding guest list down, I could tell people we were living together, and watch the hoards of people all turn out to have other plans for the day...



It bothers me when people in my faith community and family act like a marriage commitment doesn't matter if the couple has lived together first. It's still a big deal! A woman I knew when we were in high school youth group at church stopped regularly attending in college, and after college she married her boyfriend with whom she had lived for two years. Although weddings and engagements are routinely proclaimed with glee during worship services, I didn't find out this woman was engaged, let alone married, until six months after the wedding--and her mother was very involved in the church! I believe her mother was embarrassed about it and didn't want to "admit she'd been a bad mother" or what have you.



I'd much rather have my child live with a SO before marrying and have a happy, healthy marriage than do what my sister did: Find one of the worst possible people, date in secrecy, not live together, then elope and move thousands of miles away from everyone who might be able to help her out if the relationship turns physically abusive. Gotta put this in perspective, now.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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