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.