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ryeb
06-17-2011, 12:01 AM
Did any of you live with your SO before marriage?

If so, how long did you wait to move in with eachother?

What do you think is an appropriate "time frame" to move in with some?


ryeb
06-17-2011, 12:33 AM
I agree about living with every person you date. It is weird, the man I am with now, we are moving what would be considered fast, but it is like everything is just falling into place. Maybe it is because we are a little older? Not old, but he is 29; me, 27.

*Let it be known I am just curious of opinions, not looking for advice lol :)

ButterCup85
06-17-2011, 12:50 AM
I say do whatever feels right! I lived with my ex husband about a year before marriage. And the other guy kinda lived with me fairly soon- he was my rebound so we didn't stay together haha.

I don't always listen to the too fast stuff. Life is too short. Not that I promote an extreme promiscuous life style or not being safe etc. But, you're adults! Soo, whatever floats your boat!

Oh I don't have a time frame really. It depends on the person and how we are and whatnot. I don't really have many rules when it comes to relationships.


Ferumbras
06-17-2011, 01:20 AM
With my husband, we lived together for about a year and a half before getting married, moving in together after about a year of dating (and I was over at his place a good 4 or 5 nights out of the week by two or three months into the relationship). We also shared a teeny tiny Paris apartment for a month before officially moving in together -- that really lets you know if you can live with someone!

With my previous fiance, we moved in together after four years, but it had been an online, long-distance relationship until that point. For the first two years, I was still in college and so had my dorm room I could always go to if needed. After that, we were well and truly living together for two more years.

I'm with what others have said: do what feels right for you. But I'm a huge advocate of living with someone before marriage or matching tattoos. ;)

kaplods
06-17-2011, 01:32 AM
I'm super traditional, and have always believed in slow-progressing relationships, long engagements and not living together before marriage (especially when in college I learned that the divorce rate for couples hwo live together first is actually higher than for couples who don't), so I always said I would never live with someone before marriage, and then I met my husband and I threw all that out the window.

We met in mid-October of 2001, and I moved in with him Feb 1, 2002 and we were married November 2002.

I was ready to get married before I moved in with him, but he'd had a really bad live-in relationshop before me (the ex-fiance dumped him while he was visiting his great-grandmother after she broke a hip. When he called to tell his then-hunny he was on his way home, she told him he didn't live there anymore and she had moved a new boyfriend in).

We would have gotten married sooner, but my youngest sister already had her wedding date set for June, and we didn't want to upstage her wedding with our own, or set it too close to hers so that relatives wouldn't be overburdened with the whole gift-giving and traveling for the weddings, so we set ours for November.

It really was a whirl-wind courtship, and I would have never thought myself capable of letting my heart rule my head. In every other relationship I ever had, I was always very practical and level-headed. Something about hubby just felt right, almost from the beginning. I trusted my gut, and it worked out.

I still feel though that we "beat the odds." That we did everything "wrong" and it still ended up working out, because we were right for each other. Then again, we've also worked very hard at it, and I think it's why I did trust my instincts with him, because I learned early on with him that he believed just as I did, that good relationships don't just happen, they require a lot of work. We were both willing to put in the work, so it turned out ok.

We also had a "crash course" approach to our relationship. From the day we met, we spent nearly every free moment together. We talked about our dates being measured in dog-years, because we estimated that we spent 7 times the time together than other new couples we knew. We spent almost every free minute together (and even quite a few not-entirely-free minutes, emailing from work).

I still can't say I recommend whirlwind courtships, but I can't really criticise them anymore either.

krampus
06-17-2011, 01:53 AM
I think it's the logical option to try before you buy too. That said I don't have any intent to get married or move in with my dude now, soon or maybe ever.

mandalinn82
06-17-2011, 02:01 AM
DW and I met in our college dorm - she spent a LOT of nights in my dorm room, and that was after we'd been together a month! But we got our own place after a year together.

I'm fairly certain we would have gotten married earlier if it was an option for us. As it was, we had what most would consider to be a long, drawn out engagement, but that was mostly for legal reasons.

Skittlez
06-17-2011, 02:14 AM
I was staying with my mother when I met my now husband. We met online so I was lucky enough to have a mother who let him come stay with us for a bit until we found our own place. He moved in with me within 4 or 5 months of us meeting. We bought a house and moved out, then 2 years later we married. In my opinion, if it feels right, do it. You'll know if it feels too fast :-P

indiblue
06-17-2011, 04:37 AM
I had been dating my boyfriend for 2 years before we moved in together; we've now lived together happily for the last year.

Even though my bf comes from a Catholic family, we really felt it was important to strip away all the 'fantasies' we had about marriage and see it for what it was- daily tedious decisions about money, jobs, future, etc, and make sure if we decided to get married it would be based on a realistic understanding of what marriage entails.

Though we live together, we are still quite conservative in many respects- neither of us have lived with anyone before, and by far the most conservative among among our peers when it comes to sex, dating, prior sexual partners, etc.

There are a lot of studies indicated a relationship between people who move in together and high divorce rates. REMEMBER that these are all correlations not causations. It is pretty impossible to tell if the reason for the divorce was that they moved in together. In other words, if those same people did not move in together, would they have gotten divorced? There's no way to tell. There are a lot of reasons for the findings of these surveys- one major explanation is people who move in together are more likely to be liberal, progressive, and less religious. They therefore are more likely to get divorced if they are unhappy, whereas people who are more religious or conservative are more likely to eschew divorce as even an option, even if they are unhappy with the marriage, someone cheats, etc. (please note I am NOT making judgment statements on divorce, living together, etc. Just looking at these studies/findings on correlation from a proper statistical research vantage point).

That said, I recently read a GREAT book I'd highly recommend called The Marriage-Go-Round. The author, an anthropologist, cites one of the reasons that people who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce is that they got married because they had sort of a 'why not' mentality. They moved in together, started living like they were married, and then got married as a natural next step, without talking about it or examining their relationship rigorously. I see this is a useful cautionary example for people who do live together (like myself) to continue to examine the relationship and decide if breaking up or getting married makes the most sense, not just getting married because you're "basically" married already.

Just some rambling thoughts. Whether you live together before marriage or not is completely up to your own situation and what works best for you :)

nelie
06-17-2011, 08:58 AM
I had dated a few guys before my husband, for a year or more, with no inclinations of moving in or marriage. I had known my husband for years but we were casual friends. We became close friends and then we started dating. 3 months after we started dating, we started plans to move to be closer to eachother. 2 months after that, I moved from Colorado to the east coast and we moved in together.

I will say that the need for both of us to move was a pretty big factor in us living together. He had just moved back to the east coast and was temporarily living with his parents. So the option was for him to extend his stay at his parents and I move into a tiny apartment and see how he relationship progressed and then move into a larger apartment or start with he larger apartment and live together. We decided to have both of us move into a larger apartment.

fatferretfanatic
06-17-2011, 09:30 AM
Hubby and I were in a college that doesn't allow traditional students to live off campus, so we didn't live together before marriage though we really would have loved to. We were already engaged by the time we entered college (we were 18), and so we had been together three years before we got married, when we were 20. I think you should do what you feel is right. If you feel like it's a good idea, have weighed the pros and cons, and still feel you should move in, then maybe you should!

junebug41
06-17-2011, 10:07 AM
DH and I met when I was 22 and he was 25. We maintained our own apartments for 6 or 7 months until we got our first place together, but spent every night together long before that so yes, I think things moved pretty fast. It just felt right and was comfortable for us. I don't think there is a set time frame that's approprtiate. My parents are pretty progressive and didn't have any big issue with it. His parents are very traditional and it did not sit well with his mother, but she got over it.

ETA: We met in 2004, moved in together in 2005, engaged in 2007, married 2008, house 2009, child on the way 2011.

sacha
06-17-2011, 10:19 AM
We met & I moved in within 3 weeks. That was quite a few years ago and we have a 1 year old son now, a house, and are still not legally married :) We will get around to it one day, but living together/children before marriage is actually quite common here and we feel no urge or pressure to do so.

4star
06-17-2011, 10:25 AM
Yep. We were broken up but still friends, and just intending to be roommates. Things just turned into better circumstances along the way though and we've been together over a decade and married for several years now. What can ya say? Life is crazy but cool. :D

MaryB75
06-17-2011, 12:22 PM
I think you will know what is the right thing for you to do. I moved in with my husband after we had only been dating for 1.5 months and we were married 1.5 years after that. I don't regret it and it just felt like the right hing to do. We just had our 4 year anniversry in April.

josey
06-17-2011, 01:02 PM
I moved in with my boyfriend in under a year. I guess we didn't really think about how long we were together. It just worked out that way. We spend our time together at either place anyways. Kind of half living at his, half at mine. Usually weekdays at mine downtown and weekends at his on the ranch. It just made sense to move together when my lease was up. So I packed my bags in June 2009 and moved in with him and we live there happily since then. It was a totally smooth transition (I never was a city person anyways) and we had no problems whatsoever. I know I am very lucky and no, I am not giving him back! He is MINE!!! :-)))

Emme
06-17-2011, 01:33 PM
My husband and I moved in together after a year of dating...we waited almost seven years to get married, but that's because we met when we were in college, moved around, etc. We've been together almost 10 years and moving in together before marriage was the best thing we could have done. We know a newly married couple who didn't live together before they got married and it's funny to hear their stories of having to adjust to each other.

If it feels right, then I say go for it!

gonnadoitthistime
06-17-2011, 01:48 PM
I would never do it again. Men and women are very different when it comes to commitment. Most women living with a guy behave as if they are married, guys aren't married until they are married. Just sayin, from my experience.

nelie
06-17-2011, 02:39 PM
Marriage isn't everyone's goal and it certainly wasn't mine when I moved in with my husband. I also wouldn't say as if I behaved as if I was married when my husband and I lived together prior to marriage. We were both committed to a monogamous relationship but that started on day 1 of our relationship. We split the bills, had separate accounts, etc while we were unmarried. A couple months before we got married, my husband missed a credit card payment and after talking about bills and what not, I took over the finances and took over all bills.

We got our first pet a week after we got married, we bought a house together a year after we got married, etc :)

ERHR
06-17-2011, 03:59 PM
No, I didn't live with my husband before we got married, which was after 4.5 years of dating. We've been married 1 year now.

When I was in college and an atheist I read the research on cohabitation and decided it wasn't worth the risks - taking into account the causation/correlation debate that indiblue stated above (although these is not a difference in the divorce increase between religious and nonreligious people).

Then after college I became a Christian and both living together and sex before marriage were no longer even an option.

I have to say there have been ZERO surprises in terms of living together, so at least for the way we dated there was, in retrospect, no justification for living together to "really" see what it is like/know one another.

Lovely
06-17-2011, 04:16 PM
I did not live with my husband before we got married.

No religious reasons (I'm quite a happy Atheist :) ). No social reasons (my brothers both lived with women before getting married, even though my dear loving mother disapproved). Not even the research reasons! (The ones that say people living together have a higher rate of divorce.)

I dunno. I decided I wanted to live on my own for a while. I did, and I'm grateful for that time.

What other people do as long as they're not harming others is their own business. I've known a ton of people who've lived together before getting married, and a ton of people who haven't. I don't think one way or another about them.

Other than this: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY KEEP YOUR ASSETS SEPARATE FOR LEGAL REASONS. If crap goes bad... well just watch an episode of those court shows to see what happens when people are tangled together over money issues when they aren't married. It ain't pretty. Better safe than sorry.

BowandArcher
06-17-2011, 04:19 PM
wow yes, living together before marriage is super important to me. Thats when you REALLY get to know em ;) lol

MindiV
06-17-2011, 04:30 PM
DH and I knew each other before we got married. I was living with another guy when we met. There was no cheating on my part in my current relationship. It fell apart, and DH and I eventually got together.

From the first time we were intimate, I pretty much stopped staying at my house. I lived two doors down from him, and he just stopped wanting me to go home at night. So I'd stay at his place then go home and get ready for work the next morning.

I guess we pretty much lived together from the start, though we didn't officially move in together for about four months. We got married eight months later and will be celebrating our fourth anniversary on July 4, and we're trying to have a baby.

I firmly believe it's good to live with someone before you get married. Had I never lived with my ex before we got married, I'd have never noticed that he was a different person at home than he was with other people. We might have actually gotten married and that would have been a nightmare.

mzKiki
06-17-2011, 04:43 PM
I wouldn't buy a car without a test drive or marry someone without living with them lol. I don't think you should live together for at least a year though. Trust me morning breath and dirty laundry can ruin a new relationship!

ryeb
06-17-2011, 05:25 PM
Thank you for all of the input.

I completely agree with the statement about people just moving in together, then feel they need to get married since it is the next step, but never were in the right mind frame/relationship status. I moved in with a guy I had been dating for a month or two because we both extremely needed a roommate for financial reasons. I learned after that fall out, that I would never move in with a person unless I wanted to spend my life with them.

It is just weird to me, how this time feels so different. I don't know if it is due to the fact we are both feet in first and ready or what? Who knows, but I do feel a little crazy how sure I am of this. I just hope I don't eat these words later. :)

EZMONEY
06-17-2011, 08:47 PM
I grew up in the '60's and early '70's where, as teen-agers and young adults, we went around with the slogans....love the one you're with ~ marriage is just a piece of paper ~ if it feels good do it...

40 years later I have to tell ya that we were wrong! :(

I have seen the damage that has come from those beliefs in myself, my family and friends and it continues on today through their children.

Here are my stats ~

I lived with my first wife for 4 years before marriage..we divorced after 10 years of marriage....

I did not live with my second wife before marriage....we have been married 16 years and still going strong...

Here are stats from a column from Dr. Phil ~


Marriage and Divorce: The Statistics
Learn what the 2003 data reveals about who is getting married, when they're getting married, and who is most likely to divorce.


The average age of a woman getting married in the United States is 27. — Bride's Magazine



The average age of a man getting married in the United States is 29. — Bride's Magazine



88 percent of American men and women between the ages of 20 and 29 believe that they have a soul mate who is waiting for them. — University Wire, Louisiana State University



59 percent of marriages for women under the age of 18 end in divorce within 15 years. The divorce rate drops to 36 percent for those married at age 20 or older. — "Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the United States," M.D. Bramlett and W.D. Mosher



60 percent of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce. — National Center for Health Statistics



50 percent of all marriages in which the brides are 25 or older result in a failed marriage. — National Center for Health Statistics



65 percent of altar-bound men and women live together before getting married. — Bride's Magazine



Research indicates that people who live together prior to getting married are more likely to have marriages that end in divorce. — The Boston Herald




A recent study on cohabitation concluded that after five to seven years, only 21 percent of unmarried couples were still living together. — The Boston Herald



55 percent of cohabitating couples get married within five years of moving in together. Forty percent of couples who live together break up within that same time period. — Annual Review of Sociology



Children of divorce have a higher risk of divorce when they marry, and an even higher risk if the person they marry comes from a divorced home. One study found that when the wife alone had experienced a parental divorce, her odds of divorce increased to 59 percent. When both spouses experienced parental divorce, the odds of divorce nearly tripled to 189 percent. — Journal of Marriage and the Family



The likelihood that a woman will eventually marry is significantly lower for those who first had a child out of wedlock. By age 35, only 70 percent of all unwed mothers are married in contrast to 88 percent of women who have not had a child out of wedlock. — "Finding a Mate? The Marital and Cohabitation Histories of Unwed Mothers," Lawrence L. Wu and Barbara Wolfe

Good Luck :)

ryeb
06-17-2011, 09:44 PM
Thank you for your post EZMoney. I think some of those phrases are still here today, though. I have heard the "just a piece of paper" numerous times.

Scarlett
06-17-2011, 10:20 PM
I wouldn't move in with a Boyfriend. I think its fine that other people do it. I have no religious/moral objections to living together. It's just that I would like to get married someday and think it puts you in a bad position. A lot of men don't look at living together as a step before marriage. They just look at it as sex all the time and someone to cook for me, without commitment. I don't want to be the live in girlfriend who is anxious for a ring. I feel like if you want to wake up next to me every morning you're going to have to put a ring on it. I get REALLY attached to guys and don't think I could handle living with someone.

With that being said, if I was in a position where it just felt VERY RIGHT in the moment I would be open to it. I'm talking about some sort of logistical or practical reason where I felt certain he wasn't trying to play games with me.

Kaonashi
06-18-2011, 02:00 AM
July will be 10 years for my partner and I. Neither one of us have any desire to get married.

What we are tired of: People asking "Soooo...when are you going to get married?" or even worse, suggesting that I'm "abnormal" because I'm a woman who isn't foaming at the bits to get wed, or that "we're not committed to our relationship." Um, no and no.

Honestly, the fascination that some people have with other people's martial statuses (or lack of) that aren't their own is...creepy. Marriage is a privilege, and frankly it makes me angry that there are people in our country who genuinely WANT to get married (but can't, due to state laws) while people who CAN abuse that privilege in so many ways. :/

Marriage is wonderful for people who WANT to be married. When I hear about people being married for 50+ years, I think it's a beautiful, rare thing and I am happy for them. But it's not for me, and whether you're getting married (or living with someone) it's very important to BE ON THE SAME PAGE as far as the future is concerned. If you know that you don't want to get married it's very unfair to string someone along who does. There also seems to be a lot of people who are told from the very beginning "Hey, I don't want to get married" and they will stay with that person in the hopes of changing their mind. Now I'm not going to say that sometimes that doesn't happen, but why waste your time? Find someone who feels the same way you do!

nelie
06-18-2011, 10:59 AM
I will also say relationships end for good or bad, it happens. Saying there is some statistic about divorce rate doesn't mean living together is a bad thing. I've enjoyed my marriage with my husband and we are both invested in our relationship. If at some point in life, we get divorced, then I won't say I regretted living together or regretted getting married. I don't regret the previous relationships I've had in my life either.

My husband was married before, they didn't live together prior to being married. They divorced. We lived together prior to being married and so far we are still together and going strong.

EZMONEY
06-18-2011, 12:56 PM
I agree with you NELIE that statistics are just that and each person does not fall into each category when it comes to divorce...

However, when "I" think about it, it's like saying only 4 out of 10 people die after jumping off this bridge...

why would anyone still jump?....I don't know....

but they do.

FrouFrou
06-18-2011, 01:50 PM
Someone once said to me "It's like buying a pair of shoes, you have to try them on to see if they fit before you buy them." LMAO

Anyway...first marriage I met the hubby in April, we got a place together in May and married in August. We were married for 12 years before he was killed. Second marriage...met in Nov, I moved to the same town as the hubby the following July in my own place, then moved in with him in October...we married the following May and are going on 13 years. I will say the second time around was a little different in that kids were involved.

Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with living together before marriage or just living together period...statistics, blah! There are NO guarantees in life so enjoy while you can and take it one day at a time!

FitGirlyGirl
06-18-2011, 02:53 PM
When I met my husband we should have both been each other's rebound fling, but things just clicked and fell into place and it ended up to be much more than that. We met in June 2006, started hanging out in July, dating in August, at end of October he proposed, I moved in with him in the middle of November, we got married October 4, 2007. We are very happy with each other and our relationship is strong. We are currently in the middle of adopting children and have no plans to ever divorce.

I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with if you live with them beforehand or not. I lived with my last husband too and still didn't know him (he was in bed with someone else 8 days after our wedding and expected me to change almost everything about myself 'now that we are married').

ryeb
06-18-2011, 05:28 PM
Also, I've read the statistics that say the likelihood of a marriage lasting is greater for those who don't live together pre-marriage. I have a feeling these are skewed since most of those relationships have the couple not living together because of "moral" beliefs, which, I think, could easily come with not believing in divorce and staying in the relationship until death do they part, etc.

I agree with this statement. I have personally known people that did not live together before marriage due to beliefs, then unhappily stayed together because of those same beliefs.

I know that it was brought up that people would not live with a man because if he isn't married, he thinks he can still run around. I will say that, that same guy probably would run around even if he was married. He wanted to be joe-playa, not exclusive with someone.

nelie
06-18-2011, 09:54 PM
I wouldn't equate divorce with death. Again, me personally, if I get divorced, I'm sure there is a good reason for it. Life will go on.

sheramama
06-18-2011, 10:44 PM
I have been in a relationship with my guy for 12 years. We moved in together when I got pregnant with my daughter (4 yrs in) and have ever since. We have actually been engaged for over 7 yrs but still haven't married. We have the house, the 2 kids, and pets and I'm good with that. I'm fine with not being married. He still wants to though. Maybe when I lose the weight I will be more inclined to put on a weddign dress. Who knows.

Chubbykins
06-19-2011, 05:15 AM
I've been living with my fiance for 5 years now and we moved in together 4 months after we started dating and 7 months after I met him.
We clicked and we inspired trust in each other. It has been the best thing I ever did. So many years after and still every day is wonderful with him. :)

ryeb
06-19-2011, 05:59 PM
Do you plan on getting married ever, or just a long engagement?

That isn't meant to sound mean, just curious. It seems that a lot of people that drag out long engagements, never actually walk down the isle.

EZMONEY
06-19-2011, 09:04 PM
I agree with you NELIE that statistics are just that and each person does not fall into each category when it comes to divorce...

However, when "I" think about it, it's like saying only 4 out of 10 people die after jumping off this bridge...

why would anyone still jump?....I don't know....

but they do.

I wouldn't equate divorce with death. Again, me personally, if I get divorced, I'm sure there is a good reason for it. Life will go on.

Oh Nelie....I wouldn't equate divorce with death either...however in my life I have talked to many that wished death over divorce....but that is a different story...

the point of my quote was..."if everybody jumped off the bridge....would you jump too?"....

guess my point was missed....

To clarify..."MY" point is this.....I feel statistics have proven time and time again...religious stats or not....that living together before marriage creates a greater chance of divorce.....

just sayin'......

nelie
06-19-2011, 11:45 PM
To clarify..."MY" point is this.....I feel statistics have proven time and time again...religious stats or not....that living together before marriage creates a greater chance of divorce.....

just sayin'......

I would say that statistics may show some correlation between living together and divorce but that doesn't mean living together before marriage creates a greater chance of divorce. As someone else said, correlation doesn't equal causation.

And I think someone else said that some people who live together may just figure why not get married even if they aren't really into the idea of creating a life long relationship.

EZMONEY
06-19-2011, 11:58 PM
All I can say for sure is this....

I am 57 years old and have seen far more broken relationships and divorce among my friends and family...including myself...from those that lived together before marriage and those that did not...

could just be my bad luck....

krampus
06-20-2011, 12:08 AM
Question: In the U.S. is it legal for a man-woman couple to get married but never live together and keep all accounts etc separate?

Ferumbras
06-20-2011, 12:12 AM
Question: In the U.S. is it legal for a man-woman couple to get married but never live together and keep all accounts etc separate?

Yes.

nelie
06-20-2011, 12:36 AM
All I can say for sure is this....

I am 57 years old and have seen far more broken relationships and divorce among my friends and family...including myself...from those that lived together before marriage and those that did not...

could just be my bad luck....

Well 100% of relationships end or don't end :) So.. You could never live with someone and have a committed relationship with them, you could live with someone and have a committed relationship without getting married or you could have a committed relationship and be married with or without living together prior to marriage. Either way, the options are either the relationship will end or it won't. I know divorce can be messy and painful but breaking up can be very painful even without marriage/divorce.

So I guess my advice is do what feels right for you and your relationship. Don't feel pressure to move in or get married or do something that isn't right for either of you.

indiblue
06-20-2011, 08:46 AM
This is an interesting topic and I'm really happy to see everyone has been able to share their thoughts respectfully, though we of course all have different opinions :)

One thing I'd like to add is that not all guys have a fear of commitment, don't look forward to getting married, or see living together/marriage as sex + someone to cook for. My bf was way ready to commit before I was, was more open to saving sex for marriage, and is more than willing to share 50-50 in all the household tasks. Sure- some guys are flaky, noncommittal, players, or outright jerks, but there are tons of guys who are responsible and committed to long-term relationships.

Just feel like I should put a good word in for the domestically-inclined guys out there for whom others give a bad rap :)

CrystalZ10
06-20-2011, 12:52 PM
No, I didn't live with my husband before we got married, which was after 4.5 years of dating. We've been married 1 year now.

When I was in college and an atheist I read the research on cohabitation and decided it wasn't worth the risks - taking into account the causation/correlation debate that indiblue stated above (although these is not a difference in the divorce increase between religious and nonreligious people).

Then after college I became a Christian and both living together and sex before marriage were no longer even an option.

I have to say there have been ZERO surprises in terms of living together, so at least for the way we dated there was, in retrospect, no justification for living together to "really" see what it is like/know one another.

I was rasied in a household where we always looked to the Bible for answers to questions. The fact that sex outside of marriage is a no no, made it super easy for me to avoid the whole living together before marriage. There are no surprises in our marriage either, only cause we dated for over a year and it was long distance. All we could do is talk and be honest and it makes for a wonderful life together.

Marriage is a lot of hard work to keep it alive, and l feel like living with someone before, won't make it easier to marry them later. People change and grow apart, and not being married makes them feel like its super easy to just pack up and go, and avoid the red tape of divorce.

Plus, granny always said, "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" If your living together with all the benifits of marriage without being married, than why bother?

That being said, everyone has to decide what to do with their own lives and how to live it.

mandalinn82
06-20-2011, 01:11 PM
Plus, granny always said, "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" If your living together with all the benifits of marriage without being married, than why bother?

Mainly because you don't get all of the benefits of being married just by living together. You get the sex and companionship and some savings on your bills, sure, but you don't get health insurance, tax benefits, immigration rights, estate planning rights, legal protections, custody benefits for children, protection in the event of a separation, the right to access medical info about your partner, Social Security benefits and etc. Marriage confers those benefits and a lot of others.

bargoo
06-20-2011, 01:26 PM
When you have a breakup with someone you love, or once did, that can be every bit as painful as a marriage that ends in divorce.
If you live with someone before marriage and it breaks up the pain and feeling of loss or dissappointment or sadness or whatever, is the same , there is no guarantee that you can avoid pain.

Ferumbras
06-20-2011, 02:36 PM
Mainly because you don't get all of the benefits of being married just by living together. You get the sex and companionship and some savings on your bills, sure, but you don't get health insurance, tax benefits, immigration rights, estate planning rights, legal protections, custody benefits for children, protection in the event of a separation, the right to access medical info about your partner, Social Security benefits and etc. Marriage confers those benefits and a lot of others.

You took the words right out of my mouth!

Nekomania
06-20-2011, 05:00 PM
I met my S/O online and we were besties for a couple years before we finally admitted to having feelings for each other.

We "dated" for a while, visited back and fourth a couple of times. Unfortunately the 2300 mile trip every time just wasn't practical. So four months after we started "dating" I secretly bought a one-way ticket out to WA.

My family was upset but they've gotten over it.

We got engaged two years later. Our four year anniversary is coming up in August but we are putting off our wedding until I lose some inches. One of my main goals is to look gorgeous in my wedding dress.


I'm all for couples living together before marriage. I would say at least live together after you get engaged. There's NO WAY to know if you will get along with someone being in the same house day in and day out until you try it. I think a lot of marriages fail because they just had no idea how many things about their s/o would bug the crap out of them.


I'd have to say the first year or so of us living together was pure heaven. Of course after the novelty wore off we both started to notice things about each other that we didn't notice before. For instance, it drives me nuts when my fiance leaves his beard trimmings in the sink for me to clean, and he absolutely HATES IT when I don't immediately take an empty glass to the sink when I am finished.

It might sound small but little things can lead to self-destruction if you aren't careful to be open with each other and confess even the smallest things that bother you so they can be worked around.

Angelique
06-22-2011, 10:46 AM
Mainly because you don't get all of the benefits of being married just by living together. You get the sex and companionship and some savings on your bills, sure, but you don't get health insurance, tax benefits, immigration rights, estate planning rights, legal protections, custody benefits for children, protection in the event of a separation, the right to access medical info about your partner, Social Security benefits and etc. Marriage confers those benefits and a lot of others.

This is very true. When you're just living together, you're not really entitled to the same benefits or protected as you would be if you were married.

Personally, I am all in favor of living together before marriage (I'm getting married in August and lived with him for 2 years before getting engaged). Mainly because I want my partner to know what he's getting himself into. I'm a little difficult at times and very particular. So we both need to make sure that we can deal with each other. Dating and talking on the phone is completely different from running a household and being with each other day in and day out.

I know it's anecdotal but....My fiance's friend married a woman who refused to move in with him before marriage because of religious beliefs. It really upset him, but he went through with it anyway. I really believed if she had moved in with him before marriage, they would have seen what kind of people they were both were (she didn't know how to "keep a house" and he didn't understand that when you're married, you can't have your friends over every single night or hanging out 24/7). Now less than 1.5 years later, they are divorced and stuck with a house they can't sell and neither one can afford by themselves. Granted immaturity, laziness, and adultery played a big part in the demise of their marriage, but she would have seen all this if she had just lived with him for even one month.

VirgoChic
06-22-2011, 12:22 PM
I'll agree with mostly everyone who says there really isn't an "appropriate time frame". I guess if and when it feels right to both of you, then it's the right time. I haven't been in this situation, but I have a close friend who refused to live with her bf of 10 years until he proposed and they were married. They're now happily married for about 6 years now with 2 children. Some people wait longer than others.. :)

djs06
06-22-2011, 01:39 PM
I met my S/O online and we were besties for a couple years before we finally admitted to having feelings for each other.

We "dated" for a while, visited back and fourth a couple of times. Unfortunately the 2300 mile trip every time just wasn't practical. So four months after we started "dating" I secretly bought a one-way ticket out to WA.

that's just like me and my SO! Besties for awhile online, then visited back and forth, then after 1.5 years I moved here. We both say that we probably would have waited longer to move in, it might have been nice to "date" each other while living in the same geographic region, but we weren't in a position to do that... and besides, we'd already been "living together" during our extended visits together so there were no illusions there. :lol:

Ferumbras
06-22-2011, 02:03 PM
I also wanted to add something to mandalinn's comment about the benefits marriage confers. My husband and I are academics and we suffer from the two-body problem. That is, one of us can get a job (which inevitably means moving to a new city), but there's no guarantee there's another academic job in the area for the other one (this is particularly troublesome in college towns where there's only one university). It's a lot easier, and carries a lot more weight, to say to a dean or department chair "my husband/wife also needs a position before I'll take the one you're offering," rather than saying "my boyfriend/girlfriend" or even "fiance/fiancee." It's not that people who aren't married can't or don't have the same level of commitment, love, etc. as a married couple (many have it more so), but socially the words connote something else and so are not effective communicators.

chickadee32
06-25-2011, 03:20 PM
I didn't have any strong opinions either way about people living together before marriage before I was in the situation myself, though I knew my mother was strongly against it and so I was probably more likely to swing toward not living together first. But then I met my now-husband, about 6 months after I graduated from college. Within 3 months we were spending 100% of our non-working time together, and a few months later when my apartment lease was ending and he was buying a house at the same time, moving in together seemed like the most logical thing to do. We'd already talked about marriage, we were hunting for his house together, and my thought at the time was that it would be silly for me to pay rent somewhere else when I'd be spending all my time at his house anyway. My mother had a fit, and told anyone who would listen that we were "living in sin". She's not a particularly religious woman, but she's worked for a divorce attorney for 20+ years and so I could understand her concern, lol. Anyway, we moved in together, got engaged less than a year later, and got married a year and half after that. We've been together for 10.5 years and married for 7.5 years, and he is my best friend. I cannot imagine my life without him, and I knew that he was "the one" way back when we met at the age of 22. I have no regrets about living together before we married.

I am well aware of the statistics that indicate cohabitation before marriage correlates with a higher rate of divorce. But I think citing those numbers alone is a bit misleading, as that statistic ignores a lot of other factors that are just as - or even more - significant. Divorce is also more likely when women marry at a younger age, or come from a single parent family, or come from a low-income family, or have less education, or were raped, or have an anxiety disorder, or marry someone of a different ethnicity. Should we say to a woman who wants to marry at the age of 24 that she should wait another year because then she'll be less likely to get divorced? Should we discourage people of different ethnicities from marrying because "it's just not worth the risk"? Should we suggest that couples shouldn't get married unless they both have a college degree? And interestingly, while cohabitation is associated with a higher rate of divorce before a first marriage, the rates of divorce with second marriages are the same whether the couple cohabitated before marriage or did not. Yet most of the other factors which correlate with a higher rate of divorce with first marriages - originating from something other than a two-parent family, income, marrying younger, rape, anxiety disorder, etc. - still result in higher rates of divorce among second marriages.

I'm not promoting cohabitation before marriage, or suggesting it's something everyone should do. I do think, though, that it shouldn't be looked down upon or discouraged in quite the way that it often is. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I think the success of marriages that begin with cohabitation is almost entirely dependant on the couple, their sensibilities, their approach to their relationship, and the external support and/or pressures that surround their married life, along with all the factors mentioned above, NOT the cohabitation before marriage itself.

ryeb
06-25-2011, 05:47 PM
That was an awesome response Chickadee. Thank you.

ERHR
06-25-2011, 06:07 PM
chickadee, I quite agree with the facts that you pointed out although I don't quite come to the same conclusion. I'm sure you're aware of this but I would just like to add:

1) Researchers control for many variables when they are examining correlations between pre-marital attributes and divorce or relationship satisfaction and whatnot. The controls vary from study-to-study and of course don't cover everything (I doubt they ask about anxiety disorders, for instance) but they do cover a lot of demographic-type data, especially those points known to correlate with divorce such as age of cohabitants, income level, religiosity, etc. The correlation stands out above these controls.

2) I believe the reason premarital cohabitation is focused on as a correlator with divorce is because it's totally under the control of the participants. Many other factors are completely outside their control (e.g. parental marital status, previous marriages) or fairly fixed (e.g. religious affiliation, income, age). Premarital cohabitation is a risk factor that does not need to be included in one's profile, if you'd like to think of it that way. Yes, there are other factors that are important or more impactful, but you may not have control over them like you do this one. It's a totally free decision that you get to make.

chickadee32
06-25-2011, 07:24 PM
Darn, I just lost my post and will have to re-create it!


ERHR, yes, I'm aware that the variance component in marriage success (defined here as no divorce) due to cohabitation can be teased from the other factors included in a study. I wasn't trying to suggest that there isn't a correlation between cohabitation and marriage failure that stands apart from other factors (at least for first marriages; there is no statistical correlation between cohabitation and marriage failure when it comes to second marriages, at least according to the study I was looking at - see below), but rather that other factors are significant determinants of marriage success. I agree with you that cohabitation is a factor of focus because it's within our control, but other factors which have a statistically significant impact marriage success are also within our control - such as age at the time of marriage, the race/ethnicity of one's spouse, whether the couple ever has children, etc.

For a variety of reasons, I am not willing to argue that all couples should wait until they're 25 or older to marry, or that people should only marry someone of the same race/ethnicity, or that all couples should have children, despite the fact that those choices would indicate a greater chance of marriage success. And similarly, I am not willing to argue that all couples should not cohabitate before marriage. Those factors - the ones we can make choices about - do indeed impact the statistical chances for marriage success, but my personal opinion is that they are probably so highly impacted by the non-quantifiable factors surrounding individual relationships as to make blanket recommendations untenable. As you said, these are totally free decisions we get to make; I simply think people ought to be free to make a decision to cohabitate without the judgment that often follows, and without selective use of statistics to support that judgment. (Note: I am not suggesting that you, or anyone here, is making a moral judgment on people who choose to cohabitate; but we all know that there those who DO make a moral judgment, and simply use the cohabitation/divorce correlation to support why they are "right" and people who cohabitate are doing something "wrong".)

Regarding anxiety disorders, the study I was looking at earlier today is the 2002 CDC study on Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_022.pdf). For whatever reason (maybe it's a known factor from previous studies?), Generalized Anxiety Disorder was included as a factor in the study.

duckyyellowfeet
06-27-2011, 04:54 AM
Honestly, I've lived with my SO longer than we've been dating. We moved into the same dorm suite in September of 2006 and started dating in March of 2007. We lived in dorms for three years, which mean we each had our own rooms and weren't on a lease together. We moved into a townhouse with two other roommates in 2009 and an apartment with 1 roommate in 2010. We just signed a lease for just two of us this month.

If I had the chance to do it over, I don't think we would choose to live together before dating; we both both bemoan the fact we never got to "date" in the traditional sense. However, I would always choose to live with a significant other before marriage, despite the statistical data. But I'm also not a huge fan of marriage, nor could I actually legally marry my partner in California currently....so I'm sorta biased in that regard.

Nekomania
06-28-2011, 11:18 PM
that's just like me and my SO! Besties for awhile online, then visited back and forth, then after 1.5 years I moved here. We both say that we probably would have waited longer to move in, it might have been nice to "date" each other while living in the same geographic region, but we weren't in a position to do that... and besides, we'd already been "living together" during our extended visits together so there were no illusions there. :lol:


Boy you must have really loved him to move to Michigan. :lol:

I moved OUT Of Michigan the first chance I had. I wont lie, part of the reason I enjoyed dating Cody was because he lived so far away. I swore up and down as I was growing up that someday I would leave that (what I thought was an) awful place but nobody believed me until I actually did. XD

We feel the same way though. It would have been nice to actually "date" but it just wasn't practical. We make up for it now though by having a weekly date night. :carrot:

djs06
06-29-2011, 05:38 PM
Boy you must have really loved him to move to Michigan. :lol:

I moved OUT Of Michigan the first chance I had. I wont lie, part of the reason I enjoyed dating Cody was because he lived so far away. I swore up and down as I was growing up that someday I would leave that (what I thought was an) awful place but nobody believed me until I actually did. XD

We feel the same way though. It would have been nice to actually "date" but it just wasn't practical. We make up for it now though by having a weekly date night. :carrot:

:lol: Well, we won't be here forever, and I'll leave it there! We're in a college town so it's not so bad... there are definitely some places I will completely stay away from! I'm an east coaster all the way.

That's a good idea about the date night, especially when "practicality" got in the way!