Friday, March 23, 2012

The Pros and Cons Of Cohabitation (Reader Question)

Cohabitation Means Commitment!
The best way to cohabit is if you are very serious about a relationship

This post is in answer to a Reader Question about the pros and cons of cohabitation before marriage. This was a really interesting question for me to research and I hope that I was able to find some things that will be helpful to all. Cohabitation is becoming increasingly popular in society and is often the first experience of living together rather than after marriage. There are many concerns that people have with cohabitation replacing actual marriage and the effects it will have on society, but it is also popularly accepted. I mostly want to give you some lists of what to expect when it comes to the positives and negatives of living together before marriage.

I also really liked what this blog had to say about cohabitation if you want more information! :)

Some Statistics:
*In 2000 the total number of unmarried couples cohabiting in America reached 4.75 million. In 1960 there were less than 500,000 unmarried cohabiting couples
*Over half of all first marriages are now preceded by cohabitation
* In recent representative national surveys nearly 66% of high school senior boys and 61% of the girls indicated that they “agreed” or “mostly agreed” with the statement “it is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along.”
*Forty years ago, living together for unmarried, heterosexual couples was against the law. It was considered immoral, or at the least very improper. (Poponoe, David, and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. 2002)

The Cons of Cohabitation:
  • ·      Cohabitation before marriage could mean no commitment
  • ·      These people may leave as soon as it becomes troublesome
  • ·      Once a pattern of low-commitment and high-autonomy that is sometimes found in unmarried cohabitation is formed, it is hard to unlearn.
  • ·      “Cohabitation increased young people’s acceptance of divorce, but other independent living experiences did not.”
  • ·      “The more months of exposure to cohabitation that young people experienced, the less enthusiastic they were toward marriage and childbearing.”(Poponoe, David, and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. 2002)
  • ·      You also may be living like a married couple, but when it comes to economic and social resources, they are not equal to that of a married couple.
  • ·      Can be harmful for children if children are born into the unmarried cohabiting couple, at a great risk that the couple could break up.

The Pros Of Cohabitation:
  • ·      High number of cohabitors plan to marry their partner. Among those who plan to   marry there is no difference in terms of relationship quality when compared to married people.
  • ·      Unmarried Cohabitors who have children are more likely to stay together
  • ·      If your goal is to have happy, healthy families and relationships, and you’re open to learning about how that can best happen, marriage may be much less important.
  • ·      Some studies show that there is more aggression in unmarried cohabiation but those are more generally linked with poverty rather than marital status.
  • ·      Chohabiting couples are actually more likely to be tied to informal networks of family and friends than married couples.
  • ·      One study divided people into four categories: Married, living with a partner, having a partner you don’t live with, and people who don’t have partners. They found that people living with a partner had the highest level of emotional support (higher than that of married couples) and the same low levels of distress as married couples.  (Solot, Dorian, and Marshall Miller. 2002)                                                 

Solot, Dorian, and Marshall Miller. 2002. Excerpts from “What’s wrong with the work of the national marriage project?” and “Ten Problems With The National Marriage Project’s Cohabitation Report” and “Frequently Asked Questions About Cohabitation”

Popenoe, David, and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. 2002. “Should We Live Together? What Young Adults Need To Know About Cohabitation Before Marriage: A Comprehensive Review of Research, second ed. (A report of the National Marriage Project.”

1 comment:

  1. I have never thought of the negative aspects of cohabiting before marriage until I came across this post. From my experience my partner and I live like a married couple but when it comes to economic and social resources we are not equal. Any recommendations?