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Living Together Before Marriage: Does This Herald Divorce?

Before we get into the study, let’s parse this out using logic. If I live with my partner prior to marriage, what effect does this logically have? Well, first, it will provide you with valuable information on whether or not we can live together amicably. Not everyone can. So, knowing that before marriage would be preferable to figuring that out afterward. 

If you want to say that living together before marriage increases the risk of divorce, you are in a situation where you are getting married to someone you are having a difficult time living with. It would be expected that couples can live together in order to sustain a marriage. So, if living together increases the risk of divorce, it is doing so because the couple was struggling with living together prior.

Most couples think about the matter logically, but a recent study appears to contradict common sense. While this does happen in science all of the time, it generally does not happen in social sciences. The intuitive usually proves itself true. 

What Does the Study Say?

The study says that couples who are not engaged prior to moving in together face an increased risk of the relationship falling apart. Meanwhile, marriage is a contract that places artificial pressure on the relationship to remain intact. So, couples committed to marriage fare better than couples who move in before marriage. In other words, the marriage may force the couple to stick together even if they are having trouble living together. But that stops short of saying that the living arrangement is improving their marriage.

Shifting Perspectives on Relationships

Fewer and fewer people are buying into the concept of a soul mate. Society now expects marriages to end in divorce. While the divorce rate has slowed and fewer couples are divorcing, the matter may be related to economic pressure more than anything. We live in a very different world than the one we shared 20 years ago, and society is shifting perspectives on cultural institutions that have been its bedrock for the lifespan of our country.

Cohabitation is now a part of dating culture, not marriage culture. 

Cohabitation is Not an End in Itself

Some couples get into the headspace that if their relationship is not getting more serious on a specific schedule, then the relationship is growing cold or stale. Living together is one step closer to a more committed relationship. When cohabitation is treated as an end in itself to move the relationship forward, the psychic impulse that gave rise to cohabitation is likely to fade once the novelty wears off. The next escalation would be marriage, but the actual situation for the couple isn’t all that different. But it is the impulse to escalate the relationship for its own sake that is wrongheaded. Eventually, there is nowhere left to escalate. The status quo is either comfortable and rewarding, or it is not. If it is not, the relationship is likely doomed.

Talk to an Indiana Divorce Attorney Today

Chris Arrington represents the interests of Indiana couples seeking a divorce. Call today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your goals immediately. 

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