2009 July 18 Saturday
Living Together Cuts Odds Of Staying Married

Thinking about getting married? Here's another indicator on whether it will last.

University of Denver (DU) researchers find that couples who live together before they are engaged have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they are married to live together, or at least wait until they are engaged. In addition, couples who lived together before engagement and then married, reported a lower satisfaction in their marriages.

The research, which appears in the "Journal of Family Psychology," was conducted by Galena Rhoades, senior researcher, Scott Stanley, research professor, and Howard Markman, professor of psychology.

"We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting," Rhoades says.

"It seems wise to talk about commitment and what living together might mean for the future of the relationship before moving in together, especially because cohabiting likely makes it harder to break up compared to dating," Stanley says.

What's the direction of cause an effect here? Does living together change the relationship in a way that increases the odds of divorce? Or do people who have reservations about their relationship decide to live together first? Or do the people who avoid living together have a greater commitment to marriage as a special spiritual union that should not be torn asunder?

Maybe the pre-marriage time living together makes the relationship that much older and closer to dissolution by the time the married phase begins.

The second most popular reason for living together is convenience. Whose convenience? The guy's or the girl's?

The three researchers also studied the reasons why couples decide to live together. That study, which appeared in the "Journal of Family Issues," shows that most couples chose to live together in order to spend more time together. The second most popular reason is convenience, followed by testing the relationship. This is different than previous research that found most people cohabit to test the relationship.

"Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships," Rhoades says. "Perhaps if a person is feeling a need to test the relationship, he or she already knows some important information about how a relationship may go over time."

In marriages that end in divorce which side of the relationship had to convince the other side to divorce? Guys, your main concern should be the sticking power of the woman to stay committed to the marriage. If you have doubts about her level of commitment then do not marry her. She'll shaft you in divorce. Avoid it.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 July 18 02:23 PM  Cultural Wars Marriage

averros said at July 19, 2009 3:26 AM:

Non-religious marriage is, basically, admitting a government bureaucrat in your relationship.

Some reasonable people still do that (for tax purposes, or to get around the immigration legal lunacy), but, generally, getting secularly married for sentimental reasons is a sign of mental problems (insecurity, irrational belief in the State Almighty, whatever).

(Note that religious marriage is totally different - it does involve commitment before God, which does make sense if the partners believe in God).

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