Case 1: Girl and boy begin dating. They decide to get married after being in a relationship for over 2 years. They have a big fancy wedding and a wondrously romantic honeymoon. Girl and boy return home. They start their lives together as a married couple. Girl and boy live happily for a while but soon discover that married life is not always a bed of roses. They have regular conflicts and arguments over petty issues that turn into full-fledged fights. These continue for 3 years and finally they realize that they can't stand each other. The couple file for a divorce.
Case 2: Girl and boy begin dating. After being together for two years, they decide to get married. But both of them decide to live together for a while before getting married, to be sure if they're compatible enough for marriage. So they move in together. Soon they realize that their living habits and other aspects are becoming a hurdle in their relationship. Finally, after 3 years of enduring each other's riling habits, they split up.
Let's take these two cases as a base for discussion on whether it is good to live together before getting married.
In case 1, the couple got married without examining their compatibility levels in a marriage. They realized that the other had bothersome traits and so decided to get a divorce. In case 2, the two partners decided to live together before getting married but ended up separating anyway.
You can find numerous statistics citing that people who live together before getting married either end up in a break-up or a divorce, and that they are more susceptible to extramarital affairs. On the other hand, some statistics also show that divorces have no connection with whether a couple lived together before marriage or not. The only thing that these statistics do is utterly confuse people who are at the threshold of a new phase in their relationship.
Let's see the pros and cons of living together before marriage and you can decide for yourself.
- Living together before marriage can be an essential phase in a relationship in case one of the two partners has had an unpleasant experience in the past. For example, a divorced person may, quite understandably, think twice before getting married again. In such cases, living together before tying the knot is an imperative precaution a couple decides to take.
- Compatibility in a relationship is of utmost importance as described in the above cases. To check if a couple is emotionally and practically compatible with each other, living together is definitely an affirmative. It will help to nurture and maintain healthy relationships.
- Marriage is a huge commitment for both the partners. Today, people are so driven by their careers and ambitions that they find failing at something unacceptable. They'd rather be safe than sorry, as the proverb goes. Agreed that a failed relationship hurts just as much, but let's face it. Wouldn't you rather say, "We broke up" than say "We're divorced"?
- Given the high divorce rates, many young people have grown up in broken homes seeing problems like infidelity or domestic violence that their parents have faced. This childhood atmosphere plays a major role in shaping their belief system. They might believe in love, but not in marriage as an institution. No one can stop them if they wish to live with the person they love. Isn't it?
- When it comes to practicality, cohabitation and the benefits it offers are on the top of every young couple's mind today. They think about it thoroughly and only then do they make their decision to get into it. It's something like a trial marriage. If they feel that they can live with each other for a while, then they consider going ahead with the marriage. But if they eventually find that they cannot live with each other, they split up. This avoids the involvement of legal hassles which generally turn out to be rather ugly.
- Many young couples feel that marriage is an unnecessary legal complication in their lives. They think as long as they are compatible enough to live with each other, marriage can wait. Hence, the relevance of marriage as an institution is getting diminished.
- Many couples are resorting to a live-in relationship before marriage as a financial aid. They're moving in together to save on rent and other maintenance costs. God help them if they happen to split up! One of them may be left without a roof over his/her head!
- For any relationship to survive, there has to be some level of compromise and adjustment. Couples living together before marriage have a sense of independence and often refuse to compromise, which leads to premature and ugly break-ups.
- Though living together before marriages is fairly common, there are still some societies that frown upon it. This can put a lot of strain on the couple. In addition, restraints and restrictions due to difference in social, moral, and religious backgrounds are often the reason for a couple's separation.
- Some couples live together because they think it is the 'next step' in their relationship or that they're not ready for marriage. A relationship is all about discovering new things about your partner everyday. It makes each day feel like Christmas! Giving up the core element of surprise (good or not so good) in your relationship by living together before marriage can lead to partners losing interest in each other.
In the end, it's all about how much you love the person and how much you are willing to compromise in order to give your relationship a chance for survival. So before you start contemplating whether living together before marriage is good or bad, remember that your love for your partner should not suffer just because someone gave you advice that you blindly followed.