It’s very common for couples to live together. People, if asked, will offer different reasons for living together. Some couples say that it’s cheaper to live together, or that it’s a trial run before marriage. What effect does living together first have on a subsequent marriage? In fact, how likely is a cohabiting couple to get married?
The Search for a Soul Mate?
Young Americans are romantics at heart. According to Louisiana State University, an amazing 88% of men and women aged 20 to 29 believe that their soul mate is waiting for them somewhere. When they move in with someone, do they believe they have found their soul mate? If so, moving in together has jeopardized their chances of having a successful marriage.
Over half of the couples who marry lived together first. Their chance of getting divorced in the first five years is about 50%. On the other hand, those couples who did not live together before marriage have only a 20% chance of getting divorced within five years. That’s significant.
Commitment vs. Cohabitation
After being married for ten years, a couple has a 33% chance of getting divorced. On the other hand, a couple who lived together for ten years has a 62% likelihood of splitting up. Can this startling difference be explained because marriage is a formal commitment?
Just a Piece of Paper?
Couples who live together may say that a marriage certificate is “just a piece of paper.” Apparently not. Expressing something publicly is more apt to make it true. If someone is trying to quit smoking, for example, and tells everyone they know that they are quitting, it will be that much harder to light up in front of them. Their desire to quit is reinforced by the support of friends and family.
When people marry, they express their love and commitment in front of the people that mean the most to them. Their relationship is publicly supported. A marriage certificate may be just a piece of paper, but a public commitment is a step that those who live together have not taken.
All relationships have tough times, whether married or not. Splitting up is often not the best answer. Counseling in Hutchinson, KS can help individuals, couples or families to work through their issues. It’s not a guarantee, but Counseling in Hutchinson, KS could save the relationship. Visit Adult Child And Family Counseling to schedule an appointment.