I recently had a discussion about a real life couple who fell in love and are now living together. They started living together less than a year ago. They are a young couple but they are still managing to hold everything together so far. When people talk about their situation most seem to be split on whether this couple should have gotten married first or not. While marriage is considered the “Godly” thing to do is it the most practical? Many marriages have ended up in divorce because couples got hitched when they really weren’t ready yet. Aside from the religious (and contractual) aspect of it what are the other benefits to getting married? For many women it is seems like a form of solidarity in a relationship. In essence they both “own” each other. If one decides to leave then there are legal actions that can be taken. On the other hand, if a couple stays together long enough without being married, wouldn’t the same principles apply? I believe there are a handful of states out there that acknowledge common-law marriages, but for those that don’t there still may be legal remedies for separation. What are the benefits from living together first? Well, you would get the experience of knowing whether or not you are compatible without being held contractually liable. There is less pressure to enjoy each other. Basically you get to “sample” what married life is really about. During the beginning stages of every relationship is usually when things are at their best. However, the “true side of everyone comes out in time.” For any relationship that has the intentions of going the long term distance both parties need to realize that the person you start out with will NOT be the same person you end up with. If you stay together long enough everyone goes through changes, both physically and mentally. A lot of couples who get together to form a relationship can’t think that far ahead so when these changes actually do occur they are not prepared to deal with them. According to studies, about 40 to 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce. Is living together first a viable solution to getting married? Some studies have said that it depends less on living together first and more on the “maturity level” of the couples. When you start a relationship young the chances of staying together don’t seem as strong. When a couple waits until they are older (or more mature) then that could have a stronger impact. Either way, people are still living together more now than ever. There are even predictions that the whole institution of marriage will one day become “extinct.” The real question is whether or not this will help relationships last longer.I guess time will tell. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Jerry Butler in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar