Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Co-habitation

When I told my mom that Andrew and I wanted to live together I expected her head to explode or her to scream so loud that all of the glass in our house would shatter. Coming from a rather strict Catholic upbringing to her this was just something people didn't do. Instead she kinda gave me the "evil mother glare" and asked that we all sit down and talk about this. Don't get me wrong, my parents love Andrew and consider him part of the family. He's actually the only guy I've ever dated that they have liked genuinely - I guess they really are good judges of character.

In February of 2009 Andrew bought the house where we currently live, together, not married or engaged (I've got a promise ring if that counts for anything). By Memorial Day he was living in the house and around the middle of June I slowly started to move my things over there. I didn't want the transition to be hard on my mom and she did help with a great deal of my packing and organization but each time I'd take a load of stuff over she would cry. By Labor Day I was all settled in and over time I felt that things with my mom were slowly getting better. My mom lovingly referred to my living space as the "sin house" and also the "love shack" for quite a while to friends and family - it made me feel awful like she lied to my face that she was okay with my decision and knew I was happy. Most other people took my decision differently - my grandma didn't say much about it and was anxious to see the house, my cousins who I am close with were happy for me and my friends thought it was great.

I know I also have some friends who don't believe in living with someone before marriage and I feel that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions about this topic; be religious or otherwise. But today I read something about couples living together before marriage and how it made them more likely to divorce. The rate was only 6% higher than those who don't co-habitate but it made me think a little. Andrews brother and his wife lived together for 8 years before they got married - but they were also 19 when they met and just didn't feel hurried to wed. Now they have a beautiful daughter and a great marriage. Plenty of other people I know have lived with one another before marriage and it worked out fine.

So what are your thoughts? Did you live together before marriage or are you totally against it? I'm curious to see how other people feel about this topic even though it is controversial.

5 comments:

Suzie Que said...

6% is NOT statistically significant, if that makes any difference to you. It is your individual relationship, communication patterns, similar core beliefs and value system as well as how you resolove problems that will make or break your relationship. Oh, and, that little thing called love matters, too. :)

Caitlyn said...

You know where I stand, lol. Cohabitating isn't my thing because I believe in chastity before marriage and all that. Will and I didn't live together.

For me, I think if the divorce rate is higher there must be a reason. However, I've heard it said that the reason is that people who cohabitate are more likely to be people don't believe as strongly in marriage and that's why they're more likely to get divorced. It has less to do with living together than it does your veiws on marriage. If you don't believe divorce is an option (short of abuse or infidelity) then you won't get divorced whether you live together or not. Did that even make sense? Hopefully.

Anyway, I don't judge people for what they do. Not everyone believes what I believe.

Amanda said...

That makes sense to me - I think that whatever people want to believe about it is great! And I know that Andrew comes from a family that strongly believes in marriage (and you know I do too) but for me our living together is something that just felt right.

And being Catholic I probably shouldn't believe in co-habitation but that being said I don't really like/believe in the idea of divorce unless infidelity or abuse comes into play or hurting our children. But I do thank you for not judging me and knowing that I'm happy!

Brittany said...

I used to be against co-habitation. However, my views have definitely changed. Although I did not live with my husband before we were married, I think that people have to do what works best for them. As long as you are both happy and you have a healthy relationship, that's the most important thing.

Stephanie said...

Personally I didn't want to live together before marriage. For one, my parents would kill me! haha. But really, I didn't see a need for it. I was living on my own and so was he, in different cities. I would spend weekends with him and vice versa, but we never technically "lived together". I do think it's an individual decision. Personally I would want a committment before I moved in (like we were at least engaged, not just dating) but that's just me! :)My parents are also strong, christian, and consertative...so I understand! My mom thought I was "sinning" too because we slept together before marriage.