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What are your thoughts on living together prior to marriage?

Posted by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:15 AM
  • 36 Replies

Living Together Before Marriage Doesn’t Spell Divorce Under One Condition

by Lisa Fogarty

We come across lots of studies that reveal just what it takes to make a marriage last and what will surely send us running to our lawyers -- as if there's a magical marriage equation and you just throw in a little logic and the right moves and POOF -- you got yourself a divorce-proof union. We all know relationships aren't so black or white, but just for the sake of trying to make sense of this mystical "till death do us part" vow, here's another revelation for you to chew on: a new study says the best predictor of divorce isn't whether you lived with your honey before getting married -- as many originally thought -- but how old you were when you moved your toothbrush next to his. If you were older than 23, congrats! Looks like you will be together forever. If you were a fresh-faced 22-year-old, well, the stats aren't on your side, I'm afraid.

Researchers say age has a huge effect on whether a couple can stay together for the long haul because if we move in with our partners before we're financially independent and/or have a good understanding of our own personal goals, we'll have a much more difficult time negotiating and compromising -- skills that are obviously important in a marriage.

But there are other factors to consider, too. Partners who have been involved in a relationship and take their time before moving in together are more likely to make things work than those who rush into things. Those who rush often do so for financial reasons and not reasons associated with wanting to be together as a pre-step to marriage, according to researchers.

As someone who lived with a boyfriend when I was 23, I see a lot of truth in the results of these studies, but I also spot one major flaw.

I loved my ex as much as I could at that age (I loved myself a whole lot more). But living together was not, for me, a first step toward marriage. Instead, I considered it a wise move to shack up with someone I was spending a great deal of time with anyway and with whom I could share the insane expenses of a insanely expensive New York City apartment.

Despite our commitment to sharing a home, I had no intention at that age of actually sharing anything else -- which ultimately led to our relationship falling apart a few years later. I had every plan of retaining my independence. I came and went as I pleased, gave him last-minute notice if I wouldn't be home for dinner because I had made plans with friends, etc. I hated doing his laundry because I felt old and married having to pair his socks -- and wasn't that the opposite of how you were supposed to feel when you were living together and having a good time?

In my case, though, living with my ex while young helped me realize much sooner that we didn't belong together. It was probably the best learning experience I had at that time and may have prevented us from making the mistake of getting married.

Do you agree that living together at an early age can ruin a relationship and possibly lead to divorce? What are your thoughts on living together prior to marriage?

by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:15 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bella on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:40 PM

 Well, I was married already at 23, lol. We didn't live together before marriage and we didn't have all the issues that everyone warned us we woud have. Sleepovers and vacations together prepared me enough. It was not a rough transition, it was very smooth.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:52 PM
I moved in with DH shortly after we got engaged when he was 21 and I was 22. We were financially independent, both had college degrees, and were a few years into our relationship. Hopefully these past 5 years of living happily together will be indicative of a long lasting marriage.
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by Trica on Mar. 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM
We got married at 23,but we sort of lived together off and on for a 1&half. But he was an Air men and living off base,while not married was frown upon. It was ok though.
by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 11:05 PM
Well DH and I were together for 2.5 months before getting married. (lived together pretty much from jump) He was 19 and I was 21.

We've been married almost 4 years and are expecting our 2nd child in a few weeks.

I would not recommend our method. We were immature and went about things all the "wrong" way.

We do still love each other very much. We have had issues and accomplishments together. He is very much my partner and support system. I think we got lucky enough to find someone who would be a good counter for our personalities and for all the foolishness that led to our marriage we do currently take it seriously.

We're committed to making it work. For ourselves and our kids. We love each other and feel very content in our marriage right now. I have hope for good things and confidence in our partnership to be able to work on things when things are rough.
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by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM

I moved in with my DH when I was almost 17.  We were married 2 years later and I am glad we spent that 2 years living together and really getting to know each other.   Personally I think living together when we did really helped our relationship.  We have been married for almost 8 years now.

by Member on Mar. 12, 2014 at 11:19 PM
DH and I lived together for 2 1/2yrs before we got married. I couldn't imagine marrying someone I didn't even know i could live with
by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 11:31 PM

 My current boyfriend is going thru a divorce, he moved in with his ex when they were 19. Maybe that was an added factor to not surviving. I am 27 and he now lives with me and when we do get married it would just be a title and a ring. We already live like a married couple would, So I think living together before marriage is a great idea,.... You dont get to know some one until you live with them

by on Mar. 13, 2014 at 4:06 AM

It wasn't for me.

by on Mar. 13, 2014 at 4:11 AM

I read the article in the link and I can certainly understand the logic behind the study's results. Obviously, there are outliers to these studies though. I suppose I might be considered one of those outliers. I moved in with my SO when I was 19. Eight years later we are still together.

by Brenda on Mar. 13, 2014 at 7:27 AM

My husband was stationed in Hawaii, and I was finishing college in FL. We didn't live together until after we got married, and I graduated from college. We didn't have any problems transitioning. We missed each other so much. It was nice to just be in the same time zone! Lol

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