Should we live together before marriage
It can be difficult to determine if someone is the right person, and neither of us wants to spend our entire marriage trying to prove whether or not that person is worth it, so we might as well consider doing some testing before we get married. According to NCHS National Vital Statistics Reports, the divorce rate in the United States fell from 4.0 in 2000 to 2.9 in 2017 (CDC). There is no doubt that the reduction of divorce rate cannot be achieved without the efforts of every family member. In the same way, we can also reduce the risk of separation before marriage, that is to say, premarital screening. While there are many ways to screen, it seems to me that taking a closer look at your partner while living together before marriage might be a reliable method to consider. I once heard old people tell a story about a couple who got married and got divorced in a flash because one of them saw the other sitting on the toilet with red cheeks and suddenly the perfect image collapsed. When the romance in love is replaced by the boring life, is he or she still the person in your heart shining with gold? Let's try living together before marriage as a test.
Although the bible says: "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral"(New International Version Bible, Hebrews. 13:3-5). In the other worlds, the bible holds that sexual intercourse between couples without the protection of marriage is impure, and therefore cohabitation before marriage is even more unacceptable. However, the world is developing continuously, and human beings are constantly refreshing their understanding of things in the process of exploring themselves. Therefore, it is not because they believe in a certain religion that they will strictly follow the doctrines. Abound research based on diversity of examples shows that living together before marriage has become more common among couples. Based on the survey provided by the National Survey of Family Growth examined 216,455 first-time couples, 78,575 were cohabiting couples before marriage, meaning nearly 36 percent had lived together before marriage in the U.S.(NSFG). That's a staggering number because more than a third of Americans have the experiences before marriage, that means in the U.S. one out of every three people is a cohabitant before marriage. Simultaneously, premarital cohabitation is not just welcome in the United States, but also other countries. For example, Between 1982 and 2011, even as the marriage rate in Denmark fell, the rate of premarital cohabitation rose to 30%(Frisch, Simonsen) and Australian Institute of Family Studies gave the sample of 118,962 marriages in Australia, and 77% of the couples lived together before marriage(Trove 5). Such a large proportion fully proves that living together before marriage is not something that few people try, and some people in many countries have such experience. People can rest assured that premarital cohabitation is not an isolated phenomenon, there are many couples who have experienced the same experience or are experiencing it.
From an objective point of view, everything has both good and bad sides, living together before marriage has both benefits and potential risks. First of all, from the perspective of couples' daily life, couples who have the experiences of premarital cohabitation are more willing to spend time on life. While in all countries, women may do more housework than men, a survey of couples from 22 countries show that people who live together before marriage were more likely to do an equal share of housework labor((Batalova 743). Living together before marriage gives couples more time to observe each other's strengths and weaknesses, and constantly adjust to each other. In this process of synchronizing their lives, many couples can discuss the distribution of household responsibilities equally without tying the knot. The other half I was living with before I got married often asks me a question: "You have to cook for yourself anyway, so why do I have to wash the dishes in return for cooking more?" The truth is very simple because two people get along day and night cannot always a person unilateral pay, life needs each other's cooperation and pay. There is no legal constraint on marriage, those who live together before marriage have the pros that they are still independent individuals and do not need to bear the responsibilities brought by marriage law. Otherwise, from the perspective of protecting personal property, couples who live together before marriage will not have the legal obligation to share their property.
Discussing the advantages of living together before marriage, the risks of living together before marriage are also confirmed. Some studies have shown that marriages between people who live together before marriage have some instabilities compared to those who don't. The couples who have the experience of unmarried cohabitation may have more accession of negative communication and less positive way to solve problems(Kleinbaum 13). I mentioned before that the advantage of living together before marriage is that there are no marriage laws, but this can also be a disadvantage. For example, disputes will arise over the maintenance of children brought up in the process of cohabitation without legal protection. Couples who live together, but are not married, may have a dispute over the distribution of their inheritance, because if a valid will is not presented and the other party is named as the beneficiary of the estate, the estate will be transferred to the next of kin. At the same time, psychologically, the most important thing is that separation from cohabiting couples can still be psychologically traumatic. Since there is no legal protection, it is not so difficult for couples to separate from each other, just need to leave unilaterally and recklessly. Most people choose to live together because they once loved each other. The collapse of their feelings in each other's hearts must have an impact.
Nothing in the world is perfect, but human wisdom is embodied in the continuous elimination of the dross and the essence. Also, the risk of premarital cohabitation can be reduced by the intervention. The researchers concluded that effective marriage intervention can reduce the risk of cohabitation before marriage and improve the quality of marriage afterward. Marriage education is a very scientific and worthwhile intervention for every premarital cohabitant. According to the study, couples who lived together before marriage through the Prevention and Relationship Education Program reported increased commitment. The study also conducted that people who went through PREP reported higher levels of satisfaction with each other and they also said the other person would be more responsible and inclusive. When there is conflict, people who are committed to marriage are less likely to have negative attitudes towards each other in their marriage, thus better communicating with each other(Rhoades 6). One thing we can't ignore is that premarital cohabitation with marital commitment also reduces the risk. People feel more secure when they promise to marry each other in the future. In the process of cohabitation, couples transform from a romantic relationship to a conjugal relationship and gradually form a community of interests. When people treat their partner not as an outsider but as a family member, all efforts are aimed at a better life. It follows that premarital cohabitation with premarital commitment increases cooperation and reduces selfish self-achievement.
In general, living together before marriage is definitely a way for couples to consider and try to check whether they can get married. Whether it is love at first sight or love will come in time couples, they always need to consider each other seriously if they want to marry each other. I have always believed that marriage is a complicated process because it requires not only two hot hearts to be together, but also the marriage will fall into every bit of life. Therefore, only by truly experiencing the process of living with each other and understanding and accepting each other, can we have a wonderful marriage. Ask yourself: would you marry someone you've never lived with? Of course, everyone's answer is different, but I hope everyone will seriously consider the feasibility of living together before marriage.