“I Do.” Marriage vs. Living Together
I believe in marriage. Marriage is a commitment that should be taken seriously. It’s not something that we decide to give up on because we just don’t feel the same about our spouse as we once did. Feelings come and go but making a commitment to be and stay married is just that…a commitment. As the author Gary Smalley wrote, “Love Is A Decision.” Once married, couples need to make the decision to stay together. The only justifiable reason for separation is infidelity, abuse, or on-going addiction.
Living together is no longer a social taboo like it was in the 1960’s thus more and more people are choosing to live together instead of getting married. This goes for young and old alike. Many reasons have to do with convenience or just “trying it out” before really committing. Some seniors do it for financial reasons, or maybe they no longer believe in marriage because of a nasty break-up.
Statistics do not point to a better marriage after living together, just the opposite.
According to statistics gathered by US Attorney Legal Services, living together before getting married doesn’t make for a longer, stronger marriage. A couple who does not live together before getting married has a 20 percent chance of being divorced within five years. If the couple has lived together beforehand, that number jumps to 49 percent.
If the couple lives together as an alternative to ever being married, chances their relationship will break up within five years is 49 percent. After ten years of marriage, a married couple has a 33 percent chance of splitting up. For couple who is living together, the likelihood of a breakup climbs to 62 percent.