Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In right situation, cohabitation is way to go

I’m an advocate of cohabitation, and I speak from experience.

My then-boyfriend-now-husband and I met in January 2001 and in August 2002, we moved in to a two-bedroom apartment in Rock Hill. The decision made good sense at the time; we felt our relationship was aboard the train headed toward marriage, and it was a smart fiscal move because we were practically living together already, yet still maintaining two households.

We learned a lot from our time in our apartment, and now that we've been married for 2 1/2 years, we often look back on how it prepared us for a committed relationship.

For example, it's impossible to know your partner obsesses over the fact laundry cannot sit for more than 15 minutes once the machine is done, or that your future spouse cannot sleep without some type of background noise (preferably the TV), without having spent time living under the same roof.

It's like playing a preseason NFL schedule -- you can see the quality and potential of the players you've got out on the field, you've still got time to make some key adjustments, or a complete roster overhaul if necessary, and it's exhibition, so it goes in the record books but it doesn't affect the season.

I wouldn't suggest purchasing a home together if you're not fully committed to making the relationship longterm, but if the situation is ideal and you and your partner want to test the waters before taking the plunge, I do recommend cohabitation.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unconventional cohabitation! My boyfriend and I bought a house together and 4 years later, we broke up. We are still living together much to the bewilderment of our families. It works, we are the best of friends, he helps with the kids (which aren't his) and sometimes cooks and cleans up the kitchen!

Are we the ONLY ones like this??

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:05 amazes me! I can't imaging still living with my boyfriend if we broke up, but I'm glad they're mature enough to handle it.

I live with my boyfriend and now it's second nature. I can't remember not living with him, but I imagine there was more quiet time.

Mark and Julie said...

Bad Advice Alisha! I am well aware that the majority of folks are doing it but that still does not mean it's a good idea. I think lots of men like not having to step up and commit while still getting "all the benefits". I'm glad you dude was willing to commit and I hope that the test-drive does not end up shipwrecking your relationship down the road. See the empirical data here:
3 Reasons Why Researchers Say Living Together Before Marriage is Risky
http://love.ivillage.com/snd/
sndcouplehood/0,,mhrq,00.html

Anonymous said...

Hmm. When my sister and her then-boyfriend-now-husband moved in together after they graduated from college, I was pretty much the only one in my family who thought it was a good idea. My logic, like yours, was that it was better to find out before getting married if they'd be able to stand living together under the same roof. It turns out they can; they've been under it for 15 years now and married for almost 10, with two beautiful sons, and I don't see them ever splitting up.

I don't know if I consider it 'living in sin' if your intention is to see whether marriage would work.

Anonymous said...

Mark and Julie are SO WRONG. Cohanitation can be a very good thing for finding out the good and the bad. And after some time goes by and one of you wants OR needs to get out. You can do it hopfully without losing 1/2 your stuff......Or all of your mind!

Anonymous said...

I want you to say thing once you have kids. Never lived together, went with marriage. It's about commitment. So what if their personal habits aren't what you expected. Take a look in the mirror first. Marriage,the good ones, are not about the idiosyncrisies. Marriage is about love and faith. My husband said the best and the worst thing about me is I'm bull headed and we're just alike in that. Bull headed for the good things. A good marriage will bring out the better parts of each other and it's a partnership. Best thing is not to be in a hurry, make sure you are friends first-many times I had it out with my husband, but my best friend was always there in the end and that's why I married him :-) and am still married to him.

Mark said...

Cohabitation is a foolish game of Russian roulette for marriages. Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of co-habitating couples divorce after getting married. Financially, purchasing big ticket items like houses or cars and co-signing also puts great risk on an individual if the relationship ends.

It's even worse when children are involved. How many times do we read about boyfriends killing or severely injuring the children of their girlfriends? Far too often if you ask me.

It's all about commitment, not playing house before the real thing.

Anonymous said...

The iVillage article's (in previous post) primary argument is that people who live together are more likely to get divorced. This is a correlation, and not a cause/effect. People who are okay with premarital cohabitation are also more comfortable with the idea of divorce. Meanwhile people who don't live together first for moral reasons are also more likely to stay in an unhappy marriage because they don't believe in divorce.

I don't think you should buy a house/car/etc. together until you are at least engaged with a wedding date, but renting a place together gives you a chance to experience life together without tying everything together legally.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your commitment to your marriage and pray that you two have not made divorce any form of option for your future. However, relating cohabitation to an NFL preseason scheduling is simply illogical. Cohabitation simply denies your trust in Christ to provide you a spouse that will provide and love you for who you are. I agree marriage is tough and sometimes difficult. Yet, I love it. The tough times are not differences in personalities (i.e. laundry on the floor, dirty dishes sitting for two weeks etc). Tough times are the moments in which disappointment arrives. Hurt from your spouse infects your relationships. Poor decisions on behalf of you or your spouse that affect your decisions. Words that can not be taken back are inflicted on each other in the middle of a heated argument; death of a loved one; the list continues. The point is cohabitation is simply a means for one to provide reason to satisfy sexual pressures rather deepen a relationship. Once someone realizes that sex doesn't make a relationship they realize the unnecessary means of cohabitation. Once somebody trusts Christ to provide them with a spouse that will love them for their imperfections then they will realize the wealth God provides in marriage.

Anonymous said...

Half the couples married get divorced. The studies regarding the detriments of living together were all poorly done and discredited in the scientific community. As mentioned, they took an effect and assumed a correlation. Not exactly accurate.

It's like anything else: you can find many happy couples who lived together before marriage and many who did not. Many who are still happily married to their high school sweetie and many who married for the first time at 45. There is no right or wrong way; just the way that is right or wrong for you.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ!

Does it always come to frigin' god, bible and christ in this city ?

Grow up, read another fairy tale for once.

Anonymous said...

I say cohabitate if you are engaged with a date for the wedding. Then you have the promise that this is really to test the marriage and not just to have a bit of fun.

Anonymous said...

PRTRIGI agree with anonymous at 5:26 p.m. and anonymous at 7:15 pm. I know you hate me for saying this but God will bless me for it, "JESUS LOVES YOU", AND ALL OF GODS CHILDREN THAT ARE CHRISTIANS LOVE YA TOO. HE WILL BLESS YOU MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE, JUST TRUST HIM AND READ HIM WORD DAILY.

hipQuest said...

Proselytizing on a blog, what has this world come to?

My (now) husband and I lived together before marriage but I did keep my apartment for a year (I had a roommate who still needed a place to live). It worked out well for us, we figured out some things we did drove each other crazy but we still wanted to be together.

I wouldn't buy a car I haven't driven or a house I haven't seen. I can buy shoes and clothing that don't fit and return them a lot easier then a husband who "just doesn't work out". Divorce is not an option for me and it has nothing to do with religion, just MY commitment to my husband.

Anonymous said...

SEEK GOD FIRST,in a marriage. Cohabitation is wrong and you can't convince me that it is o.k. Be careful of the advise that you are giving,for example would you advise your daughter,son to cohabitate? If you are telling them that this is o.k. well you are telling them that it is o.k.to have premartial sex. It can lead and get you into situations that you are in for a life time that you didn't want to happen. I don't know if you are parents or not but you are your kids role model and they watch and do everything that you do.Be carefulll, such advise could come back to haunt you in the future. I don't intend this to be ugly but If i were you sister/brother I don't think I would let you babysit my kids. I couldn't trust you because i don't know what you would be teaching,showing and exposing to my kids. I apologize and hope I didn't seem offensive.

Anonymous said...

it was only a matter of time before the Christian convervatives started chiming in

hipQuest said...

Anon at 9:16 you're not offensive but IMHO very naive and narrow minded. I'm very glad your beliefs give you comfort and joy but condemnation is for God alone.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:46 p.m. thankssss for the compliment. I will remember you in my prayers tonight.

hipQuest said...

Anon at 9:46, I'm not anonymous but thank you and bless your heart.

Anonymous said...

hipquest at 9:46 p.m. sorry for the mistaking you were anonymous, I am not perfect in anyway possible and if I came off that way I humbly say I am sorry. I was just trying to get ya to understand my point. I need your prayers as much as you need my prayers.

Anonymous said...

You fools crack me up. No one gets out of here alive. You will either rot in the earth or have your ashes spread by your family.

It's amazing how people choose to stop believing in some fairy tales like the tooth fairy, santa, etc. But they keep hanging onto religion.

What a bunch of scared people we have in this world.

Anonymous said...

Why is every other religion okay, but not Christianity? It's a fairytale? What happened to acceptance of all people and their views? I thought that's what liberals were all for.

Anonymous said...

^ read again dummy.

I said "religion". I didn't single out Christianity. You took it upon yourself to "ASSume" I was talking about Christianity. Likely because you believe Christianity IS THE ONLY WAY.

Talk about not accepting.

Anonymous said...

First I'd like to address the Christianity as a fairy tale thing. You non-Christians do realize you are a very small minority in this country right. Second, with regards to cohabitation and potential conflicts with Christian beliefs. My wife was my wife in my eyes and I believe God's eyes before we signed a piece of paper that the state requires for us to be considered married. We were soley committed to each other for quite some time before we got married.

Anonymous said...

So, why is religion a fairy tale? Why can't you accept other people's beliefs without resorting to name calling?

Anonymous said...

You do also realize that this country is going down the shitter very fast. Outsourcing, an uncalled for war bleeding us dry, medicare and social security depleting, economy drowning and housing going to hell and the bleak outlook for the stock market. Oh, I forgot the rest of the planets view of America.

So what were you saying about being in the minority ? Are you suggesting for a minute the the "majority" of America has got it right ?

Wow, You drank all the Kool Aid haven't you ?

Anonymous said...

read the blog over and see who started in with the "personal belief" nonsense to start with . As alway, your clan.

Anonymous said...

The question wasn't answered. Regardless of who brought up Christianity or any other religion. Why do you call it a fairy tale and why do you resort to name calling?

Anonymous said...

Is me say "what a bunch of scared people we have" name calling ?

Grow a backbone, please.


It is a fairy tale. Read the bible, the entire bible like I have years ago. It's a joke. Don't listen to the preachers crap, read the BOOK.

If you have to ask me why it's a fairy tale then you are more foolish than I thought.

Anonymous said...

so, for the sake of a blog, lets assume I'm more foolish than you thought. I have read the Bible and do believe it. Although, I'm not sure why that matters. We are talking about ALL religions I thought. Anyway - please describe why it's a fairy tale. I don't think so and if I'm a fool because of it, then PLEASE, educate me. I'd prefer to be wise than a fool.

Anonymous said...

Open it up, any part, especially the Old Testament and start reading. I low where we are to beat and rape the woman. That part is just great. Also how certain things are unclean before a certain hour of the day. It's medieval nonsense at it's finest.

It's like reading Peter Pan, believing it and then asking me to prove why it's not true.

Anonymous said...

You haven't proved anything yet. So, I assume I am to continue my life of being more foolish than you thought. If you could cite chapter and verse, I'd appreciate it. I certainly don't remember reading anything about being able to beat and rape women. I do know that in Genesis, Chapter 1 God made man and woman and said it was "very good." I do know that there are two books in the old testament that are named for woman and are about women - Ruth and Esther. Both of these women are held in very high regard. Never is it encouraged that they be raped and beaten. I do know that Proverbs 31: 10-31 talks about a woman of noble character and all that she does. She's respected and involved in commerce among other things. Men are not told to rape and beat her, but to "Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring praise at the city gate."
My point is there are a lot of mistruths and mistatements out there about everything, including the Bible. Maybe all of us religious types have messed up and made a bad name for ourselves at times, but maybe when you look, really look at the Bible's teachngs with an open eye, maybe it's not what you once thought.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the original thought was cohabitation! To debate "religion" is pointless, "faith" is of the heart and soul and a personal choice as well as a personal individual right. (I might add, one of the few rights we still have left in this country.)
Life is too short to waste precious time and energy.

Anonymous 9:45 AM " My wife was my wife in my eyes and I believe God's eyes before we signed a piece of paper that the state requires for us to be considered married. We were soley committed to each other for quite some time before we got married."

It is about the committment and it is about respect for each other. The rest of the confusion is just that,confusion. Bottom line, with all the debate, it's still personal choice and individual decision. Amen!

Anonymous said...

Like I said, I read it long ago and I do not currently own a copy of the Book Of Lies so I cannot quote for you.

Try reading LEVITICUS from beginning to end and then we can talk.

Anonymous said...

I've read Leviticus. Let's talk. Oh, and there are lots of websites where you can view the Bible in it's entirety if that helps since you don't have a hardcopy. Try biblegateway.com I think it's one of the easiest to use.

Anonymous said...

Okay, really, I am working.
Here's the last 5 minutes I can give you on your Fairy Tale issue.

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. NICE !!! COOL !!!

Exodus 21:7 states I could sell my daughter into slavery. I'll let her know.

Lev.15: 19-24 no sex while on your period or death !!

Lev.1:9 When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord. What a load of Bull Crap.


Lev. 11:10 Don't eat the Lobster ! It's an abomination.

Lev. 19:27.
I get my hair trimmed, including the hair around my temples, even though this is expressly forbidden. How should I die ?

Lev. 11:6-8- touching the skin of a dead pig makes us unclean, but may we still play football if we wear gloves?

Lev.19:19 don't plant two different crops in the same field or wear garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).

Lev.24:10-16. If you screw up and sleep with an in-law .... burnig to death is the way you are going out.

Lets throw this one in for Sh*ts and giggles:

Exodus 35:2 work on the Sabbath - Put to death.

Really now, I'm done. I have to go now and play "work" in the real world.

Anonymous said...

And all of that, as ridiculous as some of it is, bring us to Hebrews 8, specifically the last verse "By calling this covenant "new" he (Jesus) has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." You are right - Leviticus is pretty crazy, but without it being in the Bible, Hebrews 8 wouldn't make much sense. point being - I don't think the Bible is a fairy tale and I don't think I'm a fool.

Anonymous said...

So what if your Jesus came back tomorrow and said that everything in the NEW Testament is now false and we are starting new ....... again ?

I guess that just makes the NEW Testament total BS, huh ?

See my point ?

Believe as you will just PLEASE don't ever offer it up as truth to the rest of us.

And by all means lets not have another president that says he is chosen by god and god speaks to him. That would make us no better or smarter than the barbarian's we are fighting in this insane war.

Can you not understand why we look at it like we do ?

Anonymous said...

By the way "THE church" father were the ones that rewrote the Old Tetament calling it The New Testament. As man evolved and became smarter it was obvious that they weren't going to still buy all the B.S. in the Old Testament.

Makes perfect sense that they would "call this covenant NEW".

What doesn't make sense is why so many, many people are still so utterly hopeless that they still believe the stuff to this day.

But that's just my view. To each his own as long as you don't force your stuff on me be it by preaching at me in the streets or be it by passing laws that are faith based.

Mark and Julie said...

http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SWLT2%20TEXT.htm

Anonymous said...

Okay Ladies, now that you have taken that big ol' stick and stirred this pot, where are you going to go with this??
This is one of the best blogs you have put out in a good while. Anxious to hear a response to the overwhelming comments

chrlt37 said...

Oddly enough, I worry about people who date for a long time (cohabitating or not), mainly because I've seen that in many cases (nothing Biblical here, I'm not religious) people who date (again, cohabitating or not) for a long time just didn't have the right relationship to begin with and one party or the other ends up settling. I would say if you're not either getting married (just to have the piece of paper) or moving on to another form of really serious committment within 3years, you're probably in the wrong relationship. IMHO, too many people stay in bad or unsatisfying relationships because they think they can't find someone else and are horrified by the prospect of being by themselves, so they end up with the wrong person by default.