One couple learns some valuable lessons after living with the bride's parents.
A little more than a year ago, a study was released that claimed couples who live together before marriage are more likely to get divorced than couples who don’t shack up before they wed. I found that interesting, as my fiancé had just moved in with me and my parents around the time that study came out.
To make matters more thought-provoking, our priest discussed the study in our marriage prep class the following weekend. The one thing our marriage prep class failed to point out was that living together if you’re already engaged contributes very little, if it all, to a future divorce, according to that study. The research focused on couples who were not yet engaged, and it explained that having entwined finances and possessions often made it hard for couples to break up, which would then lead to marriages that maybe wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
Living together if you have no intention to marry the other person can definitely get complicated down the road. But if you’re already engaged and you’re planning a future together, living with your partner before marriage can be a great learning experience.
My fiancé’s new job had taken him about 90 minutes from where he was living and moved him to my home state. We had a few options: find an apartment for him until we later found a home, buy a house quick, or accept my parents’ offer to let us stay with them. They wanted to help us save money for our wedding and a future house, which was a huge gift on their part. And living with my parents wasn’t as weird as you may think. Will Living Together Ruin Your Relationship?
My fiancé and I learned things that some couples don’t discover until they get married and move in together. We discovered how long it takes us each to get ready for work and for bed, which then helped us both plan accordingly before work and sleep. We learned to deal with each other’s quirks, like his love for watching only the History Channel and my obsession with collecting books. Living with my parents also temporarily took some financial strain off us; we didn’t have to pay a mortgage yet, so we were able to stash money away in savings and pay some of our wedding bills as they came in. We still worried about money, like how we would eventually pay for a house and all the bills that come with one, but we were under less strain than we would have been if we were paying rent to a landlord each month. Step-By-Step Guide To Having The Money Talk
This past summer we closed on our house and moved in three days before our wedding. Life was pure chaos that week, but we were able to weather it because we were moving into this space together. It wasn’t his place first, or my place first; it was our place. I remember how excited we were the first evening while eating take-out on hand-me-down couches in our living room. We were surrounded by boxes and piles of stuff. We had no television or phone or internet connections, so we just ate and talked and soaked in our new reality. We spent the first few nights sleeping on a mattress on the floor in our bedroom because we couldn’t fit the box spring upstairs, but it hardly mattered. What They Don't Tell You About Living Together
Living with my parents for 10 months made us appreciate our home that much more. We were grateful for the lifeline they had thrown us, and even more excited to finally have a space that was our own. The move was relatively smooth because we weren’t venturing into completely unknown territory: we had lived together first, figured out how we would make it work, and transitioned that knowledge into our new life together as a married couple. And I would have to disagree with our priest on this one—living together first hasn’t made our marriage any weaker. In fact, I’d say we’re much stronger this way.