A Trial Run Before Marriage Can Weaken Your Bond


Relationship Advice For Cohabitation
Cohabiting before marriage could lead to divorce.

This brings up the real issue: why does lasting love, commitment and emotional vulnerability scare many people into thinking they need an escape route? My years of relationship coaching has determined that the following mindsets drive this particular rational:

Fear of not picking the "right one." Marriage is sacred and perhaps the most important decisions any person will make. The best assurance of selecting the right person to marry is preparation before you even begin dating. If you know what you should be looking for in terms of love and commitment, the more confidence you will have in your dating choices — and those you attract. If you do not work through past relationship challenges, you will not be able to see the right partner because your norm is rooted in wrong mindsets. You end up attracting the same negative experience, even though each new person may have a different background, educational or occupational experience. Your emotional connection leads back to a repetition of the established pattern.


Fear of future divorce. Living together is not divorce prevention, nor it is not marriage preparation. It is divorce training. It does increase the likelihood of divorce if the couple decides to marry. The National Survey of Families and Households found that couples who cohabit before marriage are 50 percent more likely to divorce. People who have multiple cohabiting relationships before marriage are more likely to experience marital conflict, unhappiness and divorce than people who do not live together before marriage. It is the attitude that living together can be a temporary and easily ended step in love that may make cohabitation more conductive to future divorce.

Fear of losing freedom. People who live together show greater tendencies toward individualism, leading to a strong desire for self-autonomy within the relationship. One of the appeals of living together is the increased freedom and decreased responsibility toward each other. Living together is not empowering for women. It places them in a vulnerable position, emotionally and materially. Cohabiting couples many times see the relationship very differently. Women generally see moving in together as a step toward marriage, while men tend to regard the relationship as more of a sexual opportunity without the ties and responsibilities of commitment. Marriage is the opposite experience: the couple is stronger and more effective together than apart, as spouses tends to think of "us" rather than "I." Keep reading...

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