Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage

Living Together Before Marriage Series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

Here are some statistics on living together before marriage from Michael McManus, author of the book Marriage Savers. Statistically speaking, living together is not a trial of marriage, but rather a training for divorce.

  • The number of unmarried couples living together soared 12-fold from 430,000 in 1960 to 5.4 million in 2005.
  • More than eight out of ten couples who live together will break up either before the wedding or afterwards in divorce.
  • About 45 percent of those who begin cohabiting, do not marry. Another 5-10 percent continue living together and do not marry.
  • Couples who do marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce than those who did not.
  • Only 12 percent of couples who have begun their relationship with cohabitation end up with a marriage lasting 10 years or more.
  • A Penn State study reports that even a month’s cohabitation decreases the quality of the couple’s relationship.

Here are some more statistics relating to the children of cohabiting parents.

  • Children of cohabiting parents are ten times more likely to be sexually abused by a stepparent than by a parent.
  • Children of cohabiting parents are three times as likely to be expelled from school or to get pregnant as teenagers than children from an intact home with married parents.
  • Children of cohabiting parents are five times more apt to live in poverty, and 22 times more likely to incarcerated.

Check out the other posts in the Living Together Before Marriage series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?
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56 Comments

  1. Rich says:

    “Statistically speaking, living together is not a trial of marriage, but rather a training for divorce.”

    Beware of the difference between “cause” and “correlation” when dealing with statistics like this. Those who would not and do not cohabitate before marriage are, in general, going to have a higher view of marriage–I would guess many of those have those beliefs based on a faith system like Christianity. Thus, these people would believe marriage more special than those who would treat it more casually, and therefore are less likely to seek divorce. It’s not necessarily the fact that they cohabitated that caused more divorce–it’s the lower view of marriage that led to cohabitation in the first place. The cohabitation would therefore be a symptom, as opposed to a cause, of a growing societal disregard of marriage.

    As for the statistics about children of cohabiting parents, I would guess much of those statistics are skewed by the circumstances of those in poverty as much as anything else. Lower income populations tend to have a disproportionately large amount of “serial monogamy,” mothers with children from multiple fathers who move from partner to partner in search of some kind of stability, and actually wind up with just the opposite. This problem (a soft word–tragedy is probably better) is becoming generational and endemic to lower economic classes, as children are being raised who have no “flesh-and- blood” example of a traditional intact family.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Rich – Great points, and a good reminder that correlation does not necessarily mean cause.

    Brad – Are you out there? Any thoughts on cause and correlation with regard to these statistics? (Brad is a sociologist who sometimes reads over here.)

  3. Chris says:

    Along the same lines, my sociology of poverty class discussed this issue and discovered the same stats but also our professor pointed out the cause v. correlation. She cited selection bias- that those who cohabit, and breakup/divorce, have characteristics that lead them to select cohabitation that also make it more likely they will divorce in the first place. She freely admitted that she wouldn’t care if her own kids cohabited.

    I tend to believe that she is right. I really don’t see the need to tell non-believers that they are “wrong” for co-habiting- we are not to judge those outside the church. At the same time, I will freely state my opinion if asked, and, if it is believers, my belief that there is no cause has absolutely no bearing on the rightness or wrongness.

    Another whole big issue is economic incentives. Two co-habiting parents with 2 kids and $20,000 each in income qualify for 2 Earned Income Tax Credits, worth perhaps 4,000. If they marry? Zilch, over the max EIC guidelines. I met someone recently who is cohabiting, expecting his second child, is a grad student. His girlfriend has very little income, he has quite a bit. She is entitled to the State insurance for expecting mothers/moms/kids called Kid Care. If they marry, they lose that coverage.

    It wasn’t meant to be a disincentive to marriage, and I don’t think this info should be used to deride the government transfer system- use principled critiques if you wish to do so, and be consistent (i.e., the middle class should get no tax breaks for mortgage interest, etc…) However, it is certainly the law of unintended consequences and has become entrenched in our culture. At this point, even if we changed the laws/incentives across the board, I don’t think marriage would pick back up.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Chris – Thanks for weighing in and bringing up the economic side of all this as well. It is a shame that the economics are set up in such a way that it makes marriage all that more difficult for people. As far as the moral side of the issue, I purposely just presented the statistics in this particular post. I plan to present some of the moral issues in a future post.

  5. Ray Fowler says:

    As far as cause and correlation, a number of commenters have rightly pointed out that we cannot automatically assume cause just because of correlation. At the same time, we should be careful not to dismiss cause just because of correlation. Although there are certainly other factors involved, I can see a number of reasons why living together would be a less stable relationship than marriage. So we shouldn’t be too quick to throw cause out of the equation. This is still just looking at it from a statistical perspective. We will get to the moral side of it later.

  6. Nathan White says:

    I agree with Rich’s comment, and would add one thing:

    If we’re looking at this from a Christian’s perspective, couples living together before or outside of marriage is clearly prohibited by scripture, and is a lifestyle not congruent with the Christian profession of faith. Thus, people who do it are unbelievers, or they’re living in some serious disobedience.

    When we consider this, we may better understand the divorce rate, for people who are lost and enslaved to sin, and are demonstrating it in this manner, are not near as likely to stick things out in marriage.

    From a personal experience, I know a couple who were living together at the time of their conversion, eventually repented and lived separately, and then went on to marry later down the road. They’re marriage is very stable and grounded in the Lord, and I would argue that their previous living together has absolutely no bearing on things now.

    So I believe that living together is a symptom of a greater problem which leads to even greater problems, rather than a main cause.

    Hope that made sense :)

  7. Ray Fowler says:

    Nathan – The fact that your friends moved apart and lived separately for a time before marriage probably helped their marriage in the long run. The fact that their marriage is grounded in the Lord is even more important. When both partners in a marriage are focused on Christ that will help them overcome many potential obstacles.

  8. brad wright says:

    Some good points raised, and I don’t know if I have much to add to them. If we assume that people who live together have different marriage experiences than those who don’t previously live together, that simple fact can be interpreted in different ways. (As identified by previous commentators).
    - Personal selection: Maybe certain types of people opt into living together, people who would have had less favorable marriage experiences anyway.
    - Relationship selection: Maybe certain types of relations result in living together first–maybe if the people aren’t sure of the relationship. So a trial run represents estimated uncertainty about the relation.
    - Causal effect of living together: Maybe the experience of living together changes the people/relationships in certain ways.

    Ideally (in terms of knowledge), we would do an experiment in which we randomly assign couples to live together first or go straight to marriage. This being ethically impractical, there are various statistical techniques for approximating an experiment.

    In terms of these statistics, we would have to read more about the studies that they came from to know how much, if at all, they tried to rule out alternative causal explanations.

    Interesting post, Ray!

  9. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Brad! – Thanks for adding your thoughts on this. Statistics can be really slippery animals at times.

  10. Brad 2 says:

    One has to ask himself on a theological level, why does someone who alreay places such a low importance on marriage as to live together even desire to get married in the first place.

    Of course there are instances of “post-cohabitation conversion” to Christianity as mentioned above, but why do couple who are not Christians and have no issue with living together/having sex before marriage even want to be married?

    It is after all a faith based institution.

  11. Clock says:

    One thing to keep in mind is that very religious people are probably not going to live together. Very religious people are probably also not going to get divorced, no matter what happens. That can be both a good and a bad thing. Good, because it forces them to try harder to keep the relationship going; bad because even in bad relationships, these people will stay together. That will then increase the number of relationships in which living together leads to long marriages, good or bad. It skews the statistics. Does that necessarily mean that living together is worse? In this case, no.

    On the other end of the spectrum you have people skewing the statistics who have no respect for themselves or marriage or sex at all. They move from person to person without any degree of commitment and even have children while living with someone. Does their poor example mean much? These people also skew the statistics.

    One interesting thing is an old saying, “Why would a man buy a cow if he gets the milk for free.” In other words, if a man is getting sex, why would he get married?

    In my mind, I would never want a man who only wanted me for ‘milk’. I would want a man who loved the cow itself, and would pay any price for it regardless of the milk he was getting. If marriage is about sex, then I agree with the above poster – I want no part of it.

    But I don’t think marriage is about that. I think marriage is about love, commitment, and partnership. Sex is simply a primal, animalistic urge that has little relevance in the bulk of what makes a healthy marriage. The desire for sex obscures your logical sense of the true person. I would not trust a man’s proposal if he was sexually frustrated. It would be meaningless to me. I rarely meet a person who thinks abstinence is a smart idea before marriage (especially considering that 95% of Americans have sex before marriage). If you are not living together, but you are having sex, what exactly are you trying to prove? It’s false pretense, if anything.

    Getting involved with the right person is important. Getting to know them first is important. Marriage should mean more, I think, than, “I want to have regular sex, so I guess I’ll get married.” Marriage, I believe, is something that happens when the time is right – not just when you want to share a house. So it is because I respect marriage that I believe in living together. If you are already getting the milk, but you still want the cow, that, to me, is what matters.

    Another correlation? People who wait for sex until marriage tend to get married sooner. Probably because they are weighing the benefits of sex into their marriage, rather than marrying the person for their own virtues. Maybe that’s why people who marry younger tend to have a higher rate of divorce. That’s breaking a logical law, I know, but is something to think about.

  12. Ray Fowler says:

    Clock – Thank you for weighing in on this. I am not sure that I followed all of your arguments, but I do agree with you that marriage is more than just sex. However, I also believe sex in marriage is more than just animalistic urges. It is part of the give and take and intimacy of the marriage relationship. I believe God designed the sexual relationship for the intimacy of a lifelong committed partnership in marriage, and that sexual involvement and living together outside of marriage short-changes that intimacy. Although I believe living together before marriage is harmful to the marriage relationship, the main reason not to live together before marriage is a moral reason rather than a practical reason. I will be posting on the moral side of this issue some time in the next couple weeks.

  13. tyler says:

    what is some scriptual background on this.

    i want to look it up.

  14. Ray Fowler says:

    Tyler – Here is a related post you can check out: Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage

  15. Debra Capperrune says:

    Hello:

    My name is Debra Capperrune and I am writing a book titled Wake Up and Smell the Culture. One of my chapters I talk about cohabitation. I am asking for permissions to please use the statistics on living together before marriage from Michael McManus, the president of Marriage Savers. Thank you for your time and concern for any considerations.

    Sincerely,

    Debra Capperrune

  16. Ray Fowler says:

    Debra – Thanks for visiting and thanks for asking. I believe it is okay for you to cite the statistics as long as you give proper credit to the source. You may want to check with Marriage Savers directly. You can contact them here: Marriage Savers Contact Form All the best with your book project. I like the title!

  17. Daniel R. says:

    I wrote a poem and put it online (a public journal) where people could view and comment. I was not into chat lines and do not have a myspace. I simply shared my talent. A wonderful woman from New Zealand read the poem and commented. We talked for over a half a year on the phone (sometimes 6-8 hours per day), wrote each other via e-mail and postal.

    After 7 months of getting to know all about each other, we decided to get married. God provided me with enough funds to stay almost two weeks in New Zealand for our honeymoon. We also got married on my wife’s 21st birthday and decided to save our first kiss for our wedding day!

    It was the most beautiful time of my entire life. We have bee happily married for 3 and a half years now and still enjoy holding hands and cuddling. People think we’re boyfriend and girlfriend. I attribute our loving bond to the fact we chose not to live together and we waited for intimacy before marrying.

  18. Sha says:

    hello, ok so me and my fiance do not plan on living together before we are married but i do have a question. Is it wrong to get married at a town hall rather than church? this is my story, im 20 and my fiance is a yr younger than me we are both christians been saved for some years now, but we end up falling and having sex a year into our relationship and he is my first. Im am now 7 months pregnant with his child and we planned on getting married way before we knew this so he proposed but now that we have a baby on the way things changed, we decided to up the marriage date to sometime before the baby is born so we can live together and help eachother out. We dont want to go against God or anything by not getting married by our pastor but no one is helping us with counseling we get taken for a joke because we are young but we know what we want and we are very serious, we know marriage is a BIG STEP but we are willing to take that big step and do everything in our power to remain strong, for this month we have been fasting so we can prepare for getting married. we still want to do a wedding but a year later because we are preparing for our baby and we still want counseling but no one is taking the time for us so we want to just get married somewhere before the baby comes. is that wrong?? i need HELp . thank you

  19. Ray Fowler says:

    Sha – I commend you and your fiance for desiring to get married rather than live together. I am sorry you are not getting the support you would like. I believe premarital counseling is very valuable and encourage all couples to get counseling before marriage. I would encourage you to talk to your pastor and tell him how important the counseling is to you. Even if he cannot provide it, perhaps he can get you in touch with someone who can.

    As far as getting married in the church or by a justice of the peace, it is not wrong to get married at the town hall. The important thing is that your hearts are right with God. Some people get married in church, but their hearts are not right with God. Perhaps the town hall wedding with a church ceremony later is the best plan at this time.

    All the best! Ray

  20. Sha says:

    wow thank you so much!!! i feel alot better, i am definitely going to talk to someone because we DO want counseling. Thanks alot and you are right we have to make sure are hearts are right with God because marriage is one of the Biggest ministries in itself and the enemy waits just to attack it so we want to be prepared to fight him. thanks alot again God bless u

  21. Jim Morgan says:

    I am a pastor presenting a message on marriage this Sunday. I found the statistics on your site to be very helpful and interesting. I was wondering if you could send me where you got them? I would like to use them but want to be able to back up my numbers. Can you help me? Thanks for your time.

  22. Ray Fowler says:

    Jim – All the best with your message on Sunday. The statistics come from an April 14, 2008 article in the National Review Online. Here is the link: No Way to Live

    And here are some other related statistics along with the various sources listed:

    • 523,00 couples were living together in 1970. By 1991 over 3,000,000 were living together. (Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey”)
    • In 1970 11% of newlywed couples lived together before marriage. By 1993 the percentage had increased sixfold (two-thirds of newlywed couples living together before marriage.) (Marriage Savers, by Michael J. McManus, columnist)
    • Live-together couples are twice as likely to be unhappy in their relationships as married people. (“The National Survey of Families and Households,” University of Wisconsin, 1989)
    • 40% of couples who live together break up before ever getting married (1.3 years average). (“The National Survey of Families and Households,” University of Wisconsin, 1989)
    • Couples living together before marriage are 50% more likely to divorce after marriage. (“The National Survey of Families and Households,” University of Wisconsin, 1989)
    • Couples living together are 62 times more likely to suffer abuse from their partner. (Justice Department study)

  23. Sara says:

    I have been living with my boyfriend for the last year. We have fully committed ourselves to each other, and plan to be together for a very long time. I was angered at these statistics of “cohabitation leads to divorce” because I don’t feel like it’s telling the complete truth. After reading the comments left here, I feel better knowing that others know that there is a difference between “cause” and “correlation”. Things like this cannot be black and white. I feel like most people that do live together take it as a casual alternative to marriage. If that is true, than you have to take into account why they are marrying.

    I’ve heard statistics about most marriages that end in divorce it happens within the first 4 years of marriage. If we decide to make an assumption that a couple is lives together for about 1-2 years, and then decide to marry – that would put their divorce about 1-2 years after marriage. I think it is more about the “life-line” of the relationship. If a couple is going to only last 4 years, then it doesn’t matter if they are living together(or not) or married.

  24. Ray Fowler says:

    Sara – Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you angry. Don’t be too quick to dismiss cause for correlation. Correlation does not always equal cause, but on the other hand it also does not eliminate it. However, regardless of the cause/correlation issue, the main reason for not living together before marriage is that God tells us it is wrong. And that is the main point I am making in this series.

  25. Sara says:

    Well Ray, we will never agree on this topic because you use God as your reason for not living together before marriage and I am looking at this from a purely practical non-religious view.

    I’m glad that you live your life how you see fit, and I will do the same.

  26. Estrella says:

    I am trying to figure out where in the Bible it specifically states that Christian’s should not “live together” before marriage. I would also like to know where the Bible states this as a sin. I am sure that the Bible does not state this. But the Bible does state sex before marriage is a sin. Even the scriptures that were posted do not say living together is a sin. They talk about fornication and leaning not to our own understanding.
    But this is the point. Living together can create the temptation to fornicate but living together (in and of itself) is not a sin. I do not say this to be argumentive. I believe in God and Jesus as my Lord and savior, so I am coming at this from a religious point. It is dangerous to give our opinion and call it God’s. Even when Paul told us it is better not to marry he stated that it was his opinion and not God’s. In the 2nd chapter of Genisus God said that it was not good for a man to be alone and that is why He made woman.
    I am wrapping this up to say that the sin is not in living together, it is in sex(fornication). I just want to make sure that this is stated. A gentalman made a statement about his friends that were living together and then seperated, repented and got married. In my opiniion if they were to repent for the sex then they would have been fine but I don’t know what their desire was for eachother so it may have been better that they not live together.
    So many times we get caught up in calling situations out as sin instead of calling the sin out as sin.
    I do believe these statistics to be skewed towards a Christian view and that they are half truths. I believe a half truth to be worse than a whole lie because it vails the whole situation.
    Yes it is a sin to have sex before marriage. (And I totally disagree that sex is in anyway animalistic! Sex is way for us to express the passion and love that we have for our mate by giving ourselves to one another.)
    Anyway off my soap box. I just want to make sure that we look at the situation and point out the sin in the situation not point a the circumstance and say “yep, you’re living together…you’re living in sin then…” We have to know that not everyone is alike and some people do know how to pray and allow God to grant them control of their bodies and the passion that they want to express for each other. I tell you the truth two people not living together having sex is worse then a couple living together with control over their bodies and desires.

  27. Ray Fowler says:

    Estrella – Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am glad we agree that sex before marriage is wrong, but I believe that living together even without sex is also a wrong choice. I encourage you to visit the third article in this series to see why. (Here is the link: Living Together Without Sex) As far as the statistics, they are not skewed nor are they half-truths. They are simply statistics that should concern anyone who chooses to live together before marriage.

  28. Jason Friend says:

    I have some questions about your statistics. The are not adding up to me. If 8 out 10 couples break up or divorce then 80% of couples who live together do not make it. But then you say 45% do not marry and another 5 to 10 % just live together. So we are up to 50 to 55%. But if 8 out of 10 break up and divorce but 50% of those are divorcing we have 100 to 105% are either divorcing or breaking up. Now I am no math wizard but please surely you can show me numbers that actually make sense.

    # More than eight out of ten couples who live together will break up either before the wedding or afterwards in divorce.
    # About 45 percent of those who begin cohabiting, do not marry. Another 5-10 percent continue living together and do not marry.
    # Couples who do marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce than those who did not.

  29. Rich says:

    Jason,

    The problem is that you’re adding percentages together that don’t go together. The three percentages you cite can be consistent because they are not all percentages of the same whole. The 80% (it’s just easier to round) of couples break up before marriage or divorce means that 20% don’t. The 5-10% (again, let’s use 5% for rounding purposes) who don’t marry but don’t break up is part of that 20%, which would mean that the remaining 10-15% (since we used 5% before, we have to use 15% now) are those who get married after cohabitating and stay married. Of the 80% who do break up, 45% don’t get married, meaning 35% do get married and divorce (80-45=35).

    Thus, of all of those who live together under this set of numbers:
    5% remain together and don’t marry
    15% remain together after getting married
    45% break up before getting married
    35% divorce after getting married
    —-
    100%

    The “50% more likely to divorce” has nothing to do with this set of numbers, but would come from a separate comparison of all couples who actually marry, comparing those who cohabitated with those who did not. And “50% more likely” means that there is half as many more who divorce after cohabitating than those who do not. These aren’t the numbers from this survey, but, for example, if 60% of those couples who cohabitate divorce, that means that 40% of those who did not cohabitate divorce, since 60% of the whole is 50% greater than the 40% of the whole (40 + half of 40 (20) = 60).

  30. Ray Fowler says:

    Jason – Thanks for being careful with the statistics and not just accepting things at face value. It is always good to double check the facts.

    Rich – Thanks for doing the math for us, you appear to have a gift for that!

  31. sara says:

    Just wanted to use these statistics in an essay and wondering if they are referring to the American population?
    thanks
    sara

  32. Ray Fowler says:

    Sara – Yes, these statistics are for the United States – they largely come from census information as well as from various national studies. All the best with your essay.

  33. cara marsh says:

    Hi

    I’m a christian and moving in with my bf we are getting married 7 months. I know sex before marriage is a sin, if we live together but don’t have sex won’t this be ok? The problem ive got is i can no longer live at home with my parents we are not getting on and have asked me to move out, i can not afford to live on my own and save up for a marriage neither can my bf. So i said to my family me and my bf can get married on our own in a register office for 50 odd pounds. They went mental at me and mum started crying. They want me to have a wedding in a church etc. Ive been in tears over this. Mum and dad can only afford to pay for my dress.His parents have offered to py for 75% of the wedding reception. The church is chargin me 400 pounds alone. on top of that i have flowers, rings, a cake , bridemaids , gifts etc. If me and my bf live together both work full time and save up we can pay for it all. What am i ment to do??

  34. Krista says:

    Cara,

    My fiance and I are in pretty much the same situation. His parents asked him to leave shortly after we started dating and he really didn’t have anywhere else to go, so my parents allowed him to move in with us. Since then, we have grown as a couple and are still madly in love. My parents are now in a situation where they can no longer really afford to have us live here and it is causing stress and tension to have so many people live in one house. My fiance cannot afford to live on his own without my help, so we decided to get a small apartment by my school and work. I feel that us living together with my parents has helped us grow as a couple because we have learned so much about each other and have really seen how to love each other unconditionally (I’m not the prettiest when I wake up in the morning and when you live together, conflict has to be dealt with quickly and effectively in order to be successful.) I feel (and our families even agree) that us having our apartment prior to getting married will allow us the chance to get to know each other even more so we can really learn how the other person works. We are getting married at the end of September 2012 and living together in the long run will save us and my parents money and unnecessary stress. I often do not tell people that I know that I am living with my fiance because I am afraid of being judged. I do believe in God and I do believe in Jesus Christ as my savior. However, extenuating circumstances caused my fiance and I to come together and it has made us stronger. I am honestly SICK AND TIRED of being judged by people who don’t understand my situation. We take marriage seriously, but our situation calls for actions to be taken. My personal feeling is that yes, we are called to help each other, but we are called to love each other first! you cannot help someone you don’t love and those who live with the one they love before they are married are the ones who will have to face God. Everyone sins and no sin is greater than another! Chris Daughtry says it perfectly on his first CD. “Open up the book you beat me with again… read it all ONE SENTENCE AT A TIME… I’m tired of all you lines, convictions and your lies… read it all, there’s no need for separating it to say what you only try to justify.” Just because people cohabitate does not mean that God cannot bless their marriage and love them!

    The true calling of a Christian is to find out where people come from and love them where they are at!

  35. Nick says:

    As one of our previous commenters stated, none of the scriptures in “Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage” actually say anything about the act of living in the same place before marriage. They all have to do with the sexual aspect. Now, I’d be downright naive if I said that living together and having sex were mutually exclusive, but I think that just because we are instructed to wait until marriage to have sex doesn’t mean we have been instructed to wait to live together.

    Preface: My girlfriend and I knew each other as friends for 5 years before we started dating. It was a kind of situation in which we both knew that we felt something for each other, but the circumstances had never been quite right. We started dating a little more than 6 months ago. It has been wonderful. After a while, hanging out late at night progressed to sleeping in the same bed occasionally to doing so nearly every night. Our relationship, I feel, has only strengthened. We’ve accepted and enjoy each others idiosyncrasies and are currently engaged in serious dialogue regarding marriage. As we were both raised in church-going homes, we take marriage very seriously as a commitment.

    Question: How does a pastor telling us that we are married change something inside of us or between us that makes us more compatible and able to live together?

    I’m not undermining the significance of a “Christian marriage”. I simply fail to see how a symbolic ceremony can affect change between people. If we love each other and have had thorough, serious discussions about our relationship and its progression, no amount of ceremony will change how we feel about each other.

    It probably sounds like I’m being incredibly cynical but I really want answers. Am I simplifying the entire process too much?

    Thanks for reading and responding,
    Nick

  36. I am Catholic and agree with the general premise here. However marriage is not a strictly Christian institution at all. It is natural law. Man (I do not use inclusive language), is made for eternity by nature. Without a sense of eternal destiny one effectively makes one’s mate the perceived source of perfect happiness. The partner becomes effectively a god or godess, who turns out always to have a bit of the devil in them. The “angel” often appears to be fallen angel. Divorce and remarriage or serial monogamy become a search for happiness that can only be filled by the eternal. Most religious traditions seek this union with eternity in some manner.
    Every culture that has experienced the demise of the family has fallen. Historian Will Durant, a fallen away Catholic, in his volume “Caesar and Christ” attributes the decline of Rome to this. Dramatized in the HBO TV series “Rome” Caesar Augustus comments observing the moral terpitude in Rome that “Rome became great when Roman men took wives.” HBO is far from a Christian based network. The United States have been called the “Nova Roma”, the New Rome. ROME IS FALLING!

  37. Chris A. says:

    Regardless of your situation this study clearly shows a CORRELATION between cohabitation and a negative affect on life. My question is, when presented with these facts, why would anyone roll the dice?

    Whether you believe in the institution of marriage or not, why would you purposefully choose a path that, statistically, correlates with a poor quality of life?

    Do smart things, chances are you’ll become smart. Do rich people things chances are you’ll become rich. Do ‘happy people’ things chances are you’ll be happy. The reverse is true. Do things that you find prevalent among victims of child abuse, divorced and failing couples and chances are you’ll have a failing marriage that ends in divorce with children that are abused. Sure you may be the exception, but that doesn’t change the fact that you purposefully choose to put your self (and child if there is one) at risk.

  38. Megan says:

    My parents lived together for 2 years before they got married and they have been married for 23 years now. My sister also lived with her husband for 2 years before she got married and she has been married for going on 10 years now. My mom was married three times before my dad and never lived with any of them before she was married divorces all three and has been married to my dad after living with him so I believe these stats have developed because divorce rate is just plain higher with the times that have developed and living together has just gotten higher at the same time if you run stats you will see stats about divorce rates and why when it is really just that marriage isn’t as valued and it is easier to get a divorce and more reasons are excepted for you to get a divorce.

  39. Megan says:

    I just wanted to add that I prayed and prayed to God before I made my decision about living with my boyfriend and I did not make the decision lightly and I fully believe I recieved Gods blessing because I was conflicted when I started praying and the more I prayed the more at ease I felt about the decision. I know that that was God helping me to see that he was with me in my decision and I think if you are contemplating whether or not you should live with your significate other the only person that can answer you is God and pray to him and an answer will come just make sure you prepare yourself for the answer you don’t want him to give because he knows whats best and he will answer you.

  40. Amanda says:

    What about spending maybe what is considered to be too much time with your boyfriend or girlfriend simply in their room or in their personal places. It isn’t living with your partner but it seems like in my relationship it would be better if we did less of that. Simply being in their bedroom, or being in a place that is more personal or a place where they do things like get ready for the day, sleep and spend their alone time, its seems to cause temptation. And I feel that sometimes we in this age do not see how big things really are that seem so small when we are in the situation.

  41. Vincent R. says:

    Megan, if you are praying to God about whether or not you should move in with your boyfriend then you clearly are not spending enough time with God in prayer and do not know His word. If you believe you have received God’s blessing about moving in with your boyfriend then you have been greatly deceived by the devil. Just another way satan is destroying our country and making so-called Christians think it’s ok to live as the world lives. I work with a guy that invited his girlfriend to move in with him, he professes to be a Christian. Let me tell you, he serves God ONLY with talk and not with his actions. He regularly takes the Lord’s name in vain, will openly talk about his sex life with his girlfriend, make perverted/derogatory comments about female customers who come into the store, extremely rarely ever mentions anything about Jesus or the Bible. BUT yet, he claims he is a Christian. That guy is your modern day Christian, and they are many of them sadly.

  42. Jessica says:

    Megan, this is what the Lord says. “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”(1 Cor. 6:18)”Do not give place to the devil.”(Ephesians 4:27)Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?(2 Cor. 6:14)Do not live with your boyfriend. No good thing dwells in our flesh.
    God calls you to be a holy woman of God. I know because I been there.Can we honestly say that we will be holy living with someone we are not married with?

  43. Jessica says:

    Megan, this is what the Lord says. “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”(1 Cor. 6:18)”Do not give place to the devil.”(Ephesians 4:27)Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?(2 Cor. 6:14)Do not live with your boyfriend. No good thing dwells in our flesh.
    God calls you to be a holy woman of God. I know because I been there.

  44. Lisa says:

    I wanted to comment on this post. I believe that the statistics should be updated and that they don’t apply to all situations. Each person and / or couple is different. The only person that needs to be comfortable with the situation are the people that will be living together. No one should be judging another person because of their choice of living arrangements; especially in this day and age. Now, that being said, my husband and I lived together for eight months before we married. This would be his first marriage and my second marriage. I was a single mom with a 7 year old son at the time. Makeing a good living and not receiving any child support from my ex. We did well financially, eventually he wanted me to quit work and stay home; which my son enjoyed since previously I had always worked. Eventually though, I did go back to work. Bored staying home. We went to church faithfully and our son went on Wednesdays and Sunday school. Our son graduated from school and went to a Technical School, graduated and received several job offers in other cities. The following year, my husband wanted a separation, after nine years of marriage. He didn’t ask for a divorce and even though I was employed he wanted to keep everything the same, i.e. bank accounts with his check being deposited, car payments, etc. Throughout this I believed we were still supposed to be together and he did say that it wasn’t me, it was him. He assured me that I am doing everything right and he knew that he’d never find someone else like me. Meaning, I always got up with him in the morning cooked his breakfast,his coffee and made his lunch. In addition to cooking him supper every night, even if I had other plans and wouldn’t be eating supper with him. He moved to the town that he was working in at the time and then a year later, I put the house up for sale and moved back to that town as well. We ended up being separated for two years, in which we dated each other, lived in separate towns that were about 20 minutes away. During this time I worked on myself. I started back at the Church that we had attended before we moved away. I constantly prayed for him. I loved him and I knew that God wanted us to be together. Eventually, when the time was right, we did get back together and have been now for about two years and are just as happy as ever. We have been married now for almost 14 years. I don’t believe that us living together prior to marriage had any impact on our relationship. I believe it had to do with other things and timing. Also, as for the children statistics, those should be updated as well. We taught my son how to appreciate what he has, work and save for things he wants and to never be lazy. When he took his first job out of technical school, he was working in Dallas, Texas. When the work was finished he would straighten up his area and do anything else that needed done. He called me and said,”You know mom, I am the only one that stays and cleans up and puts things away. Everyone else leave the area messy.” I told him that’s ok, keep doing what your doing and it will pay off for you. Eventually, he took a job in a city further away and he still has those same values now at his current job. Because of those values that we, as his parents instilled in him. He has gotten a great deal of benefits from the companies he has been employed at. From extra paid for schooling, specialized training, and raises. As a result at the age of 25, he makes more than most men in their 40′s. For this reason alone, the children’s statistics are wrong. If parents would instill the correct values in their children, they wouldn’t live in poverty. I could go on about my sons opinions as well. But, the basic fact of the matter is just because a couple lived together first doesn’t mean that the satistics apply to them or for that matter, if they came from a broken home. It is how the situation is applied and how the people and children involved were raised.

  45. Manoj says:

    If this statistics says the truth about the relation after live in relationship than why this government wants to make the age of relation 16 ? The result is clear- break up,divorce,unmarried mother,murder , illiteracy, career choupat etc-etc. So please Dont make age of relation less than 18 otherwise our country wil become western country in future.

  46. Steve says:

    Hello all! I’ve been introduced to this idea previously and after some thouht I’ve realized that there is a simple explanation as to why there is a correlation here. It’s not because living together before marriage is bad, or harmful to a relationship. If you took one hundred couples who would have gotten married before living together and would not have gotten a divorce and made them live together for a year before they could get married, do you honestly think that more than a couple of those hundred would call off the marriage. The reason I say that maybe a couple of them would end there relationship is becuase once in a while you have couples who realize they’ve made a mistake getting married but they would never get a divorce so they live with the mistake. Since they moved in before getting married they actually had the opportunity to figure this out prior to marriage, so people who would never get a divorce benefit from living together prior to marriage. Anyway, what I’m saying is moving in together before marriage is not going to ruin a relationship that was already going to succeed. It is obvious that the people who move in together before marriage are mostly people who are either unsure or already know that the relationship is only short term. Take my relationship for instance I’m engaged and I know my relationship will last a very long time. I haven’t moved in with her because she still lives with her parents and they don’t believe in living together before marriage. They also made us wait 3 years to get married. I asked her to marry me over 2 years ago. The wedding is finally coming up. I’ve practically been living with her. The only thing I don’t do is spend the night over her place. So forget moving in with your partner, try moving in with your parents and his or her parents before marriage. If you people only knew the crap I’ve had to put up with from her unbelievably selfish parents who just don’t want to let their 22yr old daughter go. You’d know that a relationship that’s going to succeed, will succeed no matter what thing you put in front of it and a relationship that’s going to fail will fail. Moving in together before or after marriage is irrelevant to the equation.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Cohabitation? — Grassroots Community Blog
  2. St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral, Wollongong » The measurable dangers of cohabitation
  3. Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage at Ray Fowler .org
  4. Living Together Without Sex at Ray Fowler .org
  5. What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage? at Ray Fowler .org
  6. Living Together Before Marriage Series at Ray Fowler .org
  7. eHarmony Will Provide Same-Sex Matches at Ray Fowler .org
  8. Living Text of Sociology » Blog Archive » Olivia Helman (Edison College) Living and Sleeping Together Before Marriage
  9. What? You aren’t moving in together?? « Sarah Whitfield
  10. Marriage and Cohabitation in the United States at Ray Fowler .org

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