photo: Meredith Farmer
The modern trend of living together in a so called cohabitation or civil marriage has been recently taking over not only the majority of the Western countries but also of Eastern Europe and Russia.
I have been suspecting something wrong with that phenomenon but could not really explain why. You probably know this feeling: you are sure something is wrong, but a simple explanation (because it is not traditional, not natural or not successful) does not work with the modern civilised humans.
Recently I came across some studies giving the scientific proof and logical explanation for the unhealthy nature of that state of illegal cohabitation (yes, actually it IS illegal – simply because it is not “by law”).
More than 50 percent of American couples cohabit, and those who later marry are more likely to divorce than couples who do not live together first, based on a recent review of studies co-authored by David Popenoe, Rutgers University sociologist.
The practice is common among people from broken homes, because they might be more cautious and wish to cohabit as a trial marriage, Popenoe said. These findings call into question whether cohabitation is good for the institution of marriage, he said.
The US National Survey of Family Growth report, based on a survey of nearly 11,000 women, found that after 10 years, 40 percent of couples that had lived together before marriage had broken up.
Another study by Penn State University researches prove that even though more than half of couples now do it, compared with only 10 percent 30 years ago, living together before marriage still is linked to higher rates of troubled unions, divorce and separation.
The Penn State team compared data on 1,425 people married between 1964 and 1980 when cohabitation was less common and between 1981 and 1997 when cohabitation was more common.They found that, in both groups, cohabiters reported less happiness and more marital conflict than noncohabiters. Also, in both groups, couples who lived together before marriage were more likely to divorce.
Then what is the reason? Why is there such a difference between these two seemingly similar states? And why does this “logical” idea of “trying it out before marrying” obviously not really work?
One marriage expert pointed it out very clearly:
When living together the attitude is “I vow to stay together with you as long as you make me happy.” In a marriage, people focus on making their partners happy.
The secret of more successful marriages without previous cohabitation could be the following: People who have no doubts in the right choice get marry without a long story. The other ones who are not that sure in the right choice may think they need more time (keeping in mind the possibility of a better option!). In case they do not find something better they finally marry the partner – no wonder that this reason does not work as a long-term solid base.
Looking in the German-English dictionary for the better term of cohabitation I found a tickled pink explanation for that state.
Question: how to explain the relationship of living together unmarried in what is known as ” wilde Ehe.” ?
Answer: Then it must be “still floating around out there :-)” Straight to the point!
Divorce rates of the world (by Nita)