The Effects of Living Together (Cohabitation)
1) Those that live together before marriage tend not to marry. Over 50% of couples who live together before marriage end their relationships before marriage.[i]
2) Those that live together before marriage have higher separation and divorce rates. The Journal of Marriage and Family reported that marriages that are preceded by living together have 50% higher disruption rates then marriages without cohabitation. [ii]
3) Those that live together before marriage have unhappier marriages. In general those who live together first: seek counseling more, separate more, view marriage as less important. [iii]
4) Living together equates to more frequent disagreements, less problem solving skills, lower levels of fairness and happiness. [iv]
5) Those that live together do not experience the best sexual relationship. The National Institute for Health Care Research found that couples not involved before marriage are more satisfied in their sex life. Family Research Council found that 72% of all married "traditionalist” couples reported higher sexual satisfaction. [v]
6) Cohabiting results in more behavioral and alcohol problems, aggression is twice as common, there is greater instability, lower relationship satisfaction, depression rates are higher, and women's chances of being assaulted 56 times higher. [vi]
7) Living together outside of marriage negatively impacts children. According to the National Marriage Project, children living with cohabiting biological parents who are unmarried are 20 times more likely to be abused and children whose mother lives with a boyfriend are 33 times more likely to be abused. Children in these cases have more behavioral problems, poorer academic scores, and are five times more likely to experience parents separating. [vii]We met with our Pastor last night. It was a great meeting. We probably didn't accomplish nearly what Pastor S wanted us to, but we touched on some great topics and are planning a marathon session Saturday to get caught up.
We discussed some of the negative impacts of living together. One thing that really struck me was the lack of excitement that E feels about the wedding. I'm not saying he's not excited, it's just that he knows that things won't be much different at home then they were prior to me moving out. It's really sad actually. We lost the anticipation and thrill of first living together after your married because we chose to live together prior to marriage.
I read the following article from LCMS about our living situation:
What about...Living Together Without Marriage
I understood the reasons why it was wrong-even when I was in the midst of it. I understood what we needed to do to correct it. What I didn't consider is that once we lived together, the impact of what we had done wouldn't just go away when we moved apart.