Today most young people will live with one or more romantic partners before marrying – if they do marry at all. This is the “new normal” – and it’s not a healthy one for our culture.
When Fewer Wedding Bells Are Ringing. . .
BTW, in this week’s column I refer generally to studies which show that married people who did not cohabit first are statistically more likely to be happy than those married couples who did cohabit first. There was just no room to site all the studies which demonstrate this finding, so I’ll include here a sampling over several decades.
One finding studies demonstrate is that couples moving from living together into marriage often go from a sense of “freedom/no commitment” to “commitment/no freedom” and this can lead to a feeling of being “trapped.” Whereas couples who go from not living together to being married are more likely to view marriage itself as “freeing.” Interesting.
This, of course, can have an impact even years later on how positively or negatively married couples view their marriages.
9. R.E.L. Watson, “Premarital Cohabitation vs. Traditional Courtship: The Effects of Subsequent Marital Adjustment,” Family Relations 32(1981), 139-147.
10. Alfred DeMaris and K. Vaninadha Rao, “Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability in the United States: A Reassessment,” Journal of Marriage and Family 54(1992), 178-190.
11. Stephen Nock, “A Comparison of Marriages and Cohabiting Relationships,” Journal of Family Issues 16(1995), 53-76.
12. Catherine L. Cohan and Stacey Kleinbaum, “Toward A Greater Understanding of the Cohabitation Effect: Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Communication,” Journal of Marriage and Family 64(2002), 180-192.
13. Lee Robins and Darrel Reiger, Psychiatric Disorders in America (New York: Free Press, 1990), 72.
14. Andrew Greeley, Faithful Attraction (New York: Tom Doherty, 1991), 206.
15. Jan E. Stets, “Cohabiting and Marital Aggression: The Role of Social Isolation,” Journal of Marriage and Family 53(1991): 669-680.
16. Todd K. Shackelford, “Cohabitation, Marriage and Murder,” Aggressive Behavior 27(2001), 284-191.
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Posted By: Betsy