If you thought cohabitation means a happier marriage, think again!

Posted by Ria, 15 May 12

A downside to come-with-stay? It’s a trial marriage. And the deal is: it will either work or wont. That’s why it’s a trial. So why call its failure a downside?

Well, apparently, according to an article by the New York Times "The unexpected downside of cohabiting before marriage", cohabitation does have effects that may lead to divorce later. If we look at couples that do it, half the time, it happens because it’s convenient: convenient sex hence no more carrying an overnight bag, cheaper costs of living, postponing the commitment of marriage… To be honest, cohabitation is so appealing so much so that couples just slide into it without even knowing how it happened. One minute you were having a one night stand, the next, all your stuff is at her place.

But do most couple cohabit with their ideal spouses? Majority admit they don’t. When it comes to the cohabiting partner, standards of the ideal spouse are compromised for convenience. In fact very few really get to talk about it. And most couples do it because if it doesn’t work, they can easily walk away.

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Well here is where the downside really comes in: Its called "sliding not deciding" by researchers. The article says: "Moving from dating to sleeping over to sleeping over a lot to cohabitation can be a gradual slope, one not marked by rings or ceremonies or sometimes even a conversation. Couples bypass talking about why they want to live together and what it will mean."

If you ask me, people who cohabit seem to be commitment phobic… people who are not sure about the institution of marriage. People who are looking for a quick exit if things don’t work out. So even after marriage, these are people who still have the divorce mentality embedded within them.

But sometimes, a quick exit ceases to be an option. Sometimes babies come into play while cohabiting forcing couples into marriage. And seeing as cohabitation is something that just happens for many, and happens for different reasons between men and women (men looking at it as convenience and postponement of commitment; women looking at it as a step towards marriage), they end up frustrated in a relationship they probably didn’t envision would take such turns… they end up stuck! And with frustration comes dissatisfaction and eventually divorce!

Cohabitation works best if both individuals see it as a step towards marriage; not just sliding in when in you are in your 20s and finding yourself in your 30s still cohabiting, with no options other than the pressure of getting married because you have been together for too long. "It’s important to discuss each person’s motivation and commitment level beforehand and, even better, to view cohabitation as an intentional step toward, rather than a convenient test for, marriage or partnership."

You heard?!

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