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OT: What is your opinion/experience on living with someone before marrige?

Would you suggest it or not?

Mon. Sep 11, 11:13pm

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I'd do it

My parents did, and they've been married for 44 years! Seems that knowing what they were getting into helped them make a good decision.

Monday, September 11, 2006, 11:37 PM

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I would say as long as you are both able to be yourselves and you don't have expectations that go like: "well, that will change after we're married" it can be a great way to deepen a relationship and really find out if you're compatible or not. I think another danger is that once you've been living with someone for awhile that you might be less likely to break things off if they are not right for you just because they are not necessarily wrong either, and it's easier than risking being alone. In other words you settle for a convenient relationship rather than be alone. Granted you don't need to live together for that to happen, but it's something that lots of divorcees that I know say.

Personally it worked great for me, but that's not the experience for everyone. I was very against it at first and made sure to maintain my financial independance and that all finances were very fair and equitable. I think having lots of upfront discussions about money, posessions and future plans before we moved in together was a really, really good thing. It got us on the same wavelength on several very critical topics and paved the way for future communications and discussions - which was good because we had to have several about the true meaning of 'clean' and why it is important ;-)



Monday, September 11, 2006, 11:55 PM

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I wouldn't even consider marrying someone without living with him first. Nothing to do with toothpaste cap cliches...it's all about (a) the secrets that they keep, (b) the habits they even deny to themselves that they have [porn, video games, etc] and (b) how they argue/debate/negotiate to get their way about small/medium/big things.

If I'd lived with the now ex-husband for more than 4 months before the wedding, I'm sure I'd have discovered his secret cross-dressing fetish (serves me right for not being a natural-born snoop). The next boyfriend I lived with was able to suppress his nasty, demeaning, controlling side for a year before his true colors showed...I notice that the woman he eventually married was a weekend-only relationship for about 8-9 months before they got hitched.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:26 AM

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I have been with my BF for four years and living together for two months. It is very quickly forcing us to openly communicate about EVERYTHING and figure out how our personalities mesh on a day-to-day basis on all levels - from chores to deciding what to eat for dinner to sex. I think it is really going to strengthen our relationship, though it can be a struggle right now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 9:09 AM

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My husband and I lived together before we got married. But I told him I wouldn't move in with him unless I knew we were getting married first. So he proposed about a month after we moved in together. It worked out great. I don't know that much changed after we got married--the big difference is that now our finances are legally tied together so we are much more open about all of that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 9:14 AM

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My opinion is don't take living together lightly. In other words, don't jump from live-in partner to live-in partner. If you're living with someone it should be with someone you are planning on marrying. My opinion is you don't necessarily need to be engaged, though.

My husband and I lived together before we were married. Neither one of us took the decision lightly. In fact, he was downright sick about it and was afraid his Mother would disown him - he was a real Mama's boy. We were setting a precedent in both of our family's and both of us had younger siblings. We made sure that they knew the thought that went behind the decision. I did not want it to come back to me years later that, "so-and-so did it what's wrong with me doing it?". I would support the siblings living with someone of course but I wanted them to know it should be with someone they are considering marrying as well.

We did it much for financial reasons. Both of us would have stayed at home until marriage if that was a choice. I think it was helpful to our relationship, though because we had a dry-run at being a married couple.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 9:34 AM

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The one

My first thought was DON't do it! You don't have the committment you need to get through the fights/struggles that are inevitable when you merge two lives. But then I remembered if it's right, it doesn't matter. I know people who have lived together, that are now married and have the best relationships around. When it's truly the right one, you can't mess it up.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 10:42 AM

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I'll be the odd person out - I did not live with my husband before we got married. While there are certain situations where I think it may be beneficial (for instance, if the majority of your relationship has been long-distance), it is not for everyone. I DO think, though, that you need to spend significant amounts of time together and have those important conversations (kids, religion, finances, etc.) frequently so that you at least have a good idea of what your life together will be like. Sometimes you need to live together to figure that out, sometimes you don't. My husband and I lived in the same city for the whole of our dating relationship, we spent nearly every evening and weekend together, and we have excellent communication. If you can do that, then I don't think you absolutely have to live with the other person.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 11:42 AM

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i don't think you NEED to live with someone before you get married but i agree w/ the other posters who say you can learn someone's true nature by living with them. i moved in with my boyfriend almost a year ago and i'm glad i did-not only because it's wonderful to see each other everyday, but also because we can't always be on our "best" behavior. you both will let your guard down, and your pet peeves will come out. you will know in a short time of living with someone what you can deal with and what you cannot. he drives me crazy sometimes-but i'm positive that he's still the right one for me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:05 PM

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i would recommend that you move in together as roomates rather than lovers-keeping separate bedromms. then the stress is lifted if it doesn't work out.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:09 PM

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works great-- just be sure that you have a "goal" in mind such as we're going to get married by 2008.

There is a lot to be said for waiting to move in together until after you're married since marriage does change things-- you have a greater commitment to work out your differences when you're legally bound to each other. However I understand the circumstance don't always allow couples to wait. If you have a strong relationship and marriage is in the future- it should be fine. Usually the couples that get into trouble move in together to "see how it works" are the ones that end up spliting (but not always!).

Biggest tip: DON'T EVER COMBINE FINANCES BEFORE MARRIAGE!!!! Money is the #1 reason couples breakup. You can split bills- but never have joint accounts. If you want to change this after you're married be my guest, but before marriage is not the time. Be sure to talk about money before your tie the knot as well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:13 PM

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Not a good idea

Lots of research indicates that living together before marriage results in higher rate of divorce, esp in the early years of marriage.



Link

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:28 PM

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I think it can be a good thing. It worked well for me. My husband and I moved in together a few years before we even got engaged. I'm sure I would have married him whether I liked all of his habits anyway because I loved him, but I think it is good to be able to get to know each other's household habits and so forth before you get into marriage. We were together about 2.5 years before moving in and then another 3.5 before getting married.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:48 PM

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Never would have married him

If I'd lived with him first, I never would have married my husband. This year we celebrated our 19th anniversary. Sure we've had some bad times and nearly split up a few times. But I wouldn't trade my life with him or our son for anything in the world. I'm glad I didn't meet Mr. Hyde until it was too late. Makes me appreciated Dr. Jekyll so much more and by golly, variety IS the spice of life.

The ultimate trick to a lasting relationship, I'm convinced, is the extremely delicate balance between learning about yourself and losing yourself in the other person when things stop going your way - and they will! Oh, and knowing when to cut your losses and when NOT to.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 12:54 PM

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i'm sorry but the link provided by 12:28 goes to a very conservative christian website . . .not the place i would expect to see unbiased articles on cohabitation! i'm sure there have been just as many studies done by other reputable schools that show the opposite of what this article says.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 11:47 PM

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You may be right, 11:47, but I don't see ANY research articles linked in your post. Just because the research was compiled in an article found on a 'conservative christian' website does not mean the research is not valid.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 12:32 PM

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well it is valid if you are a conservative christian or subscribe to that sort of belief system, sure. but their point of view is definitely skewed. it is not unbiased scientific research-it is to change people's behavior through fear. i would not base any important decision on something so faith-based, especially since the op is suggesting co-habitation-it would appear that she is not so conservative in her lifestyle choices.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 12:41 PM

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here's something...

Last Update: Friday, March 5, 2004. 10:30 AM (ACST)
Living together before marriage beneficial: church leader
A Darwin church leader says living together before marriage will help couples get to know each other.

The Dean of Darwin's Christchurch Anglican Cathedral, Mike Nixon, says statistics show 81 per cent of people who married in the Northern Territory during 2002 were living together at the time.

Dean Nixon says 150 years ago, people grew up in the same community as their spouse and knew what they were getting into.

"Today with our modern transportation and people travelling around the world and suddenly they meet someone who they're attracted to in one way or another, and they feel that it might be right for them to get married or to link up," he said.

"The question is how do you actually get to know that other person on a deep level, which is so important before you make an actual commitment to someone else."



Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 12:44 PM

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12:41 poster: The research comes from the following sources: Pennsylvania Sate University, University of Wiconsin-Madison, University of Victoria in British Columbia, Yale University, and Columbia University, as well as studies found in the Journal of Marriage and Family, and the American Sociological Review.

Basically what you are saying is: because all of this research from CREDIBLE instiutions is quoted in an article on what you classify as a 'christian conservative' website, it is "skewed" and "biased". That makes no sense. It is unbiased research that happens to support the ideas subscribed to by this website. That does not lessen the validity of the research.

If you google this topic you will find lots of articles to support co-habitation, as well as articles such as this one that identify possible downsides.

The purpose of posting the link was to provide the original poster with another opinion that is backed up by research. She can read the info if she wants to and then either dismiss it or use it in the decision making process.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 2:27 PM

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yeah, well if you read any of the other articles on that same site, they are all right-wing christian conservative viewpoints. for example, the article on how to deal with it if your children tel you that they are gay. it treats the issue like a disease or something. the article you linked to may have some representation from accredited colleges, universities and the like, but the researchers are presenting their opinions as facts and i don't buy it. i think it is great to provide the op with your viewpoint (or the one you linked to), but i feel it is a one-sided arguement that was presented. no offense.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 2:39 PM

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actually, i'm the poster who originally pointed out that the link was from a conservative christian source-not the person who has been commenting today. my point was that depite the reputable shools these studies are from, the source of the article was from a biased website. i'm not disputing what these researchers are saying necessarily. that's a whole other thread!! sure, i could add many links to anything posted here-but it's more important to post links that come from objective sources rather than ones that come from a place with an agenda.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 2:46 PM

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Only Once

I currently live with my fiance and wve lived together for almost as long as we've known each other. We just clicked from the day we met to the day we hung-out. I can count the number of nights in four years that we've spent apart.

Prior to living with him, I was against "shacking up." But he is the one. We're getting married in a few months.

On another note, if we ever broke up, I would not live with anyone else. I don't think it's a good practice and I know it could lead to a lot of drama. I was also concerned about setting a bad example for my younger siblings. However a big pro is really getting to know the person you re living with. There are many things that you will never know about someone unless you have lived with them for an extended period of time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 6:58 PM

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statistically you have a much greater chance of divorce. I don't know why. But I can think of many couples who lived together who got divorced. Marriage is tricky enough ! Getting married is not like buying something with a return policy. I have been happily married over 20 years. I don't now anyone who has been married as long as me who didn't wake up one day and think. What was I thinking ! But if you are commited to the marriage you stay commited to your vow and work it out. After awhile you work every problem through and you can't believe how wonderful it is to be married! Marriage is about self sacrafice. You don't need a practice run you need commitment! There really isn't without that piece a paper . Look I know there are acceptions to the rule but they are few and far between. The 2 become one. I

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 7:53 PM

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I didn't know Yale and Columbia were conservitive christian Schools!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 7:56 PM

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to the above poster...

what are you referring to?

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 10:02 AM

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no one said yale or columbia were conservative christian schools-they were talking about the website source.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:11 PM

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I lived with my husband for almost 4 years before we got married. We were together for 6 all together before the wedding. I think it's a good idea. I got to know how he was, and although some of his habbits drive me crazy, at least I knew what I was getting into.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:19 PM

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I think it's more on a couple to couple basis. If you havent traveled a lot with your partner and don't know how they "live" it may be good for you. I personally wouldn't do it however. I think if you really knew a person, spent a lot of time with them you would already know how they were to live with. IMO

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:29 PM

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i would say that unless you are prepared for the horrors you may be exposed to-stained undies, smelly socks, dirty dishes, uncleaned bathroom areas-don't make the move. and before you do, if you so choose, try to establish what each of your household chores will be. for example, will you each be responsible for your own laundry? own cooking? washing dishes? lawn maintenance? vacuuming? these may seem like trivial things to discuss, but trust me, these are just the type of issues that people can spend a lot of time arguing about. who gets the parking space? who puts the phone/electric/gas/water/waste removal bills in their name? who is on the lease?

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:36 PM

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I am 24, and have been happily married for 5 years. We did not live together. I am a Christian so my morals were the main reason I chose not to live with him. Plus I don't know if there is anything more fun than moving in together after your wedding day! I personally would never let a man that close to me without being committed for life. My husband and I met in Cancun on our highschool senior trips and got married a year after the day we met.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 3:06 PM

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The above poster: not all men leave their stinking underwear around :-) Mine doesn't. I moved in with him 6 weeks after meeting him, and we're getting married next year. Just like so many others have said, if you feel he's the one, then go for it. I've never lived with anyone before, and I'm in my mid-30s. I wasn't against it, just had never met anyone who I wanted to share my space with. Things like bills, cleaning etc... you work them out as they arise. Open communication. I believe in taking the responsible steps to ensure your marriage is solid - like premarital counselling, etc. But there's also the danger of overthinking things. The relationship is supposed to be fun...

Friday, September 15, 2006, 3:08 PM

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It worked for me. Married 24 years in October. We lived together for about 2 years before we got married, even bought a house before we got married. That was not common in 1981!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 4:20 PM

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I'm Doing it now!

I have been dating my bf for just over 5 yrs now, and we have been living together since Jan this year. I highly suggest living with the person before getting married because, when you live with someone, you get to see how life would be when you marry them.

IE: My bf doesn't like to clean, but it works out well, because I love it....had we not lived together first, I wouldn't have known that...as he always cleaned just before I would go to his place....this could have been bad news had I married him first and if I hated cleaning

Friday, September 15, 2006, 5:09 PM

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136 poster here

actually, i was not implying that all men or even any men are sloppy or are responsible for the types of things i warned one might encounter when moving in together. i am not even sure if the poster is a man or woman, gay or straight. these were just general words of advise for anyone looking for others' opinions.

Saturday, September 16, 2006, 9:16 AM

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ABSOLUTELY!! I would never think of getting married before living together AND having sex.

Sunday, September 17, 2006, 3:04 AM

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Just don't move in for the wrong reasons - i.e. moving in will not get him to propose any sooner, or stop going out with his friends, or whatever else annoys you.

I wanted to get married, so I told my then boyfriend that I'd only move in with him after I had a ring and we had set a date for the wedding. We got engaged last summer, and moved in together last November. We got married two weeks ago!

I loved living with him before we got married b/c I love him! It was great! We had very good communication though. We actually did combine some finances, and it worked out fine as well because, again, we communicate well.


Oh, and the statistics in the article are not skewed because of the publication that they're from. They're just a bit misleading, because they show correlation between living together and divorce, but they do not show that living together CAUSES divorce. An example of what "skews" the results is this: many very religious couples will not live togheter before the wedding for religious/moral reasons. Many of the couples in that subset will not get divorced either, because either they do not believe in divorce, their religion does not allow it, or they are very similar due to their religious backgrounds and end up being a really good match.

So, yes, according to those statistics, if you live with your boyfriend before marriage, you are more likely to get divorced than someone who does not live together before marriage. But, the statistics do not say that the reason that you're more likely to divorce is because you lived together.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 4:21 PM

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I did not move in with my husband until we got married. We did stay at each others house's often prior to marriage.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 5:25 PM

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