‘Living together,’ unmarried? Put a ring on it!

Posted By on October 13, 2011

From the Washington Post’s On Faith blog:

Sociologists often speak of how generations are shaped by what they are denied. The millennial generation has seen and felt the heartbreak surrounding divorce. Many of us were denied a stable home environment, so we struggle with commitment — not out of rebellion, but simply because we did not see “till death do us part” modeled by our parents. That doesn’t mean we don’t want it, though; being deprived of seeing many examples of long-lasting, unconditional love has actually caused us to desire it deeply.

The Pew Research Center has found that millennials have “the strongest desire to marry” of any generation today. An MTV poll a few years back found that 92 percent of young people 13 to 24 “definitely” or “probably” want to get married.

While that desire is strong, it is often matched (and beaten) by a paralyzing fear about making the jump to any commitment, especially a marriage. The meet-me-halfway point is cohabitation.

Unfortunately, cohabitation is not an answer to our longings; and it’s not a healthy preseason to marriage. Its message is, “I’d really like to take part of you. And maybe some time in the future I’ll consider taking all of you.” Ironically, that’s the very thing we’re afraid of — a commitment-free, self-focused relationship.

Excellent. Read the full piece HERE.

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About The Author

Mrs. Chancey is the mother of 12 children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

3 Responses to “‘Living together,’ unmarried? Put a ring on it!”

  1. LVH says:

    I loved this article. There’s no denying the evidence that couples who co-habitate before marriage are much more likely to divorce.

    My husband and I waited, and I still tell my friends how special that first year was. I look back on that time with great fondness and I hope to pass down those sweet and special memories to our kids.

    In my circle of friends, it is common for couples to get engaged and then move in together. I wonder what the statistics are on those scenarios.

  2. heather says:

    I’ve read Stanton’s book and agree with his conclusions based on looking at cohabitation in immature and uncommitted couples. However, he never considers couples who are fully committed to each other and who are living together and therefore see no need for marriage. I’d argue that many of those relationships are stronger than many marriages.

  3. Heather, the point here is that most couples who “commit” to a non-marriage relationship do so because they think they are mature and fully committed. However, statistics clearly show that, no matter how “committed” they may be, their relationships do not last as long or have the same good results as marriage. People do break marriage vows and get divorced, but statistics and history demonstrate that having to go through a divorce tends to slow people down or stop them from abandoning marriage. There are no hurdles in a cohabitation situation. Either partner can just walk away without legal or financial penalties. The evils are compounded when children are involved. Are there cohabiting couples who stay together until death? Indeed. But, as the statistics show, they are the rare exception rather than the rule.