Do You Want the House - Without the Spouse?
4/4/2013 11:49:00 AM
I already knew out the gate: I would not put my name on anything with anybody unless I had a ring on it. Period. Credit, bank accounts, bills…those are very important matters. And while not all marriages work, I’d rather risk putting all those things together with a spouse than a live-in. But that’s just me. Not only was the issue drilled in me from mama, church and what not, I saw some examples that concurred with my thoughts.
I had seen people live together for years, accumulate debt and start building a family only to break up. To make it worse, one party would move on and marry the next chic! How can you live with someone year after year to only watch them wed another? I know some couples feel it works for them, so who am I to judge? I am not judging but just know that wasn’t a choice for me personally. Plus, I always wanted to establish my own career, money, credit rating etc. before sharing my household with another. I know some people do it to save money and perhaps wait for the right time to marry. Many sources say that “ right time” may never come if you cohabit.
According to a new study, many more people are deciding to live together, unmarried, and are having children as a result of this than in the past. According to USA Today, almost half of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have done so. Howver, studies show couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect. Seems weird, huh? Guess that whole “I gotta test drive it before I buy it” doesn’t always ring true.
While you may think it's only women who want the rock not just a house tigether on the block, some men agree.
From a verysmartbrothas.com, Damon Young blogged about why he wouldn’t cohabit in the piece, “Why You Shouldn’t Live Together Before Marriage”. Here’s a bit of what he had to say from break ups to total commitment:
“…The convincing co-habitation argument fails to consider one of the die hard truths about relationships: most relationships end. When you’re not living together and the relationship ends, aside from deleting your own boo from your Facebook page, there’s really nothing else you have to do. But, cohabitation just makes things messier, more drawn out. Who stays and who moves out? Who keeps what furniture? Since you were splitting bills before, how is that going to be handled now? Also, as I learned, a post-cohabitation break-up ensures that you will have to continue seeing and interacting with each other for at least a few weeks while you figure everything out. When this happens, you’re not able to make the type of clean break necessary in order for a relationship to truly end, and this has a tendency to put you in a “are we or aren’t we?” limbo that ends up making things even worse. Most importantly, with pre-marriage cohabitation, you’re committing yourself to husbandly and wifely duties without any type of husbandly and wifely commitment. Yes, this can happen even without living together, but when you are sharing the same space, that dynamic basically just creates itself. And, while doing this may seem cool in theory, ultimately one party (or both parties) will feel taken advantage of, and/or tire of “playing” married couple without actually being a married couple, and this can put another level of unnecessary strain on the relationship.”
My mama always said, “Why should he buy the cow if he can get the milk for free?” Yes, some couples who live together do marry. But you must decide what you can live with – a house without the spouse or wait to walk the aisle. The choice is yours – while the outcome awaits.