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wee weed up
10:53 AM on 01/13/2011
Increases it [divorce].
10:53 AM on 01/13/2011
This confirms my suspicions. I also think there is a link between how long a couple is engaged and how long they stay married though I haven't seen any studies to support my theory. I've noticed that the longer a couple is together and then has a long engagement the more likely they are to divorce. I've seen it time and time again. A couple will be engaged for two years and then marry and split soon after- I think it has to do with the level of commitment going into the marraige. I don't care what anyone says- marraige is not just a piece of paper, if it was people would not be so afraid of it. Nor would they feel so differently about their relationships after they wed.
Good thoughts create good things
02:48 PM on 01/13/2011
I think that sometimes the relationship isn't really all that great but people think, if we get married it will take care of all the problems and everything will be as great...
03:14 PM on 01/13/2011
I agree. Just like people who try to save marriages by having babies. Marriage and babies will only further highlight the unresolved issues you have.
05:44 PM on 01/13/2011
I completely agree with this. I've known so many couples that dated for years and were engaged for over a year and their marriages have either failed or they are unhappy. The happiest couples I know have not lived together, had short engagements of 6 months give or take, and are still going strong. It seems to me that most couples cohabitate as a way of delaying marriage, seeing it more as the final trial run before marriage.
10:51 AM on 01/13/2011
Or, perhaps people who do not cohabitate before marriage are less likely to be divorced because the same religion that forbids cohabitation also forbids divorce.
Jerry Drake
10:50 AM on 01/13/2011
Wait...this study actually doesn't say what the author of the article seems to think it says. The author here essentially includes people who cohabitate after engagement in with the group who got married without living together, rather than in with the group who didn't get engaged before living together.

What about that group that cohabitates after engagement? That seems like the sweet spot: you have both the committment and the time to work out issues before tying the knot. I hate stories like this - the author is trying to drive home a point without allowing us to really appreciate what the data says.
Vicki Larson
Journalist, mother, thinker
09:16 AM on 01/13/2011
I didn't need a study to tell me this.

When most people live together, they fall into what I consider a "marriage" rhythm without even knowing they're doing it. They start to get lazy in the relationship because they can. Then, after x-number of months or years shacking up, getting married seems like the next logical thing to do — it's not really a conscious decision. It's just what "should" happen. Not a good way to start a marriage!
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07:58 AM on 01/13/2011
Maybe it decreases marriage in the first place.....which isn't all that bad.
I know that being married to my sons father did not insure a thing. I would have been better off without the debt it cost to be divorced and the stress on my son and I would have given us a healthier life. One parent would have been better than having his father in the equation.
I did remarry and my son loves his stepfather as if he was the best natural father in the world.
I would have always provided the best I could for my son but having two parents gives much more balance, security and a great role model is irreplaceable.
Web geek, skeptic, SF fan, movie extra
07:25 AM on 01/13/2011
Most of my friends lived together before marriage, and my husband and I did (briefly) too. The divorce rate is a little lower than average. Most are are college educated and are not religious. There is a higher rate of single people (never married) among my friends. For the most part, I'd say most of us were good friends with our spouses before we fell in love with them, and had interests in common. You don't have to agree on everything, but you need to have compatible attitudes and a willingness to talk things out. It's helpful to know how to be poor together; I think one huge problem with current 20-somethings is the focus on mega-weddings and long engagements. If you think you want to get married, get married even if you don't have the perfect job or the perfect house yet. My husband and I will celebrate our 34th anniversary later this year.
As government grows, liberty shrinks
06:56 AM on 01/13/2011
Interesting study. Pretty much confirms what I suspected all along. People that drift into marriage maintain close to the same level of commitment as they did to dating/living together stage of their relationship i.e. leaving when things become too difficult or frustrating.
03:25 PM on 01/13/2011
The study and topic are interesting. I looked at the data of the study and came up with some questions. Shouldn't the reason for cohabitating and plans to get married vs not be put into different categories? For example; in the study more women wanted to cohabitate because there were children to raise, and more men wanted to cohabitate to test the relationship. Also, there is a larger study out from National Center for Health, showing there is no difference if there are plans to marry prior to cohabitation.