Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Science Daily: Co-habiting before marriage is a bad idea

Story from Science Daily. This is old news, but maybe it will be new news to some of my readers.

Excerpt:

University of Denver (DU) researchers find that couples who live together before they are engaged have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they are married to live together, or at least wait until they are engaged. In addition, couples who lived together before engagement and then married, reported a lower satisfaction in their marriages.

…”Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships,” Rhoades says. “Perhaps if a person is feeling a need to test the relationship, he or she already knows some important information about how a relationship may go over time.”

This is why I love chastity. Chastity is like the fine-tuning argument – you can’t lose the argument because you have all the evidence. Your opponent has unobservables hopes and dreams. And these moral rules like chastity are not just there to protect you from harm. Chastity allows you to relate to the opposite sex in ways you’d never dreamed of. And it works on people you aren’t even attracted to, as well!

Isn’t it interesting how disdainful we seem to have become of traditional wisdom in regards to sexual matters? As if  civilization worked one way for thousands of years, and then all of a sudden the feminists tell us how human nature really works.

Check out this article from Focus on the Family.

Excerpt:

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University find “it has been consistently shown that, compared to spouses who did not cohabit, spouses who cohabit before marriage have higher rates of marital separation and divorce.”3 Sociologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report, “Recent national studies in Canada, Sweden, and the United States found that cohabitation increased, rather than decreased, the risk of marital dissolution.”4 This was also found to be true in the Netherlands.5

A leading researcher on cohabitation from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, reports:

Contrary to conventional wisdom that living together before marriage will screen out poor matches and therefore improve subsequent marital stability, there is considerable empirical evidence demonstrating that premarital cohabitation is associated with lowered marital stability.6

Additional researchers found, “cohabitation is not related to marital happiness, but is related to lower levels of marital interaction, higher levels of marital disagreement and marital instability.”7 They conclude, “On the basis of the analysis provided so far, we must reject that argument that cohabitation provides superior training for marriage or improves mate-selection.”8

Research conducted at Yale and Columbia University and published in American Sociological Review found:

The overall association between premarital cohabitation and subsequent marital stability is striking. The dissolution rate of women who cohabit premaritally with their future spouse is, on average, nearly 80 percent higher than the rate of those who do not.

Other studies show that those who have any type of pre-marital cohabiting experience have a 50 to 100 percent greater likelihood of divorce than those who do not cohabit premaritally.10 This data has led researchers to conclude that the enhanced chance of divorce after cohabitation “is beginning to take on the status of an empirical generalization.”11

Marriage is not for people who are “in love”. And having things in common is not the most important thing either. What you need are two people who are trained and experienced in making commitments to do arduous, long-running tasks. People who come into a marriage thinking it will solve all their problems are crazy. And children make it even more stressful!

UPDATE: Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse podcast on the subject is here. (11 minutes)

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