Monday, June 01, 2009

On living together before marriage

A study of the literature on those who live together without being married found that "‘No positive contribution of cohabitation to marriage has ever been found." Some of the specific findings include:
  • Cohabitors report poorer relationship quality than married couples.
  • Cohabitors have lower commitment to the relationship, lower levels of happiness and worse relationships with their parents than married couples.
  • Cohabiting couples have higher rates of assault, and the violence is more severe, than among dating or married couples.
  • Cohabitors tend to be more socially isolated and this partially explains their heightened levels of domestic violence.
  • Prior cohabitants had a higher rate of pre-marital aggression than couples who did not live together.
  • According to a study of British child abuse registries, a cohabiting boyfriend is the most serious risk factor for child abuse. Children are safest living with their natural parents, married to each other...
  • Married couples whose marriages are preceded by cohabitation are more likely to get divorced and to report lower quality marriages.
  • The increased probability of divorce cannot be accounted for by systematic differences between those who choose to get married and those who choose to cohabit.
See ADF for the whole article and links.

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