From co-operation at work to co-operation at home, premarital cohabitation is a popular and growing trend since the 1970s in all countries except catholic ones. For many, it is seen as a trial run before tying the knot, but is it such a good idea seeing the divorce rate for couples who cohabit are higher, and living together as a couple before marriage in the USA before 2000, was associated with lower marital satisfaction, lower commitment among men, poorer communication, higher marital conflict and higher rates of wife infidelity.
Some attribute this statistic to individuals having lower standards for those they are willing to live with than marry. A lot of couples live together for convenience, but it is inertia and the investment they have made which stop them from getting out or starting over again. This leads them to drift into marriage, rather than making a conscious decision to do so, which in turn, leads to disaster. Furthermore, 40% of couples who cohabit have children which push them together for the sake of the child but, in some cases, only for a while.
It doesn't have to be this way though if you avoid further obligations such as getting a puppy or having children. Before you commit be sure of what you really want, be honest with yourself and your partner about how you feel, what you need and expect from the relationship, and be straight about your motives for moving in together. Being open will encourage problem solving and better communication which will enable you to successfully overcome any issue, even after you are wed.
If you are having relationship difficulties and wish to book an initial session with one of our experienced practitioners to discuss these, please contact your local First Psychology centre at one of the following locations:
Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440, www.edinburghtherapy.co.uk
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411, www.glasgowpsychology.co.uk
Borders: 01896-800-400, www.borderspsychology.co.uk
Aberdeen: 01224-452848, www.aberdeenpsychology.co.uk