Cohabitation before marriage / or not - Pros & cons

Is cohabiting a good idea?


  • Total voters
    87

DogLover

Sparrow
People are who are easy to "date" can be hard to live with. And they can hide the reasons why. Sloppiness is one such matter. My ex was a "horder", and piles and piles of shit started appearing in our marital home. Even the mattress had stacks on it; i couldn't take a nap during the day! She'd move them to the floor at bedtime...and back to the bed in the AM! She hid her sloppiness when we were dating - cleaned her room, while the mess in other rooms were blamed on roommates. Indeed, the only proxy i've seen for telling how messy your future wife will be is her CAR. Messy car chicks make bad homemakers, and therefore bad wives. It should NOT be the man's job to both lead the relationship strategically, and pick up after everyone.

Also, living together lets you see how she REALLY eats - and whether she cooks. You don't want to sign up to be Betty Crocker for 40 years.

I don't think i'd marry again without living together. In fact, if the living together went well, i might just say "so why get married?". I'm past the point of wanting kids.
 

Easy_C

Peacock
We can argue about the hypotheticals all day long.

In practice, the empirical evidence is resoundingly clear: cohabitation prior to marriage is correlated with less successful marriages. Everyone can speculate back and forth about possible reasons one way or the other but at the end of the day that correlation is strong, reproducible, and statistically significant.
 

Beyond Borders

Peacock
Gold Member
Athanasius said:
There have been multiple studies linking cohabitation aka. "trying out the car before you buy it" to higher rates of divorce. Regardless of that, though, it's fornication in the Scripture, and those who do such things without repentance will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

The studies show negative effects on WAY more than just divorce rates (even to a great degree if you decide to marry her later on down the road). I read this book a few years ago and it's pretty convincing. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005J52RVQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Divorce, infidelity, unhappiness, child abuse, spousal abuse, emotional and behavioral problems in children, it goes on and on - rates increase overwhelmingly all the way across the board.

I am in a cohabitation situation myself, and marriage still intimidates the hell out of me. So I get all the reservations. One thing that struck me about the book is women definitely lose a lot more power in the cohabitation setup than men do. So it does in some ways create a situation where you can "hedge your bets" and maintain power - but at what cost? A lot of negative effects on life outcomes even for men if family stability of any type is a goal for the future.

I'm not religious, but even just on logical grounds, the evidence against it is pretty overwhelming and If you think about the psychology of the marriage ritual and surrounding traditions, it makes sense that low-commitment cohabitation setup would wield a lot less power.
 
Haven’t read the book, but wouldn’t the more conservative, religious nature of people that marry and stay so, have more to do with the success of raising children in marriage, than the ritual itself? I find it hard to believe a wedding ceremony and document suddenly makes you a better parent.
 

Beyond Borders

Peacock
Gold Member
^ Correlation vs causation - it's certainly an argument to consider. I can't remember how or if this was dealt with in the book or studies as I read it a few year ago.

sanbruno said:
I find it hard to believe a wedding ceremony and document suddenly makes you a better parent.

I don't know if it's a "suddenly" kind of thing. The psychology of a commitment, as I understand it, is something that plays out over long periods of time, but that doesn't make the effects any less real. For example, many of us have been in relationships where we held a woman at length that wanted to be serious while we did not. She'll go on fooling herself forever, telling herself she can accept that while simultaneously trying to change your mind. The situation gets more and more dysfunctional until finally it falls apart.

In a situation where you don't make a real commitment to the woman, I could see this effect always existing at some level in the relationship. And one of my big takeaways from the book was that having one foot in to test the water changes the way you approach a situation - maybe our ancestors learned that about human nature through experience and we should at least take pause before throwing it out.

If I recall correctly, the idea behind children having problems was that they can subconsciously sense the changed dynamic when a real commitment is lacking. And of course if parents are fighting, cheating, threatening to leave more, bonding less, abusing kids more, etc, the issues in that home are of course going to effect the psychology of the kids.

We are psychologically always on the fence when we aren't married - men know this, women know this. The kids feel it. That does make sense to me.

And another major aspect is that without a marriage, people tend to "slip into" cohabitation. They don't bother thinking about it at length and making a good decision because the gravity of the decision is removed - in the vast majority of cases, cohabitations just kinda happen. The "try each other out" mode, while seemingly rational, is a huge part of the problem and leads to us slowly getting into situations with big consequences that we may not have gotten into if we had to make a concrete decision.

Without skin in the game you're more likely to make careless decisions that bite you later.

Pretty good reflection of what I see in a lot of American relationships - people don't pick who they're with...they just start banging someone and it's comfortable and before you know it they're living together. And that would apply even if they got married later. "Well, we've been living together this long soooo..."

But yah even then the correlation vs causation aspect is of course up for debate.

I'd just have to reread the book to comment on how thoroughly it was addressed as I don't remember. Certainly all food for thought.
 

SilentOne

Woodpecker
For those of you thinking that she won't stay with you any longer without a marriage, you're cooked either way. Let her walk. That alone should tell you it's all about the money and security for her alone. You can try to rationalize this anyway other way you like, you're only fooling yourself.

"Shes too good to stay with you without a marriage" is nothing but nonsense. Don't fall for it. Don't shift the power to her and the state. Once you do, she can act out and there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing.

Given the current circumstances, I'm not that big on cohabitation but it's doable if you carefully choose her right. I don't care how long you may know somebody, it isn't the same like living with them.

I know some of you just can't help it. You just got to get married. The program within is just too strong. Whether you want to keep up with it or not, the times has changed. For those who still want to play this game of chance, godspeed.
 

CaptainS

Hummingbird
SilentOne said:
Don't shift the power to her and the state. Once you do, she can act out and there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing.

I wonder if the answer is an ecclesiastical marriage without any legal documents. It seems like the state and the Church have very different definitions and goals for marriage. I don't see the point in risking everything for a woman who may be dishonest in her reasons for getting married and her obligations within a marriage. One marriage can be dissolved with few complications (even Catholic tribunals rarely refuse an annulment), the other results in a financial disaster.

Of course the state will catch up eventually and beef up laws to declare it a common law marriage but that risk exists for cohabitation too. With any luck, your wife has proven herself proper by the time that happens anyway.
 
Beyond Borders said:
^ Correlation vs causation - it's certainly an argument to consider. I can't remember how or if this was dealt with in the book or studies as I read it a few year ago.

sanbruno said:
I find it hard to believe a wedding ceremony and document suddenly makes you a better parent.

I don't know if it's a "suddenly" kind of thing. The psychology of a commitment, as I understand it, is something that plays out over long periods of time, but that doesn't make the effects any less real. For example, many of us have been in relationships where we held a woman at length that wanted to be serious while we did not. She'll go on fooling herself forever, telling herself she can accept that while simultaneously trying to change your mind. The situation gets more and more dysfunctional until finally it falls apart.

In a situation where you don't make a real commitment to the woman, I could see this effect always existing at some level in the relationship. And one of my big takeaways from the book was that having one foot in to test the water changes the way you approach a situation - maybe our ancestors learned that about human nature through experience and we should at least take pause before throwing it out.

If I recall correctly, the idea behind children having problems was that they can subconsciously sense the changed dynamic when a real commitment is lacking. And of course if parents are fighting, cheating, threatening to leave more, bonding less, abusing kids more, etc, the issues in that home are of course going to effect the psychology of the kids.

We are psychologically always on the fence when we aren't married - men know this, women know this. The kids feel it. That does make sense to me.

And another major aspect is that without a marriage, people tend to "slip into" cohabitation. They don't bother thinking about it at length and making a good decision because the gravity of the decision is removed - in the vast majority of cases, cohabitations just kinda happen. The "try each other out" mode, while seemingly rational, is a huge part of the problem and leads to us slowly getting into situations with big consequences that we may not have gotten into if we had to make a concrete decision.

Without skin in the game you're more likely to make careless decisions that bite you later.

Pretty good reflection of what I see in a lot of American relationships - people don't pick who they're with...they just start banging someone and it's comfortable and before you know it they're living together. And that would apply even if they got married later. "Well, we've been living together this long soooo..."

But yah even then the correlation vs causation aspect is of course up for debate.

I'd just have to reread the book to comment on how thoroughly it was addressed as I don't remember. Certainly all food for thought.

A lot of this makes sense, but I suspect it pertains to more traditional times. Modern marriage is a joke that everyone knows can be disassembled on a whim. Modern weddings have become nothing more than narcissism ejaculations for the bride. Things like both parents working, the decline in real working class wages, schools teaching bullshit and putting your kids around the influences of shitty kids with shitty parents, home price inflation, etc, all have much larger impacts on kids in my opinion. The working and middle class in America has the deck stacked against them trying to raise a family. Even someone that pours their heart out trying to be a decent parent could still absolutely struggle thanks to all the external bullshit our politics and economy throws at them. If both parents are working and just aren't around and/or too tired to properly tutor and instill values in their kids, they are going to be missing something regardless if their parents are married or not, and I'd argue that something is going to be far more detrimental than the lack of an official marriage commitment. To me, it's ignoring the elephant in the room, and that it is that the working and middle classes' ability to properly raise a family in the US has been attacked from both sides of the political spectrum for at least the last 20+ years.
 

FullThrottleTX

Woodpecker
Vladimir Poontang said:
I've heard people say that cohabiting before marriage is a bad idea. I don't understand why that would be. It seems to me that if you live with someone for a certain time you can get to know things about them that would otherwise come as a surprise. But I may be wrong. If so I'd like to be enlightened.

What are the pros and cons of cohabiting, and of not doing so?

I'm writing this as I watch this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB1ttLswqOw

I'm an expert on this topic. I just am completely opposed to cohabitation before marriage now after having done it multiple times.

I've lived with 3 women each for more than a year, including a foreign chick.
One of them I eventually married, and divorced. We did live together for a year before marriage.
In my most recent relationship, I decided not to move in with her even though it was a lingering question. We dated for 2 years. Never had any sexual issues and things were still pretty spicy towards the end. Nonetheless, didn't want to marry her and I have a 2 year cutoff.

Cohabitation adds nothing to a relationship. It hastens the sexual boredom/familiarity and creates new issues before the engagement is resolved. Also makes it tougher to get out of the relationship since you've probably got a lease - and that cockblocked me very bad in one my breakups as I couldn't handle financially leaving, so I had to live with her broken up for some time. That was probably my most traumatic moment in the game, my friends can attest at how it changed me for the worse. Being single and standing on your own for as long as possible empowers you as a man.

When you get married, there is nothing to look forward to if you're already living together. It's just a status change. The people I know who are already living together before marriage, those guys aren't having sex often and are already bored. Why do that to yourself? If I could have intercepted them before they decided to move in with their girls, I probably would have saved their relationships (and lives).

You don't want to know everything there is to know about a person. Otherwise, you'd never get married. That kind of intel is very overrated.
Even just dating for longer you'll eventually spend a few nights together and if she's a bitch, you'll figure that out quick. You don't need to live together to know a person. The dynamic of living together before marriage is worse than knowledge/insight you gain.
 

Aizen

Kingfisher
Orthodox
First off, where are you exactly? Cohabiting in the West can lead to a "common law" marriage, which means you're effectively screwed if one of you decides to end it. I will assume you have some common sense and are marrying outside of Western state control.

"Cohabitation" is a term used by atomized millenials to describe living with and fucking other atomized millenials. If you need to vet her, do so before you pull a ring on it. You can tell by:
- the state of her apartment (clean/messy?)
- her hobbies (cooking/partying?)
- her friends (wholesome/destructive?)
- other red flag scouting devices.

If she passes all these tests, I'd recommend the following:

Have most of your combined family tree living under the same roof. This might sound like hell at first thought, but humans have evolved as tribes, and you are no exception. Her/your parents will keep her hypergamy in check, and you'll have a vibrant social life from all the different family members. This is truly the winning setup.
 

FullThrottleTX

Woodpecker
The Catalyst said:
As someone who is unfamiliar with relationships. Why would you not want to live with a girl you love and care about?

Why would you?
An important principal of managing relationships is familiarity breeds contempt. Having separate lives helps give you content and different experiences, which keeps things spicy.
Living together means you're merging into one creature... sucks.

I don't even advocate living together when married if you can help it. Living together has always been more about economics than love.
 

SilentOne

Woodpecker
sanbruno said:
A lot of this makes sense, but I suspect it pertains to more traditional times. Modern marriage is a joke that everyone knows can be disassembled on a whim. Modern weddings have become nothing more than narcissism ejaculations for the bride.

Well said. Just imagine your wife after 4 years together just decides she wants to hang out with her male companion at the movies alone or do some girls trip to las Vegas without your approval.

You can tell her "I'm your husband and you need to listen to me" and she says "no I'm going anyways". There's nothing you can do or say to her to make her listen.

The argument that you should have chosen a better girl is mute. People can change up on you giving the right opportunity. She may even get tired of staying home and being "your slave". She see all her friends going out and not her. The moment she wants to step out on you, there's nothing you can do to punish her. In fact you are the one who will get punished for her cheating on you :laugh:
 

Garuda

Kingfisher
Cohabitation weakens the relationship. It's popular now because it allows people to avoid the commitment and responsibility of marriage but reap the benefits of one. The couple eventually begins to see each other as "easy" and lose respect for their partner.

It also puts the relationship on an unstable foundation based on selfishness. It's important to be loved, happy, and respected in a relationship but is one just there to fulfill his/her short term wants without fulfilling the other person's needs?

The majority of children of cohabiting parents see the relationship break up. I can testify to this since my parents cohabited before marriage and had a nasty divorce when I was a teen.

Lastly, note that Maine, Nevada, Oregon and California have a legal status called "domestic partnership" that applies to cohabitation. Basically, you could get screwed out of property if some judge in those states decides that this is applicable in your relationship.
 

Augustus_Principe

Woodpecker
LOL at people saying "No, you have to cohabitate in order to have a successful relationship and future marriage!!!, I lived with my EX years ago..." I mean, if it were this great, successful thing to do, wouldn't you all be married with a couple children running around already? There would be no EXs in the picture.

I see this question in the same league as "Is 'dating' for x amount of years beneficial before getting married" But let me answer the question posed here. No, cohabitation is not a plan for success. As others have noted, there have already been studies proving this, and all of our own lives proving this as well. Perhaps people are suffering from cognitive dissonance, but the truth is, the vast majority of us have been in a failed relationship that involved cohabitation. We have to be truthful with ourselves. As men, we have to be rational and agree with the evidence presented to us in our own lives, as well as by study.

As I have posted elsewhere, we have to change the way we approach "dating". If you dont know if the girl you're talking to is cleanly, does housework, keeps her finances in order within the span of a few months, and you have to cohabitate in order to find these things out, you're not dating properly. Your mind is solely on fornication. If your mind is set on marriage from the start, I can guarantee you that you will know the answer to the questions posted here very quickly, You will find out through her, her parents, her family/friends etc. Basically, you will vet her in such a way, that you will already know for the most part, what to expect once you marry and live with her. The problem is we think of sex first, then the girls personality, THEN marriage as last. Of course we "dont find these things out" until years later... you werent in the right mindset on day one.
 
The problem with these Men's views is that they are still blue-pilled in terms of relationships. Men should really only be having relationships with women where it involves children or will do in the near future. When you marry a woman it is to make children, get married, have kids, treat them well. Girlfriends, or Cohabitation is not really worth it for the 'pointless' sex you are having. Might seem like a good idea to younger men who feel they have something to prove. Still, I think men need to wake up and realize the whole image of a Girlfriend-Boyfriend relationship without kids is just a modern invention to cuck men.

This whole situation above is the creation of liberalism and contraception, where a man is tricked into becoming a man-servant to a woman for a bit of impotent sex. This has given women too much power over men and we need to wake up to the scam being perpetrated here.

I'm not saying men should not want casual relationships at all, but dont take it seriously of it does not involve children in some way, because it isnt.

Hold out for the real thing men, fatherhood, boyfriends are for gays.
 

SilentOne

Woodpecker
Augustus_Principe said:
The problem is we think of sex first, then the girls personality, THEN marriage as last. Of course we "dont find these things out" until years later... you werent in the right mindset on day one.

This here is the honest truth. Guys like to rationalize this and then put themselves in a bad situation.

In a sense, marriage is like a state run prostitution program being passed as a loving relationship. Divorce is a very lucrative profession to get into. With a failure rate nearing 70 percent, that's including 2nd and 3rd divorces mixed in, those odds are good that you will be making money off some unsuspecting chump.
 
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