Living Together Before Marriage Statistics

Living TogetherMany people consider living together before marriage to be more stressful than being married. But recent evidence appear to say that this is untrue. The idea of problems with unmarried couples living together turns out to be based on hearsay and religious thoughts, not based on actual evidence. A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics brings new data to the question. The science was created from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted in 2002.

The study surveyed 13,000 men and women between the ages of 15 to 44 to gather its data. It reports that 71% of men who were engaged when they moved in with their future first wife made it to their 10th anniversary. For men who did not live together before getting married, the success rate dropped slightly to 69%. This slight improvement flies in the face of critics who think livign together before marriage is a bad idea. The statistics were similarly close for women, with 65% of cohabiting engaged couples standing the test of time. This is compared to 66% of women who waited until the marriage was official to shack up. This slight drop in women verifies the data in men.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of an unmarried couple living together lasting the decade after marriage was 55%. While somewhat lower than the other statistics, the results indicate that living together before serious commitment is not a recipe for disaster. The differences between pre-marital cohabitors and only-after-marriage couples “are there, but they are not huge,” say statistician Bill Mosher, who was the report’s co-author. He argues the couples who do not work to create a vision of their household are going to have problems when they finally live together.

Therefore couples living together unmarried is not a bad thing and may be good for some. The answer to a happy marriage may depends on many other things, rather than living together itself. The simple solution of limiting people from living together turns out to be a bad idea. If it better to consider where you live, if you have premarital education, and if you marry the first and only person you live with. These issues turn out to be much more important in the long run for people who end up getting married. If the above three issues of living together fit your profile, you will not increase your chances of being divorced.

As the living together before marriage statistics show, the cohabitation is not necessarily a problem, but it is not a solution either. The real issues stem from people’s ability to relate to one another and develop a significant bond. Bonding with another person is not an easy task and usually requires some adjustment of expectations and reality for it to happen. Marriage is a learning process and sometimes people require counseling and other interventions in order to begin to have a happy marriage. So people need to really think about their issues with living together before marriage and figure out if it is right for them.

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    November 2014
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