Families, communities, and nations can be strengthened when the real dangers of cohabitation are known, and young adults realize the great differences between cohabitation and marriage. More and more young adults are choosing to live together without the benefit of marriage. If they knew the facts about cohabitation and marriage, they might make different choices. The Heritage Foundation cites references and gives numbers. I suggest you link to the article to learn more about these five facts of cohabiting.
Simply put, every marriage consisting of one man and one woman is ordained of God and has His blessing; cohabitation is of Satan and suffers from his influence. Knowing this, the following facts authored by Caitlin Thomas and published by the Heritage Foundation may not surprise you.
“Rigorous, long-term studies have measured the substantial impact of marriage on financial stability, as well as relationship longevity and health outcomes. Here are five additional facets you may not know about cohabitation: 1. Cohabiting couples are more prone to break up (and break up for good) than married couples…. 2. Even after marrying, women who cohabitated prior to marriage are more apt to separate or divorce than those who did not…. 3. Men who cohabit tend to make less money than their married counterparts…. 4. Among young mothers, married women are more financially secure than cohabiting women…. 5. Cohabiting couples report more depression and more alcohol problems than married couples….”
Ever increasing numbers of young adults cohabit as if it is the thing to do in this day and age. For whatever reason, these young adults believe they are not prepared to marry, but they desire the “benefits” of marriage. Thus, they begin living together without any permanent commitments with each other or concerns about children.
Linda J. Waite gave further explanation about the negative effects of cohabitation. “… A substantial proportion of cohabiting couples have definite plans to marry, and these couples tend to behave like already-married couples. Others have no plans to marry and these tentative and uncommitted relationships are bound together by the `cohabitation deal’ rather than the `marriage bargain.’ In fact, couples may choose cohabitation precisely because it carries no formal constraints or responsibilities.
“But the deal has costs. The tentative, impermanent, and socially unsupported nature of cohabitation impedes the ability of this type of partnership to deliver many of the benefits of marriage, as does the relatively separate lives typically pursued by cohabiting partners. The uncertainty about the stability and longevity of the relationship makes both investment in the relationship and specialization with this partner much riskier than in marriage. Couples who expect to stay together for the very long run can develop some skills and let others atrophy because they can count on their spouse (or partner) to fill in where they are weak. This specialization means that couples working together in a long-term partnership will produce more than the same people would [if] working alone. But cohabitation reduces the benefits and increases the costs of specializing – it is much safer to just do everything for yourself since you don’t know whether the partner you are living with now will be around next year. So, cohabiting couples typically produce less than married couples.
“The temporary and informal nature of cohabitation also makes it more difficult and riskier for extended family to invest in and support the relationship. Parents, siblings, friends of the partners are less likely to get to know a cohabiting partner than a spouse and, more important, less likely to incorporate a person who remains outside `the family’ into its activities, ceremonies, and financial dealings….”
Even though long-term studies prove cohabiting is not good for couples financially, martially, or physically, some people continue to believe that it is not. Hopefully, more members of the rising generation will pay attention to the results of the long-term studies about the problems of cohabitation and choose to forego living together until marriage. The best way to strengthen families, communities, and nations is to encourage legal and lawful marriage between one man and one woman.