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March 5th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

The Old Cohabitation Question

moving1I was thinking the other day that when it comes to relationships, there’s a subject almost none of us talk about any more: living together before marriage. Remember when this used to be such a controversial topic, a source of huge anxiety for parents and even for many young couples falling in love? Remember when people talked about a couple “living in sin” and really meant it? 

Well, today, few people barely raise an eyebrow when they hear about an unmarried couple cohabitating. And why should they? It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of couples in the United States live together before marrying. For most young adults, the idea of marrying without living together first is simply absurd. By living together, they say, they find out if they can share a bathroom every morning without wanting to kill each other. That must be for the good of the relationship, they insist. At the very least, it certainly can’t be bad, right?

Well, hello, look what just arrived on my desk — a couple of studies suggesting that couples who live together before they get married are less likely to stay married. One national study released this very week found that the likelihood a marriage would last for a decade or more decreased by six percentage points if the couple had cohabited first. The Journal of Family Psychology has also published a survey of couples who live together, and it concludes that those who move in with a mate before engagement or marriage report “significantly” lower quality marriages and “a greater potential” for split-ups than other couples.

That survey found that that more than 60 percent of the couples interviewed ranked spending more time together as the number-one reason for moving in, followed by nearly 19 percent who put “it made most sense financially” at the top of their list, and 14 percent ranking “I wanted to test out our relationship before marriage” as the chief reason. The survey actually found some couples who had been living together who literally decided to get married because they have a joint lease or a shared ownership of a pet. A pet!

I don’t tell couples outright that they should avoid living together before marriage, but I do tell them that living together does not exempt them from having the same serious conversations every couple needs to have about marriage. I think the danger of couples living together is that their lives and incomes, (and, yes, their pets) get so intertwined that they go ahead and just sort of slide into marriage, even though one or both of them aren’t sure that’s the best thing to do. They get married because it’s just too much trouble to break up and divide their stuff. Tor me, the real warning sign is when a couple says they need to test their relationship. I mean, come on. If they need to test the relationship, then the chances are pretty good they already know something is not working.

Do you think I’m being too hard-headed about all this? Do you think cohabitating before marriage is a good thing, something we all should accept? I’d like to hear what you think, and I’d like to hear what advice you give to your own kids about living together. I’ll look forward to reading your comments.

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186 Responses to “The Old Cohabitation Question”

  1. Courtney says:

    I believe it is really good to go ahead and live with one another before getting married so you can really see at hand how the other person lives and does things. If in the end they are gross and dont clean and messy, you might not see that cause they might clean real quick right before you come over everytime. They even might have some habits you know you cant live with forever, as well. I think it really gives each person a chance to get to know how the other person is day in and day out every minute of the day.

  2. Tammy Micke says:

    I guess you can call me old fashion but I don’t think living together before marriage is acceptable. The Bible specifically says it is wrong and I agree with the Bible. My husband and I didn’t live together before marriage and have been happily married for 30 years. I think people live together because they feel it is easier to split if things don’t work out. I really wonder if people work at the relationship/marriage or not. I have told both of my children my views and feelings on the subject. My one son is married and they did not live together before marriage. I have no control over what my other son might do but he definitely knows my feelings about the subject.

  3. Amy says:

    I agree that it creates mote problems in the long run. The roles of marriage are different than the roles within dating. My first husband walked out five years ago. Obviously feelings of restraint against marriage manifested over the years so much so that when I met my now fiancé, I told him to not really consider marriage in our future but we could cohabit just never sign the useless legal piece of paper. Well that attitude left the door open for other things and although we lived an hour and forty minutes apart, I ended up pregnant. Well this changes things, I still refused to get married. Five months later he moved into my place but I refused to play like a wife. After my heart softened a lot, I finally accepted a marriage proposal. I do not pretend to be a wife! I am his fiancee, and I’m my son’s mother, those are my roles. I stopped taking for granted what the Word of God says, we’ve abstained, we have busy schedules so we have rare alone time, when we do we communicate. It’s what made us fall in love, six hour phone conversations, we fell in love based on communication and fun dates. We discuss husband/wife roles, what will change, what is to be expected of things, how we raise our son, our goals together, our dreams. I’m glad he’s here for his son, but we have separate accounts and assets. I explained about what divorce did to me and I’m just an open book. I don’t suggest cohabitating without marriage. The joy of marriage is making a new life between people who already fell in love. My fiancé annoys me as much as I annoy him, but that’s trivial stuff. We survived an unplanned out of wedlock pregnancy, we have a wonderful son, we created the team, but also get to create an improved team through marriage.

  4. Chris says:

    I’ve endured two abusive relationships in my life: one man I lived with (in my 20s), was married to the other in my 30s. Getting out was FAR more doable in the first instance – I packed up and ran. Problem solved. Getting out of the marriage was another story: $17,000 in legal fees during a 6 year-long divorce / custody blood-bath. No question: from now on I’m shacking up. (For what it’s worth: neither of these scoundrels showed the slightest hint of violence during the “dating” phase.)

    Would I have prefered my life’s path was more traditional? Of course. But once bit – twice shy. I’ll take the test drive BEFORE buying from now on.

  5. sister says:

    i am a 56 yr. old lady, i live with 2 men in my lift time, i saw nothing difference to being legal marry to comman law marry. i do know that i had or have a very deep problem as to why i choose that live. but if any one of my common law husband wanter to be marry . i would had. iam not sorry for the way neither one. i saw with each man , over 6 to 10 yr.

  6. Hope says:

    I dated my husband for a year before we moved in together, we lived together 1 year before we eventually got married. It still did not help. LOL!

    I have been married to this man for 32 years and if I could go back in time and do it over again I WOULD NOT. I believe marriage is overated, I do not believe people were EVER ment to stay with one man or one woman their entire lives.

    My husband and I were the best of friends untill we got married. It totally ruined our lives. The bottom line is if you are lucky enough to find someone you truly get and they get you? don’t screw it up by getting married!

  7. Amber says:

    I personally feel that living together prior to marriage is a great idea. Sometimes, you just don’t know someone until you live with them. And who wants to make such a hugh commitment such as marriage, unless you genuinlly know and love the person you are with. Marriage should not be ruled out though in the relationship, it should just be the next step. And whether you’re living together or not, it’s a commitment that eventually should be met. As long as each person in the relationship is aware of the other persons expectations. My husband and I lived together for 6-1/2 years prior to getting married. And I see no problem with it at all. We were both married before and a little gun shy. Ultimatly though…..different strokes for different folks! You just have to do whats right for you.

  8. jasimine says:

    I agree with the old fashioned values, the couple should move in together for a year or 2 before they plan a wedding date. sometimes a person seems nice or has a habbits that the partner doesnt know about which may upset his or partner.Plus this gives the couple time to get to know each other and make sure they are making the right choice on getting married.

  9. As a parent of four–one eloped and now has troubles with a marriage divided by 2,000 miles (one serves the Navy while the other continues college–tell me the statss on that!); one lived together for about 2-3 years and will marry this June–they don’t think they need pre-marital counseling; one still in college with no significant relationship yet; and the last one–moved in together by mutual consent and the girl cries and becomes more disengaged with family as the wedding date of the other comes closer.

    As a parent in this scenario, I wonder how much planning went into such ventures. It seems like the emphasis has been on compatibility from the start where they enjoy one another’s company therefore they must be ideal mates for each other. I don’t think any of my children share a long-term insight for how do ethical dilemmas affect the other. We’re a preachers’ family and the moral considerations took second place–by moral I do not mean God’s viewpoint, but is it okay to take advantage of this situation when I’m not entitled or privy to such a benefit OR my favorite is this holiday so then we shall celebrate that holiday with my family and share your favorite with your family–no matter what anyone else has to say.

    We love our children and enjoy their chosen partners. It’s difficult to bring to the table such issues as: family participation with extended family in certain events and situations, the role of older siblings in counseling younger siblings in their significant relationships, etc. when time to nourish such considerations was never made available. I’m all for independent thinking, but where does consideration and family unity enter? Or am I just to be the “dog sitter?”

  10. cindy says:

    Yes, I agree also I do think couples should live together before marraige. I didn’t think so do to the bible also. But having one child, being married for 7 years & divorce. I think it is the way to go now in this generation.

  11. Dr. Phil,

    Please help me! Where does this women live to even get opportunity to be engage 4 different times. This man need to cut his loss, she is damage goods from her parents. I have been single for 3yrs and there is no available men in BUFFALO, NY. if you have another show, speed dating, single men. Please invite me!

  12. Becky says:

    Having been married for 35 years, I find I am increasingly irritated by women who think so little of themselves that they will move in with any guy that is reasonably nice to them. Sex is not a right, it’s a privilege. Parenthood is not a right, it’s a privilege. Privileges are earned by showing responsibility and maturity, and “playing house” is showing neither of those. I work with young children every day, and kids whose parent(s) are not legally committed to one another are conscious of that-they are quick to ask that we not contact “Mommy’s boyfriend,” and are usually quite embarrassed when they have to tell us that the person mom was “with” at the beginning of term is not the same guy she is “with” now. Sigh….In addition, when a “relationship” goes south, a woman and her children have very little protection under the law. A friend and her daughter lived with her lover for 10 years, contributing in every way to the financial well-being of the “family.” When she hit 45, out they went with the clothes in their closets, and according the courts, they were owed nothing else-they had moved into HIS house, used HIS furniture and driven HIS cars. As she was collecting their things, the new hottie was moving in. With no legal standing, she lost everything. Women, don’t see yourselves so cheaply-we are valuable, and worthy of the honor and protections that come with marriage.

  13. ellen says:

    I agree with Tammy who said that she does not agree with the idea of couples living together before marriage because the bible teaches us this. Additionally, dating and courtship allow people to get to know on another rather than getting stuck in an arragement that is difficult to remove yourself from even if you are not legally married. I have never been married, and I have never lived with anyone before marriage nor will I. I will tell my children the consequences of doing so, which include increased verbal, physical, and emotional abuse. I have four sisters, and two of them lived with the husbands before marriage and while they think that their marriages are good, I’ve watched them over time and I have witnessed abuse in their marraiges. It is just so easy for people to use each other and it is not the way God intended the building of families to happen.

  14. EP says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I lived with my husband for 8 years before tying the knot. We have now been married for over two. A good friend of mine who got married 3 weeks after I, had only been with her guy for 6 months before getting engaged. She ended up getting married to him about 10 months after that and when they married it was the first time they ever lived away from their parents (at 26 and 27) years old. I thought that that was crazy. Buying a house together, moving out of their parents house for the first time, moving in with each other and getting married all in the course of a few weeks. Well, I was right. Problems started almost immediately between them and within 4 months he was sleeping on the sofa. This past summer, a year and a half into their marriage and cohabitation, they decided to split. I knew it from the start. In my case, we are still married, but I actually now understand why people would say to wait to live together. I don’t give a rats behind what the bible says, I just know now how important it is to develop yourself as a person rather than run in to a relationship before you are both truly “grown up”. I feel like both my friend and I failed in that department. In her case she had never lived on her own. Moving from your parent’s house to a house with a new husband is a bad idea regardless of your age! In my case, I had lived with my now husband since I was 18 years old! Now, at 28 I’m realizing that I still have no clue what I want out of this life! The bottom line is that in order to be happy in a marriage, you need to be happy with yourself first. You might think you are happy with yourself, you might think you really know yourself, but you better prepare for a rude awakening if you have even the slightest feeling of not knowing where you want to go in life because trust me, it only gets worse!

  15. Morgan says:

    I’ve been living with my boyfriend for 3 years. We both aren’t in a rush to get married. We know that we will eventually, but until now we are content. I am extremely happy that I moved in with him before we got married. I mean I figured out how he works, his good qualities and bad qualities while living together. so we have got an understanding of each other before we tie the knot. We know we will work being married.

  16. Melanie says:

    Cohabiting is now the modern trend. It is more like being married without a piece of paper. The old tradition is called “courtship” where a man wooing the woman’s heart and be chosen among his rivals. Once chosen, the sweethearts (couple) begins to explore their common ground and getting acquainted to the relatives and parents from both parties. When both parties are in a comfortable dispositions then they arrange to get married. Sex before marriage is not a customary practice in the old fashion way… a self-infliction.

    In many countries cohabitation has no legal rights. Now, cohabitation is going to be similar to a marriage both parties have legal rights. I wonder if cohabitation will decrease in the statistics. We’ll see.

    I lived with a guy for 12 years when I left him because of incompatibility and driving me into depression, I left penniless. I swore myself never again. I go back the old fashion way is called “courtship”.

  17. Mel says:

    Living with someone can either make the heart grow fonder OR do the total opposite. I’ve spent a lot of time with the man in my life. I’d stay with him for an entire weekend…and we got along just fine, but living together??? is on the table at this time. We’ve been together for 3 years and I’m thinking where’s my ring…he’s thinking let’s move in together and see how it works. The truth of the matter is, I don’t feel comfortable giving up my single years to SHACK up with NO guarentee’s in the end. Time is NOT on a woman’s side which is something that’s always on my mind. I’m 27…and uh I don’t want to pass up on Romeo to shack up with a man that doesn’t know if he wants to get engaged after 3 years?! It honestly make me question whether or not staying together is worth it…shacking up for a man is easier than getting married b/c their options will most likely stay open…it’s the total opposite for a woman. So…my vote/and answer is no. I don’t think it’s worth it

  18. Jennifer says:

    I have been in relationships where he moved in right away and they never lasted.. I am engaged now and he just moved in, but we have known each other for 2 years and dated on and off for most of that time… We have always been friends even when we weren’t dating so we know each other pretty good… So i think if you take the time to get to know someone first and both have the same goals in the relationship, then moving in together before marriage is ok if that is what you both want

  19. Well, this is a topic very close to my heart. I am 56, been married and divorced 3 times, yes…THREE times. I lived with husband #2 for 2 years before we married. We had broken up and I moved out just before he proposed. I was dating someone else and he was afraid to lose me I guess, or so he says. We married 7 months later and 6 weeks after we married he met a young lady whom he had an affair with until I asked him to leave 3 years later. Husband #3 suggested we move in together 3 months after we started dating. I was 31 and thought , “oh what the heck, at this age we must know what we want”. Well, a few months later I discovered I was pregnant with what I affectionately call ” my sponge baby”. We married a few months after that and while we stayed together for almost 9 years, 5 of which were completely platonic, we decided mutually that we needed to divorce. He informed me that if I hadn’t been pregnant he probably would have broken up with me anyway. So, that was that. I have been dating, yes just dating, a man for 11 1/2 years now. In 2010, on January 1st I told him that there were going to be some changes before the end of the year or we were done. Well, we talked off and on, mostly off about what was possibly keeping him from taking the next step of living together. He didn’t have an answer. Two weeks before the end of the year, when I was geared up for our relationship to end, he proposed. Even though he knew I never wanted to get married again, which he knew, He decided to give me a beautiful ring and tell me that he wanted to take the next step. Here we are, almost into April…and we are still what I call, “weekend warriors”….and have been for the entire 11 years. I told him that I wanted us to live together so we could see if we could even stand each other……but when Dr. Phil said , ” if you have to test out the relationship by living together, then there must be something else wrong with it…really hit home. Thanks to Dr. Phil, I finally opened my eyes…now I just have to figure out what to do now and living together isn’t the answer.

  20. Cindy says:

    I was married for 11 years and we did not move in together before we got married.. eventually the marriage failed but I don’t believe it had anything to do with living together or not before we were married. I have since spent time in a violent relationship and am no longer in that relationship. I am currently in a wonderful relationship but at this stage have no plans of living together or getting married. I personally think people move in togeher without realising that they are effectively making a marriage commitment. I will not move in with my partner unless I am prepared to marry him.. I want to give this relationship the best possible chance possible and that to me means taking the time to build the relastionship on a good foundation before marriage or living together. Some people make the choice not to get married and live together happy for many many years but which ever way you go make sure your relationship is ready for you both to live together

  21. a says:

    Iknow a guy and women who living together for over 27 years….

  22. Sabta Neshama says:

    I totally don’t believe young people today should “live” together without marriage first! My son who is now 29, just got out of a 10 year relationship of “living” together, and now is trying to start his life over. He even put off buying a home because his girlfriend didn’t want to buy a home without being married, and my son was never sure if he wanted to marry her. One thing why he didn’t want marriage with this girl, is that she didn’t want children. Also she wanted to stay like a teenager and talk on her cellphone and text her friends, etc.
    Thank God he finally realized this girl is never going to grow up, but he wasted 10 whole years of his life with her! So think before you waste even a month with someone who wants to play house instead of being in a sincere, committed relationship. This is just as serious for a man as it is for a woman.

  23. Margie says:

    My fiance & I are an older couple, I am 45 years old and he is 51. We’ve decided not to live together before marriage and when we’ve told people this, they are shocked that we don’t live together. We also have kids from other marriages and we want to show them our example that living together before marriage is not good. There have been things coming up like my car breaking down, or me barely making it with my bills because my hours were cut at work. But we are surviving and feel that when we get married things will be solid and worth waiting for. I am so looking foward to decorating his house and being a mom to his daughters. I think it’s a cop out to say it’s cheaper to live together. People now a days get pregnant, live together then maybe get married. Times have changed.

  24. Julie says:

    I dont think a couple has to live together before marriage, because if you have spent enough time with them you will know their habits ( good and bad ), and you’ll also weed out the ones that arent serious about commitment.

  25. michele says:

    My husband and I lived together after we got engaged, which was about eight months before we were married. Because I had lost my job we figured it would be easier to move me once rather than twice. We were best friends for eleven years before we committed to marriage. The marriage lasted a year and a half, we just separated this past Feb., 2011. When friends would ask hows married life, I would say, “well I married my best friend and he turned into a husband”. He would say “It ruined a good friendship” : ( It is trully heart breaking, for I know he is my soul mate.

  26. Suzanne says:

    I have been with my boyfriend since December 2005 and we just moved in with each other February 2011. I admit I wanted this to happen much sooner but I am glad that we waited, I wanted it for the wrong reasons. I am 43 years old and never married, he is 47 years old and divorced – no kids for either of us. I would NEVER marry someone without living with them first and working out all the kinks.

    We have separte bathrooms simply because one bathroom is not feasable, he has his room/office aka man cave for his computer and things and I have the other bedroom for my computer and things. Allot of this was discussed during the last 5 years of being together and how we would want or they need to be for each of us to be happy and have some space. He has a space issue and needs to just be left alone sometimes – and I am fine with that. I need to be alone probably more then he does but we find our aloneness different. Mine is on the couch with my dogs and his in his cave with the computer and scanner.

    Now I will admit that there are things that I had to go along with for the sake of the relationship, one being having my dogs (pugs) sleep in the bed. I expressed to him that I felt I didn’t have a choice in the matter and that if I didn’t go along with this then we might as well not move forward with the relationship. I took the approach as “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy”. Am I happy, no not at all…I hate having them sleep on the floor next to the bed. So I guess I caved for the sake of the relationship, I don’t know if I would go that far. Originally he wanted them to not sleep in the room at all and I said no, but he complains about the snoring that pugs make I have told him to get used to it because I have to get used to his snoring. I think it is all in the way you come at the “issue”. I was in tears the first week about my dogs not being right next to me and I have taken them into the other room and slept in the other bed and slept with them because I needed it.

    I think you need to do what is right for you….not go by some “rule”.

  27. Victoria Gamiz says:

    Dr. Phil, I will treasure these words: “living together does not exempt them from having the same serious conversations every couple needs to have about marriage”. I am always left in awe by how you address topics by highlighting the real point of the issue while managing to not alien people by breaking the news of what the truth is directly to their face but by finding some middle ground for them to accept it and take it. I think that is called assertiveness. That’s what I’m working on to develop in my growth and maturing process. Will continue to spot and treasure the words of you Dr. Assertive Phil.

  28. Sandra Sweazy says:

    I think every situation is different. Me and my husband lived together three years and had a kid before we got married. We have been together for 21 years. We have definately had our major ups and downs and have went through periods of not being sure we would ever stay together, but worked through it all. We now get along better then we ever had.

  29. Edith says:

    I think you’re right. You have to live together for the right reasons, but you also have to get married for the right reasons. I am happily married and lived together with my spouse first not because I wanted to test the relationship, but because we somehow thought marriage was for others to see, for others to approve (we rebels, thought we didn’t want others approval). We also had problems with all the “marriage”concept, we didn’t think it ensured loyalty or commitment. We got married after two years because we grew to like the idea of society taking us seriously, considering us, oficially and legally, a family. The rebel phase was over. But then, we got married “cheap” and ecological to defy consumerism and the will of our relatives… so the rebel phase is not so over :)

  30. Ruby says:

    I think that people who live together should do it for the same reasons that people who want to get married – because they love each other.

    I love my partner and as far as I’m concerned we don’t need that piece of paper. We love each other, we are committed to each other. We have our ups and downs but we talk and we work through them. We know that a relationship takes work, we don’t live in the fairytale world that is portrayed (mainly by hollywood) everything is wonderful once you get married.

    The comment that it is a “big deal” to a woman to get married is offensive. It depends upon the PERSON not the gender. I’m not into the ‘traditional’ – it’s not my tradition it has been invented by people that make a lot of money from this – it doesn’t mean that you will stay together or that you love each other more. Saying that people who are married are more committed to each other than people that live together is incorrect. It is a case by case assessment rather than generalisations. I know married couples that have less commitment to each other and their families (yes, they have children) and they are most definitely less committed to each other than other non married couples that I know.

    I think that you need to do a show about why some women want the big wedding and the ‘fairytale’ day. Many are more interested in finding someone (anyone) for that day rather than actually loving the person and living with them / marrying them because of that love.

  31. I have been living with the my other half since we began dating in high school in 1981, 30 years ago. We are not married. I was 5 months pregnant with our first son when I graduated. We discussed marriage at the time, but decided we had enough on our plates, but wanted to be together and raise our son. The years flew by, not all of them good mind you and before we knew it 2011 was here. We now have 2 beautiful granddaughters ages 5 and 2 and our relationship couldn’t be better. I don’t put a lot into the institution of marriage. It would not change the way I feel about him nor the way I feel about the strength of our relationship. I believe it is all for show because if it is just to let people know how committed you are to each other, they will see it in the way you treat and react to each other. There were definitely some trials and tribulations along the way and some short seperations to figure things out but I believe that had we been married, we would be divorced. I believe respect for your partner is the number one thing you can give. If you respect your partner, you will be kind and truthful whether it could potentially initially cause them pain. I believe you fight fairly by not degrading your partner with name calling and staying on topic. I believe you should allow your partner space. I believe you allow yourself to trust your partner until that trust is broken. I believe you allow yourself to stay and rebuild that trust if you so choose. I believe if you say you will committ that you should committ. I do believe that love and relationships take work. I believe forgiveness is necessary. I believe you should treat today as if it were your last. Bottom line: A piece of paper a marriage does not make. It is in your heart!!

  32. john sherwood says:

    well dr phil i was married when i was 21 and my wife darlene was 18 we did not have alot of money it was only me working but we wahted to get married so we saved and had a small wedding with all the bells it was nice we have had tough times and money trouble we went through alot but we had kids they drove us nuts at times but we made it and i am now 50 and we will be celibrating our 38 year anniversary june 12th and first time we were apart was this year for about a month so she could visit my son out west but i realized how much i missed her and love her so much after all this time you have to help each other no matter what.
    thank you
    john

  33. susan yeaple says:

    My husband and I have been married 27 years. He’s 52 + I’m 50 soon. I was told by dad the wedding wouldn’t be paid for if we lived together. So we didn’t.

  34. Thandi says:

    I say it’s a BAD idea for a couple to stay together before getting married. It doesn’t serve any of the purposes that the couples usually intend for it to serve, i.e. getting to know each other more intimately/ securing a future together. The couple is more likely to put off getting married for longer and the couple will experience pressure meant for a marriage, in a courtship.

  35. Abou says:

    Christian marriage coennulisg, I believe, has greater potential as an active ingredient in the healing process than any other type of therapy. Why? Because marriage between a man and woman is God’s plan so it only stands to reason that the repair procedures for an unhealthy marriage could be found in His word.My wife and I went through Christian marriage coennulisg provided a trained, licensed, minister of the faith who was exceptionally gifted in using the Word of God to help couples in the reconciliation process. These are important credentials in choosing a counselor. What makes Christian marriage coennulisg effective is the willingness of the couple to truly uncover, forgive, and die-to-self. It has to be understood that none of these things are within our human ability to accomplish alone. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to facilitate the type of radical change that must take place in one’s heart, deep down inside, in order for real change to take place. You’ll know it is happening when your focus is less on what your mate is doing than what you are doing in and with your relationship with God.Fifteen years later, my wife and I are stronger than ever. Has the road been free of bumps? No. But I have heard it said that if the mountain were as smooth as glass, you wouldn’t be able to climb it. We are still living in and by what we learned in Christian marriage coennulisg. Our marriage is not about determination and resolve to make it work; its about the freedom to love one another and let the other be who they are with full faith and confidence that what holds us together is not our resolve, but trust and assurance in Jesus Christ that He is able to sustain us through any storm that might come our way.

  36. Johnny Boy says:

    There’s a lot of reasons for couples to live and not live together before marriage. I’ve heard more horror stories than not.

    This blog presents some good arguments to not live together before marriage:
    http://blogs.davelozinski.com/datingandrelationships/cohabitation-before-marriage

    But basically I think it comes down to each couple taking on responsibility and talking things through *before* doing it.

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