Trial MarriageBy Dixie Litten Whited
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If you’re in a long-term relationship, you may have considered cohabitating. But is living together before marriage the best plan? Is it OK to have a trial marriage before the actual wedding? Maybe this isn’t a question you might ponder, but it’s possible your children will in the future and if you’re against “trial marriage,” it appears you’re in the minority.
According to a March 2013 article in Psychology Today, premarital cohabitation has increased significantly, and more than 70% of US couples now cohabit before marriage.
So putting aside religious and cultural beliefs and restrictions, what are some thoughts about living together before marriage?
According to an article in the New York Times in April 2012, “Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.”
According to Men’s Health, There are benefits to being married that you may find surprising.
If you're susceptible to vice, find a wife. She'll save you from yourself — and improve your life — in a variety of ways. Notably, she'll . . .
1. Increase Your Pay: A Virginia Commonwealth University study found that married men earn 22 percent more than their similarly experienced but single colleagues.
2. Speed Up Your Next Promotion: Married men receive higher performance ratings and faster promotions than bachelors, a 2005 study of U.S. Navy officers reported.
3. Keep You Out of Trouble: According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice report, male victims of violent crime are nearly four times more likely to be single than married.
4. Satisfy You in Bed: In 2006, British researchers reviewed the sexual habits of men in 38 countries and found that in every country, married men have more sex.
5. Help You Beat Cancer: In a Norwegian study, divorced and never-married male cancer patients had 11 and 16 percent higher mortality rates, respectively, than married men.
6. Help You Live Longer: A UCLA study found that people in generally excellent health were 88 percent more likely to die over the 8-year study period if they were single. See Benefits of Marriage
Choosing whether to cohabitate before marriage is a personal decision will be based on more than statistics and studies. Religious and cultural beliefs and restrictions will have a greater impact on the final decision.