Is Living Together Before Marriage A Good Thing?

A man and woman standing in an unfurnished apartment with boxes smiling at each other. Blog graphic for blog piece Is Living Together Before Marriage A Good Thing?. awomansoutlook.com

WARNING! The following is a rant about the unhappy side of living together before marriage. This unhappy side is usually the side that the woman lands on. Over the past years, though, more and more men are finding themselves on this sad side too.

If you’re living with your boyfriend and you two aren’t married, why aren’t you? If you two are going to live together like married folk, why not get married?

The rundown

What I mean is, why live with a dude (called shacking up), mix you all’s finances, and then have kids?

Now you have kids born out of wedlock (outside of marriage). Back in the day, where I lived, that was a shocking thing to do.  

See, your actions reflected on your family. Having a child and not being married implied that you weren’t decent and that your family wasn’t either. Folks didn’t want to deal with people that weren’t good. 

The most awful part was the child would be branded a bastard. Which is not a nice name to be called. Believe me, I’m one and have been called that name.

Anyway, you’ve got these kids born out of wedlock, and then around the 7-year mark your man wants to wander off with someone else. 

Thinking that won’t happen to you? I hope not, but ever wonder why there are so many single mothers? Not all of them are divorced.

The arguments against marriage

There are so many arguments against getting married first. Some are: How will we know if we’re compatible if we don’t live together? Why do we need a piece of paper to show how much we love each other? Let me stop before I make myself sick! 

Girl, don’t fall for it! 

I agree you don’t know how a person is when they’re at home. However, you’ll never really know a person, period. The TV series, Who The Bleep Did I Marry? is a perfect example.  Some people are good at hiding things they don’t want anyone to see. 

I’m not saying I know what’s happening inside anybody else’s mind; I don’t. My deal is this if I’m good enough to build a household and make babies with, why aren’t I good enough to become a wife?

Pic of apartment complex.  Blog graphic for blog post for awomansoutlook.com

Why do we live together?

I believe the desire to live together comes from one of two places. Fear of commitment or fear of marriage itself. Here’s why.

Fear of commitment 

Some people are afraid of commitment. See, people know when they have a good, patient partner. They don’t want to lose that. So shacking up gives them a way to lock you down, so they continue to do what they do. To use an old cliche, they can have their cake and eat it too.

Fear of marriage

I think some people are scared of marriage itself.

I’ve been married for almost 20 years and, let me tell you, it’s a partnership. That is the best way to describe it. Two people coming together as one. Not two people living their own separate lives.

 

Meaning decisions should be made together and for the good of the family. There are a lot of compromises and responsibilities. If someone is unwilling to do these, then marriage may not be for them.

The reason I’m for marriage first

Once the marriage papers are signed, it’s like a contract that gives security to you and your kids. If the person wants out, he or she has to go through the process of undoing that contract. 

So it’s best to enter into marriage with love and a level head, so you know what you’re getting into. Because once married, you two must work as a team to make the relationship work. 

A closer look at a future spouse

That’s why I say look at these future spouses closely. Not just how they make you feel but:

1) Do they have good character? 

2) Do they have a job and can keep a job? 

3) Do they have a place to live, and I don’t mean it at their mama’s house.

I’m done. I needed to get that off my chest. 

My reason for this rant

Here’s something about me. I’m the daughter of an unwed (unmarried) mom at a time when it wasn’t cool to be an unwed mom. My mom had two live-in boyfriends. One stayed so long that I started referring to him as my stepdad because he was the only dad I knew.  

So see, I grew up seeing the beginning, middle, and end of this type of situation. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.  

When my now-husband and I were dating, the idea of my moving in was discussed. Though I was crazy in love with him, I couldn’t.  

I had made a promise to wait until marriage to have sex. The temptation of being around him all the time would, at some point, cause me to break that promise, and that was something I didn’t want to do. So once married, I moved my stuff in and have been there ever since.

woman, man, kitchen-1979272.jpg Blog graphic for blog post for awomansoutlook.com
Photo from Pixabay

The takeaway

So what I’m saying is, if you’re living together, what stops you two from getting married?  

 

Just saying!


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