Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Does "Living Together" Improve Later Marital Success?

A recent front page article in the Anchorage Daily News reported that more American couples are opting for living together than marriage. The article reported that many are choosing not to marry because of the high divorce rate all around them, hoping that a trial arrangement will lead to success.

The desire to work towards a lasting marriage is noble. But does it really work? Even noble deeds can misfire if based on bad information.

Social science continues to reveal the reasons for the tradition of lifelong marriage: it works. It doesn’t just sort of work, it works better than any other arrangement, and it works best for individuals, children and society.

On the other hand, as counterintuitive as it might seem, social science has demonstrated that couples living together before marriage suffer a 50 -100% higher divorce rate when they do marry. And it’s not just higher divorce rates that hurt: as a group those who live together are statistically less equalitarian, more violent, less successful in remarriage after divorce, more depressed, and less caring of children than their married peers, to name a few.

The reality is that while living together may be popular, it most often diminishes rather than enhances quality of life. For the sake of future happiness for millions, this misbegotten approach to relationship belongs in the dustbin of history along with other failed social experiments.

No comments:

Post a Comment