TEST DRIVING MARRIAGE

by - 15:57:00



Yesterday night, while browsing through a popular blog I came across a video in which the topic; cohabitation was being discussed. Some of the vlogger’s arguments were; it was easier spotting abusive behaviour, that you could get on with someone well but living with them, you will discover characteristics that could make you want to throw them out the window.

When I read that, I decided to write about it here on the blog, but before doing that; I’ll paste here what I wrote there as a comment. 

“NAY to cohabitation. There’s just no reasonable reason to cohabit with someone who isn’t your spouse. The truth is as long as you’re living with someone, there will be times when you really feel like throwing them out the window even your spouse no matter how much you love that person. Why, because we all are different, we come from different backgrounds and have a different approach to life.

Marriage is God’s idea, but man is always thinking of ways to figure it out without his help. NO ONE is a saint, so don’t expect to marry someone without weaknesses. If we do marriage/relationships the way God ordained, we wouldn’t fall into errors and there will be no need for all this testing. Come to think of it, how many test runs would you do? How many men/women would you sleep with, live with before you finally meet the one? Are you made for an experiment or a chemistry practical, abeg let’s start valuing ourselves.

What is Cohabitation? Cohabitation is an arrangement where two (2) people who are not married live together without formally registering their relation as a marriage. 

You don’t measure compatibility by cohabitation, to measure compatibility you must first know your purpose, you must first know yourself, if not how can you know who fit you if you don’t know who you are. Figure out your purpose from your maker who is God. When you know where you’re going to in life, you know who to carry along with you. 

The truth is, no matter how long you live with someone before marriage; there will still be differences in that person when you get married. Moreover, you don’t have to cohabit with someone before you discover the true personality of that person. One thing I have realised is that, if you’re a true child of God who is sensitive to the Spirit, you would have seen signs; the Holy Spirit will be gently nudging you, to show you some truth. Jer 33:3 Unfortunately we are often carried away by feelings, emotions or having the mentality of a saviour

I personally do not think, Children of God should cohabit. The bible says flee every appearance of evil, (1 Thess 5:22) there’s no how you’ll be living with your boy/girlfriend and not be having sex. Need I remind us that it is wrong for children of God to engage in premarital sex? 1 Cor 6:13

I strongly believe that cohabitation is on the rise because our generation is one that hates responsibilities. We want the perks that go with being married, but we don’t want to get married, we want to eat our cake and have it. We want to have sex but we abort the babies that come as a result of it. We know marriage is work, so to avoid the work and the commitment that comes with it, we avoid the legality of marriage, but we do everything else married people do. 

I did some research about cohabitation and I came up with some findings.

In a 2002 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, it was found that after five (5) years of marriage, about 20% of couples ended their relationship, compared to 49% for the couples who were unmarried and cohabitated. Likewise, a 2006 study found that men who cohabited before engagement were less devoted to their partner than those who didn’t.

Studies show that couples who live together before marrying have a higher tendency to divorce. It seems the short-term commitment of living together often equals short-term commitment in marriage.

The census reports a 72 percent increase in the number of cohabiting couples since 1990. Unfortunately, research shows that cohabitation is correlated with greater likelihood of unhappiness and domestic violence in the relationship. Cohabiting couples report lower levels of satisfaction in the relationship than married couples. Women are more likely to be abused by a cohabiting boyfriend than a husband. Children are more likely to be abused by their mothers' boyfriends than by her husband, even if the boyfriend is their biological father. If a cohabiting couple ultimately marries, they tend to report lower levels of marital satisfaction and a higher propensity to divorce.

In fact, study after study shows that cohabitation is linked to poorer marital communication, lower marital satisfaction, higher levels of domestic violence and a greater chance of divorce.

Whether you call it "test-driving marriage," "living together," "shacking up" or "living in sin," cohabitation is on the rise. Sadly, so are the consequences of sharing a home without the commitment of marriage. 

Try as you may, it's not easy to defend cohabiting as "just the same as marriage." The following myths and truths paint a compelling picture. 
Myth: "This is just temporary. We'll be getting married when we feel ready."
Truth: Only 30 percent of couples who live together actually get married. 

Myth: "We want to try each other out. We'll have a better chance of staying married if we live together first."
Truth: The dissolution rate for couples who lived together before marriage is 80 percent higher than it is for couples who didn't. 

Myth: "We'll get along better once we're married."
Truth: Thirty-five out of 100 couples living together experienced a physical assault in a 12-month period; that's more than double the rate of violence among married couples, which is 15 out of 100. The top three problems for couples who live together before marriage are drunkenness, adultery and drug abuse.

Myth: "We just want to get a head start on our finances before we get married."
Truth: Men who live with their girlfriends before marrying them are more likely to be underemployed (before and after the marriage) than men who have not cohabited. Women who live with their boyfriends before marrying them are more likely to need to be employed full time to compensate for their husbands' underemployment. 

Cohabitation gives your heart away to someone that God has not joined with you. Indeed, we are admonished, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

Damage does occur when couples choose to live together. Marriage cement love with a commitment. Living together leaves you vulnerable, causing you to doubt the level of your partner's dedication.

No one can simulate self-giving. Half a commitment is no commitment. Cohabiting couples are likely to have one foot out the door, throughout the relationship. The members of a cohabiting couple practice holding back on one another. They rehearse not trusting. 

Many people imagine that living together before marriage resembles taking a car for a test drive. The "trial period" gives people a chance to discover whether they are compatible. 

Here's the problem with the car analogy: the car doesn't have hurt feelings if the driver dumps it back at the used car lot and decides not to buy it. The analogy works great if you picture yourself as the driver. It stinks if you picture yourself as the car.

What to do if you Find Yourself in this Situation 
      1. If you haven't moved in together yet, don't. 
     2. If you're already living together, end it. It doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship. It just changes it to a more appropriate dating relationship, where you'll be able to actually court and work toward a possible marriage. Reclaim your singleness. Wouldn't it be nice to be "wooed" again? You either consciously decided to live together or you drifted into it. How it happened doesn't matter. Now, consciously decide to stop living together. 

3. If the person you're living with disagrees with changing your relationship, is he or she really worth having anyway? Ask, "So you love me enough to live with me, but not enough to keep dating me and work toward a lifelong commitment together?" If that's the case, ask yourself, "What kind of commitment is that?".
 
     4. Get some support. It's probably this won't be an easy transition. Doing the right thing rarely is. Whether you're faced with the loss of a lover who wasn't willing to stick around after you moved out, it will be easier to honour your new way of relating sex-free if you have the encouragement of other people. Spend time with couples who agree with your decision to live apart until marriage. Seek out the input of a pastor or other trusted adviser who will reinforce your decision. Don't go it alone. The temptation is too great. 

      5. Get married.

Thank you for stopping by, I love you for reading; I know you found it useful. Kindly let me know your thoughts, I love to hear from you. God bless you. 


NB: additional material sourced from www.focusonthefamily.com
Photo Credit: Dreamstime.com


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2 comments

  1. I am not surprised by this to be honest, these days a lot of people believe anything goes, so we have to try out something before you will be 'stuck there'. Thanks for speaking about it

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Damola, i believe the more we address this issues, the more there will be a change. Thank you for reading dear, you can share too.

    ReplyDelete

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