Why living-in isn’t such a good idea
Reading other bloggers opinions and some of the comments on my last post on this subject I saw that live-in relationships are often thought of as more progressive than marriage.
If you haven’t co-habited you might be attracted to the apparent freedom and coolness of such an arrangement. It’s different. It gives you the freedom to leave when you want. It doesn’t come laden with expectations.
The reality isn’t quite so charming. As this blogger points out from her personal experience, you’re as emotionally involved in a live-in relationship as in a marriage, so all your supposed ‘freedom’ is merely an exercise in hot air. You’re bound by emotional ties. Additionally, you have none of the rights of a legally married spouse.
Do read what Civitas, a UK website has to say and how it throws light on the finer points of co habitation.
The arguments against cohabitation are based on stability, cheating, economics, health and domestic violence. Such relationships are likely to end within two years where the couple breaks up or moves on to marriage. Research shows that live-in relationship couples are more likely to cheat on each other than married couples.
It’s interesting that couples in live-in relationships don’t accumulate as much wealth as married couples. The worst being that cohabiting mothers don’t have access to the child’s father’s income thus making child rearing and following a career more difficult for them.
Strangely married couples have better health, probably because they remind each other about healthy alternatives to habits they indulge in. Live-in relationship partners don’t.
Domestic violence is more prevalent in a cohabiting relationship than a marriage.
Most couples who decide to live in have simply drifted into the arrangement because of practical reasons. It isn’t the relationship itself that lead to it, nor has deep thought gone into it – as would have for a marriage. Some couples certainly choose this option as a rebellion against traditional marriage – which I suspect is the case in an Indian urban setting. It’s a way to set you apart from other people, a way to be ‘ cool’ and a way to get what you want without displaying the maturity that marriage requires.
English cohabiting couples views on
Adrienne: We always make everything incredibly equal. But he makes about twice as much money as I do.
Stewart: I am not going to spend money that I earned for something Adrienne wants unless I want it too.
Jane: Morton was not particularly thrilled when I took the bonus and traded in the Volvo for the Alfa. Well, too bad. I let him alone and I expect him to let me alone.
Morton: I would not always make the same decisions she does. I would save and invest more. But it’s her money and I don’t dare interfere.
He said: It was her who fell pregnant . . . I thought she’d caught me, you know what I mean, so I was just against her having any more-just add more [responsibility] onto me. [The second child] wasn’t agreed neither. She fell pregnant and she was born.. . . .
She said: He was quite reluctant, he did not want children, he was very clear about that, he didn’t want any children. So we both sort of really tried in a very difficult situation, but it wasn’t going to work. It was never going to work.
Another cohabiting mother said: He carried on as he would have done, and regardless of whether the children were there or not. He was the third child.
Brian: The best relationships probably are made by people who don’t really need them, just want them.
Brian’s Cohabiting Partner Lauren: If you ever need me, we’re going to be in trouble.
Pauline: You don’t know how long it will last for, even if you do your best to please him. You can’t be sure whether there will be a tomorrow with your partner in the first place… But you have to accept things as they are, I suppose … it affects you in many ways. You cannot plan for the future, you cannot think of buying a car together or a house, to have a child, or even to love him fully, if you know that tomorrow he may not be there.
Wendy: I was wrong and I know it. All that stuff about freedom and independence are empty words… it did offer convenience and freedom all right, but only for Jim. De facto relations as an arrangement works for the males and not for us … After six months I could realise how this relationship was putting me deeper into insecurity and exploitation. I was investing my time and effort looking after him, I was neglecting my career, and had nothing in return, except that I could leave him at any time, which for me was far from a privilege… This is not a reward for our contribution to our families but an easy escape for males…Living in this arrangement offers a lot of freedom to one partner to exploit the other. 2
Or in the words of another woman: It can go on indefinitely. A lot of people will say we’ll see how it goes and one year turns into five years and you see people with five kids and there’s still not commitment.