Wednesday, 15 Jul, 2009 Offbeat

Living Together Before Marriage Can Lead to Divorce


According to a new study carried out by researchers from the University of Denver, couples who move in together before getting married are more likely to get divorced compared to those who decide to live together after tying the knot.

Statistics show that in the United States over 70 percent of couples live together before getting married. The outcome of the study shows that it is not a good idea, not because partners get on one another's nerves but due to the fact that sharing the same space could make people marry for the wrong reasons. The research and its results were published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

"We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting," mentioned Galena Rhoades, lead researcher of the study.

Together with her team Rhoades carried out telephone surveys with over 1,000 married men and women aged between 18 and 34, whose marriage had lasted 10 years or fewer. The questions in the surveys focused on relationship satisfaction, commitment, level of negative communication and sexual satisfaction, reports Live Science.

In order to estimate the possibility of a couple to get divorced, researchers asked study participants the following question: "Have you or your spouse ever seriously suggested the idea of divorce?" In general 40 percent of respondents said they didn't live together before tying the knot, 43 percent moved in together before engagement, and 16 percent decided to live under one roof only after getting engaged.

Couples who decided to move in together before engagement or marriage showed considerably lower quality marriages. In addition, they were more likely to split up. The surveys showed that 19 percent of couples who cohabited before engagement had at least once suggested splitting up. In comparison, among those who moved in together after engagement only 12 percent talked about the divorce and among couples who started living together after the wedding just 10 percent reported suggesting divorce.

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