Imagine for a moment that you are young and in love. You and your significant other decide to get married — but before you do that, the two of you think that the time has come to live together. To both of you, this isn’t that big of a deal. After all, you’ve been dating for more than a year. What is there to fear?
According to many studies, cohabitation before marriage is a bad sign for your relationship. Essentially the logic boils down to this: if you move in together before you get married, you are more likely to get a divorce. That doesn’t mean you will get divorced, mind you — but the likelihood of it happening to you just increased.
Well, a new study refutes what those previous studies have found, and suggests that the age of the marrying people — not the fact that they live together before marriage — is the more important factor when determining the likelihood of divorce.
The study reviewed a number of married women who participated in the National Survey of Family Growth in 1995, 2002 and from 2006 to 2010. What the study found is that if you erase age from the equation, cohabitation and divorce are no longer connected in the way prior studies had connected them.
In other words, cohabitation doesn’t necessarily predict divorce. There are many divorce stereotypes, and while they may make some sense in certain contexts, the fact of the matter is that divorce is actually a solution to a problem — an unhappy marriage.
Source: Huffington Post, “New Research Says Living Together Before Marriage Doesn’t Lead To Divorce,” Taryn Hillin, March 11, 2014