Getting married is a fun and exciting rollercoaster of emotions, various peaks of happiness, numerous arguments and misunderstandings, and other fantastic events. It is like a box with a lot of surprises inside. You need to open and be in it to fully be immersed in a new environment and relationship level.
But to get a grasp of what marriage is like, some opt to live together first. You have to weigh the benefits and consequences of cohabitation before marriage. See what’s best for both of you. The best thing to do here is to talk about it and decide, as a couple, what you should do next. Make sure that you agree to on it.
Whichever path you choose, the succeeding steps will be very crucial to your relationship. It will dictate the level of maturity that you will gain in the experience prior to your actual marriage. Are you thinking of taking this path, too?
Advantages of Living Together Before Marriage
You can Experience a Near-Marriage Setting without Actually Tying the Knot.
To tell you frankly, living together can never show you the fullness of the joy of marriage. Barbara De Angelis, a relationship consultant, said that marriage is not a noun but a verb. It’s not something you get but something you do. It is the way you love your partner every day.
But cohabitation can give you a glimpse of what marriage is like. You are living in the same house. You are going to sleep together every night. And you will experience the everyday life of being with someone that you love.
This is sort of a trial run for both of you. You will see whether you are a perfect fit for each other. You can only see the true nature of someone once you start living together – you’ll get to know his behavior, his pet peeves, his likes, and dislikes. By being a first-hand witness to all of these, you can definitely arrive at a conclusion on whether to be with this person for the rest of your lives.
You Will Know What It’s Like to Have Sex with Him.
Sexual chemistry is something that cannot be faked or practiced. Either you have it or you don’t. By living together before marriage, you will be able to experience having sex with this person. You will not have any surprises when it comes to your partner’s sexual behaviors and styles.
The common patterns of sex before marriage will most likely be the same after marriage. If you do not like some of his actions during sex, you can correct them as early as possible, that is, before the marriage. If he still does not change, then you can just leave him – no strings attached.
Is sex important in marriage? Yes. In an article published in Today.com, most “normal” couples, on average, have sex once a week. Of course, the amount of sex that a couple gets every week will not show how happy they are in the relationship. But it will surely give them the physical satisfaction that they desire.
You can Divide Household Work Even Before You are Married.
When you decide to live together, you will be in the same house. A great thing about sharing a home with somebody is that the chores will be divided for both of you. You will be able to have more free time to do the things that you want because you can finish delegated tasks more quickly and easily.
You Will also Have Less Individual Expenses.
When you are living alone, you are forced to pay the full amount for all your expenses like electric bills, water, food, and other stuff. But now that you are with someone, you can split the expenditures and spend the rest on your hobbies, travel, and other interests.
You can Enjoy The Company of Someone.
You can surely be happy even if you are alone. Solitude and peace of mind can only be experienced when you are only with yourself.
But there are also pleasures that only the presence of someone else can bring. You can laugh together, share stories with each other, be physically intimate with each other, cry together, and comfort one another. By living together with your partner, you will experience all of these 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Living together before marriage can offer you these things without the commitment of being legally bonded to each other.
Disadvantages of Living Together Before Marriage
The Excitement of Being Married Will be Lessened.
Have you ever experienced the feeling of excitement and anticipation for a particular event that you have not experienced yet like a sibling who is giving birth, a promotion at work, or owning a car or house?
You almost cannot contain your emotions, right? When you are not living together, you will feel the full exhilaration when you do get married. You will start exploring each other and understand why your spouse behaves a particular kind of way.
But if you start staying in the same house before marriage, the eagerness to be married will be somewhat reduced. You have already stayed together in the same home and there will be fewer surprises for both of you after marriage.
Religious Beliefs May Affect Your Image As a Couple.
Some people may be under certain religious traditions wherein they are expected not to live together if they are not married yet. If you have a family background that has a particular set of beliefs, then it can affect your relationship in the long run.
The mom and dad of your future spouse may not be so welcoming to you because of what you are doing with their son or daughter. Even siblings may start to hate your partner because of your actions.
Financial Issues May Arise.
When you live together, you will be making decisions together. This goes for all the finances inside and outside the house. Although both of you have jobs, your partner may be inclined to ask where your money is going. You also will be quite interested in the daily expenditures of your partner.
If you are used to doing things on your own, it can be hard for you to discuss money with another person. If you do not compromise and remain open to communication regarding finances, it can be a root of a major problem in your relationship.
In an article posted on CNBC.com, it is stated that money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. If you do not control this issue right from the very start, this may eventually hurt your emotional connection and lead to separation.
You Have no Benefits Protected by Marriage.
If you stay together without getting married, you will not reap the benefits of being bound in marriage. What are some of these privileges of marriage?
You will have a marital tax deduction. You can transfer assets to your spouse anytime without any tax. You can also leave your estate without tax. You can jointly file your taxes. You will also have Social Security benefits like receiving your spouse’s benefits. If your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you can still get benefits from your previous spouse.
You can also get a prenuptial agreement, Individual Retirement Account, inheritance, health insurance, leave, and other benefits. If you are choosing to live together and postpone a marriage, you will be missing out on a lot of these remunerations.
Vows are not Involved When You Choose to Live Together.
When you get married, you are making a personal vow to your spouse about how you will love and cherish your relationship. It is also a public vow wherein everyone who attended the wedding is a witness to your promise.
It is such a lovely pledge between couples. This is absent when people just choose to live together. Mostly, the actions that you will do is moving your stuff to his house or apartment.
It is Easy to Break Your Deal.
When you are not yet married but are going to live together, you can learn things about your spouse that you may not like. Instead of working around it or making a compromise, you can just leave your partner easily because you are not attached to him legally.
Petty quarrels and small arguments may be your only reasons to leave someone you love. In marriage, you need to figure out solutions first before arriving at divorce or separation. Anger should not be the initiating behavior when you get out of a relationship. You should keep your minds rational and calm in order to choose the right decision.