Living Together Before Marriage: Greater Risk of Divorce? - P. 2

In our last blog post, we discussed that living together before marriage does not necessarily set couples up for a divorce down the road. Today we will examine the reasons that couples choose to live together and look at the role money plays in relationships.

Economical considerations are some of the main reasons couples choose to live together before marriage. Given the current economic climate, many individuals are without employment and are struggling to make ends meet. These types of situations encourage cohabiting before marriage. According to Wendy Manning, associate director of the Center for Family and Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University, many of these relationships will not result in marriage due to their "fragile" nature.

However, if economically stressed cohabiting couples do end up getting married, they are more likely to get divorced than more financially secure couples.

It appears that there are many couples who remain financially distressed despite the pooling of their resources. According to sociologist Pamela Smock, 24 percent of men who began cohabiting with their partner this year did not work last year. In 2009, only 14 percent of men who began cohabiting did not work in the previous year.

Also, in uncertain economic times, concerns about money often take precedence over love. Both divorce and marriage rates have fallen during this recession, similar to the trend that occurred during the Great Depression.  The recession is probably holding many couples in limbo, as they are too afraid to break up with their partner during this time.

Just as money affects whether a couple will move in together and whether they will stay married, it also can affect whether a couple actually gets married. For some, getting married requires money. Many couples are reluctant to get married when money is short or employment prospects are bleak. Further, some couples insist on having wedding celebrations that can carry a hefty price tag. Therefore, couples may choose to live together until they feel they are in a financial position to get married.

The conclusion can be made that there are many more pressing contributors to divorce than whether the couple lived together before they were married.

Source: Newsweek "Does 'Living in Sin' Still Lead to Divorce? " 10/6/10

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