Cohabiting Versus Marriage

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Walter Odhiambo
Marriage versus Living Together

Living together without marriage or cohabitation, is a staged, significant change in the manner in which many adults in the world develop from being single to being married today. Marriage is an inimitable relationship that assumes a vow of permanence. Most of those cohabiting fear, or are not ready for such a permanent relationship. Although there is commonly held belief that the idea of cohabiting will somehow enhance the quality of a later marriage, no one has ever found that cohabitation makes a positive contribution to later marital stability. In a comparison of relationship paybacks and costs, marriage prevails over cohabitation. First, the couples who are married enjoy marital satisfaction for they believe in being there for one another at all times. This encourages long-term emotional investment in the relationship. In contrast, cohabitation for most seems to mean, being there only as long as the relationship meets your needs. People willing to live together are more eccentric than others and tend to be less dedicated to marriage as a tradition. For them, relatively easy exit with few responsibilities are cohabitation's biggest attraction. The institution of marriage has been unanimously accepted as the way to provide for children and realize adult dreams, a fact that has also been avowed by scholarly research as the way to increased health, happiness, and financial security. (Gallagher) Spouses are better off financially, they monitor each other's spending in a way that emphasizes "our spending plan" or budget. While cohabiting couples more often have separate bank accounts, for most married couples, "Your money is my money." Couples who cohabit are more likely to control their own finances than to work as a close team, helping each other meet their financial and career goals. In fact married men tend to earn relatively more than single men (nearly twice as much) and married...
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