Marriage and M. Foster Cohabitation

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Cohabitation Before Marriage

Huynh Thi Thanh Tam
Nguyen Kim Ngoc Quyen
Le Dang Phuong
Luong Thi Thanh Thao
Tran Huy Bao
Phan Thi Ai Hoa
Luu Ho Xuan Quynh
Nguyen Truong Vinh Phat
Academic Skills
November 14th, 2012
Professor Douglas M. Foster

Cohabitation Before Marriage
Love between man and woman is the precious one of human that people must spend a lot of time and effort to seek. However, there is a perceptive difference of love between Western culture and Eastern culture. Westerners find out freedom and satisfaction in love and marriage is a great importance of their life, therefore they often cohabitate to learn about their partners carefully to get a better marriage in the future. “More than two-thirds of married couples in the US say that they lived together before getting married” (Jayson, 2005, Cohabitation is Replacing Dating, para. 2). In opposite, the feudal reflection, which affects Easterners culture and makes contrary between cohabitation and culture. Therefore, cohabitation is not common in Eastern countries. Nowadays, society is more and more developing and modern. In pace with that trend, cohabitation lifestyle of Western has entered and influenced on the Eastern thought, so cohabitation becomes more acceptable in Eastern. Especially in Vietnam, the rate of which Vietnamese adults want to cohabit is high in both male and female. According to the survey of Nhu Lan, the journalist of Vnexpress, there is 70.29% of male and 61.1% of female want to cohabit. In Vietnam, people often misunderstand about the meaning of cohabitation. They perceive cohabitation as a trial marriage and this word trial makes them view it in negative way. According to the dictionary by Collins, “Cohabitation is the state or condition of living together as husband and wife without being married”. Therefore, people should have serious and positive point of view about cohabitation. It is the indispensable trend toward modern life. In the opinion of the authors, cohabitation is the essential buffer to get married that helps the marriage better because of three positive sides: better marriage life, less pain when breaking up and the alternative or temporary method.

Better marriage life
Recently, cohabitation has been a steady, growing trend. According to Manning (2011), "It's becoming so common, it's not surprising it no longer negatively affects marital stability" (as cited in Stobbe, 2012, para. 6). Actually, living together before marriage is not simply a trend in modern society, but is a way to assess compatibility prior to marriage. And even after cohabitation period without ending with wedding, it still helps them find out their reasons and solutions for next stage with another person. Therefore, the question is why cohabitation can make couple have a successful marriage life. First, cohabitation helps people know more about their life-mate by sharing many things in daily life. They have more time to look for the compatibility in their characteristic, communication, life style. The harmony in life will make love grow sweeter. In addition to sharing of spirit, sharing of physical is one of important parts in your life. Not only making life of people healthier, it is also a necessary way to connect two souls in original. “Sexual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations” (Blanchflower & Oswald, 2004, p. 1). Cohabitation gives people a chance to experience and understand their life-mate. The harmony of sex will help people take a long step to reach their marriage. According to Kulu and Boyle (2010) “The risks of marital dissolution for those who cohabited prior to marriage were lower than for those who married directly” (p. 879). The problems do not depend on how fast or slow people decide to marry, but depend on how clearly people understand about their partners before getting married. At...
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