Effect of Cohabitation on the Rising Divorce Rate
The rise of the divorce rate seems to be due to the lack of commitment or understanding of love and longevity in a marriage. Cohabitation can be defined as an arrangement whereby two people decide to live together on a long term or permanent basis in an emotionally and /or sexually intimate relationship (Brannon 2008). Cohabitation is seen as the best way to understand a prospective mate in terms of living and financial stability. Also many couples tend to “slip” into this arrangement without much decision making about it being long term, but tend to just “live in the moment”. The cohabitation of couples whether they be heterosexual or homosexual seems to lack the sense of commitment needed to ensure the lasting traits of a marriage. It seems that although newly married couples lack the same principles, the majority of these couples were cohabitating before the final decision to get married. Despite the increase in cohabitation, the divorce rate has increased rapidly due to the lack of commitment and understanding between the two partners. The difference in views between men and women may be due to the biological differences discovered in prenatal development. The psychological aspect creates the lack of commitment due to loss of financial and emotional stability during cohabitation and thought of future marriage for men, whereas women are keen to having close relationships and diving “head first” into long term relationships and hope for the best. Cohabitation has its positive as well as negative effects on the gender identity of men and women and their basis of marriage as well as the divorce rate increasing.
According to Cohan, many couples see cohabitation as a “trial run” before marriage. Cohabitation can be viewed as a “no strings attached” relationship as in there is no substantial commitment between the two partners. Even though numerous cohabitating couples have decided to...
References: Bradbury, T (1987). Affect and cognition in close relationships: Toward an integrative model. Cognition and Emotion, 59-87.
Cohan, C. (2002). Toward a greater understanding of the cohabitation effect: Premarital cohabitation and marital communication. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 180-192.
Kulu, H., & Boyle, P. (2010). Premarital cohabitation and divorce: Support for the "Trial Marriage" Theory? Demographic Research, 23, 879-904. Retrieved November 8, 2011, from Social Science Module. (Document ID: 2288356591).
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