The Negative Effects of Cohabitation

Topics: Marriage, Cohabitation, Family Pages: 4 (1110 words) Published: June 29, 2010

The Negative Effects of Cohabitation
University of Phoenix

The Negative Effects of Cohabitation
In today modern society with such high rate of divorce, many people are turning to cohabitation. With the 2000 census reporting 5.5 million cohabiting couples , up 3.2 million from 1990 ( Simmons & O’Connell, 2003), it is clear that cohabitation is a trend that needs to be further examined. Cohabitation is viewed as an attractive alternative or a stepping stone to marriage. Cohabiting partners share the belief that living together will be a way to test their compatibility. Premarital cohabitation works like test driving a car before signing the binding contract and leaving the dealership. But will you leave the dealership with a successful purchase and no regrets? Or will it be a purchase that never occurred because the test drive was not as smooth as expected? Although experts agree that “common sense suggests that premarital cohabitation should provide an opportunity for couples to learn about each other, strengthen their bonds and increase their chances for a successful marriage” (Smock, 2000, p. 6), research proves that cohabitation does not lead to a better relationship. In the contrary, cohabitation creates an unstable environment that is detrimental to the relationship and to the foundation of family.

Many believe that living together before officially ‘tying the knot’ would lower the risk of divorce because by living together couples are learning more about each . As indicated in a survey by the National Survey of Families and Households, 50% of those who cohabit do so because they feel it is a way to ensure compatibility (Smock, 2000). The truth is, that the “idea that marriages preceded by cohabitation are more stable has received close to no empirical support” (Svarer, 2004, p. 524). In contrary, research has proved the complete opposite of this idea. Nock’s study in 1995 specifically found that...

References: Harms, W. (2002). Research looks at cohabitation’s negative effects. The University of Chicago
Chronicles, 19(11)
Nock, S. L. (1995). A comparison of marriages and cohabiting relationships. Journal of Family Issues, 16(1), 53-76.
Simmons, T., & O’Connell M
Smock, P. J. (2000). Cohabitation in the united states: An appraisal of research themes, findings, and implications. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 1-20.
Stafford, L., Kline, S
Svarer, M. (2004). Is your love in vain? another look at premarital cohabitation and divorce. The Journal of Human Resources, 39(2), 523-535.
Woods, L
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