Cohabitation from 1958 to 1988 and now it


Cohabitation
is when two people who are romantically involved choose to live together
without making the formal commitment of marriage (Gilles 1988). In these days,
cohabitation becomes a norm in Western world with the number or people living
together before tying the knot is rising rapidly. The number of unmarried
couples shacking up with their partner in America increased tenfold from 1960
to 2000 and currently, U.S Census estimates that about 10 million people are
cohabiting. The first reason that come to mind when couple decide to move in
before marriage is to test the viability of the partnership in the long term.
In this sense cohabitation is a pragmatic and beneficial option because its
potential to weed out bad matches, with the hope of lowering the rate of
divorce. It provides no evidence for their happiness together over a lifetime (Harley
2017). This paper, with the aim of providing some background knowledge of
cohabitation, will center on the definition, current situation, the negative and
positive effects it brings about in Western countries.2. Discussion of findings 2.1. General information about living
together before marriageCohabitation can
be defined as a period of living under a roof of two people who are dating,
thus, there is no commitment or formal obligation between them. Couples mostly
decide to shack up as a way to know more about their haft’ life as well as to
spend more time together. In most instance, cohabitation is seen to be a
transition stage between single and marriage life because they are actually
dating but living together in a home and experience the spousal relationship
such as doing the household chores, joining money to pay living expenses,
taking responsibility to take care of each other and sharing the bed (). In
recent years, there is an ongoing number of people moving in together. For
example, in Britain, from 1965 to 1969, just about 6 percent of British were
experienced a period of cohabitation, this figure climbed with a fast pace and
reached approximately 58 percent from 1958 to 1988 and now it is significantly
higher than that in the past (Kiernan et. Al. & Estaugh 1993). In another
country- U.S, in 1960, 500,000 couples cohabited, while on 2012, 7.8 million
couples shacked up and now, more than 60 % of all married couples are preceded
by a period of cohabitation. This reality can be traced to the shift in
people’s attitude toward marriage. According to the result of the study called
“European values study” in 2008 detecting the opinion of people about marriage,
surprisingly, about one third of people interviewed in several Western
countries agreed with the assertion that “Marriage is an outdated institution”.
Evidently, people nowadays become more open-minded, they prone to something
which is convenient and free, in this point, living together completely meets
this demand whereas marriage require a sophisticating procedure and a heap of
legal commitments and obligations. So it is understandable that cohabitation
now becomes so popular in these areas. 2.2
The negative effects of cohabitationFirstly, living together’ life can be very stressful.
According to the study taken by the Alabama Policy Institute (API study) in
2004 interviewed more than 1,300 married couples, the result shows that people
who cohabited before marriage tend to be more likely to be depressed as compare
with married couples who didn’t shack up. The API study indicates that in time
of stress and conflict, couples cohabiting are more likely to handle them
contradict with heated arguing, hitting and throwing (Litton 2007). In the very
first stage of cohabitation, people may especially find spousal relationship
strange and they have to take some time to accustom to it. So if they are
inexperienced, they have to face with a lot of difficulties in terms of
finance, emotional and physical issues and time. As a consequence, sometimes
they may be put in dilemma and feel extremely tucked. This situation is feasibly
to happen with young people who are still studying at university or just
beginning to start their career because they will have to handle a large amount
of work, exercises and simultaneously take care of their small home while they
actually make a little money or still have to depend on their parents. So
working out the way how money is shared and spent in order to cover all the
monthly expenses is not an easy task anymore and of course takes them a large
amount of time and effort.Another disadvantage of living together before tying
the knot is the romance and novelty of marriage often go away after a period of
cohabitation. As reported by the result of the API’ study mentioned in the
previous paragraph, the longer a couple cohabit before marriage, the less
satisfied they are with their matrimony. So what are the factor contributing to
this reality? Obviously, in any era marriage is considered to be sacred. The
things people undergo during their wedding are their very first-hand experiences.
These are the first time they cook meals together, do the household chores,
contribute money to pay living expenses and join hand to overcome up and down. But
when they move in together, they all go through it hence they may find it dull
and boring because it has nothing special different from daily life with their
partner and also there is no formal documents and commitments hence, sometimes
they may not cherish them. So, marriage after a period of living under a roof
seems to lose its sacristy and novelty while these all are the important
factors in a happy marriage. These implements are the motivation to encourage
people to overcome thick and thin throughout their rapport. Hence, it is
understandable that the reason why many couples come to divorce is they find no
interesting in their spousal relationship.Last but not least, one of the repercussion of
cohabitation is it leads to the high rate of abortion and possibility to suffer
from contagious diseases. When a couple shack up, they will practice premarital
sex, as a result, they may have higher risk of getting contagious diseases- the
diseases spread from person to person through direct physical contact like
touching, kissing an infected person and unwanted pregnancy as opposed to
single one. It is partly because cohabiting couples rarely have such the
commitment made by the couples who decide to get married and build a future
like planning to have a baby. This reality can be proved by the research done
in…. to find out differences in U.S. Abortion rates based on marital status.
Currently, there are 28.9 abortion cases per 1000 unmarried women per year, in
contrast to 6.1 for married women. From this number, it can be rounded off
that, cohabiting women are approximately five times more likely to have an
abortion than a married woman.   2.3
The positive effects of cohabitationTesting the compatibility is probably the first
benefit that comes to mind when couples start thinking about moving in
together. It’s really a trial test for a lifetime of living together without
any legal commitment or documents. They can discover how are their half’s life,
their habits, expectations and quirks. As well as how well they both cope with
the practicalities of things like cooking, cleaning, home maintenance and
sharing responsibilities. By doing such things in the period of moving in
together, couple will have chance to see how they would adjust to each other’
habits and living patterns on a more extensive basis. So that they know whether
they are compatible or not. Of course in the period of living under the roof, they
will probably come up with some of their partner’ bad habits or characteristic
but the important thing cohabitation bring about is you will discover how
tolerant you can be or whether you can accept these bad temper or notBetter preparation is one of the positive effects of
moving in together. Those who become engaged after they cohabit have better
communication skills, fewer interactions, higher relationship quality, and more
confidence in their marriage post-wedding (). Living together gives people
opportunity to learn how to divide up the chores, take turn to do errands and
work together to manage the budget. That is to say, they will learn to take
responsibility not only for their life but also for their partner. By doing so,
people will have more time to deal with problems, adapt to spousal relationship
and join hand to balance their life. Additionally, couples living under the roof
before tying the knot can also see what marriage will be like. Marriage is not
all romance, sometimes you will have heated fighting or argument with your
partner and every day is pretty boring. 
Thus cohabitation will prepare them for these less-than-exciting moments
so that when stepping in real matrimony, they won’t be surprised and know what
is good for their relationship and what is not as well as the skills needed to
solve problems. This kind of skills is also essential for their social life.Besides, living together before marriage has a
beneficial impact on couple’ financial status. You will set aside a considerable
amount of money by just paying for one house instead of two. Not only money for
renting but spending for food and other living expenses are also saved. For
instance, cooking for two make far more economic sense than preparing meals for
only one and it really is smart money saving move if you drive sharing a care
and insurance policy (Gordon 2012). The study “This is money reporter”
conducted in 2013 found that those living together are 102 pounds wealthier per
head than single people. That means cohabiting people have an extra 1224 pounds
per year to add to their savings or spend on luxury items. Equally important,
in time of cohabiting before marriage, you will be equipped with valuable
skills to make stable spending, good saving habits and cover unexpected
expenses or pay off debts. By implementing these smart spending method, couple’
life will be more and more easy and comfortable because they don’t have to
wrestle with a heap of question in term of finance3.
ConclusionOver a short period of time, cohabitation has emerged and
gradually turned into a norm in many parts in the world, growing in both
awareness and popularity. In some cases, it helps people to check their
viability, save money and have more preparation in their post-wedding marriage
in the future. However, every coin has two sides and moving in together is not
out of this rule. Cohabiting couples often encounter various problems in terms
of finance, mental and physical issues. Actually, there is no exact solution to
alleviate the negative effects of cohabitation, but thinking carefully and
preparing for the challenges are waiting for them is a wise step that people
should take into consideration before starting a road test with their partner.

 

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