Monday, November 5, 2007

Living Together Before Marriage: Right or Wrong?

In today’s society, many couples feel the need to live together before getting married. I disagree with this concept wholeheartedly because of my religious beliefs regarding marriage. However, it’s becoming a common phenomenon in our world, and something I feel couples should reexamine before moving in together. The Q&A below is from a marriage counseling class that I attended a few weeks ago.

The question: Isn’t living together a good way to find out more about your future spouse and learn the things that bother you about each other and correct them before marriage? I think this will help show us if we are compatible…..

The answer: You’re a man, she’s a woman—you aren’t compatible. Any questions?

Obviously, there are areas where men and women find common ground, yet I feel there is a ton of truth to the above statement. Relatively speaking, men and woman are not very compatible, which is one of the reasons why marriage between one man and one woman adds so much value for children. Each partner brings a different dynamic into the household, both of which are equally important in a young person’s development.

Although living with someone before marriage may make better sense financially and allow a couple to learn more about each other—just face it, men and woman aren’t very compatible. Part of marriage is about learning and growing from each other, while changing a part of you to get closer with your spouse. If you have already done all these things before marriage, how much growth will there be in the early years? Will you decide not to get married over something stupid when you could have worked out the problem? Will there be any spark left when it’s time to tie the knot? If you really don’t know your partner well enough to get married, will living together make up for this?


Phil said...

Couldn't agree more. I've always got a queasy feeling in my stomach when someone has told me they are moving in with their "significant other". In my opinion, you should know enough about a person during the dating time. Moving in together shouldn't be your option to learning more about each other, while you will, it compromises the concept of marriage.

By the way, how's the guitar playing going?

Brian Reese said...

Thanks for the comment. Guitar playing is going well, although I'm in Alabama at the moment so not playing much now. We'll have to chat soon. Later!

Michael said...

Brian, I must have to disagree with you. Interesting enough, my relationship with my wife went like this: dated for 1 month, broke up. 8 month slater started dating while she lived in AZ and I in MN. 1 1/2 months later of only talking on th ephone for basically every night for 2 plus hours(sometimes from 8 at night untill 6AM) I had purchased an engadgement ring. Soon after, she came home for x-mas break. While she was home, she commented that it would be great if I could move down to AZ. 1 week later, I moved in with her. Yes, after talking on th ephone for under 2 months, I moved in with my girlfriend. 2 weeks after moving in, I popped the question. We lived together in AZ for about 5 months. During these 5 months we learned much more about eachother than one can imagine. But we both held true to our religion of absitince (Spelling?). We learned how to budget money since neither of us had a job. We understood the concept of bills vs movies/dinner outs.

Then we moved back to MN with our own parents. During this time we planned our wedding which was a 19 month engadgement, and planed and built our home in Breezy Point.

I must say, that moving in with her opened my eyes very early that it was no longer my own life and pocket book to worry about, it was hers too. And now, I must start understanding on how to budget for a family for when th etime comes.

I will agree that these subjects need to be taught in school though.

Another comment I read in one of your blogs is that men and women are not compatible - This is a comment that I belive that you must reconsider. After all, why are you engadged to your fiancee? There must be compatiblility there or you would not have picked her. It could have been a random person off the street.

Just my own thoughts though.

Brian Reese said...


Obviously there are situations that work out (your case did). However, what if your situation wouldn't have worked out? Would you have questioned moving in together, or just decided she obviously wasn't "the one"?

I applaud your decision to remain abstinent; however, moving in together isn't just about sex.

However, I have awesome people in my life that have decided to live together and it worked out. I don't agree with living together before marriage based on my religious views; however, there are people who make the decision anyway.

You say you learned a lot about personal finance when you lived together. My argument is why didn't you learn more about it before? This is the argument I hear from most young people: "it makes more sense financially, and we will learn more about each other." If you are principally against the idea, and then decide to live together to save money, does that mean your morals and values are worthless?

When I made the comment that men and women aren't compatible, I mean every word. However, I think it's human nature to want to find someone, so people make sacrifices to find common ground. To me, this is living....changing a little bit of yourself for somebody else. I think that over time you become more compatible and learn to lean on each others strengths in your own weakness. Although I don't think you have this strong of a bond initially.

I am a huge believer in a marriage between one man and one woman. It isn't that two men or two women wouldn't be good parents if they adopted; however, the differences between men and women are what make the growth of a child truly dynamic. If all a child has is a male perspective, will they learn much about women?

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1 1/2 months later of only talking on th ephone for basically every night for 2 plus hours(sometimes from 8 at night untill 6AM) I had purchased an engadgement ring.

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