Cohabitation otherwise known as “come we stay” once rare, is fast becoming rampant in our society. Majority of young men and women of marriageable age now spend much time in a cohabiting relationship rather than real marriage whereas Cohabiting relationships are less stable than marriages.
In France and Germany for example cohabiting couples have a slightly lower risk of divorce. Whereas in the United States where cohabiting couples taking premarital education courses or counseling are not at a higher risk for divorce. On the other hand couples, who live together in the United States and in the UK, are at a greater risk for divorce than non-cohabiting couples. Reason why many believe living together is more stressful than being married.
The reasons for this act which many believe is educed by women, are as varied as those who practice it. Some blame this on pressure from men, poverty on women who rely solely on men and the need to consolidate their places in the man’s lives. While some say the reason for cohabitation is usually to better understand the man and vice versa, others believe the decision is meant to cut expenditure so as to save money for other things.
However, studies indicate that, couples who lived together before marriage tend to divorce early in their marriage. And if their marriage last seven years, then their risk for divorce is the same as couples who didn't cohabit before marriage. It’s worth noting that only a little above 50% of first cohabiting couples ever get married.
On the other hand, most women who cohabit differ on whether or not it’s necessary to do so. While some say it serves the needs of the concerned, others affirm that it delays marriage and could be disadvantageous to the woman and her children were the relationship rupture in future. Yet the phenomenon has become rampant to the extent that many women consider it as a way of life.
“Personally I think the act would help both parties to understand each other before taking their marriage vows. Again, it frees the woman from the fear of another woman taking her place and also, it helps the partners to economize their resources and plan for a better legalisation of their union”, says Elizabeth Nzalle.
Love, according to Linda Ngong, constitutes one of the reasons why women cohabit with men. “You know love can drive one crazy and before you realise you are already deep in a man’s house without him seeing your parents, talk less of legalising the union”, says Linda Ngong, who attributes cohabitation to what she described as “high degree” of love. Besides, Ngong, says pregnancy can equally push a girl into cohabitation. Hear her, “Once a girl gets pregnant she might go into living with the author of the pregnancy so that he (the author) takes full responsibility of the pregnancy and eventually the child”. But Ngong who recently celebrated her 10th anniversary in holy matrimony underlined the fact that cohabitation makes the woman cheap, and delays her chances of being legally married to a man.
Biblically it’s equally wrong for people of the opposite sex who are not legally married to live together as couples. An act Christians believe encourages fornication, which like other sins is punishable by God. “Even without any knowledge of the Bible I think any foresighted woman would resist any temptation to go live with a man who has not married her. Experience has shown that such relationships mostly end up in pieces as the woman and her children are either thrown out by the man for another woman or the woman is deprived of the man’s property when he dies”, say Joan Otabella.
Hitherto, most women believe cohabitation is unproblematic and see it as an easy way of getting married believing that very few men are ready for the exercise these days.
If not, are you ready?