Monday, February 9, 2009

The sweetest sin? Living in it

I am a sinner and one sin I strongly believe in is living in it before marriage. 

This topic came up this weekend and I love hearing people's feedback on it, especially because I'm so pro-premarital cohabitation. And as a child of divorced parents, I think living with a guy before marriage is important. Okay, maybe my guy and I would have to be engaged first, but either way, we're living under one roof before we say "I do." And being on that side of the issue makes my friends rationale against it so interesting.

For example, a friend of mine who got married a while ago worried that not living with her now-husband before marriage would be a tough adjustment. When I asked her if she could get over any little quirks that irritated her about him, she said, "we'll have to work out any disagreements because divorce isn't an option." 

Okay, that might be a little extreme, but dating someone and living with them are two very different things. And from first-hand experience, it can be a huge adjustment for both parties. I would rather deal with any issues right away, rather than letting then pretending it rolls off my back. And for some reason, the idea of not living together before marriage seems a little old fashioned? Not in a bad way, but just surprising. 

So what about everyone else? Would you or did you live with your spouse before you got married? And if you did or didn't, would you do go back and do things differently?

70 comments:

Erin said...

We lived together before we got married, and it was great for us. I didn't really see it as a test run like some people do, but I am glad we did it. I think it was especially helpful since we got married so young. Gave us a chance to see what marriage would be like.

Mandy said...

I can envision myself living in sin and am 100% ok with it. Like yourself I would prefer it.

lucklys said...

i live with my boyfriend. we've been living together since april 2008, so almost a year, and we've been dating since march 2008, again, almost a year. it wasn't a difficult decision for me to make, considering i would rather live on the streets (or with friends) than with my parents again. i love them to death, but i cannot deal with their rules if i'm under the same roof. ugh.

it's been interesting, but unbelievably easy living with j for the past year. granted i haven't made many friends since moving to new york because i've been so reliant on j, but it's nice to have a place to go home to where your significant other also lives. we've had our rough patches and apparently it won't change much, if at all, if we get married, so it's definitely giving me a head's up as to what my future could be like.

hopefully we'll move before that...

but no, i wouldn't do anything differently. i have so much freedom and can make my own choices in regards to my living situation and what i do with it. it's a nice experience.

Jules said...

I think it's up to the people. We lived together before we got married while we were engaged. And it was an adjustment...it's not like dating someone...it's not. But it worked and we've been married almost 9 years. But I think it's just about choosing the right person to begin with.

Niki said...

There's no way I'd marry a guy without living with him first.

There's certain things you'll never really get to know about the guy UNTIL you live with him and I'd want to know those things before saying, "Till Death Do Us Part."

Miss Grace said...

I have lived in "sin" before, I'd certainly do it again. No more babies without a ring on my finger though!

Kimberly said...

I lived at home 'til I got married and the thrill of moving in with my husband was just amazing. We divorced after nine years, but my moving in with him beforehand wouldn't have changed what happened, y'know?

Now my boyfriend and I are living together. It's very nice and cost effective to boot. At this point I wouldn't NOT live with someone first.

And I guess mine is possibly the most wishy-washy comment you'll get on this post. :)

Arielle said...

I think it's so necessary to live with someone at some point before you get married. You never know what kind of weird habits you're going to unearth and best to know about that nonsense in advance.

miss button said...

We moved in together about 3 months after we started dating. I probably wouldn't do it that quickly again, but for our situation, it was sweet.

And 4 years later, we're happily engaged.

I would definitely recommend living together first. Facing all the challenges of being married, living together, sharing money, etc. all in one go would just be too much.

That said, it's obviously a really personal thing, and for some people it may not be the best way to go!

LBluca77 said...

I think there is nothing wrong with living with someone before marriage. Now I would not ever move in with a guy if I didn't already know it was going to lead to marriage. But if he was the one then I am all for shacking up.

The New Black said...

I opted for living together first and think it's worked out wonderfully. I couldn't imagine it happening any other way.

Hi! I'm Erin said...

My husband and I lived together for a year before we got married. We were engaged, though. That's just how it worked out.

Did it help? Honestly, I don't think it made a difference.

Maxie said...

I think (who knows though) I want a long engagement, so I'd definitely want to live together. I don't see a problem with it at all... it just makes sense!

Ray said...

We unofficially lived together...as in we had seperate apartments but I pretty much stayed at his place. This was for the sole purpose of pleasing his parents, or else we would have officially lived together.

I think you should always live with the person you love...it makes life easier and more enjoyable in my opinion! Plus...it's better to work out the kinks prior to tying the knot.

Meri said...

I lived with my guy before getting married. I always imagined I would live with someone before marrying them. It just made sense for me.

I had a few friends who didn't want to live together first before marrying because they wanted to enjoy the newness of the marriage and such, but that just didn't suit me. Personally I don't get it...But whatever floats your boat.

Heidi Renée said...

I moved in with Jason three months after meeting him. We weren't planning on living together so soon, but I was losing my apartment and we decided to go for it. It was definitely the right choice! It added a nasty commute for me, but also meant that I got to be with our kittens all the time! Oh yeah, and the man I love. I was at his place most nights anyway, and we saved a TON of money living in his tiny bachelor pad. My rent was twice what his was! We got engaged two months after I moved in. Living together really cemented it for us.

bianca said...

I ABSOLUTELY believe in living together first. The boy and I moved in together after we had been dating for 4 years. We had just graduated from college and if we didn't live in student apartments the entire time, we probably would have done it sooner. But I think it's really important: not only will you see how your life will be physically different living with the significant other, but you also get to see how things such as paying bills, cleaning, etc. will be. Those are not things that I would want to be surprised by after marriage. Plus since we know what it's like, we won't have unexpected surprises once we get married.

Penny said...

My boyfriend and I moved in together in November 2008,and I have to say,it is the best move we've made.We are much closer now than we were when we basically only saw each other on weekends.Unfortunately we also fight (well,bicker) more too,but like my boyfriend says,that's only natural,and is actually good for a relationship.Everything can't be perfect and rosy all the time,and one has to learn that before getting married,because lots of people have a very naive idea of marriage.

Paula said...

Although I don't have any experience to draw on myself on this issue, I definitely think living with someone first is the way to go. Especially since I've never "lived with a boy" and I think it would probably take me a couple of test runs to get the whole thing right!

That being said, I think I would be all for a marriage that involved me living in a different house to my other half!

and her heart it is in ireland said...

I think I would have to live with someone before we got married. I don't think you really get to know someone until you are always with them and don't have your own personal space you can run away to.

wontletlifedefineme said...

Here in the Netherlands, you're very.. unique.. if you don't move in with your partner before you get married. Most couples live together for years before they get married. I've been together with my boyfriend for 5 years now and we've been living together for 3 years. It's a huge adjustment, moving in together, and will really show you if you're right for each other or not. I think not moving in together before you get married is like marrying someone you don't know that well, not too wise a decision.

L.C.T. said...

I'm a Christian and fall on the "not living together" side. Saying that, my bf slept on the couch all last month while his flooded house was redone. And we found that we cohabited brilliantly. But I wouldn't do it if I could avoid it before marriage, and certainly wouldn't just me and him. See both sides though...!

High-heel gal said...

I'd definitely do it. If I can't stand living with him then really, the marriage just isn't going to work out. I'd rather test the car before I buy it, ya know?!

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Josh and I lived together before we got married, and it was good. The transition to being married was nothing, and big time fights seemed much less end of the world, because really, where were either of us going to go?

Jamie said...

I'm all about living in sin. If that's all it takes to send me to hell, well, I'd probably be on my way well before that...

thatShortChick said...

i'm pretty sure my seat in hell is already reserved with a name plaque and all so, yeah, i plan on living with my boyfriend if we are on the track to getting married.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Honestly, I think it's different for different people. And I'm not one to judge. What's right for someone else won't always be right for me. Ya know? Having said that, Sweets and I unofficially lived together before we got married (his parents, mother in particular, were very against us living in sin, so we tried to respect their beliefs). What it amounted to was spending a lot of time at each other's places, but never officially living under the same roof (we always got mail at our separate places). About 6 months before we got married (we were already engaged), I sold my condo and temporarily moved in with him until we bought our new condo. We both moved in there about 4 months before getting married ... by that point, his parents were fine with it.

Allie said...

Jeff and I went from one extreme to the other - from a year long distance relationship to living together. I think it helped to have two older siblings to forge that path first, as well as parents who did it when they were younger. I definitely agree that it's a good idea - you can't help but see all sides of a person when you live together.

Lil' Woman said...

I live in "sin" now..My boyfriend and I have been together since Nov. '06 and have lived together since May '07..I know it was quick but I wouldn't change it for the world. We both know the lil things that irritate each other so when we do get married we wont be blindsided.

PunkyBean said...

It's a tough call. I lived with an ex-boyfriend for three years. It didn't work, because that was never the intention. I guess I thought it was forever, but he didn't and that's good (looking back.)
I lived with my husband for about six months before our wedding, I think we could've lived together for a long time and been fine. He intended to be with me forever or a long time or whatever.

It depends on the intention. If the intention is to "see if it works" it probably won't. I personally think that marriage is dumb in this day and age. Pointless really.

citysidewalk said...

Totally. Living with someone before you get married is a GREAT idea- I lived with someone- and it saved me from making a HUGE mistake by marrying him- It forces you to look at the realities of marriage- and what you have to put in Financially and emotionally! :)

Kyla Bea said...

My husband and I dated for one year, lived together for two years, and then got married and it was brilliant for us.

I think that it’s important to find out what will work and what won’t – and to do so before you have yourself backed into a corner with a house/apartment, wedding debt, all that. I have Catholic friends who are even doing this now – and it even works for them =)

laurwilk said...

Hmmmm...I'm pretty indifferent about it. I currently live with my boyfriend and it's great. I moved from Cambodia to NYC and was broke as a joke, so it made sense to move in with Porter.

I haven't really had any 'rude awakenings', though, that would have changed my perception of him or the relationship so I don't think it would be a problem if we didn't live together.

We don't really talk about marriage though and don't live together as a 'test' to see if we could make it. We live together because it was practical and fun and made sense. And we'll be going back to a long distance relationship in about six months.

Hazel said...

my one 'rule' is that i won't live with someone until i'm engaged to them. it's never been an issue in the past and i feel strongly enough about it that i won't give in.

The Dumbest Smart Girl You Know said...

I totally advocate living together before making the commitment to marry. I'd never buy a car I didn't test drive first.

Vanessa said...

I strongly believe in living together before marriage. Co-habitation is a big part of the success or failure of a marriage. I'd rather know before the big event and be able to change things if needed when it doesn't involve court costs, etc. Like my last relationship, SO SO SO glad we lived together and separated instead of getting married.

ashley.star said...

Haha. Apparently everyone agrees!

I don't, though. I really don't think it's necessary to live with someone before marrying them. I mean, if they never do the dishes and leave dirty socks on the floor, but are otherwise fabulous - are you really going to break up with them? :)

I'm not against it - I lived with Mike for a few weeks before we got married - but to say it's necessary? For EVERYONE? I just don't agree.

I totally see the benefit of knowing someone's strengths and weaknesses as a roommate, but a marriage is waaaay more then fighting over who's doing the laundry. :)

SarahBeth said...

I'm currently living in sin with my boyfriend and LOVING it. That being said, I don't think it's something people should jump into with every single relationship. I've had several serious boyfriends before but we have not lived together. The only reason I chose to move in with my current boyfriend is because I can see us getting married some day, and I wouldn't do that without living together first. Sure hope it works out though, because we bought a condo and are therefore already married to our mortgage, LOL.

Dawn said...

My boyfriend would prefer if I moved in but I won't so we have come up with a compromise.

Ill nest(leave clothes there, have my own food, and such) and Ill stay 3 or 4ish days but then ill go home.

Andrea said...

I definetly believe in living together before the big wedding day. You learn so much about each other just from living in the same house. I kind of think its a no-no to not live together before marriage just because it can be such an adjustment for both people. You grow stronger as a couple as well and tend to either fall into a reutine or just fall.

laura marie said...

Saying you like the chance to 'find out' something about your loved one before marriage makes me think your love isn't really of the strongest marry-ing kind in the first place.

HOWEVER, I would like to live with someone before marriage if only to prolong the official 'tying of the knot'. Backing out after a couple years of being together is a LOT less messy than backing out of a marriage.

Kate said...

I feel the same way about living together before marriage as I do about sex before marriage--you have to try it out before you sign on for a lifetime.

Kate said...

I feel the same way about living together before marriage as I do about sex before marriage--you have to try it out before you sign on for a lifetime.

Kate said...

I feel the same way about living together before marriage as I do about sex before marriage--you have to try it out before you sign on for a lifetime.

chickbug said...

I'm all for living together. But I do want to know that we are on track to a bigger commitment. I've know too many people who move into together immediately following their marriage and went through months of "transition", to but it nicely.

DocElectron said...

I never had much opinion about living together or not living together before marriage. Until of course, I got married. We decided to wait and I moved in a month before our wedding. The year that followed was the longest pain-in-the-ass of my life.

I am now very pro-living together, especially once a long-term commitment (legal marriage or otherwise)is decided upon. I think it's incredibly different than even long-term dating... or it was for me.

Katelin said...

i totally agree with you and i think that living together before marriage is the best thing to do. i'm not saying that if matt and i didn't live together we wouldn't get married eventually, but i think that living together has been so much fun and definitely has let us know each others quirks and ways to work around them before we even consider bigger things, like marriage.

so yeah i'm a huge believer in sinning :)

Rebekah said...

Heh, that was the topic of conversation for E and me the other day... see today's post for more info on THAT. We're both pro, but both of our families are very much against it. So if we do move in together I think we'll plead economic hardship and say we're saving money.

lifeintheleftlane said...

I completely agree with you about people living together before they get married. Getting married is a big change, and you don't want to add getting used to living with someone to the mix.

Plus living with you tells you so much about a person. Are the clean or cluttery? Do they stay up late or get up early? Are you two compatible?

We all know how hard it can sometimes be to live with a roommate. you don't want to find that out after you've already pledged to spend the rest of your lives together.

Kristen said...

It's unbelievable to me how the times change. It's sad to me that living together before marriage is so status quo now. If you are picking the right person to begin with, you won't need to live together because little annoying cohabitational things aren't going to come between you. I didn't live with my husband before we were married for that reason and because we are Christians and we don't believe in living in sin. It's part of what made our wedding night and the first year we were married so fun and special. And yeah, I found out that he has to be asked to take the trash out, doesn't put a new bag in, and leaves his clothes on the floor like 2 feet from the hamper, but I love him anyway.

sara said...

I guess I am going against the majority here but I do not believe in living together before marriage. It's a personal choice but I knew I would never do it. My husband and I dated for 5 years before we married and have been happily married for almost 12 years now. I think dating them for a while and really getting to know them is key, not living with them. I mean, if it works out and you get married, great. But I have a friend who lived with her boyfriend and then they broke up. She said telling her future husband that she had lived with some other guy was the hardest thing ever. To me, if someone wants to live with you and be with you all the time, they should make that commitment and marry you.

Anonymous said...

If you are emotionally ready and mature enough to marry someone (not to mention incredibly in love) then little quirks that you discover while living with someone should not be an issue. I personally don't want to be married until I am, so therfore I would never live with someone before.

Stats show that people who don't live together prior to marriage are less likely to get divorced. I think a big reason for this is since they don't live with people prior, marriage is a bigger deal to them. If you live with someone prior to marriage and it doesn't go well, then it's almost as marriage is just a big party with gifts versuses the commitment that it is.

Not in favor of it personally.

Anonymous said...

Also, it's not the religion part that would keep me from living with my boyfriend, its the importance of marriage part.

Deutlich said...

Living w/the person you're in a relationship before marriage is a total must.

Megkathleen said...

I do live with my boyfriend and it just seemed ridiculous not to. We can't get married til I am within a year of graduating because it would mess with my student loans and I was practically living with him before and it just seemed ridiculous that I was paying rent for an apt. I was never at. And there was no engagement because neither of us want a long engagement. It always surprises me when I hear people who are so against it. I have a friend who refuses to move in with her bf and continues to rent an apt. that she's never at. I just don't get it.

Blaez said...

the ex and i lived together before we got married... it didn't help.

current and i live together, we're not officially engaged yet. we moved in together for roomate benefits and we developed into more. that's why...

i think you should live together first before you get married, i do believe it will prevent marriages to the wrong people.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

i would 100% live with a boyfriend prior to marriage, in fact i encourage it.

insomniaclolita said...

maybe I would if I could and I really am into the guy. Not an option though, I'm raised in a pretty conservative Asian family. But for some reasons, people here seem to manage to get married and be okay with that arrangements ( live together only after marriage).

A Super Girl said...

Well, my mother has threatened to revoke the wedding fund if I move in with DD and I'm just too much of a cheapskate to kick that gift to the curb.

That being said, I'm actually more on the fence than I once was. 6 months ago I was all "Gosh it'd be so much more convenient...gosh I love him so much I just want to take the step...etc etc."

Now, as inconvenient as living separately is, I'm realizing it's a really big step and I'm a little more scared of it and hesitant to do it, making my mother's demands a bit of a comfort blanket that's keeping me from doing something scary :-)

Then again, because of that fear, perhaps it would be good to do. Tackle that fear before having to deal with all the marriage changes. Except, there's a part of me that wants all that newness of marriage that comes with living together. Shoot...that's probably the most altering thing about marriage, right?

Basically, I'm a mess of contradictions. But one that leads ever-so-slightly on the pro side of the debate.

bets0281 said...

Totally did it and totally for it. My friends who are anti living together first are often the ones with the messiest relationships.

We were able to see that we were completely compatiable. I truly believe you can love someone but not be able to LIVE with them.

Love doesn't conquer all. Life isn't a fairy tale and living together makes it pretty apparent whether or not you are able to weather a storm together.

Caz said...

Yep, living in sin and loving it. Seriously, to us it just makes logical and financial sense, plus we don't actually know any other way. Our entire relationship has either been long distance or living together (albeit with roommates for the fist 2 years).

Regardless, I'm totally PRO living in sin. I think it eliminates a lot of potential problems that could be HUGE issues once it's too late.

Melissa said...

I can understand why people would find it helpful, but the hubs and I didn't live together before getting married, and I don't regret it.

EP said...

I'm totally with you on this one. I'd much rather live with the guy who I'm going to marry (and learn all his home habits) than be surprised after we get married. I think it's the child of divorce in me...

surviving myself said...

You HAVE to live with a person first. You learn a lot more about them that way. Some good, some bad, but still, this information is vital.

kateheffernan said...

I am 100% behind living together before marriage - only drawback: you don't get a registry for moving in together and that is when you need all the new stuff. I think you should be able to register when you move in not when you get married.

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

I am ALL ABOUT sinning. Literally, all about it.

What's funny though, is that way back when, when my mom and I had the "you are having sex and now I feel compelled to tell you what a ho you are" talk - she was REALLY REALLY stressing the whole "I don't want you to live with a boy before you marry him" point.

Which does not make sense to me. Sorry, mom.

RebeccaC said...

Moved in 3 mo after we got engaged and so glad. Its been a very enlightening year not to mention financially beneficial. We've learned even more about one another and the art of compromise. Hopefully this will make for a little less shell-shock once its finally official.

The Modern Gal said...

I lived with the ex boyfriend for a while out of necessity and it certainly gave me a different perspective of our relationship.

But, I think that living with someone before you're married and living with someone after are two totally different things. I think you react to some things differently. When something goes wrong and you're not married, you feel like you have much more of an out than you do after the fact.

Granted, I'm not saying that from experience, just from bits of insight I've gleaned from my married friends.

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