Summary: An examination of some of the major problems that arise when couples ignore God’s guidance and choose to live together before marriage.

Two Preliminaries:

1. Sex was God’s idea - it is a wonderful gift from Him.

2. God gave us guidance on how to best enjoy this gift.

- Genesis 2:24.

What Are The Problems With Living Together?

1. Living together doesn’t “divorce-proof” your marriage.

- “. . . a recent research summary by Scott Stanley of the University of Denver says that couples who cohabitated before marriage have significantly higher divorce rates than those who did not.”

(USA Today, July 13, 1998)

- “Couples who lived together before marrying have nearly an 80% higher divorce rate than those who did not.” (Florida Times-Union, December 8, 1987)

- “Many couples think living together will help them ‘test’ their relationship. They call it a trial

marriage but it’s really a euphemism for trial divorce.” (Michael McManus, Time)

2. Living together doesn’t lead to a stronger marriage.

- “Even more significantly, the National Institute for Healthcare Research notes that couples who

cohabitated prior to marriage report significantly lower levels of marital happiness than other

couples.” (USA Today, July 13, 1998)

- “Indeed, living-together couples are most apt to score low on the communications section of the

pre-marital inventories, maybe because they are less inclined to face hard issues.” (Michael McManus, Time)

- “Only 15% of those who start living together end up in a marriage that lasts.” (Michael McManus, Time)

3. Living together impoverishes your relationship with your fiancee.

- “A recent study of 17,024 couples. . . found that cohabitating couples had significantly lower

premarital satisfaction compared to couples where the two people still lived alone before

marriage. . . . This is significant because the premarital relationship is predictive of later marital

success.” (Prepare/Enrich Newsletter, Fall 1988)

- Why is that so?

a. Because living together is basically an admission you think there’s a really good chance this

relationship isn’t going to work out.

b. Because living together is basically an admission that you don’t fully trust your fiancee enough

to commit.

4. Living together creates situation where abuse is more common.

- “Washington State researcher Jan Slets reports that women in cohabitating unions are more than twice as likely to be victims of domestic violence than married women.” (USA Today, July

13, 1998)

5. Living together diminishes your personal emotional well-being.

- “Cohabitating women have rates of depression more than three times higher than married women - and more than twice as high as other unmarried women.” (USA Today, July 13, 1998)

6. Living together puts your future children in jeopardy.

- Option #1: Abortion

- “Dr. Speckhard’s study reported that 73% of the subjects said that they held no religious beliefs

at the time of their abortions, and 95% said that, in retrospect, they regard abortion as the taking

of life or murder.” (Right From Wrong, Josh McDowell)

- It is medically proven that abortions increase the chance of complications in later pregnancies.

- Option #2: A Child While Living Together

- Samuel Pascoe on the problem the couple faces in such a situation: “Raising children, after all,

requires commitment and responsibility - the very things we are trying to avoid by living together

without getting married.” (Touchstone, May 2001)

Major Sources: Samuel Pascoe, Touchstone, May 2001; Joel Smith, “Liberated Sex”; Josh

McDowell, Right From Wrong.

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