Almost one in three marriages end in divorce. Could not living together before marriage be a contributing factor to these statistics? Probably not, but it might have helped both partners get an idea of what married life could be like.
In my personal experiences, I have both lived with someone before making that big commitment, and also not lived with a partner before having a baby and starting out as a ready made family.
The first time around when I didn’t live with my partner, we really didn’t know each other very well at all before taking that all important step of sharing the bedroom, bathroom and general living together as a family. Neither of us knew what to expect from each other, we didn’t know each others little quirks such as if we snored, or leaving socks lying around on the floor etc. All of these little annoyances can build up very quickly into a big argument which if you’re not careful can escalate way out of control.
My second experience of making a commitment with a partner, I was determined to do things a lot differently.
Both of us had our own property, which a lot of couples aren’t always lucky enough to have. Who moves in with who? If you move into his place then you will have to adjust and be able to treat his home as your own. If you can’t manage this then you’ll never really be able to live comfortably, and will always feel like a guest in someone elses home.
If he moves in with you, you have to be prepared to let him share your space, and allow him to feel at home to ensure the opposite doesn’t happen of him feeling like a guest in your domain.
Maybe you should get a neutral property between you. This isn’t always financially viable but if you are lucky enough to have that option then I believe this will work the best. It will be both of yours right from the beginning, with neither partner having to clear space and making sacrifices for the other.
In my personal experience, my partner moved in with me to start with. We did this before we took the plunge of buying a property together to make sure it was going to work out between us.
I’ll admit, some major adjustments took place over the first few months as I found myself sharing my life and space with another human being again. He did all the annoying things like leaving rubbish on the sofa, his clothes were over the floor. The household jobs doubled, as did the amount of washing etc there was to be done. Whose job was it to do all these things, and how were we going to share them?
I admit to finding it very difficult to begin with, and sometimes I wasn’t sure it was going to work between us. In time we did come to natural arrangements over who did what, and ended up sharing a lot of the responsibility. It could so easily have gone another way however and not worked out. If this had been the case at least neither one of us would have lost anything, and we wouldn’t have made a life changing commitment to each other and found ourselves regretting it.
There is obviously the other factor of sleeping together before marriage. For religious reasons in some relationships living together before marriage may not be a feasible. This is something you will obviously have to discuss as a couple before taking that plunge.