Premarital Cohabitation And Its Effects

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The controversial topic of premarital cohabitation and its effects is an ongoing question for family researchers. Cohabitation is an arrangement where two people who are not married live together in a romantic relationship and or sexually intimate relationship on a long-term or permanent basis, often before marriage. A main concern is whether premarital cohabitation is associated with an increased risk of subsequent martial dissolution and dissatisfaction. However, some believe that premarital cohabitation is in fact not associated with marital instability among men and women. In the journal article “Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce: Support for the “Trial Marriage” Theory” by Hill Kulu and Paul Boyle states that premarital cohabitation has become an increasingly common phenomenon which has certainly generated considerable debate. This article’s main purpose is to examine the effect of premarital cohabitation on divorce. While some might imagine that premarital cohabitation would stabilize married unions, most of the literature suggests that it is in fact related to higher risks of martial dissolution. It is believed that people who cohabit will gain more information about their potential spouse then those who do not live together. This is known as “trial marriages” and involve relatively low investment and are therefore easier to terminate. According to this article, premarital cohabitation is also associated with lower marital satisfaction, higher
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