Should Cohabitation Be Encouraged Essay

Cohabitation has become very popular and common among teenagers these days. As stated in the Oxford Dictionary, cohabitation is the act of living in the same house together and having a sexual relationship without any commitments and marriage. In the last several decades, families have changed. Instead of getting married, many people are cohabitating or in simple words prefer living together. Some of these cohabitating couples finally get married. Most of them don’t last as they break up.

Eventually very few couples stay together as cohabitants for long.

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Most couples cohabitates rather than getting married for many reasons. According to Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher (2000), cohabitation’s biggest attraction is the relatively easy exit with few responsibilities. Before cohabitating couples get married and get into a legal union, they may want to test their compatibility. They may also want to maintain their status as single for financial purposes whereas some may also feel that marriage is unnecessary.

Although cohabitation is very popular among teenagers these days, it should be discouraged.

Opponents claim that living together or cohabitating will automatically lead or increase the chances for the couple to get married. However living together will not necessarily lead to marriage because many cohabitating couples often break up. Every person has a different view on cohabitation. Rather than a preparation, cohabitation is often viewed as an alternative to marriage. Cohabiting relationships are very fragile relationships as there is no legal bonding.

According to Patricia Morgan (2000) in her book ‘Marriage-lite’, ‘they are always more likely to break up than marriages entered into at the same time, regardless of age or income. On average, cohabitations last less than two years before breaking up or converting to marriage. Opponents also claim that cohabitation plays the role of a mechanism for improving a relationship. However cohabitation does not really improve a relationship. When couples cohabitate, there is lack of commitment to marriage. Moreover cohabiting couples tend to be more oriented towards their own autonomy.

They don’t really care and take their partners problems seriously. They just give importance to themselves and think about themselves first before doing anything. They do not feel that it is important to share and ask an opinion of their partner because they are just cohabitating couples and not married couples. Besides that, whenever cohabiting couples are having any problems or misunderstandings, they are more willing to terminate their relationship easily. In this case, when they are having any misunderstandings, they prefer to end their relationship to avoid problems instead of sitting and discussing about the problem they are having.

They feel that by discussing about the problem they will have more arguments and to avoid those arguments, the best solution is a break up. According Casey Copin (1998) and colleagues, in a research they conducted, it resulted to a conclusion that ‘living together before marriage relates to subsequent divorce risk’. Opponents also claim that cohabitation will definitely secure a couple’s marriage in future and it will prevent divorce among married couples. Nevertheless, continuing to cohabitate will continue to raise the divorce rate for couples who eventually do get married after cohabitation.

According to Wade Horn (1999), in his article ‘cohabitation makes disengaged bedfellows’ (Washington Times, 23 March 1999), says that, “many people consider cohabitation a cure for marriage woes but it really is the disease”. This is because, when they get married there is nothing new between them. They know everything about each other and they will tend to get fed up with their relationship. Besides that, cohabitation also increases the chances of the woman getting pregnant and having children out of the wedlock.

Living together as couples will definitely lead to an intimate relationship. When couples cohabitate, the woman might get pregnant and may also lead to abortion if the couple feel that the child is going to be a burden to them. For those couples who want to have the child, eventually if their relationship does not work out, it will result in a single parent home. As a result, ending the cohabitation and divorce will result in broken marriages and also single parent homes. This will give a very strong impact on the mentality and behavior of the child.

According to David Popenoe (1999), ‘studies have found that children living with single parents face double the risk of developing a mental disorder than those who are living with married or cohabiting couples. Cohabitation is very popular among teenagers these days. We can see that mostly every teenager who stays away from home prefer to cohabitate with their partner. However they do not know that the consequences that they might have to face when their relationship does not work out. Teenagers might want to cohabitate to share xpenses or to get to know and understand their partner better. Nevertheless, they do not realize that cohabitation is not the right way to get to know and understand their partner better. When the relationship does not work out, the separation can give a very serious impact to the partner. The partner might get into depression and might not be able to move on in life as a normal person. As a conclusion, cohabitation brings a lot of problems to teenagers and can lead to broken marriages and single parent home. Thus, cohabitation should be discouraged.

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