These are some of the changes that have greatly blurred the boundaries observed by the institution of marriage (Wood, 2011, p. 31).
7. Better family life
With an increase in the rates of cohabitation, there has been an improvement in the family life. People in cohabitation have the same chances of having children these days as married couples. In the past, cohabitation was thought to be a trial period before the couple opts to get married. These days the number of married couples having children is the same as that of cohabiting couples. The survey for the past year has recorded that 38% of the couples have children and these rates are the same as the couples in cohabitation (Wu, 2000, p. 20).
There are a less number of people these days who believe in the institution of marriage. There is an increase in the belief that the children must be brought up in the family of parents who live together. There are an increased number of married couples who concluded in a divorce, based on which children are seen to be much happier with couples in cohabitation. Thereby there has been an increase in cohabiting couples and a great reduction in married couples with children (Suzuki, 2007, p. 58).
8. Knowledge of Marriage
One of the main advantages in the case of cohabitation is that it can give the members more knowledge about marriage. When a couple gets married, there is an anxiety about how marriage needs to be carried out in a successful manner. When living in cohabitation, the partners learn to live with the other person and to adapt to the partner's needs. Thereby, cohabitation can help the partners in learning to live in accordance to the needs of the partners (Cochrane, 2010, p. 92).
Disadvantages of cohabitation
Along with advantages, there are certain disadvantages of cohabitation.
1. Refusal of marriage
One of the main disadvantages of cohabitation is that the comfort level that the couples have with each other is such that the option of marriage is given up. The longer the couple stays together, based on the comfort level; there may be a chance that the couple splits and goes separate ways without even tying a permanent knot. This is also one of the main reasons for an increase in the popularity of cohabitation. There is no doubt about the fact that there is an increase in the rate of cohabitations, but the fact that makes it more attractive for those who do not believe in marriage is that cohabitation is short lived. As there are no legal boundaries and rules to be observed by the couple, thereby any one member of the couple can break off the tie and walk away. Both members in the cohabiting relationship are aware of the fact that any the exit is easier. Thinking of the exit being easier makes the cohabitation of a temporary nature (Thornton, Axinn, and Xie, 2007, p. 20).
2. Negative Behaviors on Family Building
Another important disadvantage seen in the case of cohabiting couples are increased negative behaviors can be faced in regards to marriage and having children? The negative aspects of thinking are not only limited to childbearing, but also it has been seen that these couples also believe that the only solution to the troubled marriages is divorce.
3. Disadvantages for Females
The females in the cohabiting couples face most of the disadvantages. A great amount of time is passed in the cohabitation. Women who reach age of the late twenties and early thirties are the ones who not only lose their biological ticking clocks but also the dignity of living with their partners.
4. Conclusion of cohabitation
Although there are many reasons based on which cohabitation has been preferred by many, but still there are many lobbies, which believe that before marriage, living with partners is not advantageous. One of the main facts that have been mentioned in these cases is that as cohabitation is not based on any laws and obligations, thus there are no commitments, and no promises. When the cohabitation is successful, both the members have a place to live. However, once, cohabitation is dissolved and the relationship concludes, either one of the members is in a dire need of finding a new place to live (Cochrane, 2010, p. 87).
5. Domestic violence
The economic state of the county has forced many couples to live together without getting married. There is no doubt about the fact that the couples are living together in an unmarried state, but this is the trend that has also pushed the women in a position of taking more domestic violence from the men. The financial situation in the modern days has pushed the women into staying with men who they do not know well. Just for the sake of having a place to live, women are taking a great load of risks (Waite, and Bachrach, 2000, p. 76). Men who are being chosen by the women may have a bad economic situation or they may fake being nice and more educated. The men who are seen cohabiting women are weak in a psychological manner and they do not have the ability to become husbands. In most of the women, it has been seen that they are dependent on these men. Men following common law, it is seen that men have an increased aggression, based on which women have to bear more violence (Wood, 2011, p. 32).
6. Negative impacts on children
One of the most important disadvantages is seen in the case of cohabited families are those children from these cohabited families also taking up cohabiting in their future. These children show a greatly reduced rate and chance of getting married. Negative effects are seen in the children. The chances of the parents getting married are lesser and even if these couples get married, there are greater chances that these marriages will end in divorce. Thereby, the children face the most loss, as they do not get to see the true bonding in the nuclear family (Nazio, 2008, p. 65).
7. Depression and fear in women
Studies have shown that women cohabiting with men have greater chances of suffering from depression. There is an increased rate of depression and distress in the women cohabiting with men, as they fear separation. As compared to divorced women, the rates of depression in the cohabiting women are higher. This is because cohabitation is unstable having open doors and any one an exit at any time.
8. Lowering standards for choosing partners
Based on the financial needs of the partners, it has been seen that there is an increase in the desperation of choosing the partners. When one chooses partners for marriage, higher standards are chosen but when the same comes to choosing partners for cohabitation, no standards are made for choosing the partners. This leads to many issues (Wood, 2011, p. 72).
Financial crisis, increased rates of housing and unemployment are three most important reasons of an increased rate of cohabitation in the western world. One of the main advantages of cohabitation is a great reduction in the rates of divorce. An increase in the responsibility within the teenagers and the youth is also seen as an important advantage of cohabitation. However, there are certain disadvantages that are connected with cohabitation. These include a breakdown in the traditional family unit, an increase in broken families, an increase in the chances of the future generations in adopting cohabitation rather marrying, an increase in the chances of domestic violence. With a great reduction in the stability of financial strength of the people, there is a great avoidance in the people to take up stronger family-based responsibilities that include marriage and building a family unit.
Barlow, a. (2005). Cohabitation, Marriage and the Law: Social Change and Legal Reform in the 21st Century. Hart Pub.
Cochrane, G.M. (2010). Do We Need a Cohabitation Agreement: Understanding How a Legal Contract Can Strengthen Your Life Together? John Wiley and Sons.
Great Britain: Law Commission. (2006). Cohabitation: the financial consequences of relationship breakdown; a consultation paper (overview), Issue 179 of Consultation paper. The Stationery Office.
Nazio, T. (2008). Cohabitation, Family and Society: European Experiences, Volume 36 of Routledge Advances in Sociology Series. Routledge.
Suzuki, K. (2007). What Leads Young Adults to Cohabitation? The Effects of Family Status. ProQuest.