Living Together Without Marriage

Nowadays, it is common for people to live together on long term, and at times, permanent basis. Such relationships are referred to as cohabitations or trial marriages, and their proponents argue that they help pairs to test their emotional and intimate compatibility prior their decision of getting married. Cohabitation is preferable to those who do not wish for an extended and legally binding commitment because its dissolution is easy and is not associated with high legal costs like those associated with divorce (Tennant). Moreover, people choose to cohabitate so as to have room for establishing adequate financial security; or avoid religious or political control, especially when a person chooses to marry once more without dissolving an earlier matrimony. Additionally, some individuals may wish to avoid a situation where they may be obligated to pay higher income taxes for marrying twice. In some instances, same-sex, interreligious, and interracial lovers opt for cohabitation to avoid creating anxiety among their friends and relatives. However, some jurisdictions regard cohabitation as a legal common-law marriage, particularly when the couple has lived together as husband and wife for a specified duration of time, or after a child has been born (Tennant). This idea has been instituted to provide legal bases for surviving partners to inherit the deceased belongings in the event of death. The Canadian Saskatchewan Family Property Act allows a married individual to cohabit with other persons and in event becoming a spouse to all of them without the necessity of a subsequent spouse’s consent. Although the Canadian federal criminal law prohibits polygamy, Saskatchewan judicial authorities have not outlawed multiple conjugal unions. In most societies, cohabitation was forbidden; and those who engaged in it were persecuted, shunned, and at times, prosecuted. In a significant number of these societies, the practice was unlawful until quite recently. All the same, it is still restrained by the fact that, under some circumstances, the relationship may have legal binding in what is referred to as the common-law marriage (Harley). However, authorities in places like Saskatchewan have been sanctioning married women to cohabit without the consent of everyone involved. With regard to this, an individual’s defense for the second marriage without having to dissolve the first may be legitimate. The main reason why living together sets up a couple’s marriage for failure is because they regard it as a test; and because every marriage must experience some inconsistency, an individual is likely to move on to the next person citing his partner’s failure in the test. Furthermore, although factors that assure success in marriage vary among individuals, studies indicate that cohabitation lowers the degree of matrimonial satisfaction due to erosion it causes on the perceived importance of marriage (Harley). It also reduces the degree of commitment to a spouse, thereby hurting communication between partners, a factor that may ultimately make divorce unavoidable. A succession of failed cohabitations may in the end lead to the inability of maintaining a marriage relationship. Available statistics shows that a many of those who have had successful cohabitation did not see their relationship as a test.

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Factors that Stabilizes Marriages

Stable marriage relationships are based on love. A significant number of marriages fail because partners tend to assume that the elated strong feeling they have in their initial stages of their relationship is equitable to love. However, this feeling is infatuation and short-lived; and when the partners fail to replace it with true love, it is highly unlikely that the marriage will last. Spouses need to appreciate the importance of forgiving each other’s mistakes as well as rebuilding trust after a misunderstanding. Other factors include age of the spouses, their background, education, and instances of prior cohabitations. When evaluating a potential matrimonial partner, these factors have a great impact on the success of a marriage. Success in marriage is guaranteed when partners have similar educational, religious, and social backgrounds.

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