Don’t vat ‘n sit (Don’t live together) it’s for your own good.

June 24, 2011 § 16 Comments

*originally appeared on the Cape Times

It seems as if moving in together to get to know each other before marriage means that you get to know each other so well that you can’t stand each other. So much in fact that once you get married, you get divorced. I’m not saying this, a study conducted by Dr Scott Stanley of Denver university said it.  As you can see, these are not the teachings of some Bible-bashing religious nut case.  Living in sin now is scientifically proven it seems. Familiarity does breed contempt after all, at least in this case.

The study says that cohabiting couples are more likely to get a divorce than those who do not. In fact these couples are also twice as likely to think about divorce than the good ‘ol fashioned, “we’ll only move in together after we get married.” There is some sense in boring old school sensibilities after all.

So if you’re living together because you think that will strengthen your marriage, you couldn’t be further from the truth. You’re actually living together to increase your prospects of divorce once you get married. If you’re living together now I suggest one of you packs your bags and leave. Seriously. Scram. Hit the road. Stop it now you divorce monger! Not that that’s a cure for divorce.

The news isn’t all bad for those who want to try out this living together thing before getting married; if you only move in together after your engagement, your chances of divorce are the same as those who only move in together after saying “I do”.

Another American study, Another American study, The Decline of Marriage And Rise of New Families by the Pew Research Centre says that in 1960, 68% of all twenty-something year-old were married. In the year of our Lord, 2008, just 26% were hitched. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that even in South Africa, people are getting married later or choosing not to get married at all. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any South African study.

There has been an increase in people thinking that marriage is not a prerequisite to have children either. Many young women who see their biological clocks ticking furiously decide to have children out of wedlock because all they see are men are unwilling to commit. In a way, young men of today are essentially letting young women live in (for lack of a better word) sin.

The busy lives that we lead today also contribute to this “marriage is not so important” view. Many people say that marriage is obsolete. Funny thing is those very same young people who say marriage is obsolete are the very same people who say that they would still like to get married. As seemingly uncool marriage it, it seems to be pretty cool. It’s uncoolness, it could be argued, is what makes it cool.

So what does this mean for us young, restless and unmarried? It means that as much we would like to tell ourselves those old sensibilities are exactly that, old. There is good reason and place for them. What they are we don’t fully know just yet.

As much as we would like to see ourselves as happy single, we really aren’t that happy. The more studies I read into this area of marriage the unhappier I become, and I’m not even a philosopher.

Studies also show that married people are happier than singletons, despite the jokes about how unhappy married people. I suspect that the jokes are a conspiracy by the married to keep happiness in the family (excuse the pun. Or not). Do you know what sucks even more? Married people live longer than singles. Basically science is telling us to get married if we want to live longer and be happy. I have to admit reluctantly that science is right, old school is the real deal. On that note. Stuff you science!

§ 16 Responses to Don’t vat ‘n sit (Don’t live together) it’s for your own good.

  • Marcia says:

    So true,but I know that pushing for marriage is also wrong,I mean if ut wasn’t meant 4 me,I can’t force it. So let God give u what u need not what u want!

  • Asanda says:

    Well said Boetie,

  • Simphiwe says:

    The above is true for our generation but also u need to look at what went wrong from the days of our parents where they could stay together untill death. as i always said that we are BEE Children with alot of rights and forget the real meaning of love or loving someone

  • Sonwabo says:

    I’m not entirely happy with your covering of this matter Chief. I equally hold grate interest on this subject as you. I’ve been in something of a vat n set sort but I say something cos I tend to view it differently from those who claim it to be vat n set. I’ve been with my partner for more than six years. Only in the last two years did we start working together in the same town and be close. She owns a house n stays with cousins. I rent and she’s a regular visitor. At times she spends a full week at my place. I think we could have been married by now had it not been for customary procedure (Lobola) and the costs of a white wedding. But I wish to proclaim that I do not see myself and partner being part of stats. That is just my conviction though. Time will ultimately be the judge.

    Nice subject to tackle.

    • Pride Makoko says:

      Visiting each other and vat n sat is not the same .Its either a couple is staying together or not .Lobola is a wonderful part of the relationship and well respected .It is great that you and your partner was able to sustain a long distance relationship that is real love .

  • LINDIWE says:

    I ran out of words,well said. I used to say “better the devil u know than the devil u dnt know ” bt nw i have to think again, i am guilty here.

  • thandi says:

    Hmmmmmmmm interisting topic. Can anyone tell me where in the bible is it said vat ‘n sit is a sin, I’m asking this because my gran is forever on my case about me commiting a sin. I truelly believe that there is a survining chance for couples that vat ‘n sit (my parents have been married for 15 years now, lived together for 10 years before marraige_ still going strong)

    • Pride Makoko says:

      15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Greek word translated “sexual immorality” or “fornication” in these verses is

  • Ursula Mariani says:

    I hear you. But could we also take a moment to ponder on the whole marriage concept, is it really only when you say I do that you are married? Or it is rather an unspoken commitment with yourself, that you pray to God your partner also makes? Or could it be the blessing of the parents or community as a whole? When does this unseen bond that turns two to one happen? I, personally, wouldn’t find myself with bags at my partners doorstep, simply because, my momma taught me better than that. 😉

  • @ShellyPhire says:

    What I would like to know is how much research did you do when covering this article? I would guess not so much. You also haven’t cited enough credible sources to validate your point which is still unclear to me. Which studies suggest these ridiculous claims about living longer and being happier when married? Because if I look around me, I beg to differ. Marriage is probably the most overratted institution there is and many people have realised is better not to enter. If you live with your partner before getting married, and then find out that this person makes you miserable, is it not then better to exit the relationship before getting married? It sounds like you’re saying that cohabiting is the actual thing that makes couples miserable and destroys prospective marriages when it is the realisation of the reality of who they really are that makes them opt not to enter it. Cohabiting allows couples to decide whether they want to live like this forever or not and is an easily exitable arrangement whereas marriage forces couples into years of the same misery that they can’t escape without the difficult and shameful divorce process.
    With no disrespect intended, I suggest you do some more research on this poorly written and poorly covered article. You could start by reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Committed’. A true masterpiece on the most misunderstood and overrated institution in the world.

  • Peaceman says:

    lobola is too expensive in some cultures it takes forever to pay it, especially when they dont ant their child “to get married to you” but i dont support “ukuhlalisana” in Xhosa term it brings a lot of problems , you can’t appreciate someone that you didn’t marry let alone to pay lobola, it also brings lot of conflicts in partners because they start to treat each other as married people especially some men who like to exercise their autocratic power in women , it’s not cool guys to do that especially when ypu not even married actually its not cool at all to be autocratic superior not a husband. its like you bought a slave to serve you with all of your needs in this society and times we live in , it is unjustifiable.

    If you decide as couple to stay together not married , you both need to set rules, 1. you are staying together because a man has to save money for lobola and wedding within a time frame, and you are sure that you both want to get married and there is no turning back.
    2. If one of you decides not to marry you then she/he should pay on be prosecuted.
    3. No sex so that if you wanna do it marry hi/her first. temptations are a problem
    4. Don’t do it it will be always wrong especially if you can’t do the above 3 things

  • misspsite says:

    This is crap! I know a lot of couples who had vat n sit and they ve been married like more than 15yrs n I have a friend who never vat n sit got married but her marriege lasts 2 flippin years so how do you explain that?

  • misspsite says:

    This is crap! I know a lot of couples who had vat n sit and they ve been married like more than 15yrs n I have a friend who never vat n sit got married but her marriege lasts 2 flippin years so how do you explain that?

    About the sin part Lol its crazy how people take bible qoutes when they don’t like a certain thing, do you ever wonder about other sins you do? Because when you get married you must be a vergin, don’t sleep out, etc. I’m sure out of 100% maybe 2% of girls get married with their verginities. Before judging other peoples choices just first look at your own sins n check if you doing things right as the bible says

  • joe says:

    i did that for 4 years and at the end we got married and blessed with 2 boys but honestly each and every person need their own space before u say i do

  • thuli says:

    Society has moved into this mordern day age,where old-school values seem boring and in actual fact useless. But contrary to popular thinking. The basics are still very useful in this day and age,apart from our grandparent coming from a different age,as compared to us as the more technologically advanced counterparts. Look at how,look people used relationships to survive and marriage being one of such and see how long they lived.

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