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!