New CDC survey reveals something interesting about marriage, divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Saturday, March 24, 2012

One of the pearls of relationship wisdom that people in St. Louis are often given is that it is not a good idea to live together before getting married. People who live together before they are wed always end up getting a divorce, the conventional wisdom goes.

But a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that while there is something to this saying, the truth (as it often is) is far more nuanced.

A four-year survey of men and woman found that people who live together when they are engaged are no more or less likely to get divorced in the future than are people who get married without having lived together.

However, people who live together before they are engaged (i.e. when there is no promise or expectation of marriage) are more likely than average to get divorced.

The reasons behind this trend are familiar — some people who live together when they are not married or engaged have a pessimistic view about the success of marriage, have a relaxed attitude towards commitment or simply are not interested in taking a trip to the altar because they have seen their parents’ marriage crumble.

These findings have relevance because today, about 60 percent of couples live together before they get married.

Naturally, this cannot be considered the final word on the subject. Marriages vary greatly couple to couple and society changes over time. Still, it does complicate the idea that cohabitating before marriage is never a good idea.

Source: National Public Radio, “Moving In Before Marriage No Longer A Bad Omen?” March 22, 2012

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