- Gender and Relationships
Pros & Cons of Cohabitation
What is Cohabitation
Cohabitation is a sexual relationship between a man and a woman prior to marriage. It is an agreement between two individuals, who live together like wedded individuals however without performing any matrimonial ceremony or tying a knot. Cohabitation may be heterosexual or between same genders. Those people who share space or a room are not considered cohabitants. Just those persons, who have taken a vow, either verbally or through mutual understanding to live together and gratify each other’s passionate and sexual yearnings, might be recognized cohabiters. On the other hand, marriage is a legitimate, religious and written agreement between a man and a woman to live together for the rest of their life. Cohabitation and marriage are having their own pros and cons. The modern world, especially, the Western countries are at the top of the list in cohabitation. Some people consider cohabitation superior to marriage, while some individuals hold marriage in extraordinary regard and deem it better than cohabitation. Which is better? Let’s play the devil’s advocate!
Cohabitation vs Marriage
Percy Bysshe Shelley says:
"A husband and wife ought to continue united so long as they love each other. Any law which should bind them to cohabitation for one moment after the decay of their affection would be a most intolerable tyranny, and the most unworthy of toleration."
Cohabitation has transformed into a questionable subject nowadays. There are a lot of people who consider cohabitation as their favourite alternative to marriage, while those individuals who have got religious bent of mind consider cohabitation as a sin and act, which may provoke the wrath of God. Nowadays, the majority of individuals favour cohabitation instead of marriage in the Western countries. People who prefer cohabitation to marriage have a firm conviction that cohabitation empowers them to know as to whether they are fit for each other sexually, emotionally and economically. They likewise surmise that cohabitation is an easy and shoddy approach to enjoy your life with your life partner without performing any matrimonial ceremonies. They think that marriage costs a lot of money, while cohabitation costs you nothing. They believe in this dictum, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
Cohabiters share their liabilities and enjoy their life the way they want. It is an economical means of living together without conjugal commitment, which typically includes a great deal of expenditure on various things. It is a best alternative to marriage for those people, who cannot afford the expenses of marriage. They can revel in their life like a wedded couple. Cohabitation is not entangled and wound in legitimate and religious laws as marriage, wherein it is challenging for a lady to get separated from her life partner easily. On the other hand, cohabitation is a mutual understanding between two people. They can easily break up their commitment at whatever time they need. They are not lawfully bound to live together until the end of time. They don't have to visit courts to get separated legally.
Another advantage of cohabitation is that you can know your partner very closely. You can frame your opinion about his demeanor, conduct and character. That is why; cohabitation is rising these days in the Western countries. Cohabitation is a sort of test before marriage. Statistics show that the divorce rate in USA has astoundingly expanded, while cohabitation has got popularity when compared to marriage. Thomson & Colella demonstrated in their book, Cohabitation and Marital Stability, that cohabitation increased from 11% to 44% during the years 1965-74 and 1980-84. According to a survey, approximately 60 percent of adults agreed that cohabitation is the best way to understand each other before marriage.
Which one is the best way of living together in this modern world?
In spite of the fact that there are many advantages of cohabitation, yet it’s not as reliable and stable as marriage. It is additionally loaded with various complications. There are various flaws in cohabitation, which may result in severe consequences for both individuals. Those who are of the view that they cohabitate so that they may understand each other are laboring under the delusion as it has been observed that most of the cohabiters don’t get married at all. Their relationship result into separation, as there is no legal and religious commitment. Those who are against the cohabitation believe in this dictum Easy come, easy go. Cohabitation comes to a dead end due to no written and legal commitment.
Cohabitation is not a permanent relationship. It is a short-lived and short-term relationship, while marriage is a long-lasting and durable relationship due to strong commitment. It has been observed that most of cohabitations last for almost five or six years. Cohabiters are not attached to each other for a long time. The reason is that, during the course of time, they get fed up with each other and consequently get separated.
Uncertainty is another demerit of cohabitation. Couples living together without marriage commitment can’t enjoy their life emotionally and sexually as they are not sure about their future. They don’t know as to whether they should live together or not. Marriage shows you your destination and ultimate goal, while cohabitation may lead you astray.
Importance of Marriage
“By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
Cohabiters cannot have better sex like married people. Studies show that married people have better sex than cohabiters. The reason is that an individual who is living together with his life partner may also have sex with another person, which may prompt serious outcomes. Cohabiters may suffer from various diseases. Married people are attached to each other and they know the sanctity and value of marriage. That is the reason, they never think of engaging in sexual relations outside their matrimonial relationship. Married people are more loyal to each other when compared to cohabiters. Cohabiters are free to engage in sexual intercourse with someone else.
Though separation is very easy in cohabitation, yet it may also result into many complications when it comes to partition of financial assets. On the other hand, there is a proper way for getting divorce. There are various complications associated with cohabitation.
Married people are more satisfied and happier than cohabiters. They delight in their life with extraordinary joy and satisfaction, while cohabiters suffer from confusion. They are not aware of their destination. Marriage is better for family members and children. Married people are more stable and financially better than cohabiters. Married people take care of each and every penny they earn. They use shrewdly and precisely as they need to take care of their kids.
Family formation is the most significant feature of marriage. What we call family can't be the result of cohabitation. Marriage is mandatory for to raise family and children. It’s a natural phenomenon, while cohabitation is against the laws of nature.
Despite the fact that numerous individuals favour cohabitation as legitimate thing, yet there are various individuals who consider cohabitation as sin and an immoral, debauched and unethical act. They think that it is totally against the teachings of religion. Cohabitation is mostly condemned in Islam. According to Islamic teachings, any relationship without marriage is a great sin. Premarital sex is taboo in Islam.
In my opinion, marriage is the best option if you want to enjoy your life in its full essence. So, say ‘NO’ to cohabitation!
© 2014 Muhammad Rafiq