How did living together before marriage work out for you? Successful or not?
I'm doing a hub on this subject and would like to hear about some real experiences.
My then-girlfriend and I moved in together in 1997, with the intention of getting married as soon as we could afford it.
We were married in 1999 and here we are, 14 years and two kids later, she hasn't had the locks changed yet so I guess that means she's gonna keep me.
It worked out great for my husband and I. We started dating in 2003, became engaged in '07, moved in together in '08 and were married in 2011. I think dating for just shy of five years prior to living together played a key part in our future together. Our wedding anniversary is actually at the end of the month and lately I'm amazed how quickly the two years of marriage have gone by and the ten years together.
The first marriage, I lived with him for about a year. Mainly because I had taken a new job an hour away and he offered a place to stay closer to work. It worked out well except he had hoarding issues which I wasn't aware of. I tried to clean a spare room one time. I found cardboard boxes broken down and placed in between mattresses. There was a bookcase in a box never put together. So, I put the bookcase up, bought fresh linens, disposed of the cardboard boxes. He was furious. This was before all of the reality tv shows about hoarding were on.
We ultimately married and we ended up divorcing. Those should have been clues for me in the beginning. I wanted to overlook it all. When we moved to a different place, I had this idea for the spare room to create my studio. He immediately blocked that idea and stifled everything I dreamed about. He couldn't stand the way I organized everything.
I'm re-married now and I didn't live with my husband beforehand this time.
My husband and I lived together for a year and a half before we got married and we've been married 31 years so in my case it worked out.
People don't show their true colors until you live with them or at the very least know each other a decent amount of time. We put our best foot forward when dating and are on our best behavior.
On the flip side of that coin I have known people who become comfortable only living together and when one is ready for marriage the other one drags their feet so you need to have a talk before hand and make sure both parties agree to the arrangement.
I have a case AGAINST NOT living together i.e. FOR living together. My first husband and I were both Catholic and I had been very devout; he had been in the minor seminary. The abstinence issue, I believe, drove the intensity of our relationship, along with the Vietnam war, beyond all reasonable measure. "Tim" was scheduled to come home at Christmas after Basic and OCS (I think that was what it was) before being scheduled to leave for Vietnam that January. We both knew that our emotions were so intense that we would not be able to NOT sleep together when he came home at Christmas. Our priest actually advised us to go ahead FORGET about abstinence during his leave, but we had been so conditioned that we couldn't do that. So nine days before he came home on leave, he called and said he knew I wouldn't be able to live with myself and that meant he wouldn't be able to live himself feeling guilty for my guilt. So we threw together a lovely little wedding in nine days. And then he went to Vietnam for a year. When he came home, we really didn't know each other, not because of the war, but because of the short "courtship". Would we have been married anyway if we had lived together? Probably. But I think we each would have been more aware of who each other was. Not knowing that information, I think, wasn't helpful in resolving problems. We had to "learn on the job."
We both were the only people either had slept with. I will never know if after 18 years of a very satisfying marriage for me, whether or not that was the reason he left. His leaving was devastating. I DO think our outcome would have been more positive if we have lived together before hand. A great deal of heartache might have been forestalled. But that is something I will never know for sure.
I really appreciate your sharing that very personal story, Billie. I agree you definitely needed to know each other better and maybe living together would have worked as it has for many others, despite what the research says. Thanks for answering.
Jan, The older I become, the stronger the need to share something of my life that might be useful. It's often hard to judge appropriateness, but as this point, I'm all "oh-what-the-heck..." It feels worth the risk.
better than marriage actually! lol. We lived together 2 years before we were married and I feel we were very happy during that time. Something about the official-ness of it being on paper made the first 2 years of marriage pretty hard. At least for me anyhow.
It depends on the commitment of the two involved. For my husband and I, it worked out fine. We spent a year in the same house to see if we could have a simple time of living together. We agreed to not even consider breaking up as an option. The year before I'd taken a class on close relationships that included a study on cohabitation. Couples who were more committed had an increased chance of remaining together.
We lived together for a year and a half and now married for twenty years so it worked out well, No marriage is perfect
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