Marriage vs. Living Together

Family eating Christmas lunch

Society is changing and fewer people are getting married.

A recent study by Pew Research finds that 59% of people between the ages of 18 and 44 have lived with someone without marriage.That’s six out of ten.Many are products of marriages that ended in divorce, and have vowed to not follow the same path.

Married people, according to surveys, say they are looking for love and someone to have children with. Cohabitating couples say they are looking for financial convenience and practical considerations.

Father John Muir, host of Catholic Breakfast, counsels that what we desire most can only be satisfied with a commitment.“Every heart desires faithfulness and exclusivity in romantic love.Every heart desires to be fruitful and have joy in their marriage, to have long-lasting faithfulness in their love.”

Dr. Steve Sussman, a child psychologist, says when children are involved the dynamic can change.“I’m uncomfortable with it myself. I know there are a lot of people who are saying they are lifelong committed but are not getting married.I think that it’s important to show society, family and friends, that this is a special relationship.”

A study published in the journal Demography finds it isn’t so much that married people are happier, it’s that unmarried people cohabitating can feel more emotional strain, and not having that added burden in a relationship can feel like happiness.

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