Personally I have always felt that you should cohabitate before you tie the knot, maybe because my parents lived together first. I like to think of people as shoes, you have to try them on first before you know they fit. What if your new white shoes pinch, are too big or god forbid cause blisters and your stuck wearing those for the rest of your life. Instead of frogs I tried on many a shoe, but I did insist on being engaged before living with Mr. N. My reason for that was I didn't want to be one of those couples that gets around to getting married after ten years or so, being married was important to me. I believe in marriage, I don't thinks its required to make a strong family but I think it helps. Mr.N is the only man I have ever lived with, mostly because he is my only long term relationship. Before him I dated around, maybe kept a guy around for six weeks or so. Living together is hard work, and being married is hard work and I am glad we didn't take on both those tasks at the same time. Its kinda like for two years we were practicing marriage, warming up for the big day. If we had broken up before the wedding it would have been messy but not impossible, now it is splitting up a family, my family, for me there is no option of out its forever now.
My Friends thoughts:
I have one friends who did live together before marriage but wishes she didn't, and she is still very happily married. She feels this way mostly because her husband moved from his mothers house into theirs. He never had to fend for himself, so she basically took over the role of mother. No one wants to be a wife and a mother to a man at the same time, that is way to much work. If they had waited until marriage he would have lived on his own and have a better set of house hold skills and knowledge.
I asked two friends who feel strong about waiting, one is married and the others big day is coming up this summer. They both feels that marriage is a new beginning to start together from scratch, moving into your home together is exciting. They feel this is going to make a stronger bond in their union, learning the quirks of life as husband and wife.
My other friends that I asked agree with me, cohabitation is a must to know what you are getting into. That when promising your life and undieing love to a person you have to know who that person truly is. Mr. N said that there is a difference between knowing a person and knowing how to live with them. Just because someone is an amazing person doesn't mean that they are a good match for your living style. I'm a person full of quirks and not everyone would be able to handle them 24/7. I could have never married a neat freak, he would have rung my neck after the first week.
Whether you agree with living together before marriage or not you should know that according to this article written by smart people it has no barring on how long a marriage lasts. One thing I did find interesting is that people who at least discussed, agreed to marriage or were engaged before living together had a better chance at staying married then those that didn't. I wonder if the people who didn't discuss it got married cause it seams like the next step, more like an obligation.
I'm lucky to be in love, and to cohabitate happily ever after with Mr. N!