I come from a religious family, where moving in together before marriage was never an option in my eyes. That is what we believed marriage should be like, and that is what the statistics proved to end in a great marriage together, despite popular belief.
The only thing holding us back as we approached a couple months before our wedding day were finances. We both had great jobs, were financially independent from our parents and were fine covering each of our rent payments. But if you live in Los Angeles, you know that rent just isn't cheap. I was living in a 400 square foot studio, and paying $1250 per month which was fine, but how amazing would it be to save $1250 EVERY SINGLE MONTH? That would be going straight into our savings account! Sounds pretty amazing, huh?
But it all boils down to what is more important to you - marriage or finances.
Of course, there are plenty of couples who move in together before they get married, have a wonderful, prosperous 50+ year marriage and just defy those statistics. But statistics don't lie.
We all believe that "we won't be part of those statistics" because we love each other and cannot see our lives without each other. Well guess what? 99% of the population is deeply in love on their wedding day - it's pure bliss that seems like it will last a lifetime. But statistics don't lie, and many of us end up in divorce.
Why SHOULD we move in together before marriage?
- finances...adding to that savings account, paying off the wedding
- to find out if we can really live together? A trial run?
Those are the two best reasons we were able to think of, and then we began researching...
Why SHOULDN'T we move in together before marriage?
Divorce. That's the best reason I can think of. Divorce terrifies me and although I never foresee it in my future, I do my best to make sure we stick to everything that will help prevent divorce - managing our finances, apologizing, waiting a couple of years to have kids, being intimate, and so on.
When researching divorce statistics in regards to moving in together before the wedding, I found all kinds of results...
- a 50% higher divorce rate in couples who moved in together before marriage
- a 27% higher divorce rate in couples who were under 23 AND moved in together before marriage (we were young, so this applied)
- a 2% higher divorce rate and so on...
...and no matter what the statistics showed, there was ALWAYS a stronger correlation between moving in together and divorce. You may think, "Well it's only a 2% increase and that's not much" but isn't 0% better than 2% if you could just wait it out a couple of months?
Of course we can always defy odds, and plenty of us do. But before you put yourself in that category, remember that you have 15, 20, 60+ more years in order to be part of these statistics. Because marriage is not 5 years, it is a lifetime.
So before you jump on the bandwagon and move in together before you are married, think long and hard about what is right for you as a couple. Does saving $1250 every month for 3 months or a year have more value than a 2% increase in divorce? Why is it that you want to move in together?
I would love to hear your thoughts below on whether or not you moved in together (or will be moving in together) before the wedding and how you can to that decision?