Cohabitation, sometimes called de facto marriage, is becoming more commonly known as a substitute for conventional marriage. For decades, most people have believed that moving together before marriage would increase their odds of doing well in marriage. The reason for this idea is that cohabiting would provide a “test” of a relationship. This seems logically a good idea, but research does not show this benefit.
When given a survey of the reasons why they cohabit, most couples listed reasons such as spending more time together, convenience based reasons, and testing their relationships, while few gave the reason that they do not believe in marriage. The extremely high cost of housing and tight budgets of today’s economy are also factors that can lead a couple to cohabitation.
Couples live together as a way of trying out marriage to test compatibility with their partners, while still having the option of ending the relationship without legal implications. “More than three-quarters of all cohabiters report plans to marry their partners, which implies that most of them view cohabitation as a prelude to marriage.”
Research shows that greater percent of divorce comes from couples that cohabit before marriage. The longer couples wait to make that first serious commitment, the better their chances for marital success.
A lot of couple believes that moving in together will make them know their would-be partner very well. But come to think of it, how do you expect a man to come and pay a woman’s bride price when he is already enjoying all the benefits of marriage.
Our present society it is rather unfortunate that cohabitation is found within the university campuses. Most students cohabits for several reasons ranging to lack of accommodation, financial constraint, I want to be close to my boy friend and the rest. Most girls even end up getting an unwanted pregnancy as a result of cohabiting with a man which leads to dropping out of school.
During the cohabiting period, the woman will cook for the man, wash his cloths and worst of it, they will start making children in the name of convincing the man that she is a marriage material and in most cases after many years of cohabiting there will still break up with reasons that there are not compatible.
Research shows Cohabitation brings a greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases, because cohabiting men are four times more likely to be unfaithful husbands because they mostly the advocators of “testing” before marriage. Men who cohabitates are seen as men who are not ready for commitment, and only God knows how many women they will have to test before settling for one.
Marriage is a true sign of commitment and many men know it. Men realize that it is a much bigger deal to stand before man and God and confess your commitment to someone than it is to confess your love for your woman in a room were only the two of you are.
Most religion in the world forbids cohabitation, in Nigeria in particular, the three major religions, Christianity, Islam and Traditional religion forbids cohabitation because it promotes fornication.
There are many reasons that people use to justify moving in with each other, but honestly they are not good enough to justify doing so. It is unnecessary. You can prepare for marriage in separate dwellings. You can get to know other very well without moving in together.
I spoke with some guys about their opinion why they choose to cohabit for a long time without marrying the lady and why they choose to cohabit before marriage? Some of their responses were; Mr Benson an electrical engineer said that there is no difference between marriage and cohabiting because the benefits are the same, marriage is just a waste of money.
Mr Tijani, a driver said that cohabiting is just like leasing a house instead of buying it. When you rent, you are able to leave at the end of the year when your lease is up if you no longer likes the house. When you buy a house, its a different ball game altogether.
Mr Uche, a business man said that it if the circumstance warrants then there is no problem he went on to say that it saves cost, when you consider how much you pay to rent your house and also a house for a lady not to talk of feeding and other expenses involve, then you will know why you should consider her moving in with you for the main time before getting married.
Mr Ibru also opined that if the couple defined the relationship and then respects boundary then they can still live together and be doing fine. Mr Kenneth said that if the condition calls for and the couples are in love then there is no problem. Cohabitation can be an alternative to marriage in situations where marriage is not possible for financial or family reasons
Mr Bassey, a civil servant said it is very necessary for couple to live together so as to know themselves before getting married. He said “just as nobody buys a car without taking it for a test-drive”, most people about two thirds of couples don’t get married any more until they’ve lived with their proposed lifetime partners.
Mr Dosie strongly disagreed with the issue of cohabiting as it is against his believe as a Christian because more than 80 percent of those that cohabits and up in committing fornication. Mr Ikenna referred to cohabiting as a sin before God and man, he pointed out that all religions forbid it. “Our culture is against that kind of lifestyle”.
Miss Stella said that ladies that cohabit do not know what there want, and they doesn’t have any respect for their family. Mrs Udeme Ukpong a teacher that it is uncultured for a lady to move in to a man’s house when he has not paid his bride price because our religion and tradition is against it. More so, cohabiting women contribute more than 70 percent of the relationship’s income because men that will give consent to cohabitation are men who try to run away from responsibilities. Cohabiting women often end up with the responsibilities of marriage particularly when it comes to caring for children without the legal protection.


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