“Why Living Together Before Marriage is a Bad Idea”
By: Kristen Clark
via Girl Defined at http://www.girldefined.com/
I’ll admit I went back and forth on this one. I read this post and fervently agreed with every word, I decided to answer the questions. Then I decided not to. I didn’t want to offend anyone. But again today, I have decided to answer the questions. I haven’t cared thus far if anyone out there is offended or not, so why start now? I take it as something I must do. I am after all, speaking from experience. Not from a place of judgment. I just won’t be at peace if I don’t speak on this. So here ya go.
What do you think about couples living together before marriage?
What do I think about couples living together before marriage? I think first this is an issue of whether or not each person believes (stands by) marriage. For a lengthy period in my life I did not believe in marriage. I thought just because you get married doesn’t guarantee you anything. Your partner can still leave you and desert your family. They could still cheat on you, lie to you, abuse you, and hurt you and a million other things. On the other hand, just because you are not married doesn’t mean you cannot build a home and family with someone. You can still love someone and be committed to them. I used to say “If someone comes along and *inspires* me to be married, then I would do that.” Now, it sounds like I was quite full of it! I believe this belief I was holding, influenced my last relationship. He and I lived together for exactly one year. Funny thing is, he is married now. But most definitely not to me. How could he want to marry someone that professed not to believe in marriage? We weren’t on the same page from the beginning. I had only moved to his city to continue building our relationship [my definition of temporary]. He envisioned me assimilating to small town life and living happily ever after, I guess. We were living together just because we had done long-distance for what seemed like forever but really it was about 6 or 7 months. We had grown tired of seeing each other once or so a month, for only a weekend at a time. I thought occasionally, “Would I marry him, if he asked?” I never knew the answer. I thought I knew a way to finding out the answer. I wrestled internally with wanting to move back to my home –city. Our two discussions lead to hurt feelings, confusion and fear. For me it was just awkward. I thought if he is willing to move with me, or move somewhere close by just on the outskirts then maybe, just maybe, he’s the one to marry. He chose not to be that one. My heart was broken. To add salt to the wound, I was the one to move out. I will always remember that Saturday morning waking and packing my things. Him asking if I needed any boxes. *No Thanks* Him asking when he could get the key back. *Um, when I get all my things out* Him leaving me a note in the mailbox with the math done for my share of the bills for those 19 days. *Mind.Blown.*
I realized we ended up like most couples that live together. We were not committed to one another like we thought we were. When we hit a crossroads in our relationship, someone bows out. They throw in the towel and say I didn’t sign up for this. They decide you’re holding me back, I can get much further in life without you. They cut you loose. I think I was both. I was ready to keep moving forward with him, and at the same time, I was ready to cut him loose. I wanted to move back to my home-city, find a decent paying job with my newly completed degree. I knew the time would come that I might have to let it go. I know this is not all couples that live together.
Do you know some Christian couples who think it’s okay?
I don’t think I know Christians couples that think it’s okay. I do know there are Christian couples that are having sex outside of marriage. I know at least one of them feels guilty. It’s usually kept a secret. I know that it’s hard to stop something, like sex, once you start. Once you have established that as the norm in your relationship it seems preposterous to stop. Especially, if you and your partner are not on the same page spiritually and in your walk with God.
What standard will you choose to live by?
After my own experience, I knew soon after that I would never just live with a guy again. The next man I lived with would be my husband. I have to really love you to not call it quits after you snore in my ear all night long. Or put my clean clothes in my dirty clothes basket. Or put my shoes that were next to the couch [the side you don’t even sit on] in the closet that we never use. Or wash the cup I was drinking out of just because it was on the counter. Or think when I say I’m going to bed-goodnight, that’s its an invitation. Or be disgusted at my long hair in the shower or sink, when your shaving cream globs sprinkled with millions of tiny hairs are stuck on the shower curtain. Or eat all my mini rice cakes.