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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Living Together Before Marriage - 903 words
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Living Together Before MarriageAs the rate of divorce soars and as increasing numbers of marriagesdisintegrate, living together has become the popular alternative to many peoplein north America. Expersts estimate that 'roughly 2.2 million people arecurrently sharing bed and board in a live-in arrangement, this is approximately1% of the total population.'('Family.' Comptoms Encyclopedia. 1992 ed.)Living together, more formally known as non marital cohabitation, is an emerginglifestyle. In fact, 'More than one fourth of all unmarried couples livingtogether in the early 1980's were between 25 and 34 years old, and an additional19 percent were 45 and over.'('Today's Families.'Detroit Free Press 18 October1995: B17.) Although living together is not a recent invention, the relationshiphas yet to be legitimized with a respectable name. Existing terms such as'shacking up' or 'living in sin' are just some of the crude names being taggedto people living together.
Living together can be valuable a substitute formarriage, a cur e-all for marital problems, and a solution to the problem offrequent divorce. A popular rationale for living together is that it is an ideal way tohave a 'try out.' This trial marriage is a result of the ever increasing divorcerate. Many couples are afraid of marriage and decide to live together with theintention to persue marriage if the temporary arrangement is successful. Thecouples hope to 'minimize their chances of a potential disastrous marriage; anyconflicting attitudes toward social activities, economic arrangements, ordomestic chores will be discovered and hopefully resolved while the couple livetogether.' (Carter, Sharon. 'Trial Marriage'. Ladies' Home Journal 14 (May1993): 12-13.) If an unsolveable conflict arises, the couple can cancel theirwedding plans and escape the painful exercise of divorce
Living togetherultimately can test the couple's compatibility and have them really get to knoweach other. Although evidence suggests that 'couples who live together do notnecessarily have more or less successful marriages than couples who don't livetogether before the wedding, studies show that non-marital cohabitors are morerealistic about their demands and expectations of marriage.('Ross, Eshleman J.The Family: An Introduction. 5th ed. Detroit: Allyn,1988) Living togethercouples who eventually get married tend to have a better foundation for theirmarriage due to their practice from living together. In many cases, living together can have many legal and economic benefits.Living together is conducted with minimal legal interference, therefore if therelationship fails, separating is quick, unhampered by legal details. It wouldbe wrong to think that all people living are free from legal interference.
Inmost provinces 'only short term relationships are unaffected by existinglegislation. Couples who have cohabited for several years have significally morelegal rights and responsibilities, depending on their place of residence.Several provinces have recently introduced laws that give non-marital cohabitorscertain legal rights' (Carter, Sharon. 'Trial Marriage'. Ladies' Home Journal14 (May 1993): 12-13.)It is important that couples understand the legal ramifications of livingtogether. Those who wish to avoid the legal liabilities of living together orwish to establish property rights or other responsibilities should enter acohabitation agreement with their lover. Furthermore, a couple's finicalsituation may discourage thoughts of marriage. Some people may be trapped on aminimal income and may be forced to choose between marriage and income due tobenefits or pensions from former or deceased spouses that may be discontinued ifthat individual gets remarried.
'Rather than marry and impoverish their incomes,a number of couples choose to cohabit and pool their financialresources.'(Pearce, Jack M. Modern Day Marriages. New York: Abel-Hils,1990.)Other economic advantages that are present in a live-in relationship is thesharing of food, rent or mortgage, and other housing expenses. This sharing ofexpenses can be very beneficial to a young couple who may not be financiallywell off. For many, non-marital cohabitation is used by the couple as a privatesupport system, providing emotional, and physical support. The emotional andphysical support can be a valuable asset to the couple as many cohabitors areyoung and trying to find their own niche in the difficult career world. Thesupport that an individual can get from their partner can be very comforting tothem, and can be a good stepping stone from dependence on their families toindependence.
Many experts claim that ' the loosely structured arrangementinstills a sense of independence while establishing resources of support;marital decisions are postponed until a greater degree of maturity andoccupational independence is secured' (Pearce, Jack M. Modern Day Marriages. NewYork: Abel-Hils,1990.) The security from the emotional and physical supportexperienced by many cohabitors can help them concentrate on his or her careeraspirations without:the frustration of divided energies among dating, career development,and economical survival. The burden of living can bee shared as the couplepersue personal goal and ambitions. Living together, for example, can provide aharried student with emotional, physical, and sometimes economic support from asympathetic partner. (Pearce, Jack M. Modern Day Marriages.
New York: Abel-Hils,1990.) Finally, more and more are turning to the idea of living together as theemotional, physical, social, economic, and legal benefits are much betteralternative than the consequences that can arise from a failed marriage.Certainly, 'not all couples choose to include living together as a temporarystage in their courtship, yet the option to cohabit is becoming increasinglypopular.'(Groode, Williams J. 'Marriage' Comptoms Interactive Encyclopedia.(1996 ed.)The freedom associated with living together is an important aspect, becauseafter a period of time the couple may decide to marry, to end the relationship,or simple continue living together. As future trends continue, and moremarriages fail, the number of couples who live together are going to increasedue to the valuable benefits.
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