Monthly Archives: March 2016

Marriage vs. Cohabitation

I am currently taking a marriage prep class for my major at BYU-Idaho.  This week we have been talking about how important commitment is to a relationship.  In our society we have seen an increase of couples who choose to live together prior to marriage.  This is often seen as a trial marriage to test the waters of marriage without the commitment.  Some may suggest that this is beneficial and would create stronger marriages, but the research clearly indicates that cohabitation doesn’t lead to stronger marriages.  For my class we have been reading, How To Avoid Falling In Love With A Jerk, by John Van Epp.  He outlines several reasons why it is important to forgo cohabitation and exercise faith in the marriage commitment.  I want to share a few quotes from his book in support of marriage.

  1. “Marital commitment by definition, includes faith and risk.  You cannot practice or test this type of commitment.” (pg. 280).
  2. “…those who practice marriage by premarital cohabitation are actually less effective in marriage than those who take the leap of faith from singlehood into matrimony.”(pg.278)
  3. “The final step of making a commitment to marry does involve risk and require greater responsibility, but it must be taken to gain a greater sense of security and oneness in the quality of your relationship.” (pg. 281)

Marriage does require faith, and there is always a risk in putting your trust in a potential spouse.  However, if you want to have a successful marriage, you need to make a commitment to marriage, not just a practice commitment with a built in escape clause.

Check out Van Epp’s book here: