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Living together vs. being married
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
A new report on marriage trends says that more and more couples are living together without being married.

I was with my husband (living together) for about 4 years before we got married. He had a "practice wife" and wasn't too eager to jump into it again. How about you?

Also, would you support your kids living with a partner without marriage?

Haylen
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sarah0323 responded:
My SO and I have lived together for 10 years now. I'm not in any hurry to get married. We are happy. Our state doesn't recognize common law marrage. We both come from divorced parents and aren't in any hurry to follow in their foot steps. Our familes used to comment about a lack of commitment on our part. I think it takes more of a commitment on our part. There isn't anything legally that says we have to be together.

A few weeks ago the subject of marriage came up with the kids. Our younger kids didn't realize that we aren't married. When they asked me why we aren't married I asked them what would change if we did get married. Jacob told me that then I would have daddy's last name. I told him that even if we were married I wouldn't use daddy's last name. After that they couldn't think of something that would change.

We have each given the other power of attorney for medical and financial. That could be revoked if we were to no longer be together. Also, at this point we have provided for the other in our wills. These are things that even married people should do as well though.

At the beginning of our realtionship we were asked to stop attending a church because we weren't married. That wasn't the right fit for us. Other than this one incident we haven't had any others issues. Our families are accepting of our realtionship. As long as my children are happy and in a healthy realtionship I am fine if they choose not to get married.
Me 33, DD - O 12, DS1 -J 7, DS2 - Cr 6, DS3 - Co 4, DD2 - E (11/10)
 
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tlkittycat1968 responded:
I lived with DH for about 2-3 months before we got married. We were engaged and he had been living with a rommmate but his child support was increased and he couldn't afford rent. We figured since we were already engaged, living together wouldn't be a big deal. We didn't tell his parents though because they don't believe in living together before marriage.

My cousin and her now husband moved in together prior to marriage with the understanding that marriage was in the near future. She couldn't see living with someone unless their relationship was going to go further.
 
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VicsEandJ responded:
DH & I lived together for almost 2 years before we got marrieed ( about 1 1/2 years of it ws before we got engaged). We had known each other for 2 years and dated for about 1/2 when we moved in together. We worked together and DH often stayed at my apartment before we moved in officially- he lived in theburbs but I lived, and we both worked, in the city.

By the time we moved in together we both had a pretty good idea that we'd get married but no way did either of us want to do it without really seeing if we could live together. I don't think I would live with someone I wasn'tt serious about marrying- I lived alone for 7 years before living with DH, even though I had a boyfriend for 5 of them- though to me it's like playing house- which I see as diferent than testing the waters! I also wouldn't live iwht someone I was dating to save money if I didn't want to marry them.

I also know that I would never just live with someone for years and have kids with them and not marry them. I don't have any religious reason for it , it's just my feminst view that most of the time, this situation occurs because the man won't commit and the woman just acceps it because they don't want to risk losing the man. This is whta I have seen in my perosnal experince( there was once a big epidemic of this in my family with my male cousins and their baby-mamas), but I know it's not always the case so as long as both parties are really fine with it, I'm a live and let live kind of person.

Yet I also do think that really, if you're going to live with someone and have kids with them, you might as well marry them because you are not free. It's not that hard to get a divorce( I know someone who has gotten about 5 or 6 of them) and if you split up and you have kids its complicated, even if you aren't married. I have a couisn who lived with his girlfirend for years and had kids. Only when the kids complained that they weren't married did they finally get married. It depends on the person, but you are cheating yourself out of certian things if ne perosn does unexpectedly, since nonspouses don't always have the same rights as spouses. B

My parents weren't married,or really even in a relationship, despite having two kids togehter. My mom always says ' I may have been dumb enough to have two kids with him, but I wasn't dumb enoguht to marry him (my grandpa was a fan of the shotgun wedding!)'- I love when she says that because I also dont' think people should get or stay married solely because of kids. To me, that is truly horrible.

Life is about being happy, so whatever makes you happy and doesn't intentionally hurt others is okay with me. Hopefully this is what I will teach my kids!
 
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ryanandleigh responded:
DH and I got engaged when I was 21. About 10 months later, I moved in with him when I moved back to town. We got married 10 months after that. My mom was all for us living together as a test to see if we were compatible. His parents didn't like it. I can't imagine living with someone, having kids and not being married.

It is hard to say how I feel about my kids living with someone but I think I would be okay with it but I would want them to be in long-term committed relationship and not do it on any sort of "whim".
Leigh, Jacen (6), Alexa (3)
 
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seeit2 responded:
We lived together for three years before we got married. I don't have a problem with it if my kids want to do that - but I do believe that if there are going to be children involved then they should be married. (If the law allows them to marry the one they love). My grandmother - off the boat from Germany - counseled me when I was in my 20s to live with a man before I got married. To "try him out". My dad was pissed about that, but it was sage advice IMO.
Esmerelda Supercalifragilistic (41) DD (5) DS (2) Just eat it, will ya
 
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cinder44 responded:
I lived with DH 10 years, engaged almost 3 of those years before we married. We moved in together 6mos after starting to date.

I do wish we would have gotten married & had kids about 5-7 years earlier so we'd both be younger now. I do think you should be married to have kids together.

My friends always told me to stop taking the pill to get pregnant & trap him because we had been together so long. I thought was so wrong & if we were meant to be we would be.

We both come from divorced parents. I think living together is a good test to see how things mesh. Hopefully they date a little longer than we did before moving in together.
Me, DH, DD(4), DS(4)
 
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kristinmarie722 replied to cinder44's response:
Oh I so had to comment on this

I lived with DS's dad without being married to him. I felt that we had the same committment to each other as a married couple. We still had to deal with the same things. But I am so happy I wasnt married to him and had to deal with a long drawn out divorce, which I know would of been my case. It was so much easier to "seperate" from him. I wanted to have another kid, but didnt want to do it considering we weren't married. Pregnancy out of wedlock one, okay things happen, but again... why keep having kids if you dont want to be with their dad "forever" was my thought and I knew I did not want to be with my ex forever or married to him. We never would of been together if it wasnt for me getting pregnant. But we lived together and tried to make it work and i am glad we did for DS's sake, so he knows what it was like to have both of his parents in one home.
My fiance now, we are just now moving in together and we are in the process of buying a house. I told him, if he wanted us to live together I needed a committment from him. I wasn't going to be "playing house" without a committment. We plan to marry at the end of September, so we will be living together for 6 months. Ideally I would of liked to see what it's going to be like, living together before accepting his proposal, but we have kids, we are both old enough. If we don't know now what the other is like or what our committment to each other is and our blended family,and if we cant work through the "living" stuff together, then we dont need to be married.
DS- 7/4/2005
 
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peachyisthelife responded:
Considering DH and I both don't believe in sex before marriage we didn't live together before we got married. Nor do we want our children to as we will teach them the same. I don't think it's necessary to live with someone before marriage in order to have a happy marriage. The important things are having the same values, goals, etc.
Cathryn~~~Jared 6yo~Brooke 3yo~Leah 1yo~New Baby Due Nov 19th
 
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sarah0323 responded:
There may be other reasons why people choose to live together over getting married. A big reason that my SO and I aren't married is he is disabled and drawing a federal disability check. If we were to get married then he would loose his disability check and his medical insurance. Our decision not to get married is based on federal government regulations concerning the type of disability he is drawing. He has been disabled since he was a child.
Me 33, DD - O 12, DS1 -J 7, DS2 - Cr 6, DS3 - Co 4, DD2 - E (11/10)
 
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j9ween3 responded:
we lived together for 5 months before we got engaged & had a 23 month engagement. we were pretty sure we knew we were going to get married at some point. I wouldn't have a problem with it
Janine - Tyler -7, Bella -5, Giana -23 months born 8 weeks early
 
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FarmWife1979 responded:
DH and I have been together forever (it seems like). We long distance dated (weekend living together) for 3 1/2 yrs while I was in college, then I moved in with him for about 2 yrs before he finally proposed. Another 18 months of engagement, now we've been married for 8 yrs next month. We even bought our first house together about a year before we got married.

I'd feel a complete hypocrite to tell my kid she couldn't live with someone, but I'd wish that she would not have to and could take a more traditional route to dating and marriage.

My folks weren't really all that happy with me for moving in with DH back then and it took them a long time to come around and see that we really were good together and in it for long haul. I think a lot of their concern was more for our age difference (he's 7 yrs older than me) than anything else. My folks love him now, so it's all good.


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