Is Cohabitation Good for Relationships?

Is Cohabitation Good for Relationships?

You’re in a conversation and someone says, “It doesn’t really matter if you get married. All that matters is that you live together and love each other.”

What Would You Say?

More people are cohabiting than ever before. In fact, more than 75% of married couples today lived together before they were married. Today, the number of homes with cohabiting couples is 15 times bigger than it was in 1960, and nearly half of kids will spend at least part of their childhood in an unmarried cohabiting home.

As a society, we’ve pretty well accepted the idea that “love” is all that is really necessary for a truly healthy relationship, not “a piece of paper” or a wedding ceremony. Not to mention, we often hear, it is financially wise to share expenses and couples should know whether or not they are compatible before getting married.

Social scientists have been studying marriage, family, and cohabitation for decades now. What they’ve found tells a much different story:

1. Cohabitation Creates Less Healthy, Happy Relationships

2. Cohabitation Leads to Greater Poverty, Infidelity, and Domestic Abuse

3. Cohabitation Hurts Women More than Men

The Benefits of Marrying Early

According to a recent study from the Institute for Family Studies, “On average, early-marrieds enjoy slightly higher marital quality than later-marrieds” on metrics like “relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, teamwork, and communication.” 

Women who marry early, for example, reported an 11% lead in sexual satisfaction over those who marry later in life. For men, the gap is even bigger, at 14%. This supports findings from another IFS study that, “spouses who have only had sex with their current spouse have the highest levels of sexual satisfaction in their marriage.”  

These findings counter widespread cultural assumptions that couples should be sure of “compatibility” and that sexual autonomy and so-called “sexual freedom” is the path to personal happiness. God gave marriage to the world as a gift, as the best context for sex, and as a real-life sign of His love for His people.  

We shouldn’t be surprised when His way actually works.

Copyright 2023 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Traditional Marriage: A Pillar of Our Civilization

This is part of Family Council’s ongoing series outlining the importance of traditional family values in society. Today’s installment highlights the value of traditional marriage.

Even though governments and courts in America have moved to redefine marriage in the past decade, traditional marriage between one man and one woman is still an essential building block of society.

Below are a few key points to consider.

Traditional Marriage is a Fundamental Institution

Marriage between one man and one woman is an institution that has existed for millennia. It has served as the foundation of countless civilizations — including our own.

It’s easy to forget, but no nation on earth recognized same-sex marriage before the year 2000. There is virtually no history of same-sex marriage in America — or anywhere else, for that matter — prior to the past 23 years.

The marriage of one man to one woman has been the bedrock of western civilization for almost a thousand years. Marriage licenses were issued in colonial America more than a century before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

There is nothing hateful in wanting to uphold the pillars that help support our civilization, and there is nothing wise in tearing those pillars down.

Supporting Traditional Marriage Goes Hand-in-Hand with Supporting Religious Liberty

Traditional marriage and religious liberty are deeply connected, because many religions recognize marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman.

Christians believe marriage is a part of God’s created order. People of faith should be free to live out their religious convictions regarding marriage.

Unfortunately, we have heard time and again about Christian photographersbakersflorists, and wedding chapel owners being investigated and dragged into court because they declined to take part in a same-sex wedding or ceremony. Sometimes the Christian business owners win their cases. Other times they lose.

Devaluing marriage and redefining it in society have set the stage for this type of conflict.

Traditional Marriage is Good for Children and Families

Traditional marriage provides a supportive environment where children can thrive. It also is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty and promote economic mobility.

In 2012 Heritage Foundation published an exhaustive report identifying marriage as a determining factor in whether or not a family lives in poverty.

The report found “being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent’s level of education has.”

Bottom line: Traditional marriage — a lifelong union of one man to one woman — is good for everyone.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.