Monday, October 29, 2012

A Rant about Cohabitation, of all things

[Emily and Steven asked what I'm writing about.  I said, "Living together before you're married." They said, "Why are you writing about THAT?"  And the answer is, I have my reasons but don't want to go into them publicly.]

I have never understood the appeal of living together without being married.

Obviously, there's the whole moral issue, an excellent reason to wait for marriage.

I just read an article listing a bunch of statistics about why cohabiting before marriage is a bad idea.

It had some good points but was badly written so I won't link it.

However, it said that cohabiting couples who marry are likely to divorce--something like 82% of them.  That's an alarming statistic.

Aside from the morals and statistics, in my observation, the benefits of living together are heavily weighted on the guy's side.  Especially since the girls/women I've known tend to assume this odd housewifely role in order to keep the guy happy so he won't leave.

This is just my observation.  I have no personal experience, and praise God none of my children have chosen such an arrangement. But I know people who have.

Like this one young lady.  She had the whole world before her to conquer, and she decided to live with her boyfriend.

Not that that always keeps you from conquering the world, but that's how it worked for her.

The boyfriend was not the most reliable character, and would travel for his work, and of course she wanted him to come back home to her, rather desperately, and had this niggling fear that he wouldn't.

So among other things she started ironing his shirts.

I am not kidding.   She IRONED HIS SHIRTS.

Now ironing shirts a man's shirts is not something I will just volunteer to do.  It is not fun.  I have lots of better things to do.  There are very few men about whom I care if their shirts are wrinkly or not.  I'll iron my dad's shirts because he's old, and my sons' shirts because they are my responsibility, but a man who is not my dad or my son would have to jump through some high, flaming hoops to get me to iron his shirts.  Such as:
1. Love me.
2. Prove himself honest, responsible, mature, financially stable, smart, kind, reliable, faithful, and good-looking.
3. Marry me.
4. Provide for me.
5. Change the oil.
6. Fix the furnace.
7. Go out in the cold and rain to make sure the cat is ok because I'm worried.
8. Answer the door when the Jehovah's Witnesses come.

And a lot more.  And then I'd iron his shirts, at least the buttondowns.

So here is our young friend, who in my opinion didn't require a blessed thing from this young man except that he luvved her in some fluffy sense.  She slept with him, she luvved him back, and she ironed his shirts.  I think she also cooked nice hot meals.

I wanted to rescue her, somehow, but you can't just rescue someone with such down-deep damage and desperation.

I will probably hear from people who will say that they have a wonderful equal-partnership equal-opportunity live-in relationship.

Well that is really none of my business.

In general, I think men like to enjoy benefits without commitment, and women tend to be desperate for luv, and when they live together without marriage, most of the benefits are the man's.

Here's what I wonder.  Why do modern women--who present themselves as liberated and smart and in control of their lives--not have the sense to hold off the good stuff until the guy makes some serious sacrifices for her?  Like marrying her.

Maybe they aren't as smart and in control as they think they are.

Yay for all the strong young ladies in my life who will make their guy meet a long list of criteria before they iron his shirts.

And for the young men who choose determined women who bring out their best qualities of strength and character and commitment and sacrifice.

Quote of the Day:
"Why does the word 'lisp' have an S in it, when people who lisp can't even say it?"


  1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for writing this post! I could not agree with you more; it is all so true. My dad was the high school Sunday School teacher for years, and nearly every Sunday, I swear, he would bring up his favorite quote: "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" We all got the point!

    I remember when my boyfriend and I announced to the world at age 19 that we were getting married. So so so many people freaked. "You're too young!" they squawked. "Don't you think you should live together first?" And I remember thinking, how stupid do you think I am? We've been married 8 years now and have a wonderful marriage. I truly feel in my bones that Nick would not be nearly as good of a husband if I had not required his respect, chivalry, courtship and pursuit from the get-go. Preach on, Dorcas!

  2. Dorcas Byler10/30/2012 3:44 AM

    This is one of my soapbox topics right now too. I see the havoc of cohabitation and how it demeans the ladies, especially. It is incredibly sad that give up so much to receive so little--lack of respect and sometimes outright abuse so they can "feel loved" It almost always leads to heartbreak. Rant on--my friend!

  3. AMEN, Dorcas! I am sure you could write a series on this issue.

    There are a few more things you could have mentioned - unwanted pregnancies where the girl will likely be left to raise the child ALONE; STDs with all their complications; loss of self-respect because of guilt. Loss of self respect is displayed in how one dresses,looks, acts...

    If only people would understand that what looks like so much pleasure is in reality the coating of serious poison that kills.

    God bless.

  4. What??? Not a single word about how LIGHT FIGHTS factor into this equation??? H-m-m-m-m-m.

    It occurs to me that the things that are so important to just live with when you are "just living with" someone become such big things after marriage and the foundation is all wrong for dealing with things that can add up and weigh a relationship down.

    Good, good words, Dorcas.

  5. Dorcas, Thank you for writing. You've been an unwitting encourager to me many times. I just appreciate your honesty about family life and raising kiddos and living in the limelight as a minister's wife. These are all relevant topics to me and your honesty encourages me to be open and humble too. Thank you and God bless you!

  6. Ha, well here's your comment from an anonymous someone in a 'wonderful cohabiting relationship'!

    We aren't religious, and we're both very shy, and I'm kind of dreamy, so: a secular ceremony wouldn't mean much, a big or medium-sized friends and family celebration would be overwhelming, and a small wedding seems sad.

    In the meantime, we've got lots of issues but I've never thought of commitment being one of them! We're in our 20s and we've only dated each other and we've known each other since we were kids...

    We've been living together for three years. After the first year or so of total 'you're perfect and you're everything' bliss, that state wore off and we really got to know each other and learned and are learning to get along as best as we can... it's pretty good :) I can't imagine how it's any different from being married.

    I don't really want a 50-year-old 'boyfriend' though, so I guess something will have to be done about that before too long...