I am exploring the moral and social implications of living together. I have three questions I am going to answer in both a Religious and Secular way. Does living together improve your chances of a successful marriage? How does the central pillar of respect play in living together? How does socio-economic status play?
With the onset of the sexual revolution of the 1960s with the wide spread availability of contraception has forever changed the way that men and women interact with each other. The greatest causality of the revolution is respect, or the lack of redefining of respect. The process of living together before marriage lacks the respect of the two partners from the onset. It leaves an easy out, no having to stay around to work out problems. The first sign of trouble and they terminate the relationship. I have seen this even when children are involved, with men and women stating that it really will not affect the children. I think that shows the selfishness to the greatest extent.
Marriage has a very strong commitment from on the onset. I was surprised at my research that showed Roman Catholic, Lutherans, and Atheist all having the lowest divorce rates. I have found that all three have similar views concerning the roles of the partners. All three have respect as the central pillar of the relationship. In the case of the religious teaching that man and women are equal both created in the image and likeness of God. Central to this is the teaching of giving totally to each other without holding anything back. The relationship is always open to life with no medical interference to that process. Evangelical churches, which have a much higher divorce rate, are more concerned about the women being submissive to the husbands. This lack of institutional respect is what I think leads to that higher rate.
The Atheist basic premise is that both partners need to contribute to the relationship equally is similar to the pillar of respect I mentioned before. Ethics are the base of their value system, instead of morals. Many times Morals and ethics agree, however, there are some very great discrepancies.
Where it is possible to have this respect while living with each other without a marriage license, I think the disposable nature of this impermanent relationship speaks for itself. The argument that living together will improve the chances of a successful marriage; this is proven false through Socialist’s studies. The rate of divorce among those who live together prior to marriage is nearly twice of those who do not. I think that this should speak for itself. I think that the romantic view of marriage plays a huge role. No one lives happily ever after. Successful marriages suffer through many difficulties, while the commitment remains intact. That level of commitment is not there for the couple that lives together. There are no records, therefore, no studies of couples who end their relationships without being married.