April 19, 2008

Moving in together...

You've been with someone for a while and have decided to take the next step. In this day and age, its acceptable to live together before marriage. Although I know, back in the day it was considered sinful or taboo. Lets face it though, times have changed. Before you take that walk down the isle, you want to make sure you can cohabitate peacefully together. Well, maybe not always peaceful, but that's what puts the spice in life. How long should you wait before making that step? 3 months? 6 months? 9 months? a year? What is the status quo for that type of commitment? Personally, I think you have to weigh alot of factors before you do something like this. Do you love each other? Is he/she good to your kids? Are you happier together than you are apart? I don't think that there are any guidelines per se, it all depends on the situation. Everyone is different, just like every situation is different. What works for one couple doesn't necessarily work for another. Communication is the key. You have to discuss this type of move more than once. Actually, discuss the heck out of it. Make sure that this is truly what you want. If you have children, sit down with them and listen to their feedback. Let them know that things will change, but you're hoping it will be for the better. You can't predict what the future may hold, but you shouldn't stop yourself from moving forward because of your fears. You never know until you try. I know that the women of yesteryear will tell you that a man wont buy the cow if he can get the milk for free. However, it works both ways. Women of today are smart and independent. We choose what we want and find a way to make it happen. I dont know if a guarantee is what we are looking for because in reality, life just doesn't work that way. You need to be realistic in your expectations. Sometimes you just have to say, "what the hell" and give it a try. Any opinions on this topic? I'm interested in hearing what you think.

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7 comments:

A Modern Mom said...

I agree with you that this is a tough decision that needs lots of communication with all involved to make it work.

I unfortunately had a very bad experience with this but that of course was only my experience. Our communication was poor and he, quite frankly, just wasn't a very nice person. Hindsight is 20-20 though and I didn't realize any of this at the time. So I guess my advice would be to try to be as objective as possible and really, really try to see the situation as realistic as possible before making this huge commitment that will affect your children, your finances and your happiness.

TC said...

This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately. Recently I was dating someone who had lived with his previous girlfriends and was accustomed to having that kind of relationship. It was something I had never done before, but I tried to be open minded. After all, my marriage had ended in a divorce, maybe living together beforehand would have prevented the marriage to begin with.

From one perspective I can understand why so many people choose to live together. Divorce is so wide-spread in our society that most people lose hope in marriage altogether. I also went through a very nasty divorce, and I'm definitely someone that would not want to rush into getting married again.

Then I started thinking about a cousin I was close with growing up. When she was little her mother lived with different boyfriends, trying to find the right one. While I grew up with one father, she grew up having, "Daddy #1", "Daddy #2", "Daddy #3", "Daddy #4", etc." By the time she was fourteen she was so desperate to have a stable man in her life she got pregnant by an older man, thinking that it would make him stay with her. It didn't work of course, and she soon found herself dropping out of school as a single mom.

I had to stop and ask myself if that was the kind of childhood and instability that I want my son to grow up with. Do I want to teach my son that men are these people who come and go out of children's lives? I decided that I would rather have him know whoever I'm dating as a "friend" that we see often, as opposed to a father figure that lives with us. I don't want my son to have more "Daddy's" than he can count. I realized that if I wasn't confident enough in my relationship with this man to marry him, I certainly wasn't confident enough to put him in the role of my child's step-parent (which is the role he would ultimately be in if we were living together).

In the end I broke up with the man I was dating because I did not feel that he took my concerns for his influence on my child seriously.

baby~amore' said...

I agree it would be a tough decision but I have no experience of it.
I think only you can call it and I think if it makes you happy then go for it.
Though I agree with Modern Mom's comment too.

riverclark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
riverclark said...

I agree with TC. You can do a lot of damage by having a multiple men living with you and your children. this really doesn't set a good or stable example in my opinion. There are many things acceptable and considered normal by today's standards, but just because they are accepted doesn't mean they are necessarily moral, good or right. Aside from moral and spiritual issues of cohabiting you can look up pretty easily that statistically children are most often abused, molested, etc by boyfriends (mostly live-ins) of their mothers. Why put your child at risk? Also you can be doing some severe pyschological damage as in the young woman TC mentioned by having a succession of father figures in and out of your kids lives. How sad. When you think of it, it is really a little more than selfish on the adult's part. To consider their own wants, desires, and comforts rather than the children's psychological well being. I do not believe marriage is outdated, but it's not entered into ligthly. However, despite what many think living together is NOT a precursor or trial for marriage. Statistically, again, you will find that to be myth. that is of "trying it out" . Living together doesn't not guaranty a happy marriage. In fact the opposite was found taht living together actually resulted in more divorces when couple eventually did marry. Just as many if not more My responsbility as a mother is to set a healthy and moral example. sleeping with a bunch of boyfriends during each relationship does not do that in my opinion. You can still date, have relationships and if it's a good and strong one, your man will not allow you to compromise yourself or your kids in this way. I realize my views may be in the minority, but again just because something is accepted nowdays doesn't make it a good thing. When you get down to it its about what the adults are wanting not what is best for the kids. How do young men or girls learn to respect women and marriage when their own mother is setting an exampled of living with/sleeping with a succession of boyfriends in the same house? It seems to me mom need to put their kids first and concentrate on raising her children ina moral way.. Sure, she can date. We all would like love, a new relationship, maybe even a permanent one, but we must temper our own desires with the example we set. Its called self-control. Kids learn by example. For me, I want my boys to grow up, have successful marriages and break the cycle of divorce. I cannot undo my own divorce, but I can control how I present myself and how I interact with men in front of my children.

Lori said...

I think alot of it depends on the child. Most children know who their father is,therefore, they arent confused by any of the men their mother dates. I have seen that same type of situation though with the kids calling the bf "Daddy so and so" and its very sad. I dont think its wise to let your children call your bf Dad anyway. That would make it very confusing. If your children are grown, or almost grown, its not the same scenario. Having boys rather than girls makes a difference too, in my opinion. I think each situation needs to be looked at one by one rather than lumping them together as voodoo. Thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate the input and Im sure many other people do too:)

Anonymous said...

It largely depends on a number of factors - but it's a serious step. The factors I would consider most important is the length of time you have been in the relationship, the age of the children (if any) at home, how they feel about having someone move in, and moral standardds -- is this against your moral or religious beliefs. I am not my brother's keeper. Everyone has a right to decide what is or is not best for them. However, being aware of the dangers and possible consequences and making life decisions responbility considering children's well-being should always be the first consideration. After that everyone must make their own choices.