Posted by: Alton Rocker | March 18, 2011

COHABITATION – Does it really work?

Cohabitation is an everyday reality in our society, as it is in most western countries.  More and more couples are opting to give their relationship a “trial run” to see if they are really compatible.  Others cohabitate simply because they deem official marriage as old-fashioned or don’t want the legal commitments that go along with wedding vows.  Whatever the reasons it is very common, about 50% of all couples before marriage, and continues to be a perplexing issue for those tasked with helping couples through their relationship problems.

I am not going to address the moral, spiritual or legal implications of cohabitation in this article.  Those topics will be discussed later.  Let’s just look at statistics from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.  A recent survey of 12,571 men and women between 15-44 years revealed some interesting facts.  The probability of first marriages ending in separation/divorce within 5 years is 20%, after 10 years the probability is 33%.  The probability of a “cohabitating” couple breaking up within 5 years is 49%, after 10 years it is 62%.  Bottom line is that couples are much more likely to have long term relationships when the commitment of marriage is involved over the act of just moving in together.  Regardless of your opinion concerning morals the hard facts show cohabitation does not prove to be helpful in maintaining stable relationships.  But what about those that use cohabitation as a stepping stone, a pre-cursor to the marriage, just a testing of the waters?  Statistics also show that cohabitation before marriage increases the likelihood of divorce and increases the incidents of physical abuse and depression.  Whereas those same factors all decrease when marriage comes before cohabitation.  We will approach other areas of this topic in future posts.  We look forward to your feedback.   Click below to view a great testimony from a couple that was cohabitating.



  1. Thank you for sharing/creating this. If it’s ok, I look forward to using this video to show to couples coming in to our Crisis pregnancy center. What a great tool!

    • Shara,

      Thanks for your feedback. How did you find us? We just posted this article a couple hours ago. You are welcome to use the video for your couples.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the pictures. We will check into the issue.

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