Category Archives: Married Life

Should You Move In With Your Significant Other Before Marriage?

Before purchasing anything of value these days, Americans as consumers want to take it for a spin so to speak. There have been several schools of thought as to whether or not living together before marriage leads to a happier marriage. Traditionally living together before marriage would be considered sinful, but this day in age it makes sense, if not for any other reason than financially. At the end of the day the money spent on marriage and divorce is not negligible.

The number of couples sharing a residence before marriage today have more than quadrupled since the 1970s. One would think that this has led to lower divorce rates. After all, you have lived together so there should be no surprises, right?

Surprisingly though, research has found the couples who have cohabited and then married later are more likely to have either contemplated divorce or divorced. It has been found that couples that have cohabited have poorer communication and problem solving skills than those who cohabited after an engagement and even more so than those that have cohabited after marriage.

Researchers say that many couples who cohabitate find themselves in a sticky situation. The longer you cohabitate the more likely you are to have shared items and expenses. For this reason couples find themselves marrying for the wrong reasons. Who wants to fight over custody of the Labrador anyways?

Regardless of what you personally decide to do in your relationship, it is wise to evaluate why it is that you want to get married. The truth of the matter is that today people are getting married for all the wrong reasons and that is the true cause for divorce regardless of living conditions. In the event that you are looking to move in with your significant other though, consider the services of Hadley and Ottaway Woodbridge.

Bring Back the Early Relationship Feeling!

Whether you’re in a long term committed relationship or you’ve recently, or not so recently, become married to the person you wish to spend the rest of your life with, that early relationship high that you get when you first get together is not always so easy to keep going down the months and years after that early stage buzz. We spoke with someone who is loved up still and got his favourite tips for either keeping that passion high or reigniting the flame.

Have Time Only for Yourselves

Whether it is one/two/four evenings a week or a whole weekend – of course the choice is yours – lock your front door, turn off your mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets then disconnect the house phone to leave yourselves cut off from the world. Once cut off from friends, family and all outside influences then you both have all evening/weekend to yourselves to spend time talking, doing things you both enjoy and ensuring that you stay connected with each other.

Do Things you Both Enjoy

Clearly you both have some things in common with each other or you would never have connected and/or stayed together in the early days of your relationship, so it is important to ensure that these things in common are not neglected later on in your relationship or it is possible that you will drift apart. So whether it is a love of Italian food, watching foreign language and subtitled movies in the cinema, visiting museums or even that you both like to play online bingo together make time each week to do something that you are both passionate about to keep yourselves connected. I met my husband through Butlersbingo.com in one of their chat rooms! Internet dating at its best!

Go Places and See Things

Travel! See the world and document your travels as this will always give you fond memories to look back upon during your relationship together. Go to places that you both want to visit together as well places that one or another wishes to see and see the big touristy sites as well as heading off the beaten track to give yourselves a once in a lifetime adventure that you can look fondly upon in the future. We have only one life, so no matter the cost make it count by doing everything you want with each other.

Eat Together

Similar to the first entry on this list, one way to ensure that you stay close is to turn off your TV, radio or internet connected device – yes, including your phones – and sit down at the table to eat together. Devoid of distractions, you can discuss the topics of the day, about work, friends and family amongst others, while you eat and spent quality time together. Eating separately or engaged in watching television or on your phone throughout your meal can lead to people drifting apart in relationships.

Talk and Listen

When one or the other person has an issue in a relationship, whether it be with your partner, with work, with other people or financial issues, this person needs to be able to trust their partner to be able to talk about any problems and that their partner will listen, provide advice and not overreact. If this is the case then you’re sure to be onto a winner with your relationship that will go the distance.

What are your best ways of keeping the early stage loved up-ness from a relationship going long term?

How a Weak Economy Can Affect a Marriage

wedding

Marriage is one of the oldest institutions of human civilization, and as such, it has spanned the globe and untold cultures for millennia. These days, in the United States, it can be easy to adopt a somewhat cynical stance regarding the institution of marriage, given that roughly half of all unions end in divorce, but data shows that spouses themselves aren’t necessarily solely to blame. Marriages are as susceptible to their context as the people within them, and one factor that seems to have an especially negative effect on a marriage is a weak economy.

For researchers from fields as diverse as health and human services, economics and sociology, the effect of a weak economy on marriages is downright discouraging. Studies conducted on marriage after the Great Recession of 2008 showed that almost 30 percent of American marriages were negatively affected, and while nearly as many claimed that the hardship of economically uncertain times had caused them to redouble their efforts within the marriage, other data supports the experience as a difficult one. From upticks in domestic violence to a deleterious effect on home ownership and birth rates, recessions can wreak havoc on a couple’s home life. Here is a closer examination of some of the primary ways a marriage can feel the pressure of an economic downturn.

Financial Security

The most obvious way a recession affects everyone — not just a married couple — is in the way it affects both real and perceived financial security. Even before someone loses a job or is threatened with an impending layoff, the stress created by the knowledge that you are living in a time where pink slips are abundant can create difficulties in your relationship. Stress increases irritability and anxiety and can lead to shorter tempers, sexual dysfunction and more. Once stress enters the picture and starts to do its work, the cycles and habit of bad relationships can last longer than the recession does. If you’re worried about the ways in which a weak economy might be creating stress in you and affecting your marriage in a negative way, find ways to take some financial pressure of yourself. See about refinancing your house, unload a car that still requires payments and get something you can buy outright, eat out less — wherever you can trim the fat, do. A marriage is much more important than losing out on temporary comforts or luxuries.

Home Ownership

During economic uncertainty, home ownership drops, and while it may seem like not buying a house wouldn’t have to spell disaster, it does point out trouble in marriage. For many people, marriage is a place where shared goals and the desire to meet those goals reinforce the success and meaning of the partnership. When couples are unable to work toward common goals like home ownership, their sense of partnership, rising to meet challenges together and basic belief in the other’s importance as a life partner is called into question. If a weak economy is keeping you from buying a house, don’t despair. Put money away when you can, and hope for things to look up. They probably will — even if it takes a while.

Birth Rates

Another way that marriages suffer during a weak economy is in the area of having children. Depressions and recessions bring about a noticeable drop in birth rates, and while that choice probably means a couple is trying to make a wise decision about the costs of raising a family, it can also undercut a couple’s goals of starting one, which can easily lead to dissatisfaction.

Domestic Violence

One of the most unfortunate ways that a weak economy affects a marriage is in the area of domestic violence. As unemployment rises, domestic violence rates rise as well, and the reasons are somewhat obvious. The stress caused by a lack of gainful employment leads to depression, substance abuse, days at home with few outlets and a handful of other woes that can afflict the unemployed on such a regular basis that it creates an environment rife with tension. Tense environments are much more likely to erupt into violence than calm ones. If your home life is experiencing an overwhelming amount of tension and strife, get help.

Marriage can be a stronghold in hard times, but only if the marriage itself is strong, and even then, some marriages won’t be able to overcome a difficult context. As the recent data from the recession of 2007 and 2008 shows, if your marriage isn’t on solid footing, a weak economy may be your undoing.

About the Author: Perry Billows is a contributing writer with a doctorate in human services. He works as a marriage counselor in an underserved community.