Christian

Dysfunction of Cohabitation

This is a hot-button issue for me.  I will add more posts on this topic under the tag Cohabitation. While my wife and I have not had a perfect marriage – we’ve had an improving marriage. And joining a Bible believing church was the step in the right direction.

My Marriage

My wife and I have been married for almost 54 years.  We were both virgins before we were married.  Both of our parents were married for more than 60 years.  We were members of liberal churches for 12 years before joining a Bible believing church.  Our Christian faith is what has held us together.

I was employed for 40 years, with 5 different companies, with only a single week of being unemployed.   We have enjoyed the hobbies of camping, bicycling, and Square/Round Dancing.  Our two sons have good professional jobs.

We have had eight grandchildren.  Only four are still with us.  Our first granddaughter was stillborn.  Our second oldest grandson died from cancer.  And two sisters were going to be adopted – but custody was taken back by the county because the one had RAD (a juvenile form of schizophrenia).

Death or loss of a child is hard.  But life is a matter of adjustments.  Reliance on God is the best way to make those adjustments when you do not understand why adversity comes.  We do not hide or grieve over our (and our children’s) loses but look forward to meeting them in Heaven.  We had a picture of my granddaughter’s hands and feet and a medallion with my grandson’s ashes in it.

Really?

Per www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › marriage: The definition of the word marriage — or, more accurately, the understanding of what the institution of marriage properly consists of — continues to be highly controversial. This is not an issue to be resolved by dictionaries.

What I have observed.

I have known several live-in couples.  One couple has been together for more than twenty years.  But the rest are tumultuous relationships.  And many are deadbeat boyfriends.  There are often multiple children involved.  I have met guys with four and five baby mamas.

Relationships are often accompanied by insecurities in the relationship.  The parents are sometimes off limits for the man or the woman.  And relationships in general are distorted compared to those of a healthy marriage.  And while there are unhealthy marriages, statistically healthy life-long relationships are more easily achieved in a marriage then in cohabitation.

Getting To Really Know Each Other

Couples need to interact in situations similar to what they’ll face in marriage.  Marriage will necessitate getting along with both sets of in-laws.  Even if the couple is estranged from one or the other set of parents, there still needs to be an accommodation for instances where they’re forced to communicate with those same parents.

And after marriage they will find it helpful to participate in activities with parents, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends of the families.  These activities could involve work projects, vacations, funerals and weddings.

The couple should involve themselves in activities other than just dating.  Church attendance, mission trips, and outings with mutual friends would help the couple to experience each other outside of sex.  Hobbies and music styles need to be shared to see what satisfies both.

Doing all these things after cohabitating might become uncomfortable or not happen at all.  Then the couple could find themselves isolated and outside of familiar patterns they had grown up with.

Dating without sex and cohabitation precludes all of these game-breaker situations.  And before marriage the couple should consult with a marriage counselor – preferably  a Christian counselor.

Excellent resources for creating a healthy marriage relationship are:

https://www.heartbeatservices.org/loving-caring-heartbeat

https://getlasting.com/christian-marriage

I will be writing a series of posts about the scourge of cohabitatinon in our country. They will all use the tag “Cohabitation”. I feel this cultural shift in our population threatens marriage, the well-being of churches who don’t address it, and of course the children.

wayocross

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3 replies »

  1. THe irony is that if they would break up, one or both of them could be in another relationship soon after. I’ve seen it happen several times. Marriage is not a convienence, it is a commitment, a buy-in to a permanent relationship. And those who are truly commited experience a deeper commitment as time goes by.

  2. I wish that one of our kids would “get” this. It breaks my heart to see her make the decisions that she is with someone who won’t commit

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