Whether the Cohabitation Is Better Than Marriage

The subject of human associations has been identified as one of the most complex issues inhuman lives. Opinions on marriage love affection sexual relationships and cohabitation tend to vary from person to person the resulting to an absence of a particular point of view. However Lundberg, Pollak and Stearns have stated that in recent times one of the most critical areas of concern lines on aspect related to cohabitation prior to getting involved into marital association. The following paper will argue on the benefits women above 25 years of age tend to attain while being engaged into marital associations rather than involving in cohabitation.


In recent times the institution of marriage has been free from diverse range of values principles customs ceremonies along with additional expenditures of previous times. Kuperberg has identified two important views in modern American society which states that marriage has been distinguished as a secret agreement and where marriage is should convey joy and happiness to the individuals who get involved into it. Lichter, Sassler and Turner have stated that the concept of marriage as a secret agreement has been an essential part of Christian religious traditions whereby the notion of the right to happiness in marriage has been identified as one expression of current emphasis on individualistic satisfaction.


A living relationship has been identified as an arrangement to bear heterosexual couple habitats together without engaging into any official association called marriage. Such relationship is commonly known as cohabitation which does not necessarily involve sexual relations. Reports of Mourifié and Siow have revealed that individuals typically show greater amount of inclination towards cohabitation in recent times in order to evaluate the compatibility level before entering into marital relationship. Reports of Kovačević have further revealed that the incidence of cohabitation has recently increased among women of age above 25 years since 2000. Approximately two-thirds of marriages currently have paved the way by cohabitation between 2010 and 2019, up from one-third of marriages in the late 1990s.

Shortcomings Related to Marriage Life

Sociological explanations for the continuing decline in marriage has involved the varying gender roles along with the impact of feminism in addition to female empowerment, financial factors related to the rising cost of living and the individualisation associated with postmodernism. Furthermore, related to the ideas of Anthony Giddens, Nuru and Wang have argued that radical decline in marriage has been due to loss of independence and growing insecurity and uncertainty within the relationship. Studies of Ulrich Beck have argued that lesser percentage of individuals have been inclined towards marital associations due to the increase in ‘risk consciousness’ whereby individuals perceive that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce and are less keen to take the risk and tie the knot. Moreover, drawing relevance to Gidden’s ideas on individualism, newly developed social norms rely greatly on individual desires and commitments rather than engaged to social commitments.

Disadvantages of Cohabitation

The increased cohabitation rates in developing societies have suggested that cohabitation tend to act critical as an alternative and prelude to marriage. However, cohabitation being a prelude to marriage has been significantly delaying the actual timing of marriage as well as remarriage. According to National Survey of Families and Households sample (NSFHS), researchers have found that cohabitation tends to cause impediment to the path of marriage by rising the age at which a person first marries especially for women aged 25 years or above. Furthermore, in 2010, around 47% of the populace aged 25 years or above had been involved in marital associations least once, however this percentage radically has declined to 34% with a 59% change by 2016. Moreover, Wood has stated that cohabiting women have been destitute economically with the lowest level of capital among household type in comparison to families headed by a single mother.

Marriage vs. Cohabitation

Being involved in an intimate partnership, either marriage or cohabitation tends to offer benefits which could directly act beneficial to the lives of young women sociologically and further influence their conditions. According to Lichter, Sassler and Turner, through social ties, partners primarily associate with each other to broader set of connections, further instilling a sense of kinship and responsibility within both the families. Additionally, “enforceable trust” linked to marriage has the propensity to persuade couples to put legitimate efforts on their relationships, particularly during traumatic phases. Meanwhile, marriage primarily leads to greater level of security and interests. Reports of Mourifié and Siow have revealed that developing nations like US, Europe, Australia and Canada have revealed dimensions of marital security that commonly fails to be applicable for cohabitation purposes such as emotional support; financial stability; security for their children in addition to the comfort of being isolated during old age. On the other hand, Lundberg, Pollak and Stearns have stated that a pattern of 'serial cohabitation' eventually develops into a severe obstruction, rather than a prelude to marriage. Authors have noted that if one or both members of a cohabited couple have previously lived with someone else and the couple has been planning to get involved in marital association, the relationship between previous cohabitation(s) and later divorce is especially strong. The experience of dissolve cohabiting relationships probably produces a greater willingness to suspend later relationships including marriages. Such individuals possess a comparatively low tolerance for discontent in cohabited relations thus prefers to leave such associations rather than learning to improve relations through differences.


Therefore, from the above discussion it can be stated that marriage acts beneficial to women of 25 years and above as cohabiters tend to attain declined level of security in their relationships. Furthermore, cohabiters in recent times have been showing lesser propensity likely than married couples to consider their sexual relationships as permanently exclusive. Additionally, cohabitation eliminates the motivation to construct an enduring relationship. Although individuals who marry do not necessarily experience events of being 'happily ever after,' yet women who show greater inclination towards marriage rather than engaging into cohabitation experience the greatest commencement for their children and the effective prospects for enduring contentment.


  • Guzzo, K. B. (2014). Trends in cohabitation outcomes: Compositional changes and engagement among never‐married young adults. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(4), 826-842.
  • Kovačević, B. K. I. (2017). Sociology of global risk society (Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck).
  • Kuperberg, A. (2014). Age at coresidence, premarital cohabitation, and marriage dissolution: 1985–2009. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(2), 352-369.
  • Lichter, D. T., Sassler, S., & Turner, R. N. (2014). Cohabitation, post-conception unions, and the rise in nonmarital fertility. Social science research, 47, 134-147.
  • Lundberg, S., Pollak, R. A., & Stearns, J. (2016). Family inequality: Diverging patterns in marriage, cohabitation, and childbearing. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30(2), 79-102.
  • Mourifié, I., & Siow, A. (2014). Cohabitation versus marriage: Marriage matching with peer effects. University of Toronto mimeo.
  • Nuru, A. K., & Wang, T. R. (2014). “She was stomping on everything that we used to think of as a family”: Communication and turning points in cohabiting (step) families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(2), 145-163.
  • Wood, M. M. (2018). All in the family?. Journal 
07 July 2022
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