Couples who move in together before marriage no longer have disproportionally higher divorce rates
As societal norms have evolved, one taboo that has broken its way into everyday life is the couple who lives together before marriage. Over the past 50 years, the percentage of couples that share keys to the mailbox has mirrored the timeframe, jumping fifty points, from 10 percent to 60. And as the "couples living in sin" refrain has died down, so has the rate at which these marriages dissolve.
The numbers are the result of a recent 22,000-person survey conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. In it, they interviewed men and women between 15 and 44, 40 percent of whom were married. Their major finding is that married couples who lived together after engagement had an equal chance to make it to their 15-year anniversary as those who waited to exchange their vows until living together. That's not to say that every couple living together was in a perfect situation for everlasting love, however.
The key was the introduction of the engagement. For those couples that lived a prolonged time together pre-marriage without being engaged, the rate of successful marriages suffered a decline. For both men and women, having wedding bells on the brain from the moment you sign the lease gave you a 60% shot of making it to year 15.
For a lovelorn couple who want to split the rent because of risky economic times, but then become engaged later, their win rate to a decade-and-a-half drops down to 53 percent. It's seven points lower, but that's still better than the main factoid the CDC came up with from its study: Nearly half of marriages end in divorce within twenty years. Two more interesting tidbits were that couples with bachelor's degrees are more likely to delay their marriages, but also more likely to make it to their 20-year anniversary, and the number of single women living with a male partner almost quadrupled since 1983, from 3 to 11 percent.