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Living together before marriage no longer a sign of divorce

It was once commonly thought that living with your significant other before you got married significantly raised the chances of a divorce later on in life. But today, with nearly half of marriages ending in divorce within 20 years, the thought of living together might sound like a good thing. Luckily for Pennsylvania couples, a new study suggests that living together before you get married might not be a relevant indicator of the chances for a divorce later on in life. Or, at least, it hasn't indicated that the chances of divorce increase.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 22,000 men and women from 2006 to 2010 and found that couples who were engaged and living together before they were married were just as likely to remain married at least 15 years as those who hadn't first lived together.

In fact, about 60 percent of couples today are living together before marriage, as compared to 10 percent of couples in the late 1960s. This increase may be due to an increased level of education among couples, as well as changed views of marriage as an institution.

While it is uplifting to hear that marriage is working for some, there will always be the fact that marriage is not the solution for every couple. Many married couples simply are not meant to maintain a relationship with one another for the rest of their lives, and find their lives may improve if they divorce. Pennsylvania couples deserve to be happy and healthy in their relationships, whether that is in a marriage, cohabiting with another or by living apart after settling a divorce.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, "Cohabitation before marriage? It's no greater divorce risk.," March 22, 2012

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