Those who live together often face parental disapproval.
It is difficult to keep the secret quiet. Lies have to be told over and over again to cover up the truth. There are issues of monetary support from parents, what to do with the partner’s possessions when they visit, and guilt about going against their wishes and lying to them(Jackson 1996). The fear of loss of parental support is substantial (Johnson 1996).
Those who live together hurt their children.
Penn State sociologists Wendy Maning and Daniel Lichter estimate that 2.2 million children in America live with one parent and an unmarried partner (Stalcup 1996). Children need mixed messages and view their parents as having a double standard. For example, the cohabiting parents have great difficulty establishing moral guidelines for their children, especially when they reach the dating age.
Those who live together before marriage often lack a common purpose.
Many couples drift together. They date, have sex, sleep together, spend a weekend together, eventually begin to bring clothes, toothbrush, etc. for the convenience and one day look up and realize they have migrated into a shared living arrangement. The lack of common purpose is a problem then, Johnson (1996) says, because now they are deep into the relationship and haven’t begun to talk about the important things, like “are we going to work it out? What is going to be our future? What is going to be down the road?” They have not thought about “being obligated to the other person.” “They don’t want to be committed. They want it where they can get out pretty easy if they want to. Easy to walk out the door.” Realistically, marriage carries with it a lot more expectations — a house, a car, all the matching silverware, and the couch. Cohabitation is a way of getting out of all those expectations
Those who live together before marriage do not have an egalitarian relationship.
Even though most young people claim to want an egalitarian marriage, studies have found that invariably living arrangements for cohabitants follow the more traditional role format. According to Johnson (1996), men tend to go to school, go play, come home and they want their meals cooked, the house clean, their clothes ready to go. Women find themselves on the short end of the stick performing all those very roles that are contrary to egalitarian marriage.
Those who live together before marriage do not have specialization of responsibilities.
The evidence clearly shows that “living together” is qualitatively different from marriage. The commitment of marriage makes specialization in chores and responsibilities sensible; spouses count on their partners to fill in for them where they are weak. By contrast, cohabitation is unstable, easy to get out of, and makes specialization less rational.
Those who live together before marriage have less support and benefits.
Marriage is far superior to cohabitation at connecting people to others – work acquaintances, in-laws – who are a source of support and benefits. It links people to a world larger than themselves.