Living Together as Stall Technique
Here’s an interesting check on received wisdom:
It seems to many like the sensible thing to do: Move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, spend more time together, save money by splitting the rent and see if you can share a bathroom every morning without wanting to kill each other. …
[Scott] Stanley, a University of Denver psychologist, has spent the past 15 years trying to figure out why premarital cohabitation is associated with lower levels of satisfaction in marriage and a greater potential for divorce.
Not surprisingly (now that somebody else has researched it), many of those who transition into marriage from cohabitation approach each step as the the least possible commitment at the time, so by the time they find a catalyst for release from the escalating promise that they didn’t want to make, they find it must be done via divorce.
Extrapolating the findings a bit, it seems likely that erosion of the profundity that the culture attributes to marriage has been increasing the likelihood that people see the change in category as little more than a step in a spectrum — certainly not a fundamental change in one’s state of being. The ease of divorce facilitates this impression by removing a trigger for deep consideration and discussion.