Many people believe that you shouldn’t see a therapist before getting engaged, but is that really the case? Or does moving in with your partner before engagement and marriage make you more likely to divorce?
During the segment, Carrie Sheffield, Founder and Anchor of Bold Global and Bold Blend argued that statistics support that people are more likely to get divorced if they live together prior to engagement and marriage. But is that true?
Carrie said, “if the divorce rate is higher than it used to be, then it would seem that, more people are living together, shouldn’t the divorce rate be lower? The answer is, it’s not, because I don’t think it’s actually working.“
I’m not sure what statistics Carrie was referring to, but there are many reasons why the divorce rate is high, not just one!
Sure, moving in together before engagement and marriage may be one of them; but when you look at more research, we can see that this has many different co-dependent factors including age of partners, length of relationship, as well as other familial and cultural influences.
Furthermore, what the research actually shows is that it’s not about moving in together before getting engaged, it’s about choosing a partner too early and at what age you choose that partner. [TheAtlantic.com]
The reason why people like me focus their careers on researching relationships and sexology is because relationships and sexuality can be a very grey area. While Carrie’s black and white approach may seem logical to some, reality is, nothing in relationships is black and white.
I’d even venture to argue that the people who believe relationships are black and white are the ones with the higher rates of divorce because they’re less likely to compromise.
Moving in together before getting engaged ought to be a test to your relationship. Personal boundaries of sharing space and time, managing finances, and losing private and personal time will all become daily struggles that require consistent compromise from both you and your partner.
This is where seeing a therapist as a couple can be a preventative method, rather than as a solution to existing problems, or both! Other research suggests that couples who choose to receive counseling before getting married have lower divorce rates than those who do not! [GuideDoc.com]
Every couple will have their own issues. In today’s world, social media also makes it very easy for us to believe that everyone in relationships around us are incredibly happy all of the time without any problems. That’s the deceiving part of social media; it may make things seem appealing, but it doesn’t show the whole picture.
We go into relationships with our own prior experiences and expectations and then have to manage them with the needs of our partners. It is not reasonable to expect everything to work perfectly! Seeking counseling can simply be a means of opening the lines of communication between you and your partner to avoid further conflict and iron out whatever problems you may have in the moment.
So, let’s just say…
It’s not moving in together prior to engagement that causes high divorce rates, it’s an amalgamation of your age, amount of time you’ve known your partner, been with your partner, expectations and experiences from your past relationships and familial upbringing, the decisions that we make as individuals and as a couple, when we make these decisions and how we seek guidance to support our areas of conflict that eventually lead to high divorce rates.
Not to mention, divorce is a lot more socially acceptable now than it used to be, so people are more likely to opt out of a relationship that needs too much work, rather than work through it!
Now, when you look at it like that, 51% divorce rate makes a bit more sense, doesn’t it?