More couples who become parents are living together but not marrying, data show


[LEFT]No longer taboo, living together has become a more common arrangement for U.S. couples who become pregnant while dating.

Soon-to-be-released government figures show a major cultural shift since the days of “shotgun weddings” aimed at avoiding family embarrassment. With marriage on the decline, the shift is helping redefine the traditional notion of family.

“The emergence of cohabitation as an acceptable context for childbearing has changed the family-formation landscape,” said Christina Gibson-Davis, a sociology professor at Duke University. “Individuals still value the idea of a two-parent family but no longer consider it necessary for the parents to be married.”

Still, she cautions that children in cohabiting households may face more difficulties growing up if their unmarried parents are at higher risk of breaking up.[/LEFT]



This is not the research I was talking about here:

but a very similar conclusion. It does sound positive to say that “shotgun weddings” are decreasing, but it isn’t any better if the cohabitating couples don’t stay together in a stable relationship.

I’m sure there were plenty of shotgun weddings that ended in very unhappy marriages, but it was more likely that a sexually active couple in the past actually liked each other and would be willing to work on their marriage.

Now any random “hook-up” might end in pregnancy, and while most of those babies are unfortunately aborted, some will also end up as the pawn that one parent uses to keepthe other parent around, and others will just be neglected while their parents focus on themselves. I suspect the percentage of truly contented children in unmarried households is much lower than in married households.


They may be living together temporarily, but how many are still together as the child grows up? The percentage among the “living together” would likely be very low. The percentage of those in Christian marriage practicing their faith would be high. A man who has no commitment to the mother of his children is unlikely to be the best father.


I have heard it said more than once that by not getting married, the parents are just eliminating that step since most get divorced anyway.:frowning:


Instead of one mortal sin when they have sex, they are living in constant sin. How can they be forgiven in the sacrament of Penance? :shrug:
They are supposed to change their sinful ways.


No surprises here!

I’ve heard from a couple of women who have lived with their man for 9-15 years and no commitment.

Ladies, why do you put up with this? :confused:


I think a lot of people do that to keep their options open, but I do know of people where economically, they feel they would be worse off, which tells me that somehow, the government is subsidizing the single life even if inadvertently.


Current tax law and the way Obamacare subsidizes insurance encourages this. I have had numerous clients calling me about getting divorced so they can get subsidized insurance and an the Earned Income Credit


Nothing new. This is also extremely common in Europe where the vast majority of women are either cohabiting or are single by choice when they become pregnant. Nothing new that marriage rate is declining. I still don’t get how people think that marriage is not under a crisis.


You mean the** non-Muslim** women, right :smiley:


Well I should clarify that I am thinking mostly of Scandinavian countries. Don’t think there are too many Muslims in Scandinavia. I remember specifically reading about Sweden where atheist is at a huge percentage that the women who do get married do it by the time of the third child. It is extremely odd to find a woman married with one child.


Well, if someone doesn’t approach the sacrament with a contrite heart they can’t truly be healed, can they?

If you constantly fornicate with a woman, but take steps to marry her because of your desire to please the Lord, you, in your weakness are at least taking steps to eliminate this sin from your life. St. Paul pretty much said that if you can’t control yourself, then get married.

If you fornicate with a woman, but never plan to marry her, then you have no desire to please the Lord, and have no desire to seek forgiveness.



If I could have, I would’ve just gotten married in the church and not done any civil paperwork. The taxes work out better now for us if we weren’t hitched.

And as long as my marriage is done in the RCC I don’t really care what the USG thinks.

Basically, the USG is now subsidizing not getting married. Can’t be surprised when they get it. You can see it in the whole Obama “we should tax people making more than $200k or $250k if they’re married” thing. To be really equal it should be $200k single, $400k married.


Sadly even if we still claim that we’re a nation of Christians, a staggering percentage are non-practicing. :frowning:


There’s always been financial incentives interfering with our religious and God given concepts of marriage, that is nothing new. Unfortunately it’s cumulatively devalued the institution of marriage, in the eyes of the world.


Considering the low percentage of Catholics in the US, and then how many of them are actually fully practicing, I assume that the thought of penance is not worrying too many people.

In the upper income brackets, most of the non-marrieds with children are probably not religious in any way and see it more as the Northern Eurpoeans so - as a bit of a hassle for no reason.

In the lower income brackets, there are also plenty of non-religious people and it is more financially advantageous to stay unmarried.

  • People who lived together before marriage have a higher rate of divorce than those who did not live together.
  • People who lived together before marriage report that it is more likely they will divorce than people who did not live together.
  • People who lived together before marriage have more negative communication in their marriages than those who did not live together.
  • People who lived together before marriage have lower levels of marital satisfaction than those who did not live together.
  • Infidelity during marriage is more common among people who lived together prior to marriage than those who did not.
  • Physical aggression is more common among married individuals who lived together before marriage than those who did not.

There are always exceptions to any research findings, but there are many studies documenting these important differences.2]


That’s true, but it’s a relatively recent occurrence that government policies now actively promote non-marriage over marriage.


We might argue the magnitude, but we’ve always had policies which promote non-marriage to some extent. Perhaps most glaringly is with estate and financial planning. Worse is that I’ve had workers honestly contemplate divorce while on their death bed, as it would leave their spouse better off. That’s a horrendous worldly decision to face.


I overheard a couple of baristas at my favorite stop and one told the other that her sister and her boyfriend were trying to have a baby. Not fiancé, boyfriend. So, in this case it appears deliberate by both parties to have a baby and not be married.

This is slightly off topic but I know another young woman who has bought a house with her boyfriend. No babies yet, but I want to ask why they are making a commitment to a house together but not to each other. :confused:

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