The Sunday News
WHEN you move in to cohabit with your partner, two things are likely to happen.
That is either you benefit or you get used.
It is sad that many have been left heartbroken after cohabiting and surprisingly, disappointments happen after a number of years.
I have read some stories from the press where a “couple”, after having spent some years or decades together wakes up one day to one party reminding the other party that the other is not her husband or his wife, but a mere live-in girlfriend or boyfriend.
It is painful truth, but considering having wasted your time and money it makes no sense at all. After all these years, it’s over and you walk out of the relationship empty handed.
It is so heartbreaking and many people fail to handle the pain!
Of course I know some people believe that cohabiting with your partner is good because you get to know him/ her well before tying the knot.
They argue that they will be avoiding surprises after marriage as they get to know their strengths and weaknesses.
We cannot completely dismiss their reasons, but truth be told if you decide to cohabit it should not take you ages to do the right thing and formalise your marriage. It does not take you a decade to know your person.
We have seen some people being used or vice-versa.
There are men who moved to stay at their lovers’ places and during those years spent together, they bought property and even extended the houses.
The other party after some years decided to show them the exit and even told them that they never asked for their help. It is one thing which is hard to get over and heartbreaking. You would have been used!
On the other hand, some women are also used and dumped after cohabiting with the hope of tying the knot.
Even if you were doing your duties very well and managing progress in your lives, someone wakes up one day telling you that he no longer loves you and has found someone better.
He reminds you that for the past 10 years you have been together you were a mere girlfriend, not his wife even if you have children together.
Seriously, living with a man without properly getting married is a wrong move. I know even if you formalised it, bad things can happen as well, but at least you would not feel bad or used as much as the person who was cohabiting.
The other truth is that with the kind of young men we have these days, they won’t even bother marrying you anymore if you start living with them.
Why buy the cow when they can get the milk for free? Most of them quickly get fed up so if the relationship was not formalised, it becomes easy for them to move on without even giving it a second thought.
Many women see living with their partners as the next step towards getting married.
They see it as a sign of how committed their significant other is to the relationship but it might end badly for them when these men abandon them and marry someone else.
In many cases, some couples end up getting too comfortable with the living arrangement, and don’t see the point of getting married.
Cohabiting couples tend to have a more lax attitude toward commitment and don’t work as hard to stay together.
When their relationship goes through a rough spot as all relationships do, it will be too easy to just walk away.
The legal and public commitment of marriage motivates couples to work through conflict, strengthen the relationship and stay together. It feels like they already are because of the living arrangement and in the long run, the woman loses.
There are no guarantees that living together before marriage will ensure a successful relationship. We have even seen some people who jump from cohabiting with one person to another and this is nothing less than prostitution.
No one should ever fall into the trap of believing that moving in to stay with someone who does not show any signs of seriousness will improve things.
Infact it puts you in a tight corner and you are likely to be used and by the time you realise that it will be very painful and heartbreaking.
Treating cohabitation as marriage “insurance” is a very unstable foundation, one built partially on fear and partially on selfishness.
It’s basically saying that, if you meet all my needs and serve me well, then I will marry you.
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