Research confirm the Church's wisdom :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Research confirm the Church's wisdom

Maria Cunningham

Yet again, the wisdom of the Church is proven. This time, an unlikely source: new research reveals that couples who live together before getting married are more likely to get divorced than their counterparts who don't move in together until marriage (,2933,532600,00.html?test=latestnews). The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, shows that over 70 percent of U.S. couples are cohabiting before marrying.  Despite the great numbers of couples who believe they are adding value to their relationship by living together, the research shows that cohabitation is not a good idea because it could lead to “marriage for all the wrong reasons.”

"We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting," said lead researcher Galena Rhoades. 

However, it has the opposite effect:

“Those who moved in with a mate before engagement or marriage reported significantly lower quality marriages and a greater potential for split-ups than other couples.”

The Church has always discouraged couples from living together before marriage for the obvious reasons:  from a moral and theological point of view, it is a sin.  Beyond that, the Church has also  pointed out the psychological and emotional reasons against cohabitation, mainly the high rate of divorce among cohabitors.

"Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships," Rhoades said. "Perhaps if a person is feeling a need to test the relationship, he or she already knows some important information about how a relationship may go over time."

I welcome the secular research that affirms the Church’s long held position. Though it is sad that a study had to be done to confirm the truth, it gives us hope for the conversion of society, when Church teaching is upheld through solid, scientific research.

Topics: Culture , Current Events , Marriage , Relationships

Maria Cunningham lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband Chuck, and their ten children.   Maria provides a look into her life as a "mom-of-many" at her blog Home Sweet Heart.

View all articles by Maria Cunningham

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