Monday, November 19, 2007

Cohabitation VS Marriage

Why letting Mr. Right see you in wife mode WITHOUT THE RING keeps you unadorned with diamonds.

So you live together, you share everything, you’re “practically married,” but you’re STILL NOT.

As this article states, here’s a list of his most prominent EXCUSES.

The top ten reasons why men are reluctant to commit to marriage, according to a new report from the National Marriage Project of Rutgers University:

1. They can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.

MY TAKE: Who wants to marry the guy who thinks this way anyway?!

2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.

MY TAKE: Sure, and they can enjoy reading a book at Barnes and Noble without actually buying it too, but a TRUE BOOK LOVER/AVID READER will spend the 25 bucks. A guy who LOVES you will go the distance if that’s what you want.

3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.

MY TAKE: “Financial Risks,” like buying an expensive car when they turn 50, or sending their less than stellar student off to an ivy league in hopes of them getting “in the spirit of studying?” Everything is a financial risk, even signing that lease with your “JUST GIRLFRIEND.”

4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.

MY TAKE: This is all well and good, after all they CAN wait. Bottom line though?! Women CAN’T. Our clocks don't tick into perpetuity, if she wants kids and you love her, give them to her before she turns 40.

5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.

MY TAKE: Wait, weren’t we just saying that cohabitation has all the “perks” of marriage without the paper statement? What exactly is going to CHANGE SO DRASTICALLY?!

6. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate, and she hasn't yet appeared.

MY TAKE: GET OUT NOW! IF he’s still looking, you should be too.

7. They face few social pressures to marry.

MY TAKE: If all their “boys” are single and 35, and they still refer to them as “boys” anyway, you might be waiting a REALLY LONG TIME for him to come around… if not FOREVER.

8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.

MY TAKE: Well then, they shouldn’t date her OR LIVE WITH HER EITHER.

9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.

MY TAKE: God forbid the wife have a say in where the house is, what the neighborhood is like, or what the school system has to offer.

10. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.

MY TAKE: Since when is “COHABITATION” synonymous with “BEING SINGLE” ?!!?! I mean… sure it may have been in MY LAST RELATIONSHIP but if anyone is using that has a “healthy” example, they might want to do a little more research.

What do you think?
Are men really not buying the cow because they can get the milk for free?


Anonymous said...

the "MY TAKES" are too BOLD. it makes it sound like you're bitterly shouting.

couldn't you have just used a different color to set them apart? maybe a pretty pink (cuz you're a girl and girls like pink, right? ;)

i think each of these items is just a symptom or artifact of the underlying problem: we are in the midst of a generation that wishes to entertain the LEAST amount of responsibility as possible.


a LOT of responsibility...

but it's not their fault. they were taught to be like this, indirectly, by society (of course).

i'm not going to further that argument, but it's something to think about...

Chrissie said...

MY TAKES were bitter shouts.

(And Blogger offers FREE BLOGS for everyone!!! So feel FREE to create your own and choose whatever fonts you wish)!!!

And by "this" you mean without responsibility?


But isn't owning a car and a house all on your own responsible?

If a man can make these decisions, and support himself and have a career, what is it about the responsibility of marriage that sends him running in the other direction?

Maybe it's not society so much, as biology.

Like This Book Says

Chrissie said...

DISCLAIMER: (in all honesty, i've actually never read the above mentioned book, but i've wanted to read it... and then blog about it to spark debate, it may not actually have anything to do with this conversation whatsoever).

Sarah said...

Why he stalls:

He's waiting for you to change.

You aren't his ideal wife. Just someone filling a void.

He isn't ready. He needs to save $. He needs a different job. He needs to party. He needs his space. Etc.

There is something wrong w/ the relationship. Some issue that you need to work out. Or give up and break up.

He views marriage like many men who comment here do = as a trap.

(frankly, some of these scare the boogies out of me!)

Anonymous said...

Personally I believe this all goes back to the lack of traditional values of the current society. Women don't wait to sleep with men and they're too quick to do everything that a traditional wife would normally do without the title. I personally say keep some of yourself to yourself until the commitment has been made. Don't be so quick to wear an apron without the ring. Don't turn a cute girlfriend gesture like cooking, or doing the laundry into an everyday routine like a wife.

Sarah said...

I think that worked in the 60s, when 19-yr-old boys married 18-yr-old girls, right out of high school.

Today, people are waiting until they have careers, financial stability and years of dating before they get married.

If you are in one of these long-term dating-only relationships, it's only natural that you do ALL those things that were traditional WIFE tasks. After 3 years, you are going to spend the night, you are going to feel like you should help clean when you spend the night, you want to cook him dinner when he works late...

Times have changed. We can't go back to the 60s.

So what.

The cow gives up the milk for free. But the cow also has a job. has her own bank account. is fulfilling her own dreams.

is the cow really worse off?

JP said...

I agree with anon.
Why would a man want to get married when he can get whatever he wants with no commitment?

I wouldn't live with my boyfriend or sleep with him and let me tell you...he couldn't wait to get married!! (Not that we hurried into it tho!)

On our wedding day one of his aunts asked him "why would you want to get married so young?"

And I overheard him say "well, I love her and know that there is no one else for me so why should I wait?"
(And that made me feel wonderful by the way!)

And I think the reason was we are really traditional and we wouldn't live together until marriage-- if I would have given him everything what reason would he,or any other man, have to "tie the knot"?

Chrissie said...

Am I the only one who thinks it's ironic that half of the comments are blaming WOMEN for the fact that men won't commit?!


But what about WHAT SHE WANTS.

Maybe she wants to sleep over.
Maybe she wants to help around the house BECAUSE SHE LOVES HIM.

Why are his immature, irresponsible actions HER fault?

Maybe its time we held men to the same standards as women, instead of blaming one sex for the "ills of society."

Feminism wasn't just about "the cows getting jobs and their own bank accounts," it was also about LETTING THE COWS WEAR APRONS IF THEY WANTED TO.

Wow, I'm in a mood today.

The ONLY thing wrong with a woman playing this "role" is if she's doing it for naught, and eventually her man is going to leave her for someone else who "held out," or who "didn't fit the wife-y mold" so well.

We could blame the men for making women SETTLE FOR LESS THAN THEY DESERVE couldn't we?

Sarah said...

Hmmm... If you withhold sex from your relationship, your man will want to marry you sooner. If you withhold doing wife things, he will want to marry you so that his house gets clean.

If you don't withhold sex or stop doing wifey things, he will want to marry you when he wants to marry you.

Hmmm... I think I would rather have a husband who married me for me, than one who married me to have frequent orgasms and a sparkling toilet bowl.

Anonymous said...

chrissie, i wouldn't really compare the responsibility of marriage with the responsibility of owning a car or even a house. these are material possessions, bought and sold with ease, and have little to do with the major psychological responsibility that comes with marriage.

i think each one of those top-10 reasons can be linked back to responsibility, or the desire for the lack thereof.

and i think it's a lot more complicated than the whole "why buy the cow" thing. that whole notion is a bit demeaning to women, in my opinion (chrissie sort of pointed that out too).

and if THAT is the reason why the guy got married, you can expect a divorce in the near future.

Sarah said...

if I would have given him everything what reason would he,or any other man, have to "tie the knot"?

Oh I don't know. maybe out of respect. out of love. out of commitment.

Chrissie said...


I would never compare an actual WIFE to a car.

I was just pointing out that car payments are a commitment, as is a mortgage.

And as someone who finds commitment daunting, I struggled with the decision to buy a car, because although it's not a WIFE it is a responsibility I didn't previously have.

And the idea of owning my own home right now is also hard to fathom... because of all that responsibility it entails.

And although they are material possessions, I don't think they are "bought and sold with ease." <-- at least not for someone without the money to "mess up."

I'm not the type to compare people to things, I was just considering that these "men" in the article have obviously taken steps that mimic "responsibility" and even those that "mimic marriage," what concerns me is why they are so hesitant to stop "playing" house even though they own theirs.

Chrissie said...

and sarah i agree with you when it comes to the cow thing...

what self-respecting woman is going to withhold anything but namely, love and sex, from a man in order to connive him into marrying her?

shouldn't her motives be admiration, respect, and desire for him and a commitment to him?

instead of "if i wait, he'll want to marry me."

Sarah said...

Could one correctly state that withholding sex is a tactic just as intentionally getting pregnant is?

Chrissie said...

Oooh! I would say that!

Sarah said...

Wow, we really turned the tables around here at the odd couple! I'm liking it. No, I'm loving it.

Anonymous said...

Holding out and intentionally pregnant are two completely different things:
-Having a set of moral codes and values that one lives by
-Being borderline psychotic and bringing a child into your mess just to use as a pawn to hold onto a man that would leave you otherwise.

I think that comparison is a little far stretched.

The women that truly hold out, don't do so as a tactic or a ploy to 'get married sooner', it's a standard that they've set for themselves because they feel it's the right thing to do, and that's what they choose to do with their life. Not that one way is correct where as the other is wrong, it's just a different way of thinking and living.

Chrissie said...

i don't think we were talking about the women who hold out for themselves...

we're talking about the women who hold out for the purpose of making him wait because they think that's the way to snag him.

it's entirely different than waiting until SHE feels right about it.

Sarah said...

My thoughts exactly, Chrissie.

darcie said...

In all of these studies about cohabitation, everyone seems to focus on the negative effects. Only 50% actually end up getting married and the other 50% breakup.

I am one to believe in destiny. There is that one right person for everyone. So I think that the studies should go deeper. That 50% that broke up... are they married now? To someone different? Are they happy?

Cohabitation can be a good thing. So what if 50% didn't make it to marriage... that same 50% most likely would have ended up in divorce.

And as far as the whole "cow" thing with men... i think that if you are living with a man who loves you then he will marry you. If not, then move out. If he still does not want to marry you, then move on because any man that truely loves you will for sure marry you if thats what makes you happy.