Jenn Giroux writes:
Did you ever notice that there is a different tone and feel to a wedding and the celebration that follows when a couple has been living together prior to taking their vows?
Something is missing. Oh, it’s not the guests, the music, the cake, or the decorations. There is always plenty of that to go around. But something is lacking.
I will go so far as to say that there is a special look that is absent in the way a co-habitating bride and groom even look at each other. There is no anticipation and no excitement of a new ‘beginning.’
Cohabitation makes a mockery of a sacred vow and sacrament, and leaves the bride and groom without that tangible sense of the life-long vocation and commitment that they are entering into.
Even more importantly:
It is, in fact, a myth that cohabitation is a good way to determine compatibility. Switching over to a full commitment after finally taking marriage vows can be difficult if not impossible after a couple lives together first.
The US Bureau of Census (2000) tells us that 60-75% of first marriages are now preceded by cohabitation. A Canadian Study (Wu, 2000) found that prior cohabitation doubles the chances that a marriage would end in divorce. This may explain the utter chaos we see today within society and the Church.
Living together before marriage has a profound, long term effect upon a couple’s relationship and marriage. Years of study and actual statistics from both secular and religious sources have confirmed that the list of negatives include: decreased premarital satisfaction, decreased sexual satisfaction after marriage, a heightened acceptance of divorce, increase in the likelihood that there will be sexual infidelity, an increase in violence in the relationship, and an added adverse effect on the couple’s desire to have many children.
Christians should be countering the self-serving secular myths about premarital cohabitation and pointing out its adverse implications for society, not blessing it with sexist nonsense about cows and milk like the idiotic Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.