Counselor: Okay to Shack Up Before Marriage

A marriage counselor in New Mexico is recommending that young people live together before marriage. Here’s a story about it from the Albuquerque Journal.

Marriage counselor Marge Prefontaine acknowledges that couples who live together before marriage have a higher divorce rate than those who don’t, but she advocates it because it allows potential spouses to see how they are able to get along in a household setting. “By living together, a couple is able to test out what it would be like to be married to their partner— a sort of test for marriage without the responsibilities of trying to keep a marriage together,” she says. “Many times this stops possible marriages before they can start.”

She says couples shouldn’t live together until they’ve had some serious relationships, they each know themselves well, and they deeply understand each other.

“Marriage is not about finding a person with no faults,” Prefontaine says. Instead, she says, the idea is to find someone whose idiosyncrasies you can tolerate and with whom you will enjoy living.