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Many people generally think that living together before getting married helps you to know each other better and to have a more clear understanding of who you are marrying. It is a common belief that by knowing what you are getting into, you are better prepared for marriage and have a better change at a long and lasting relationship. Surprisingly enough, recent research does not support this common thought.

Cohabitation does not reduce the likelihood of divorce; in fact it leads to higher divorce rates. Virtually all research on the topic has determined that the chances of divorce ending a marriage preceded by cohabitation are significantly greater than for a marriage not preceded by cohabitation.

For more about the research that shows that cohabitating increases the likelihood of divorce, see

MSNBC reports that couples aren't cohabitating as a trial marriage; they are doing it to have more time together. For more information, see

Research shows that one of the biggest problems with cohabitating might be more of a mind set. People start to see commitment in a different light. People who have cohabitated more than once have commitment problems and have a much harder time being able to create and keep a long-term relationship. There is a shift in thinking and sometimes couples create a cohabitating ethic, a way of thinking that is less committed.

The bottom line is that whether you cohabitate before marriage or not, it is important to both be committed to each other and to learn the skills you need to have a successful and enduring relationship.

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CLICK HERE to hear more information and research about cohabitation. (Depending on the speed of your internet connection, this could take a few minutes to download the audio.)

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