Social Question

Facade's avatar

People who cohabited, and then married: Did/do you feel a difference?

Asked by Facade (22881points) February 22nd, 2011

…Or was it the same?

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21 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

I won’t be able to give my personal experience for a little while, but my older brother has told me that being married was basically just a formalization of their relationship. All it did was make it official.

Jude's avatar

GQ. In about a year, my SO are I plan on moving in together. Eventually, we’d like to get married.

I wonder how it will be.

tranquilsea's avatar

I lived with my husband for about six months before we got married. Getting married just made it official and stopped his mother’s constant frowns of disapproval.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Done the first, never got to the second. Her choice.

dreamer31's avatar

No difference he just thought…..now I have papers that says she has to pick up my socks and wash my dishes. ;)

Judi's avatar

It was the same until the rocky times hit. A few times, in the first year or so, when we would disagree, my husband would say, “Maybe we should get a divorce.”
After about the third time I said, “I refuse to live with that threat. Either we are inthis for the long haul and dedicated to working through things, or leave now, because I will not spend my life in fear that I will say the wrong thing and you’ll divorce me,”
Since then, (20+ years later) the “D” word has been off the table.
Any time before we were married I would have been the first to run if the relationship had any tension. My first husband was bi-polar and I was ready for a “no drama” relationship.
The security of knowing that we are both in it for the long haul has helped our relationship grow and stretch into something better than either of us had ever imagined.
That, and a commitment to kindness are keys to a successful marriage.

marinelife's avatar

It is almost the same, except for a difference in perspective. The bond is more formal and longer-lasting when you are married.

sakura's avatar

We lived together then had a child and lived like that for 6 years happily not really fussed on getting married (just stayed engaged) and one day my hubby came home from a weekend away with the TA and said do you want to get married? I said yes I suppose so and he said good coz I’ve booked the church! That was it the following year we were married!

It changed a few things in the sense that for me our commitment was formailized in God’s eyes and it was a super day shared by all of our friends and family. It didn’t make too much difference in the day to day running of our lives though!

kess's avatar

Since marriage is actually begins with an understanding of the commitment.. we have many who are considered married who actually are not while many who are not married in the classical sense , who are actually married in reality.

remember marriage begins with the understand of the individuals and not the pen of a magistrate nor the proclaimation of the clergy…

crisw's avatar

We lived together for 14 years before we got married. Our tenth anniversary is this year. The only real difference was in contractual/financial obligations. That, and he gives me guff for keeping my last name :>D

Aster's avatar

I sure felt a lot of difference. My mindset, like my daughter’s was, “if you think I“m going to cook for you, pick up your socks, run errands and wash your clothes as a girlfriend, you can forget it.” Since our wedding I have what many “modern women” regard as meaningless: I do all that stuff but I have certain legal rights. His things are mine and vice versa. We have the same last name which, according to a co-habiting friend of mine, prevents embarrassing situations. And, I feel married. Beforehand, I didn’t feel at all married. It was unacceptable to be doing all that stuff even though he was doing things for me and for us and paying all the bills. I don’t think it’s “old fashioned.” I think it’s smart. this isn’t rocket science.

meiosis's avatar

No difference at the time, automatic parental responsibility when we had a child, a world of hassle for the divorce. Still worth it, though but.

wundayatta's avatar

I never expected to be married. I had three cohabiting relationships that ended. The fourth one became a marriage after a year or two.

I loved the first three. I loved the first one most of all and when she broke my heart, I couldn’t get the pieces back together for several years. I never mingled finances with those three.

I don’t know what happened, but a week or two after I met my wife, I knew she would be my wife. It just thought to myself that people change. I was a people.

Eventually, she realized she wanted to marry me, too. We were living together by then. Soon after we married, we commingled finances and started thinking about children. I never did either of those things with my previous three cohabitations.

For me, it was an issue of certainty. I knew I would always love this woman. We’ve had some serious difficulties in our relationship, but the love never went away.

It is different. At least for me. It was kind of more so. More serious. More committed.

I had always thought you didn’t need anyone’s piece of paper in order to have that level of commitment and seriousness. I still don’t think you need it, but in my case it changed things. Maybe it would change things for others, too. Or maybe others don’t need any formal ceremony in order to feel like they are serious.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Same. It’s not the legality that can change a marriage but it could be the kids (whether you’re married or not).

joannamc's avatar

I have been married twice and divorced twice… but I shall get married a third time! Both husbands were long term relationships and I lived with both before we married (different times!). It did make a difference to me but more so to my second husband. He expected me to suddenly change into his Mum.

We lived together for six years before we married – six months later we separated. But, I do think that if you do not stay together when you are married then you certainly would not have done so if you were cohabiting. I would rather be married. I wonder if my partner will read this!

downtide's avatar

I lived with my partner for 18 months before we actually got married. It didn’t feel any different but it kept my Catholic in-laws happy.

Ladymia69's avatar

My SO and I have not grown up with good examples of traditional marriage, and so we decided to marry ourselves in our own sight in 2000. We’ve always lived together,.Never had a lawful marriage or a ceremony with people, but we may have to just to get the rights to certain legal situations in the future.

chyna's avatar

I lived with my ex-husband, then married him. I honestly could not tell any difference at all.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It was different. We lived together as roomies, then as bf & gf, then 1½ years engaged before marrying. Each step felt different and the way people treated us was different. We really liked being “married”.

casheroo's avatar

I think it changed things on a different level. But not the whole living together aspect.
I lived with my husband for about 16 months then we had our first child, got married when he was 13 months old.
Legally, the benefits rock. Our tax refund is amazing. It also just feels different. Like, when you fight you can’t just leave. You can’t. Maybe that’s the kid aspect, but I do think being married makes you fight harder when things get rough.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Yes, I definitely felt a difference. When cohabiting, either partner can up and leave with fairly minimal effort. Not so with marriage. The willingness to make that commitment in full knowledge of what it entails—and to formalize it, rather than merely verbalize it—makes a difference. It is an offer of proof that comes with serious consequences, an added layer of commitment.

I am not trying to denigrate those who choose to forgo marriage and I do not find such relationships to be in any way inferior. But they do seem different to me, regardless of how appropriate they may be for those in them. Then again, it is quite impossible for me to feel anyone else’s relationships “from the inside.”

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