CBS News, whose ridiculously liberal bias has been long known ever since Bernard Goldberg's famous whistle-blower book (though I realize all outlets have some bias or another. . . "fair and balanced" ain't what it's cracked up to be!), is highlighting a study which tries to make a case that living together before getting married won't negatively impact your marriage. Newsbusters tackles the distortion.
Of course, what they mean by "won't negatively impact your marriage" is this: you won't get divorced.
Okay. . . let's just take that at face value (though other studies clearly dispute that finding!). Just because a couple does not get divorced does not mean that they have a happy marriage. A couple that has separated but is not technically divorced is not, I think by anyone's standards, experiencing a happy marriage. In fact, as Newsbusters reports, studies show that domestic abuse and child abuse are far more likely to take place in relationships where the couples had lived together before getting married.
In sum, the data indicates that living together will greatly harm your relationship.
Newsbusters cites psychologist Nancy Wartik, who in Psychology Today, explains:
"We move in together, we get comfortable, and pretty soon marriage starts to seem like the path of least resistance. Even if the relationship is only tolerable, the next stage starts to seem inevitable," she wrote. " Because we have different standards for living partners than for life partners, we may end up married to someone we never would have originally considered for the long haul."We could cite other studies but, suffice it to say, it's no big mystery why the odds are strongly against finding happiness through "shacking up". When there's no commitment, there's a fear of break-up, which causes couples to do their best to hide their weaknesses and bad habits. But once married, all those tendencies which were carefully avoided begin to rise to the surface and it quickly becomes apparent to the persons involved: "This is not the same person I thought he/she was."
So, do you want to destroy the relationship with the person you love? There's an easy way to do it. You can happily wreck your perfect relationship by moving in together before marriage.
Once again what do we find? Do it God's way, and you'll find happiness; go another way and, well, just read this MSNBC story from last year. It's an iron-clad law: if you want to be happy, follow the Lord's design; if you want to be sad, ignore it. In short, God knows how to make us happy better than we think we do. The world may suggest a "trial" marriage will help you find happiness--in reality, though, it's not. The wisdom of the world is folly.
Of course, this is inconvenient for some and so they will try to fool themselves into thinking that they will somehow be exceptions--they still know best. I believe St. Paul said it better than I ever could: "for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools" (Rom 1:21-22).