Shacking, why do we do it?

Why do we Shack? I lived with my now husband for almost a year before we made our trip down the aisle. One of the main reason we moved in together were financial. We paid cash for our wedding and living in separate apartments, plus bills at two separate places was not going to help pay for our wedding, so we moved in together. A decision that neither of us would be willing to repeat. That time of living together was one of the most trying times in our relationship. We were engaged at the time but we were still two very separate individuals playing married without the spiritual commitment.

USA Today reports that according to the U.S. Census Bureau 6.4 million in 2007, now make up almost 10% of all opposite-sex U.S. unmarried couples. 8.6% of cohabiting couples were both black. The increase in numbers of people living together has not neccessarily correlated to an increased marriages. Why are couples living together for years yet refused to take the final step to marriage.

It would appear that if the 8.6 % of Black couples living together were to commit to marriage then it would significantly decrease the number of unmarried Black women. Women who truly want more from the person they are living with in the form of marriage and all the legal benefits should demand nothing less than marriage. (This does not count the women that prefer living together to marriage).

Another favorite saying of my husband's "A man is only going to do what you allow them to do." If marriage is what you desire demand it if the guy leaves then you dodge a bullet be thankful.

So what keeps shacking couples from marrying?


Reader Comments

Very interesting topic of discussion, Kristin.

My parents lived apart before they married and they have been together for 26 years. They have passed on to me that shacking up is unacceptable and living together happens after you marry.

Of course, over the years, my opinion of shacking up has changed. A part of me feels that if I love someone, I want that person to live with me. However, I also enjoy my independence - my place, my own money, my own car, etc.

People shacking up who aren't married figure there's no point in marriage. They figure that since they're living together, it's like a marriage. There's no need to buy a ring, have a wedding and a reception.

They share the living expenses and share the responsibilities of taking care of their children. It's like a marriage without the spiritual commitment.

Well, I am unmarried and will not move in with a guy without that committment. Why becuase my momma taught mebetta than that.

I worked wth a girl who lived with her babby daddy for like 10 years with two kids. If I brought up marriage she would get SO defensive.

She called me since I have moved to Dallas and was like 'girl me and so and so ain't together no more I'll have to call you later to give you the details.' I have not heard from her since.

a. She had always wanted to be married but was lying to herself because he wasn't trying to wife her.
b. She stayed because she wanted him in her life and I feel she feelt if she gave him an ultimatum, he would not choose her and his kids.

I may have to write about this myself, Jazzy.

@Ginn I think my mom has managed to keep it a secert from most of my family that me and my now husband lived together before we were married. It was one of those I'm grown I can do what I want to do type things. BUT momma knows best! I continue to be amazed at the wisdom of the women in my family and women that have been married for ten plus years. I have a friend married for 16 years this past January whenever I need advice I call her, and I love to her say "oh we have all ready been through that it will pass."

@Taula, Imma go with choice all of the above. We have got to demand that men in our lives do better by us. I am not a Beyonce fan but her "PUT A RING ON IT" is the ish.

I didn't do the shack thing with my first husband but I wish I had. I think marriage is a costly decision especially when it's time to resolve the matter.

If I had to do it again. I'm not sure if I would co-habitate or not but They say, " You don't know a person until you live with them "

Go .

I've thought about this a lot (and decided in the end that I am not going to shack up at any point.) I think it comes down to the same idea as the army's "you fight how you train". If you shack up, it makes it much harder to change your mindset when you are married. At that point, the only thing that has changed is the ceremony. That means that emotionally there is little break with the old bad things about shacking up -- the idea that it isn't permanent, that you can leave, that they can leave, etc.

If you get married, and then move in together, then there is an undeniable, emotional change. Everything is different, and you are committed to it, better or worse. I think that the change makes it easier to stay committed. (And I'm not trying to claim that everyone who shacks up won't stay committed or that anyone who doesn't will never leave, just that one way makes it easier to stick with it than the other.)

@ Ash, " You don't know a person until you live with them "

I have heard this before and to an extent I think it has merit. However, having lived with a person before marriage I don't recommend it, living together only complicates the situation.

@ Phelps, true on all accounts. You miss out on something important when you live together prior to marriage. The living together doesn't change your mindset.

I have a friend who says he lives with his girlfriends to see if they are compatible. Shouldn't you already know whether you are compatible or not? Why does it take take moving in to see that?

Living together before marriage just makes things harder when and if a couple gets married. Even though you are living together, you have separate, individual lives. It's hard to make that transition to married life when you are used to the previous situation.

Yeah, I know there are some benefits when two people can come together to share expenses, but is it worth it? Is it worth possibly ruining an otherwise good relationship?

I could be wrong, but for a lot of people, the commitment level just isn't there. They aren't sure that they want to get married. My thing is, if you aren't sure you want to marry this person, why would you live with him/her? People, especially women, expose themselves to a greater risk of domestic and child abuse when they decide on cohabitation....Sorry if I strayed a little off topic.

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