getting married after living together for a long time.....

Sal - posted on 08/18/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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a friend of mine is getting married after living together for over 15 years...when i mentioned this at mothers group several people of handedly said the marriage would be over in 2years....my only personal experiehce was my brother who married afer 10+ years and divorced in 2....what experiences or opinions do you have about this??

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Lisa Lorraine - posted on 08/20/2012

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i have been with my boyfriend for 16 and a half years and no sign of a ring ......but i am happy should it matter that we are not married after all this time?

Krista - posted on 08/18/2011

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I see this happening sometimes as well. My theory is this: sometimes couples live together a long time, and then get married because their relationship is at a standstill, and they feel that marriage is the next logical step. Plus, after investing so many years in that relationship, people are often reluctant to say, "You know...I really don't think this is going to work," particularly if there is nothing glaringly wrong with the relationship, other than that it has run its course.

So they get engaged, and the excitement of planning the wedding and honeymoon sweeps them up, and actually gives them something to talk about with each other again.

But then the wedding's done, the honeymoon is over, and it's back to regular life, and they're wondering why they're not happier. The relationship limps along for a year or two, and then...game over.

Basically, they expected a wedding to magically fix their relationship, and then when they found out that it didn't, then it was only a matter of time.

Lady Heather - posted on 08/18/2011

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I suppose if you are getting married to fix a problem or because it's expected then this could be the case (and could also be the case with people marrying after a short time together). Otherwise I think it's pretty ridiculous. They might have split up anyways. It just wouldn't be divorce.

We were together 6 years before marrying and I don't give a rat's ass what the stats are. That was simply the right time for us. We wanted to establish careers and have the money to buy a house before we paid for a wedding. I don't see what is so crazy about that.

Barb - posted on 04/19/2012

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Marriage can end no matter how long you've lived together or how long you been married. It's not fair for people to judge and say they will be together for 2 years.I think some people just try as hard as they use to keep a marriage together or really work on things that's why I think people end up divorced. There is a lot of reasons and I don't think live together for a long time is one of them, but I haven't been married either. I have lived common law twice and will sooner then later get married after being together for over 2 years.

Lucy - posted on 08/19/2011

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I guess the success or longevity of the marriage depends on why they decided to get married after living together for ages. If it's because they've been saving for years for a big wedding, or they never got around to it because one partner worked away a lot or what ever then it's got as good a chance as any. But if they did it because they were in a rut, or to show their love for each other after a problem like an affair then I don't like their chances, myself.

This happened to my brother and his first wife. They had been living together for 12 years when they got married, then split up 5 months after the wedding. With his now wife, they were together for less than a year when they tied the knot and have been happily married for 3 years so far.

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Janice - posted on 04/20/2012

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I think for some couples when they are just living together, they are not as committed as they think they are. They get married not because they want to "prove" their commitment but just because its the next step. When they get married they see it as just a piece of paper and so when things get rough they don't think about how they committed to the marriage and their partner. They only think about how they are now unhappy.

I don't think getting married caused the break up but that instead the commitment level just isn't there.



My hubby and I began dating at 15 and we did live together 2 separate times before getting married at 22 (actually it was exactly 1 month before my 22nd B-day) but before we got married we actually discussed how we knew there would be tough times and that we were going to commit to working through those times. We have been married six and half years sand we have definitely already had to work through some times when we both were unhappy. We are always so happy when the rough patch is over to have each other.



I think sometimes that commitment is lacking. Some people mistake living together for a long time as a commitment but its not.



Of course many people are very committed to their relationship and just choose to not get married and that works just fine for them.



My cousin started dating a 24 year old man when she was 15. She had their 1st daughter at 16 and a 2nd 14 months later at age 18. She stayed with this man and also excepted his son from another relationship as her own. The family eventually got over the age thing and accepted this guy. Then they had a 3rd daughter and decided to get married. They were married this past September, they were 25 & 34. In January, he left her saying he had been unhappy for a while and he had been cheating. He is back now and they are trying to work things out but I think its mostly for the kids. My cousin kept saying "I didn't get married just to get divorced!" She has been trying to help him work through his supposed depression because she is committed to him and their marriage. Obviously though he is not committed. To him the marriage was just going with what everyone else thought was the next step. I am very sad for my cousin. She is young and beautiful and deserves a man who is fully committed.



Anyways I see why it often plays out like the women in the OP think it will.

Sal - posted on 04/19/2012

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Ok to add a little more to the story, my friend was 22 when they met and totally head over heels inlove, she had never even held hands with another man before but was living with this guy dreaming of weddings and babies with in a month of meeting, he was 34 divorced with a child and said he would never get married again as the catholic church wouldn't recognize it, tben all this time later he does. Another couple I know got married after 40 years together as she was ill and though her long term partner deserved to be called her loving husband at her funeral,
For my self my hubby and I decided to marry with in a Month of meeting, we were long distance but he had a temporary work transfers to my area for 3 months so we had a practice live in relationship ( we practiced so well I got pregnant) but we didn't actually live together in our own house until I was 8 1/2 months preg and marry until after our daughter was born, we will be 5 years next week, where as my sons father and I lived together for several years had a child but when push came to shove I just couldn't marry him, my son was very unplanned (very loved but unplanned ) and prolonged our relationship by about a year. If we had married because I was preg we would of divorced quiet quickly even though we had lived together for 4years

Johnny - posted on 04/19/2012

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Wow. Elfrieda, my husband and I didn't fit into either category nor do most of the people I know who lived together first, including almost all of my close family members and friends. The people I have known who are opposed to marriage have basically stayed unmarried, although now that gay marriage is legal, that has become less common. Here common-law relationships (you are common-law after living together 6 months) and marriage have virtually the same legal requirments so the piece of paper itself doesn't have a legal meaning. People choose to marry for the public and private commitment, it has become a much more personal choice.



Almost all of my friends and family have lived together before marrying. Even my grandmother lived with her second husband before they wed. My parents, aunts and uncles, my husband's extended family and all of my friends. Right now both my female cousins are living with their boyfriends. I have just one high school friend who didn't live with her husband before they married.



It is not about waiting for something better to come along, it is about making sure you are actually compatible in a daily living, life goals, and lifestyle sort of way. I can tell you for certain that from day one I was deeply in love with my husband. I was not at all interested in trading up. I wanted to marry him, but I wanted to be sure that we really were right for each other. That is very much how I was taught growing up, as was he. There are actually no divorces in his extended family at all.

[deleted account]

Elfrieda, you can put me and my husband into the first category. I don't feel like we went back on our principles at all because people change, relationships evolve. Honestly, if we hadn't ever had our son, we probably still wouldn't be married to this day. Before our son was born, marriage was one of those things we'd talk about sometimes but always end up just feeling like we were better the way we were. Sort of an "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality. But after our son was born, we realized that being married would benefit us all. Like I said in my first post, we didn't rush right into marriage. We waited a year and a half (after our son was born) before doing it because we wanted to make sure our relationship could withstand the changes that having a baby inevitably brings. Aside from the fact that it just felt like the right thing to do, we loved each other very much (still do) and couldn't ever see being with anyone else. But there were benefits to being married too. One of the benefits of us getting married? Insurance. I wasn't working and didn't qualify for Medicaid because he made too much so no insurance for me unless we got married. Also, the idea of all of us sharing the same last name was something that appealed to me. My son and husband (then boyfriend) had the same last name, but I still carried my ex-husband's name. I grew up having a different last name than my mother and siblings and for me, it was awkward. I wanted my family to be different and it just felt right. I will admit though, that I liked the ring my name had to it before I married my current husband (current husband...that sounds so "here today, maybe not tomorrow" of me lol).



Anyhow, I ramble. I mostly just wanted to address your question about why people get married if it's "just a piece of paper". :)

Elfrieda - posted on 04/19/2012

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I tend to sort couples who live together into two groups. The first is "Marriage is just a piece of paper required by "the man", we're committed and we don't need other people's approval" and to me they are basically married. It confuses me when they actually do get married because it seems like they're going back on their principles, but I've never asked what the reasoning was.



The second is one of them saying, "Well, s/he's okay for now, so let's see what happens because there might be someone better". I hate being around those people, it's such a horrible atmosphere. If these people do decide to get married, I would absolutely expect a speedy divorce.



I think it's hard for the person who is "okay for now" to admit to herself that she's in a bad situation, because in many superficial ways it seems like the first group.

[deleted account]

my hubby and i have known each other and been close friends for about seven years, dated for two years, lived together for about four months, got married, and have been happily married for nearly two years. we have plenty of spats but we talk about it and get over it. we're too stubborn and love each other too much to get a divorce, haha.

[deleted account]

I didn't live with my first husband and it was over after 18 months. I lived with my 2nd husband for 2 years before getting married and I left him after 3 years. So at least in my case, it didn't matter either way.

Johnny - posted on 04/19/2012

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We lived together for two years before getting married. It would be a bit outside my comfort zone to marry someone I had not lived with first. That's just how I was raised. I do not think I could commit even to an engagement without first having resided with my partner. We have been married for 7 years and although we've had our ups and downs, it has actually gotten better over time. We are closer and more in love than we were on our wedding day. For us, making it through the struggles did bring us closer. We communicate more effectively and have learned to support each other more.



My hubby and I pretty much knew when we moved in together that we were planning to get married, but you never know. I had lived with another man prior, and had ended that relationship because I found out he wasn't who I thought he was after living with him for a year. And we had been friends for 7 years prior to that and dated for a year before moving in together.

[deleted account]

I don't know why, but that little piece of legal paperwork did affect my relationship with my husband. Don't ask me to explain it. Things are just....different. We were together for 6 years and had a child together before marriage. Our son was 18 months old when we married. We had talked about marriage, but knew that having a child would change things drastically, and wanted to wait to make sure that we were as good a team AFTER the baby as we were before. We thought it brought us closer, made us stronger (and in many ways, it did), so we finally "took the plunge". Now, 3 years after the wedding....well, let's just say that we have issues. We still love each other but, as we all know, sometimes love just isn't enough. I don't know if we'd still be having issues if we hadn't gotten married or if it's just a natural progression of the way a relationship morphs after being together so long (it will be 9 years on May 1st). I just know that the problems we've had in our relationship since getting married really weren't there before. But we're sticking it out because each of us has already been married and divorced once and neither of us wants to go through that again, most certainly not with a child involved this time.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/19/2012

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Well my point to make it official was because at 35 I had never ever been married. I want to take my husbands last name, once my son starts school - then my daughter will be in her last year of school - as, I would then have my sons same last name. Also, I wanted the rings (all $3500 worth)! I also wanted to be able to call my "boyfriend" my "husband". Lets see what else.....I love him more than anything and wanted it to be official. I wanted to have pictures of us uniting in an official manner and have family and close friends to be a part of our "union-ship". I wanted him to wear a ring, saying he was MINE. I wanted all of our possessions as husband and wife, not boyfriend and girlfriend (or common law).

Really, there are SO many reasons for why we married after living together for 5 years. I would never ever marry anyone, without first living with them for an extended period of time. I have lived through 2 divorces and 3 marriages with my mother, that wasn't going to be me. ;)

Kitty - posted on 04/19/2012

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well you lived togather long enough so you know one another inside and out.! sooo what was the point of makeing official why not keep things the way they were!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/19/2012

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Well my mother lived with her now husband for 16 years. They have now been married for 5 and they dated for a year before moving in together. So, in all they have been together for 22 years (it's been so long that I thought it had been 18 years - until I did the math). I can say they will be together until one of them dies. My Mom is 54 (this year) and he will be 44, even 11 years in age difference and they still do great! ;)



I must say though, it was pretty odd to have him move in when I was 14, since he was only 20 (going on 21)...lol I had boyfriends older than him! haha



ETA: I lived with my husband for 5 years before getting married, we just got married last August...We have one awesome marriage!

Tracey - posted on 04/19/2012

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Lived together for 11 years before marriage. That was over a decade ago. Still happy.

WhiteWolf - posted on 04/18/2012

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Hi I hope you all are doing well. I lived with someone 7 years then we married it lasted 7 years we divorced. I met my current husband and the second our eyes connected WE BOTH just KNEW. We went out the next night he stayed at my place (which I am sooo NOT that kind of girl) and he well....."never left" lol....we married 2 1/2 months after we 1st met and going on 6 years and STRONG.

Funny a lot of people think "well if we can live together for such and such amount of time then I know this will work out" BEEEEP NOT TRUE. If you have to ask yourself "how do you KNOW your in-love then your NOT. I do not mean that in a negative way. I pray nobody takes it that way. That is ONLY my thought and NOT fact but it is how I feel. If I can ever say one thing that will help somebody then I will be happy. I would NEVER want to hurt anyone regardless how bad they hurt me (even my ex-husband) whom just recently left an accident recording stating he wished I would f&*&*&& die and if the police found my body they would not have s&*&(*&* on him and gets more grusome and gross. His sick twisted wife encourges his behavior instead of trying to diffuse the situation.

One more quick thing I wanted to add and I am NOT a Bible thumper but I am a Christian. I think when you get married and keep the Lord in the center of your marriage that it will actually be until death do we part. When you get married you are not simply making is "leagal" for a name change and the state you live in but your making that commitment before "Jesus". You are proclaiming your love in front of family and friends and sealing it with the Lord.

I hope you all have a great night and I hope I have not offended anyone if I have I am truly sorry. Have a great night.

Becky - posted on 08/19/2011

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I suppose it would depend on why you'd waited so long to get married too. If it was because you honestly didn't think it would make any difference to your level of committment to one another, or something similar, then it probably wouldn't make any difference. On the other hand, if it was because you weren't actually sure this was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and you decided to get married just because you'd been together so long, you might as well, well, then I can see that ending in divorce.

[deleted account]

I agree with what Jennifer said at the beginning "if you don't get married you can't get divorced".
If you're together 15 years and hit a low in your relationship ... you get married in the hope it might inject a little life into your relationship but it fails and you divorce or you do nothing and the relationship still fails but you don't become a statistic because you never signed that piece of paper.

My fiancée did the quick marriage route when he was younger. That lasted 18 months for him. We've been together 5 years, living together for 3, engaged for 1.... we'll get married when we can be bothered but we're both too lazy to organize it. Neither of us are "wedding" type people.

Tanya - posted on 08/19/2011

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I don't see how a relationship changes after the wedding, unless you haven't previously been living together and don't have kids together. If you don't have kids together, it could be that you can't parent well together, so maybe that's it?


My ex and I were living as a married couple, though we weren't legally married. For me, a wedding wasn't a big deal, because it wasn't going to change anything. I broke up with him because he was abusive, but it took a LONG time for me to end it, because we were totally committed to each other, had a family, etc. It wasn't easy at ALL to break up, and if he had moved out a couple of weeks later, he could have claimed spousal support from me!

Being married wouldn't have changed the relationship. For better OR worse.

September - posted on 08/19/2011

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I think it's dependent upon the relationship. You either love someone so much that you’re willing to work through all things, or not (with the exception of cheating or abuse imo) Speaking from my own experience, I was with my husband for 7 years before we married. We were only 16 when we started dating so of course there was no rush in getting married. We've been happily married for 6 years and together for 16. I don't ever see us getting divorced.

[deleted account]

My in-laws officially married after being a common-law couple for 22 years simply becasue my MIL had better health insurance and my FIL had none.

Stifler's - posted on 08/18/2011

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and i agree with the others if they've been living together forever and then get married it could possibly be that they got married to fix a problem or that they were bored and then found that getting married wasn't what they needed at all, they just needed to break up.

Stifler's - posted on 08/18/2011

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damian and i lived together for 2 years before getting married. we've been married 1 year in october. not many people iknow live together a long time before getting married. IMO if your relationship is good to begin with getting married won't change how you treat each other. our relationship hasn't changed much since we got married, if at all.

[deleted account]

my husbands parents got married when he was 17, he is now 26 so i don't think that getting married after being together for a longtime means you are doomed. I do think that some long term couples get married in the hopes that it will fix whatever problems they are having and that is why they get divorced so soon after

[deleted account]

I don't see how marraige would change things.For us being together 9yrs i know hes the one anyway lol.

I know him more than he knows himself at times.He has said the same.Marriage for us now, means far more than what it would of meant if we married the 12mths after meeting.



I agree with the last comment there.Its not the marriage that its the two people involved and there own personally feelings towards one another.



Many people marry to save a realationship/keep a partner close that you know is slipping away etc but you can't do that.Most times it won't work.They end up moving on.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/18/2011

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Really its up in the air as to how long a relationship will last after getting married..you can go with statistics all you want.
You got people that wed after 6months and stay together for the next 50years you got people that wed after two years and divorce after 10years of marriage…so on and so forth.
Personally I think it has to do with the two people involved

Sara - posted on 08/18/2011

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I actually read once that statistically, the most successful marriages are between people that dated a year or less before getting married, followed by people who dated 1-3 years before getting married and the worst success rate belonged to people who had been together for 5+ years before getting married. That was based on the divorce rate for each category, so I think there's some merit to the idea that the longer you're together and not married, the less chance that a marriage between you will be successful.

Jenni - posted on 08/18/2011

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Sooooo, preforming a ceremony leads to divorce? I guess I can see the correlation. If you don't get married you can't get divorced.



Ok, so I'm not married. Does your relationship really change after you get some family and friends together and sign some legal documents?



Maybe I don't get it because I'm not married. But I can't see how preforming a ceremony to celebrate your love for your partner would have any relationship with the relationship ending.



Now, if you didn't live with your partner before you got married. I could completely understand how things may unravel. But that wouldn't have to do with the actually ceremony and legality of the union.



But yes, marriage can lead to divorce. As driving a car can lead to a car accident.

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