I was called “mean” and “ugly” on a blog where I challenged a gal about living with her boyfriend. She’d written for advice because she was feeling imposed upon: he wasn’t doing any of the housework.
What I want to know – no, that’s not true; I know the answer – I just want her to think about it. Why aren’t they married? Why is she living with him?
Well, we’re waiting til we have the money… Nonsense. If you have enough money to shack up, you have enough money to get married.
We’re just not ready. Oh. You can “play house” but you can’t do it for real.
Look, girls. There is only one reason why men want to shack up: They want free access to sex while they keep their options open. You give them what they want in bed, and you keep house for them. They haven’t made any sort of commitment to you, they can end the relationship with no consequences to themselves whatsoever, and they can still prowl around with an eye on your competition.
What do you get? You have already bonded with this guy when you gave him your body in sex. He experienced no such equivalent sort of bond. You have given him your all – your heart, your soul and your body, all interconnected – and he’s given you…
Nothing. No security. No concrete promise to be faithful. No set hope for a future together.
Girls – Please! Some of you even have children (plural!) with these men. Do you not realize that if anything happens – if he cheats on you, steals from you, leaves you, gets hurt or sick, or dies, you have no legal protection under the law. You get nothing for yourself.
What’s more, if you can get him to marry you, some indefinable place on down the road, you are more than 3x more likely to end up divorced than if you’d made him put his name on the dotted line to start with.
Meantime – you have invested yourself – to you, emotionally, it’s a marriage. You have your eyes on one man: him, that guy you’re living with. You’re in it 100%.
To him, it’s a shack-up. He’s free to keep an eye out on your competition, see whether something better can be had, on down the road. He’s in it… what? 10%? 50%? I can promise you – it ain’t 100%.
Let me be candid: you have been sold a bill of goods. A basket full of lies, courtesy of radical feminism, which denigrates marriage and your own value as a woman.
The reason you are living with this guy is because you don’t value yourself enough. You’ve sold yourself cheap. He’s getting all the benefits of the shack-up, you get no commitment, no compensations, no validation for your self-giving.
This is not a romantic interlude. It’s Booty-ville. This is a form of emotional and spiritual slavery. You have voluntarily enslaved yourself and it is going to cost you.
You don’t believe me? Go see what “Guy” says, over at What Women Never Hear. He’ll give it to you straight.
Don’t you think that a prerequisite for giving others instructions on having a successful relationship should be having one yourself?
1. Who says I don’t?
2. Who says I can’t learn from my mistakes – and from yours?
In future, please sign your comments – or they’ll be deleted.
Wow, I never felt bad about living with Simon before we got married, maybe I should. Though if it’s bound to fail, I’d love to know when so I could get ready! Ah, I wont worry too much, 7 years on and we’re still doing fine.
Misty – ARGH! what a day! Sorry I didn’t get to post your comment sooner.
What I worry about, for your sake, is that if something were to happen to your live-in boyfriend (based on my state’s laws)-
1. You’d have to work much harder to get child support or inheritance for your children, because they have not been legitimated via marriage.
2. You would have no automatic spousal support or inheritance.
Women living with men have no legal protection under the law. We give and we give and we give… and more than once I’ve seen women who thought they were secure find, suddenly, and with terrible pain, that they have nothing to show for their years of devotion and self-sacrifice.
Marriage protects women and children – morally, emotionally, financially, legally… every way.
My grandmother used to say, “Women set the tone.” This ment that, a woman who will put up with nonsense just to have a man’s company, will get nonsense.
When I got close to 30, I told a single friend of mine this. She stopped dead in her tracks and said, “She’s right”. Men who don’t rise to the level of expectations, will either drop out or work harder. This saves a lot of heart ache.
I can agree with some of the legal points, however I’ve known many many couples who have been together for a very long time (in one case more than 50 years) and not married. They’re doing just fine.
Simon and I only got married when we did so that I would be able to stay here. We would have done it sooner or later anyway, but in order for me to stay in this country we had to make it legal.
I have also seen the devistation caused when a marriage fails. In a fair few cases it would have been a far easier slip had they not been married.
I think more problems arise when people rush into living together. Two people start dating and a month later they’re living together. They can’t really know eachother well enough at the point (says I who moved in with Simon after spending a total of 3 weeks with him. We had known eachother far longer than that though).
I’m a big fan of being married, it’s worked very well for me, but I know it’s not for everyone. A lot of people are happy to be together without having that piece of paper.
(side note: How are ya? Haven’t talked to you in a while.)
Not to detract from your main point, but there are some legal protections available for cohabitating couples in many jurisdictions. Washington State, for example, provides for property distribution when a cohabiting couple breaks up. This is referred to as the “meretricious relationship doctrine,” and was recognized in Washington in the case of Connell v. Francisco back in the 1990’s.
That said, I think you are fairly accurate regarding the motivations of the parties when it comes to most cohabitation situations.
And here in liberal loony Canada, home of gay marriage to boot, when a couple lives together for a mere 6 months the property, etc. is split 50/50. No wonder my stupid kids are dragging their heels about getting married. Not much is going to change financially in their lives. ARGH
You know when all this bullcrap about gay marriage and shacking up and abortion really started? When the Pill came onto the scene.
Sign me P***ed