Sara, her new beau, and Sean and I had gone out to Rancho Nicasio to hear some music, eat and dance.
At one point I caught Sara watching Sean and me in a slow dance out of the corner of my eye.
“You guys are so cute together,” she whispered to me later at the table, when Sean went to the restroom. “When are you going to move in together?”
Good question, because I’m not sure we’re ever going to move in together. But certainly not now.
“I don’t know, Sara; not before The Kid’s out of the house. Plus, his kid’s at home, too, remember.”
“Oh, kids, schmids —That’s so old-fashioned. They know you two are sleeping together, right? So, what’s the difference?”
I know, I know — I’m divorced. If marriage really mattered to me …
No one goes into marriage expecting to divorce. But, marriage does matter, if you’re planning to have kids.
Marriage is under attack lately, perhaps rightly so given the insane expectations people place on it. Fewer people than ever before think it’s necessary. Let’s face it, marriage certainly isn’t for everyone. And people often get married for all the wrong reasons, and sometimes couples marry because they’ve been living together for a while and it seems like the next logical thing to do.
Often, it isn’t.
Couples who live together before marrying tend to argue more and communicate less. If they eventually marry, they divorce more often than those who don’t. Plus, they get fat, and that alone is reason to make me say, no way!
But it you’re going to have kids, it makes no sense to live together without getting married first. Shacking up is marriage lite, with all the daily annoyances and relatively predictable roles of marriage without the commitment. And if you think it’s any easier to split if things aren’t going great, well, just look at Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry.
And once you have kids — who’ve gone through the trauma of a divorce — it’s all the more reason to tread very carefully on mixing families. Yes, it sure would be nice to go to sleep and wake up next to Sean more often, and to feel more like a family (although we sure do like our “space”). But I’m aware of the message we’d be sending our kids, and it isn’t the message I want to send.
There are like 5 million or so couples shacking up nowadays, and a lot of them are probably like Sean and me — single moms and dads. So I’m pretty sure we’re the minority. But, I’m OK with that. Plus, there’s none of the real or pseudo “step” or “half” things going on — stepmom, stepdad, half-brother, etc. Or worse — “mom’s live-in lover.”
I’ll bet that’s why we’re still so cute together after all these years.
- Is it OK to live together if you and/or your boy/girlfriend have kids?
- Do you think it’s any easier to split if you’re living together with kids than if you were married?
- Did you live with a parent’s boy/girlfriend? How’d that work out?
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