Advantages of Live-in Relationships Over Marriage

Published: 10th February 2008
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Marriage is an essential arrangement that ensures propagation of human race and prevents societies from degenerating into chaos. Marriages are crucial too for providing a safe place supervised by adults where the children can grow up into adults in a nurturing atmosphere.

Why has the institution of marriage been so successful? The answer is that it caters to a primal human need. Man is essentially a social animal. Life for us is a long journey full of challenges and problems. We do not want to wade through it alone, but crave for company and loyalty of another individual who will provide a shoulder to lean on and share some of our responsibilities. Thus, our ancestors created the institution of marriage in which two adults of opposite sex formally tie the knot in a socially and legally accepted and enduring bond that is meant to last an entire lifetime.

In the last few decades, though, this time-tested arrangement has come under threat. Unbelievable as it may sound, marriage has begun to lose its importance and sanctity. People today ask: "Do we need to get married at all when we can have everything that marriage offers without formally tying the knot?" There are many reasons for this. The most important one is secular education and scientific temperament of people which make them question everything, including age-old social mores and customs. Women have become independent socially and financially and see no problem in living alone. As a result, live-in relationships have become quite common.

Both marriages as well as live-in arrangements have their own pros and cons, but the scale is still somewhat tilted in favour of the former.

Live-In Relationships
These are today quite popular with the young crowd. The benefits of live-in relationship are many. The foremost among these is the freedom that you get. You do not surrender any rights or accept any obligations. The relationship lasts as long as both the partners are happy with each other. There is an attitude of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours and both of us enjoy while it lasts."

After some years it is natural for the partners to get bored seeing the same face every morning. That is when the charm goes out of the relationship and one tends to look for a fresh relationship with some other individual. In a live-in relationship, that is no problem. You can any day just pack your bags and move out, leaving behind just a thank-you card.

There are absolutely no legal hassles, financial complications or complex negotiations for dividing assets and debts between the partners. The arrangement sounds like a dream come true. Live together, have physical relations, and move out when bored. What can be more convenient and gratifying? No wonder, live-in relationships are getting more popular than ever.

However, there is a flip side too. Such relationships lack commitment. When the chips are down, the arrangement usually breaks down. If the partners have children, the situation becomes more complex with respect to their custody and responsibility for upbringing. Since the relationship is informal, the two individuals do not have much stake in its continuity and whenever problems arise, they decide it is much easier to split rather than make efforts to solve them.

Marriages
The most important benefit of marriage is its social and legal recognition. The society recognises and respects the relationship and treats it as the only "proper" way for a man and woman to share a single roof and rear children. Marriage is protected by the law and both the partners have their clearly defined rights and obligations. If they want to split, there is a laid down procedure that has to be followed. There are strict provisions to take care of children's upbringing in case of parental divorce.

Another substantial benefit marriage offers to the couple is emotional commitment and support. The partners demand loyalty and fidelity from each other. In return, they bare all their secrets to each other and share their finances to buy assets for the family. There is no other relationship that can match the emotional support, social recognition and legal rights that a marriage provides.

On the flip side, it takes a lot of money and effort to dissolve a marriage because it is a very formal and water-tight arrangement. One just cannot walk away lightly. Lawyers have to be paid, family assets and debt have to be equally divided and arrangements have to be made with respect to the children. Marriage does not offer personal freedom to partners as a live-in relationship does.

James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie Divorce see http://www.quickie-divorce.com


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