YOUNG GIRLS FORUM

Cohabitation: The way forward 1

Like I promised at the beginning of the month, I will be sharing something about cohabitation, hope I didn’t keep you guys waiting for too long. I wanted to conclude my mini-research on this subject and it has been very interesting. What I found blew my mind and left me agape, at a point I was like “seriously?”

So today, I will be sharing my findings with you; my beautiful blog readers. I decided to break the post into two parts: 1 and 2 so you won’t have a bulky and long post to read.

Meanwhile, quickly grab a good seat and let’s get started.

Definition: Cohabitation is simply a practice where a guy and a girl are living together and having sexual relations without being married.

Personally, there are two definitions I have chosen for this term: I define cohabitation as ‘trial marriage’ or ‘stolen love’. I stumbled over these terms while reading the book “I Married you” by Walter Trobisch (you can check a review I did on one of his books HERE) sometime ago and they came to mind when I decided to write on this subject.

This post is not geared towards throwing stones but seeks to redress the situation in search for a positive outcome. But you can be sure that I will not spare you the truth.

Here are some facts I got from the internet about this subject: “Young adults now increasingly prefer cohabitation to marriage.” Hope that didn’t shock you like it did me.

Well, a more shocking news is that “Many young adults now believe that marriage is an outdated institution.” I don’t want to bore you with statistics and results of pools carried out, but really they are unbelievable. Some Churches now tolerate and approve of it. In fact cohabitation is now seen as a natural step in the dating process.

One major reason why people cohabit is the fear of commitment. People don’t want to commit to a lifetime of “for better, for worse” when they can get free sex, free companionship and of course free food without being ‘tied down’ in a Marriage.

Some people categorically said they don’t believe in marriage anymore because of trust issues and the myriad of uncertainties that lie ahead, so they choose to stay on the fence- neither here nor there.

The question remains: Why do people cohabit?

Marriage is an honorable institution and is usually entered through a ceremony called a wedding. There are also traditional and legal procedures and documentations necessary whichever way you choose to go through (white wedding or court wedding). In some cultures, these processes take a long time while in others, they occur in a space of weeks or months.

But these days, some people by-pass these processes and choose to live together.

The truth is that this practice is a western culture, but you will agree with me that it is becoming more common in our society, and though it is frowned at by some; it is gaining popularity and gradually taking roots. So the question is why is this so?

In the course of my mini research I found out that different people have different reasons for cohabiting; I am sure your guess is right: there are as many reasons as there are people practicing it.

One major reason why people cohabit is the fear of commitment. People don’t want to commit to a lifetime of “for better, for worse” when they can get free sex, free companionship and of course free food without being ‘tied down’ in a Marriage.

Also the increasing rate of divorce is alarming. Every day we listen to the news, we hear stories of divorce, sometimes they happen to our friends and loved ones. People are afraid to commit to a life-long relationship, so they choose to experiment with their lives (I wrote something on this HERE) first to know if it will be a good deal. In a bid to shield oneself from the sad experience of divorce that they believe could happen anytime in the future, they opt for a ‘non-binding’ contract. They feel that if they simply cohabit rather than get married, they can easily leave the relationship in event of abuse or any difficulty.

Again, some argued that it is important to test their compatibility and fertility just like when you want to buy a new dress and you want to fit it first to confirm its your size or it’s a car and you want to test run it. This has reduced the sacred institution of marriage to a mere whim that you can pick up and drop if you feel you are not compatible or she is not fertile.

Still others excused themselves due to the high cost of weddings these days. Because they can’t afford it yet, they opt out by going through the easy way, hoping to follow the rigorous process later, at a certain time t.

My research also showed that many of these people never get to go back and carry out all the legal and traditional requirements. Once the lady begins to bear children, she has come to stay. So the validation of the union is the presence of the children without which the pseudo-contract can be culled off anytime.

There is another group of people who were forced into this practice because in the course of their relationship, the lady got pregnant and they were forced to start a family unprepared and unable to go through the legal processes. So she simply moved in with the guy and began doing her best in performing all the ‘wifely’ duties while hoping that he will be impressed and marry her at another unknown time, t.

Like I stated earlier, I don’t intend to throw stones but to look deeply into this gradually increasing trend so as to proffer possible solutions.

Firstly, before we seek to provide solutions, we must first agree that there is a problem. We can’t begin to proffer solutions if we think it is normal or a part of civilization. We must first agree that it is inappropriate regardless of the reason behind it. So let me be sure we are on the same page: I hereby move a motion for saying “NO” to cohabitation. All in favour of the motion say “aye” (looks around), those against say “nay.” The aye’s have it.

Now, we can begin.

The fight against cohabitation is not a one-man fight; all hands must be on deck: ladies, guys, the family, church and society.

It has left many wounded and heartbroken (especially the lady), it has trivialized the marriage institution and given cause for fear among many.

I have a number of suggestions I gathered from people I consulted and I believe they will go a long way in putting an end to it. I will be outlining the role of each person in this fight and I will be sharing them with us in the second part of this post tomorrow.

I will also be answering some questions like: What if I am already cohabiting, what should I do now? What is the effect of cohabitation on children born into such homes? How well do they cope knowing that their ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ could wake up any day and decide that it’s time to properly get married or that the whole stuff has been a movie that has come to an end. Does the law have anything to protect them or are they left to fate? Stay tuned.

I would love to hear from you guys too, I crave your opinions and suggestions. So hit me up on the comment box let me know what you are thinking and feel free to share.

Finally, remember this: Marriage is a covenant that requires deep, unflinching commitment to thrive. Children need to be raised in a secure home and given the love and protection that marriage provides.

See you in Part 2.

 

Much Love.

Nasalian
I am Chinasa, the one whom Jesus loves. I am grateful for the finished work of Christ, passionate about not missing the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus and longing to spread the fragrance of Christ. If you don't catch me reading, writing, thinking or listening to people, you will have to take a closer look to be sure its me...they say its my hobby and I think am beginning to agree. I love people, good music and work. I love bracelets too... Apart from being a Pharmacist, I don't have many titles so my friends simply call me Nasa and it does all the magic. I live in Nigeria, and I really love my country. One place i have been crushing on and hope to visit someday is Orlando Florida, my friends will tell you more about that. I also have an unexplainable desire to attend Hillsong Conference in no distant time...dreams come true, you know! I love writing and I hope you love reading. Nice to meet you too Welcome to my blog.

5 thoughts on “Cohabitation: The way forward 1

  1. A timely post I must say, this is an occurrence I see almost everywhere especially in the tertiary institutions. Which has made some vulnerable to abuse, rape and depression, how do we help such persons?

    1. Hello Favour,

      There is little we can do until the person is willing to be helped. If a guy abuses a lady and she still chooses to stay back, it is obvious she doesn’t want to be helped. I have realised that some people actually like to cohabit. But if she is willing to leave, you can start by letting her understand how precious and valuable she is (if she is in Christ), let her understand that her worth does not come from any man but Christ. You can also accommodate her temporarily (if she has no where else to go), while she gets back on her feet. I am sure if she encounters the love of Christ, all lesser loves will grow dim.

      Also, if she has no family support at the moment, she should learn to work with her hands and not depend on the guy to meet her financial needs, this is one of the things that makes a lot of girls vulnerable. That way, she will keep herself busy and productive as well giving little room for lack and depression.

      Hope this helps.
      Glad to have you here.

  2. The ayes truly have it on this issue. Overseership, discipleship, mentorship from adolescent age and parents getting involved in the minute issues of the lives of their children before the age of deciding marriage are indispensable tools and steps in curbing the menace.
    Let the church and traditional practices major on the major (proper solemnisation and pre marriage counselling ) and minor on the minors (wife being fertile, monies,feasts,).
    Overall nice piece and step for all to ponder less we fall into temptation and in the day of trial.

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