COUPLES PRACTICE CO-HABITATION BEFORE MARRIAGE
The world and society is ever changing and that humanity has evolved more rapidly in the past 50 years but not all societies have developed at the same rate.
While many couples in western nations swallow up change like swallowing delicacies, others may still live in much the same way as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
Most countries is still in practice something of cultural phenomenon in that we have accepted changes as an evitable part of life n the 21st century, yet still respect some of their traditions.
Certainly in the era of technology and economic progress, many countries would like to consider it on par with their western counterparts.
As for Asian countries should they consider movement, regardless of direction, as sort of progress or are we just imitating other country’s social norm?
One of the subjects that inevitably come to mind is when considering a changing society of the sensitive issue of couples living together before marriage.
Most of the family elders would consider that it is morally wrong, sinful and socially unacceptable living together before marriage as accordingly to traditional hand down education.
They may consider that it is a face losing matter in the eyes of their relatives and friends and reflects on the elders, questioning their parenting skills.
Marriage are scarce nowadays, couples would rather live together without the sanctity of marriage, perhaps it can be make easy to part when no documents bind them together.
Woman is especially becoming less sentimental as having to break a relationship seems less of a heartbreaking experience.
Men and women alike are no longer adhering to the social custom of getting married before having children.
Some career aggressive woman is happy to be single mother bearing and shouldering parental responsibilities.
It is no wonder that cultural evolvement have changed the long established behavioural marriage practices which is no more an important role in the present people’s lifestyle.
Both female and male now go about their daily routine, bearing and raising children or even adopting when the natural route of birth is not available.
Now what are the pros and cons of co-habiting before marriage?
If people who like or love each another and agreed to live under the same roof embarking on a life-long journey of commitment , before tying the knot, then what is wrong with it?
Why not parents consider that such lifestyles as a logical, cautionary move, where it give time and space for understanding each another more until the final decision to get marry.
If the unmarried couple can take precaution of unwanted pregnancy, it does not really hurt anybody at all. It can also benefit from future family problems after much understanding while living together for a certain period.
As people are living more independently, as opposed with their parents or in extended family units, it can be done much more easily with having to answer to their family seniors.
If we do consider moving back to the tradition teachings, a woman is supposed to be pure or remain a virgin before marriage.
Well, now is the question of whether their next of partner can accept the facts or not, which in this era, most male will not mind as it is also some sort of experience, that’s the interpretation and being a woman.
Why not men and woman both can have a chance to know what it is like to be with another person?
After all it is the chance to explore whether they are compatible in terms of physical intimacy before they enter into their long term commitment facing the outcome and make the vow “I Do!”
Most people feel this is a common way of life, but does not profess these types of more liberal thoughts.
Apparently nowadays, many couples do not even sign marriage licenses or certificates, it could be due to business or financial reasons, which also makes things much easier if they fall apart or their relationship goes sour.
Only in this case, they do not have to erase memory of the wedding, celebration and all of the entanglements between their respective families or to cause embarrassment when ask by community.
And what about female partners who live together?
Or male partners who co-habit?
While not all people will necessary approve of same-sex relations, there is something less taboo about these types of pairing, perhaps precisely because they are the same sex.
Well, what would people think if man and woman go on abroad together, people will inevitably pinpoint the aspect of “what is going on between them physically”.
What if two women travel or stay together, people will then delicately defined them as friends or sister hood companions.
The other thing is, they must be older people that live together who are not married and because of their age, it is not something that people chose to criticise.
So is it right for people who are in their 20s or even 30s to be treated like children with the family elders who are still actively give advice to all sorts of opinions?
In the western society, pregnant brides are easily accepted, they married with even after having a baby as their bride maid or some would not care less about critics.
Of course when we mentioned about the western society, it is a comparison of the more conservative Asians, happenings of such usually were kept lip-tight only with behind the back gossips.
Perhaps it is not such a bad thing in the changing times, Asian people wants to be appeared honourable morally to save face when circumstance does not suit local social standard.
Asians are stay to respect their elder’s opinions on many aspect of life, again an example of enduring traditional values and are proud of these cultural traits.
But on the other hand, should a traditional value apply to all personal matters?
As the answer to this question is; this is a personal issue and if it can satisfied and make us stay happy with the lifestyle, why not!
We of course have to live with the consequences (as expected) of our actions, and while the notion of finding fulfilment is really not a gender specify related issue, woman do still live in a society often judged by difference standards.
Actually the issue of co-habiting before marriage is not something that is going to make or break the traditional values of our fore parents, but whether is possible for ourselves to accept or participate in such lifestyle.
As most Asian behaviours, attitudes and perspectives seem to be evolving to reflect our western fellow’s lifestyle.
It will continue to ponder whether such social changes serve merely as a challenge, or to enhance, the social status of the world we live in today.
The conclusion, that is to all our female contemporaries , should have say; Live with your partners as you like before marriage but do not expect to escape any fallout or failure which may cause one to feel regret of their action.
Quote: “In a progressive country change is constant; …change… is inevitable.”
AFTER CO-HABITING FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD – YOU MAY THINK OF GETTING MARRIED
If you agreed to walk down the aisle and recite the your vows, be prepared to understand that life is like a bed of roses with the thorns included, which means getting married, both of you are expected to faced a lot of uncertainties and shouldering responsibilities.
However after agreeing to be married to the person that you loved and cherished both of you have to find a so called middle path to compromise different thinking and lifestyles.
Once married, they are willingly to give up the dictates of their beliefs to accommodate the requirements of married life.
Marriage had preserved its quality for most people who are in love and turns selfish individuals into giving their souls who have to share the ups and downs together.
It is alarming these days to find unsuccessful marriage is increasing worldwide, and the most common reasons are financially involved, couples do not take time to understand individual character before marriage.
Most people do not find quality time for serious discussions or conversation to learn more about each another prior to tying the knot and making their lifetime vows.
One must know the basic and important steps to get to understand each another as suggested here;
Once your instinct feelings indicate that he or she is suitable as a long time companion, the first thing is to find out and shared their life’s goals.
How to raise your family?
How many children both of you intend to have or not any until financially stable?
How should your family progress the next 10 to 20 years? (It is difficult but can always try)
What are the plans for your career and how to budget and save for the family?
These are rather important basic planning and dream goals which deem fit to start a family otherwise couples will find they are on to separate roads eventually leads to divorce and make innocent kids to suffer psychologically.
Find out and assess what your partner expect from you, which means the future responsibilities of the family and at the same time what do you expect from them?
These should be listed including all aspects like household chores, parenting activities, working lifestyle, family budget blueprint, future education plans for the children, buying a moderate house, family transportation(how many cars?) and untouchable saving as emergency funds.
It will really help, when both of you define all aspects and terms clearly; how to raise a family to avoid later conflicts and quarrels which again may lead to separation.
PARTNER’S HABITS AND CHARACTER
It will be wise to find out more about individual’s habits and lifestyle, because everyone have certain good and bad habits, hobbies, likes and dislikes, do and don’t character.
How much time does your partner spend in front of the television?
What are the favourite programmes?
What are the favourite past times and hobbies?
How does both of you handle money?
Are both of you great spender?
Is your partner a workaholic?
How does both of you fair in your job?
Does both of you love night life?
What about sexual frequencies?
Be précised to ask for more questions with firm answers, discuss all relevant issues whether to agreed or compromise before thinking of getting married.
These things may seem to be trivial and minor for most people, but in reality it had torn many couples apart. Committing ourselves to a married life is not simple after years of living independently as a bachelor or spinster.
THE INFLUENCE OF PARTNER’FAMILY
Both partners ought to learn what his or her family influence during their dating period.
How does both of you treat your families?
Do the families need financial support from both of you?
Do your families expect both of you to stay close with them after marriage?
Do the in-laws agreed to the marriage?
Keep tracking for more answers, because family involvement and influences may lead to some conflicts later on, if both of you are unaware and neglect these issues.
Most people care about daily cleanliness, which is also an important factor, so be tidy, clean yourself to eliminate odours, dress up neatly, for man shave daily, woman care for your daily make-up and hair-dressing.
Your bedroom must not be messy, it should be clean daily, tidy up the bed sheet and pillows, if possible fill the room with aromatic incense.
It is necessary to adopt the best of hygienic practice during your dating period than rather to adjust when both of you stay together and do not make any changes in order to maintain good relationship after the marriage.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Marriage is not easy as ABC, there sure to have some minor or major conflicts and disagreements but at best is to compromise every time it happens within the same day rather than to keep quiet and left the issue left unsolved.
Because in life there are too many events that can bring forth stress and anxiety just like;
Lost a job
Lost money at stock market
Death of family members, relatives or close associates
Serious illness – children, family members, relatives, close associates
Children’s behaviours and discipline
Other miscellaneous causes
There are many more unforeseen circumstances or unpredictable happenings which may lead to stress and anxiety; it is just how well both of you with appropriate foresight and understanding to handle the situation to eliminate these stressful moments.
Try to encourage each another when facing difficult situations or when things goes wrong, instead of blaming, finger pointing, grumbling, create a quarrel and critic without reasons.
At such moments, be quick to provide a shoulder for your partners to cry upon, display your true love, cuddle them and stand side by side in regardless of how rough the situation.
Although it is not possible to know everything beforehand about a person before marriage but smoothening out all obstacles and start to learn how to share daily woes is part of the preparation of your lifetime commitment.
As time goes by, partners can automatically discover much more about individual’s character and if their habits good or bad is being acceptable than partners can go ahead to prepare their most wonderful moment, “The Wedding”.
At the wedding which dignified an expression of love for two people who want to make their union absolute in a proper ceremony with witness. It is for them to recite their marriage vows promising each another that their marriage will never fail till the very end.
Quote: “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
Thomas A. Edison
DO NOT DIVORCE – TRY TO RECONCILE – CHILDREN ARE INNOCENT
There are myriad reasons for marriage failures, but if love is deeply practiced than it will reduced divorce cases in which case children do not need to face broken family sufferings.
What actually causes most marriage failures?
The problems are that most people expect to meet and recognised the right person, to instantly fall madly in love, than get married without giving themselves a chance to explore real love.
Usually a “head over heels” romance blocks our brains to function improperly, thinking that romantic novel and movies can magically make them to live happily ever after.
Normally, when the brain warns us that there is something seriously wrong, the romance often overwhelms the thinking and become the justification for believing that the wonders of love can conquer all obstacle along the successful path of marriage.
Another reason is hoping the partner will definitely change or tame because of the great miracle named love. In reality, one should not mind in taking a step by step format, to achieve love before committing themselves to settle down in a home and to build a family.
This misconception explains why so many marriages fails and had to faced breaking up of family which more than often hurts the kids more than adults.
We must realise that the family is the most basic social unit. It begins when two people agreed to start sharing their common lifestyle together.
However in this age and time, this union comes in many different forms; traditional nuclear families resulting from conventional marriage, couples living as part of an extended family, step families, co-habitation, and homosexual couples.
It is not a surprise to find out that registration of marriage as in the current statics shown decline over the years while divorce is just the opposite progressively climbing higher.
This scenario certainly looks different 30 years ago when many woman were willingly to tolerate and suffer in hopeless situation without even dreaming of a divorce.
To many, it is rather living in an abyss of despair was better than enduring the shame and embarrassment of a divorce.
Other underlying issues being helplessness, children’s future, financial dependency made leaving a marriage utterly frightening.
Bringing up the divorce option would open up the Pandora’s Box and led to many ex-husbands of trouble marriage warning friends and relatives shying away from their former wives.
But the thoughts of the present woman nowadays believe that a divorce is better off rather tormenting oneself in a bitter and unhappy marriage although they realise the distressing experience their children have to face.
With such situation, people cannot deny that it is important to assume the psychological reactions of their children are solely due to the divorce.
A divorce is usually a consequence of long term conflict and disharmony between their parents, and children very frequently are forced to take sides.
Well, as a matter of fact, if the husband and wife still have some feeling or desires for each another and children involved, consider to stay back without breaking the family even with the slightest chance reconcile at all cost.
But if your sanity is jeopardy, you should know what is next; it’s just plain and simple sentido comun or common sense.
Often children are used as pawns in such family struggle, which is the most painful experience and the roles they had to play prior to the divorce.
More than often if the divorce fails to end the arguments and the turbulent relationship between parents continue after the divorce, several studies had shown that children will exhibit the greatest incidence of behavioural or psychological maladjustment.
The divorce per se need not be more than a transient stress to the children if parents are alert to make sacrifices for the children by agreeing to dissolve their marriage amicably and to support the moral and having shared responsibilities as parents.
It is rather important for the children to realise that even after the divorce, the parents still continue to love and look after their childhood requirements such as education, vacations, food, clothes, and etc.
Obviously a divorce is not simple issue but a complex situation where that needs careful considerations of all parties involved especially the innocent children whom are going to suffer the most during their upbringing.
Some children staying with biological parents even wished that they could celebrate important events like Christmas Day and New Year twice like their peers with divorced parents.
Dear parents, do bear in mind that life is short, try to swallow bitterness, calm all disputes between partners, practice give more take less, be mindful to produce lots of love for your family, do your best to avoid tearful separation from your love ones.
Quote: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
The article is all about couples and marriage, an extract from friends and relatives whom narrated their experience to the writer, Chayanee.
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