divorce

Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition

divorce cake

divorce cake

The Wall Street Journal has a great report on the abusive practices of Massachusetts family courts, and a bill that would reform the system and end the presumption of permanent alimony:

Paul and Theresa Taylor were married for 17 years. He was an engineer for Boston’s public-works department, while she worked in accounting at a publishing company. They had three children, a weekend cottage on the bay and a house in the suburbs, on a leafy street called Cranberry Lane. In 1982, when they got divorced, the split was amicable. She got the family home; he got the second home. Both agreed “to waive any right to past, present or future alimony.”

But recently, more than two decades after the divorce, Ms. Taylor, 64, told a Massachusetts judge she had no job, retirement savings or health insurance. Earlier this year, the judge ordered Mr. Taylor, now 68 and remarried, to pay $400 per week to support his ex-wife.

“This is insane,” Mr. Taylor says, adding that the payments cut his after-tax pension by more than one-third. “Someone can just come back 25 years later and say, ‘My life went down the toilet, and you’re doing good—so now I want some of your money’?”

It seems state law allows a judge to reopen a long-settled agreement if the judge believes the party asking for support might otherwise become an expense to the state.

In Massachusetts a bill backed by a group called “Reform Massachusetts Alimony Laws Now!” has 72 sponsors and would require a spouse receiving alimony to become self-sufficient, or attempt to, after a reasonable time. That would establish alimony as a temporary payment instead of a permanent entitlement, as is often the case now….

The House bill would end the currently common practice of using the assets of a second spouse to determine the ability of a person to pay alimony. Alimony could only be adjusted upward for cost-of-living increases, and alimony obligations would end upon the retirement of the payer, though judges would still have the flexibility to take into account special circumstances.

As it stands currently, in MA as well as some other states, the spouse paying alimony can be asked to pay more if he (or, rarely, she) marries another earner, while the spouse receiving alimony is rarely cut off for cohabiting with a high earner. As someone points out, even this reform bill still gives judges discretion to find a retired person liable for continued alimony payments. What this means is that once you have married, the state takes the power to take your assets when it finds your ex-partner needs them, and the costs of going to court to change alimony or support orders is many thousands of dollars and possibly years of delay. Divorce attorneys make a lot of money from the system as it is, and are quietly resisting reform:

Opponents of the bill say it may not adequately protect those who rely on alimony payments. Massachusetts State Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, a Democrat and a divorce lawyer who co-chairs the joint judiciary committee, has called for a commission to study all the alimony legislation, a move that could delay a vote until next summer. Sen. Stone Creem filed her own bill, which would modify the state’s law slightly, giving judges greater leeway in setting the duration of alimony payments.

In Florida:

In April, for example, Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge David French prevailed following a 16-year battle to stop or reduce his alimony payments. A state appeals court ruled that Mr. French should not be forced to pay $3,400 a month to his ex-wife, who has lived for nearly 20 years with another man. The judge ordered the ex-wife to pay Mr. French $151,000, the amount she had received from him since he filed a previous case in 2005. Ms. French’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comment. Amy Shield, Mr. French’s lawyer, said he was pleased with the decision.

And the rare case of an ex-husband receiving alimony and abusing the privilege:

Last month, Massachusetts representatives heard testimony from Brenda Caggiano, a 70-year-old retired first-grade teacher who supports her ex-husband, Robert, a certified public accountant. When the Caggianos divorced in 2003, they split their assets. He got their home on Cape Cod. She got their home in a Boston suburb, and paid him the $57,000 difference in the value of the homes.

Ms. Caggiano earned more at the time, so the court ordered her to pay $125 in weekly alimony until her death or her former husband’s remarriage. Since Massachusetts is a “no-fault” divorce state, it made no difference that it was, as both parties acknowledge, Mr. Caggiano who left home.

Ms. Caggiano says she’s living pension-check-to-pension-check and has had to tap a home-equity line of credit to fix her roof. “It’s a disgrace that this man is taking my money when he’s perfectly capable of supporting himself,” she says.

Mr. Caggiano, who is 68, said in an interview he has no mortgage and that his girlfriend, who works full-time, has moved in. He says the couple recently traveled to Italy, and that he spent $60,000 to install hardwood floors, granite countertops and big windows “to get a beautiful view of the water.” He keeps his accounting practice to a few clients: “I’m not going out there trying to develop new business.”

It’s well past time to recognize that the victories of feminism that equalized access to jobs and professions imply that men and women who marry should not be yoked together for life by mutual obligation after divorce. The state’s role in this system is parasitic and harmful, creating incentives not to work or remarry for the alimony receiver, and putting crushing financial loads on the payer. The system’s cost and lack of flexibility hurt everyone. Reform should include an absence of any obligation to support an ex-spouse (unless provided for by their marriage contract or pre-nup) and presumed equal custody and equal child support obligations unless it can be shown a parent is unfit.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More on Divorce, Marriage, and Mateseeking

Marriages Happening Late, Are Good for You
Monogamy and Relationship Failure; “Love Illuminated”
“Millionaire Matchmaker”
More reasons to find a good partner: lower heart disease!
“Princeton Mom” Susan Patton: “Marry Smart” not so smart
“Blue Valentine”
“All the Taken Men are Best” – why women poach married men….
“Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century”
Making Divorce Hard to Strengthen Marriages?
Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
“The Upside of ‘Marrying Down’”
The High Cost of Divorce
Separate Beds Save Marriages?
Marital Discord Linked to Depression
Marriage Contracts: Give People More Legal Options
Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Vox Charts Millennial Marriage Depression
What’s the Matter with Marriage?
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
Constant Arguing Can Be Deadly…
“If a fraught relationship significantly shortens your life, are you better off alone?
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
“It’s up there with ‘Men Are From Mars’ and ‘The Road Less Travelled’”
Free Love, eHarmony, Matchmaking Pseudoscience
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
“The New ‘I Do’”
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Mark Manson’s “Six Healthy Relationship Habits”
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications
Free Dating Sites: Which Have Attachment Type Screening?
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over
“Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?
Rules for Relationships: Realism and Empathy
Limerence vs. Love
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
“Sliding” Into Marriage, Small Weddings Associated with Poor Outcomes
Subconscious Positivity Predicts Marriage Success…
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)

For more on family law, Red Pill men, and modern feminists:

Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Life Is Unfair! The Militant Red Pill Movement
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
Madmen, Red Pill, and Social Justice Wars
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Stable is Boring? “Psychology Today” Article on Bad Boyfriends
Ross Douthat on Unstable Families and Culture
Ev Psych: Parental Preferences in Partners
Purge: the Feminist Grievance Bubble
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Modern Feminism: Victim-Based Special Pleading
Stereotype Inaccuracy: False Dichotomies
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
Red Pill Women — Female MRAs
Why Did Black Crime Syndicates Fail to Go Legit?
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Reading “50 Shades of Grey” Gives You Anorexia and an Abusive Partner!
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
Gaming and Science Fiction: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Culture Wars: Peace Through Limited Government

“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”

divorce cake

divorce cake

An article in both HuffPo and Psychology Today gets at what’s happening to many marriages today as a result of The Fairy Tale Myth, combined with social support for divorce and “you can have it all” attitudes.

The author-therapist, Randi Gunther, Ph.D., sees more and more breakups where the husbands have been close to the ideals the young wives say they want — but the wives are unsatisfied anyway:

The women I have treated who have left their husbands for more “masculine” men believed that their new relationships would be able to both excite and nurture them. Sadly, that has not always happened. The veritable saint with balls is as elusive as ever.

When things haven’t worked out as they thought they would, several of the women I am now working with are re-thinking their decisions, wondering if they left too soon, or for the wrong reasons. They want to reconcile with the men they have left behind. Their husbands are torn between the understandable desire to reject them and still wanting them back. Ironically, because these have nurtured the feminine side of their natures, they are also able to forgive in a way few men have been able to do in the past. But because they have no interest in returning to the “bad boy” mentality their competitors brandished, they are faced with a challenge most men have never had to confront. How do they hold on to their vulnerability and capacity to nurture, and blend it with the strength and power required of a self-respecting leader of men?

None of my reuniting couples ever want to lose each other again. They’ve left the old ways behind and know that going back to what was will not work anymore. They intensely want to create a new kind of connection that blends the beauty of traditional roles with the freedom to move between them, and to blend the best of the past with an as-yet-unwritten future.

It must be a parallel path. Both men and women must separately find their own individual balance between their need for independence and their desire for ongoing commitment, not balance their proclivities on the other end of their partner. As integrated individuals in their own right, they would then have the capacity to create a relationship that is more than the exchange or sum of the parts. Committed partners who are willing to fight for that innovative solution will find the way.

These women think they want a good partner / helpmate, but find themselves missing the thrill of the bad boys that excite their attachment systems. It’s a shame they disrupt what they acknowledge are good marriages wanting something more that generally doesn’t exist in real life. See “Stable is Boring? ‘Psychology Today’ Article on Bad Boyfriends” for more on this common problem.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


For more on modern feminism’s effect on marriage and politics:

Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Life Is Unfair! The Militant Red Pill Movement
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
Madmen, Red Pill, and Social Justice Wars
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Stable is Boring? “Psychology Today” Article on Bad Boyfriends
Ross Douthat on Unstable Families and Culture
Ev Psych: Parental Preferences in Partners
Purge: the Feminist Grievance Bubble
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Modern Feminism: Victim-Based Special Pleading
Stereotype Inaccuracy: False Dichotomies
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
Red Pill Women — Female MRAs
Why Did Black Crime Syndicates Fail to Go Legit?
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
Reading “50 Shades of Grey” Gives You Anorexia and an Abusive Partner!
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
Gaming and Science Fiction: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Culture Wars: Peace Through Limited Government

More on Divorce, Marriage, and Mateseeking

Marriages Happening Late, Are Good for You
Monogamy and Relationship Failure; “Love Illuminated”
“Millionaire Matchmaker”
More reasons to find a good partner: lower heart disease!
“Princeton Mom” Susan Patton: “Marry Smart” not so smart
“Blue Valentine”
“All the Taken Men are Best” – why women poach married men….
“Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century”
Making Divorce Hard to Strengthen Marriages?
Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
“The Upside of ‘Marrying Down’”
The High Cost of Divorce
Separate Beds Save Marriages?
Marital Discord Linked to Depression
Marriage Contracts: Give People More Legal Options
Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Vox Charts Millennial Marriage Depression
What’s the Matter with Marriage?
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
Constant Arguing Can Be Deadly…
“If a fraught relationship significantly shortens your life, are you better off alone?
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
“It’s up there with ‘Men Are From Mars’ and ‘The Road Less Travelled’”
Free Love, eHarmony, Matchmaking Pseudoscience
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
“The New ‘I Do’”
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Mark Manson’s “Six Healthy Relationship Habits”
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications
Free Dating Sites: Which Have Attachment Type Screening?
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over
“Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?
Rules for Relationships: Realism and Empathy
Limerence vs. Love
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
“Sliding” Into Marriage, Small Weddings Associated with Poor Outcomes
Subconscious Positivity Predicts Marriage Success…
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)

When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View

Think Like a Freak

Think Like a Freak

One of the many ways to look at relationships is through the lens of economics, as I did in the posts “Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner” and “Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?”.

Hooking Up Smart has a look at the Freakonomics view on quitting relationships. Worth a read, as is the book Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain. Here’s a condensed list of decision factors:

Three primary forces bias us against quitting:

1. A lifetime of being told that quitting is a sign of failure.

2. The notion of sunk costs. As obvious as it sounds, we fail to recognize that previous investment does not justify future investment. I hear this a lot from readers who are thinking about ending their relationships. It’s most prevalent when a couple’s been together a really long time.

3. The failure to identify opportunity cost. When we’re thinking of getting out of a relationship, we have a strong tendency to say to ourselves, “What if I never find someone else?” Instead, we should be asking ourselves what we’re missing out on. Staying in a bad relationship may mean missing out on a great one.

The Formula for Knowing When to Quit:

Quit when opportunity cost outweighs sunk cost. If OC > SC, then break up. If there’s the real potential for something better out there – a relationship you could happily sustain for 50 years, then what you’ve got invested in your current unsatisfactory relationship is immaterial.

This is not to suggest that you should end a satisfying and rewarding relationship. But if you’re not satisfied in your relationship, there’s a good chance that quitting it will make you happier and open you up to something better.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More on Divorce, Marriage, and Mateseeking

Marriages Happening Late, Are Good for You
Monogamy and Relationship Failure; “Love Illuminated”
“Millionaire Matchmaker”
More reasons to find a good partner: lower heart disease!
“Princeton Mom” Susan Patton: “Marry Smart” not so smart
“Blue Valentine”
“All the Taken Men are Best” – why women poach married men….
“Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century”
Making Divorce Hard to Strengthen Marriages?
Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
“The Upside of ‘Marrying Down’”
The High Cost of Divorce
Separate Beds Save Marriages?
Marital Discord Linked to Depression
Marriage Contracts: Give People More Legal Options
Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Vox Charts Millennial Marriage Depression
What’s the Matter with Marriage?
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
Constant Arguing Can Be Deadly…
“If a fraught relationship significantly shortens your life, are you better off alone?
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
“It’s up there with ‘Men Are From Mars’ and ‘The Road Less Travelled’”
Free Love, eHarmony, Matchmaking Pseudoscience
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
“The New ‘I Do’”
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Mark Manson’s “Six Healthy Relationship Habits”
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications
Free Dating Sites: Which Have Attachment Type Screening?
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over
“Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?
Rules for Relationships: Realism and Empathy
Limerence vs. Love
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
“Sliding” Into Marriage, Small Weddings Associated with Poor Outcomes
Subconscious Positivity Predicts Marriage Success…
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)

No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over

Cohabitation

Cohabitation

Scott Stanley writing for Psychology Today covers a study by Bowling Green State University sociologist Karen Guzzo showing cohabitation is now more common than marriage for first live-in relationships, and that serial monogamy is now so prevalent, and the commitment involved so minimal, that most live-relationships are never formalized through legal marriage. It may be that the overhead of marriage and divorce for all but the upper classes makes legal matrimony impractical. Further, the huge rise in children born out-of-wedlock is in part due to cohabiting unmarried partners.

Guzzo notes, as have others, that cohabiting has become a normative experience in the romantic and sexual lives of young adults. As young adults put off marriage until later in life, cohabitation has inhabited much of the space that used to be made up of married couples. I think this dramatic change in how relationships form matters for at least two reasons. First, cohabiting couples have become increasingly likely to have children, but they are less likely than married couples to have planned to have children and they are much less likely to remain together after having children. That’s not my subject today, but it should not be hard to see why it matters. Second, most people want lasting love in life, and most people still intend to accomplish that in marriage. However, the ways cohabitation has changed in the past three decades make it less likely that people who have that goal will succeed in it. That’s closer to my focus here.

It is obvious that cohabitation has become de-linked from marriage. Guzzo addresses a complicated question related to this change. Is it because all types of cohabiting couples have become less likely to marry or are there subgroups of cohabiters who are driving the increasing disconnect between moving in and moving on in life together? For example, it used to be the case that a couple who moved in together was very likely to get married—and, engaged or not, had an awareness of this when moving in together. But most experts believe that has changed. Guzzo wondered if those who already planned marriage before moving in together are as likely as ever to marry while all the other groups in the growing and diverse universe of cohabiters might be less likely to marry. Similarly, she examined if demographic changes in who cohabits, when, and under what circumstances changed the way cohabitation relates to marriage (e.g., analyzing variables such as race, education, and the presence of children from a prior relationship).

To simplify and summarize, what Guzzo found is that the increasing diversity in the types of cohabitation and cohabiters does not explain much about why things are so different from the past when it comes to increased odds that cohabiting couples will break up or not marry. Rather, on average, all types of cohabiting couples have become more likely than in the past to break up or not transition into marriage. Here’s a quote from her paper (pg. 834):

“Relative to cohabitations formed between 1990 and 1994, cohabitations formed from 1995–1999, 2000–2004, and 2005 and later were 13%, 49%, and 87%, respectively, more likely to dissolve than remain intact. The lower risk of marriage over remaining intact occurred only for the last two cohabitation cohorts (2000–2004 and 2005 and later), which were about 18% and 31% less likely to marry than remain intact, respectively.”

Moving in together is becoming less and less likely to lead to having a future together. That’s not to say that all cohabiters are in the same boat regarding their destination. Those who are engaged (or have clear plans to marry) before moving in together are far more likely to eventually marry—but as Guzzo shows, even they are becoming less likely to do so. Related to this, my colleagues and I have shown, in numerous studies, that couples with clear plans to marry before cohabiting, along with those who marry without cohabiting, tend to have happier marriages and lower odds of divorce than those who move in together before having a clearly settled commitment to the future in marriage. (We believe this is largely because, while cohabiting unions obviously break up often, they are harder to break off than dating relationships because it becomes harder to move out and move on. So some people get stuck in a relationship they would otherwise have not remained in.)

Practically speaking, what do Guzzo’s findings tell us? First, taken with the growing body of research in this area, I think we are seeing cohabitation headed toward becoming more ambiguous than ever regarding commitment. Actually, that’s not quite right. Cohabitation seems to be moving toward being, unambiguously, a form of dating with no implications about the odds of marrying. Second, these societal changes make it more important than ever for people who do want to succeed in marriage to be careful about how their romantic relationships before marriage unfold.

If you want to marry, be careful about cohabitation. Sure, more and more people are cohabiting, but it’s also less likely than ever to lead to marriage. In fact, people are increasingly cohabiting in ways that are associated with greater risks to the aspiration of marital success. If you are aiming for marriage, aim for a solid choice in a partner and then look to form a public, mutual promise to marry. While all couples may be more likely to break up before marriage now than in the past, look toward something that really signals commitment to figure out whether you and a partner have what it takes to go the distance.


More on Divorce, Marriage, and Mateseeking

Marriages Happening Late, Are Good for You
Monogamy and Relationship Failure; “Love Illuminated”
“Millionaire Matchmaker”
More reasons to find a good partner: lower heart disease!
“Princeton Mom” Susan Patton: “Marry Smart” not so smart
“Blue Valentine”
“All the Taken Men are Best” – why women poach married men….
“Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century”
Making Divorce Hard to Strengthen Marriages?
Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
“The Upside of ‘Marrying Down’”
The High Cost of Divorce
Separate Beds Save Marriages?
Marital Discord Linked to Depression
Marriage Contracts: Give People More Legal Options
Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Vox Charts Millennial Marriage Depression
What’s the Matter with Marriage?
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
Constant Arguing Can Be Deadly…
“If a fraught relationship significantly shortens your life, are you better off alone?
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
“It’s up there with ‘Men Are From Mars’ and ‘The Road Less Travelled’”
Free Love, eHarmony, Matchmaking Pseudoscience
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
“The New ‘I Do’”
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Mark Manson’s “Six Healthy Relationship Habits”
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications
Free Dating Sites: Which Have Attachment Type Screening?
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over
“Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?
Rules for Relationships: Realism and Empathy
Limerence vs. Love
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
“Sliding” Into Marriage, Small Weddings Associated with Poor Outcomes
Subconscious Positivity Predicts Marriage Success…
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)