First Published: February 22, 2001
I try to pass along helpful studies from time to time, for your edification and interest. The following piece, called “Marriage — The Best Alternative for Couples” (minus a little editing I did in order to spare Southern sensibilities some rather direct language!) was distributed not too long ago by the Family Research Council. Their website is listed below.
“In 1998, Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot founded an organization called the Alternatives to Marriage Project. They consider marriage to be merely one of many acceptable family forms and want laws and policies to be changed to grant recognition to a range of possibilities for couples, including cohabitation without marriage. However, consider the following facts:
“In a study comparing married and cohabiting couples, married people reported higher levels of commitment and happiness in their relationship and better relationships with their parents than cohabiting couples.
“Compared to all sexually active people, faithfully married couples report the highest level of satisfaction in connection with the physical aspect of their relationship.
“Cohabitors report higher levels of alcohol problems than married people do.
“Aggression is twice as common among cohabitors as it is among married couples.
“Premarital cohabitation is associated with greater marital instability, lower marital satisfaction, and poorer communication in marriage.
“Depression rates among cohabiting couples are more than three times the depression rates among married couples.
“Cohabitors report more frequent disagreements, more fights and violence, lower levels of fairness in and happiness with their relationships compared to married people.
“One study found that children living with cohabiting biological parents who are unmarried are 20 times more likely to be abused and children whose mother lives with a boyfriend who is not the biological father are 33 times more likely to be abused than children with married biological parents.
“The poverty rate for children living in cohabiting households is about five times greater than for I children living in married couple households.
“Compared to children in intact families, children in cohabiting households had more behavioral problems and poorer academic scores.
“Marriage remains the best choice for couples desiring lasting intimacy with each other and a stable home for children.” (For more information, visit www.frc.org)