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Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Living In Sin

I was inspired to write this thought by this Matt Bruce observation of a pamphlet at a church he attends, and by a co-worker describing her relationship with her boyfriend, who has been previously married.

People who turn their headlights on during the daytime get into fewer accidents. This does not necessarily mean, however, that an unsafe driver can become safer simply by turning his or her headlights on during the daytime.

It's trumpted by religious types that couples who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to get divorced.
I don't necessarily doubt this is true. But it does not necessarily follow that cohabitating leads to a higher likelihood of divorce. It is somewhat counterintuitive as a logical proposition; strictly speaking, I'd think it'd be more likely that one or both spouses conclude they couldn't actually live under the same roof after marriage if they had never tried doing so before.

To be really crude about it, I imagine it's less likely you're going to return a car because you didn't like the way it handled if you'd test-driven it beforehand. Wedding night strikes me as a little late to find out you're sexually incompatible with your new spouse, for one reason or another; likewise, three days after the wedding strikes me as a little late to find out that, however attracted to your spouse you might be, that living with him or her is going to be a living hell, for one reason or another.

I could see more would-be marriages never happening as a result of such arrangements, but cohabiting causing more divorces doesn't seem to compute.

It might well be that people unwilling to cohabitate for reasons of morality or propriety are less likely to get divorced anyway, which means you'd have a "daytime lights" type of situation.


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