This morning I was thinking about when I left school and my relationships thereafter and basically how I did everything topsy turvy like I moved in with my ex first before marriage etc and it got me thinking about my kids and would I prefer them to be married first before living with their partners.
My answer is I strongly condone and encourage the act of living with your partner before marriage and I also believe that there is nothing wrong with sexual relations before marriage and this is why.
There is a huge difference between knowing someone and not living with them and living with them even if you spend everyday with each other it is vastly different to living alone with someone and I know from experience that there are things you will never see or be bothered by until you share a home and life with someone.
sometimes these things may be or seem stupid like your partner doesn't pick up after themselves or they leave things undone etc those things may be mildly irritating or they may end up being an extreme problem- your partner may also have some behavior traits that you only see once you are living together again they may not bother you or they may be a big problem.
That aside marriage is a very big decision and its hard enough without having to start from scratch living with someone and adjusting your lives to marriage and living with someone else with their quirks and ways of doing things.
If you move in together first you can make sure that you are going into marriage fully prepared that you know what life will be like that you truly know that person and won't end up 6 months into marriage miserable because you butt head on things that you cannot get around.
When my ex and I moved in together and I'm talking about on our own we had just gotten married up until then we had stayed together either with my parents or his but we had never run a household together and when I say it was a shell shock I am not being dramatic- we had to adjust to surviving financially on our own- running the household on our own and raising our kids on our own- we constantly fought because whereas his mother had a maid to pick up after him and everyone else I now became the maid, where he could previously just leave dishes in the sink and his clothes everywhere I had to now run after him like another child and with having a job, studying a toddler and another baby on the way this left me exhausted and extremely resentful, financially we also had issues he was perfectly happy to let my parents and sometimes his financially support us I was not he also tended to do whatever he wanted with his money while I had to stress about every penny so all in all it got very ugly very quickly, and I cannot blame him because he was still young and we were still at an age when we should have been spending our money on frivolous things and living at home and to be honest if you are used to not having to do certain things then it is what you do- I am not saying it would have worked had we lived together first but it may have stopped us from getting married in the first place.
Then there is the whole sex before marriage thing, yes I know I fell pregnant young and yes I know no one wants to encourage their child to go off and have sex at a young age running the risk of stds, hiv and unwanted pregnancies- what I am referring to is a stable relationship ie if you are in a stable relationship and you are planning on or in the process of getting married or even staying with that person and not getting married as a life partner then I strongly believe in it.
Simply because like it or not sex is important for a man and a woman and it can be a really scary and horrific experience if one is pushed into it on your wedding night- there are probably many people who disagree with what I'm saying and that's fine but I don't think anyone woman or man wants to be a relationship no matter how perfect it is if they cannot be intimate or enjoy being intimate with their partner.
So my answer to this is that when my boys reach and age when they feel that they have found the person they want to marry and they are serious about the person- I'm not talking about being in 'love' at 15 type of thing I mean committed to the relationship and ready to settle down my advice to them will be to move in with that person first- to take the time to truly know their partner and for their partner to know them so that if they do decide to get married they will do so without any hidden surprises.