Moving In

Husband and I were reminiscing about college roommates today and I gave him a bit of a hard time about his old habit of leaving passive aggressive notes to roommates who forgot to do the dishes. I mentioned that it was a good thing he stopped living with people after college and in retaliation he said that it was a good thing we never lived together, because I’d be a terrible roommate.

Wait, what? But we are roommates. We share the chores and the bills and see each other last thing every night and first thing every morning. Then again, we’re not exactly roommates. He’s right to say that we would be terrible roommates. [He deep cleans the bathroom every week; I clean it when it looks messy. He loves rules and bedtimes; I like having the freedom to do whatever I want. I hate television; he just purchased a 46 inch.] But we’re not. We live together more or less in peace. And I think this is attributable to the fact that we are not roommates, but spouses.

There are studies that show that couples who live together before marriage are significantly more likely to get divorced. Elizabeth Gilbert discussed these studies in her book Committed. At the APW book club meet-up, however, this was the only predictor of divorce statistic that everybody disagreed with vehemently.

I don’t really know about the truth of that statistic or the reasons behind it. I do know that not living together was good for us. I am personally more willing to make the compromises that come with moving in knowing that we have made a real commitment to stay together. It’s also easier to make household decisions when our finances our combined, and that’s something I never would have done without the security of marriage. Most importantly, I think, is that we knew when we moved in together that we weren’t just roommates. We didn’t do it for financial or other convenience-related reasons. We didn’t do it because it was what we were supposed to do, the logical next step. When you think about the fact that I’ve had ten or so roommates in the last seven years, that I shed them like dead, dry skin without a second thought, and that it’s as easy as waiting for a lease to end or losing a security deposit, the importance of the marriage becomes clear. [I know it’d be more difficult to break up with a long-term boyfriend, but you know what I mean.] We are not just living together. We are making a life together.

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1 Response to Moving In

  1. Pingback: Pigeonholing | Bending the Rules

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