Put a Ring on It

Have you ever heard of “shacking up?”  Now, people describe living together with a more complimentary phrase: “a trial marriage.” And apparently, it’s all the rage:

Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million. The majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation. This shift has been attributed to the sexual revolution and the availability of birth control, and in our current economy, sharing the bills makes cohabiting appealing.

In fact, you may have even recently heard rumors I’m living with my boyfriend.  As that gossip spread a couple of weeks ago, people all over America were applauding me for –finally! – coming to my senses and abandoning my no-sex-until-marriage policy.  Others are saying that me shacking up with my boyfriend is the height of hypocrisy.

Here’s the thing.  It’s not true. As I mentioned before, I recently bought a home across the lake from my parents’ house.  While it’s under renovation, I’m actually living in an apartment on their property.  Rest assured — there’s no way on earth my mom and dad would allow a guy to spend the night here with me.

But even if I weren’t temporarily living on their property, I wouldn’t move in with someone.  Why?  Well, new evidence reported in the New York Times suggests what the Bible has already told us: living together before marriage does not lead to happiness:

Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.

These so-called “trial marriages” hurt men, women, and children.  So, all of you girls who’ve said yes to sex in the wrong context know this: you don’t have to say yes to living with someone in the wrong context too.

I guess it’s unanimous.  Because now we have the Bible, the New York Times, and even Beyonce suggesting the best way to secure relationship success is to… “put a ring on it.”


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  • Ben

    LMAO. You’re kidding, right? You must be embarrasing the shit out of your parents with stupid posts such as this. Obviously you have had sex before marriage, so you could not possibly have a “no sex before marriage” policy. Maybe you should have done a blog titled, “Put a condom on it” that explained how you made a mistake so you could actually provide some insight, instead of making yourself look stupid.

  • fsteele

    Well, I have a friend who says his cohabitation led to a less than ideal marriage, later divorced, because it was kind of a slippery slope. He got into cohabiting with his first wife casually without much thought, and that drifted into marriage (especially easy if she gets pregnant). Later he met someone with whom he was much better suited and wished he had waited.

    Still it could work the other way, with cohabitation showing one couple they aren’t suited, so they never marry each other — so no divorce. So i’d want to know more about any such studies. You’d need to count how many divorces came after the couple had progressed to marriage — and also what happened when someone cohabited with John and then married Sam instead.

    Anyway I admire your honesty in leaving negative comments here — and the Palin courage in general, too.

  • Chris

    Dear Bristol,
    Your blog could easily be attacked from a multitude of angles, but I’ll focus solely on your limited content because expecting you to write above a sixth grade level would be far and above your abilities and I won’t ask you to strain yourself too hard.
    To summarize your point, you don’t think it’s a good idea for Levi and you to live together because it wouldn’t be a healthy environment for you, your child and Levi. I agree.
    That said, the problem isn’t that the three of you don’t form a family, it’s that you carry on and financially profit from your failures as a person. If you want to try instruct others about abstinence or traditional marriage then I ask you to practice what you preach. Nothing more and nothing less than that. Everyone knows that you don’t believe abstinence only education works. Look at yourself, you are a living example of its failure. I say that not as a critic, but as someone that looks at you as a victim of that line of thought. The problem I have is that you turn around and teach the very system that failed you to other teenagers, and you do it for money. Clearly what you do for a living is wrong, and I think you know it.
    Secondly we need to address the issue of “traditional marriage” that you seem to indorse. You need to know that I’m a happily married heterosexual, and so when I say that you have no first-hand knowledge about marriage, I want you to know that it comes from someone with more experience in the subject than yourself.
    Dear Bristol Palin,
    I am writing this in response to two of your recent blog posts that have drawn (presumably unwanted) criticism. In the more recent blog you criticize President Obama’s statement on gay marriage. You did so by making some rather bizarre references to Dora the Explorer (which I won’t bother addressing). In the older blog you address why you and Levi are not married. In summery, you don’t think it’s a good idea for Levi and you to live together because it wouldn’t be a healthy environment for the three of you. I agree wholeheartedly.
    The problem isn’t that I object to your lifestyle. It’s that you financially profit from your failures as a person. If you want to instruct others about abstinence or traditional marriage then I simply ask that you practice what you preach: nothing more and nothing less. Most rational people know that abstinence-only education is a poor way to instruct teens about sex. Look at yourself- you are a living example of its failure. I say that not as a critic, but as someone that looks at you as a victim of that line of thought. The problem I have with you is that the system failed, and yet you turn around and teach other teenagers the very same, and you do it for money. Clearly what you do for a living is unethical, and I think you know it.
    Secondly we need to address the issue of “traditional marriage” that you seem to endorse. Before I go any further you need to know that I’m a happily married heterosexual, and so when I say that you have no first-hand knowledge about marriage, I want you to know that it comes from someone you would call “traditionally married.”
    Let’s get back to you, Bristol. You are young and you are an unwed mother. That cannot be an easy situation. I’m sure it has been hard and I’m sure the criticism has been tough and at times it has been just plain mean. But here’s the thing Bristol: Those people that criticize you are the same that want you in a “traditional marriage.” You know their line of thought: you had unprotected sex, got pregnant, had a baby and now they (your critics) believe you are obligated to marry the man that impregnated you. They don’t care if you want to marry him or not. It’s tradition. The same tradition that postulates that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Isn’t it strange how the argument for “traditional marriage” backfires when it clashes with what you want out of life?
    So Bristol, please stop instructing others on how they should or shouldn’t live their lives. I’m not saying you should agree with the lifestyles of others. Just stop making it YOUR business. I bet if you stop criticizing the lives of others, you will find yourself free from criticism in the process.

  • Frankie Dogg

    Your response to President Obama supporting same sex marriage was children need a mother/father in home
    You had a baby and you are not married. Where is the father for your. Unwed mothers are on the same level as same sex marriage. Do you even know who the father is? Where is he? Why is he not in the home because as you said children need a mother/father in home.
    “Do as I say and not as I do” don’t cut it.

    • ed bartsz

      Mr Dogg Bristol made a mistake she asked God,s forgiveness and God had forgiven her. In God’s eyes she is forgiven and He does not remember it any longer, she is clean are you?.

      • xcheshirecat

        And now tell me, like for the child out of wedlock : When have USA became an autocracy ?

        If there’s a god somehow, it’s to gay to answers to it in time. It’s not to religious people to decide for others who to live their life. As it’s not to us to judge what bristol does in her own life

        The state is neutral and about equal rights, not an autocracy

    • Lee

      Actually, her baby HAS a father. The parents just dont live together, as do many millions of parents. Heck my parents were divorced. So what? My mom was single raising me, but my father was there in my life, I even eventually moved in my my dad and step mom for a while.

  • http://conundrum08.tumblr.com Kaye

    That article in NYT is obviously either outdated, or taken out of context. In a recent psychological study, the “cohabitation effect” is only true of ENGAGED couples, not of couples lacking or having passive intent to marry. Do your research. Moreover, do your research in the right areas. The New York Times may be a noted publication, but don’t go looking for statistics and psych facts outside of a psychology journal. This is a poor excuse for a blog. Bristol Palin is narrowminded, uninformed, and seriously lacking in worldly experience. Twenty something and still living with mom and dad? Grow up and live in the big bad world for a bit. It might lift those blinders you’re wearing.

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  • apodoca

    Bristol, the mockers can’t begin to understand the difficulty of the no-sex path because they don’t understand the tension (should not-should) under which Christians live. I applaud you for your decision not to live with your boyfriend until you are married. Not only is it not Biblical, it cheapens you, and it stains the relationship with the man long before you ever get to the church to say ‘I do.’ God before, you will survive, Bristol. Even if you slip and fall, Christ is there to catch you and set you back on your feet, to raise you on eagles’ wings.

    • ed bartsz

      Thank you for the comment we need to stand up for those in Christ with our lives if need.

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  • paul wallace

    The GOP has a long history of underfunding and/or neglecting education. And it’s for a reason: the less educated the voter, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican. That’s why so many middle or lower-middle class whites vote against their own economic interests. They fall for the flag-waving, bible-thumping distortion of the groups funded by the tycoons who will forever abuse them. It’s a fact as old as our democracy.

    never trust a republican©

    • Dooz48

      What twisted/warped sense of logic did you dust this idea from? The more public education our children endure, . . . the dumber they become, . . and more likely they are to vote democrat/ liberal (Does anyone teach how to read or write cursive? Or that 2+ 2 = 4 and not . . . whatever number you feel it equals! But every kid can tell you about how they can save the Earth!). Few places exist for a solid education that permits a well-rounded body of knowledge, but the antithesis is repleat everywhere with liberal thoughts, ideas, and grading in nearly all public education sectors . . . in essence, the dumbing-down of America is everywhere, and without fail, 80% or more of the teaching staff in nearly every public education system vote Democrat/Liberal. And after the trillions of dollars the American people have put into public education since the 1940′s, . . . we have the dumbest class of graduates ever devised in American history. The liberal mantra and social engineering really took hold in the 1970′s, and has been on a steady decline ever since! Thanks liberal democrats! You’ve done fine work here. Little Johnny and Janie can read, . . . but can’t write or form a sentence, structure their speech, and they are oh-so good at text-speak (wat u doin?)! For the money we’ve spent, it’s embarrassing where we rank internationally in all sectors of education! Maybe it’s time to get back to our roots of the three R’s, instead of being great IB students/learners!!??!?

    • Elise

      @Paul Wallace: That’s HILARIOUS considering that statistically speaking, Democratic voters are the least educated. Republican voters are more likely to have completed high school and college. They also perform better on tests of political knowledge. That’s a fact. Democrats court the votes of the ignorant, the high school dropouts, dependent on the government for their needs. But nice try, tossing around wrong ASSumptions as if they’re facts.

  • sap

    Well obviously your parents aren’t always around to keep you from “letting guy’s in”…….