Why Buy the Cow When the Milk is Free and You Can Squeeze the Udders?

Why Buy the Cow When the Milk is Free and You Can Squeeze the Udders? September 22, 2018

Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife is making a lot of noise again about a variety of things trying to go viral. Here’s she’s talking on the subject of living together before marriage and trotting out her 1950s reasons why she thinks it is wrong. She didn’t actually utter *hee* the titled words, but she came oh so close. Why buy the cow when the milk is free and you can squeeze the udders? Oh man.

Lori does make one good point, I’ll grant her that. It is important to decide before you live together on issues such has who gets what and other problems with detangling the relationship. Judge Judy, of all folks, has written a great book on coming up with those boundaries and what legal decisions you need to make right up front. It is titled “What Would Judy Say? A Grownup Guide  to Living Together With Benefits.” It is important to address those issues because the law may not recognize your live in sig-o in a medical emergency, or if someone dies. The laws are not set up to protect anyone when there is no legal document like a marriage license.

As an aside, this book’s negative reviews were from Evangelical Christians losing it over the idea that anyone might think living together might be a good thing. Dear Evangelicals, you’ve lost that battle. You cannot restable that horse! This is every couple’s decision to make on their own, not from fear and religion, but from what they believe. It does not mattter what Lori, Judy, or I think, it’s up to the couple. It is not Lori’s business if someone decides to live together.

A lot of what Lori is alleging about living together before marriage can be completely debunked by legitimate studies – like this one that mentions age and maturity are bigger factors in success.

Lori also assumes that there was little to no cohabitation between the sexes until recently. I don’t believe that’s the truth, I think people were just much more secretive about it in the past. Anyone know the statistics on this?

Women are not livestock. Their value is not inherent in keeping their virginity OEM status wrapped in plastic. Telling young women that the cure for their desire to live with someone is to take another female roommate is laughable at best.


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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping ithe plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ungodly Sweet

    Lori wouldn’t know shit from clay.
    After 21 years of cohabitation and two “illegitimate” children with my “boyfriend” we have no intentions of either marriage or seperation. And due to the laws in Australia we are considered defacto husband and wife and all the legal rules of marriage apply to us.
    Lori can kiss my unmarried, yoga pants clad arse!

  • A former coworker refused to accept Oprah as a Christian because she was cohabiting, and when I criticized him, he accused me of defending her because we are both black. (I didn’t know about the ad hominem fallacy then.)

  • French Pandora

    I know a woman I loved very much, she dated several men*, had a child** before being married, had abortions***, and her voting choices**** were her owns.

    Meet my proud catholic great grandmother who was born between 1900 and 1910. Like you see, she was not exactly Lori’s ideal. Neither were her daughters, granddaughters… She didn’t let her faith and the laws threatening her well being and her life.

    *Sometimes in the same time because who would refuse a free meal ? Especially a poor and illiterate maid. Pragmatism was her middle name.
    ** My maternal grandmother, still alive.
    *** She gave birth to 10 children and had about as much illegals abortions. Contraception was illegal too.
    **** I remember reading about some evangelicals who would happily take away women voting rights. If she was still alive she would have some very strong words about this since nearly half her life she couldn’t vote (law passed in 1944, first used in 45). Her husband and her had opposite opinions about government. If they were moderns Americans, she would be a Republican centrist, pro contraception and abortion and him for Bernie Sanders.

  • Aloha

    Lori’s all about what the man gets for free in a cohabitation arrangement, but what about the woman? She gets sex, subsidized living expenses, company, and friendship … all without any obligation to obey, honor, or tolerate until death shall we part. Usually there’s less expectation of producing an heir, and less expectation of domestic dedication (Lori makes it seem like cooking and cleaning are as natural as breathing for women).

    As far as the separation, dividing things usually isn’t the problem. Dividing kids is the problem. So if you don’t have kids, separation / divorce tends to be simpler.

  • Freodin

    Excuse me, English is only a secondary language for me, and I don’t have any clue about animal husbandry.

    But isn’t the part of the cow you get the milk from called “uDDers”? Or is this just another of these differences between British and American English?

  • SAO

    If you’re in a relationship with a man who doesn’t take responsibility, who is only in it for sex, better to find out before you are married and dump him. It’s certainly better to figure out if he’s with you only for sex, cooking and cleaning *before* you marry him. It’s a hell of a lot easier to figure out a man’s flaws if you live with him.

    Given tne number of CPM bloggers spouting misogynistic theories, I’d say try before you buy is especially important for women in those circles. They’ll meet a lot of turds.

  • Freodin

    Ah, but don’t you know that being “married” completely changes the man, so that he will now be a responsible and supportive husband, even if he was a irresponsible, in-for-sex-only jerk before? Because reasons!

    And if he isn’t… well, obviously you are doing something wrong, women!

  • Mel

    That’s an ad hominem – but it’s also a Jerky McJerkface racial attack. If everyone involved in that dispute was white, no one would ever blurt out “You’re just defending her because she’s white!”

    An earlier signal of Jerky McJerkface is that your coworker felt like he had the right to determine who was a full-fledged Christian or not. There’s hundreds of Christian denominations with a whole range of attitudes and beliefs about what constitutes being a member of their denomination – but the vast majority agree that professing a belief in Jesus as Savior is all that’s needed to be a non-denominational Christian.

  • Mel

    Yup – Suzanne’s making a phonetic pun on “utters” and “udders”.

    In entire swaths of the Great Lakes and Midwest where I live, people aspirate double middle consonants and slur ending vowels – so when I say “mitten” it sounds like “MIH-in”. “Little” sounds like “LIH – ul” Apply this to “utter” and “udder” and both sound like “UH-her”.

    Honestly, we use context clues to determine if it’s udder or utter since both are very rare words to use in daily conversations.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Dumb phonetic joke. Yes you are correct.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Good you don’t have to deal with the legal morass we have in the states where live in partners have no legal rights unless defined in a contract! Australia seems to always be ahead of the States in common sense things.

  • AFo

    So according to Lori, the only thing a woman brings to a marriage is sex and helping her husband. I may be a working single heathen, but shouldn’t love and devotion and partnership be mixed in there somewhere? I can’t imagine marrying a man in that kind of transactional arrangement.

  • Freodin

    Hm… but I guess one of these words is more often used in dairy conversations. 😉

    (Sorry, but the only valid counter to a pun is a worse pun.)

    And completely serious now: thank you. I love learning new stuff. Sadly, dialects and accents is something that you never will get completely if you aren’t immersed in a culture.

  • katiehippie

    Children are never illegitimate. Makes me so angry….

  • Lizard

    Wait, I thought that moment was the minute the women gets pregnant? Cuz the anti-choice crowd makes it sound like all men suddenly become loving, responsible fathers once they have a kid.

  • Lizard

    Getting pretty tired of Christians treating my body, time, and labor like a commodity, not gonna lie. Like, yeah, the dude gets sex and affection out of this deal, but theoretically so does she. I’m more than a cooking, cleaning sex doll, Lori!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    She’s stuck in the 50s, the 1850s. Kids cannot help if their parents marry or not, and really it’s only the business of the couple, not the world.

  • Martin Penwald

    Telling young women that the cure for their desire to live with someone is to take another female roommate is laughable at best.

    Funny thing is that Debi Pearl advocates against it because they could turn lesbians and it would be the worse thing ever!
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2013/02/ctbhhm-single-moms-turned-lesbian.html

  • lady_black

    I think that bothers me most of all.

  • Saraquill

    I’m now thinking of Debi Pearl. Her life could have been so different if she realized Michael wanted her as a sex-maid-bot, not a partner, before they got married.

  • lady_black

    I know my mom and stepfather lived together before marriage in 1966-67. They were married until she died in 2006. I’m pretty sure both knew how to use birth control, so there weren’t any “illegitimate” children (I HATE that term! No child is illegitimate). And after they had a child, HE had a vasectomy.
    As far as household labor, they both worked, inside and outside the home, and we kids pitched in, too. I guess she didn’t marry a wallet, and he didn’t marry a domestic servant/sex doll. Sounds great to me!

  • Saraquill

    Abusive turd I knew strong armed me into commitment, but was interested in me as a cheerleader-trophy-maid-sex receptacle, not as a person.

    My now husband and I were together for eight years before marrying. In the interim, we finished school, he got extra professional training, and we had lots of discussion about making sure our long term relationship keeps going strong.

  • Nancy

    I have daughters only and have told them I’d rather they have sex with the wrong person than marry the wrong person (like I did). When I mention that tidbit of advice to the tight conservatives in my area they don’t know what to say..lol.

  • Kathleen

    Yes! I’m lucky enough that when I DID marry the wrong person and it went badly (we didn’t live together beforehand) we didn’t have children and it was pretty simple to divorce.

  • Kathleen

    It’s insulting to men too – because of course men can’t cook or clean or anything, they MUST rely on women to do that. And of course, men who are married NEVER, EVER break that commitment, right Lori? Right?!

  • Kathleen

    If you ever pop over to the Stephen Anderson’s wife blog, you can read all about how she thinks women shouldn’t vote. It’s….unsettling at the least. I can’t stop reading it every once in awhile – like watching a train wreck.

  • Kathleen

    At least she didn’t call them bastards….I guess?

  • Krissi_C

    This kind of thinking nearly trapped my sister in an abusive marriage. She was moving to Virginia to be with her long-term, long distance boyfriend, and our parents pushed very hard for them to get married before living together. After all, what would happen if they broke up? So she did. And because our family has always been vocally anti-divorce (despite most of them HAVING HAD a divorce) she stayed with him much longer than she should have, to try to make it work. Thankfully, she finally did divorce him, but it cost her a lot emotionally, time-wise, career/education-wise, and more.

    The scary thing is, had circumstances not forced the pair of them to move ‘back home’, where her family was able to SEE what was happening, she might not have left before he seriously hurt her. Of course, now all those people who told her not to move without marrying him are saying they predicted disaster from the onset (No, no they did not.).

  • Zigzag64

    My parents were together for almost 33 years, and never married. The only reason the relationship ended was because my mom died in 2013. My mom was married once. The marriage fell apart after a year i’m not really sure why to be honest since i never asked. Before i got married to my wife. We were together for about five years, and had a child. Bought a house, and got two dogs and a cat.

  • persephone

    The US did away with common law marriage. It was pretty standard through to the first part of last century, but the need for it sort of died out.

    In the US, you can, if you don’t wish to marry, set up certain legal documents establishing parenthood, ownership, etc.

  • persephone

    Is Zsu a US citizen?

  • persephone

    I have two sons, and I bought them their first condoms. We had already gone over the birds and the bees. I made it crystal clear that I was not going to financially support an unplanned pregnancy, nor was I available for childcare, as I have a fulltime job. I would financially assist if they chose abortion. Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with multiple disorders that leave me just functioning enough to keep my job and take care of basics at home. That absolutely does not include caring for children.

    Yes, I’m pretty coldhearted about this, but I needed them to know that there were no fallbacks if they screwed up. It would be their and their GF’s lives they ruined.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    As a lawyer I can say being an unmarried cohabitee is a bad plan if you have children or own property together, or indeed if you intend it as a lifetime commitment, unless you very carefully set up the legal arrangements, not just because if you split up it’s very difficult to sort out who gets what, and what happens with the children: all sorts of problems occur with the father (or non-biological mother partner) being recognised as responsible for the children and problems sorting out the estate and child custody if someone dies, pensions and life insurance etc don’t end up being transferred and it easy if you spilt up to find you have been contributing to household expenses or mortgage for years, and acting as parent to the kids yet find you have no rights to anything. These sort of practical problems with cohabition are very practical reasons why gay folk campaigned do hard to be able to marry.
    That being said, it is generally in my experience attitudes to marriage like Lori’s, and experiences of marriages as Lori seems to want them to be that lead people to object to the whole idea of marriage, even when they have every intention of spending the rest of their lives together. As a legal arrangement for cohabiting it is generally not bad: it is the cultural baggage that Lori & co give it that often put people off, I think.

  • persephone

    A quote from author Gillian Flynn:

    “I’d like to scrape up some sense of triumph over the fact that many courageous women have raised their voices. But I don’t feel triumphant. I feel humiliated and angry. They hate us. That’s my immediate thought, with each new revelation: They hate us. And then, a more sick-making suspicion: They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.”

  • SAO

    If my kids begat children, I’d help them raise them. I suppose it’s your perspective. When I was in my 30s (I’m the third of 4) and not at all thinking of kids, my parents were in their 70s and my very conservative father told me he’d be okay with being a grandfather before he became a father-in-law. I was flabbergasted. It was not what I’d have expected him to say about me moving in with my boyfriend. 3 years later, I married my BF and 5 years later made my parents grandparents. My father was 80 before he got grandchildren from one of my siblings.

  • samnsara

    hubby and I lived together for 30 years.. from 1975 when we started college until 2005 when I lost my job and needed dental insurance. We then flew to Vegas and got married in a Drive Thru!

  • samnsara

    how easy life would be if only we just surrendered our thoughts, wills and actions to someone else.. then we could just stare mindlessly out the window all day, smiling, as we robotically dried the same plate over and over and over again…….

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Those are exactly the things I was concerned about after reading how few rights those living together have. We’re a long way from our daughter if she needs emergency medical treatment, and her sig-o’s parents are equally far. He had a bout of bleeding once where there were questions about treatment. That can be a boondoggle.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Better to be upfront about your own needs and boundaries.

  • Quinsha

    My second husband and I only married a year before he retired. We had to be married a year before retirement so that I could be on his medical insurance. We had been living together before then.

  • lady_black

    Well, actually, if the children aren’t yours (by biology or adoption), you have no rights toward them whether you’re married or not, and whether or not you have been acting as a parent to them. If they are your children, OF COURSE you have rights and responsibilities toward them.
    Also, you can leave your estate to whomever you wish, and generally people are expected to contribute to the household where they’re living even if they aren’t married.
    The problem, as I see it, would involve owning property together. Any two people can own property together. In many states, only a married couple can own property together with rights of survivorship. That was one of the things I discussed with my then partner, now husband. I mentioned wanting to own a home, and said I wouldn’t own a home with anyone I wasn’t married to. If something happened to one of us, I didn’t want relatives crawling out of the woodwork demanding “their share” of OUR HOME. There’s also something to be said for having healthcare rights toward a spouse (although anyone can name anyone they wish as a healthcare POA). There may be good reasons to name someone other than a spouse. For example, if you wish to decline heroic measures, and you don’t trust your spouse to follow your wishes. Or if your spouse has dementia. Something like that. You might want to file your own advanced directives naming someone else in cases like that.

  • lady_black

    Having sex with the wrong person doesn’t result in anywhere near the expense marrying the wrong person does.

  • lady_black

    That’s not at all cold-hearted. I would raise grandchildren if their own parents couldn’t do it, but my plans definitely never included doing that, and I was very upfront about the fact that I had no intention of raising anyone else’s children, so don’t come around here with any babies.
    They didn’t. I never expected my kids to stay virginal until marriage, and none of them did. They did wait until they were out of school and working. I also told my sons (in particular) that if they got someone pregnant, I didn’t want to hear “It ain’t mine!” come out of their mouths. My ex-husband did that to me, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • lady_black

    No one is entitled to grandchildren. I suspect your dad was probably getting nervous about living to see his first grandchild. But that would be a poor excuse for anyone to have a child.

  • SAO

    I took it as permission, rather than a suggestion or demand. That said, I had no intention of having kids without marriage. I got married and had kids because it was what I wanted to do.

  • lady_black

    Did you ask for his permission? Did he have any right to give you permission for, well… anything at all?

  • Emersonian

    So wait– milk is sex, right? So then The Cow is…what? A mutually beneficial and loving relationship? I think it’s valuable to ask if you and the cow share values and interests. Does the cow like to go out on the town or is she a more netflix-and-chill bovine? Do you both want calves? For that matter does the cow even want you to buy it or is it ok with a less formal arrangement?

    Honestly, it saddens me that people like Lori think the only benefit a man gets (or wants) from a relationship is sex, food, and household chores.

  • Emersonian

    Actually a number of US states still recognize common law marriage in some form.

  • Zeldacat

    I lived with a boyfriend for a couple of years. I don’t see doing it again; for one thing, I am quite introverted and love having my own space! I don’t want to live with anybody again unless we’re married – and marriage is not something I’d do at the drop of a hat. I’m fine on my own and see no reason to change that unless somebody really unusual comes along. It’s been awhile since I dated anybody seriously enough for sex to happen but…well, there are ways. 🙂

    Imagine this, Lori, a woman making her own decisions about her independence and her romantic/sexual life with NO MAN INVOLVED.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The exact legal effect of marriage depends on where you are (I’m from the UK). You can probably with effort and good legal advice sort out your own a la carte legal arrangements for living together that work almost as well (or for some, better) but it’s tricky to do and easy to overlook something. What is a bad idea is cohabiting without sorting these things out.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Lori, quit speaking of other humans (though right now I find myself seriously questioning Lori’s humanity) as livestock or anything other than the human beings they are. Also, stop proclaiming you have any expertise on anything other than “how to be a self righteous, projecting of insecurities, misogynist-pandering, lacking-of-facts, bitter woman who gets pissed when her husband looks at women wearing yoga pants”. And what you are an ‘expert’ in, other people are better off if they avoid becoming like you.

    PS…they’re breasts, Lori, not the part of any animal one might obtain milk from via manual efforts or machinery designed for the purpose. And as they remain attached to one’s person, it’s absolutely vital to obtain clear and enthusiastic consent before *touching* the breasts of someone not yourself (feel free to squeeze away at your own breasts, but get consent and verbally go about finding whether the breasts-owner even wants/likes their breasts squeezed. Personally ‘squeezing’ sounds a bit too much like the smashing involved in a mammogram, so it’s not happening in my sex life.)

  • B.E. Miller

    Good point. Just because she’s married to a US citizen doesn’t mean she has had all the proper paperwork done to be a citizen. She may still be a legal resident.

  • lady_black

    For us, it was easier to just get married, given our mutual goals. We didn’t want children. I already had some, and he knew I had undergone a tubal ligation. But, we did want to build a life together, and marriage took care of any legal issues. We must have done something right. We’ve been married for 31 years and counting.

  • Saraquill

    Are you familiar with the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series? When the author died, his estate went to his biological family, though he was hoping to earn cash for himself and his significant other of 20 years. The legal battle was messy and not in her favor.

  • Mimc

    She’s welcome to not vote if she likes. It’s not mandatory here. But she can pry my right to vote from my cold dead hand.

  • otrame

    I bought each of my son’s a big box of condoms when they turned 14. Just put it in their bathrooms, didn’t say a word directly about it.

    With the eldest, one of the kids he handed some out to got caught with it my his parents. The dad wanted to talk to his dad, but I was the only adult there, so he sort of hinted around about why he needed to talk to my husband. I said, “Oh, the condoms. No, I bought those for him.” After he collected his jaw up off the floor he told me, rather hotly that his kid wound up with one. And I said, “Good.” While he spluttered, I said, “Look, maybe your kid will stay chaste until he marries and that’s fine. But if he doesn’t, and these days most boys don’t, then he needs access to something that will help prevent unwanted pregnancies and/or incurable diseases.”

  • Adamska

    I’ve heard a lot of stories about active bfs putting their feet up and leaving all the work to their wife once they’re married… not a lot of stories about lazy boyfriends suddenly bucking up and getting to their husbandly duties once the ring is on their finger… Funny that.
    I don’t like to cast aspersions but one might be forgiven for thinking Alexander is talking out her rear. /S

  • Anri

    “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.”

  • Mary Hannah bates

    I am a bastard and illegitimate to boot. I am also a bad speller.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    Illegitimate is from the bible. God started all the shit for kids. Neat god.

  • lady_black

    That supposes that a god wrote the Bible. It was written by men. MEN started it.

  • Falconlights

    I know Colorado has common-law marriage. Not sure what other states have retained it.

  • Falconlights

    Don’t they always?

  • persephone

    I went to Wikipedia. It lists 9 states. What’s interesting is that those states don’t recognize common-law marriage unless it meets certain guidelines. Some states require that you file paperwork to the effect that you are living as spouses. Most require that you show clearly that you are living as a married couple, which includes putting both names on housing, sharing money and bills, etc.

    It’s not just a matter of moving in together. AND, if you decide to break up, you have to go through a regular divorce. I really don’t see the point of it.