Dr. Wall continues his series on Cohabitation by exposing the lack of patience that cohabiting couples have. You learn patience by waiting; you learn anger by doing what you want when you want it. To see the other blogs in this series on Cohabitation click here.
Love is patient.
I Corinthians 13:4
This a series of several blog articles on cohabitation without marriage. The first one addressed some of the unintended legal nightmares created by cohabiting. In the second I discussed how cohabitation hurts sex and trust. Today I’m looking at how cohabitation encourages anger and fighting.
You’ll note the verse at the start of our blog today says that “Love is patient.” The whole idea of cohabiting is that “Love will conquer all.” Love will conquer all is a modern spin on love that says love is a feeling: As long as we have these loving feelings we’ll be fine. In contrast to a feeling, the two thousand year old quote above that love is patient is based upon an action: If we love each other we will wait until marriage. You are worth waiting for.
The subtle message of cohabitation is: Our loving feelings supercede old-fashioned values like marriage. We don’t need a piece of paper. We can do what we want. Morality does not mean anything. Sex is just an act. It does not need protecting. Marriage is just a legalistic social norm, and patriarchal at that. And the stupid weddings cost thousands of dollars and who can afford that? Besides we can save money NOW. We can live together NOW. We don’t need social support and legal encouragements and the blessing of God or the Church or our parents or anybody else. We have each other and love and feelings and that will be enough.
The catchword for cohabiters is NOW.
The catchphrase of cohabiters is NOW, NOW, NOW.
The catchword for people who wait to marry is: patience.
The catchphrase for people who wait to marry is: it’s worth the wait.
Love is patient.
But if you JUST move in with each other, love is not patient. That loving feeling is impatient. Our choices affect our behavior. If you want sex NOW, if you want to live together NOW, and our parents’ values be damned, and marriage is ol’ fashioned and boring and we don’t want a divorce after all (see my blog Cavalier About Marriage on destroying that myth) you will take this lifestyle of impatience into other areas of your life. You won’t have patience because you haven’t learned to have any. You learn patience by waiting!!! Practice, practice, practice.
Bake dough without letting it rise and you have a brick.
Paint a room without mixing the paint, taping the hardware, covering the floor and you have a mess.
Build a house without first planning what it will look like and you end of with a hodgepodge.
Drive a car without oil and see how far you get.
That’d be good.
But what do we get when we cohabit? What subtle messages are we sending?
You are not worth waiting for.
You aren’t valuable enough to wait for.
You can take me just on my word. My actions don’t meaning anything.
Sex is just sex. It doesn’t need protecting.
Do whatever you want whenever you want.
We can do this without consequences. Nothing bad will happen to us.
Hey, this is a bunch of crap. I’m not making this up. If you come to see me and you tell me you smoke marijuana everyday, I’m going to know that you are going to be lethargic and have the stictuativeness of a piece of used scotch tape. If you tell me you are masturbating to porn everyday I’m going to assume you are a selfish prick and I wont’ be far off. If you tell me you are cohabiting I will assume you will be:
-everything’s-an-issue kind of person
-protective of yourself
Why? Because you don’t think waiting is worth anything and you want what you want when you want it and you want it NOW. IF THIS RELATIONSHIP ISN’T WORTH WAITING FOR IT ISN’T WORTH ANYTHING!!!
So…if two people both believe that their relationship is not worth waiting for, what kind of patience with each other are they going to have? NONE. Zip. Zero. If I can’t wait to marry you to live with you, be sexual with you, then you can bet I’m not going to wait for anything else either. I want everything NOW. Frickin’ this and frickin’ that.
You might be the most fun partner in the world. You might be the most beautiful and gorgeous or handsome. We might have a ball. We might just laugh and laugh and the sex, oh, man, the sex is out of this world.
Six months average.
And then the fighting starts. Why? Because you said you believed this and you are doing that. You never help. All you do is nag. We’re hardly sexual ever anymore. You ignore me. All you do is video games! All you do is on-line chatrooms. All you do is hunt, fish, work on your car, work, watch TV. You never do the laundry. I have to do everything. Quit complaining. You’re so impatient!! You want everything your way all the time!!
And you are surprised by this? Hey, we don’t have to wait remember? What’d you expect?
Here’s a sobering quote. I’m not making this stuff up. If you want the whole article click here. If you want a life of fighting and anger, I suggest you rush to live with your lover. It’s the fastest road I know (although smoking pot everyday or masturbating to porn everyday will get you there pretty quick, too):
One study in Great Britain did look at the relationship between child abuse and the family structure and marital background of parents, and the results are disturbing. It was found that, compared to children living with married biological parents, children living with cohabiting but unmarried biological parents are 20 times more likely to be subject to child abuse, and those living with a mother and a cohabiting boyfriend who is not the father face an increased risk of 33 times. In contrast, the rate of abuse is 14 times higher if the child lives with a biological mother who lives alone. Indeed, the evidence suggests that the most unsafe of all family environments for children is that in which the mother is living with someone other than the child’s biological father. This is the environment for the majority of children in cohabiting couple households.
You say you don’t have kids, it’s just the two of you? Well, ahhh, if you are living with somebody that way and, you know, you, ah (uncomfortable moment…), ah, after awhile you will more than likely end up with kids. If you both are biological parents abuse is lower, but if you live together and aren’t married, you are way, way, way more likely to break up than married folk and now, after you break up, you’ll be living on one salary and who can afford that, you know, and pretty soon mr right or miss right will show up and it’s amazing we get along so great and before you can pay 3 rental payments you are sharing your rent with him or her and wow, this is so cool, until he or she loses his or her patience over your stupid kid and can’t you control him and he’s a total brat and he gets away with murder and you never discipline him and I’m not gonna live like that and CRAP…
A little patience people. The Jewish nation was founded on a guy who worked and waited 7 years in order to marry the girl of his dreams. After he married her he was an indentured servant for another 7 years in order to pay off his obligation to her father. Fourteen years! Fourteen years he waited and worked and loved. And, no, Jacob and Rachel weren’t shacking up on the sly and her sleazebucket-of-a-father, Laban, just wasn’t aware of it. No. He waited. Literally. For the whole enchilata. Really. Look it up yourself. Genesis 29. Is it any wonder the Jewish nation has made such an impact upon the world? A nation built on the love of one man for a woman he was willing to work for and wait for 14 years.
And you? You can’t wait 14 days till the end of the month because you have to sign a stupid new lease.
To see the other blogs in this series on Cohabitation click here. The first two in this series are:
Dr. Wall starts a series on Cohabitation by exposing some of the unintended consequences of living together without marriage. It’s not the road to happiness.
Dr. Wall continues his series on Cohabitation by looking at how cohabitation hurts marriage.
Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa. To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473. For more information about Dr. Wall click here.
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