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Cohabitation Before Marriage - High Divorce Rate?

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I've lost about 20 pounds, which was my goal. But, my stomach area is still flabby. I do stomach crunches, so what more can I do?

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My boyfriend and I have talked of marriage, but he feels that we should live together first. Although I'm 22, I still feel parental pressure, and know they wouldn't approve of this "trial marriage." My boyfriend says that the divorce rate is so high because people don't really know a person until they live with them. He wants to get married after we've tried living together for a year. What do you think?



Dear Torn,

Your boyfriend is mistaken about his assumption that living together before marriage would help lower the divorce rate.

The divorce rate in the United States is high. Forty-three percent of marriages end in divorce within 15 years according to the Centers for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics (

Findings from the Rutgers University National Marriage Project showed divorce rates are even higher for those who cohabitate before marriage. The evidence seems to show that living together before marriage increases the risk of divorce (

However, statistics aside, the decision to live together is a very personal one, and only you can decide what is best for you.