Getting married before having kids is a huge deal in this country. Our religious beliefs tell us to tie the knot first before getting knocked up--and for good reason. Getting married first before having kids lays down the foundation essential to build a family. However, local statistics show that less coupels are getting married today.
Because of the ever-changing times, we now some couples have children—whether intended or accidental—but remain unmarried. For some, living in together seems to work even without a divine blessing or formal contract that binds them together. They stay committed to each other, just like married couples should, and their kids grow up not really knowing the difference. Granted, of course, other couples and their kids aren't as lucky. But if you think about it, some married couples also end up separated or annulled.
So is marriage really a must for couples before having kids? A new study says it might just be a piece of paper or a ceremony… but with one condition.
New research published in the Journal of Family Psychology suggests that living in together is just about the same as getting hitched when it comes to a couple's emotional satisfaction, provided that both of them are mature enough to handle all the responsibilities that comes with it.
The long-term study looked at the emotional state of American couples with kids and found that women are emotionally satisfied in their relationship whether they are just co-habitating or married to their partner. Younger women are less emotionally distressed after living in with her partner, even after having kids. However, men in general experienced are more emotionally distress after getting married than just co-habitating.
What more interesting about this new study? It found that when co-habitating couples have kids, they showed even less emotional distress compared to couples who don't have kids, considering the demands and stress of taking care of and raising a child. It appears that unmarried couples who have kids develop a stronger resolve to work on their relationship.
Claire Kamp Dush, also a co-author of the study and associate professor of human sciences at Ohio State, said the results may reflect that living in together is now more accepted in the society. "At one time marriage, may have been seen as the only way for young couples to get the social support and companionship that is important for emotional health. It's not that way anymore. We're finding that marriage isn't necessary to reap the benefits of living together, at least when it comes to emotional health," she explained.
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Here in the Philippines, getting married before having kids is still the more popular opinion. Still, there are unmarried couples who have kids—and their family stay intact, at least long enough for them to get hitched in the long run (or not!). Admittedly, some couples get married because a domestic partnership does not have as many legal perks. However, marriage can offer more than legal benefits if done right.
What we're curious about is if marraige--or the absence of it--affects Filipino moms' overall happiness and life satisfaction.
What do you think? Answer the poll and share your thoughts on the comment section below.
Sources: December 8, 2015. ” Marriage Doesn't Make You Any Happier Than Living Together (huffingtonpost.ca) December 3, 2015. “Live together or get married? Study finds similar emotional benefits (eurekaalert.org)
As a woman, single or married, how did you think getting married (or not) affected your overall life satisfaction?
Definitely getting married made me happier. Our relationship is one of the best gifts to our kids.
Happy most of the time, you know, ups and downs. My husband and I always work it out.
I'm not married and I'm happy. What's important for me and my partner are our kids.
I have a child and I want to get married because I think it will make me a happier woman.