Cohabiting Couples Marrying for Their KidsMarybeth Sampsel
The engagement of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has created significant buzz online. It seems many are wondering, “why now?” According to a study from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, couples that have cohabited for a number of years, often feel pressure to marry from their children.
Maureen Baker and Vivienne Elizabeth interviewed 40 New Zealand couples who were living together for three years before either marrying or getting a civil union. The study sought to determine why couples would make the decision to marry, despite there being “few material or social advantages.” Though a variety of factors were discovered, the main reason the majority of couples sought to marry was that they desired to make public the commitment they had already made privately. Maureen Baker stated,”they wanted a party to celebrate an enduring and successful relationship – some had been living together for 20 years.”
For the couples who had children, however, pressure from the kids was a significant factor. Baker explained that many would feel pressure from their children, who would ask, “Why aren’t you married?” and “Does this mean that you’re still dating?” Given that children are surrounded by media that emphasizes and discusses marriage, it is no wonder they focus on the relationship between their parents.
To read more about the study, visit the New Zealand Herald.