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Word Count: 962
As the rate of divorce soars and as increasing numbers of marriages disintegrate living together has become the popular alternative to many people in north America Expersts estimate that roughly 22 million people are currently sharing bed and board in a live-in arrangement this is approximately 1 of the total populationFamily Comptoms Encyclopedia 1992 ed Living together more formally known as non marital cohabitation is an emerging lifestyle In fact More than one fourth of all unmarried couples living together in the early 1980s were between 25 and 34 years old and an additional 19 percent were 45 and overTodays FamiliesDetroit Free Press 18 October 1995 B17 Although living together is not a recent invention the relationship has yet to be legitimized with a respectable name Existing terms such as shacking up or living in sin are just some of the crude names being tagged to people living together Living together can be valuable a substitute for marriage a cure-all for marital problems and a solution to the problem of frequent divorce A popular rationale for living together is that it is an ideal way to have a try out This trial marriage is a result of the ever increasing divorce rate Many couples are afraid of marriage and decide to live together with the intention to persue marriage if the temporary arrangement is successful The couples hope to minimize their chances of a potential disastrous marriage any conflicting attitudes toward social activities economic arrangements or domestic chores will be discovered and hopefully resolved while the couple live together Carter Sharon Trial Marriage Ladies Home Journal 14 May 1993 12-13 If an unsolveable conflict arises the couple can cancel their wedding plans and escape the painful exercise of divorce Living together ultimately can test the couples compatibility and have them really get to know each other Although evidence suggests that couples who live together do not necessarily have more or
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