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Most sociologists define marriage as a socially approved mating relationship with many variations based on social norms Although marriage is still considered the norm it has become an optional lifestyle for greater numbers of people to maintain non-marital households One of the most widespread lifestyle trends among non-marital households is that of cohabitation By definition cohabitation is a living arrangement in which two people who are not related and not married live together and usually have a sexual relationship According to Chuck Colsen in his book Cohabitation Its Training for Divorce in 1960 there were ninety married couples for every one cohabitating If the present trend continues there will be only seven married couples per cohabitating couple by the year 2010 There are many myths about marriage and cohabitation that are widely accepted as fact but the number of marriages that end in divorce is much greater for those who live together on a trail basis before marriage There are countless myths about marriage The most prevalent are that people marry solely out of love that having children increases marital satisfaction that a good sex life is the best predictor of a marital satisfaction and that half of all marriages end in divorce The truth is that people marry for many other reasons such as the fear of loneliness or for economic security Studies have shown that married couples are actually happiest before the children are born and after they leave home due to the demand of raising children In a marriage how a couple handles conflict is a much better predictor than blissful sex as to satisfaction of married couples According to the 1990 census slightly less than a fourth of all adults who have ever been married have also been divorced It is presumable the later myth that influences couples to elect to live together rather than marry It is easier to fall in love than to remain in love When
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