Coexistence relations

In this age of instant gratification and tenuous relationships, there has been a sea change in attitudes towards traditional institutions like marriage. Over the past two decades, marriage rates have been falling as cohabitation rates have been rising. Compared to a generation ago, when only about 10% of couples lived, today almost 50% live together before marriage. Although the numbers are higher in the West, India and other Asian countries are catching up fast.

Living at home seems like a much more attractive proposition than the slavery of marriage. It’s a ‘fun thing’ and the partners believe in taking each day as it comes. They do not see the need to formalize the relationship. The standard answer given is that “none of us are religious, and a piece of paper doesn’t make any difference to our relationship.”

Stephanie Coontz, co-chair of the Council for Contemporary Families says, “Cultural acceptance and science have broken the age-old equation of marriage and parenting. All forms of families claim legitimacy and get it.”

Many tend to blame the Feminist Movement for the devaluation of marriage. Germaine Greer mocked the “middle-class myth about love and marriage.” If they were caught in that trap, they should have no qualms about breaking free.

An Indian feminist, Radha Thomas, said: “Marriage is nothing more than someone else’s rules imposed on you by society. Cohabiting relationships are nothing out of the ordinary.”

In their book “Open Marriage: A New Way of Life,” George and Nina O’Neil call marriage “archaic, rigid, old-fashioned, oppressive, static, and decadent,” and think monogamy should be done away with. But long before them, Sigmund Freud was convinced that sexual liberation in the face of sexual restraint was the panacea for all human emotional ills.

Bertrand Russell was also a proponent of the more liberal sex. He said: “Adults have the right to cohabit as long as they do not have children.”

Today’s young generation is an ambitious and work-oriented class unto itself, bent on reaching the top of the career ladder no matter what. Intoxicated by power and wealth, they have no time for moral compromises or lifelong monogamy. They cannot lose sight of their hopes and dreams for the sake of a legal document. They don’t have time to play loving husband or doting father to a litter of brats. Being financially stable makes them feel that they are “the masters of their destiny and the captains of their souls.”

Many educated women have chosen a “career only” role and are happy in it. A career provides an opportunity to remain single. Staying single is no longer a disability. Marriage is perceived as a threat to their professional goals. They have financial independence, personal freedom, and glamorous social lives. The husband and children would only break a pattern to which they have grown accustomed. Sexual liberation provides pleasure without compromise. And since everyone else is doing it, why not them? However, there is the possibility of working your way into the feminist cage of unrealistic expectations and a distorted understanding of love, which could distort your value systems.

Secular Humanism is another ideology, which has created a lot of confusion in the area of ​​sexuality, because it depends entirely on man’s wisdom and ability. The rights of the individual must take precedence over all else, no matter what destruction it leaves in its wake.

The cohabitation relationship is known by different names. Domestic relations (LTR) have no emotional or legal security. The Gestalt Prayer summarizes his ideology.

“I do my thing and you do yours,

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

you are you and I am me,

And if by chance we meet it’s beautiful,

If not, it can’t be helped.”

In common law marriage, the man and woman call themselves husband and wife even though there is no legal license to seal their relationship. There are many such couples in all walks of life, and they are recognized as such by the public.

However, a Cohabitation Agreement involves two people in a master-servant relationship. The master can be the man or the woman. A written contract specifies the duties, salary, benefits, leaves, medical benefits, and the length of the contract. There are probably clauses that deal with premature termination of the contract.

The advantage of a cohabitation relationship is that it is not oppressive. In fact, it is considered a liberating experience. It gives people their own space for growth and plenty of scope for creativity. Partners usually have the same level of intelligence and consider themselves equal. They are not the “sticky vine” type who need constant attention and reassurance. Nor does the woman dedicate herself to being the man’s mother, knowing full well that this could jeopardize her erotic role. Both partners value their independence and yet remain good companions and friends. Each seeks their fulfillment and is blind to the selfishness underlying their individual characters. Children do not figure in their equation, as responsibility is further from their minds.

Some cohabiting relationships end in marriage, especially if the woman becomes pregnant or the couple decides to start a family. This happens when there is stability and a deep mutual commitment.

But most are only looking for a short-term ‘high’. Having made the sacred commonplace, they move on to new partners. Sex is reduced to a mere biological function that can be had anywhere. There are no binding ties, and boredom sets in due to very little personal investment.

Some believe that marriage destroys sex. In Esther Peret’s book “Captive Mating” she says that domesticity dampens sexual interest. While living in gives the sensation of temporary and therefore it is more exciting.

Some broke up due to disputes over finances and cost sharing. Going Dutch may not be acceptable for a partner who receives a lower salary than the other and whose requirements may be lower. The division of household chores can also become a source of contention.

There could be a temperamental incompatibility, with one trying to rule over the other. Fights may become frequent, or there may be long periods of silence, or even violence. Character quirks considered cute early in your relationship can start to annoy. Familiarity, as they say, can breed contempt.

Some psychologists argue that when there is mental compatibility along with physical closeness, the relationship is long-lasting. And the so-called sage of all wisdom, Mahesh Bhatt, agrees, believing that sex has more to do with “mental mating” than the physical act.

Cohabitation does not constitute marriage. It is an arrangement between two consenting adults who believe they can get out of a relationship whenever they want. Many believe that sexual experiences before marriage will help select the right partner when it comes time to finally settle down. But how many short-range live-in relationships do you have to experience before you make the right decision?

Living in a home has been made easier thanks to permissive legislation. Judicial liberalism has given the green light to adulterous relationships. The basic assumption is the individual’s right to choose. There is no violation of the law, and it is perfectly legal, but the choice must be made responsibly. According to one legal luminary, “Living together is a good thing because it leads to fewer broken marriages. It’s the older generation that needs a total reorientation.”

Dr. Rakesh Chandra, Professor of Women’s Studies, says this is a sensible pronouncement as it “takes cognizance of something that is happening. It protects women’s rights and gives them the freedom to get out of an unsatisfactory relationship.”

Counselor Amrita Das believes that “a resident couple should be motivated by responsibility and commitment, and should see the relationship as a prelude and not a substitute for marriage.” She goes on to say, “We must distinguish between living as debauchery and living with a moral intent.”

Technology has certainly come to the aid of such relationships. The problem of unwanted pregnancies is solved with various contraceptive methods. Infections like STDs and HIV can be prevented through safer sex and antibiotics when needed.

The voices that defend morality are lost among the war cries of a libertine society. Even religious institutions, which once advocated chastity, remain silent for fear of alienating the young. The media exalt such lifestyles.

Living in a house brings with it little gain and a plethora of psychological problems such as disappointment, insecurity, guilt, depression, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. Eventually, it is the woman who suffers both physiologically and psychologically. When the breakup finally occurs, it can be a long time before one is able to find another partner. Coexistence has also become unstable. The frequency with which couples break up shows the fragility of such a relationship. Many find themselves single in middle age, and women may even miss out on having children.

Some studies show that couples who marry after a cohabiting relationship tend to divorce because the responsibilities of marriage are stressful for them. Of course, unmarried couples get similar rights to married couples in some countries. Scandinavia grants alimony and inheritance rights to the children of such liaisons.

While cohabitation relationships are not legally wrong, the ethics are questionable. An ancient prophet said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

What is legal is not always moral; what is possible is not always careful. The “I – Me – My” syndrome has become contagious in today’s society. The world would be a better place if life is lived in a way that enhances our dignity and self-esteem.

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