Are Pre-Marriage Living Together Couples More Likely to Divorce?

Are Pre-Marriage Living Together Couples More Likely to Divorce?

The number and percentage of interracial unions in the US have increased at an unparalleled rate during the last few decades. Today, partners from a different race or ethnicity are involved in one out of every six new marriages. During this time, attitudes about inter-racial unions have also improved significantly.

Interracial couples, particularly White-Black interracial couples, continue to report facing family opposition, kin rejection, and prejudice from neighbors despite the general increase in acceptance of interracial partnerships. When it comes to intermarriages vs interracial cohabitation, opposition to interracial partnerships is typically stronger.

Cohabitation may have a different purpose for interracial couples than it does for same-race couples because of the additional difficulties that come with intermarriage. Some mixed-race couples may live together more frequently than same-race couples do in order to gauge whether their relationship is strong enough to endure resistance from their families.

Cohabitation may act as “substitute weddings” for other interracial couples, allowing them to experience the advantages of marriage without having to deal with the difficulties of intermarriage.

Does cohabitation serve a different role for interracial couples than for same-race couples?

A recent study that looked at the stability and outcome of multiracial cohabitations before and after they transitioned into marriage in May 2022 in Demographic Research sought to answer this question.

This study indicated that same-race cohabitations and interracial cohabitations both perform similar functions and were based on data from the 2002 and 2006–2019 National Survey of Family Growth.

In particular, the stability and outcome of cohabitations between Black people of the same race and White people are comparable. The stability and results of cohabitations between Whites and Hispanics lay somewhere between those of same-race Whites and same-race Hispanics.

Interracial relationships that culminate in marriage have somewhat different outcomes. Living together before to marriage lowers the chance of divorce or separation for these mixed-race couples in ways that it does not for same-race couples.

White and Black couples in particular should be aware of this. This latest study provides insightful information about how structural barriers affect how interracial couples, especially White-Black couples, see cohabitation in society.

Interracial couples may have felt a stronger need to live together and gauge the strength of their bonds before getting married due to difficulties connected with overcoming severe hurdles to intermarriage.

Therefore, compared to marriages without a prior cohabitation, the subset of White-Black cohabitations that result in marriage tend to be more stable.