A March 15th 2015 article in the Wall Street Journal points out there has been a steady rise in children born to unmarried, cohabiting couples. In 2002, it was about 14%, but now it's about a quarter of all births. The article discusses the bleak outlook for children of cohabitors.
It's has become more socially acceptable for couples to move in together to raise a child (planned or unplanned), all the while insisting that need to be "more sure" about the relationship or more financially secure before they get married. But as the article points out, cohabiting parents are more likely to split up, form new partnerships, have additional children, creating an expanding and complex web of half-siblings, step-parents, child-support payments and family visits.
I can't be the only one who sees that people don't think clearly anymore. Follow their logic...
Couples don't want to get married until they're more financially secure. This doesn't make any sense: marriage MAKES you financially more secure! It's what provides the legal and social ties to protect you. When cohabitors split up, their income splintered among multiple households. They are significantly less stable, and less capable of building wealth.
Doesn't anyone do the math? If your annual income is $50,000, and you have to support two households equally, then it means each family lives off $25,000, right? If you have another child with another partner, then each household would have to live off $16,000. How secure does that seem? Not to mention the DRAMA that comes with the baby mama/baby daddy scenarios where one "ex" feels their child should get more support.
And then there are women who want to to be a mom, but want to keep their options open to upgrade to a better father if this one doesn't work out.
I'm sorry, but in every single one of those scenarios it is the child who pays for the convenience and selfishness of the parents. Ask any adult child of divorced parents what it was like for them to have their parents split up, start another family, begrudge every dime they had to give to support the previous partner, while they were shuttled back and forth between households. Ask them what it did to their "security."
The harsh and unvarnished truth is, if you are cohabiting, you are justifying using each other -- financially, sexually, emotionally -- until something better comes along, MARRIAGE isn't the problem. It's the attitude that says, "My needs are more important than anyone else's."
As a public service, please stop and think about how your decisions don't just affect you.