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    Dear Diva Rebecca,

    I have been dating my boyfriend for almost five years. We have always talked about getting married even though he is scared of getting married because 50% of marriages end in divorce and most of his friends are divorced, getting divorced or in unhappy marriages. He doesn't want to end up like one of them. He has asked me to move in with him, and I said no because I would really like to get married first. The last few months he has been on my case about moving in together he says it would really help him get over his fear of marriage so I came up with a compromise. I told him that I would move in with him if we get engaged first. He doesn't want to agree, he says he would feel more comfortable doing what he said, since he is so afraid of marriage. In my mind I need a bigger commitment from him, and it would make me feel so much better. Now our relationship is on a stand still because neither one wants to give the other what they want. We want to be together but I am not willing to just date him for the rest of my life. I want to get married and have kids with my husband. I am 26 years old and I have always thought of getting married and having kids before I'm 30. The thought of moving in with him doesn't make me happy; a little voice in my head says I should but another says that if he doesn't know if he wants to spend the rest of his life with me after five years I should just move on. I don't know what to do.


    Laughlin, Nevada

    Dear Undecided,

    I think you are acting very wise and mature for your age to be considering this decision so thoughtfully. This is not a choice to take lightly as your boyfriend would have you do. Moving in together as a trial run before marriage is not a wise idea. You are completely right for having second thoughts about this issue.

    Nowadays people just move in with each other without a commitment and without a problem. They believe that if they can get along with each other, they will eventually get married. People use this type of cohabitation relationship as a way to test their relationship. Fifty years ago, this would be unheard of. Your family would disown you and your church would have you excommunicated. Not that this should ever be an issue. I just find it amusing how much times have changed. Although views have changed so much in recent times, old values do have a certain amount of intelligence to them. If you really want to get married to this person, living together before marriage is a bad idea and I will tell you why.

    Most people still hold to the idea that once they get married, it will be for the rest of their lives and this is a great way to think. Divorce does happen and it is a shame because all relationships have problems and suffer crisis's. When you can make it through those problems, however long it takes, your marriage will be even stronger in the end. Unfortunately, people use divorce all too often to solve their marriage woes. But when it comes to divorce versus breaking up in a non-committed relationship, the break up happens much more often than the divorce. Giving it a go at a test run while living together, you will certainly encounter some problems in your relationship. Living together is TOUGH, married or not married. It is hard on all parties involved. And then what will happen? You have a bigger chance of breaking up instead of getting married. However, if you were married or at least engaged, you would both give that much more of an effort to work on the relationship and save it during the hard times. It is a fact of life.

    There are many happy relationships where people live together and are not married and I am not knocking them at all. Many people do it for financial reasons. In cities where living together is tough, combining and sharing expenses can be the way to go. But if there is no need at the moment, you shouldn't have to live together just for the sake of it.

    You should really stick to your guns where living together is concerned. You gave him a compromise and he turned it down. How can you expect to have a happy marriage if he is not willing to compromise at all on any of the big decisions in life? Tell him whatever you need to and let him know how much you love him and want to be his wife. But let him know that you do need more to be happy. Call it moment of religious morality if you will. Just don't give in until you are satisfied.


    Diva Rebecca

    Not everyone will agree with me, everyone has their own opinion.
    What would your advice be?
    Be respectful and courteous. Rude remarks and slander of any kind will be removed.