This is just a random thought!
Cohabiting with someone you are romantically attached to makes separation very difficult, it also increases the chances of getting stuck in a terrible relationship simply because “we’ve been through a lot together…” And the more this relationship becomes sexual which is much likely, the harder it is for any “good person” to simply walk away because they do not want to hurt the other person or give them the impression that they were simply used.
However, it also increases the chances of constant abortion and many unhealthy practices just because they want to be religiously and culturally correct, it also affects certain people’s spirituality because they may even start avoiding Church meetings so that they are not judged or their practice of cohabiting discovered and uncovered.
One would ask “why can’t they just get married immediately?” In Nigeria, getting married is not for the faint-hearted. By the time you are done meeting cultural, religious and societal demands, you’ll realize why many men in their late forties haven’t gone that path. This is not an excuse for people who go about making babies with different women, theirs are a different case.
Far from the religious reasons, cohabitation is something I’ll never recommend for anyone, there are many things and complex issues that have been birthed as a result. I have talked about people who got stuck and ended up managing themselves just because they didn’t want to be the devil who wastes people’s time, there are people whose life dreams were shattered just because by cohabiting, they became emotionally attached with someone who wouldn’t give them the freedom to become what they want to be, it has blinded people from seeing options and making an informed decision.
Cohabitation for me is like entering a marriage unplanned. People who cohabit do everything married people do just that majority are not open about it, they are not bold enough to bear the consequences and they are haunted every day by guilt especially when they are reminded that they are “sinners and dirty”!
However, there are very complex cases where people in a relationship started cohabiting not because they planned or desired it in any way but because circumstances like financial issues where one party became stranded and had no other place to go forced them to make a hasty decision. One would ask, what if your partner wasn’t there, wouldn’t you have found other alternatives? That’s a valid question but the truth is this, we often know what to do when we aren’t the characters in the experience.
It is like watching a football match, we always know what they should have played to be better, you could see people from their homes saying “these guys had a great chance to win but they flopped! They shouldn’t have benched Rooney! Ronaldo should have passed the ball and not aim at the goal post…” but when you bring them into the field, they become dumb!
The above excuse isn’t my way of becoming lenient on this subject. Life has taught me a lot of things and I have tilted towards becoming less judgmental and desiring to truly help people out of their mess and show empathy instead of judging them. Some of these messes are things I have experienced, some are things I wouldn’t have done better if I was in their shoes and I know that most judgemental folks are the least people to have overcome such troubles if they found themselves in the same circumstances other people found themselves.
Perhaps, we can do more of loving than judging, we can do more of saving than condemning. And to people who are cohabiting, you can save yourself from more damages today by seeking alternative help. Remember, this doesn’t mean an end to your relationship, it can even be the beginning of rediscovering the beauty of your relationship.