By MIA FREEDMAN
Before I met my husband, I had three defacto relationships. From my late teens to my early twenties, there where three occasions where a boyfriend and I moved in together and this lasted anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year.
While the experiences and the blokes were very different, all three guys had this one thing in common: I AM REALLY GLAD I NEVER MARRIED ANY OF THEM.
One was a cheat and a compulsive liar. Another was an emotionally abusive drug addict. One was lovely (and remains a close friend) but we were totally unsuited for the long haul. And it took a period of living together to discover all of these things.
Which is why I say bollocks when anyone claims couples should automatically get married instead of living together. Yesterday, social services minister Kevin Andrews insisted that “the numbers don’t lie” and that married couples are more likely to stay together than de factos. PUT A RING ON IT, he said. It’s a safer and more secure – especially for kids.
There’s a good reason why more de facto relationships break up. It’s because THEY ARE MEANT TO. Thank heavens bad relationships end – hopefully before other more permanent commitments are made like pets, property and children. This is a good thing. It’s part of natural relationship selection and I personally have benefited from this process several times.
Living together fast-tracks a relationship. No question. You learn stuff about someone – and about yourselves as a couple – 10 times faster when you’re living together than when you’re just dating and keeping separate addresses.