(Closed) SO wants me to move in with him but my family is against it

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 32
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

@forgetaboutme:  Do you have a moral or religious issue with cohabitating? It sounds like living together goes against your personal belief system and if so then it’s totally warranted for you to say living together before marriage is a dealbreaker. On the other hand if you guys are spending the night at each other’s houses, having premarital sex, are non-religious, etc, then I’d say maybe it’s time to evaluate where your motivation to maintain the status quo comes from. It’s possible that you’re only saying no because of your family or maybe you’re nervous about the relationship changing. It might help you talk to him if you can explain why you don’t want to live together.

That being said, I’d echo the other suggestions to wait to move in (if you change your mind) until after he’s proposed and you have a set date to ensure that you don’t get stuck waiting for him to be ready.


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@tara.gratz:  I was under the impression that the commonly referenced statistic on cohabitation before marriage accurately applies only to couples where one partner had lived with an ex. Meaning not that they had lived together, but that they had lived with other people and then subsequently terminated that relationship. I agree with 
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Arrowchan that stats are sometimes misleading. For example, having children decreases risk of divorce, but it also decreases marital satisfaction. It’s great to look at numbers, but I’d also look at this relationship individually. The boyfriend may say he’d never consider marriage before living together and in that case it might not be a good solution for the OP to refuse to compromise and therefore end an otherwise happy relationship based on a statistic that may not even apply in her specific relationship.

Post # 33
2240 posts
Buzzing bee

If you don’t want to live together before marriage, don’t do it. 

I see some of the ladies here saying that you could “compromise” and live together after the engagement. Living together after the engagement but before marriage isn’t a true compromise, because engagement is not marriage. He would be getting what he wants, and you will have not gotten what you want at all. That is not a compromise. Engagement is not a guarantee of marriage, either. 

I don’t like how he’s talking about your relationship with your family. That, to me, is a big red flag. You shouldn’t have to rework your whole relationship with your family because he thinks you’re too dependent on them. If this is how your family operates, that’s fine. You should have a spouse who is ok with it, not one who wants you to separate yourself from them. I don’t think you’re too dependent on your family; not from what I read, at least. I think you and your family are tight-knit and that they are supportive of you. That is not something you should have to give up to be with a man. It’s one thing to adjust aspects of your life, like family, to respect your marriage and make it a priority, it is another to do things in a way that they never were before and that you don’t really want to. 

I think you should reevaluate this relationship and try to discern whether continuing a relationship with this man is in your best interest. 

Post # 34
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

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@forgetaboutme:  I grew up in a family which is really close. My cousin is like a sister to me… I know how things go in close knit families. That being said, my family couldn’t afford to pay for my university and they do not have the kind of control over me that your family has over you. His comments about your family paying for your education were unfair but I can understand how he could be resentful, I have friends who get given cars, education etc etc and I still have to listen to them complain about their family etc, the number of times I have been tempted to turn around and say “You have no clue what working for something is” is ridiculous. I’m not saying that is the case with you, but when people get given things and then complain in spite of it, it pisses people off.

He might feel like he will always be second to your family, that what they think will always come first and while a stupid way to do it, he might be testing that here… He may have changed his mind about living together before marraige because he sees an influence from your family and he wants to be sure that you are who he thinks you are before getting married… I wish you luck, I know my family’s opinion is important to me but I make my own decisions and they respect that. I suspect your bf feels you aren’t making your own decisions.

Post # 35
1384 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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@forgetaboutme:  I am probably one of the only bee’s who didn’t/won’t live with my Fiance until we are married. And yes, it is because I am respecting my family’s wishes and also because I decided when I was 18 that if a man wanted me to live with him, he would have to marry me first. My parents, too paid for all of my schooling so that I would enter the “real world” without debt. They have done a lot for me and as much as I am looking forward to no longer living with them (I moved out for 2 years and came back to finish up school), I felt like respecting their wishes is what is right for me. I don’t judge couples who move in together first or whatever. Everyone has to make the decision that is right for them. If it doesn’t feel right to you moving in together without a proposal/wedding date set/being married/etc, then you have to tell him that. Set your family aside for a moment and think about what is right for you. You are an adult and can make your own decisions, whatever they may be. But my personal opinion in your case is that I think he should propose first before you move in.


Side note: My fiance and his family think I am absolutely ridiculous for being so stubborn and not moving into the home we just bought, but my Fiance has known I wouldn’t live with a man unless he was my husband since we were 21/22 so he has to deal with it lol. Something like this should not make or break you. Follow your heart.

Post # 36
3025 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

You need to do what is good for YOU.

I suspect that your SO is getting nervous precisely BECAUSE he is serious about you. I personally wouldn’t want to get married before living with someone and I am proving myself correct right now, as I live with my Fiance. I have learned a HECK of a lot about him through living with him that I simply would never have known otherwise. Luckily it’s nothing that will get in the way of me marrying him.

That being said, if you know that YOU don’t want to live with him before marriage or engagement, fine. If it’s just your parents’ wishes? You should give this some thought before you have a conversation with your SO. I would be frustrated if I thought my Fiance ws doing or not doing something just because of his family. But I think with lots of talking, I could get around it. The fact is, people are raised in different ways, and different doesn’t = wrong. But it can be hard to keep that in persepctive when it’s standing in the way of something you feel strongly about.

You may need to find a way to compromise, OP!!! This could be a deal-breaker for your SO.

Post # 37
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

let me start out by saying that I am completely on your SO’s side here. I think marriage before moving in is playing Russian roulette. You cannot know a person as well when you’re not living together. Period. 

to me, it’s like this. Basically, two things can happen if you move in together: it confirms that you’re each other’s the one, or you discover that there are certain things you’re just not prepared to deal with “happily ever after”. This will happen regardless of when or if the marriage takes place. 

So in scenario a) (before marriage) you either discover that things are great and you can continue to marriage or that this turns out very different to what you thought and you can re-consider the relationship. In scenario b) (after marriage), you can also discover that things are great or that your then DH is very different than what you thought and if it’s a deal-breaker. Well then a divorce seems much worse than having lived together before and having seen that the two of you don’t match. 

So therefore I don’t understand this concept of getting married first. If you must, go ahead and get engaged (without all the serious planning so in case it goes wrong you don’t “have to” go through with the wedding because everyone has been invited etc). 

With regards to your family situation: just because you are less dependent than your presumably very dependent cousins doesn’t mean you’re not letting yourself be “babied” 😉

i think it’s great that you’ve got such a good relationship with your parents, but respecting your family does not mean you need to do everything as they wish. You can respect them just as much and still take your own decisions. if they also respect you, they’re going to respect your choices. And since you keep referring to how they have supported you financially: it really bothers me that this seems to be another reason for you to do as they please. You’re their daughter so they supported you. They didn’t BUY you! So whether you are debt-free or had to work all your life really should not have any say in whether you move in with your boyfriend. 

The only thing that matters is whether him an you want to move in together. I wouldn’t assume that he is just looking for a reason to break-up with you. I’d rather think he wants to assess how much you’re really depending on your parents. IT Seems tha it is too much for his taste and if you prove him right by not lovinf in within because your parents might be against it, he will probably see what life with you would mean, because let’s be honest – a person that is not moving in with their partner to respect their parents will also be influenced and only do what their parents want ten to do on many further choices in life. 

If he is then breaking up with you, it’s much more likely tha he wants to have a relationship with an independent partner and not always rely on your family agreeing to everything he plans. 

I hope you can find a way to work this out.  

Post # 38
1405 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

It’s funny how rather than creating greater freedom and options for women, we simply replace a “should” with another “should.”

At one time, it was considered wrong to live together without being married. You SHOULD only live with someone after marriage. You SHOULD only have sex in marriage. Those were the messages sent by society. The pressure to follow those norms was tremendous.

Now, look at how many people will tell you that you SHOULD live together before marriage and it is wrong NOT to do so. Not that is an option, but that you SHOULD. How is that greater freedom for women when we replace one should with another and tell others how to live?

Your SO is pressuring you heavily to do something you do not want to do. Society is pressuring you to live together. Yes, one of the reasons you believe the way you do is because of your parents. But even setting religion aside, there are still people who choose not to live together before marriage.

It is true that living together does tell you a lot about a person. On the other hand, a lawyer I know who handled divorce cases told me he had seen many couples who had lived together happily for years before marriage. But they did not last long together after being married. So living together is no guarantee of a successful marriage. Did the divorce rate in the country drop steeply after couples started living together before marriage?

I was turned off to living together when I was younger because I saw so many women spend years with men who then never made a move to marry them. The women were getting older, wanted kids, and tried to talk the man into marrying them. No romantic proposal for them, they had to try to nag or guilt the man into it, and many that I saw were not successful and had to move on after giving years to a relationship. Of course many couples who ive together do eventually marry.

I actually took the chance and married someone without living together first. I did not even more in after the engagement. I took a chance on not knowing what it was like to live with him. On the other hand, I wanted marriage to be something new and special. How special is the wedding day when you have lived together for years already? I guess for some people that works, and that’s fine. 

In fact, there are pros and cons to the way people used to live and the way many people live now. When most women refused to have sex outside of marriage, dating was about courtship and meeting as many different people as possible to find the right one. Typically, people did not take years of each other’s lives trying to decide if the other person was the right one. Sex before marriage brought greater freedom, but also introduces exclusivity and “long-term relationships” where people are involved with each other and only each other for years before making a decision about marriage. As you have already considered, women have biological clocks with regard to having children.

Do not let him pressure you into doing something you do not want to do. At the same time, do not pressure him into something he does not want to do. If he truly does not want to marry without a test run by living together, he has a right to his beliefs.

You cannot talk him into marrying you. Instead set a time limit in your mind. If this relationship does not lead to marriage by…..then I will move on with my life and look for someone else. If you do give in to the pressure and move in, set a time limit on that as well. Or better yet, tell him HE can move in with YOU. Then after a year, he can pack his bags and move out.


Post # 39
507 posts
Busy bee

I do not vote for living together before engagement for me personally. Here is my (and my mom’s thought) you make the commitment to a person you know well and you learn to trust or slightly retrain them (of course any woman should run if a guy turns abusive of cruel when you move in) but it is part of making this commitment that you say you will learn to live with the person. I had a friend that called me up and told me I should live with my Fiance before we plan to get married because you learn all sorts of things and do you know what? The thing I learned is that he is 100 times better than I thought and still an incredible guy I cannot wait to get married to. Living together is not the end all be all.

We did choose to live together prior to marriage, but after engagement. That was my rule. His family is more conservative and I thought it was a little more respectful. 

One thing – he definitely had cold feet. It seems very common – even with the great ones. After he proposed he has since several times wanted to run to the courthouse the next day.

Post # 40
2266 posts
Buzzing bee

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@forgetaboutme:  My FHs family is definitely against co-habitation. My parents are reserved about it.. but they’re not AGAINST it. If that makes sense.

To compromise, I told him I needed a ring on my finger before I moved in with him. I want that commitment of being engaged. Not a promise ring. Engaged.

His parents are still against it… but we did what WE wanted to do. Not what they wanted to do. After all.. I’m not dating his parents. 

Post # 41
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Maui

It really depends on the values of the couple, but I don’t think you have to live with someone to really get to know them.  Anything you need to know can be found out by honest discussions and keeping your eyes open.  I lived with two of my exes, and everything I found out by living with them I could have probably gathered just by looking at how clean they kept their room while single.  Really, maybe I am just naive but I can’t think of anything you might learn other than the cleanliness of your mate, and honestly, would you really want to end things with someone over how sloppy they are? Or would you want to stay with someone who would consider dumping you over your cleanliness?

And after having lived with exes before, I can see how it prolongs a bad relationship.  Everyone says living together is good because you can test each other out and still get out if things go sour, but I would argue it makes this even harder.  Once you move in, you have already invested so much, and it makes it so much harder to break up.  A break up after living together is a huge mess.  Why choose the huge mess when continuing is the comfortable option.  It is even thought that the reason why people who live together first have a higher divorce rate is because there is a tendency to slide into marriage with an unsuitable mate. The couple has already invested so much and marriage is just the next step from living together and easier than a break up.  However the “cohabitation effect” and negative effect on divorce rate has not been observed when couples are engaged first.  This is because engaged people are moving in together with a different mindset, not the “test drive” mindset but the “long haul” mind set.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather my guy actively choose me rather than sliding into marriage because it’s convenient.  

Plus, I’m not married yet, but when I was living with guys it felt like we were already married.  We stopped dating, stopped a lot of the romance, spent more nights at home, had less sex, etc.  I know this is natural for passion to kind of fade out, but why not save that for actual marriage?  Like a PP said, I’d rather save that excitement of building a home together for actual marriage.

Post # 43
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I wouldn’t marry someone without living together, but that aside-

You should not be letting your parents make this decision. This is your life (and his) and this decision needs to be one you make together. Your parents should not have a say in this. 

I would reconsider a relationship with someone who put their parents opinion on something that had no impact on them above my opinion on something that directly affects me. What if you get married? Will you still be letting your parents decide what happens in your relationship? 


Post # 44
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@tara.gratz:  Cite your source?

There’s actually pretty good evidence that the divorce rate is going down because of two things: people are getting married older, and that more couples are cohabiting before marriage. The reasoning behind this is that when couples live together before marriage, if they’re not compatible they figure it out before getting married and break it off rather than getting married and then getting divorced.

Personally, I would much rather find that out before getting married. 


Also, the divorce rate is highest in the Bible belt: http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/08/25/divorce.bible.belt/

Though the cohabitation before marriage thing is debated, it’s widely accepted that the most statistically significant factors regarding divorce are young age and low education level. 

OP, I personally think that cohabiting before marriage is really important. Like many PPs, I think that getting engaged then moving in together would be a nice compromise in this case. If you don’t personally have a strong reason against it (besides your family’s opinion), then I think you should try to meet your SO in the middle.

Post # 45
956 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@forgetaboutme:  it sounds like your parents have a huge say in what you do. You mention that you don’t want to move in with him out of respect for your parents….but who you live with doesn’t affect your parents, it affects you and your SO. I understand why he is so nervous. I hate it when my Future In-Laws put their nose in our business. I didn’t even realize how incredibly nosey they were until he moved in. Luckily, we were able to squash that right away and put up boundaries. 

He is probably scared that even when you do get married, your loyalties will be to your parents because you “owe” them For paying for university. He is probably trying to make sure that your relationship with him comes before the one you have with your parents, because when you are married, that’s how it should be. Not that you can’t still have a great relationship with him, but that you need to go to him when things get tough and prioritize your marriage first. 

Try talking to him about why he changed his mind. Once you know what the issue is, you can try and fix it together, with or without living together. 

Post # 46
2107 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Ok, sorry if you already answered this, I don’t have time to read everything before I leave for work. What do you want to do. Aside from his feelings, or your families feelings, what do you want? I have been in the exact same situation, minus the engagement part. i now live with my boyfriend, and I am happy. And my family got over it. If you have any questions about what I did I would be happy to help.

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