Would You Live With Someone Before Marriage?
My husband and I lived in sin before we got married. Put another way, "we shacked up." We tried to hide it from my parents (specifically my dad who is a super Christian) but I don't think we did a good job. I think my Dad knew we were living together but also lived in a state of denial. Six months before our wedding (and deep into shacking up) my dad asked, "so have y'all discussed what pieces of furniture from his place will move into your house?" I paused for a moment not knowing whether he was being sarcastic and then just said, "yes, we've discussed it." My mother, the all-knowing shade thrower that she is, peered at me over her glasses with that judgmental mother face as if to say, "you are a mutha f%$#& liar, you know you and that boy are already living together."
One month later, the house flooded. So I guess God fixed that little problem....
We were immediately thrown back into an unlikely situation. I moved in with my parents while the house was restored and hubby moved in with his mom. One day we were at my parents' house and because she couldn't help herself any more, my mother said (in front of my father), "so Hassan, you are living with your mama now?" We both turned as red as black people can turn and just stood there speechless. She smirked at us like, "uh huh, I outed your little asses."
All jokes aside, I think the time that we were forced to live apart before our wedding was much needed. I was raised to believe that unmarried people did not live with each other. Nevertheless, I lived with one boyfriend before Hassan (and that was a disaster) and then Hassan and I decided to test it right after we got engaged. There were many pros to doing so - we got to see how the other person lives (and how they do laundry) and we learned very early on about how to compromise on space (ahem...the closet). But at the end of the day, for me, it was a good thing to be separated for those few months before marriage.
I get the biblical argument for not living with your partner before marriage, so let's set that aside for now. Practically speaking, it can also be a good thing because it allows you the time you really need to process what the hell is about to happen to you. I asked my Dad what the hardest thing about marriage is and he said, "learning how to live in the same space as someone else." A loaded question with a loaded answer. When you decide to get married the whole concept of "personal space" becomes obsolete. Sure, you can build a man cave or woman cave in an attempt to dissect the spaces in your house, but that shit doesn't work. I freely walk into my husband's man cave all the time to bother him with my drama and other things.
Although I was technically not alone at my parents' house, I also wasn't with the person that would be my roommate for the rest of my life either, and there's something to be said about that. The separation allowed me to spend time in deep thought and reflection, and it allowed us the opportunity to still date during our engagement period. I would get goosebumps when I knew he was coming over to pick me up from my parents' house for a night out.
In the end, Hassan moved his things into the house the day after our wedding which was actually super fun and romantic. He carried me over the hearth when we returned from our wedding night and then started moving his clothes and belongings in. It felt like a really exciting fresh start for us and as it should have been all along. Looking back, I cherish that time that I had to myself before the wedding. In hindsight, I think we should not have moved in together before we got married, but I also know that in many cases there are benefits to doing so.
What do you think? Did you or would you move in with your partner before marriage? Sound off in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Arkady Lifshits Photography