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Some people who are not currently married nonetheless , or live together, with someone of the opposite sex in a romantic relationship. The census reports that about 6 million opposite-sex couples are currently cohabiting; these couples constitute about 10 percent of all opposite-sex couples (married plus unmarried) who live together. The average cohabitation lasts less than two years and ends when the couple either splits up or gets married; about half of cohabiting couples do marry, and half split up. More than half of people in their twenties and thirties have cohabited, and roughly one-fourth of this age group is currently cohabiting (Brown, 2005). Roughly 55 percent of cohabiting couples have no biological children, about 45 percent live with a biological child of one of the partners, and 21 percent live with their own biological child. (These figures add to more than 100 percent because many couples live with their own child and a child of a partner.) About 5 percent of children live with biological parents who are cohabiting.
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Sec 121. Bigamy consists in the having of two wives or two husbands at one and the same time, knowing that the former husband or wife is still alive. If any person or persons within this State, being married, or who shall hereafter marry, do at any time marry any person or persons, the former husband or wife being alive, the person so offending shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisoned in the penitentiary, not exceeding two years. It shall not be necessary to prove either of the said marriages by the register or certificate thereof, or other record evidence; but the same may be proved by such evidence as is admissible to prove a marriage in other cases, and when such second marriage shall have taken place without this state, cohabitation in this state after such second marriage shall be deemed the commission of the crime of bigamy, and the trial in such case may take place in the county where such cohabitation shall have occurred.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values, this new report by a group of 18 family scholars summarizes new findings from the social sciences on divorce, cohabitation, and marriage in the U.S. According to W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and the lead author of the report, “In a striking turn of events, the divorce rate for married couples with children has returned almost to the levels we saw before the divorce revolution kicked in during the 1970s. Nevertheless, family instability is on the rise for American children as a whole. This is mainly because more couples are having children in cohabiting unions, which are very unstable. This report also indicates that children in cohabiting households are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems—drug use, depression, and dropping out of high school—compared to children in intact, married families.”
Joseph was sealed (not married) to several women who were already married. This practice is called theological polyandry - sealing for eternity without earthly cohabitation. Being sealed to a woman for the afterlife does not necessarily imply living together during mortality. There is no solid, reliable, unbiased evidence showing that those married women that Joseph Smith was sealed to ever lived with him or had any physical relations with him. These women remained with their own spouses to whom they were first married to. Church President Joseph F. Smith testified before a senatorial committee stating that sealings for eternity did not allow for earthly cohabitation. Therefore, this sealing practice did not mean that Joseph Smith was in any kind of earthly marital relationship with these women. In fact, not only was Joseph Smith sealed to other women, he was also sealed to men as well. Many early Mormons had living parents and spouses who weren't members of the church and consequently were not eligible for sealing blessings. The solution for this was for them (men or women) to be sealed to someone who would most likely gain exaltation, such as the prophet Joseph Smith.
If you're thinking about tying the knot, you're probably wondering if — and how — such a big commitment will impact your relationship. Here's the good news: than those who stay single, according to a recent from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Spouses are the happiest, the paper found, when their life partners are also their best friends. But it gets better than that. If your partner is also your best friend, you don't actually need to be married to reap the benefits of the relationship. The increased happiness levels the researchers found to be linked with marriage held true for best-friend couples who lived together too, even if they weren't married. To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers studied three separate data sets that included information about thousands of couples: The United Kingdom's Annual Population Survey, the British Household Panel Survey, and the Gallup World Poll. Then, they controlled for couples' age, gender, income, and health conditions (all of which could potentially affect their results). Here's a chart from the paper comparing the life satisfaction of people who had ever been married (red line) with people who were single and had never been married (blue line): There's some crucial that's missing from that chart though: The results were very similar for cohabitating couples who considered their partner their best friend but were not married. Here's a chart comparing the life satisfaction of couples who were married (blue bars) with couples who lived together but were unmarried (red bars). Couples whose partner was also their best friend are to the left; couples who had another best friend who was not their partner are to the right. People in a relationship who saw their significant other as their best friend and either lived with that person or married them were happier than couples who saw their best friend as someone outside of the relationship. "What immediately intrigued me about the results was to rethink marriage as a whole," University of British Columbia economics professor and study coauthor John Helliwell told the New York Times. "Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life." This takeaway squares with other research. A 2012 survey of American couples found that those who lived together but were not married had higher self-esteem and were happier overall than their married counterparts, even though both types of relationships improved bigger-picture well-being. Other studies have shown too that, despite persistent narratives about marriage as key to happiness, tying the knot doesn't always have a net positive effect on couples. A 2011 review of the impact on happiness of major life events found that couples who got married generally felt less happy and less satisfied with their lives over time. In other words, your significant other should be your best friend. But as far as marrying that person goes? Not required for optimal happiness.UP NEXT: Psychologists Say One Habit Can Make Or Break A Relationship SEE ALSO: Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits Join the conversation about this story »