Saturday, June 29, 2013
Live Together or Marry? Older Adult Couples Decide (Research, Video 2:14)
You’re an older adult couple living separately with plenty of life experiences behind you. Singlehood, marriage, divorce, raising children, and maybe a previous live-in relationship have come with life lessons. You’re ready to take your relationship to another level with more commitment and time together. Maintaining two households presents a financial burden. You’re not getting any younger. The question is where to take your relationship. Being in love, finances, and time are among several factors that will impact your decision. The bottom line for the two of you is cohabitation or marriage.
What’s an older couple to do? According to research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, cohabitation among adults over age 50 is rising rapidly. The Health and Retirement Study results indicate that “those who formed a union were as likely to be in a cohabiting relationship as a marriage." Older adult cohabiting unions were quite stable and unlikely to culminate in either marriage or separation. During later life, cohabitation appears to operate as a long-term alternative to marriage.
While many older adults have formed stable live-in relationship, there are still those who prefer to live in a traditional marriage. As this AARP video illustrates, age is no obstacle for this couple in making marriage vows. The bride is 100 years old, and the groom is 87. They joined in matrimony where they live at the Rosewood Health Care Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble .