Cohabitation is frowned upon by the Philippine writer Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas. There is no doubt that there are drawbacks associated with living with the person you love without making it a legal contract. Marriage is a binding contract that creates the element of one person possessing another. A male homosexual couple residing in south eastern NM USA , agreeing with the viewpoint of Dr. Villegas, decided to tie the knot after many years of cohabitation.
But let us explore the reasons cited by the Manila Times Columnist opposing cohabitation. The first sentence of his Changing World column states: I have heard human resource managers expressing concern for the increasing number of employees who are in live-in relationships without the benefit of marriage.
A couple of points need to be highlighted from this lengthy opening sentence. How many HR managers does Dr Villegas know well enough to have extracted such specific information? Also, the benefit of marriage has not really been firmly established worldwide. The Pew Research entity in the USA published an article claiming that around 40% of people over age 50 had been married at least twice. I do not have the source for that piece of research, but it can be easily retrieved by Googling.
He specifically spoke of an expat friend of his, who is the CEO of a 12,000 employee company in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, who absurdly counseled with a Catholic chaplain to marry ALL of the cohabitating offenders working for the CEO!! This type of meddling into employee personal lives in the US would put Sta. Rosa, Laguna head honcho in the unemployment line. HR is not even allowed to inquire if potential employees are married , or declare Religious preference in the States.
The dogmatic Doctor goes on to present abundant empirical evidence supporting his view that marriage is the only way and all other living arrangements lead to depression, suicidal ideation, premature babies, alcohol and substance abuse, premarital parenthood(Surprise!), mental retardation, respiratory maladies, etc.
What the good Doc failed to mention is that all of the afflictions just enumerated occur at around the same frequency with married couples. His entire piece only illustrates that if one is predisposed to believe something, then they can shop around for data that supports their fixed ideas.
All the items in his nauseating litany of medical problems occur in the general population and can NOT be proven to be caused ONLY by Cohabitation! Nobody can fault the Dr. for having the courage of his convictions opposing shacking up, but he can be criticized for foisting off his views as supported by science and statistics.