SPE 1330: Effective Speaking

Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience about the 4 major reasons why it’s bad to             cohabitate before marriage.

Central Idea: The four major reasons why cohabitating before marriage is bad are because it leads to emotional damage, depression, domestic violence, and alcoholism.


I. How many of you are currently in relationships? How many of you know what Cohabitation is?

A. Well The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines cohabitation as, “living together as a husband and wife without any legal or religious sanction” meaning theirs no proof that you’re married.

II. Today, I am going to talk about why Cohabitation before marriage is a bad idea.

Internal Preview: (Let’s start by discussing how Cohabitation can result into emotional damages.)


I. Cohabitation leads to more emotional damages to individuals.

A. Couples who live together tend to be less stable than married couples.

I. According to the Journal of Marriage and the Family, “cohabiters perceived a greater likelihood of divorce when compared to couples that did not cohabit before marriage, and longer cohabitation is associated with a higher probability of divorce” (Thomson). This implies that couples should not live together because the longer they stay together, the less the person may feel the need to be committed to their partner. In a relationship where there is no legal bonding, it is much easier to break up with one another.

2. In the same article the Alternatives to Marriage Project proves “55% of different-sex cohabiters do marry within five years of moving in together. [But] 40% break up within that same time period. About 10% remain in an unmarried relationship for five years or more.” There is not much at stake compared to those who are married. The longer a couple stays in cohabitation, the riskier it is for a divorce.

A. Reason being, couples who cohabitate will find it easier to break up a relationship if problem arise. For the future, if the couples soon get married, they might have the same perception in believing that leaving the relationship is the easiest solution. This leads to divorce.

Transition: (So we just talked about how Cohabitation leads to more emotional damages to individuals now let’s talk about how Cohabitation increases the rates of depression.)

II. There are many emotional effects that are rooted from cohabitation but this is not the only risk. Another risk that can result from couples living together is the fact that it increases the rates of depression.

  1. According to the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, “compared to married peers of the same gender, age, race, individuals who are cohabiting reported depression levels that were about 2.8 higher than those reported by married individuals.” In other words, using these statistics, people are originally faced with everyday stress that the body creates to maintain a healthy well being.
  2. Today, people are trying to maintain a well-rounded lifestyle. However, because of situations we tend to place ourselves in places that are draining our inner self. Individuals should not be cohabitating because you may not be gaining much from the experience when things have a downfall. But the experience is taking away from your life, and this is not a good thing. So, why would someone want to be a position that would seriously affect their health by adding stress?
  3. It can be believed that if we can do learn things that make a positive impact on us, then why we should continue the trend of cohabitation to hurt ourselves? By not Cohabitating, we would not face depression at such a high rate and would become much happier beings.

Transition: (So we just talked about how Cohabitation increases the rates of depression now let’s talk about how Cohabitation leads to an increase in alcohol intake and domestic violence.)

  1. There is a strong connection between cohabitation and the intake of alcohol. Alcohol has many disadvantages which we all know it can be harmful to your health. A high consumption of alcohol can cause heart disease, liver disease, having trouble sleeping, fatigue, etc.
    1. According to the Journal of Marriage and Family, “[Cohabiters] reported nearly three times more alcohol problems than married respondents and about 25 % more than non-cohabiting single peers.” This is becoming a dangerous pattern that should be taken care of and may be due to problems in the relationship, for instance. Cohabitating is a bad idea because according to the statistics mentioned, it can be clearly seen that people are putting themselves at a higher level of health risk that will significantly have an effect.
    2. But alcohol isn’t the only thing that causes damage in a relationship. Cohabitation also leads to an increase in domestic violence.
      1. Cohabitants suffer more assaults and physical abuse when compared to married women. According to an article called, Trial Marriages, it was stated, “the U.S. Justice Department found that women are sixty-two times more likely to be assaulted by a live-in boyfriend than by a husband.” Due to this reason, people should not cohabitate because they are being more physically abused which is causing harm on themselves.
      2. Being abused is not fun and not an option. It is a serious crime that can only damage individuals more on the inside. We should not be relationships where we cannot feel safe or secured.


  1. People living together without any legal or religious sanction may be considered the “norm” of our society but it is a dangerous way of living life that should not be continued because it has been accepted without much thought.
  2. The act involved many risks that can result into emotional damages, increase rates of depression, and affect an increase in alcohol intake and domestic violence.
  3. It may be difficult to resist the temptations an individual has to spending all your time with someone who you love, but after looking at the consequences that may result from cohabitation, isn’t it worth the benefits to wait instead?  Thank You