Guest Marriage: What Is It & Is It Right for You?

A guest marriage is an even more disputable topic than cohabiting. It’s easier to understand people who live together without officially registering their relationship than those who are officially married but continue to “date” with their legal spouse.

The relationship between a man and a woman is difficult to judge according to some standard, as well as to predict the scenario of its development. A guest marriage is a forced format, a kind of lifebuoy for the two lovers, who are incompatible in everyday life. Sometimes it is also a couple’s conscious choice. Life often makes its own adjustments, and the reasons for separation or for not living together may be numerous.

In some cases, partners are forced to separate: they reside in different cities or even countries, each of them has a job, but they want to consider themselves a couple, including legal registration. Another situation is when there are no objective obstacles to living together, but the spouses still live on their private territory and just date with one another. What is the point of this seemingly strange choice?

Advantages of a guest marriage

The most obvious pros include the possibility of “recharging the batteries”. As trivial as this may sound, the relationship is some sort of work, an eternal search for compromise and emotional involvement in the life of the significant other. Such energy inputs are not always justified. In practice, even the most unpretentious people sometimes need to have a rest. The ability to keep silent in certain situations, walk around in baggy pants, read a favorite book or watch a TV show allows you to take a deep breath and fill the inner “reservoir” with energy, which you will later happily share with your spouse.

The second argument in favor of a guest marriage is comfort. Permanent household duties can be burdensome, especially if a person is actively building his/her career. At first glance, this argument looks like a whim, but everyone gets tired of the routine.

Mood swings are yet another reason why some couples postpone cohabitation for an indefinite period. At a distance, you have time not only to get bored but also to realize the value of dates, keeping the romantic awe of the first visits alive for a long time. This makes the feelings acuter, introduces novelty into the relationship and awakens emotions.

The ability to live in your own rhythm (to return home at any convenient time, to fall asleep and wake up when you want to without the fear of disturbing someone) is the fourth obvious advantage of a guest marriage.

In a word, guest marriages help to transfer certain aspects of relationships from the sphere of duties to the sphere of desires, transforming cohabitation into a source of inspiration and replacing “must” or “should” with “I want.” However, like any phenomenon, a guest marriage has its own dark side.

Disadvantages of a guest marriage

This romance is taken easy as long as you do not have children. Given that the parents’ relationship model has a significant impact on children and shapes an idea of their future family, it is necessary to think twice before deciding on a guest marriage, if you have a common child or are planning to have one. However, being categorical is not the best way out even in this situation.

Separation after the birth of a baby happens to be a forced measure and is associated with a variety of reasons, for example, with the nature of the job that requires total concentration and feeds the whole family. Sometimes the decision to have your territory becomes the parents’ informed choice. In this case, it is important to discuss in advance how you will organize communication with the child. Some couples decide to live together temporarily to take care of the newborn baby. Couples with older children distribute their duties and take turns to attend meetings at school, take kids to sports clubs and help with homework; they try to support each other in every possible way. Others develop a detailed schedule of meetings, trying to spend most of the time together so that everyone feels as comfortable as possible… The necessity of such complex decisions itself minimizes all the advantages of a guest marriage.

The disadvantages of living separately include partners’ emotional detachment, lack of daily support, often indifferent attitude to each other’s problems, a separate budget, and a high risk of adultery.

Are these problems totally alien to those sharing one apartment? The question is rhetorical… Any couple can face similar problems, so it is important to be able to agree on who pays for what, support each other at a critical moment and resist seductions. If you really value a person, many tough issues can be resolved.

A wise consensus in the matter of a guest marriage is the mere acceptance of its existence. If we approach the matter with a cold mind, rejecting youthful maximalism, excessive conservatism, categorical skepticism, and stereotypes, it becomes clear that each relationship is unique. What is convenient for one couple is completely unacceptable for others. Ultimately, if people do not have a sense of inner loneliness and there is strong support, then this is a marriage. And it’s not so important whether it is a guest marriage or not.