Living Together: The positive and negative effect on the society
Written by Herri Mulyono
People in different cultures all over the world have different system for family life. In most cultures, people live in extended families, in which several generations share the same house. However, in others, the nuclear family is the norm, with only the parents and young children sharing the same house. In the United States, some couples are experimenting with still another system of family life: living together. On the positive side, living together might reduce the divorce rate in the United States; on the negative side, it might lead to the eventual disintegration of the family unit altogether. If this new system becomes widespread, it could have enormous effects on American Society.
It has been frequently reported that divorce rate in America reaches 50% of total marriages. Many United States couples choose alternative of living together as family life for its benefit to reduce divorce rate. Living together is seen as alternative for the couple to cope with the divorce for system of the living together does not require them to endure strong commitment along their life relation. This system might free those couple from whole life obligations they have to carry out in order to keep the relation united. Furthermore, living together offers flexibilities for the couple to experience; firstly, flexibility of family roles that might lead them to choose particular role they would like to act out, and second flexibility that deals with their choice to have no children. In brief, less commitment and flexibilities are two main elements offered the system of living together that might be reasons of the decreasing number of divorce in the United States.
Living together might also harm American society for it might lead to the eventual disintegration of the family unit altogether. The eventual disintegration firstly is due to living together acted by many couple in the United State might have destroyed the meaning of family itself. The concept of family is established primarily by marriage where man and woman are united as husband and wife, and later become father and mother of their children. Secondly, the system of family life in living together clouds the roles of each member in family. Regarding to the system, it seems to be difficult for mentioning the man as a husband and the woman as a wife, and who will be the leader and responsible person of the family. The disintegration of the family life is also constituted thirdly by the absence of the following generation. When the system of living together allows the couple to prevent of having children for the less commitment they commit, problems of having following generations have been obvious. In short, disintegration indicators which are shown by the lost of family meaning, the absence member’s role in family life, and the lack of young generation might lead to the most critical condition; the lost of family life system either the extended or the nuclear family.
In conclusion, the new system of living together is beneficially supposed to sustain the unity of marriage while in others see that this new system might precisely collapse the concepts of family life which already exist. The two views of advantage and disadvantage of living together might be taken as basis of reason for the young couple to endure the new family life as their choice accordingly constitutes to integration of family life altogether.