As a comedian, Steven Crowder rubs me the wrong way. But an article he published on Fox last week (which, unfortunately shares some of the same characteristics of his comedy that bug me) is nevertheless a must-read on why starting marriage the “right” way - i.e. without shacking up - is by far and away the best thing you can possibly do to ensure that you have a successful marriage.

To me it’s still incredible that anyone anywhere still argues that “testing out” marriage by living together first is a good way to build a successful relationship. The hard data shows that this claim is like arguing that drinking poison is a great way to achieve health - sure, a small number of people might have a resistance to the poison and carry on living happy, healthy lives. But most will die.

If you’re determined to ensure that the romance, excitement, and fun of marriage disappear as fast as possible, and are really keen on getting divorced, then consider living together before getting married. But if you want to build your marriage on a rock-solid foundation of friendship, authentic love, and red-hot romance, then embrace self-discipline, court your would-be spouse properly, get to know them deeply as a person before becoming their sex partner, and start your life together with a wedding that really is a new beginning, the coming together of two as one flesh, the forging of a completely brand new, awesome, exciting thing, and not simply a duty-laden continuation of something that long ago got boring and stale.

And for those of us in the pro-life movement, let’s be frank: a woman is way less likely to abort a child from an unplanned pregnancy if she is married to the father. The culture of promiscuity that has given rise to the practice of co-habitation, which has coincided with staggering levels of divorce, is the source of the abortion culture. We can’t really be honest in our pro-life convictions if we defend or personally live the culture of promiscuity. Want to fight abortion? Set an example for the world. Be chaste.

Anyway, this is best part of Crowder’s article:

I’d like to tell you a story of our morning after, however. One that transpired into one of the most glaring epiphanies I’d ever had.

As my wife (again, still not used to that) and I ate breakfast at a local inn, we discussed how excited we were to start the rest of our lives together, how scary it was that everything was now so different. At the same time, we overheard the table next to us discussing their very own wedding from the night prior. What a coincidence!

“The thing is, nothing’s really changed,” the bride said.

Puzzled, my wife asked, “Did you get married last night too? So did we!”

“Congratulations!” the other dame said. “Yeah we did, just last night.”

“Where’s the groom?” my wife innocently… scratch that, naively asked.

“Oh, he’s sleeping. There was no way he was coming out with me this morning!” She paused and smirked. “Let’s just say that he’s got a lingering headache from a really good time last night.”

My heart sank. Firstly, that poor schmuck’s “good time” was simply getting snookered. Not enjoying the company of close family and long-lost friends with a clear head and clean conscience, not staring in awe at his beautiful new wife, wanting to soak in every glimmer of her eyes as she shot him heart-racing looks from across the dance floor, not taking all of the cheesy pictures as they cut the cake, not even carrying her across that suite threshold as they nervously anticipated their “nightcap.” He probably won’t remember any of it. Instead, he got smashed. He was “that guy”… at his own freaking wedding.

Then I realized something. Our wedding was truly a once in a lifetime event. It was a God’s-honest celebration of two completely separate lives now becoming one. Physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually, everything that made us who we were individually was becoming what bonded us together. Our family traveled from far and wide to celebrate the decision of two young people to truly commit themselves to each other, and selflessly give themselves to one another in a way that they never had before that very night.

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