Post # 1
My fiance and I are very Catholic and love our Church, but I’ve been having mixed feelings on this issue. We never planned on living together. I ended up leaving grad school unexpectedly, in a different city, five months before our wedding and I’ve been staying at his apartment while looking for a job. I know that many Catholics will say that living together puts you in the near occasion of sin, but we sleep in separate beds/rooms, and even though we’ve struggled with chastity before, we’ve made major progress and completely stopped messing around, not even making out. I planned on moving back in with my parents, who live 45 minutes away when I got a job, not because I felt like it was wrong, but because I think it will be more fun to start fresh after the wedding, not living as roommates, but as husband and wife.
I’ve also heard that living together is sinful because it’s scandalous and gives the appearance of sin, but I feel like nowadays everyone assumes you’re sleeping together whether you are living together or not, so it really isn’t scandalous.
I know our situation isn’t ideal, but I’ve never felt like it was sinful. My Maid/Matron of Honor called me today and told me she feels really uncomfortable about the situtation and told me I should go to confession and move home right away. I’m her son’s Godmother and she feels like I have a responsiblity to them to not live with my fiance. She said that it affects everyone, not just us, and even though it’s an incovenience, it’s the right thing to do. She pretty much said she wouldn’t feel comfortable at our wedding if we were living together. I know she has good intentions and wants the best for me, but it made me feel really awful. I feel like I should be able to make my decision on my terms.
I think there are many good reasons not to live together like “test driving” your relationship for marriage, because that “escape route” mentality is completely opposite to the commitment required in marriage, but we are fully committed and aren’t playing house for the fun of it, so I don’t feel like it’s inherently wrong. Am I just rationalizing?
(Like I said, we love our Church so I’d appreciate respectful comments that are not anti-Christian)
Post # 3
@vanessa7: I’m really surprised that your families are so vehemently opposed!
You’re not sleeping together, or putting yourselves at risk by making out/fooling around!
I would talk to your Priest. His opinion is really the only one that matters! If he’s okay with the situation, I say it’s fine! But maybe you guys could consider a roommate/chaperone? Someone to make it less “living together” and more “living in a group”?
Post # 4
I’ve gone to church since birth, and read my bible cover to cover. The bible says nothing about living together before marriage. It talks a lot about sexual immorality, whatever your definition of that may be, you’d at least have to be having sex for those verses to apply.
You know, and God knows, that you aren’t sleeping together and that you’re sleeping in separate rooms. It’s none of your MOH’s business if it makes other people uncomfortable under the assumption that you may be fooling around. At the end of the day their opinion doesn’t matter.
Post # 5
@vanessa7: You answered your own question. According to the Catholic Church, yes, living together is a sin because it gives the appearance of sin. Do you really feel like the members of your church or your parents would think you’re sleeping together if you didn’t live in the same house? I really don’t think they would just automatically assume you are because you’re dating. However, if/when people find out you live together, many people automatically think you are because of the living situation.
With that said, I do not think it is a bad thing to live together. I don’t even think it is a bad thing to have pre-marital sex. I don’t know anyone who lived together before marriage who were thinking “hey lets test drive our marriage before we get married” or who thought “Well, if living together doesn’t work out, I have an escape route that doesn’t require legal action.” That train of thought usually comes from people putting their thoughts in to the minds of others.
Personally I feel like you can only do what is best for you and your relationship. Is it a sin to tell a lie if you’re not aware of the lie you’ve told? Do you feel that you are being true to your faith and beliefs despite what others might say?
@beeintraining: The Bible doesn’t say living together before marriage is a sin, but it DOES say do not give the appearance of sin, and therefore, living together would give the appearance of having pre-marital sex.
Post # 6
@LynnSnow: Thanks for your comment. I feel like our parents and church friends know us and know that we aren’t sleeping together and wouldn’t assume that we were based on our living situation, but I meant that to the outside world, people would assume, because nowadays, that’s just what most couples do.
Yes, I’ve heard the scandalous objection, but I take issue with it because I don’t think the Church has officially condemned it as sinful, in encyclicals or in the Catechism. It doesn’t seem black and white. I also feel like scandal is pretty subjective.
I don’t think couples intentionally “test drive” a marriage, but that just seems like the step that a lot of couples take before getting engaged. They don’t want to make the commitment of marriage before make sure they can live together happily.
Post # 7
@vanessa7: It sounds like your Maid/Matron of Honor means well. Certainly, you want to consider the scandal caused. In fact, I’ve advised people in the same way your Maid/Matron of Honor has advised you. Sometimes you just hear cohabitation condemned so much, its like that in itself is the sin.
I was actually very surprised by the advise I got from a priest in the confessional. He was very outspoken against living together prior to marriage in the marriage prep stuff, but when I discussed specific situations with him in the confessional, he acknowledged situations aren’t always as straight forward as simply following the arbitary rule of not living together.
My advise would be to seek council from your priest both in what the appropriate action is for your situation and in dealing with your Maid/Matron of Honor. If you an improve the situation in some way, you probably should, but in our modern lives, the options of generations past aren’t always the options we have today.
Post # 8
@vanessa7: Just remember that it is between you and God. Everyone travels their own path. My husband and I didn’t live together prior to our wedding but we did sleep together.
Post # 9
@vanessa7: The reason it is frowned upon is because the temptation bar is raised SO much higher! If you can honestly say that you can control yourselves then there is no problem!
Post # 10
I am Catholic too, and I live with my Fiance. There is one thing I know about my church, and my faith; God forgives. Avoiding sin is a good thing, don’t be mistaken about it. But it is not my job, or your MOH’s job, or your parent’s job to judge if you are sinning, or that you have sinned. There is only one being with that power and that is God.