Advice Needed

I am a cradle Catholic, and was a lapsed Catholic until about two months ago. I have a very immediate problem.

I currently live with my fiance. Niether of us practiced any religion for the first years that we’ve been together, and she has been supportive of my reunion with the Church. She has indicated on several occasions that she is interested in becoming Catholic (currently non-practicing Methodist). We’ve been on an Engaged Encounter weekend, which was a fantastic exercise. Our priest indicated that we scored higher on our FOCUS evaluation than he’d ever seen in over five years of ministry. I really feel that we’re meant to be together because we’ve always complemented each other very well, and we’ve come through some very hard times together, and are better for it.

I do not, however, feel that she would understand if I moved out, or even began sleeping in the spare bedroom of the home we share. I would love to do this and have her understand that my desire for a stronger, healthier marriage is the root of this desire, but I cannot find the words.

We’re getting married in July, and we’ve been together (as a couple, not cohabitating) for over five years.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I think this is the key to your dilemma “I cannot find the words”.
Communication is the key to strong marriage, so you better find the words. It is absolutely essential that you can discuss this and all related topics, like use of ABC, welcoming children etc. before marriage. Regardless of your scores on the Foccus test, if you cannot communicate your feelings about this, it is a danger sign.


I think you are right, “cannot find the words” is the key to my dilemma, though not for the same reason that you state, and its my fault for not being clear enough in what I am asking in the forum.

I know that cohabitation is a sin, just as fornication is a sin, and no matter how much we love or mean to each other before the marriage sacrement, that won’t change, so we need a workaround. I need to move out, at the very least I should sleep in a different bed.

Now - can anyone help me soften that up. My problem is not an inability to bring up tough subjects with my fiance, its just that on sensitive issues, I can sometimes be bullheaded and a little too blunt.

Some underlying philosophy for this would be good too. The “what” no matter how soft will only suffice if there is a why behind it, and “the Church says so” is working for me, but may not so much for her.

Like puzzleannie said, communication is essential to a healthy marriage. This conversation will be good practice, since there will be times when you won’t be starting from the same point of view on things, but will need to find make decisions as a couple. :wink:

Here are some current threads that might help:

If there is a seminar near you, why not invite her for a dinner and talk with Christopher West:

He gives a very touching personal account of his past experience and how he changed. It’s also Bible-based, so she might connect with that.

It sounds as if you are worried that such a big change will offend or hurt her. Have you been sharing your views on co-habitation up to this point with her? Does she know or suspect that you are changing?

Also, how are you cohabitating and not having kids?

Sometimes we can approach things that need to change as simply bad (which sin is), but forget that God’s News is Good!

Therefore I suggest instead of just saying that the Church says it is bad, which is true and needs to be known, say how it will strengthen your relationship. One book of course would be “Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West. It does a great to approach this topic and several others rrelated to marriage.

Also, I say take this approach. Some couples get married do not go on a honeymoon partly because they live together now. The honeymoon looses that excitement because you are already having sex and living together. To step away from cohabitating along with fornication, you can better enter into your marriage and sex. After you promised yourself forever to each other, now that union means so much more because with love comes responsibility- that I have promised myself to you till death do us part and any child that could come from our union I am here to support you. So I say taking this time away from each other and rededicate to chastity will make that beginning of marriage special as opposed to something that you did last week so why is getting married change that.
PS: Not saying you are having relations with her, just put that on there for people in general to read.

She might be afraid to tell you the same thing… I know that happened quite a bit in my life…

Okay, I’m floored… this subject did not come up during the Engaged Encounter weekend?

The EE weekend was before we lived together, we didn’t live together until a year after the EE weekend and BTW neither of us were practicing any religion at the time so any advice on cohabitating would have been disregarded in our modernist attitude.

One of the things I appreciate most about premarital chastity is that I really believe it is preparing my fiance and I to be better spouses. So when we resist the temptation to sleep with each other now, we become more confident in our ability to resist the temptation to have an emotional or physical affair once we’re married. When we have to come up with creative date nights that don’t involve sexual intimacy this weekend, we’re getting practice for the times in marriage when we won’t be able to have sex, because of pregnancy, illness, travel, etc.

Tell your fiance that she deserves an devoted, loving, and faithful husband, and that the best way for you to become this man is by starting to practice these virtues today. So, you’re moving out of the house (or out of the bedroom) because you need to practice discipline, and you want to find nonsexual ways to show your affection. You love her and respect her and you want to show this to her now, by recognizing that only her husband has a right to see or touch her naked body.

AMEN, AMEN! That is being a MAN, not out for what you can GET, but seeking how best to GIVE to his beloved.

There is a nationally known chastity and marriage-preparation speaker who was sleeping with his then-girlfriend when he asked her seriously, “What if we stopped sleeping together?” She broke down sobbing for 10 minutes before she could finally express that she was crying out of relief. She had felt used, but couldn’t express that to him. After a few months of struggles, they finally managed to stop sleeping together and to enjoy a couple-year-long chaste courtship, before they married and started their family. What a witness of how sexual mistakes can be repented and corrected! What grace must have been flowing there and continues to flow!

Wow, this story gives me hope! You most certainly are not the only one struggling with this! I too hope I will have the strength to end this terrible vice of cohabitation.

Peace be with you all,


My fiancee and I have been dating for 7 years now and have been engaged since Thanksgiving. We have been living together for just over a year and have not abstained from marital activities.:blush:
I am a cradle catholic but have just recently decided to be active in understanding and participating in the faith. I was just confirmed a few weeks ago and have been trying to get better since. My RCIA teachers have informed me that we need to be living “as brother and sister” and only if no other arraingement can be made.
I am moving back to my room separate from his and I told him I didn’t want to have that kind of relationship until we are married. Even though we have already sinned, it is important not to perpetuate it by sinning more. He is very unhappy about all this, especially as he is protestant and sin is a very loose term for him.
I understand just how hard it is to talk about this, I cried! However, it is harder to have it weigh on you knowing that you are putting your relationship with one another before your relationship with God. Ask her to pray with you that you each separately come to love God more, and remember to always put him first. Pray that in loving him you will better understand how to love one another and have a respectful, holy relationship. If she won’t pray with you, still pray on your own and keep praying. Either way, the situation must change.
After that, go to church as often as you can. Give everything, especially your struggles to God. He can redeem you and your relationship. And remember to humble yourself before God, or he will humble you. I hope both our situations are resolved and, oh yeah, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Tell your fiance that she deserves a devoted, loving, and faithful husband, and that the best way for you to become this man is by starting to practice these virtues today. So, you’re moving out of the house (or out of the bedroom) because you need to practice discipline, and you want to find nonsexual ways to show your affection. You love her and respect her and you want to show this to her now, by recognizing that only her husband has a right to see or touch her naked body.

great advice! :thumbsup:

I hate to butt in here, but if she won’t pray with you, think long and hard about whether or not you want to marry her. My priest had a very interesting talk a few weeks back about marriage and he said (paraphrased): I see all these people getting married and sharing a bed and yet they don’t feel comfortable enough with eachother to pray with eachother - how sad!!

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