Child shacking up


#1

OK, my son is engaged and that is great. The girl is lovely and the son is a great guy. However, he has decided he no longer wants to deal with God and “Catholic stuff” and is planning to have the girl move in with him to save on expenses until they arrange to get married.
I was devastated by the agnostic shift, since he was the most spiritual one as a child, and now I have to deal with this. He is 26 and a kind, self-sufficient adult. I love him dearly and could use some advice on how to respond to this without selling out God or being self-righteous. I’m fairly sure that he is not going to change his mind due to anything I say.


#2

Can I just say at 18 I did this after being raised in a wonderful Catholic home.

The roots you have planted some branches will fall, but the tree will come back and grow very tall.

Just keep praying my mother never gave up and little by little all of us have come back where we belong.

Don’t take it personal like it is your failure. Our children grow up in a world that shoves immmorality down their throats. So our friend to this is prayer and never stop.


#3

I did this too for four years, and deeply regret it.
Let them know that their relationship will suffer, and their wedding will lose some of its value for them. Their wedding night will be nothing special, just another night. That’s sad.
There are some excellent books on the subject of marriage, some available at CA.
I would just talk to them as someone who cares deeply for their happiness, and has the experience to know this is not good for them and their future children.
God bless.


#4

He is not agnostic. He is immoral, in plain English.

The sad part is he is putting the statistics against himself seriously. He is much more likely to end up divorced; he is also much more likely to end up not married to this young woman.


#5

I don’t have any advice. I just wanted to offer you my sorrow for your son. I know how hard this must be for you. I will pray for him.


#6

I shacked up with a guy when I was 19. We were engaged to be married. We ended up breaking up before we ever got married. I was not Catholic at the time so all was lost on me. My parents didn’t like it but I was young and naive at the time. I failed to see how sinful that was until much later in life.

Expenses are a big issue these days with the rising costs of just about everything. If they are doing it to cut down on expenses, you could always offer to let him OR his fiance stay with you if you live close enough. If one of them is staying with you, then they won’t have the upkeep of two separate living spaces and they won’t have an excuse to move in together until after they are married. My brother-in-law lived with his future mother-in-law before he married his wife to keep things above board and save on expenses. I am not sure who made this suggestion but it worked out great for them. (At least that is what they told us!)


#7

[quote=katy]… He is 26 and a kind, self-sufficient adult. … I’m fairly sure that he is not going to change his mind due to anything I say.
[/quote]

You answered your own question.

                       Kathy

#8

[quote=otm]He is not agnostic. He is immoral, in plain English.

The sad part is he is putting the statistics against himself seriously. He is much more likely to end up divorced; he is also much more likely to end up not married to this young woman.
[/quote]

I know this, you know this, he doesn’t think it applies to him. sigh


#9

he is 26, you are out of it mom, he is now free to be an idiot any way he chooses. Your job is to pray, there is nothing you can do about it. Consider Mary at the foot of the cross and her helplessness as you pray for him during the years it will take for him to get some sense knocked back into him.

living together to save expenses is a fallacy used to justify fornication and unfortunately dim-witted families actually encourage it. If you are ready to move in together you are ready to get married, so do it. There is no reason to delay. If there is some reason not to get married right now, there is absolutely no reason or justification for moving in together, financial or otherwise. Get a roommate to share expenses or move back home. Wise parents will charge rent so that option does not become too attractive.

No reason why a 26 yr old man is not ready for marriage unless he is so consumed by selfishness he sees this woman only as a sexual object. Since that is the overwhelming value of our culture, it would not be surprising if he did think this way.

Parents, do not do anything to encourage or enable this behavior, which for one thing virtually guarantees this couple will have damaged their relationship, perhaps irreparably, from the beginning. My rant is not directed against OP’s son, but the children in my own family who have chosen similar paths, with bitter predictable results.


#10

[quote=katy]OK, my son is engaged and that is great. The girl is lovely and the son is a great guy. However, he has decided he no longer wants to deal with God and “Catholic stuff” and is planning to have the girl move in with him to save on expenses until they arrange to get married.

I’m fairly sure that he is not going to change his mind due to anything I say.
[/quote]

If he is planning on having a Catholic wedding, hopefully he will be this honest with the priest in his pre-marriage meetings if he persists in his defiant behavior.


#11

So sorry . . . be sure to pray and sacrifice for them. It’s really all you can do at this point. —KCT


#12

[quote=Viki59]I did this too for four years, and deeply regret it.
Let them know that their relationship will suffer, and their wedding will lose some of its value for them. Their wedding night will be nothing special, just another night. That’s sad.
There are some excellent books on the subject of marriage, some available at CA.
I would just talk to them as someone who cares deeply for their happiness, and has the experience to know this is not good for them and their future children.
God bless.

[/quote]

Not only will the wedding lose some of its value, the marriage will be invalid if he is not marrying in a Catholic wedding with the intent of having a sacramental marriage. They will be shacking up just as much after the wedding as they are before the wedding.


#13

One thing I would do is make it clear that when they stay over, that they are to sleep in seperate bedrooms. I think that is a good way of reinforcing the morality of your home.


#14

He is 26 and old enough to make his own decisions. All you can do is talk to him about it and express your concern. I wouldn’t push it past that or you will develop relationship problems.

Sure it goes against Catholic teachings and that’s not good. To the Catholic Church it’s a sin (assuming pre-marital sex is present). However, living together before marriage does not automatically lead to marriage problems. Without going into alot of personal details, my family has had some dealings with people living together before marriage and in each of those instances, everything has worked out ok. Morally, was it wrong? Yeah, probably. Wrong in the eyes of the Catholic Church? Definitely.

My point is, I understand your feelings, and being a good Catholic, you are naturally very concerned about it. However, it doesn’t automatically lead to disaster, at least from a marriage point of view.

Pray for them and hopefully your son finds his Catholic faith again.


#15

[quote=DreadVandal]One thing I would do is make it clear that when they stay over, that they are to sleep in seperate bedrooms. I think that is a good way of reinforcing the morality of your home.
[/quote]

I agree!! :thumbsup:


#16

I will be a third to Vandal’s advice. I would also advise that you not visit them in their home since it would be giving a legitimacy to their relationship that isn’t there.


#17

Do the Monica and Augustine “thing”… pray unceasingly for their conversion.


#18

One thing I always wondered about these shacked up pre-marriage couples…do they help each other into their wedding threads on their wedding morning?

One thing I’ve told my young adult children…shack up is what you want to do? Then don’t expect a wedding party from us…invite us ( my DH and I ) to your wedding if you want us there but don’t expect me and your father to foot any bills…if you want to shack up and then get married…don’t expect anything more from us than to be at your wedding Mass and party/celebration YOU arrange and pay for.

If they shack up and don’t invite me to the wedding…then …oh well…


#19

[quote=contemplative]One thing I always wondered about these shacked up pre-marriage couples…do they help each other into their wedding threads on their wedding morning?

One thing I’ve told my young adult children…shack up is what you want to do? Then don’t expect a wedding party from us…invite us ( my DH and I ) to your wedding if you want us there but don’t expect me and your father to foot any bills…if you want to shack up and then get married…don’t expect anything more from us than to be at your wedding Mass and party/celebration YOU arrange and pay for.

If they shack up and don’t invite me to the wedding…then …oh well…
[/quote]

You might pay for that attitude for a long time to come, if you went through with that. Is it worth the bad and hurt feelings that might come, just to prove a point? Giving your daughter away in marriage, to include having a fine send off, is one of life’s most cherished moments as a parent of a daughter. I’ve done it twice, and to not be a part of that would be crushing.

Please rethink this!!


#20

[quote=mikew262] Is it worth the bad and hurt feelings that might come, just to prove a point? .

[/quote]

I understand your values and appreciate your own feelings.

I’m not trying to make a point…the facts are simple…if a couple wants to shack then they’ve made their bed and must sleep in it.

There can be a wedding Mass…and a party but a boldly openly shacking couple can plan and pay for their own wedding …

If the shacking couple hold it against the parents who don’t want to cough up plan & payment then the value the shacking couple place on their love and respect for the parents wasn’t worth the trot down the church aisle and wedding party. :twocents:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.