Cohabitation before marriage?

I am a conservative Catholic, and I have always been taught that cohabitation before
marriage is wrong.:confused: However, I recently discovered that my parents lived together(bought a house and everything)before they were married. My mother said that they were celibate the entire time, but is that even possible?They lived together for quite some time. Not that I distrust my mother, but is it even possible to control your hormones like that? As a teenager, do I have a right to inquire about my parent’s life before they had me?

Yes-- do not engage in “cohabitation”.

Live in separate homes.

I would see if your mother is open to another discussion on the subject. No, you don’t have a “right” to inquire about your parent’s life before they had you, but you can certainly see if they are willing to discuss such matters.

As a parent myself, I may or may not tell my daughter details about my life and my life with my husband (her father) before we had her, it will depend upon her maturity and how I believe she will handle such information at the time and be able to apply it to her own life decisions. There may very well be decisions I made that I would prefer her not to make that I will share with her, if I deem it appropriate to do so. Or there may be decisions I made I will never share with her. But she doesn’t have a “right” to every detail of my life before she was born if I think revealing such details would not be in either of our best interests.

Yes, cohabitation before marriage is wrong according to the Church’s teachings. Yes, it is possible to be chaste. Be careful of assuming or presuming that your loved ones have sinned in situations that could appear otherwise.

I cannot speak to what your parents did --some can have for example blind spots and think they are doing something at the time that is the way to go --when it is not.

One begins to “live together” once one is married.

Your children will know that mom and dad were sinners before you were born. Everyone sins. But what the sins were, or how serious they were, is nobody’s business but yours and your confessor’s. To tell your children of your sinful past will not serve any positive purpose. In fact, it could encourage them to match or surpass your deeds for bragging rights. Just be the positive example in their lives that is your responsibulity when you become a parent. God bless.

If you only recently discovered that your parents bought a house to live in together for some time before their wedding AND you have always been taught that cohabitation before marriage is wrong…maybe there is a reason your parents had not discussed their situation with you.

Living together without being married can be very hard to maintain chastity and would advise against it to those wondering if they should do so.

Please trust your mother that they were celibate the entire time.

No one needs to share their life story with anyone…not their virtuous stories or their stories of trial or their stories when they fell short.

Parents do not need to answer inquires as to their past to their children. No discussion does not mean the parent is “keeping” something from the child.


They lived together for quite some time. Not that I distrust my mother, but is it even possible to control your hormones like that?


As a teenager, do I have a right to inquire about my parent’s life before they had me?

Not really.

You asked a question of your mother and she answered.

Let those among us with out sin, cast the first stone.

Just to throw this out there, cohabitation, in and of itself, is not sinful, what is sinful are three things which usually accompany cohabitation

  1. actual sin
  2. near occasion of sin
  3. leading others to sin by ones example

The first of these is something that mus talways and in all cases be avoided. Whether or not the other two are ok depends on how serious the reasons were for them to live together and how they handled it (ie, removing as much as possible situations which are likely to lead to actual sin and doing their best to ensure that others realize that they are not living together as husband and wife)

Whether or not your parents had a serious enough reason to justify living together none of us can know. But even if they did not, as others have said, we are all sinners, even your parents. Just because they made mistakes in the past that doesn’t change who they are, or make them bad people.

I had a grandmother who smoked who lived to be 90 years old. One should NOT conclude from this that smoking won’t shorten your lifespan.

Is it possible that two people can cohabitate without succumbing to temptation? Sure. But it’s about as likely as smoking until you’re 90.

Some things are wrong because they are inherently sinful. Some things are wrong because they incline you towards sin (if not guarantee it).

i have a friend who is in her 40’s and she is engaged. she will soon be moving in with the man who she is going to marry - they don’t have a date set yet - as he is waiting on his annulment. they have completed counseling with the priest and i am somewhat confused as to whether the priest approved of cohabitation or if he knows about their plans.
i guess it is none of my business, i was just wondering if it was proper or not.

And none of that is the business of a minor child who wasn’t born yet.

Sorry, my sins from my youth are not conversation fodder for my child.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Technically in the eyes of the Church, the man is still married. The situation can certainly cause scandal, at the very least. There will be people that will tell you this is how its done these days, but it seems a very troubling situation from what you have described. Sounds like the priest didn’t get an adequate description of the situation, can’t imagine that the counseling actually is complete since the man is not even free to be married in the Catholic Church as of yet.

those were my thoughts too. kind of a delicate situation. i am feel like i am walking a tightrope.

I’m sure my parents had sex but they never talked about it. Just follow what the Church teaches and ignore the world which will tell young and old, - daily, 24/7 - that you can’t control yourselves. Don’t cohabitate.

I was born in the mid 1950s. The average number of kids in my neighborhood was two. Two. There was no birth control pill, IUDs, morning after pill, etc.

Self control. That’s a 100% guarantee of not getting a sexually transmitted disease. Sounds like a good idea.


This is apposite.

Just because someone has avoided the negative effects of unwise behavior does not mean that others ought to follow suit. So be careful about what you mother has to say in this regard, least it encourages you towards what you seem to know is wrong.

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