Intimacy for non-married persons

I am wondering what degree of intimacy is allowed for someone in a situation that society puts on us that might prevent marriage. I receive disability benefits and if I married I could very well lose much needed medical coverage. So marriage might be out. So what can I do other than nothing when it comes to a social life and having an intimate partner.

It leaves you in the same situation that it puts any single person in. You are called to be celibate until married.

I am not so sure you would lose your disability benefits simply because you married, by the way. Your marriage would not take away your disability. You might want to look into that.

I’m not sure why you would think someone who is single is not entitled to a social life.

My MIL is single and devoted to Christ.

Yet she has a very, very active social life. She is always busy with things to do. Church activities, garden club, lunch with her neighbors, grandchildren to visit and help out with, volunteer efforts.

She says she doesn’t miss being married and can’t imagine wanting to go back to that lifestyle with her ex-husband.

Their are many different forms of intimacy that aren’t sexual at all. Intimacy with Christ, intimacy with your family, intimacy with your friends.

Sex is one aspect of marriage. Being single and celibate certainly doesn’t mean you stay indoors all day and do nothing.

Besides…I’m utterly confused as to why marriage is impossible if you believe your benefits would stop. I can’t see why you can’t at least inquire about how to receive much needed care and benefits even when married.

People with disabilities get married all the time.

A social life and an “intimate” partner are not the same thing.

You can and should have a social life.

Those who are single are called to chastity appropriate to their state in life. Sexual expression is exclusive to marriage. So if your real question is regarding sexual relationships without marriage, you already know the answer to that: gravely wrong.

People do not lose disability payments due to marriage, it is revocable for many reasons but it marriage.

This person probably receives SSI and if they were to marry their spouse’s income could very well put them over the income limit to continue to receive those benefits. I ran into this situation with a relative. She received SSI benefits and so did her fiancé. Because of the rules for SSI, getting legally married meant she would have lost a significant portion of her income. Instead of getting legally married, they had a “ceremony” and then cohabitated, because that was the only way they felt they could survive financially. Was it wrong? Yes. But I can sympathize with their situation and I understand why they did it. And we aren’t talking here about people who were rich and just looking for a way to keep their money. At the time they got married, I believe each of them was receiving less than six hundred dollars a month in SSI and if they had been legally married one of them would have had their SSI reduced by a couple hundred dollars. Our society is hostile to marriage. It punishes people for being married.

Not necessarily. My husband received a significantly higher tax refund once he was married. It’s called transfer to spouse on your tax return. Certain credits can be transferred. Certain ones can be used by the higher income spouse, some by the lower income, some it doesn’t matter so you get to play with things until you get the best “deal”.

To the OP: Are you acting on the assumption that your benefits would cease? Have you actually spoken to the office that administers the money or are you going by what friends and family tell you?

People on SSI don’t file taxes; they don’t get tax credits. SSI is different than Social Security. When my relative finally did the right thing and got legally married, her benefits were reduced.

You wont lose ypur disability if you get married. My mother was in the same situation. And she absolutely had to have it. But ahe got married and she never lost hers. And now her husband is also applying for it.

Yes, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s not just unilaterally a bad thing to be married and collecting disability. And chances are, there is much more conjecture among friends than actual information from the source of the money.

No sexual intimacy unless you are married. You can have a social life but I suspect you meant “Can I have sex without being married?” and the answer to that is, “No.”

It would if his wife made even a tiny amount of money (benefits are reduced dollar-for-dollar until the partner makes about $25k a year, when they are eliminated entirely: Medicare coverage usually goes even more quickly). That leaves $25k a year for the couple to live on (poverty and nigh-impossible by any standard for two healthy individuals), disregarding medical treatment - not to mention a child. For the cost of most medical treatments, that is a standard of living that results in no medical treatment, and, for a while yet, insurers will never insure an individual with a pre-existing condition (I believe they will have to by law in 2015).

The situation is surprisingly common; I’ve ministered two two men and one woman in it: I was surprised when I read up on the law, and even consulted an attorney on it, the first time, that the government would do something so unjust. I thought my interpretation had to be wrong. (So did I when one of those disabled individuals was able to get a job paying $200 a week, and lost $800 out of $1200 in benefits immediately. The welfare system is broken when it provides such a strong disincentive to work: work for money, or do nothing for the same amount of money.)

This is correct. If the above holds - that you lose benefits, and can not live without them - it is a cross to bear. Bear it well, if you can, with the grace of God.

I am not a canon lawyer, so I do not know if it is possible to have a sacramental marriage without a civil marriage at the same time. It is not something I have been taught. If one can have a sacramental marriage without a civil marriage, that would be the answer. I don’t think one can, but consult a canon lawyer, not an amateur theologian.

In my book, New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, it does assert, in the commentary to Canon 1130, the loss of government benefits “on which she relies for sustenance” due to the married state is a valid ground for a “secret marriage”, a sacramental marriage without a civil one. I am not a canon lawyer: this is merely a (prominent) commentary on Canon Law. My The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary does not speak either way on the matter of whether the loss of benefits/medical care/means of sustenance is a “grave enough” matter, but, again, it confirms that certain grave matters are sufficient. The text of the canon states: “For a serious and urgent reason, the local ordinary may permit a marriage to be celebrated secretly.”

By nature, the tax laws, the civil laws, the penal laws, the administrative laws, the social laws , the health care laws, all laws that are against the natural law of marriage are morally wrong, are morally awful, are not, per se, real laws. As catholic, we have to fight against them. If those laws deprive unfairly a citizen of getting the natural marriage, by the lost of fair financial help, we should do something to avoiding this injustice. The natural marriage should win.

The question is how? See the solution of a secret religious marriage under special conditions (Catholic Canon law). Thus, the marital act, the physical tenderness between spouses are moral, per se. (see the story of Saint Valentine, the protector of marriage).

My New Commentary also states:

"The local ordinary may be sympathetic to the plight of couples who may suffer financial hardship as a result of a public marriage, but he should consider the possible consequences of permitting a secret celebration. The permission may render the local ordinary liable to a civil suit or criminal prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the government.

Laws providing for the cut-off of entitlements after marriage are not per se unjust. They are based on the presumption that the new spouse will provide for the dependent one. Nevertheless, these laws can work disproportionate hardship on those couples whose income is marginal. Before permitting a secret celebration of marriage in such a case, the local ordinary should determine whether loss of entitlements would leave the couple indigent or only render their lifestyle somewhat less comfortable." (p. 1354)

Bolded emphases mine. This is the standard commentary (along with the other I mentioned, A Text and Commentary), but John Trigilio has some scathing remarks for it, some purposeful mistranslations in it, and notes some grave dissent and activism instead of exegesis in parts of the commentary, such as the “ordination” of priestesses, etc. on his Amazon review of the book. However, it’s one of three standard commentaries: it’s the “big green book”, alongside “the big red book” (A Text and Commentary) and “the little red book” (Code of Canon Law Annotated, which reflects European instead of American jurisprudence and interpretation).

No not at all. I understand that no sexual intercourse until married. What I mean is what is allowed between dating persons. I guess kissing is not a sin and maybe rubbing and there are other levels of intimacy. Knowing the person better than others is a level of intimacy. I guess dating is alright.

By nature, the tax laws, the civil laws, the penal laws, the administrative laws, the social laws , the health care laws, all laws that are against the natural law of marriage are morally wrong, are morally awful, are not, per se, real laws. As catholic, we have to fight against them. If those laws deprive unfairly a citizen of getting the natural marriage, by the lost of fair financial help, we should do something to avoiding this injustice. The natural marriage should win.

The question is how? See the solution of a secret religious marriage under special conditions (Catholic Canon law). Thus the marital act, the physical tenderness between spouses are not a moral issues, per se. (see the story of Saint Valentine, the protector of marriage).

Sorry, it is a mistake, twice the same message.

Kissing and “rubbing” will lead to sexual arousal. What happens after that? Physical acts that belong in a marriage are going to create the possibility of sin. You can date someone, you can get to know them, you can have fun with them, but doing physical things that lead to arousal is a no-no.

What exactly is the difference in celibacy and chastity?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but celibate simply means unmarried.

From the catehism:

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.132 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.

I suggest the entire section:

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

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