Is living separately on same property cohabitation?

My husband and I were married in a civil ceremony 23 years ago. We have not lived together for the past six years but never divorced–he lives three hours away. I entered the Catholic Church March of 2013. My marriage is considered invalid. We are both elderly. He wants to come back so we can help each other when/if we need assistance as we are both alone. I told him I would not jeopardize my standing in the Catholic Church, that it would probably be considered cohabitating. If he lives in a separate home on the property, would that be considered cohabitating? We have both been celibate for many years, even before he left six years ago.

Talk to a priest about this. If your in seperate homes, I don’t see how it could be co-habitating. You might even be able to help him come into the Church if he sees your good example. Prayers and God Bless, Memaw

Cohabitation in itself is not immoral or sinful, but the concern is that it may lead to sexual sin or temptation, or perhaps the appearance of sin (setting a bad example to others). I agree with the previous poster, it would be good to discuss this with a priest who can help you sort out the possible moral issues.

Living in seperate homes on the same property would not be co-habitating and no scandle. Living in apartments of same building is not co-habitating. God Bless, Memaw


Your marriage is invalid only if one or both of you were married before you married each other.
If you want to live as brother and sister, there is no sin. Please talk with a priest to ease your conscience and to be at peace.

Discuss your civil marriage with a priest; depending on the situation you might be able to have it convalidated which would make you spouses in the eyes of the Church.

Cohabitation usually implies sexual relations, indeed my dictionary explicitly lists that as part of the definition.

Yes, both of us had a previous marriage/divorce a long time ago. Going through the Catholic legal process, our marriage was declared invalid.

Thank you for your response. I failed to bring him into the church after 23 years of subtle trying–he is a firm non-believer. Our marriage is over but without a civil divorce–we are too old for that emotionally destructive and expensive process. I just don’t want to be considered cohabitating.

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