Just don't know what to do


My fiancee and I have been living together for 6yrs. We have known each other for two before that. (Don’t want advise on seperating or that those who live together before marriage divorce, i find that to be a bunch of bull. I doubt the divorce rate is so high because only those that live together before marriage are divorcing)

We have gone through the RCIA program and are now fully initiated into the church as of the Easter Vigil. We postpone any wedding plans till we became Catholic. My confusion is that we have talk and we can’t make up our mind on which is the best course for us.

  1. Do we meet with the priest and wait 6 long months till get married? We have to go to pre cana and all that, i find it to be a waste, we been together so long, communicate great, have gone through more than any married couple i know and are still madly in love.

(So why haven’t we gotten married yet, well life, so many deaths, layoffs, accidents, money issue, we put it aside, we were also young when we got together, we are reaching 30 and would like to start a family soon, anyways now we are glad because it wouldn’t have been valid by the church anyway)

  1. Will they ask us to remain chaste or live apart? Don’t think we could do either. What if we try and fail then we can’t take part in the Eucharist?
    (Since i was a candidate, he was baptized, and since my first confession we have remain chaste, specially to receive our first communion but it is so hard)

  2. We could get a civil union at the courthouse but then what will the church think? The priest, deacon and RCIA director know us and love us, maybe they will bless our marriage with out to much of a headache.

  3. But what if they bless our marriage, convalidate, can i still have a big nuptial mass wedding?

  4. Because of health reasons i got off the BCP, also because i told myself that i want to follow the church teaching, we are not using any form of birth control, and remain chaste, but we are not perfect, what if i get pregnant, what does the church do then?

I know you’re advise will be to talk to the priest, but how do we start, if i say we want to get married, and they say ok remain chaste or live apart for 6 mos, will they get mad if i said nevermind can we get a civil union and you just bless our marriage lol

Joking aside, for us the Catholic faith is our inner being, we are so thankful for God, our community and our faith has grown so much. We truly want to do what is right, but don’t want to lose ourselves in the process.

Please help me,


The only person you are fooling here is yourself.

You have a “so what” attitude towards living together, getting married civilly and then saying “oops, sorry,” rationalizing your cohabitation and all the rest.

It doesn’t fool God.

You know the Church’s teachings-- and if you don’t you should continue to study until you do understand them-- and doing wrong *knowing *it is wrong hardly speaks of conversion of heart, which is what you stood in front of the entire community proclaiming when you stood up and made your profession of faith.

So, I would have to say-- act like you mean it. It means following Christ and doing whatever it is that the Church asks of you: separating, being chaste, preparing for marriage properly through Pre-Cana, and being obedient to the *authority *of the Church until such time as you understand her wisdom.

Anything less is just beneath your dignity as a Christian.

And, no, if you get married civilly you cannot have a “big nuptial mass wedding”.


You are in a state of serious sin. You need to go to confession, stop engaging in premarital sex (which I am guessing had been contracepted - another grave sin), and begin to live separately for you to really consider the Church to bless what exists between you. It’s great that you want marriage and want to follow the teachings on family planning - but you have to ask yourself: why? Do you want that because you want to have an active and loving relationship with God? If so, why do you ignore all his other requests on your life?

Sheesh, I do not know how you got through RCIA without going to a confession and confessing all these things - did you receive the Eucharist this Easter while living in sin? :frowning: That is sacrilege against God’s own being.


The OP stated that they did go to Confession and have abstained since then.


nobeer- Did you actually read the original post?! The OP has stated that she and her fiance are currently chaste. Also stated in that post was a bit about NOT BEING on the BCP and remaining chaste. The OP also mentions having gone to confession and being chaste since then. So maybe you want to read before posting?

To the OP- You and your fiance need to speak with a priest asap about marriage. So what if you have to do pre-cana and wait six months? Eternity is a lot longer than that. I would hope that any priest or deacon would give you a serious re-education should you ask to marry civily, knowing that it is not permitted. Best not to even try that route. To put it colloquially, suck it up, meet with the priest, and do what you need to do to get right with God.


no sex for six months is NOT a long time. Consider all those single people out there who go longer :wink: Plus you need at least that amount of time to plan a wedding :slight_smile:


OK, so you want to get married ASAP – “wait 6 long months till get married” – but you want a “big nuptial mass wedding”. Are you serious?

**“What if we try and fail then we can’t take part in the Eucharist?”
** Dear one, if you commit a mortal sin, you go to confession, repent of your sin, and keep trying. Then you can receive Holy Communion again. It’s what all of us do (or should be doing).

Look, it sounds like you want to live the teachings of the Catholic Church. And doing this, especially when you’re so accustomed to living as society says rather than according to God’s plan, is a challenge at the very least.

You don’t need to be perfect. Pray for the strength to remain chaste, talk to a priest immediately (the sooner you do, the sooner you can set a date and move forward with your BIG nuptual mass), and continue to grow in your faith.

You will never lose yourself in seeking God. In God alone will you find your true self – you were made by Him in His image. You will never find or be your truest self except in following Him.

God bless you. You are in my prayers.



Thanks so much for helping to clarify, 1ke also pointed this out too. I did skim a section of it - clearly to the annoyance of several people! :o


This is going to be long, so for the short version see the last paragraph.

Last month was the six year anniversary of when I started dating my husband. We have now been married a little over three months. We had been through several deaths: my mother, his grandfather (who was more like a father than his actual father), twins from high school, my great aunt and uncle, his great aunt, my best friend’s dad, and a friend of my family. His parents got divorced, and mine, which had been divorced since I was 3 but still lived together were talking about separating (never did, relationship actually got a lot better then mom died). We endured one year long distance relationship due to college. He was with me when I converted 3 years ago. Honestly we should have been married a long time ago, but I made a promise to my mom before she died that I would finish school before I got married – I sort of kept that promise in that I had enough credits to graduate before we got married, but I’m still going :shrug: doubt she would have minded but a promise is a promise. We had pre-marital sex and were able to stop :eek: It really is possible but don’t even kid yourself that it’s going to be easy. You already know that it’s not, and the longer you wait the more temptation there will be. We never contracepted or lived together though. As we went through marrage prep, the couple we were working with said we were better off than most married couples in that we had good communication, we had been through so much together, we supported eachother no matter what, and we already knew what our goals and roles were in marriage. In short marriage prep was technically a waste of time because we had so thoroughly prepared ourselves for the sacrament. However, I would not have done it another way if I could have. It was nice to re-examine some things we hadn’t talked about in a while and to go out and talk with a nice normal Catholic married couple that approved of us (family doesn’t necessarily approve of our union). Feel free to PM me if you want to talk since our situations are at least slightly similar.

In short what I’m trying to say is basically there are other people out there that have been in a similar position that stuck it out and wouldn’t change anything. You’ve been with this guy for years, what’s a few more months? Abstain from sex, go to confession if you fail so you can receive the Eucharist (if you get pregnant your kids won’t be treated as outcasts and the church will accept them lovingly just like any other kids), discuss and learn and pray and grow with eachother throughout the marriage prep program, and have that Catholic wedding mass you want. It’s totally worth the effort and sacrifices :thumbsup: Oh, and check into learning some form of natural family planning – it’s the Church approved way for avoiding/achieving pregnancy depending on your situation while remaining open to life.


Thanks so much for helping to clarify, 1ke also pointed this out too. I did skim a section of it - clearly to the annoyance of several people!

Have a beer, darling; go and skim no more. :wink: :smiley:


I agree that six months is nothing regardless of wether you’re living together or not.
It takes a long time to plan a wedding!
I’m more concerned about how you assume you should skip that process because it seems you think that because you bypassed God’s teaching on living together up til now and even got through RCIA you should somehow be exempt from facing the responsibility of going through the Pre-cana process.
I once had a wise pastor tell me, “Some day, you’ll have to quit running and face the Lord”.
Quit short cutting and do the right thing. Sorry to sound harsh, I’m really not that way, but why waste your time learning to be Catholic and then immediately opt out of it for convenience?


Pong, 1ke: To the credit of the ‘skimmer’, skimming could definitely lead one to believe they were not living chastely since OP seems to contradict him/herself by initially stating that they didn’ t think they could live apart or be chaste but then saying that they are chaste.

To OP: Hang in there, delve deeper into prayer and time with the Lord. Seek His help and strength. Ask God what He wants, no matter the costs. And I hope and pray for you and your fiance that you both grow in holiness and zeal for the Lord.

God bless you :slight_smile:


The Catholic faith is your inner being, and yet you are unwilling to hear anything but what you want to hear about getting married in the Church. Uhhh… OK.

You say you don’t want to lose yourselves… we are supposed to die to self in service of God and others. None of us ever perfectly do that, except Christ. But we are supposed to at least try.

You have been shacking up for 6 years, but 6 months is too long to wait? How does that math work?

Honestly, I think you are letting your pride (refusal to submit) and your fear of REALLY deeply examining your compatibility stop you from taking the Catholic marriage prep process seriously. That is what those six months are for. People live together for ages without getting married for reasons. And not the external, life beat us down ones you cited either. There are people who have gotten married at a dying loved one’s bedside, at the JP because they had no money, etc… a man (or woman) who is dying to be fully committed and obligated to their lover for life asks for that and finds ways to get it done.

If you want to be married in the Church, membership in which you freely accepted, then follow its rules.

P.S. If you are so concerned about “losing yourself” that you can’t abide anything you don’t agree with or see as valuable, don’t have kids. Your “self” doesn’t matter anymore, their needs do, and you have to be willing to give up everything you ever thought or wanted if that is what it takes to do right by them.


I think I understand what you mean about 6 months meaning little due to being together for so long.

I felt that way, having known my DH since junior high. It was a feeling like, c’mon, are you kidding me? :smiley:

That being said, if you choose your programs carefully, you will probably find some enrichment, if nothing other than a relaxing chance to focus on each other. Remember that planning a wedding is a stressful event. A little one-on-one time, even if you feel you understand all the concepts, is still a “retreat” of sorts.

DH and I chose the engaged encounter for our preparation class. Did we learn anything new? Heck no. But, we had a weekend of no cellphones, tvs, radios or work. Just the two of us, listening, rediscovering and sharing, along with daily Mass and confession. It was very uplifting and enjoyable.

Also, even if you feel cohabitation is no big deal, you do have to keep in mind that marriage is different from cohabitation. Perhaps for your pre-cana, you could ask for a counselor experienced in working with couples who lived together. Gender roles, division of labor, privacy, expectations (such as pregnancy) and communication all experience a transition.



Honestly, it sounds like you’re looking for somebody to say “it’s okay to live together before you’re married,” but you’re looking in the wrong forums.

I know that sexual temptation is difficult. This is precisely WHY it is not a good idea to live together before marriage. When you are not sharing a house or apartment, if the sexual temptation is too much for one of you, the person who doesn’t live there can get up and go home. Seriously, that is what my DH and I did. It is a good test for your future life together. There will be times in a marriage when one partner doesn’t feel amorous–depending on health (mental or otherwise), or stress, or whatever. Some women don’t feel amorous throughout an entire pregnancy. Wouldn’t you like to know that your husband can deal with that and still love you?

I had a friend in your situation. She would often ask me, knowing that my fiance and I were abstaining from sex, “How do you NOT?” Well…How do you NOT start smoking or start using illicit drugs? How do you NOT eat that piece of cheesecake before dinner? It’s about willpower. We all have it. It’s just a pain to use it. (FTR, she ended up getting married in the Church, and yes she and her fiance were told to abstain from sexual relations–while still living together—until the wedding. She felt that was a blessing, to be told that there was a penance she and he could perform. She even said it brought them closer together, since they found other ways to be affectionate and express their love.)

Here’s another analogy for you. I absolutely love potato chips. Or any kind of chips. And I know, if we have a bag of chips in the house, if it gets opened, I will eat every one of those chips. Unless I spend all my waking time NOT thinking about those chips. So we don’t buy chips to have in the house, unless it’s for a picnic or company. I keep that temptation away from me because I know it is so difficult for me to resist. If sex is like this for you and your fiance, then living apart would help you abstain, perhaps. If not, then I would suggest praying together, and offering up your abstinence.

It is a sacrifice. But six months is such a short time in the grand scheme of things–you have years and years together to be intimate. If you really want a nuptial Mass (and I think you may regret it if you don’t, I found our wedding Mass exceptionally spiritual and wouldn’t give it up for the world), then giving up these six months is a small sacrifice.


I doubt that the priest would make you wait six months in this circumstance, esp if you are willing to schedule your wedding on a nontraditional day of the week.

consider having a wedding on a Friday evening or any other day of the week. Maybe you could even slip into the chapel after a weekday Mass and get “married.”

I think it is really great that you are getting right with God!


Thank you all. Your advice was greatly appreciated.


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