Living together before marriage


In recent weeks I’ve heard of an instance where a couple living together before marriage said their catholic priest said it was ok.
Has this changed or are there circumstances when the catholic church allows this?


Near occasion of sin.


I do not believe the Church either allows or disallows this as She is not concerned with living conditions. What the Church does not condone is sin (fornication in this case) or situations which may appear scandalous (as Larowyn points out) by being near occasions of sin.

This is more a pastoral decision. In my experience, a priest preparing a couple for marriage would insist that they live apart at least 6-12 months prior to the wedding. Be that as it may, there may be reasons why a priest would not hold a couple to that (financial hardship, care of a child or a sick fiancée) but should insist that they live as roommates until the wedding.


I doubt that any priest would say it is ok to live together before marriage. First, it will cause scandalous; second, the couple put themselves in situation where temptation and lust will test their faith - they might end up commiting mortal sins.


It depends highly on the situation. As previous posters have said, there may be extenuating circumstances where the couple have been instructed that they may live in the same house as brother and sister. However, the couple may be deliberately misunderstanding what their priest told them. Or their priest may be giving them bad advice.


Depends on the context. The most common form of cohabitiation that we see today, for example, if they like sleeping together, then it’s not ok.

However, if there are grave reason as to why they have to live together - i.e. moving to a new city, financial hardship, illness, etc. then it may be ok. Discuss this with an orthodox priest.


I think it depends. My husband and I got married in our 30’s and I already owned my home. He was living with his brother before we were married, but his brother got married just a few weeks before us (and obviously got the boot from the newlyweds :). Since I had the home, he just moved in a few weeks early.

I can also see this happening for those on destination weddings. We didn’t book a separate room for one night (and couldn’t even if we wanted to because it was a couple’s resort).


It’s better not to live together if you can afford not to just to keep the parents happy, I think. When my husband and I got married I had to be out of my old place on the last day of the month, and our wedding was on August 10th, so we just moved me in ten days before the wedding and promised to live as brother and sister until the wedding. My husband even slept on a futon in a different room!

Nonetheless, my MIL still had a big fit about those ten days. But honestly, where else was I supposed to live? In a hotel? (We didn’t have the money.) With my parents (who live four hours’ drive away)? I didn’t have any friends who I thought would welcome me crashing out at their place for ten days, either.

But she had a BIG fit about it and I still don’t think she respects me or believes that we didn’t “get busy” early, even though our only child was born three years later!

So if you can afford it, I’d say to live apart, if only so you don’t give your in-laws something to hold against you years later… :shrug:


My brother had a destination wedding. On the night before the wedding, my brother slept in our family’s cabin, and his bride-to-be slept in the bridesmaid’s cabin. They didn’t have their own suite until the wedding day. It saved them a night’s hotel costs! :thumbsup:

But yes, I wonder about how to do this, too. When my boyfriend and I move to Canada, he’ll have to enter on a fiance visa - but setting up two houses until the wedding day will be expensive. I suspect we’ll try to get married within a month of moving, and maybe he can stay at my parents’ motel until the wedding. That’s assuming we can both find work near my parents’ small town. Oh well, we’ve got a year or two to sort that out.


That’s a good idea. We didn’t have a wedding party because of the distance and the $$$$, so there were no other places to stay. Singles weren’t allowed to get a room, etc…

It worked out fine, though, because we were so exhausted from the whirlwind of the travel and planning meetings that we could barely stay awake after the wedding ended if you know what I mean :slight_smile:

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