Please Help: What Is The Specific Catholic Church Teaching on Living Together Before Marriage WITHOUT Having Sex

You mentioned the Latin Mass. Do you attend an FSSP parish? If so, then you can expect that there’s no way that the priest is going to condone you living with your boyfriend (something I happen to agree with). Just sayin’. :shrug:

Unlike other 24 year olds, he’s actually making changes to his habits. He’s not like every 24 year old. He started out that way but he’s truly different. There’s a genuine goodness to him and something that runs our connection really deep for him to even consider changing for our relationship.

He may not want to get married right now but he’s definitely talking about it with me and considering it.

I would just explain your situation to the priest, and see what he says. It may not be a mortal sin, but it may be imprudent. Ask if he believes your situation is a sin, and also whether it is wise to be in this living situation. A priest should be able to give you some answers and guidance.

Again, while of course it is important to find out whether it is a mortal sin, it is also very important to consider whether what you are doing is wise and prudent. The overall consensus here seems to be that it is not, since you are living as though you are married in every way except for having sex, and are even sharing a bed. I would be surprised if the priest didn’t advise you that this is a bad situation–but the only way to find out is to ask.

Well, no, that’s not exactly what people think cohabitating folks are doing at night… :blush:

We fall asleep next to each other but it’s honestly just sleeping, we don’t even touch each other in a way that could lead to anything else.

We are so busy that at the end of the day we go to sleep and that’s all.

Umm… but you’re sleeping together, right? In the same bed? It’s good to hear that you two have managed to avoid sinning sexually to this point, but let me ask you a question. What kind of couple should sleep together? A couple that are really just roommates, sharing a roof – or a couple that is married (or are play-acting a role that’s reserved for spouses)?

I don’t mean to be overly blunt, but… if you two are sleeping together, aren’t you really putting the cart before the horse? Your claims of living “as brother and sister” – such that there would be no possibility of scandal – would be more credible if you didn’t have sleeping arrangements that are appropriate to “husband and wife”… :shrug:

Don’t do it.

I think I found part of the problem. There’s a difference between “living in the same household” and “cohabitation.”

The Bishops of Pennsylvania put out a letter for engaged couples, defining “cohabitation” and other matters.

"1. What is cohabitation?

“Cohabitation” is commonly referred to as “living together.” It describes the relationship of a man and woman who are sexually active and share a household, though they are not married.

So yes, cohabitation before marriage is always a mortal sin.

Living in the same place before marriage is not always a mortal sin or even a venial sin. It’s usually not a good plan, but there’s a difference between “iffy idea” and “sin.”

Very helpful, thanks Mintaka. :thumbsup:

Do you believe that he is changing because of your influence? It’s really great that he’s changing, but do you also believe that in order for him to change, you have to live together and sleep in the same bed? If so, then that’s not proper or logical thinking.

We have that pamphlet. That pamphlet is also solely focusing on the explanation of sex before marriage. I stated that we are already aware that sex is a mortal sin before marriage. My sole question was on living together and not having sex.

We don’t just sit cooped up in the house when we are together either. We place ourselves around other people or always have something to do. We really aren’t sitting around lusting after each other

I know that he is changing because of my influence. He didn’t care about any of this stuff before.

No, we do not need to sleep in the same bed in order for him to change or live together for that to be so. Bedtime is the time we use to say our rosary or any other prayers he asks to say. Financially we have no other options or else I wouldn’t be living with him. We don’t touch each other inappropriately and neither of us does anything to provoke the other. We sleep next to each other and that is all.

I believe this conversation is straying from the original question. We are handling our souls. I just wanted to know if there was any helpful information anyone had on this topic. I’m not looking for anyone’s opinions. I grew up with my Catholic grandparents, I have already heard the opinions of others. I am devoutly religious but I wanted to ask other members for help - not to be cruelly bashed. Thank you for your moral advice to the ones that are getting rude but I wasn’t asking for you to parent me, I’m quite old enough to deal with myself.

It sounds like you have made up your mind that you’re not doing anything wrong, and you want others here to agree you.

that was my thoughts as well.


I cannot answer your last message because your inbox is full, but at this point I must highly recommend twf’s advice.

Love and prayers.

I completely agree with Denise. Doing the right thing is always difficult and takes courage and true love. Men will often go to great lengths to “change” for a woman. Believe me, I know, and I suffered terribly for my choices.

I suggest that you sit down with your boyfriend and talk about it. By discussing the possibility of living separately, you will find out very quickly just how much this person truly cares about you. If he is truly a changed man, who wants to love and please God before any human relationship, then he will not be opposed to the idea. In fact, he may even be grateful that you brought it up, since he (like yourself) might not yet have the courage to speak the truth at the risk of offending you or losing your friendship.

Fair enough; but you did ask for information on what might be sinful or not. :shrug:

We sleep next to each other and that is all.

And, if I were your priest, this would be the point of departure for me: sharing a roof is one thing, but sharing a bed is quite another. I think that I would assert that the former is potentially not sinful, but the latter is. One has an obligation to avoid mortal sin; sleeping with one’s boyfriend – however successfully one has been at not sinning over the last <9 months – does not really meet that obligation.

Not trying to parent you; just being honest with you. :shrug:

I only read the first page, but I think that we can all hold back on focusing on the guy and instead focus more on the question. The guy may be sincerely trying to improve his life and it isn’t fair to make a statement on whether he has intentions of marrying her or not based on his past. As the original poster said, they are working on their relationship and trying to straighten out any problems caused by events or relationships in their past. Christ’s love is transformative and his conversion is not something we can look deeply into.

That aside, I think the others have given you good answers to determine whether it is a sin or not. In the mean time, it might be a good idea to not sleep in the same bed – or in the same room if you can avoid it. Maybe using the washroom at the same time may not be a good idea if you are.

None of this is to say that living in together is okay – I don’t know whether it is okay or not. It may or may not be okay. But it would be a start to not share the same bed, use the washroom together, etc. I’d think they’re near occasions of sin.

There’s no way you can be living with your boyfriend and not be exposing yourself to a proximate occasion of sin, which is probably a sin in itself.

One or the other of you need to move.


^^^ this exactly! You need to listed to your priest because he has a much better understanding of the faith and yes he is right. Even if you are not having sex you are incurring in the sin of scandal and placing yourself into near occasion of sin. This is why he is giving the advice he is giving… You both need to listen to the priest and follow his advice.

It seems that someone told you that if two people romantically involved live together but they have no sex the only problem is that it may lead to near occasion of sin, that advice is completely incorrect as the issue of living together is beyond just commuting sexual acts. By living together you are already in near occasion of sin (so it is not that it may…it is near occasion of sin) plus the sin goes beyond the spectrum of physical acts. Thoughts can also be mortal sins, intentions can be mortal sin, sharing a bed even if there is no sex can be a mortal sin. So there is much more playing into the sinful part of your situation that your priest is pretty aware of. On top of that Scandal is a mortal sin in itself. In short you need to listen yo your priest because he is right.

Catholic teaching regarding co-habitation has two parts… One is about the fornication, lust and temptation, which you appear to have under control.

However, the 2nd part is the Sin of Scandal. I lived with my wife before we were married. When I tried to tell people we didn’t have sex (even though we did) no one believed me. When BF & GF are living together, very few people will believe that you are not having sex. The reason this is a problem (from a Catholic point of view) is because it contributes to the mortal sin of Scandal. By the two of you living together, your example it tells other people (young family members, older family members, and even strangers) that it’s not wrong for an unmarried couple to live together and act like a married couple. You are actually contributing to the removal of the taboo society once had regarding “living in sin.”

When your example helps lead another to sin, you are guilt of the Sin of Scandal.

Since scandal is a grave (mortal sin) the priest is going to ask you to refrain from communion because if God considers you guilty of the mortal sin of scandal, then by receiving communion in a state of sin, you will then be committing the mortal sin of sacrilege. Asking you to not receive communion is a safety precaution to prevent you from committing another mortal sin if God considers you culpable of the sin of scandal.

Therefore, please consider moving out on your own. But if that’s not possible, please do whatever the priest instructions you.

Finally, if the priest instructs you continue to refrain, please remember he’s doing because he’s trying to protect your soul. And if he allows you to receive, I would personally recommend that you NOT receive often. Remember, while we are supposed to attend Mass every Sunday and Holy day, we only need to receive Communion once a year, at Easter time.

May The Lord bring you peace and understanding.
Amen and God Bless

This is a very good post.

You are young and defensive, OP. But in all fairness, you came to ask whether it was considered a sin or not. The very fact that you are concerned about what the priest will even think should tell you something. Follow the advice of others. Speak with the priest, lay it all out, and follow his advice even if it is difficult. So many people believe in the Church until they realize they disagree about changing their own behaviors.

I hope this didn’t come across too “parentish”. My heart and prayers are with you. :slight_smile:

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