Premarital co-inhabiting

I know the initial response is no, but I wanted to spell out the circumstances and get peoples thoughts.

In a nut shell, I was raised catholic to believe that it is wrong to live at the same house no matter what, but I have heard there are exceptions to this. I am wondering If I can get some theologians to offer their 2 cents and offer an outside perspective.

My Fiance’ is a single mother who makes just enough to be above food stamps and government assistance. She is currently living at a privately subsidized faith community for single parent families, which will kick her out in September. She is unable to find a job to make enough to keep an apartment while paying for utilities.

She has applied to a number of jobs and had interviews, but has not had any luck yet.

I have a 3 bedroom house and live by myself. The issue has come up a number of times that she and her son could move into the other two rooms living as “brother and sister”, but Ive had concerns that this would interfere with getting married and would be being unfaithful.

We can’t hurry the marriage up, and I am left with the dilemma of saying yes or say no and relying on faith that somehow it will work out that she finds a better job or another similar opportunity as she is currently in.

One last background, sorry for being scatter brained, we had the same scenario a year ago when she found a 1 year ticket inside this subsidized community.

Thank you In advance.

Talk to your priest. This is too important to settle via a forum.

Understood, I was hoping on some impartial input to see if it was even worth taking to a/our priest.

you have been engaged for over a year? get married the problem will resolve itself.

I think the earliest we can get married is November. While we haven’t set a date, we have no intention of an extended engagement. That still leaves 3 months without an ability for them to hold a home. Please don’t get me wrong, I know saying “no way” denies faith.

Bishops answer:

You really need to find another way…

(You are very right to be concerned…you can not solve her living situation this way)

Thank you

Another option is to let her live in your home and go find somewhere else for you to live.
Why can’t you hurry the marriage up? If you haven’t started marriage prep then do it now. Find someone else’s couch to sleep on why you are fulfilling the church’s requirements and then get married.
Definitely go talk with your priest.

So what is this guy supposed to do, let her live on the streets until they can get married? Seriously? Have her move in, stay celibate, end of story.

I only looked at the first link that bookcat posted and it doesn’t say you *can’t * live together, it just says that they recommend you shouldn’t. Have her move in. As long as you aren’t having sex, there is no problem.

After looking through another one of the links I have come to the conclusion that those articles automatically assume anyone living together is also having sex. Cohabitating is not a sin. It would be a sin to let your fiance and son fend for themselves though, imo at least.

Go talk to your priest.

No, this is not a good idea at all. You coud move out and allow her to live in the house and you live elsewhere. Or, find her some friends/family to live with. Or find her some assistance and additional subsidized housing.

But, no, do not live together even if trying to do so as “brother/sister.” There are many reasons. It is a bad example for her children. It is a near occasion of sin. And, it could put you in a position that you are unable to get out of. You say you cannot marry any time soon. Such a situation means there are impediments or obstacles. It is unwise to create a dependent relationship with this woman and have her kids become overly attached to you when things may not work out.

Your understanding and suggestions here…while well intentioned are not correct.

As to "bookcats’ first link not saying it is sinful …you looked at it too quickly …it states in the article from the PA Bishops (that first link you referred to):

“The choice to live together outside a marriage is always wrong and sinful.”

No one is suggesting that they let them “live on the street” that is a false premise…
but to find another way… seek out help…call Catholic Charities …etc

If you look at the first link it certainly seems that cohabitation means both living together AND having sex before marriage. Just look at the questions about “cohabitation”…

**5. But, really, how does what we do with our own bodies affect our relationship with each other and our spiritual relationship with God?

  1. Why does the Church interfere in the sex lives of couples? It’s really just a private matter between us.

Reason 5: “The Church is just outdated and out of touch with its thinking in this matter. Birth control made those old rules obsolete.”**

If the issue was just cohabitation these wouldn’t be in the document. It is clear from the context that cohabitation, in this link at least, means both living together and having sex.

i agree with the others about talking with your priest,
but i just want to add, don’t worry about it, just pray on it, try to put your trust in God, and He will see it all through, when we worry we show that we don’t have enough trust, and so just pray on it every day, but with peace and confidence, and just be open to whatever means He sends you.
do you pray the rosary? try praying a rosary every day for this intention also, Our Lady has a way with her son, and you can have absolute confidence when seeking her intercession.

alright, so i hope this helps, take care.


Even if a couple is not “having relations” they should not be “living together” before marriage.

And while yes in most cases one might assume such is going on…the document (and moral theology) does not just address that likelihood. It states clearly that a couple living together before marriage is not to be done and is sinful…(even on the area of scandal to others and to the child involved etc). It is already taken for granted that having sexual relations of any kind…even when not living together…is a mortal sin…that would be stating the obvious to mean “living together and having relations”.

And in fact the doc makes all sorts of references to other reasons…such as “convenient”, “saving money”, or reasons not to… “scandal” etc without any reference to a sexual relationship. For some couples would say ok we will not have relations but we need to do this for such and such reason…

Christian couples like our poster here are not to live together before marriage (nor is such good for others either).

I see you do not denote your religion there. So it would seem that one can presume your not a Catholic and perhaps not another kind of Christian (for both usually put something up there in the corner…) so I can understand that this is counter cultural. But this is part of our following Christ. We are very serious about marriage and about living our Faith. The Gospel can be a contradiction to the culture. It has been since the very beginning. But in Christ is our true life.

As to talking to a priest…even if some individual priest says “go ahead” such does not make it right (unfortunately your mileage may vary due to some going off of their own or with bad formation from the 1970’s or something)…the links I posted (and may not have been read by others yet) --some are from Bishops or Bishops conferences…

But of course a Priest can suggest other ways…to find good living arrangements (which can be what other posts mean here of course)

I did find in the beginning of that particular document that:

“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 I stand corrected. In regards to that general assumption in that article in using those terms.

However in the body of the document itself …it does though answer I think from a broader perspective…such as regarding convienence, saving money, and the scandal it gives to others…and the many reasons why such is harmful.

And just because the beginning refers to the most common practice…does not mean that it is good to live together before marriage so long as you do not have relations! There are many aspects where this is disordered from a sinful point of view.

It is important to read the other docs there as well.

Here is a CA Apologist’s answer:

and Kanas Bishops who do not mention “sexual relations” in their definition of the term cohabitation in their document:

"…which defines cohabitation as a situation where “a couple has been living together for at least four nights a week for an extended period of time, giving the appearance, at least externally, that they have formed a quasimarriage relationship.” They also go into the various reasons some may do this…convenience…saving money…etc

The church actually predicted an explosion of divorce, and loveless marriages a while back based upon the use of birth control. I use to believe this as well, but our faith has addressed birth control going back to the old testament.

This was kind of what I was after, but it sounds like I need to talk to a priest or find another solution.

Yes …talking to a Priest to help find a good solution …housing for her and her child. (living together is not a good solution…read my post above on advice of Priest)…or perhaps even getting married (but make sure you are “free” and not doing so only to solve this problem…)

Catholic Charities can be a good source perhaps too.

Even if a couple is not having relations…it does not mean that they can then live together…that such is then a moral option for them. Such is not a solution to your difficulty.

Even just regarding scandal…setting aside other ways it can be sinful (from the above Bishops doc):

“Couples who live together, even if they are not engaging in premarital sexual relations, give the impression to the community that such an arrangement is totally acceptable”

So seek for that right solution…pray and seek help (Catholic Charities etc)…and thanks for the witness that is counter cultural…of seeking to do the right thing and be faithful! Such is a great start for your marriage too! Shows the kind of good husband you will be!

Boy to you come to the wrong place :rolleyes:

Anything you get here won’t be worth the time you took to read it.

Go discuss it with your priest and resolve the issues with his input.

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