Sticky situation - livng together short-term

In this time of financial crisis, I cannot afford to pay my rent, as I am unemployed at this time and have been for a year. I’ve stretched it out as long as I could, but I’ve given my landlord final notice.

My fiance and I are planning to marry on May 9. As today is March 1st, my last day at my apartment is March 13. All of my things are being moved to his apartment, as we plan to live at his place, rather than mine - since it’s cheaper.

This issue is, it’s turning out that I would live with him for about 5 weeks, in two intervals: 1) three weeks until April 9. On April 9, I’m flying home to the US for the rest of the month and 2) plan to return at the begining of May to wrap up wedding arrangements, which is about 2 weeks. This equals about 5 weeks.

Question: if we were to live in seperate rooms? What is the moral Catholic stance on this? Neither of us can afford to pay for daily rental lease for an apartment or hotel for 5 weeks. That would cost more than my current apartment rate. Paying for nearly a month another $1200 for rent is beyond my means and also my fiance.

There’s also the issue of scandal - even if we aren’t doing anything wrong, living together would look like we’re doing something wrong. What if NO ONE knew about me living at his place for this short, period of time (3 weeks then 2 weeks).

BTW, I dont’ have any place to live (i.e. girlfriend) where I could crash during this time…

The only thing that popped into my head is to explain to my church priest about the situation and see if there’s anyone who’d take me in. But this could cause a problem in other ways because of my trying to prepare for a wedding. I need internet connection (I’m living in an Eastern European country and most people don’t have internet in their homes).

Thoughts and creative solutions are greatly appreciated!!!

I would think that if you truly exhausted all possibility of living elsewhere (ie. other friends or family) and your only other option is living on the street then I would find this arrangement acceptable. This would be ONLY if you had separate sleeping and dressing areas. Sin occurs when YOU know what offends God and do it anyway. Two people sharing a place does not offend God in and of itself. In fact, a lot of sexual sin occurs all over the place and not always because of cohabitation. So if you truly live as brother and sister then there should be no problem. That is between you, your fiance, and God.

Now, as far as scandal, it would be best for most who do not need to know to not know. Again, a father who molests his own daughter is committing a grave sin yet no one outdoors may know. So, while we should not set bad examples for others, others should not be so quick to judge either.

It is between you and God. Your conscience seems well formed and therefore follow it and with prayer all will be good. I know that other posters will have many different opinions on this but ultimately it’s God who knows your heart and it is God who is your judge…teachccd

Good reply, teach. I concur. :thumbsup:

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply! It somewhat helps. We would be in seperate rooms, but the situation still bothers me. I’ll figure it out. Many thanks!

I’d do it as a last resort only. Perhaps your fiance can be the one to sleep on someone’s couch or stay at a friends house. It’s really difficult to avoid the scandal issue. Whether it is people who see you going in or out or what might come up in conversation. Talk to your priest .

My dh and I lived together for a long time. When we realized the error of our ways we confessed and lived together as brother and sister as moving was financially not an option. It was difficult but in the end it made the wedding night that much better. I am glad we did it. As for others thoughts and opinions - the only people that it created scandal with was his parents but they never asked they assumed. It was rough but in the end celibacy was the way to go.

God bless,

Good advice! I’m not worrying about any potential sin that could happen, since we’ve both been tried and tested. We’re at the stage that, I’m quite sure, nothing will happen. But, you never know. I’m 99.99% sure nothing can happen, because I won’t let it, if it get to any point. I’m actually more concerned about the scandal part.

My fiance doesn’t have anywhere else to go either. Neither of us are originally from here and his family lives in another city.

Like I said, I could speak to my priest and ask his opinion and also see if there’s a place I could crash through church. But, it could cause wedding planning problems…

If you find another place to live, you could still use the internet connection at your fiance’s place during the day, right?

God bless you for trying so hard to do the right thing, and may you have a long and happy marriage!


Such nice answers! Unfortunately, he doesn’t have internet at home either, but he’d install it for me, when we get married. I could ask him to install it earlier…Hm…I see some other logistical problems but I need to do the right thing. I wish there was a clear cut answer for this…

Crazy question: do monastaries take people in short term? I remember hearing that the Ukraninan Basilian Monestary in Rome does that. I wonder if they do that here…

Oh, I just had a great idea, thanks to you! I could ask my fiance to install internet at his place, use it during the day, and live in a monestary for a short time. US dollars would help the monestary during this financial crisis!!!


Slightly off topic… if neither of you has family where you will live, and you don’t have friends there who could help you with short term housing, do you have a community of support for your marriage once you are married and begin to have children etc.? Living at the monastery at least could begin to create more support for your future marriage. I hope your pre Cana counseling includes some of these considerations. Blessings.

I love the idea of having your priest find a home for you to stay in! I would love it if our priest asked my famiily to do that, it would be such a good example to the older kids and cousins. It would be a great opportunity to put the $ were the mouth is.
Good luck on your up coming wedding!:slight_smile:

Well, we lived in sin.

We quit taking communion (have to say we were dumb and when we really realized the gravity of our error, we corrected what we could).

We didn’t confess the sin until 2 weeks before the wedding as we weren’t sure what our penance would be and my paycheck at the time one year prior wouldn’t have afforded me a place to live.

Since we had 2 bedrooms, we slept separately and committed no relational sins.

We were able to have our union properly blessed in the church and returned to relations on the wedding night.

I have a friend–who as being catholic and part of her divorce decree/annulment procedures could not cohabitate with her fiance (she was long divorced, but I think there was statement in the decree and she did have her union annulled in the church). For whatever reason that they needed to live together, he lived on the boat in their backyard (they lived on the water) the entire time except one night when it got too cold.

Then he slept on the couch AFTER getting an okay from the priest.

You shouldn’t cohabitate, but I would bring it up with your priest to see if he has any solutions. Perhaps a friend or co-worker would put your up for this short duration?

I wish I would have done differently, but I let fear of the unknown of if I would be able to support myself drive this poor choice.

I know it is scary, but I would encourage you to really look at all your options and not assume that you don’t have any.

And if the only option is to live under the same roof, speak to the priest who is presiding over your marriage how you can do that and not be out of compliance with our faith and what Jesus would have you do in the same circumstance.

Also–you can still plan a wedding and not get together. I would not base a living arrangement on that alone.

The issue is where you sleep and live.

There is no doctrine that you can’t go to the apt after work and work on wedding details and scoot back to the couch of someone else’s home for bed.

But I would really speak to the priest and see if he has any help to offer.

I don’t think he should say absolutely not or he won’t marry you, but it is within his power to do so.

But a compassionate discussion about what you have compromised would work. And if the priest has a suitable alternative, he will share it.

The scandal is in the perception that you are hiding something.

There was no scandal in my church that we lived together–though I did everything but admit that outright to the priest during precana as if he could not read our forms.:blush:

To the OP, if it’s between living on the streets and living with your fiance, then please live with your fiance. Have separate sleeping and dressing arrangements. I am glad you want to do the right thing. :slight_smile:

MLouise, we don’t know why the OP can’t stay with friends or coworkers. We have to take into consideration that the OP might have severe allergies or something, and maybe her friends have mold issues or fuzzy pets. We just don’t know.

The OP might not have family in the area, but she is such a strong, determined person, that it doesn’t matter. She’s obviously close enough to them to fly to the US for a visit. I’m not sure how old the OP is, but if she’s from my age group, then she grew up with women moving away from family.

OP, good luck with this situation. :slight_smile:

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