I’m a 26 year old Catholic female. I’ve been Catholic for a long time but really started being Catholic a few years ago, which is around the time I was introduced to the Latin Masses. At first, I didn’t like it because I couldn’t understand it but I wanted to keep going because my soul was craving what it offered, actual prayer during mass.
I spent a long time praying & getting closer to God - praying to meet my soul mate. I received a message from the Holy Spirit telling me that the next person I enter a relationship into with will be the person I marry. Not too long after I began praying did I meet my current boyfriend but our relationship was turbulent at first because he wasn’t Catholic and was very much living an immoral lifestyle so I chose to walk away.
Fast forward to today - My bf has cut out watching porn, playing addicting violent video games, ogling other girls(ones dressed immodestly are the issue), internet searching for “hot girls” in compromising positions online(even the dressed ones), and even gave up lying and an inappropriate friendship he had with a female who he at one point was having sex with( she was also still very attracted to him - she was nasty to me and she didn’t like him having a gf). He does struggle with keeping custody of the eyes but he’s working very hard to change this behavior.
We as of right now, live together. He started classes to convert to Catholicism and our parish priest gave him a pamphlet stating that living together before marriage is always a mortal sin, the only thing it emphasized and explained was that premarital sex is wrong. It also read that living together out of convenience is not a reason to live together – which is not why we live together, our relationship is anything but convenient. It states that couples are attracted to living together to have more free to have sex – which we are actively abstaining from, it also stated that unmarried couples use sex as a way to avoid communicating real issues and dealing with them which leads to shallow communication and breakups because couples don’t talk their issues out - we talk about all of our problems and find solutions to them together, we’re definitely doing the resolving issues as they come. We even refrain from “heavy petting” as we understand it could lead to having to stop ourselves from having sex. We have both agreed that it is better to be abstinent. Our priest told him that even not having sex gives the appearance that we are - I have no problem telling people we are abstinent and that there are extenuating circumstances for the reasons we live together.
I moved from my grandparents house and I’m not able to live there anymore - not because of this because they know we’re abstinent but because my grandfathers mother may be moving in with so they can take care of her and they need the room I was using. I do not have any other options at this point.
Our schedule goes like this - My bf works from 12:30pm to 10pm - I clean the apartment, do my homework, and look for a job (I had a job but needed to leave it) - then I make dinner, when he gets home we eat dinner, talk about the day briefly, brush our teeth, pray, and go to sleep. 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’re both old enough to understand what leads to what and refrain from doing that. We’re both committed to abstaining. I’d love to marry my boyfriend, I have expressed this to him. We’ve been together for almost 9 months and we are each other’s best friends. Part of the reason we aren’t engaged is because we are both undoing much of the damage that has been brought about from the unhealthy relationships we had before, we’re figuring out how to handle issues and how we can be better for each other and for God. Our relationship is very healthy and we care deeply for each other. He’s working on his relationship with God and I believe that with time he will understand the importance of marriage and want to do right by God, so far he has but he needs clarity on the marriage issue (he’s 24). He said that he would consider getting married eventually, as of now we have no plans but I know that with time that will change like everything else has thus far. So far, the Holy Spirit has been right with how our relationship would go and I continue to have faith in God. We’ve been attending mass every Sunday together. We do adore each other and look at each other with admiration. We are attracted to each other but we look at each other in a loving way not an animalistic flesh devouring way like the pamphlet and many people’s opinions on this issue seem to envision with this type of relationship. There’s a genuine goodness between us.
Our priest has asked him to tell me that I should refrain from receiving communion until we both sit down and speak with him about this next week. Will someone tell me where it specifically has been said not to live with someone even if you aren’t having sex or how it’s a grave matter when nothing is going on? I want to be able to describe to our priest that this relationship isn’t what he may think it is, I understand his concern however.
I’ve prayed about this and I asked someone close to me who is about to become a priest if it’s a grave matter if we’re abstinent and I was told there’s no grave issue because the act of sex without marriage is removed, simply living together isn’t a mortal sin. He did say that there could be near occasion’s of sin but we are proactively not being inappropriate, it’s really not even that difficult to not be inappropriate.
I have read it’s more of a preference of the priest that a couple shouldn’t live together before marriage even without sex. Most information I find on this topic is surrounded by two people having sex. Yes, we could easily have sex but we are strong enough to resist together.