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    Living together before marriage- just living

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    Rohelf

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    Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  Rohelf on August 7th 2010, 11:01 am

    I had a rehearsal for a family wedding last night, and the first thing the priest had to say after greeting parents was that he was so glad that the bride and groom weren't living together already, especially since that's less and less the norm these days. As he went on, it became apparent that he wasn't just talking about the couple being chaste before marriage, but about them not sharing a living space. He apparently considered the latter to be, if not quite as bad as the former, at least a serious mistake. The priest actually went on at some length about how every time he sees a couple that's lived together get married, they don't last more than five years, that they're "playing house" and tiptoeing around each other until they get married, after which they show their true (apparently unpleasant) selves, that things ought to be done the way they always used to be done, with the couple going straight from their parents' homes to establishing a home together.

    I found it kind of upsetting and over-judgemental, because not only do I personally know at least one couple who lived together before marriage for financial reasons (they had separate rooms and kept chaste, but his apartment lease ran out four months before the wedding and neither of them saw any point in renewing it for another year and throwing over half a year's rent away), but if Dunadwarf and I got married, because he'd be moving across the country to me, we'd almost have to live together for a month or so while he established himself, and, honestly, both of us think it would make a lot more sense for him to contribute his "rent" into the mortgage on my house and split the utilities than for him to end up paying more for less space and comfort, and have nothing to show for it when he joins me at the house post-wedding. I know that temptation is always an issue when you live with your significant other, and that you have to be wise and wary, but I think that if you can manage it, there's nothing sinful about just sharing a roof. It certainly makes more sense economically to pool your living expenses sooner rather than later if you're both already independent, as opposed to going straight from mom and dad's to the marital abode (I don't think there's anything wrong with marrying from your parents' home, but I resent the implication of the priest that it's the "correct" or at least "best" way to go, and I think there's a LOT to be learned from having to get by solo for a while).

    I just wanted to see what others thought about this topic, and if some of the married folks could offer their perspectives. Is living together before marriage (just living!) sin? Unwise? Symptomatic of other problems? Or, conversely, it it a good trial run? Wise financial move? Mere personal preference?

    hvymtlcowboy
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    Re: Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  hvymtlcowboy on August 9th 2010, 8:01 am

    There are times when my son asks me if he can do things that I feel he is not ready to do (the issue of dating springs to mind). I wouldn't let him date at 15 because I did not want to place him in a position where he might 'slip up'. In the case of adults it is easier for them to control their hormones than it is for a youth, but I think the principle still applies. I do not condemn anyone for living together before marriage, I just think it is better not to put yourself in the position where temptation may take you unawares. Just my two cents.

    ProfessorAlan

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    Re: Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  ProfessorAlan on August 9th 2010, 12:33 pm

    I keep in mind that the prayer is "lead me not into temptation" -- we are supposed to not just avoid sin per se, but avoid situations that make sin more likely.

    Rickster

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    Re: Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  Rickster on August 9th 2010, 4:33 pm

    I'm on the fence about this my cousin lived (She had her own room he had the couch) with her boyfriend a few years before they finally got married and I always thought about what the neighbors thought about them living together and still going to Church every Sunday. But I know that they never slept together and that he had to live there because she lived alot closer to his work then his moms place but we are suppose to stay away from the "apperence of evil". like I said I'm on the fence about this subject

    Rohelf

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    Re: Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  Rohelf on August 9th 2010, 5:11 pm

    I thought the "appearance of evil" bit meant not "don't ever do anything that might possibly look evil to somebody," but "don't let actual evil pop up (appear) in your life." Besides, the former option is not only nigh-impossible, it rides not on our own hearts and minds, but the hearts and minds of others- which, even if we were sinless and perfect, we couldn't control. No matter how circumspectly you conduct yourself, someone will gossip and mudsling. Heck, they did it about Jesus, and we KNOW he was innocent on all counts!

    WhiteBoy
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    Re: Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  WhiteBoy on August 9th 2010, 6:25 pm

    Yeah, I have nothing much new to add here, but I would advise not doing it. I know personally I would not be able to resist the temptation. And I suspect that most would not be able to resist. This is why it has "the appearance of evil" and could very well be a stumbling block to others: because everyone knows how difficult it would be to remain chaste.

    On the flip side, it is not the place for others to judge someone who feels like they have to be in that situation. It's ultimately between them and God and only those three really know if the relationship has remained pure.


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    Paeter
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    Re: Living together before marriage- just living

    Post  Paeter on August 9th 2010, 8:42 pm

    Rohelf wrote:I know that temptation is always an issue when you live with your significant other, and that you have to be wise and wary, but I think that if you can manage it, there's nothing sinful about just sharing a roof.

    Lots of good discussion going on here!

    I think this bit you mentioned is pretty key and others here have hit on it, too. I think the bottom line is, if I believe I'll be more tempted to be sexually active by living with my girlfriend before marrying, I shouldn't do it. If it isn't a factor, and you're sure of that(not just convincing yourself), then no worries.

    Regarding the "appearance of evil", Rohelf is correct. The Greek there is used like we would say "showing". So avoid evil wherever it "shows up" as opposed to avoiding anything that "looks like" evil.





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