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Cohabitation

A Xt3 Member asked at 8:29pm on November 12th 2017
Good afternoon from Canada,

My question is about cohabitation. My girlfriend lives in a 3 bedroom house with her sister and her sister's husband. Seeing as I already spend most of my days with them, share and cook meals with them and leaving only to sleep at the end of the night in a room (no access to kitchen) rented less than a kilometre away, I brought up the idea of renting the third room from them. My girlfriend brought up the issue of cohabitation. So three questions arise:

1. What is cohabitation in definition to the Catholic Church?

2. Are we crossing any boundaries by spending time at the house, cooking and sharing meals everyday leaving out sleeping in the house?

3. Are we crossing boundaries by me renting the room?

Thank you so much once again for taking time to answer my questions and those you respond to everyday. May God bless you and the work that you do.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

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Hi Romell, I'll try to answer your 3 questions in order:



1. Cohabitation would mean a couple living together as man and wife before they were married.

2. Since spending time at that house your girlfriend shares with her sister and brother-in-law doesn't seem to be causing any trouble, I can't see anything wrong with it.

3. But I think your renting a room there might make things more difficult for you and for your girlfriend-the very fact that she mentioned 'cohabitation' is enough of a red light. While at the moment, you mightn't feel it's putting yourself or her under pressure, you just never know what could happen in the near future.

But (and of course I'm not in a position to meet you face to face) I have a question too-which is, if you and your girlfriend have become so close, meeting each other every day, why don't you both get married?

I think putting the question in terms of crossing or not crossing boundaries is the wrong way to go. The real question, in terms of genuine Christian love is, how can I love my girlfriend the way God loves her-for herself alone? At your wedding ceremony, I hope not too far in the future, you'll be promising to love your bride 'for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.' That means, to love one another without conditions, ready to lay down our lives for each other. And it's in that context that all our questions are best placed. So, wishing you both very well for I hope a happy marriage in the near future, if that's at all possible, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 8:49am on November 27th 2017 reply

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Hi Romell, I'll try to answer your 3 questions in order:



1. Cohabitation would mean a couple living together as man and wife before they were married.

2. Since spending time at that house your girlfriend shares with her sister and brother-in-law doesn't seem to be causing any trouble, I can't see anything wrong with it.

3. But I think your renting a room there might make things more difficult for you and for your girlfriend-the very fact that she mentioned 'cohabitation' is enough of a red light. While at the moment, you mightn't feel it's putting yourself or her under pressure, you just never know what could happen in the near future.

But (and of course I'm not in a position to meet you face to face) I have a question too-which is, if you and your girlfriend have become so close, meeting each other every day, why don't you both get married?

I think putting the question in terms of crossing or not crossing boundaries is the wrong way to go. The real question, in terms of genuine Christian love is, how can I love my girlfriend the way God loves her-for herself alone? At your wedding ceremony, I hope not too far in the future, you'll be promising to love your bride 'for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.' That means, to love one another without conditions, ready to lay down our lives for each other. And it's in that context that all our questions are best placed. So, wishing you both very well for I hope a happy marriage in the near future, if that's at all possible, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 8:49am on November 27th 2017 report reply

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Thank you for this response. Please continue to pray for our discernment as we are looking to receive the sacrament of marriage. Through perseverance, trust in the Lord and prayer we have decided that this was something that we both desire. May God bless you!
A Xt3 Member answered at 9:43pm on December 6th 2017 report reply
 

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