Chit Chat

living together before...

My FI and I live together.  We are having our first meeting with the priest this Sat. and we were warned by someone that we cannot live together before marriage.  I am aware that traditionally you are not supposed to live together but in these financial times it was the best decision for us.  Is this going to be a problem when talking to the priest?

I posted this on the catholic board as well... but I figured more people post here!
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Re: living together before...

  • Depends on the priest/church.

    I've heard of some priests not agreeing to do ceremony and couple having to look for another church. Be honest with the priest, he should let you know if there's a problem.

  • We've been working with three priests on different aspects of our wedding (one at our current home parish who is doing the paper work/counseling, the pastor at my parents' church where we are getting married, and the priest who is a friend of FI family and performing the ceremony).

    None of them has really made a big deal out of FI and I living together.  Two of them made no comment about the fact we're living together.  One gave us a mild scolding but left it at that. 

    It's pretty common for couples to live together before marriage.  Although they won't approve of you living together, most priests will appreciate the fact that you are eager to formalize your relationship in marriage. Just be honest if asked about it. 
  • Our priest has a very modern attitude towards things and didn't even ask us about our living situation until we were filling out paperwork and he needed our addresses.  He actually was surprised when we said we were not at the same address.

    But every priest is different and some will have a very old-fashioned way of looking at things.  Living together is very common right now and so hopefully they would understand regardless.  Just because they personally frown upon does not mean they won't agree to marry you though.

  • It really depends on who you talk to. I've heard of priests that refused to perform the ceremony, and then I've heard of others that didn't make a big deal about it.

    I would just be completely upfront and honest about it.

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  • i know of couple who plan to lie to their priest because they know he will have issues with them living together. We tried to get marriend by our Baptist preacher and he flipped out! when he found out we are living together, totally judged us and had to take a minute to compose himself, so he was out after that, he still wanted to continue meeting with us but we no longer felt comfortable.
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  • I am a newly engaged bride, and a wedding planner. I planned a wedding for some friends of mine that married this spring, and when they asked a minister friend of thiers to preform the ceremony he told them that he would if they did one of two things: 1) they stop living together or 2) he wed them that week, and they could "renew their vows" on the date they had picked in March to marry. 
    Just be careful, and kind of watch the questions they are asking before they ask that one. Or (it may not be exactally what you want) find someone else that is ok with your situation.
  • The preacher that did our marriage counseling flat out refused to do our ceremony / let us use the church to get married in (we weren't members yet, so that was also another factor). He said that the only way he'd preform the ceremony would be if I moved out for the following 2 months prior to the wedding (not fiesable at the time being for us). We were taken back a litte, but also understood that he was a traditional preacher.  We continued counseling as we thought it was important to continue and learn different things and communicate about the things being discussed, but we ended up having DH's aunt marry us (she was already ordained). We just ended up having the ceremony and reception at the same location. No biggie.

    Discussing your living situation can be tricky and while some newer pastors are more aware of the new trend, there are many others that are more tradition.

    Be honest about it though, as lying / hiding it is never a good thing and IMO lying to a pastor (particulary one you'd like to marry you)  isn't a good idea, as they'll more than likely find out one way or another. Plus it's not a good way to start a marriage.

    Just be upfront when asked about it and explain your reasons behind it (finances with many people are tight and hard. . its one of the reasons we lived together beforehand too).  You'll do fine though! :o)

    Best wishes!
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  • It depends on the priest.  We just took our foccus test for the Catholic Church and there was a section for couple's who lived together.
  • I had this same concern; I had a friend who's priest refused to do the ceremony until one of them moved out, and as a result they had to find a different church - so I was hesitant to tell my priest we lived together when we had our first meeting two weeks ago.  My grandmother (who worked for the church for 40+years as their director of education) told me to lie. 

    In the end we just kind of 'fibbed'.  He never outright asked us about our living situation, and when the priest asked for our addresses for the paperwork I gave our address and FI gave his mothers (which is still on his drivers license and is thus technically his permanent address). 

    In theory I agree with those on the board that have said to be honest; but if this particular church is really important to you (mine was my home parish and it was EXTREMELY important to my grandmother that I marry there) telling the truth could totally screw your plans... 

    In the end it's your choice, but be preppared that he may mandate one of you move out or refuse to marry you.

    As a side note: the wonderful thing about the Catholic Church is reconciliation ;-)  you can always apologize later for lying. (just kidding)

  • IMO, I think you've gotten some good feeback from previous posters. For my 2cents worth, my husband and I were married by a Christian minister, outside of his church but he didn't have any qualms about us living together.
  • I agree with pps. In our case, the priest never asked for both our addresses - just one where we could be reached. Nothing was mentioned at our counseling session either, but in precana they preached not living together. They don't make you raise your hand and confess or anything, but they do make it rather uncomfortable sometimes. It definitely depends on the priest, so just be honest and pray everything works out for the best!
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  • They'll probably talk about it but in the end it should be fine
  • Hahaha.  This was THE WORST part of wedding planning for me.

    I had sung in the choir at my family's church for 13 years until I went away to university.  I met FI, was away for 4 years, came back to town and moved in with him in a different area than our families.  Financial reasons and my parents had both divorced and remairried in the interim.  I literally had no bedroom to go home to. 

    We got a new priest in the meantime and he flat out refused to marry me in my family's church.  My grandparents have been members for 50+ years.  I cried for many nights in frustration.  I don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable there again while he is preaching there.  I consider the man a hypocrite considering that he was non-religious for many years and preaches about the bad things he did between the ages of 15 and 40 (never went to church once) and then he had a stroke and found God.  I'm just... still upset.

    We were married at FI's family's parish where there were no issues whatsoever.  It meant that our guests had to drive 30 minutes since the reception was at my Uncle's house in my hometown area. 

    Best of luck to you.  This appears to be a hit-or-miss kind of thing.  I think that the priests are given a fair amount of latittude to decide their own policies and they do so. 
  • All priests/parishes are different.  I grew up in Jesuit parishes so I really don't recognize the brand of Catholicism most of the ladies on the Catholic board practice.  I have yet to meet a Jesuit priest who has a problem with a couple living together who want to get married.  For good measure, I'll add that fifteen years ago, the nuns at my highschool didn't have a problem with an engaged couple living together.  Plenty of us had older siblings who were doing just that.

    If you have trouble, find one near a college campus.  How far are you from John Carroll?
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  • It very much depends! Some won't mind, some won't figure it out and some won't look highly upon you.
    My mom and stepdad were married in the Catholic church...they were living together at the time, she was a divorcee and she was even 6 months pregnant! But their priest was super cool.
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  • My FI and I are Roman Catholic and made the mistake of telling the priest at my family's church that we were living together and he refused to do the ceremony.  We are now getting married in an Episcopal church and we had been told by friends to use seperate addresses since the church can be very strict about those things.  Not that you want to be dishonest about things, but you also don't want to lose the church if that's something important to you.  I'd feel out the situation and figure out if the priest will have an issue with it or not. 
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  • Like everybody else says, it varies from priest to priest.

    We went with the don't ask don't tell policy.  We gave his parent's address as his home address for the paperwork.  I was really stressed about it coming up before we started our pre-cana.  I know some will say this is lying by obmission but I really didn't want to deal with being chastised for something I don't personally believe is a sin... nor was I going to change my actions.  I hate when people say they don't agree with living together before marriage b/c the statistics show you are more likely to get divorced.  Those statistics are WAY outdated, things have changed so much in the past few decades.  Plus, think of all the people that probably lied on the survey.  I'm very disheartened to hear so many say that they were turned away b/c of living together.  Why would you turn down a catholic couple wanting to recieve a sacrament?  Odds are, those people that were turned away will end up raising their children outside of the faith.  We have enough fall-away catholics as it is, why push away a young couple?  So sad to hear...
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  • Ditto on it varies from Priest to Priest and Parish to Parish.

    My fiance and I are getting married in my Church.  I'm Catholic, he's not.  We were worried they wouldn't allow us to get married based off of that alone, however there was no problem when we met with the Priest.  He even asked if my fiance would like to have his pastor present. Which I was shocked at to be honest. We've chosen to work with the more liberal Priest at my church, based off the fact that A) we live together, which he has no issue with.  And I'm sure we'll hear the abstinance talk. B) Him not being Catholic. 

    It all it by ear, let them ask, don't sell yourself out! :)

    Good luck, I'm sure all will turn out great!
  • are we going with the times or going God's way coz am lost. In Africa where i come from its taboo.are you doing it to please the priest or GOd really coming to think of your heart you will find the answer.

  • Since you mentioned you are Catholic, I am Catholic as well and my fiance and I live together so I was just as nervous as you were. I was surprised when our priest just assumed we live together and never mentioned anything bad about us living together. He had no problem with my fiance being a different religion and even told us that it doesn't matter if we raise our kids Catholic, just raise them in a faith community we feel welcome in. From what I have been hearing from others most Catholic priest don't seem to have an issues with it and  will not give you a hard time about it. That does not mean there is not some who would though. I would be open with your priest from the begining, if he really has an issue then find another. 
  • We are having a methodist ceremony and he could care less about our living arrangement. I was raised Roman Catholic and it ruined religion for me. The fact that people are being denied to get married because they are living together is not only disrespectful to the bride & groom it just shows that change is not possible in a lot of churches.

    Don't get me wrong i have many religious friends and have no issue with people having faith in anything it is everyones choice it just makes me sick to see how judgemental some faiths can be to their own followers. If you were breaking a law or doing something dehumanizing i could understand, but last i knew living together before marriage isn't against the law.
  • If your priest is biblical, he will tell you that sexual intimacy outside of marriage is sin.  Modern priests have tended to avoid the parts of scripture that call people to repentance.  However, I would doubt that a priest would refrain from marrying a couple completely based on their sexual history.  Especially considering scripture refers to marriage as a way to stop sexual sin through joining together in a monogomous relationship.  However a more important question I have for you is why are you desiring a "church" wedding if you don't even hold the beliefs yourself?  I would be more concerned about your desire to lie or at least not deal with the consequences of your life decisions by lying to a priest.  Have an expectation of mercy and be honest about what your values really are. It is your wedding, it should represent what you actually believe.  Not what is culturally normal, or what you want your grandmother to think you believe.
  • If you are Catholic, hopefully you know that living together before marriage is scandalous whether or not you and FI are having premarital sex. A priest told a Catholic friend of mine that she and her FI needed to live seperately for 6 months before marriage. However, she wasn't under severe financial stress like many people today.
    If you and your FI are able to live seperately for a while, it would be good forboth of you. This isn't just outdated morality,  Women's health magazine ran an article about how to decrease chances of being a starter wife. One of the ways to do so is to not live with your spouse before marriage.
  • Aside from being able to find someone to  marry you because you live with your significant other, think about your life after the wedding!  Moving in with someone is a big deal.  Even if you live separately now and are with each other all of the time, it's no where near the same as living together.  I lived with a bf once and we were inseparable before we lived together...once we lived together the relationship was over.  God will forgive you for your sins, that's what Jesus died for.  You need to decide whether you want to really know your significant other before or after you get married.  I chose before hand because I had learned my lesson before...
  • I agree with most of the posts, it really depends on the priest. My FI and I have been living together for a year and will continue to live together. Our priest does not have a problem with it, she is very laid back. I find that many modern priests will be fine with it. Episcopalian (which we are), Methodist, and Nondenominational ones are usually the most down with the idea. They are not afraid of modern ideas.
  • So many of us think about living together for purely financial or convenience issues. However, just a thought I felt I should share. Considering that my parents have been marriage counselors for 30+ years, one of the number one ways to set up a marriage is to set up a a weak foundation for marriage is to live together.

    I found it interesting that one of the most knowledgeable counselors on Marriage, the co-founder of Marriage Savers, Mike McMAnus, lists living together as one of the number one reasons that leads a couple on the path to divorce, as well. Must be something to it, if those who work to save marriages, recommend not living together as paramount to setting up a good foundation.  

    Mr. McManus has written about his studies with thousands of couples in a book I am currently reading called, "Living Together: Myths, Risks and Answers." Hope you all consider it and give it a read next time a Pastor or a Priest gives you a hard time for living together.  It's hard to tell people what they don't want to hear, but they really do have your best in mind. 

    My best to you all!!
  • We are getting married in a Catholic Church and have talked about the fact that we live together already and they were both completely fine with it.  We were shocked and delighted!!
  • Sorry...both priests we talked to!
  • Sorry to threadjack, but how do you find the Catholic board? Is there a Lutheran board, too?

  • we will have been together for five years this feb and about three months in we moved in together. about five months later we were pregnant. i have always said i was against marriage and wanted nothing to do with it...i come from a very long line of it was not something we were planning. we have always said we fought really hard to stay together with haveing a child and haveing lived together for so long but our wedding is in nine days and im so excited. i think living together and getting all of the awkwardness out of the way is a good thing, plus we know eachother inside and out and have had a mutual bank account and know what the other likes and dislikes. we can overcome anything now that we have overcome building a life together and i plan on being the first woman in my family to not be devorced.
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