Monday, April 26, 2010

Does the Church Approve of Cohabitation?

“Cohabitation” typically refers to a situation in which a couple is living as husband and wife before they are married. The Church does not condone this arrangement. For one, sexual intercourse is meant to occur within the context of marriage. It is only then that the sex act is able to achieve it’s proper ends: the free, total, faithful, and fruitful union of husband and wife.

Even when the couple is living together without having sexual relations, cohabitation is unacceptable. It causes grave scandal to those who find out about this living arrangement, and it creates a near occasion of sin for the two people involved.

Finally, from a sociological point of view, studies have shown that couples who cohabitate before marriage are twice as likely to get a divorce and are significantly less happy in their marriages than those couples who wait until after they are married. No matter how you look at it, cohabitation is not a good situation, and the Church has always advised against it.

For more information on cohabitation, see the following articles:

Pax Christi,

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