1. What does live-in relationship mean? Also called cohabitation, live-in relationship is an arrangement of an unmarried man and an unmarried woman who live together in a sexual relationship. This practice is spreading due to ignorance and myths.
2. What are the findings of social science on cohabitation? Modern research has exploded myths and justifications for living together.
Since we want to avoid a broken home, we want to check out if we are compatible. Studies show that couples who live together before marriage have double the chances of divorce than those who don't. Living in does not help build the habits of commitment, mutual communication and support that are at the foundation of marriage. People who divorce tend to be people who do not have a high level of commitment and self-sacrifice to think of the other person. Thus, living together is "the worst possible preparation for marriage" and is “a training for divorce.” (C. Colson)
We will be able to save up and be more financially stable. Research has found that cohabiting couples have lower incomes than married couples. One explanation is that married men with children are motivated and committed to become more responsible and productive. In marriage, there is more sharing of economic and social resources, thus acting like an insurance pool as protection from uncertainties.
It’s easier this way. We will be happier. Studies demonstrate that people who are cohabiting experience lower levels of subjective well-being and higher levels of depression, domestic violence and murder. One researcher suggests that due to the lack of long-term commitment, couples who live together are less motivated to develop their conflict resolution and support skills. Also, compared to married couples, cohabitors are less connected to the community and the church, thus get less emotional, social and material support.
This is the modern way. Marriage is outmoded. Modern contraception made it obsolete. Historical research shows that cohabitation and contraception were common in the ancient Roman empire. This led to the mistreatment of women, considered as toys for sexual pleasure, the degeneration of families, and then the moral decay of society. The Christian vision of marriage and family brought respect, dignity and happiness to families and to society.
But we love each other. If your love is real and not a matter of volatile feelings, you will want to give the best for each other, and for your relationship. And research and proven wisdom has shown that cohabitation is bad for your partner, for your future marriage, and children.
3. I am concerned of its effects on our children. “The poverty rate among children of cohabiting couples is five fold greater than the rate among children in married-couple households. Compared to children of married biological parents, children age 12-17 with cohabiting parents are six times more likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems. Likewise, adolescents from cohabiting households are 122 % more likely to be expelled from school and 90 % more likely to have a low GPA (Grade Point Average).” "One of the greatest problem of children is the high risk that the couple will break up."
4. Isn’t marriage just a piece of paper? No, marriage between a man and a woman is a natural institution proven to benefit society in forming responsible citizens through the centuries. This is why it is sanctioned and supported by governments.
5. Ours is called “trial marriage.” You can try out cars and bikes, but not humans. Humans cannot be “used” like material things. Humans are incarnate spirits with great dignity who can only be reverenced, served and protected.
6. Why is fornication or nonmarital sex said to be morally evil? What’s the ethical reasoning behind this common view? Because sex like a smile and a frown is a body language with its own meaning. The embrace of sex says “I love you” by giving your whole life, your children, your family, and your future. The only way for your sexual action to express this truthfully and the only way for you to ensure that your children are raised with the secure love of a mother and father is when it is done within a sacred covenant to commit yourselves entirely to each other. This is what marriage is. Sex before marriage is a lie. Your action says, “I give you my whole self”, but you have held back your total commitment to the other person, to your children, and also to God. Lying in a matter of such grave importance is objectively evil.
7. With everything you’ve said, no wonder ancient wisdom and world religions are strongly against premarital sex! In Islam, living in is zina, fornication, which is absolutely forbidden and is severely condemned as an irresponsible and immoral. Buddhists considered it kamesu micchacara, a sexual violation. It is condemned by Hinduism. The Jewish Torah prohibits it: There shall be no ḳedeshah, promiscuity, among the daughters and sons of Israel. (Dt 23:17) St. Paul taught that the pornoi, fornicators, will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven. (1 Cor 6:9)
8. Okay, what are the benefits of separating now? (a) You will be practicing chastity, showing your future spouse that when you are married, you will be chastely faithful, and you can be trusted. (b) You will have the space to build your problem-solving and communication skills. Cohabiting couples “often turn to sex to restore emotional intimacy. This pattern leaves relational issues unresolved.” (c) You will appreciate the other as a person not a toy. (d) You will practice self-mastery: the basic condition for loving self-giving, the ingredient for a happy marriage and family. (e) You stop immorality and polluting society with bad example.
9. Non-Catholics, even pagans, love the rituals of Catholic weddings. What’s so great about Catholic marriage? According to the Church, the bond of marriage between a man and woman expresses in a most beautiful way the unbreakable bond of love between Christ and his people. Marriage is a sacrament which gives spouses grace, divine life, to love each other with Christ’s self-sacrificing love for his Church. In this way, the Catholic Christian family shares in the deep happiness of God’s love.
SOURCES. The article puts together ideas from: Cohabitation myths and statistics, Should we live together?, Cohabitation: Bad for Men, Worse for Women, and Horrible for Children, Facts Behind Cohabitation, Cohabitation, Living Together.
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