Many couples believe-mistakenly-that cohabitation will lower their risk of divorce.
This is an understandable misconception, since many people are the children of divorce, or have other family members or friends who have divorced.
People have a right to marry; therefore, cohabiting couples cannot be denied marriage in the Catholic Church solely because they are cohabiting.
Rather, it says something false–a total commitment that the couple does not yet have.
It’s no secret that many couples are cohabiting, that is, living together in a sexual relationship without marriage.
Currently, 60% of all marriages are preceded by cohabitation, but fewer than half of cohabiting unions end in marriage.
These include: Pastoral ministers may encourage cohabiting couples without children to separate for a period before marriage as a sign of their free, loving decision to follow the Church’s vision of marriage and sexuality.
Couples are also encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Although the couple may be sincere in their intention, the Catechism stresses that human love is not compatible with “trial marriages.” Rather, “it demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.” Cohabitation and marriage preparation If you are a cohabiting couple who has chosen to marry, the Catholic Church welcomes your decision to marry.Because cohabitation can have an effect on the marriage, couples are encouraged to explore certain questions with the pastoral minister who is preparing them for marriage.Other reasons for living together include convenience, financial savings, companionship and security, and a desire to move out of their parents house.What social science says about cohabitation Cohabitation and Catholic Church teaching Every act of sexual intercourse is intended by God to express love, commitment and openness to life in the total gift of the spouses to each other.This total commitment is possible only in marriage.The Catechism of the Catholic Church points out that some couples claim a right to live together if they intend to marry later on.