One should not marry because one is expected to or feels obliged to do so. Marriage must be a truly free choice if it is to be a marriage at all. Living together may not allow either person enough emotional distance and objectivity to make this extremely important life decision.
- Catholic teaching opposes cohabitation before marriage, but it also strongly supports a couple's right to marry. It opposes cohabitation only because it supports sexuality and marriage as sacred and wants couples to achieve
marital success and happiness.
- While the Church wants to support the couple and their relationship, it also adheres to religious values that the couple seems to be denying by their choice to live together before marriage. In other words, the couple seems to
say that they do not think as the Church does but yet are coming to celebrate something for which the Church stands. As adults we must take responsibility for actions which have specific consequences.
- The following are questions to consider. They are not hard-and-fast rules. If you have been living together, but have a deep desire to prepare your hearts for the full grace in the sacrament of marriage, ask yourselves the following:
- How will marriage be different from our present situation?
- What will it change in terms of marriage as a sacrament in terms of the marital bond and commitment?
- Are you willing to separate and to attempt to the best of your ability to live a chaste life as a single person until your wedding day?
- Would you be prepared to delay the marriage a little to deepen the meaning of marriage for yourselves?
- Would you accept to have a more private ceremony with the immediate family present instead of a big wedding? (p. 8)