Although the final of the extraordinary synod on the family did not directly address cohabitation, the bishops suggest an approach that relies more upon honey and less upon vinegar.
They write, “The primacy of grace needs to be highlighted and, consequently, the possibilities which the Spirit provides in the Sacrament.
“We’d love to get hold of more of it, but they’re not keen to share though we’re in discussion with a few of them,” says Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University and author of The Science of Love and Betrayal.
“They have a huge database and they also can follow couples’ stories through, which hasn’t been possible so far.” For most of history, using a third party to help you find love was the norm.
It is a question of allowing people to experience the Gospel of the Family is a joy which ‘fills hearts and lives,’ because in Christ we are ‘set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness, and loneliness.” As a starting point a cohabiting couple might be asked, “As a gift to your loved one, would you like to avail yourself of every good means that will give you grace, and help you grow together in joy and freedom?
” Encountering them first at this natural inclination of the human mind and heart may open them to permanence in love between one man and one woman—marriage.
Sadly, couples who choose cohabitation choose a risky route that will lead to more heartbreak rather than fulfillment of the deepest longings of the heart.
The intimate relationship choices of young adults today expose a culture that increasingly fails to appreciate moral norms and the inherent value and beauty of marriage.
Nearly 20 percent of women will become pregnant in the first year of cohabiting.
Only 26 percent of women who become pregnant while cohabiting will get married within the year.
Anna Wilkinson has been married for seven years, has two young children, and – although exhausted – is delighted with her lot.
“I was 33, had just broken up with my boyfriend and was beginning to think I’d never have a family life.