UP Catholic 01 20 2017 E Edition Page 6

6 January 20, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org Dewitt Church Goods Inc. Restore the beauty of your tabernacle. Call today! Toll Free 1-866-950-3378 Rvbmjuz gvsojuvsf bu xipmftbmf qsjdft A Catholic family owned & operated company since 1979 Members of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan Ejojoh Sppn Pggjdf Gvsojuvsf Nbuusfttft Vqipmtufsfe Tfut Ljudifo Dbcjofut Cbuisppn Dbcjofut Cfesppn Mjwjoh Sppn Cretens Furniture Factory & Showroom Qfsljot Spbe Qfsljot NJ xxx dsfufotgvsojuvsf dpn N G Tbu Mpehf Dbnq boe Dpuubhf tuzmf gvsojtijoht Thinking through the temptation of cohabitation M en and women clearly need each other and nat- urally gravitate towards arrangements of mutual support and lives of shared intimacy. Because women are frequently the im- mediate guardians of the next genera- tion, they have a particular need to as- certain if there will be steady support from a man prior to giving themselves sexually to him. The bond of marriage is ordered towards securing this critical element of ongoing commitment and support. Cohabita- tion, where a man and woman decide to live together and engage in sexual relations without marriage, raises a host of issues and concerns. Sex, of course, has a certain power all its own, and both sides may be tempted to play with it in ways that are potentially damaging, all the more so when they decide to cohabit. One concern is that cohabitation can often become a rehearsal for various selfish patterns of behavior. It perpet- uates an arrangement of convenience, popularly phrased as, Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Even as many women try to tell themselves they are preparing for marriage by cohabiting with their partner, they may sense the trap of the never ending audition to be his wife, and become intuitively aware of how they are being used. Cohabitation also invites the woman to focus on lesser concerns like saving on rent or garner- ing transient emotional attention from her partner by moving in with him and becoming sexually available. Even as a woman becomes attuned to the power of sex from an early age, she can eventually fall prey to an easy mistake. Aware that sexual intimacy is also about bonding, she may suppose that by surrendering this deeply per- sonal part of herself through cohabita- tion, she now has a hook into a man and his heart. While such an arrange- ment can trigger various platitudes, (that he cares for her, loves her, etc.), experience shows it doesnt typ- ically help him reach the commitment reflected in those all-important words, Will you marry me? Cohabitation, in fact, is a relation- ship that is defined by a holding back of commitment. The notion that it somehow allows both parties to try out a marriage beforehand is conve- niently make-believe, a kind of play- ing house, mostly because its impos- sible to try out something permanent and irrevocable through something temporary and revocable. As Jenni- fer Roback Morse has described it, Cohabiting couples are likely to have one foot out the door, throughout the relationship. The members of a cohab- iting couple practice holding back on one another. They rehearse not trust- ing. They dont develop the elements crucial to a successful marriage, but instead keep their options open so they can always beat a hasty retreat to the exit. Or as Chuck Colson has put it: Cohabitation its training for di- vorce. Many studies confirm that the divorce rate among those who cohabit prior to marriage is nearly double the rate of those who marry without prior cohabitation. Some researchers believe that individuals who cohabit are more unconventional to begin with, being less committed to the institution of marriage overall and more open to the possibility of divorce. Others suspect something more insidious that living together slowly erodes peo- ples ability to make a commitment by setting them up into patterns of behavior that work against succeeding in a long-term relationship. Both may actually be true. Various risks correlate strongly with cohabitation. Compared with a mar- ried woman, a cohabiting woman is roughly three times as likely to expe- rience physical abuse, and about nine times more likely to be murdered. Children also tend to fare poorly when it comes to these live-in arrange- ments. Rates of serious child abuse have been found to be lowest in intact families; six times higher in step fam- ilies; 20 times higher in cohabiting bi- ological-parent families; and 33 times higher when the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend who is not the bio- logical father. Cohabiting homes see significantly more drug and alcohol abuse, and bring in less income than their married peers. Cohabitation is clearly bad for men, worse for women, and terrible for children. Marriage, as Glenn Stanton notes, is actually a very pro-woman institu- tion. People dont fully realize what a raw deal for women cohabitation is. Women tend to bring more goods to the relationshipmore work, more effort in tending to the relationship but they get less satisfaction in terms of relational commitment and securi- ty. While marriage doesnt automat- ically solve every problem, it clearly offers a different and vastly better set of dynamics than cohabitation for all the parties involved. Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neurosci- ence from Yale and did post-doctor- al work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www. ncbcenter.org. MAKING SENSE OUT OF BIOETHICS Father Tad Pacholczyk, Ph. D COHABITING COUPLES ARE LIKELY TO HAVE ONE FOOT OUT THE DOOR, THROUGHOUT THE RELATIONSHIP. THE MEMBERS OF A COHABITING COUPLE PRACTICE HOLDING BACK ON ONE ANOTHER. THEY REHEARSE NOT TRUSTING." Jennifer Roback Morse Morning Offering O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through- out the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in partic- ular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen. Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/

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