I’m LDS (Mormon), as is my fiance, and we live together. Oh boy- what a debacle that decision turned out to be. In a society and family that frowns upon living together before marriage (among other things, like sexual relations), it can be difficult to gain acceptance for your own lifestyle, but it can be done, and here’s how to do it.
If your family, friends, or religious sect disagrees with you living together with your significant other without being married, it can be difficult- for a while. But the situation really just needs a little time to smooth over, and people soon realize that while they may disagree with what you are doing, it IS your life, and really they are just looking out for your best interests. Here is how to deal with confrontation regarding your lifestyle.
Don’t argue about it. You don’t have to defend your decision, and you don’t have to explain it to other people. When my sister raised eyebrows, I said nothing. It’s not her business. She said, “As long as you’re happy” and left it at that.
If parents are concerned, allow them to spend time with your significant other and see your living arrangements. It may not be so much that they are worried about you living with someone without being married, it may be that they are concerned that you have chosen a wrong person to live with. My father was bent all out of shape until he met my man, and now they are fast friends and hang out often.
Don’t get into heated discussions or deliberately draw attention to your living arrangement. It really is no big deal, unless you choose to make it one. At church people often confuse me for my fiance’s wife, and call me by the wrong last name. Instead of blowing up at them, I just simply correct the misunderstanding.
Don’t confuse surprise or misunderstanding as judgment. We get very little (if any) judgment at church or family gatherings about us obviously living together and not being married. When family members ask me how I like being married, I laugh and tell them we’re still just living together, and they go along with it.
Don’t hide the fact that you’re living together. If you have to hide it, then people will assume you believe it’s wrong. There is no shame in living with someone, even if you have no intentions of getting married. It’s your life.
Know that over time the whole issue will just blow over. The person who may disagree with your living arrangements the most will usually be a grandparent, but even they will let the issue go over time if they know you are truly happy with your life.
Every person has different reasons for living together without being married, and to be honest, it’s nobody’s business or concern but your own. I don’t go on and on about why we’ve been living together, when we’re actually getting married, or how long we’ve been living under one roof because I just plain don’t have to.
All your family and friends and churchgoers really need to see (and truly care about) is that you’re happy. Whatever means you choose to find it.