Q. on family sleeping arrangements

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dust

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My sister spent many years in a promiscuous and abusive life-style. 5 years ago, she became reconciled to God, and converted to Catholicism. She is a different woman, thanks to God’s grace, working in her life. My problem is this: during her former lifestyle, she married a man (second marriage for both) in a courthouse. She’s since received an annulment for her first marriage, but her current husband still does not have an annulment, although they have filed. Apparently, he can’t find anyone who will write a witness statement. Still, they are living in a state of adultery, since they have not received the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Church. She does not receive the Holy Eucharist, per her priest’s instructions, and her husband doesn’t either…although he doesn’t really go to church very often. 😦

Now, my husband and I have bought a vacation home in VA, and I invited them to come stay…and there’s the rub.

I cannot allow them to sleep in the same bedroom, in my home, can I?

I really need some info. on this, because I will tell her that they have to sleep separately, if necessary.

JMJ, pray for us.
dust
 
I would set it up so that you can invite them to stay in separate rooms- but as adults the decision is ultimately up to them. And unless she has been explicit with you- you do not know if they are being intimate or not-- or if when you see them they will have made the decision to live chastely…If she is listening to her priest- you could alays have her ask him what they should do on vacation…
 
OUCH; This one hurts, and while I have some suggestions I am concerned that I may lead you astray. I suggest that you take this to your Priest (hope he is in line with Rome). Also know that my wife and I will be praying for you.

Another suggestion would be to take this question to the Apologetics section of this web site and seek their advice. It is so important you are clear on what is taught here because without the truth to stand on you will not have peace.
 
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ShanMcCatholic:
I would set it up so that you can invite them to stay in separate rooms- but as adults the decision is ultimately up to them. And unless she has been explicit with you- you do not know if they are being intimate or not-- or if when you see them they will have made the decision to live chastely…If she is listening to her priest- you could alays have her ask him what they should do on vacation…
Thank you for the response. My sister has been explicit with me. I know they are not living as brother and sister. Second, if I did allow them to sleep in the same bedroom, doesn’t that amount to tacit approval and/or permission? If it were one of my children, I certainly wouldn’t allow it…in fact, my husband has a sister who is living with a man, and they’ve also been invited to come stay, but we will be telling them they must sleep separately. In the eyes of the church…is my sister’s situation that much different?

JMJ, pray for us.
dust
 
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srkbdk:
OUCH; This one hurts, and while I have some suggestions I am concerned that I may lead you astray. I suggest that you take this to your Priest (hope he is in line with Rome). Also know that my wife and I will be praying for you.

Another suggestion would be to take this question to the Apologetics section of this web site and seek their advice. It is so important you are clear on what is taught here because without the truth to stand on you will not have peace.
You’re right! This does hurt, and my sister is probably going to be upset with me. :eek: Yes, we are blessed to have three priests who are in line with Rome. Perhaps I will ask one of them. And, I’ll take your second suggestion as well, and post this in the Ask an Apologist board.

Thank you for your response.

JMJ, pray for us.
dust
 
Wow…this is a difficult question. It reminds me of the questions about whether you should attend a family member’s wedding if they are married outside the church.

I think you are morally required to share the truth with your sister about the Church’s teaching. Once you do that, the rest is up to her. She must know your feelings on the issue and where you stand.

Whether or not to let them sleep in the same room is a matter of your sound and informed conscience. I would keep this in mind though. Your sister is an adult and she has to make her own choices and live with the eternal consequences. It is not the same situation as dealing with your own children. You have more of a moral duty when it comes to rearing your children, even if your children are adults.
Secondly, you might have to meet your sister where she is spiritually. If you try and force the issue with her even after you made your views known, you may turn her off so much to you and the faith that she won’t listen to what anyone has to say about the Catholic church. She might not even be interested in getting her current legal marriage right with the Church.

Sometimes your common sense people skills can go a long way in the area of evangelization. Its a tough question and only your informed conscience can provide the answer, but I wanted to give you some different thoughts to consider.
 
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pittsburghjeff:
Wow…this is a difficult question. It reminds me of the questions about whether you should attend a family member’s wedding if they are married outside the church.

I think you are morally required to share the truth with your sister about the Church’s teaching. Once you do that, the rest is up to her. She must know your feelings on the issue and where you stand.

Whether or not to let them sleep in the same room is a matter of your sound and informed conscience. I would keep this in mind though. Your sister is an adult and she has to make her own choices and live with the eternal consequences. It is not the same situation as dealing with your own children. You have more of a moral duty when it comes to rearing your children, even if your children are adults.
Secondly, you might have to meet your sister where she is spiritually. If you try and force the issue with her even after you made your views known, you may turn her off so much to you and the faith that she won’t listen to what anyone has to say about the Catholic church. She might not even be interested in getting her current legal marriage right with the Church.

Sometimes your common sense people skills can go a long way in the area of evangelization. Its a tough question and only your informed conscience can provide the answer, but I wanted to give you some different thoughts to consider.
Thanks for the (name removed by moderator)ut. I’ll take it under advisement.

dust
 
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dust:
Thank you for the response. My sister has been explicit with me. I know they are not living as brother and sister. Second, if I did allow them to sleep in the same bedroom, doesn’t that amount to tacit approval and/or permission? If it were one of my children, I certainly wouldn’t allow it…in fact, my husband has a sister who is living with a man, and they’ve also been invited to come stay, but we will be telling them they must sleep separately. In the eyes of the church…is my sister’s situation that much different?
I think it would also be important to take into consideration your children…I’m assuming they’re young enough to still be living with you. In my opinion, allowing sinful activity in your household would be setting a bad example for them. Even if they understand that it is wrong in principle to be intimate and share the same bed with anyone other than your spouse, they will see that it is acceptable in certain situations, which I would say that it isn’t. People have a bad habit of rationalizing their way into things that they normally wouldn’t be able to when they have these kinds of examples to learn from.

But then again, I don’t have kids of my own, so who am I to say either way? Its just something I thought might be helpful.
 
From my own past experience, I would suggest the separate rooms, especially if you can be very matter of fact about it. A condemming attitude can get a person’s back up. But just saying cheerfully, “Here’s your room & there is his” should work. If you can, go the extra mile to personalize each room & make it welcoming.
 
Hi,

I would probably take a little different approach. I would prepare two rooms for them, and let your sister know that you understand she is in a sensitive situation so you wanted to make it as easy as possible to to live in accordance with her committment to the Church should she so choose, however, let her know that you love her and her husband, and know it is her decision and are not trying to be judgemental, just wanted to prepare them ahead of time so no one would be uncomfortable in asking for another room if they wanted one.

If you have provided the opportunity to her to sleep in two bedrooms, I personally think you duty ends there. She is utlimately responsible to God for her choices and deserves no condemnation or judgement from us… or atleast me… LOL

That is a tough one though… I dont know the most compassionate way to handle it…
Brandon
 
There are so many wise people in this community. I am touched by your willingness to help with this sensitive situation. It’s interesting…I don’t think my sister would be offended if I asked her to sleep separately from her husband, but I do believe her husband would be offended. (He calls us Catholic fanatics, even though he is a Baptized Catholic).

God has been so very merciful to our family, and I will put more prayer time into this, as well. Still, the deciding issue will be obedience.

I’ll let you know what happens after I talk to our priest (I’m actually meeting with all three of them on an entirely different matter next Monday, so pray for me, and thank you, also, for the prayers already offered.)

JMJ, pray for us,
dust
 
One thing to remember is proximity and politeness. When we first married we shared a bed in my wife’s cousin’s teeage daughter’s room. Needless to say that even though we were on our way to our honeymoon we did not have relations those two nights.
 
If I were in your shoes, I would just ask my sister to sleep with me and have a “sisterhood night” and talk about women stuff, etc. And ask my husband to please sleep in another room just for those nights or with her husband and talk about men stuff, work, research, etc. Or just say from the beginning that they should sleep in separate bedrooms and you can happily sleep with your husband like it should be. Knowing myself, I wouldn’t have invited them in the first place until they resolve the annulment issue and get married in the Church.
 
My sister spent many years in a promiscuous and abusive life-style. 5 years ago, she became reconciled to God, and converted to Catholicism. She is a different woman, thanks to God’s grace, working in her life. My problem is this: during her former lifestyle, she married a man (second marriage for both) in a courthouse. She’s since received an annulment for her first marriage, but her current husband still does not have an annulment, although they have filed. Apparently, he can’t find anyone who will write a witness statement. Still, they are living in a state of adultery, since they have not received the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Church. She does not receive the Holy Eucharist, per her priest’s instructions, and her husband doesn’t either…although he doesn’t really go to church very often. 😦

Now, my husband and I have bought a vacation home in VA, and I invited them to come stay…and there’s the rub.

I cannot allow them to sleep in the same bedroom, in my home, can I?

I really need some info. on this, because I will tell her that they have to sleep separately, if necessary.

JMJ, pray for us.
dust
It sounds like your sister knows what behaviour you would wish of her. I would not be “imposing” a sleeping arrangement on them different than they choose at their own home. If you feel the need to impose - ie. to go beyond merely making another arrangement possible, it would seem preferable to not invite them.
 
It sounds like your sister knows what behaviour you would wish of her. I would not be “imposing” a sleeping arrangement on them different than they choose at their own home. If you feel the need to impose - ie. to go beyond merely making another arrangement possible, it would seem preferable to not invite them.
I have to agree with this. I can’t imagine telling a legally married couple that I wouldn’t “allow” them to sleep together.
 
Oh for cryin’ out loud, I didn’t even look and I usually try to anyway. HAHAHAHAHAHA
😃

I was reading along and suddenly I realized I didn’t know a single username…so I checked the date. That’s probably the oldest thread I’ve seen resurrected around here in a while!
 
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