Cohabitation of a widow and a widower is a practice that exists especially when the couple does not want to lose their pensions. However, the argument as to whether or not this practice is moral depends on the view of an individual towards the relationship. In the present case, Ben and Sarah are widowed and are living together under an informal relationship. This behavior is moral because they are satisfying each others sexual and companionship needs and are indeed preventing the loss of their security pension. If they get married, they are going to lose many benefits. As such, cohabiting means that they can go separate ways if the cohabitation does not work for them. Additionally, they would still enjoy their freedom and autonomy while in this kind of relationship than when they are formally married.
Getting a formal marriage would mean that Sarah would lose her security pension as she would be deemed to have forfeited her first marriage. The absence of this means that no formal marriage exists and, therefore, the union is not morally and legally acceptable. However, staying single also means that each of them would miss various aspects of their marriage that they enjoyed before their respective spouses passed on. Specifically, this is moral, as the two have settled down, are happy and their sexual life is as active as before (Syltevik, 2010). As such, they will avoid the temptation of having many sexual partners from other people and hence protecting their integrity and reputation. It would have been very immoral to engage in sexual relationships with many sexual partners. As such, as long as they are happy and are not indeed committing any adultery, having that kind of relationship will help them get through their old age. Their children should not dictate how they should live as marriage or cohabitation is a private affair that should be left for Sarah and Ben to decide. Telling them what do, when to do it, and how to do is premature and a breach of their privacy and autonomy.
This kind of relationship can also be immoral as the Bible goes against cohabitation, as there is no solemnization and legality in the union. In this regard, the Bible states, Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24, English Standard Version) From this scripture, leaving one parents is a public commitment that is meant to lead to a solemnized lasting relationship. However, cohabiting without formalizing a marriage means that the two are autonomous and, therefore, not in any case a family. Matrimony is a distinctively communal aspect that needs to be solemnized so that the public are aware of the relationship. However, in this kind of relationship, if any domestic violence occurs, it would be a shock to the public since they are not aware of any union. Additionally, if indeed, they have any love between them, then the questions remains as to why they do not want to publicize it (Gault-Sherman & Draper, 2012). The other argument against the morality of Sarah and Bens relationship is the fact that they are giving a bad example t their children. In this regard, their children are going to learn from them and might exhibit such immoral behavior in the future.
Gault-Sherman, M., & Draper, S. (2012). What will the neighbors think? The effect of moral communities on cohabitation. Review of religious research, 54(1), 45-67.
Syltevik, L. J. (2010). Sense and sensibility: cohabitation in cohabitation land. The Sociological Review, 58(3), 444-462.
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