Catholics/Pre-marital Sex

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I have had serious relationships previously with men that I nearly married. They were not catholics and I was a non-practicing catholic. Because we nearly married and we thought that we truly loved each other, we indulged in pre-marital sex. Unfortunately, I didnt marry any of them.

It has been 2 years since I came back to the Catholic faith. I have been very thankful for it. I found out the reasons why pre-marital sex and the use of contraceptive is bad for us. I went for confessions and I am truly sorry for all that I have done that have displeased God. Sometimes I feel that I will be punished for what I did. But I know that our God is a good God and he has forgiven me for my sins.

I have been very blessed and God brought a wonderful God-loving guy into my life. He has never had pre-marital sex eventhough he has indulged in other sexual activities. He cannot accept the fact that I have had sexual intercourse. We are very much in love but this seems like a cross that we have to bear. He thinks it would be impossible to do it though. We are currently practicing abstinence as this is what we believe in. However, there will come a stage when he would have to consider marriage and he do not think he can accept someone who has not "saved" herself for marriage.

I know that if he cannot accept me for who I am, we should move on. However, we believe that we truly love each other and the relationship deserves a chance. I am not justifying what I did in the past. I know what I did was wrong. However, I would like to know if there is anyway I can help him accept me for who I am despite all that I have done?

Thanks for your help.

Answer
Obviously if he sees this as an insurmountable barrier, so be it.  Move on. You can't become a virgin again.  And you could point out that his indulging in "other" sexual activities (I assume, masturbation, watching porn, etc) is a form of premarital sex as well; it's been shown that sexual bonding between a man and a woman in marriage is harder for people who've had premarital sex and for people who've had other kinds of sexual experiences.  So I think you would be starting out on a level playing field; the fact that he's never had sexual intercourse doesn't mean very much if he's deliberately brought himself to climax through other means.  The second point is that God not only forgives, but in a sense, forgets the sin of someone who receives the sacrament of penance.  If God can forgive and forget, then certainly someone who wants to follow God and carry out his will needs to learn to forgive and forget as well.  That, by the way, is the Christian view of marriage in the first place; it is a relationship in which the spouses help each other to become more like Christ, and a large part of that for any couple is learning to forgive the other.  Because even when spouses start out as virgins, they are going to offend each other over and over during their marriage, and if they can't learn to forgive, the marriage will not achieve what it is supposed to.  Obviously there are blessings in marriage as well, and these cannot be fully enjoyed (as God intends) if the spouses carry burdens of suspicion, etc.
Finally, I suggest he read the first few chapters of the Book of Hosea in the Old Testament, to see how God deals with someone who comes to marriage with previous "experience".  
Those are all things that make rational sense (to me at least) but in the end, there may have to be counseling.  If he doesn't want to do that, then I think the relationship will go nowhere.  Hope this helps.  

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Donald Higby

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Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.

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Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Deacon Digest

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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