Catholics/Sex before marriage


Hi I was reading a response from D. Higby that was addressed to a concerned Catholic on the above mentioned topic and one thing that had caught my attention is when he indicated that sex before marriage is wrong and someone who knows something is seriously objectively wrong, yet chooses to do it, and chooses to do it freely, commits a mortal sin.  additionally, he further said that this concerned Catholic is not or aren't entirely free if her fiance is putting pressure to have sex with him.  

I am in a relationship for the past 6 years and was engaged 2 years ago.  I made a personal decision 3 years on my own to stop having pre-marital sex since I am growing deeper in Christ and understand what I am doing to myself, partner and God when I commit such an act.  Before when I had spoken to my fiancee on same and what it can do to our souls when we commit such an act he didn't want to hear it at times.  We would have heated arguments, him saying to me that if I can or use to have sex with my partners in the past outside of marriage, I can afford same to him.  He would also tell me that he needs to have it since it relaxes or de-stresses him and may go outside of the relationship to get it.  I would eventually give in just to stop the bickering and arguing.  He recently did the life in the spirit seminar but still had that same urges.  Since last year when he did the 'Life in the Spirit" to now everything was well until recently the topic came up of him needing it. He is not as verbally abusive as before but would constantly nag and say things in different ways to get it for example He would ask and my response is no.  He would demand an answer from me and say whatever your answer is I will bother you no further. Even though I say no, he would still persist and bring up all sorts of things in the past.  Until I say yes or give in.  We have a 3 year old daughter and I think of her and don't want any man to take advantage of her in that way.  My fiancee would also say to me that we are together (although we live in separate homes) for such a long time and that is like a commitment before God. My other problem is when I am going to confession to get back into God's grace it is sooooo embarrassing for me to confess pre-marital sex.   I also hate to be in a state of not receiving communion.  But no matter how many explanations or information I send him on pre-marital sex he would agree to it until the urges comes about.

I had to go into these details for you to understand the questions being posed to you.  

1. Since I am with the man for 6 years and we have a child and is engaged, is it a commitment before God?

2. Since he is forcing me against my will to do so is it a mortal sin on my part? I am aware but don't want to do it, but do it just to qualm things.

Thanks and hope to hear from you.


I deeply apologize for not responding to you sooner.  I want you to prayerfully think about what I am going to tell you.  Sex before marriage is a sin, because sex is essentially a renewal of your marriage vows and the covenant between you, your husband, and God, just as confession is a renewal of your baptism and the Eucharist is a renewal of Christ's sacrifice and the passover meal.

Your fiancee should not force you into having sex.  The fact that you were sexually active before him is irrelevant.  That is the point of repentance: you change your behavior and turn away from your sins and "go forth and sin no more."

Here is what I want you to ask yourself: is it right to marry a man who does not respect my decisions, my faith, and my body?  If you go into marriage expecting him to suddenly respect you when he is not respecting you today, you will be disappointed.

In regards to your specific questions, engagement, no longer how long you've been together, is not a commitment in the same manner as marriage.  Engagement is the final phase in the preparation for marriage.

This may not be a mortal sin for you, but in my opinion, it is imprudent to remain in this relationship.  I know this is probably not the advice you were seeking, but I think it is one you should pray carefully about.  Furthermore, I think you should seek advice and counseling from your pastor.  He can guide you along as well.

Again, I apologize for not responding sooner.  Please forgive me.

Blessings to you,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Cody Sain


Society for Re-Evangelization

I will answer questions regarding Catholic teachings and Catholic philosophy, including misconceptions and objections to the faith. I will usually recommend further reading, and I welcome follow-up questions.

In particular I welcome questions about:
-Mary & The Saints
-The Pope, Bishops, Priests, Monks & Nuns
-Vatican II
-Women in the Church
-Justification & Sanctification
-The last judgment, Purgatory, Heaven, Hell
-What the Catholic Church says about the "rapture" and the "millennium"
-Anti-catholics, esp. Jack Chick
-Angels & Devils
-The Eucharist (Holy Communion, Lord's Supper)
-The problem of evil
-The problem of divine foreknowledge, free will, and predestination
-Questions about love & sex, abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and other "HOT TOPICS."
-Questions about Church policy in regards to Catholic politicians in the United States.

I prefer not to be asked questions about canon law (the law of the church) especially with respect to marriage and annulments, or other personal questions of a spiritual nature. I can give you general answers, but I find that these questions are best asked by a priest or spiritual director. Your local pastor or diocese should be able to help you.

Restrictions: **Please ask one question at a time. Do not come to me with a laundry list of questions and expect me to answer them all together in one fell swoop. If I feel your question is less of a question and more of an attack, I may refuse to answer it.**

Guidelines for follow-ups:

When engaging in an extended discussion, I will respond to the specific points you make, and I expect you to do the same. If you are argumentative and ignore my points in order to make your own, I may decide to refuse to answer your question altogether.


I was raised Southern Baptist and converted to Catholicism in 2003. I'm familiar with many the misconceptions of Catholicism. I also hold an MA in philosophy from Boston College. I have been on All Experts since 2001, when I was in high school, before I was Catholic. I will be reviewing my old answers and offering any corrections or further explanation when necessary.

Knights of Columbus (both 3rd and 4th degree)

BA, Philosophy & Religious Studies: Texas A&M University
MA, Philosophy: Boston College

©2017 All rights reserved.