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  #1  
Old Dec 28, '12, 3:25 pm
LotS1014 LotS1014 is offline
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Default I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

I will be confirmed within the Church soon. However, I am really struggling with something. I have began practicing NFP after being on ABC for three years. DH and I need to not get pregnant for grave reasons, but he is very frustrated about sex. Since my cycle is still regulating, I have not ovulated and I am on day 40 of my cycle. We haven't had sex for that long and we are newlyweds.

Before I was interested in becoming Catholic, we used mutual masturbation. Now, I know the Church teaches against that, especially since it cannot end inside of me since I am using NFP.

I have explained to him that it is a mortal sin for me to do, but he gets frustrated and feels like I pulled the rug out from under him since we had done it for so long before. I feel horrible because one day I felt no guilt for it and the next after learning it is a mortal sin I am telling him we cannot do it at all. I feel I am not fulfilling my duties as his wife.

Ugh, I do not know what to do.
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  #2  
Old Dec 28, '12, 3:48 pm
sw85 sw85 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Yikes, this has got to be a very, very difficult situation. No doubt your husband feels cheated, lied to, and/or betrayed. Sex is a very difficult issue for men, in large part because sexual desire is a cross we carry and, for this reason, sexual satisfaction is one of the main ways we experience romantic love. Very possibly your husband feels you used sex to lure him into marriage and are now unjustly denying him.

My advice is probably not the best as I'm not married, but as a man I can certainly understand how he feels. I think the thing to make clear to him is that your behavior pre-marriage was wrong and needs to be discontinued -- that you're coming at this from a place of principle, not mere frigidity. Make clear, too, that this isn't a personal rejection of him as a man (which is probably how he's experiencing it), that you do in fact desire him and long to be with him, but that you don't want to dishonor the marriage bed anymore. Make clear that, once the situation stabilizes, it's on like Donkey Kong. And then follow through.

Men often marry expecting their wives not to change. So when things do change suddenly, and especially when those changes touch on something as foundational as sex, we tend to get very alarmed and even preemptively angry (no doubt anticipating infidelity or imminent abandonment). Get him through this by communicating clearly what's going on.
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  #3  
Old Dec 28, '12, 3:53 pm
BlueEyedLady BlueEyedLady is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw85 View Post
Yikes, this has got to be a very, very difficult situation. No doubt your husband feels cheated, lied to, and/or betrayed. Sex is a very difficult issue for men, in large part because sexual desire is a cross we carry and, for this reason, sexual satisfaction is one of the main ways we experience romantic love. Very possibly your husband feels you used sex to lure him into marriage and are now unjustly denying him.

My advice is probably not the best as I'm not married, but as a man I can certainly understand how he feels. I think the thing to make clear to him is that your behavior pre-marriage was wrong and needs to be discontinued -- that you're coming at this from a place of principle, not mere frigidity. Make clear, too, that this isn't a personal rejection of him as a man (which is probably how he's experiencing it), that you do in fact desire him and long to be with him, but that you don't want to dishonor the marriage bed anymore. Make clear that, once the situation stabilizes, it's on like Donkey Kong. And then follow through.

Men often marry expecting their wives not to change. So when things do change suddenly, and especially when those changes touch on something as foundational as sex, we tend to get very alarmed and even preemptively angry (no doubt anticipating infidelity or imminent abandonment). Get him through this by communicating clearly what's going on.
This doesn't happen often but I agree with everything that you just said. I would like to add that it applies to both sexes though, and even on this site there are men that post saying that they've changed the rules of their sex lives and now their wives are distraught and feel rejected.

Honestly, I think that counseling is the best option, at least to start. Make it secular though, so he doesn't feel "ganged up on". Don't worry, you won't be told to violate your principals, but they will help you guys better communicate and help you make it clear to him that it isn't a rejection.

I can't honestly say that I know how I would take this if I were the husband. I think it might actually end my marriage. I would feel so lied to, betrayed, and rejected, not to mention I would have just been told that all of those beautiful, passionate, and erotic moments in my marriage were mortal sins and could never happen again. Yeah, if we were to survive that it would take a lot of counseling.
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  #4  
Old Dec 28, '12, 4:30 pm
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Tarpeian Rock Tarpeian Rock is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw85 View Post
Yikes, this has got to be a very, very difficult situation. No doubt your husband feels cheated, lied to, and/or betrayed. Sex is a very difficult issue for men, in large part because sexual desire is a cross we carry and, for this reason, sexual satisfaction is one of the main ways we experience romantic love. Very possibly your husband feels you used sex to lure him into marriage and are now unjustly denying him.

My advice is probably not the best as I'm not married, but as a man I can certainly understand how he feels. I think the thing to make clear to him is that your behavior pre-marriage was wrong and needs to be discontinued -- that you're coming at this from a place of principle, not mere frigidity. Make clear, too, that this isn't a personal rejection of him as a man (which is probably how he's experiencing it), that you do in fact desire him and long to be with him, but that you don't want to dishonor the marriage bed anymore. Make clear that, once the situation stabilizes, it's on like Donkey Kong. And then follow through.

Men often marry expecting their wives not to change. So when things do change suddenly, and especially when those changes touch on something as foundational as sex, we tend to get very alarmed and even preemptively angry (no doubt anticipating infidelity or imminent abandonment). Get him through this by communicating clearly what's going on.



"Sexual desire is a cross we carry?". I rather thought of it as a gift from God, but maybe that's a male perspective.
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  #5  
Old Dec 28, '12, 4:36 pm
sw85 sw85 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpeian Rock View Post
"Sexual desire is a cross we carry?". I rather thought of it as a gift from God, but maybe that's a male perspective.
Aren't all crosses gifts?
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  #6  
Old Dec 28, '12, 4:56 pm
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anp1215 anp1215 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

I am so sorry for you and know where you are coming from since I'm also married to a non-Catholic. There were some rough spots when we were avoiding pregnancy with NFP/rhythm method (I know, not a reliable method) briefly. It was only a few cycles, but my husband would get frustrated sometimes. Now, we haven't been using NFP for almost a year, and I hope we never have to use it again, so there's hardly any frustrations. But I know how you feel. Sometimes he says things about how certain things aren't a sin, and I'm not "allowed" to do things, and it just makes me feel so terrible and guilty. It doesn't happen often, but it's a horrible feeling.
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  #7  
Old Dec 28, '12, 6:13 pm
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28562 28562 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpeian Rock View Post
"Sexual desire is a cross we carry?". I rather thought of it as a gift from God, but maybe that's a male perspective.
Yep, it can certainly be a cross. You try to keep a male sex drive in check for days or weeks or years on end and let us know what you think then...
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  #8  
Old Dec 28, '12, 6:34 pm
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mommamaree mommamaree is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw85 View Post
Aren't all crosses gifts?
I like this point very much. Anything worth having in this world tends to come with its fair share of suffering, too. Take childbirth, for example. Women have this awesome privilege of nurturing a new life within their womb, and then bringing that new life into the world. Wow! Yet pregnancy and childbirth are both accompanied by trials and suffering.

Sexual desire is very similar in that regard. It is a powerful force that can bond a married couple and bring joy to their marriage. But desire that is not celebrated lovingly and responsibly, or sublimated when relations are not possible, can become a severe cross. Spouses are to help each other carry their burdens, and we cannot abandon a spouse who is falling under the weight of his cross. This goes for any struggle our spouses might have. That is the beautiful thing about marriage, IMO, that you don't have to carry the burden alone.

To the OP,
this is none of my business, so please do not feel the need to respond to my question. I just wonder if the reason to postpone a pregnancy is truly serious enough for such extraordinary abstinence right now? Again, not my business...just something to consider with your spouse. Maybe it would be possible to abandon the method and just focus on loving each other physically, and let a baby come if God wills? I cannot imagine the strain your new marriage is under. Sometimes serious reasons to postpone pregnancy become not so serious when abstinence is too much of a burden. Of course, only you and your husband can decide this. I just thought maybe a different perspective might help. God bless you and your marriage.
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  #9  
Old Dec 28, '12, 6:49 pm
Regina Love Regina Love is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotS1014 View Post
I will be confirmed within the Church soon. However, I am really struggling with something. I have began practicing NFP after being on ABC for three years. DH and I need to not get pregnant for grave reasons, but he is very frustrated about sex. Since my cycle is still regulating, I have not ovulated and I am on day 40 of my cycle. We haven't had sex for that long and we are newlyweds.

Before I was interested in becoming Catholic, we used mutual masturbation. Now, I know the Church teaches against that, especially since it cannot end inside of me since I am using NFP.

I have explained to him that it is a mortal sin for me to do, but he gets frustrated and feels like I pulled the rug out from under him since we had done it for so long before. I feel horrible because one day I felt no guilt for it and the next after learning it is a mortal sin I am telling him we cannot do it at all. I feel I am not fulfilling my duties as his wife.

Ugh, I do not know what to do.

I don't understand why you are abstaining. Unless you are showing peak fertile signs (showing you are actively ovulating) you are able to enjoy the marital embrace. the fertile time should only last a week.
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  #10  
Old Dec 28, '12, 7:04 pm
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JLM28 JLM28 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw85 View Post
Yikes, this has got to be a very, very difficult situation. No doubt your husband feels cheated, lied to, and/or betrayed. Sex is a very difficult issue for men, in large part because sexual desire is a cross we carry and, for this reason, sexual satisfaction is one of the main ways we experience romantic love. Very possibly your husband feels you used sex to lure him into marriage and are now unjustly denying him.

Quote:
My advice is probably not the best as I'm not married, but as a man I can certainly understand how he feels. I think the thing to make clear to him is that your behavior pre-marriage was wrong and needs to be discontinued -- that you're coming at this from a place of principle, not mere frigidity. Make clear, too, that this isn't a personal rejection of him as a man (which is probably how he's experiencing it), that you do in fact desire him
and long to be with him, but that you don't want to dishonor the marriage bed anymore. Make clear that, once the situation stabilizes, it's on like Donkey Kong. And then follow through.

Men often marry expecting their wives not to change. So when things do change suddenly, and especially when those changes touch on something as foundational as sex, we tend to get very alarmed and even preemptively angry (no doubt anticipating infidelity or imminent abandonment). Get him through this by communicating clearly what's going on.
right
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  #11  
Old Dec 28, '12, 7:29 pm
LotS1014 LotS1014 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Regina Love View Post
I don't understand why you are abstaining. Unless you are showing peak fertile signs (showing you are actively ovulating) you are able to enjoy the marital embrace. the fertile time should only last a week.
I have been showing peak fertile signs for about 2 weeks now. The reason being, my body is trying to regulate again after me being on ABC for 3 years. My cycles were really long before, too. At least with my charting, if these cycles continue, I can bring to my gyno.

Also, because of our need to postpone a pregnancy, we will not be having marital relations each cycle until after I ovulate. I don't trust the first 5 days rule or dry day rule as previous cycles can not be used to predict current cycles.
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  #12  
Old Dec 28, '12, 7:29 pm
LotS1014 LotS1014 is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

I appreciate everyone's answers and am mulling everything over.
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  #13  
Old Dec 28, '12, 7:30 pm
Regina Love Regina Love is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotS1014 View Post
I will be confirmed within the Church soon. However, I am really struggling with something. I have began practicing NFP after being on ABC for three years. DH and I need to not get pregnant for grave reasons, but he is very frustrated about sex. Since my cycle is still regulating, I have not ovulated and I am on day 40 of my cycle. We haven't had sex for that long and we are newlyweds.

Before I was interested in becoming Catholic, we used mutual masturbation. Now, I know the Church teaches against that, especially since it cannot end inside of me since I am using NFP.

I have explained to him that it is a mortal sin for me to do, but he gets frustrated and feels like I pulled the rug out from under him since we had done it for so long before. I feel horrible because one day I felt no guilt for it and the next after learning it is a mortal sin I am telling him we cannot do it at all. I feel I am not fulfilling my duties as his wife.

Ugh, I do not know what to do.
do you have an NFP counselor? They would be a great resource person for these questions.
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  #14  
Old Dec 28, '12, 8:29 pm
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R_C R_C is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

I'm no expert on this, but I did read that on the husband's side toward the wife it is allowed with moderation as a form of foreplay? I read it somewhere in the context of the Theology of the Body. Find out more, perhaps it would make it a bit simpler for him?

But sex, while being blessed with pleasure and great comfort, is not about lust. If self-pleasure is the end, it degrades the spouses to something less. I am sure he wants you to be happy and to enjoy your intimacy in wedlock more than he wants some specific kind of act. But remember: good conversation helps. Don't make it sound, I think, like it's you imposing a religious constraint on him...make him understand is about you, as a person and bride, feeling comfortable; it's about you two feeling well together.
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  #15  
Old Dec 28, '12, 8:50 pm
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Ruthie again Ruthie again is offline
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Default Re: I am becoming Catholic, husband is not. Sex questions...

The good thing about NFP is that it means that both husband and wife have to make sacrifices for each other and for their family. I think that's why marriages where NFP is used are so strong.

Perhaps if you present it to your husband that way - that, rather than "cutting him off," you are asking that he make this loving sacrifice for the sake of both of you; and point out that it is not forever, giving him (and you) something to look forward to!

You're in a tough spot. here's a cyber-hug for you:

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{LotS1014}}}}}}}}}}} }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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