Abstinence Before Marriage


My fiance and I live together and are getting married in 6 months. I was a virgin when we met and while we did end up having sex before we married, we waited for 2 years.
We have been sexually active together over the past year and just attended our marriage prep. weekend where they suggested to abstain until your wedding night.
I personally would like to follow the church on this idea while my fiance is a little more hesitant. I understand that being a man, it may prove a little more trying for him (nothing against men and their sexuality) but I really do think it could bring us closer and make our wedding night a special and beautiful thing.
I do worry however that this may cause some issues as well. He has made is very clear that he does not like the idea and it is entirely up to me.
How do I make this decision on my own and what can I do to reduce the friction?


Howdy, and welcome to CAF! CAF is a great place to help explore your faith. However, please be warned. Some are not very kind about someone failing to follow it to the letter…

There is a similar thread that you might find interesting to read. It’s here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=213757

As I posted there and highly recommend… Please have your fiance and you read together Christopher West’s “The Good News About Sex and Marriage.” It will answer SO many questions for you both.

Congrats to you! And Peace to you, too!


I apologize ahead of time if I sound too harsh, but you’ve got to get a backbone sometime and now is as good a time as any. If it means a lot to you to abstain until marriage then he should support you in that. If something like this is going to cause “friction,” better to know it now than in six months.

No one single man ever died from lack of sex. Not ONE!!!


Hmm . . . 2 thoughts:

Leaving it up to you sounds passive. Will he leave other major decisions up to you later on?

What are his reasons for not abstaining? Is his gratification the most important thing?


I’ll also chime in and ask this: what about the possiblity of having to use NFP in the future to space children (because it’s the only licit form of “birth control” for Catholics)? This requires abstinence and dedication of both spouses. There are many times druing married life that abstinence is required, such as during pregnancy or after birth or during illness. Is he going to be able to do this? How will both of you handle this? These are all serious questions that need to be answered before the wedding because the can cause serious issues in the marriage. Better to deal with it now and be open and honest.

Prayers for you both!


One of my good friends, a guy that I work with, was faced with this exact same situation back 15 years ago when he and his wife got married. She wasn’t even Catholic yet but was willing to do it (the Priest was a personal friend of his and demanded it) so he gave it a hard look at decided it would be best as well.

He told me this about a year ago when I started to actively prusure joining the Church. Frankly, knowing him for years, I would have NEVER expected that he would have been able or willing to do that… however he did AND he said while it was very difficult, the blessings were amazing and their wedding night was truly wonderful.

They have been happily married about 15 years now :slight_smile:


  1. Leaving “it” up to her, implies respect. He is confused. He needs education, not condemnation. She does too. That is why I (and many others) recommend understanding the “why” behind the “don’t.” READ TOB TOGETHER. Sex is something beautiful God gave us. It’s even better if in the proper context.
  2. Celibate men have a much higher rate of prostate problems and cancer. Some DO die from it, eventually. And I’d conceed more men at that age die due to having sex than not. But sex in the proper context is healthier than not. Fact. not fiction.
  3. If one thinks NFP is ONLY for birth control, I suggest a refresher course. Please, LL start learning the process now… We waited until we were married and relations messed up our learning process terribly. The instructors even told us that.

Stay the course LL. Something wonderful will happen.


NFP can be used to space and conceive, of course, and I agree learning it now is the best. My point was they need to discuss the fact that abstaining is a fact of married life and they need to be on the same page…


Life Lover,
Just know that the best thing you can do for your future marraige now is discover whether or not your H2B respects you by his actions not just words. I am speaking from experience here. If he and you can willingly abstain until your married you are giving each other the gift of respect that no one else can match.
I have made alot of mistkes when it has come to my own belief systems and am paying he price. I too did not wait until was married and I too married a non-Catholic. After our EE weekend I wanted to wait also but allowed myself to give in to temptation and did not demand that my husband show me respect with his actions instead of just pretty words. Now 14 years and 4 children later, I have daily struggles in my marriage. I believe in the sacrament of marriage and I have to pray all the time about the man that I married. I love my husband dearly but their are days that I feel our mutual disrespect for one another that we proved before our marriage is an ugly cloud over our marriage. My husband says he respects me and I say the same to him but we do not have a mature, peacefilled marriage that I think we should have. The premarital sex relationships clouded my judgement and my abiliity to see just what I was getting into-maybe if I wasn’t dtermined to be so in love because of My sexual relationship with my husband I would have been able to see the faults that make our marriage so challenging(He too may have seen that I really needed a grownup and realized he was not ready to make the changes necessary)
Sorry this post is so long but I hope for your sake you can heed my advice- I promise you that when you have children you will realize just how important your morals standards will be to you. I ask God every night to forgive me for the things that I have done that I never wish for my children to know about. Please consider prayerfully what you should do next- by consulting God about what seem like difficult decisions now you won’t have to be begging Him so much for help on for very difficult situations later.

In Christ,


I’m sorry they were so unclear. It is a mortal sin for you to have sex outside of marriage. They should have been a bit more that just “suggesting”.

I personally would like to follow the church on this idea while my fiance is a little more hesitant.

Well - this is not an “idea” of the Church. This is God’s command. Sex outside of marriage is fornication, which is a mortal sin. So, while it sounds like a nifty thing the Church just whipped up in the basement, in actuality, it is a bit more important than that. You both need to get to confession today.

He has made is very clear that he does not like the idea and it is entirely up to me.

I certainly hope that you never have to face the day when one of you is ill or disabled and not able to have sex. Or would that make it “ok” for him to abstain then?

You are wanting to marry this man. And the duty of every husband and wife in a sacramental marriage is to get each other to heaven. By participating in sinful activity you are not helping him, nor is he helping you.

I’m sorry - I’m in a bit of a mood today, so this is a bit harsh, and I think I may be taking it out on you, but I still feel my comments stand. It’s just so very sad to see so many couples come on this site constantly trying to justify their pre-marital sex and make it “ok”, when all they are doing is setting themselves up for trouble down the road, and endangering their souls in the mean time. :frowning:



Hello–just wanted to chime in…there is great hope for you and your fiance. Really–more than anything–it takes changing one’s attitude and perspective a bit. It’s not so much that your fiance is hesitant, as much as he dreads change. That is really what it is about–we can call it something else, but really, change is hard work! No matter what it is about, when we rrealize how we have been living is damaging to our health, well being or soul–and we need to change…it can be really hard to want to understand. I think that through prayer, and consistent discussions–you both will be able to wait until the wedding night. Weekly confessions right now, might help you both to get back to being chaste. I will keep you in my prayers…just remember, change is hard, but with God, all things are possible.


Is your fiancee having such difficulty to accept the fact that you must abstain completely before marriage because he is not a serious, orthodox Catholic? If the two of you believe in Eternal Life and Eternal Damnation and really love each other, you will be so quick to stop having pre-marital sex and fight the temptations with all your might. Pray!


I do agree with Newbetx that leaving it up to her is a sign of respect.

Hey Life_Lover,

I’m in sort a the same boat your are, and made a big post about it in the Engaged Sex thread. I bumped it up so it would be easier for you to find.

I am also engaged and my fiance and I are also striving to be chaste before marriage. We did not start out that way. Though, when we get married in 2009 it will be about two years of chastity for us as I told him I felt our sexual activity was effecting my relationship with God and needed to stop about six months before we got engaged. He’s not dead yet.:wink: If fact, he even decided to marry me despite the fact that I wasn’t putting out.:smiley:

Now, what can you do to ease tension, you ask? Talk talk talk about it! Don’t make your chastity a pink elephant in the middle of the room. Returning to a chaste life is HARD. It will be harder for you two as you are living together (if possible, one of you might consider staying with a parent or a friend for the next six months). My fiance and I talk about our desire for chastity often, even if it’s only little flirty comments like,“Are you trying to lead me into sin?” when one of us is toying with the edge of a boundary. It’s said in good fun, but it also reminds of what we really desire (to help each other become closer to God, not further from Him) in the long run instead of in moment. We also have conversations when one of us is feeling especially tempted. Acknowledging the temptation makes it easier to deal with. I don’t hesitate to tell my guy,“I’m feeling really weak today, so maybe we should hang out with friends tonight or do something active.”

Now, I have to stand up for the men here and say, that he won’t die, he might even surprise you. My guy is better at standing up to temptation than I am. I’ll admit it. When I had the “no more sex” talk with my now fiance, we weren’t even dating seriously. I was expecting the result of this talk to be that we would not see each other anymore. That broke my heart and I cried and cried over it in the days before because I truly felt that this was the man God meant for me to marry, but I didn’t feel our relationship was going anywhere and I felt it was hindering me from growing closer to God.

He was hurt when I told him, but not because I wanted to end our relationship, but because I felt our relationship was damaging my burgeoning relationship with God. For weeks after he would look at me and mutter,“Better a milestone tied around my neck . . .” :rotfl:

And really, I think, our relationship started when we had the chastity talk, even though we’d been seeing each other for 9 months.

It’s important when you stop having sex to remember to still make each other feel loved and cherished. Cuddle and smooch now and then, buy each other little presents and flowers, send love notes, cook a favorite meal, make sure to go on “dates.” These things will help ease the transition.

Oh, and if you mess up and have sex, don’t give up! Don’t think you can’t do this! Just go to confession (that’s what it’s therefore) and start over.:yup:


The Catechism Of The Catholic Church is an excellent source regarding this. I’d recommend reading about the Commandment: Thou shall not commit adultery… In the book one will find much more about what this means than cheating on a spouse.


Hi Life_lover, just wanted to post a little encouragement for you as you read the responses to your issue. Probably two-thirds of the respondents here will question your commitment to each other, his suitability as your spouse, his current and future fidelity, his underlying ill-will towards you and your salvation, etc. The majority of the replies you read are going to be a slap in the face. I know I certainly felt that way on my similar post.

Just keep in mind that all the posters here are concerned about you and your future. As a result, they tend to be very harsh at the idea of anyone “threatening” you and your future spot in Heaven. They go overboard and say some hurtful things. Also, be prepared for a lot of “you don’t have a choice” posts. Why offer advice when strict orders are so much more clear and effective, right? Alas, if that worked, you would have just picked up a copy of the Catechism and never posted here.

Yes, you have a choice, but it’s not the one you think. Right now you think your choice is about whether or not to hurt your fiance’ and/or your relationship. That’s really just a side issue. You’re essentially deciding if you’re going to start following the Church’s rules – ALL of them – right now. Your decision may have immediate results you don’t like with regard to your fiance’, but if you’ve made the right choice in him and you’re patient, it will work itself out. Of course, I say this with my whole week’s worth of experience, but I cannot tell you how much better I feel.

Before you do anything, get the Christopher West book. After you start to understand the big picture he’s pitching, your decision will not be as hard.

Oh, and force yourself not to be reactionary to the responses you get. I nearly threw the computer out the front door with rage at the comments I got.

Keep your chin up. God will help you find the right path.


Just saw this and want to second the recommendation for Christopher West. It will really open your eyes, it did for me.

Princess sorry things were tough at first. I pray that you and life_lover stay around. I too about left this place after rude comments, but “cooler heads prevailed” and I came back.

God bless both of you.


Thank you Princess. Well said…

One thing that I got from CW’s book was this. The Church is Patient… You don’t HAVE to decide TODAY to follow ALL the rules… One could say you’d be better off “in case” something happened. It would be impossible for me to be able to do that. I’ve been working on these subjects for a couple of years now… and I have more understanding to go. I’ve basically asked for God’s mercy as I go forward. I can only hope he grant’s me the time I require.

It’s a journey. One that lasts a lifetime. We can all go on it together. And if we stumble or get lost, we can all help each other find the way… And your spouses (or future spouses) may need extra help because we all make the journey at different speeds…You may need to “slow down” to help them come with you. But stay on the path!:thumbsup:

Good luck and Peace to you!


Not one person follows all of the ‘rules.’ Jesus was the only person who walked the earth who was sinless. So, well stated–we are works in progress, but it’s important to at least begin digesting the rules, so you don’t continue to stumble. But, stumbling is part of growing and becoming a better Christian.


I apparently did not come across as I meant to. I’m a little surprised that my “follow the rules” bit was taken this far out of context, so I’ll rephrase.


You’re essentially deciding if you’re going to start following the Church’s rules – ALL of them – right now.


life_lover, you’re deciding if you want to agree with the guidelines of the Church as to what is sinful and non-sinful behavior. If you agree, you’ll have to change your behavior and you’re deciding if you want to do that.



I was actually replying to newbtx–as he was talking about being a work in progress–and we all are a work in progress–that no one just follows the rules over night…that’s what I was replying to.

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