An obligation to have sex?


#1

Hello,

I need help understanding something a priest said.

I have been reading posts on this board: oldforum.catholic.org/discussion/messages/41/820466.html?1098613395

And a priest essentially says that there is a “grave” obligation to have sexual intercourse in marriage. And for instance if you have a headache curable by aspirin it is not right to refuse your partner.

Does the Catholic Church teach that there is such an obligation?

Thank you for your help! :slight_smile:


#2

The response he gave on the link you cited was quite reasonable. He was talking about the marital obligation to honor the reasonable requests of one’s spouse. Seems fair to me. Don’t try to make it more complicated than it is.


#3

That however, does not contradict spouses who choose not to have marital relations. Joseph and Mary being a perfect example of how a marriage can be lived.


#4

[quote=MariaG]That however, does not contradict spouses who choose not to have marital relations. Joseph and Mary being a perfect example of how a marriage can be lived.
[/quote]

Yes.

Of course, the choice being to dedicate one’s total being to God, rather than to refuse to bring children into the world.


#5

I think the key here is mutual respect and submission to one another out of reverance for Christ. It’s what both agree upon. If they agree that they aren’t going to have sex, just as Mary and Joseph did, then that’s fine. People using NFP also agree not to have sex at certain times during the month. That’s obviously okay, too.

I think what we have to watch out for is the tendency to be selfish. For instance, if you’re not having sex with your spouse simply because you don’t “feel” like it or just aren’t interested in it, then there is a problem. On the other hand, if a spouse is pressuring for sex while not attending to the emotional needs of the other, then that’s being selfish, too.

I think it all comes down to putting your spouse above yourself. If you whole-heartedly do that, everything else will fall into place the way God wants it to.

Scout :tiphat:


#6

I would rarely disagree with a good priest but geeze talk about turning something in a mechanical means of gratification, yuck.

Let’s just suck the life blood out of our intimate life by turning it into a have to instead of a *want to. *This is not at all how intimacy is portrayed in the NFP class we took. Women and men are different biologically & emotionally. “So tired you can’t make it to bed?”

Let’s see what if a man come home from work. The wife has been with kids all day, makes a nice homecooked meal and has ready for the husband. He eats without saying 2 words to her while he reads the paper, leaves his dirty dishes, takes off his work clothes and leaves them piled on the floor and go watches a hockeygame while the women cleans up and puts the kids to bed. They get into bed she tries to talk to him about her day with kids and gets half hearted uh-huh responses. Then the husband decides hmm… honey I’m kind of in the mood. This women is obligated to accomadate him -yeah right.

Yesterday? It is reasonable to expect it everyday? Don’t get me wrong I like sex as much as the person. There are times when I’m not so in the mood but I’ll accept my husbands request and he does like wise. I have a real problem with grave reason. What the guy gonna do fall over and turn blue if he doesn’t get it 2 days in a row? Whatever happened to self control?

I thought we were not supposed to make sex into just a selfish act of pleasure, it’s supposed to be more than that. Hmm… Honey I know you don’t feel like but you don’t have a grave reason so you have to, very romantic.

By the way I usually know when my husband’s in the mood because he is especailly helpful around the house and he more affectionate than usually. Why? Because he understands how a women works emotionally.


#7

[quote=MariaG]That however, does not contradict spouses who choose not to have marital relations. Joseph and Mary being a perfect example of how a marriage can be lived.
[/quote]

Please be aware that a decsion to follow this path must be a mutual one and not a unilateral decision to take back what was given in the Sacrament of marriage.


#8

It is one of the obligations that I take VERY seriously! :smiley:


#9

I do not believe that the Church means ever time your husband is in the mood you have to comply, however if either spouse is witholding from the other on a regular basis THAT is wrong. As one poster put it, the Church teaches that a husband or wife is not to be USED as an object of pleasure and gratification… sex is about MUTUAL giving and love.
Sometimes it is right to do it even if you don’t feel like it, but I don’t believe the Church is suggesting your sinning if you say “not tonight honey” every now and then.


#10

I look at marriage as two people who should be helping each other toward their eternal goal of Heaven. Part of that is fulfilling the other’s needs. Men probably don’t feel like listening to their wives any more than wives generally want sexual intimacy (okay I’m generalising). But when each has the other’s needs in mind, there is an intimacy that occurs as a result of feeling like my needs are met and wanting to meet her needs.

I’m trying to describe a larger sense of intimacy then occurs at the event of need fulfillment, what ever that may be. It is an intimacy that continually promotes more oneness.

Conversly, when needs are not being met, whatever the need, there is a lack of intimacy that promotes more separateness, eventually leading to selfishness, which ultimately causes one to lose focus on the other’s spiritual well being.

I would say we have the obligation to fulfill the other’s needs as best we can, regardless of whether the subject is sex, or listening, or being supportive, respecting the other, etc.

So I wouldn’t say, “The church says I have an obligation to have sex with my spouse”.

Rather I would say, “The Church says I have an obligation to meet my spouses needs.”


#11

The Biblical reference is 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. In the euphamisms of Douay Rheims, it sounds like this:
Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.
It’s a bit clearer in the NAB:The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control.
As with many others, it is very easy to abuse this passage.

And, as with all scripture references, I recommend that you read the passage in context in your own Bible rather than taking my word for it.


#12

[quote=Apologia100]It is one of the obligations that I take VERY seriously! :smiley:
[/quote]

You crack me up. Thanks:clapping:


#13

If the CHUCH COMES DOWN TODAY on the side of PLEASURES, CARNAL and physical, LET ME KNOW!

Forget abstinance, INDULGE FORWARD in all PHYSICAL PLEASURES without any measures???

I KNOW it is NOT a good thing to EAT EXCESSIVELY that’d be GLUTTONOUS, one of the seven deadly… And I believe inordinate LUST IS GLUTTONY too… And GLUTTONY is a recorded ,“DEMON FROM HELL.,” which is UN-CONTROLABLE ,with OUT the GRACE from God!

ALSO in-ORDINATE LUST too, a demon from HELL, which is UN-FORGETABLE,! One cannot ERASE THE HUMAN MEMORY YET, not selectively!

It gets worse, and MUCH more IMPERSONAL, contempt for the HUMAN VESSEL or being as a whole… Why do YOU think part of GOD HIMSELF humbled himself to take this HUMAN IMAGE?

SOMETHING HATED THAT beyond measure, these frail little human begins with a WEAK WILL to resist SIN and SPIRITUAL TEMPTATION! Some SPIRIT has US and some LOVES US!


#14

[quote=Chris W] Men probably don’t feel like listening to their wives any more than wives generally want sexual intimacy (okay I’m generalising). . ."
[/quote]

Uh…hmm…I must be a little unusual than. I have no problem wanting sexual intimacy…hmm…well…let’s just say husband is a generous guy.:smiley:

What is a complete turn off is this obligation, this expectation to do you “duty” unless your on deaths door.

I actually thing most posts here agree with my own feelings on this matter. I agree in a healthy balance of respect and understanding.

My own personal opinion if wives don’t want sexual intimacy it’s probably because the don’t feel emotionaly close to their man.


#15

[quote=Hermione]Hello,

I need help understanding something a priest said.

I have been reading posts on this board: oldforum.catholic.org/discussion/messages/41/820466.html?1098613395

And a priest essentially says that there is a “grave” obligation to have sexual intercourse in marriage. And for instance if you have a headache curable by aspirin it is not right to refuse your partner.

Does the Catholic Church teach that there is such an obligation?

Thank you for your help! :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Yes he is correct. Church doctrine, common sense, and natural law should establish this.


#16

Dear Hermione;

I quite agree with Rayne89’s postion in this matter.

The woman’s right of choice in the matter of sex in the union of marriage has from ancient times always been been regarded as an impregnagble truth(though unfortunately not yet a dogma). The first of all examples, of a good marriage in the state of celibacy, comes from the Holy Family, where it is taught to us that Mary, before her marriage to Josef, at the Temple took a vow of perpetual chastity, which according to the Law could have been disannulled by her choice of spouse, namely Joseph. Except that he chose instead to honour her vow,and did not ever “know” Mary, in the biblical sense of the term.Tradition says that this relationship remained celibate until its end, with the death of Josef, and tradition also relates that Mary remained chaste and did not re-marry, and died not “knowing” any man.

In more recent times, the courts of the church have always upheld a christian(insert catholic if this comforts your tender sensibilities of distinction) woman’s Right to choose, in the matter of aggreement to the marriage contract, and within the contract the right to refuse the act of sex for reasons of perversity, or scandal, health reasons, pregnancy, fear(yes, fear!), prostitution or any purpose of solicitation for the purpose of personal profit, pre-marital vows, which if entered into on the part of the woman before the marriage contract, must be declared before the genesis of the contract, to the male spouse and vice versa, or the contract of marriage de facto is invalid, and etc, etc, etc.

A woman’s right to choose was actually started by the Roman Catholic Church , and however imperfectly it has been upheld, yet it has been upheld.

And a woman’s right to refuse her husband of the sexual act is historically and presently a matter of public record.

I have not ever read in Hebrew scripture, nor in the writings found in Catholicism nor among the Orthodox brethren and sisters, of a woman being somehow obliged to do the sexual act.
…And don’t waste my time with the usual tediousness of the quotes from Deuteronomy, John, and Paul, okay?They imply no such thing, in my opinion. NO SUCH THING IS IMPLIED!


#17

this door swings both ways, ducky. let’s talk about the obligation of the husband to place his wife’s pleasure first (no I will not use the O word but you get my drift). Let’s talk about the husband’s obligation to regard his wife’s physical and mental health. Let’s talk about how the wife is not another toy like golf clubs, computer, DVD player, camera, bass boat, or a whole Sears tool section that exists just for him to play with whenever he feels like it. Let’s talk about the wife’s right to say, hey, I’m breastfeeding on demand and right now I just can’t stand to be touched by another person. Let’s talk about the husband who puts his wife about 11th on the list after work, sports (participatory), sports (on TV), sports (attendance at live games), sports (computer betting on), poker, car maintenance and fondling, yard adoration, well, I have lost count, but how about having fun on the wife’s schedule instead of the husband’s for a change.


#18

[quote=rayne89]Uh…hmm…I must be a little unusual than. I have no problem wanting sexual intimacy…hmm…well…let’s just say husband is a generous guy.:smiley:

What is a complete turn off is this obligation, this expectation to do you “duty” unless your on deaths door.

I actually thing most posts here agree with my own feelings on this matter. I agree in a healthy balance of respect and understanding.

My own personal opinion if wives don’t want sexual intimacy it’s probably because the don’t feel emotionaly close to their man.
[/quote]

Perhaps I didn’t make my point properly. I agree with what you say. The point I’m trying to make is that both parties have an obligation to try to meet the needs of the other. The wife is no more obligated to meet her man’s needs than he is obligated to meet hers.

The point I would make is that it is very easy to get caught up in thinking about whether or not my needs are being met, and that influences how much effort I put into meeting my wife’s needs. But I’ve found that my needs will be met more often (if you know what I mean), when I spend less time thinking about my needs and more time thinking about hers. It spirals upward when this is the mind set.

Kinda like who should say thank you first. Then the other says, “thank-you for saying thank you” the other responds, “No…thank you for thanking me for thanking you”. And it turns into this perpetual gratitude where each actually wants to fulfull the others needs.

I don’t like the idea of it being an obligation either. But in reality the “obligation” actually benefits the giver.

Dr. Laura hit the nail on the head when she said “Men are simple creatures. Give them three things, respect, good food (food they want to eat) and sex…and they’ll do anything you want.” Women are missing the boat when these three things are not given.

The teaching of the Church is wise :slight_smile:


#19

Dr. Laura hit the nail on the head when she said “Men are simple creatures. Give them three things, respect, good food (food they want to eat) and sex…and they’ll do anything you want.” Women are missing the boat when these three things are not given.

And we take marital advice from an adulteress?


#20

Even Satan can make statements that are true. I didn’t mean to infer Dr. Laura is right on anything other than what I said. I am a man, and in my opinion (which is all I have offered here), she is right about that. (Aparrently she is also right that many women don’t want to hear it).

Why the hostility? Sheeesh (from two people already…this time with a thumbs down)

I’ve been speaking from the heart about what I believe regarding the topic of this thread, and I think charitably, yet the response I get seems to be anger. Sorry to have offended the readers. With that I’ll bow out of this thread (feeling unwelcome). :frowning:

Peace,
Chris W


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