Athiest Boyfriend and Chastiy Issues - ADVICE PLEASE!


#1

Hi, I am have been dating the same man for three years. We are completely dedicated to each other and while we are not yet engaged, we plan on getting married in 3-4 years when we are both more financially stable and ready to start a family.

We were in love and dedicated to each other for a while before we started getting sexual, so I know that the physical stuff is not a part of why he loves me or I him. While we have not had sex because I want to save it for marriage, I let what we do do get too far… basically as far as you can go. Recently I decided that we needed to be chaste, and that all that stuff needed to stop. He does not understand why I feel this way because he is an atheist, but he loves me enough that he is willing to try, and he doesn’t want to lose me.

So. What can I do to make this easier for him? How can I help him through this? Like I said he is amazing and wants to stay with me, but I know this is really hard on him especially because we’ve already gone so far, and its harder on him than on me because I have a reason to motivate myself. He is so good about not tempting me or pushing me to do anything, but I know its hard on him, especially when he gets turned on (its only natural) and then is not satisfied… this as many guys know can literally be painful.

I’d really like any advice on this, especially from people in similar Christian/atheist relationships or from guys who know what my bf is physically going through. Thank you.


#2

Oh boy. This IS a tough one.

First things first, your a good person for waiting till marriage. Your also a wonferful girlfriend by being concerned about your man. God Bless you.

Second, (and I am a guy-30 years old) it can be hard for some men to control their sexual urges. Very hard. You can show affection by kissing, cuddiling, holding hands, etc. It's hard for men, without a doubt-but if he keeps busy, surronds himself with good male friends, he should be able to control and quell his feelings.

Third, and by far most importantly-pray. Never stop praying for him and yourself.

Good luck!


#3

There is not a lot you can do to help him avoid temptation and frustration without not getting intimate at all with him. If he wants you, you can only pray for him and hope he bears this cross. It is not an easy situation with an atheist since they can feel very rejected and unloved by repelled sexual advances since they do not understand or even know why someone would turn sex down. The farther that you go with him, the more he will want more since you are basically teasing him. If you want to remain chaste and help him along, going very far at all is the wrong thing since it frustrates hims sexually and makes him wonder why you play games with him if you love him. Best advice is as I said to re-affirm your feelings for him and let him know that if he truly loves you he needs to respect and understand your reasons for this. If he cannot then you need to re-examine going forward with him.


#4

Dawn Eden’s advice boiled down a little here:

payingattentiontothesky.com/2009/12/30/dawn-eden%e2%80%99s-reasons-to-be-chaste-a-short-list/

St Thomas on the topic is here:

payingattentiontothesky.com/2010/01/20/st-thomas-on-temperance-and-intemperance-discipline-and-dissoluteness/

and both the previous and next posts deal with the topic as well. Something I’ve spent some time thinking about…you’re welcome to it.

Lots of posts on atheism if your boyfriend ever wants to think his way to giving faith a try.

dj


#5

Uh, I think this was covered pretty comprehensively in this thread:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=401778

kinda from the guy-atheist's point of view . . . .

At least it may give you some introspective to what is going on in his head . . . :shrug:


#6

Read those other threads, but continue to discuss on this one too...(I'm sure NO ONE means to "censor" you ;) )

Some things that help boys control their sexual urge-(You can share this with him-tell him you heard this from a guy on a forum)
1. Video Games-Obviuously, ones that aren't of a sexual nature.
2. Sports
3. Hobby-Learn to play chess, a musical instrument, karate, somthing that will enrich his life...

Hope this helps...


#7

Confuzed, I do have 1 question for you, that I just cannot figure out myself - just my curiosity here, not being critical or anything.

If marriage is about 2 becoming 1, and he is atheist (rejects Christ) and you are Christian (accepts Christ), how can you two be come 1-mind, 1-body, before God? Are you going to accept his rejection of Christ to become 1 with him? I just don’t get it ??:confused:


#8

Yes this is a very tough one and I am very familiar with both sides of the issue so let me give it a try if you will allow…

I am sure that you both desire each other in this intimate way and this is exactly what God intended for you if this is indeed your soul-mate. As far as physical affection goes we have all struggled with this many times in our lives be it in thought or action. What matters here is your personal level of comitment to your faith, yourself and your intended. We can all quote the bible or the saints, or the church fathers, we can pretend we have an all knowing faithful approach to every situation in our lives but the bottom line is this; we are human, we have faulty character combined with faulty thinking, we reject God on the basis of our own personal doubt, we question our motives and when it is all over we try to rehash the whole situation again… What we do need to realize here is that love is a choice that is fraught with sacrifice and challenges, and that we as children of God must allow the Father to guide us and NOT give into temptation, this is also something that your partner must deal with if not simply for reasons of faith but out of respect for you and your decision. Look here, you may fail in this but your Father in heaven has a great love for you that is unconditional, he also has faith, as well as love for your intended even though he may seem lost right now, but to put all this bluntly, you must do as you see fit and your other must either respect you for this or let it go… Please for your own sake as well as his, show him the path you are taking, open your heart to him and allow him in and do not ever reject him because you may feel you have sinned. All this I know because I have been there.

May God bless you both.


#9

I will give a straight response from a man’s perspective. Set your priorities. Is it more important not to lose him or not to lose your soul. All emotions aside, maybe he is not the right one for you. Be strong! Love is an action verb. If he really loves you he will wait until you are married. Also, avoid the near occasion of sin. If he does not care enough about you to safeguard your soul then he really does not love you, no matter the emotions. Sexual intercourse is reserved for married couples. Perhaps your example of virtue will influence him positively. You, in my opinion, need to really engage the idea that the Lord may not desire him for you.


#10

Scripture tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, what fellowship does light have with darkness?

How can you marry someone who does not share the most important thing in your life, your faith? How sad to try to build a life with someone who you will not spend eternity with?

Please, end this now and put God first.


#11

[quote="Rascalking, post:6, topic:189068"]
Read those other threads, but continue to discuss on this one too...(I'm sure NO ONE means to "censor" you ;) )

Some things that help boys control their sexual urge-(You can share this with him-tell him you heard this from a guy on a forum)
1. Video Games-Obviuously, ones that aren't of a sexual nature.
2. Sports
3. Hobby-Learn to play chess, a musical instrument, karate, somthing that will enrich his life...

Hope this helps...

[/quote]

This is very helpful... thank you! Please keep him in your prayers.


#12

I have thought about this. However, I feel like part of the reason he is in my life is to bring him to God. Yes, right now he does not believe in God. But 1) I truly believe that leaving him will deepen his disbelief and rejection of God and 2) I hope every day that I will convert him as a living example. While I do not see that as happening in the near future, I hope that when we start a family and I raise our children in this faith, he will see it in a new light and find God in his own time.

I am a firm believer in loving people as they are and in not forcing them into changing their beliefs. In my experience trying to convert people ends up making them resent you, if you do it in an overt way. By rejecting him simply because of his lack of faith, I would be showing him that Christians are not accepting and inclusive but instead turn away those who do not believe.

Also, because of the type of person he is (fairly solitary, and none of his friends or family is religious), I feel that leaving him would sever the only link he has to any example of faith, and I think this is contrary to what may help him find God.

Hope this helps you understand… Please pray for us in our difficult situation, and for him as an atheist to find Jesus Christ.


#13

[quote="bill_Karabinus, post:8, topic:189068"]
Yes this is a very tough one and I am very familiar with both sides of the issue so let me give it a try if you will allow......

I am sure that you both desire each other in this intimate way and this is exactly what God intended for you if this is indeed your soul-mate. As far as physical affection goes we have all struggled with this many times in our lives be it in thought or action. What matters here is your personal level of comitment to your faith, yourself and your intended. We can all quote the bible or the saints,,,,, or the church fathers,,, we can pretend we have an all knowing faithful approach to every situation in our lives but the bottom line is this; we are human, we have faulty character combined with faulty thinking, we reject God on the basis of our own personal doubt, we question our motives and when it is all over we try to rehash the whole situation again...... What we do need to realize here is that love is a choice that is fraught with sacrifice and challenges, and that we as children of God must allow the Father to guide us and NOT give into temptation,,,,,, this is also something that your partner must deal with if not simply for reasons of faith but out of respect for you and your decision. Look here, you may fail in this but your Father in heaven has a great love for you that is unconditional, he also has faith, as well as love for your intended even though he may seem lost right now, but to put all this bluntly,,,,,,,, you must do as you see fit and your other must either respect you for this or let it go........ Please for your own sake as well as his, show him the path you are taking, open your heart to him and allow him in and do not ever reject him because you may feel you have sinned. All this I know because I have been there.

May God bless you both.

[/quote]

Thank you for your incite... very helpful. You say you have been on both sides of this... were you at one point an atheist, or lost in your faith? If so, what made you turn to God and Catholicism? I'd just like to know so I can do everything I can for my boyfriend to show him the path, without feeling like I am forcing him convert to something that, at the time, his heart is not ready for.


#14

[quote="kage_ar, post:10, topic:189068"]
Scripture tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, what fellowship does light have with darkness?

How can you marry someone who does not share the most important thing in your life, your faith? How sad to try to build a life with someone who you will not spend eternity with?

Please, end this now and put God first.

[/quote]

Please read my response to spirit4life... I hope that helps you understand where I am coming from. I do not feel that I am not putting God first; I think my decision to practice chastity despite what my bf believes or wants to do shows that. I will never give up my faith for this man, and it is important to realize that he is not asking me to. He is supportive of my faith life and is willing to raise our children in that faith... but for him, right now, his heart is not ready for this faith. I am prepared to wait for it to be ready, and I believe that through my example (NOT by my leaving him) he will see the path to God and I pray he will choose to take it.


#15

Thank you for everyone's kind advice... I will definitely use it all. I REALLY appreciate it. Please keep it coming, and pray for my boyfriend not only to get him through this, but for him to find his way back to God. God Bless.


#16

[quote="kage_ar, post:10, topic:189068"]
Scripture tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, what fellowship does light have with darkness?

How can you marry someone who does not share the most important thing in your life, your faith? How sad to try to build a life with someone who you will not spend eternity with?

Please, end this now and put God first.

[/quote]

Another quick note. I noticed you are an RCIA graduate! Congratulations, I think that is an amazing program. Just as some evidence to what I hope to come of my and my bf's relationship...

I am currently sponsoring a candidate in the RCIA program. She, like my boyfriend, was baptized Catholic but was raised without any practice of faith and was atheist/agnostic. She joined the RCIA program because she became engaged to a Catholic, and through his example and her enrollment in the program she has adopted the faith as her own and looks forward to joining us at the table this Easter!

It is possible... and I pray every day that my candidate's story becomes my boyfriends, and that he finds his way back to God. Please pray for all in his situation, those lost and without faith.


#17

A) It is for God to decide whether you are deepening his faith or not. It is possible that you are a hinderance to him spiritually now, despite your feelings. It could be that you breaking the relationship off will be chance for him to collect himself and reassess his priorities. Do not be codependent and try to “save him”. You are responsible for yourself first. Treat him with love, even if he is not your boyfriend.

B) Being a strong Catholic woman will speak volumes to him; as an example. That means doing everything in your power to avoid sin and the near occasion of it. In fact, the veting could be made easy. He must respect you and your choices and, by avoiding intimacy, the onus is on him to decide.


#18

The only thing I really have to say is that you should not be in a relationship to convert someone. I don’t think that’s healthy. He’ll have to want to convert, you can make him want to. Perhaps you don’t mean it the way it sounds, but you also have to accept that he may never convert. Can you live the rest of your life with an atheist? It’s something to think about. What about if you get married, will he be okay with NFP and no contraceptives as taught by the Church? Will he be okay with raising the kids Catholic? What about when they’re older and he doesn’t go to Church but you do. What happens when the kids wonder why daddy doesn’t have to go to Church?

I don’t know, it’s not something I’d want in a marriage. But there are people that make it work.

I think that you’ve got your work cut out for you. He doesn’t understand why sex isn’t okay before marriage from the moral standpoint. So he’s going to struggle more than you. My advice in that point is don’t put yourself in the near occasion to sin. If kissing leads to sexual feelings, then you need to tone it down. Don’t let it get that far.


#19

if he were a practicing catholic, i’d say, 3 to 4 years? because of money? if that’s really the reason, marry him AS SOON as you rearrange your priorities.

but he’s not a practicing Catholic. he’s a baptized athiest. so, here’s what i say instead:

I am a firm believer in loving people as they are and in not forcing them into changing their beliefs.

me too.

but i dont have to marry every person i love.

you say you wont give up your faith for him. here’s what your Faith teaches: the vocation of marriage is for the spouses to help each other attain heaven.

when/ if he marries you, he will not share your vocation. because he doesnt believe in God. or heaven. or holiness. that’s all there is to it.


#20

Missionary dating is never a good idea.


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