Can someone give me their opinion on this


#1

Hi, my husband and I are going through the process of convalidating our civil union. We are going through the six month preperation period as an engaged couple would. I am ok with it for I understand that it is the right thing to and we are not married in the eyes of the church so we are basically just an engaged couple. My husband and I are trying hard to live as brother and sister for the next five months, but it is a hard battle. I hate that it is so hard because I should be able to abstain for five months. My husband and I got our selves caught up in a situation where we did things that could have lead to fornication, but we stopped before we went to that level. I felt so horrible after ward so went to confession the next day. The priest told me that it wasnt a mortal sin and that God knows that we are trying our best, but that I should come to confession if I feel this badly afterward. The priest told me I need to trust in God’s mercy always. Well the situation happened again last night, but once again we stopped it. I don’t want to go into full detail of what actually happended, but I do feel bad about it. I feel like such a failure and do not understand why this is so hard for my husband and I. I am now going to sleep on the sofa at night as to avoid anyway of temptation that can occur between us. The ideal solution would be to move out, but we have a daughter and it is financially impossible for one of us to move and find a place to live. I am struggling with this situation and pray everyday for the grace to help me fight these temptations. Am I just suffereing from scrupulosity? Can anyone tell me anything that can help me out with this.

Thanks and God Bless,
Kerri


#2

Hi Kerri,

I don’t know you well enough to know if you are being scrupulous or not, but think you are trying your best. You are supposed to be attracted to your husband so of course you are struggling. The move on to the couch was a good idea. I kind of hope your husband does the heroic thing and moves there insead.:wink: Or at least alternate.

Have you read or listened to anything by Christopher West? His books Good News about Sex and Marriage and Theology of the Body for Beginners may be helpful.

ETA- I don’t really have any wisdom or advice to offer for a couple in your situation, but I did want to say not to make too big of a deal of this because it may make things more difficult. Maybe change your focus from what you can’t do to what you can.

Do you know what each others Love Language is? Maybe you could find it out and have some fun with that. You can also find out your child’s love language.


#3

[quote=Blood Rain]Hi Kerri,

I don’t know you well enough to know if you are being scrupulous or not, but think you are trying your best. You are supposed to be attracted to your husband so of course you are struggling. The move on to the couch was a good idea. I kind of hope your husband does the heroic thing and moves there insead.:wink: Or at least alternate.

Have you read or listened to anything by Christopher West? His books Good News about Sex and Marriage and Theology of the Body for Beginners may be helpful.
[/quote]

Thanks so much for answering. I actually did recently order Christopher West’s Theology of the Body. I saw him on Abundant Life on EWTN one night and I couldnt wait to get the book. I just am afraid that I commited a mortal sin by going to a level that could have lead to fornication. I hope that this isnt so because I am going through a conversion right now and it saddens me to think of how much I am hurting our Lord. I feel like I shouldnt be struggling with such and issue. I just don’t want the priest to think that I am crazy if I just went to confession on saturday and he told me it wasnt a mortal sin yet I am back again saying the same thing. I am afraid he will say I am scrupulous. And maybe I am, but I just do not want to be offending our Lord and not even knowing that I am. I know that he sees that I am sincerely trying to change my life and I dont doubt his mercy. I will just keep praying the rosary and attending daily mass and reading the scripture as I have been doing over the past month. I know that God knows the heart and he sees that I am trying my best. I just feel so unworthy of his love sometimes and I know I shouldnt feel that way.

Kerri


#4

[quote=km112482]I hope that this isnt so because I am going through a conversion right now and it saddens me to think of how much I am hurting our Lord. I feel like I shouldnt be struggling with such and issue.
[/quote]

That you are struggling with this particular issue is typical of the Enemy. He attacks what is most beautiful and perfect. And that is what the marital act will be when your marriage is convalidated. That you are going though a conversion also makes it harder for you. You may more sensitive to sin than before and you probably are still learning what exactly constitutes a sin. So frustrating you is the devil’s way of breaking your spirit. Rebuke him and ask God to fill your heart with pure love.

I just don’t want the priest to think that I am crazy if I just went to confession on saturday and he told me it wasnt a mortal sin yet I am back again saying the same thing. I am afraid he will say I am scrupulous. And maybe I am, but I just do not want to be offending our Lord and not even knowing that I am.

Mortal sins are the primary reason for the sacrament but confessing venial sin is appropriate, too. Especially if it is a sin you are struggling with.


#5

Kerri,
I hope I can give you some encouragement:
You are not alone!!! My fiance moved into my house a couple of years ago because my then 14 yo son was having trouble with his temper and hormones and started beating me. We have lived in the same house as we go through annulments and thankfully we are getting married in 4 months. From the beginning we decided not to engage in premarital relations, and like you we have found it hard at times. The most important thing for me is to set a good example for my children. When we are having problems maintaining abstinence, we pray together…it works!!! You are doing very well considering what you are going through. With God’s infinite mercy you will make it to your marriage as we will here. I try to remember how wonderful it will be to be able to make it to our wedding night and fully give ourselves to each other. Like I mentioned, we have been faithfully practicing abstainence for a few years now, a few more months is attainable!


#6

[quote=BlestOne]Kerri,
I hope I can give you some encouragement:
You are not alone!!! My fiance moved into my house a couple of years ago because my then 14 yo son was having trouble with his temper and hormones and started beating me. We have lived in the same house as we go through annulments and thankfully we are getting married in 4 months. From the beginning we decided not to engage in premarital relations, and like you we have found it hard at times. The most important thing for me is to set a good example for my children. When we are having problems maintaining abstinence, we pray together…it works!!! You are doing very well considering what you are going through. With God’s infinite mercy you will make it to your marriage as we will here. I try to remember how wonderful it will be to be able to make it to our wedding night and fully give ourselves to each other. Like I mentioned, we have been faithfully practicing abstainence for a few years now, a few more months is attainable!
[/quote]

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. I know that we can do it it will just be a struggle. I will offer it up to our Lord. I know it is only a few months. I will pray for you and your family as I hope you will pray for ours too.

God Bless you,

Kerri


#7

Why is your pastor waiting 6 months to bless your marriage?

Since you are living as man and wife and have a daughter perhaps you should find a priest who will marry you in the church sooner rather than later. The 6 months waiting seems quite unreasonable.

God bless.


#8

[quote=Ham1]Why is your pastor waiting 6 months to bless your marriage?

Since you are living as man and wife and have a daughter perhaps you should find a priest who will marry you in the church sooner rather than later. The 6 months waiting seems quite unreasonable.

God bless.
[/quote]

He said had we been married for about ten years or so it would have been different. He said that alot of people may come into this with problems and get married in church cause they think God in their life will help, but end up still have problems so he wants to make sure this is what we really want. Of course this is what we really want. He did say the best thing would have been for us to live apart, but we raise our five month old daughter together, so that would be a little unreasonable. He said that we have to understand that we are not married in the church therefore they considered us like an engaged couple because to them that is basically what we are. I would have liked to get our marriage convalidated sooner, but that is not the way it worked out so obviously God had a reason for it to be that way. We also have to go to precanna weekend. (engaged encounter weekend). I guess my parish has good reason for makeing us go through this preperation period, and I will respect that. My mother n law was also shocked that we have to wait till July or August, but like I said I just offer it up to God cause obviously there is a reason for this. I look at it as me and my husband finding ways to show our love for one another besides in a sexual way. I hope this will help us grow closer.

God Bless,
Kerri


#9

[quote=Blood Rain]That you are struggling with this particular issue is typical of the Enemy. He attacks what is most beautiful and perfect. And that is what the marital act will be when your marriage is convalidated. That you are going though a conversion also makes it harder for you. You may more sensitive to sin than before and you probably are still learning what exactly constitutes a sin. So frustrating you is the devil’s way of breaking your spirit. Rebuke him and ask God to fill your heart with pure love.

Mortal sins are the primary reason for the sacrament but confessing venial sin is appropriate, too. Especially if it is a sin you are struggling with.
[/quote]

Thanks for answering me. We will be meeting with the preist on friday so I will talk to him about all of this.

God Bless, Kerri


#10

I don’t mean to sound disrespectful of either your obviously genuine and respectful approach to getting married in the Church or the sanctity of marriage, but this sounds like the most ridiculous situation. As a couple who was married in a civil ceremony, have been living and acting as a married couple–as evidenced by the 5 month old daughter–is someone in the Church seriously suggesting you break up your home and go back and pretend to be an engaged couple for 6 months? Why wouldn’t they marry you sooner and concurrently provide you with instruction without disrupting the home of an infant child? It would be one thing if adults only were involved–but this is quite another thing.


#11

You have a hard situation here, all I can say is keep fighting and I will be praying for you! And don’t expect to be perfect, if we were God wouldn’t have invented confession!


#12

[quote=Island Oak]I don’t mean to sound disrespectful of either your obviously genuine and respectful approach to getting married in the Church or the sanctity of marriage, but this sounds like the most ridiculous situation. As a couple who was married in a civil ceremony, have been living and acting as a married couple–as evidenced by the 5 month old daughter–is someone in the Church seriously suggesting you break up your home and go back and pretend to be an engaged couple for 6 months? Why wouldn’t they marry you sooner and concurrently provide you with instruction without disrupting the home of an infant child? It would be one thing if adults only were involved–but this is quite another thing.
[/quote]

I know what you mean and that is how I felt at first, but I have to respect my pastor’s view on this. He said that he understands why we are living together during this six month period he would just rather us go about it as brother and sister and believe me we are trying our best but we are not perfect. I just keep praying that he will consider going about the preperation a little less than the six months, but so far that is not the case.

Kerri


#13

[quote=Tyler Smedley]You have a hard situation here, all I can say is keep fighting and I will be praying for you! And don’t expect to be perfect, if we were God wouldn’t have invented confession!
[/quote]

I really appreciate at that.

God Bless,
Kerri


#14

[quote=km112482]He said had we been married for about ten years or so it would have been different. ]

My husband and I were married in a Lutheran church. He was going through an annulment and I through a dispensation. We were living in the same house and so we got married. When the annulment came through we began our “pre-marital” counselling with our priest. at no time did he say we couldn’t be together. The only thing we couldn’t do was have communion.

We had been married for less than a year when we started the pre-marital counselling and we had our marriage blessed one month short of our 1st anniversary.

I think your priest could be off base. Perhaps you could go to your Bishop? Ask other priests what is normal?

Until then, try to offer up this suffering to Jesus. As we are in Lent, this is a perfect time to join with His suffering.

Good Luck and God Bless!
Donna
[/quote]


#15

Thanks and I do need to offer this suffering up to Jesus you are right.

I do not think talking to the Bishop would help because he said that is precisely why he is having us go through this six month preperation because that is how our diocese handles these things. I will just keep praying and accept that this is obviously God’s will for me and there is a reason for it.

God Bless, Kerri
[/quote]


#16

[quote=km112482]I feel like such a failure and do not understand why this is so hard for my husband and I.
[/quote]

Kerri,

I can’t know if your priest has chosen the right path for you, but let’s assume it is correct for a moment. Okay, if you have been living as husband and wife, it is going to be very hard to suddenly stop being so while still sleeping together, changing clothing in the same room, etc. There is nothing wrong with you for finding it hard to do. Also, abstinence for any married couple for five months could be a real trial, so don’t beat yourself up that you find it hard to do.:love:

So, how can you make it any easier? Well, the couch is a good idea, so would avoiding certain types of touching you two might have be accustomed to do during the day. Avoid changing together, don’t walk around in his favorite nightgown, stuff like this. Save the nightgown for the big day.

If you lapse in some way, just go to confession without being upset. Satan likes us to get even more upset and twisted into a knot over having failed. Just go, say your confession, talk to Jesus, and go forward from that point. God loves you!


#17

dear kerri,

i may not know much, but i’m pretty sure i know this…this situation is wrong. the priest you are dealing with does not have the right to impose this on you. while i don’t know your situation in detail, there are only a few case where a man and woman would be treated as if they are not married at all prior to validating their marriage in the Church.

the Church teaches that marriage is an element of natural law. the bond of marriage exists between non-Catholic people, who have nothing to do with the Church. their sexual relations are not mortal sins, per se, since that assessment doesn’t apply to people that have no relationship to God. The Church basically asks three questions: does a marriage exist, is the marriage valid, is the marriage sacramental (ultimately, the goal)?

by your own statements a marriage exists. you were civilly married. you didn’t just move in together, and say “hey let’s just have sex.” your conjugal relations are not a sin.

the validity of the marriage in the eyes of the Church determines whether you entered into an unbreakable bond. that is, there were no impediments to forming the bond, and you basically understood what you were doing, even if the understanding was imperfect. and lastly, is it sacramental? no or you wouldn’t be in this predicament.

the underlying instructions that this priest is giving you is wrong. sexual relations outside of marriage in all cases is sinful, but not sex outside of sacramental marriage. what i mean is marriage, sacramental or not, creates the “one flesh union” to which each spouse has a right.

for the sake of the Church and any others who might be put upon in this way, you need to resolve this issue. i understand the priests reasoning, but there is no requirement that couples make any extraordinary proof of their seriousness to marry in the Church, unless they are not already married. engaged couples living together to have to abstain prior to marriage, but that is because sex outside of marriage is a sin, not because they have to prove anything.

if i were you, i would go to another parish, find a priest that you don’t know from adam, and explain to him what has been asked of you. he should tell you that it is wrong and how you should proceed. the only person who is allowed to impose requirements for the reception of the sacraments is the bishop. he is the one who ultimately dispenses the sacraments in his diocese. and he cannot make requirements that the Church or the bishops’ conference do not allow him to make. if this random priest doesn’t say, “yep, that’s what the bishop says” then there is a problem. and if he does, there is still a problem. this is not the teaching or practice of the Church. and if anyone on this forum thinks, otherwise, show me the documents, etc. to prove it.

lastly, if you find out that you have been offended by this priest, please don’t let that change your affection for the Church. no matter what the circumstances, nothing should separate you from the Sacraments. if he has wronged you, your forgiveness toward him and the Church will prove more than your abstaining from sex ever could.


#18

[quote=JustSomeGuy]by your own statements a marriage exists. you were civilly married. you didn’t just move in together, and say “hey let’s just have sex.” your conjugal relations are not a sin.
[/quote]

JSG, I may have missed your point somehow, but I think you are saying that Kerri is allowed to have conjugal relations right now. I think more things would need to be known before making that determination. If, completely hypothetically, two baptized people get married before a judge and one of the people is a real live Catholic without an official dispensation to get married in such a manner, then the Church does not view them as being validly married. I then assume the Church would not want them to have relations, because they are not married (yes they are married civilly, but that is not what makes the determination of whether or not relations are allowed).


#19

[quote=JustSomeGuy]dear kerri,

i may not know much, but i’m pretty sure i know this…this situation is wrong. the priest you are dealing with does not have the right to impose this on you. while i don’t know your situation in detail, there are only a few case where a man and woman would be treated as if they are not married at all prior to validating their marriage in the Church.

the Church teaches that marriage is an element of natural law. the bond of marriage exists between non-Catholic people, who have nothing to do with the Church. their sexual relations are not mortal sins, per se, since that assessment doesn’t apply to people that have no relationship to God. The Church basically asks three questions: does a marriage exist, is the marriage valid, is the marriage sacramental (ultimately, the goal)?

by your own statements a marriage exists. you were civilly married. you didn’t just move in together, and say “hey let’s just have sex.” your conjugal relations are not a sin.

the validity of the marriage in the eyes of the Church determines whether you entered into an unbreakable bond. that is, there were no impediments to forming the bond, and you basically understood what you were doing, even if the understanding was imperfect. and lastly, is it sacramental? no or you wouldn’t be in this predicament.

the underlying instructions that this priest is giving you is wrong. sexual relations outside of marriage in all cases is sinful, but not sex outside of sacramental marriage. what i mean is marriage, sacramental or not, creates the “one flesh union” to which each spouse has a right.

for the sake of the Church and any others who might be put upon in this way, you need to resolve this issue. i understand the priests reasoning, but there is no requirement that couples make any extraordinary proof of their seriousness to marry in the Church, unless they are not already married. engaged couples living together to have to abstain prior to marriage, but that is because sex outside of marriage is a sin, not because they have to prove anything.

if i were you, i would go to another parish, find a priest that you don’t know from adam, and explain to him what has been asked of you. he should tell you that it is wrong and how you should proceed. the only person who is allowed to impose requirements for the reception of the sacraments is the bishop. he is the one who ultimately dispenses the sacraments in his diocese. and he cannot make requirements that the Church or the bishops’ conference do not allow him to make. if this random priest doesn’t say, “yep, that’s what the bishop says” then there is a problem. and if he does, there is still a problem. this is not the teaching or practice of the Church. and if anyone on this forum thinks, otherwise, show me the documents, etc. to prove it.

lastly, if you find out that you have been offended by this priest, please don’t let that change your affection for the Church. no matter what the circumstances, nothing should separate you from the Sacraments. if he has wronged you, your forgiveness toward him and the Church will prove more than your abstaining from sex ever could.
[/quote]

I really do respect our parish priest. He has only been with us for about two years. He really is a great priest. I just think he is following what the bishop of our diocese has put into effect. Basically this is the way it is looked at. Our marriage is real according to civil law, but invalid according to the catholic faith. I admited to him that we had no impediments the first time to stop us from marrying in the church we were just selfish. I was not where I am in my faith now at that time in my life. I understand that we should abstain from sex from marriage being that the church considers our marriage invalid, what I do not get is why we are having to wait the six months, but I did not argue with him because I do not want to disagree with what my diocese teaches. He really was nice to us when we met with him though so I dont want to come across as talking bad about him cause we really are blessed to have him. I just wish he would see how sincere my husband and I are to convalidate our marriage. I just dont understand why he cannot help us speed up the process at least a little bit being we do have a child and it is next to impossible for one of us to move out. I know that with frequent prayer, saying the rosary, and attending church, and confessin I can perservere in this. I hope that yall will all pray for us. I will let yall know after fridays meeting what the priest tells us.

Thanks again for all the advice and God Bless,

Kerri


#20

Ok in the ask an apologist forum I asked them if there was any law that you had to go through the six month preperation. Fr. Vincent Serpa told me that there is no such law and that the priest may mean well but he shouldnt put two people in a near occasion of sin. He said that I should talk to my bishop or call my diocese and see what they say about this. I am so fustrated because I want to bring it up when we meet with him on friday, but I do not want to sound rude.

Kerri


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