Is it wrong to choose to be chaste and married? For some reason I feel like I want to tell my husband that I love him so much that we should just live together but in chastity if he will agree to it. I love kids but it he would agree to the first we can always adopt. I have talked to him about this before (the first thing I mentioned) but he thought I was joking I think. Am I being unrealistic and would it be a sin to try this?
Let me clear up the terminology first: All Catholics, married or single, are called to live according to chastity. For non-married people that means no sex: solitary or otherwise. For married people it means sex only with the spouse. See? Sex within marriage is still chastity. What it sounds like you are taking about is abstinence. I am probably reading too much into your post, but it sounds like you have some kind of aversion to the marital act. I think you should talk to your priest rather than get advice from here.
Yes, I think you are being unrealistic and unreasonable to ask your husband to give up sex. I echo the above post on terminology. I think the term you are searching for is celibacy, which is total abstinance from sex.
I also wonder why you would want to give up sex, which is holy and beautiful bettween a married couple. Before my husband died it was one of my favorite things to do with him. :o In fact, it’s not always easy for me to not think about or want sex sometimes. May I suggest that you maybe seek some spiritual, psychogical or medical advise?
Celibacy, indeed I’ve discovered, can be an awesome way to live, but sexual intimacy is also a wonderful gift to share with your dear husband.
Do not reject intercourse in marriage because it is the reason God made marriage in the first place.
In marriage God is allowing humanity to share in his creative work. God’s creation is an act of divine Love. God wanted his sons and daughters to share in that creation, not just by receiving it, but in love, giving of themselves to each other and creating.
God created everything, love and marriage and even sex and He found his creation to be very good. God did not make sex “dirty”, humanity did.
Each and every act of intercourse between a married couple should be a sacramental act, an act that is open to life, done in love and self-giving. It is a sign of mutual trust and vulnerability. It is a sign of the mutual covenant between the husband, wife and God.
The world uses sex for mere physical self-pleasure. We are told not to be “hung up” about sex, then we are bombarded by ads and “pop ups” informing us that we need to be very concerned about our appearance and our level of performance. Woman’s magazines hit hard with headlines like, “Seven sensual secrets that will make him forget the other woman.” The bedroom (or the back seat) has become a place were we have to compete, a place where we are concerned about our partners’ pleasure only to the extent that a poor performance reflects negatively on us. In fact we are told we are not quite man (or woman) enough unless we are having sex.
The spirit of this world has come to us saying, “Did God really tell you not to have sex with anybody?” And in ignorance we have responded “Only if we don’t have any fun and create a baby or else we will die, or go blind” And the spirit of this world answers back “You will certainly not die! No. God knows well the moment you have sex your eyes will be open and you will be sophisticated adults knowing what is good and what is bad.”
Do not confuse the worldview of sex with God’s view of sex. If you are going to give up sex, give up sex as defined by the world.
As a married couple live your marriage as God intends.
Remember Paul’s advice. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) "The husband should fulfil 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…"
God reserved the act of intercourse for marriage, and then only to be used in love. God makes things good. He makes them very good. If we know and obey God’s law in all things we will receive more pleasure and satisfaction than we can even imagine and in ways that we could never imagine.
My prayers are with you. I think such a course of action would require that you and your spouse be totally of one mind. It would be very hard to be the spouse who did not choose it. Sooo much room for misunderstanding/feeling rejected and for being tempted by the presence of your own spouse. I would recommend taking the counsel of a priest or spiritual advisor before even considering the path. Lay all aspects of the situation before them to consider. If this is to be your course, you will arrive there in time, so no rush.
[quote=Sonya]Is it wrong to choose to be chaste and married? For some reason I feel like I want to tell my husband that I love him so much that we should just live together but in chastity if he will agree to it. I love kids but it he would agree to the first we can always adopt. I have talked to him about this before (the first thing I mentioned) but he thought I was joking I think. Am I being unrealistic and would it be a sin to try this?
I want to pry a bit further, as to be sure we are answering what you are really asking. Why exactly is it that you want to be celibate? Judging from your comment about adopting, it is not that you don’t want kids because you are willing to have them through adoption.
I can only think of 2 reasons you don’t want to have sex. The first is because you don’t like to have sex with your husband. The second is that you don’t want to have your own child (either fear of pregnancy, or not wanting it to disrupt you carreer, or fear of child birth, etc.).
So, if you can tell us the reason you want to be celibate, we can better answer your question.
I am sorry that I didn’t tell you about us having one 2 year old daughter. She is my only child. My husband has another daughter, but she doesn’t live with us. She is with her mom. I am an at home mom. I will try to homeschool as well.
I was just wanting to be celibate because it seems to get in the way of so many other ways we can show love for one another. He seems like he can handle it, but I just have to find a way to try to convince him of it.
Maybe it is also because at first I thought I was called to live a life completely consecrated to Christ. I was sort of considering not getting married and I did tell my husband that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. He and I discussed it and finally I felt I was really called to marriage. So he knew about this before we married. Next we were celibate for about a year or longer after having our first child. I thought I wouldn’t like that celibacy part of our marriage, but I did. Now I want to continue that. It was really nice actually.
He seems to be more open to prayer now and he and I are into are faith a lot more together these days. I still am involved a lot more though, because that is how it has been ever since we met. But I wouldn’t be too surprised if he caught up. Also he really has a lot of work that he has been trying to keep up on, since he is self employed.
I just didn’t want to sin against him, but I also think that the advice everyone has given me is really good. It is just that their are some different points of view here and I really need to get more into prayer and find a priest I can talk to about this. I also have to have another huge conversation with my husband, but I am also afraid he might not like the idea. I really don’t expect him too, but maybe he will eventually consider it. Although, we are getting into celibacy again for a long period of time now- months-due to both of us just being busy and it would be a perfect time to continue.
Maybe I also should say that I avoid situations that might cause us to mess up this celibate time now. I am happy about this but I hope this doesn’t mean I am doing something wrong to my husband. He doesn’t seem upset about it at all and we love eachother enough to continue like this for the time being until of course I speak more with him about this.
Thanks for your help with this discernment.
[quote=Sonya]I was just wanting to be celibate because it seems to get in the way of so many other ways we can show love for one another. He seems like he can handle it, but I just have to find a way to try to convince him of it.
Basically, you want to convince him to be willing to give up something very special between a husband and wife because you want him to express love in other ways. If you have to convince him, then he most likely doesn’t want to give up the loving warmth of his wife.
I’m going to tell you as sincerely as I can, that this is very dangerous. It is also self defeating and destructive. I’m getting married in November, and the thought of eliminating that aspect would make me feel horrible. Granted, married couples should express love in other ways, but they should express it in this way too.
I’m afraid you’re going to ruin your marriage. Please seek help from a priest or clergy.
I sat through a very interesting teaching on sexual abstinance in marriage, quite some time ago. The teaching was given by a Priest.
This is done for a period of time, usually a reasonably short period of time, when a couple are involved in Spiritual growth in order to dedicate ones life more fully to prayer.
This is something that God calls you to and not something you think up yourself and not for the reasons you are giving.
Usually a couple comes to it after long periods of prayer and scripture and sometimes fasting. BOTH partners are urged into this type prayer life, and usually the husband is the leader, not the wife.
If you had told your priest before marriage that you planned a marriage of sexual abstinance, I doubt he would have allowed you to marry.
I do recommend, as White Dove suggested, you talk to someone about this.
It almost sounds like you are still discerning your vocation.
If you are married now, then live that vocation fully. Don’t try and be a half-wife/ half-nun. Live the vocation that God gave you and you chose when you married your husband. Give it 100% and don’t look back.
[quote=pittsburghjeff]Don’t try and be a half-wife/ half-nun. Live the vocation that God gave you and you chose when you married your husband. Give it 100% and don’t look back.
Amen, Jeff. If God wanted her to be a nun, I doubt he would have blessed her with children. I believe she’ll be profoundly more satisfied with her life if she puts 100% into her marriage and family (like said), rather than be half hearted wishing she had something else.
To quote a proverb “Happiness is not having everything you want, it is wanting what you have.”
Blessings and prayers
I believe you need to talk to a priest immediately! I recently received a booklet from Steve Woods organization on making a good confession. The author is Fr. Richard J Rego. Under the title “Sins Against Chastity” one of the questions Father writes to ask ourselves is “Have I unreasonably denied my spouse his or her right to the marital act?” He writes that “one of the characteristics of mutual love between spouses is that it is ‘fully human’”. We are to live out our station in life. I’m single, I must abstain from all sex. You are married. Sex is a part of marriage. Men also need to feel wanted. Again, you should see a priest as soon as possible.
Let me also say that you state that your husband doesn’t seem very upset about the situation. That doesn’t mean he isn’t upset or hurt. Also, try to take into consideration that you may be giving him occasion for sin. Trying not to be too explicit, intercourse is not the only way to achieve sexual gratification. He may not really be o.k. with the current situation.
When you seek spiritual counsel may I suggest that one of the first things you do is talk about how to let your husband that this is not a rejection of him.
Your husband hopefully knows you very well and understands on some level that you are “working out your salvation.” While he may know that intellectually, it may not have registered in his heart. He may be wondering “what’s wrong with me that she’s trying to get out of making love to me?”
I echo, ditto and otherwise agree with the other posts above.
Also, within an sacramental marriage, sex is a means of grace. That’s Good News!
I wanted to add that St. Therese’s parents wanted to have a Josephite marriage but were counseled by their priest not to. Their marriage produced four(?) religious and, bonus! a saint.
I think a couple is lead to do something like this together. If you are meant to do this your husband won’t need convincing **and ** your spiritual director will confirm it.
Sonya, may your marriage always be blessed.
I, too, would vote against this. If you wanted to be celibate, you should not have gotten married. Sex and marriage go together!
Please pray, not for your will to be done, but for God’s.