I am in a relationship that I am very happy with, and my boyfriend has decided to stop having sex in an effort to please God and be a good Catholic. He has had a religious awakening, and although I am open to it, and want to learn about how to do this, and grow closer to God, I am confused, scared, and wondering how to just ‘‘stop’’ having sex in a relationship and not get resentful. I really do love him, and I want what is best for him spiritually, but I am human, and I have so many feelings about this I can’t even put them to words. Like, where does the line go, what is okay, what isn’t? And can love for each other and in God really make it possible to just completely change our ways? Where do i fit in the equation? He made the choice, and I agreed to try, I want to find a relationship with God in the way he has, but what part of it is ‘‘us’’ and what part do I seperate? I have no concept of appropriate boundaries for this topic. Part of me wants to take this decision personally, like there is something wrong in our relationship, or he doesn’t love me enough… and then part of me knows that that is ridiculous and I should be grateful that I am with someone who has found this way of life in God and in the church. I am so confused, please help.
There’s no magic. You make the choice, and then you make decisions that support that choice.
First–let me say it’s awesome that your bf has decided this, and in some ways, it would seem he has decided it without taking your thoughts into consideration–BUT–when it comes to revelations and following God, one must put God first, and you seem to want to do the same as him. I would say that it’s always easier to ‘not’ do something, than do it, and then decide not to. I look at eating the wrong foods, and exercising in much the same way–although, a bit different. lol There have been times when I have eaten wrong, and didn’t exercise, and thus making the change to begin living healthy again, took time–effort–patience–persistence–and most of all, prayer. Nothing is different about embarking on giving up sex before marriage or chastity. It takes…effort, commitment, patience, prayers–it will not be easy at first, as Jesus never told us this would be ‘easy.’ But, it is worth it. I think your bf’s desire to be chaste now, also shows incredible respect for you, as his gf. It is hard to see that perhaps now, as you indicate, it can be easy to take it personally…but because our society places such an emphasis on sex (media, commercials, etc) many people are left feeling inadequate or something, if they are not having sex. When transcending beyond the secular way of life-there is so much more. Your relationship will actually be better, if you remain chaste until marriage–whether or not you marry him.
So, it won’t be easy–and you will have some mind sets to change, etc…but, know that it can be done–that it will bring more beauty to your relationship–and you will grow closer to God. God bless–and my prayers are with you as you go down this new path.
ecr1987, I wish I could reach out and give you a hug! You’re in a difficult time right now, but you sound like you’re very open to what God want for you and your boyfriend, and for your relationship. That is so wonderful!
Your boyfriend sounds like a fantastic guy, someone that is trying to grow closer to God and is brave enough to take this step, maybe even without knowing how you would react. That was probably really hard for him.
I was in a similar situation a few years ago. My boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to stop having sex because we knew that, however difficult it would be (and it was!), that was what God wanted of us, that it was the right thing to do. We worked hard at it, together. We were each careful to make it easier for each other by not tempting each other - in all the little ways that we knew about each other.
And I am so glad we did! That time of abstinence (over a year before we were married) gave us time to become stronger people, and it has made such a difference in our marriage. Now I know that he is in control of his sexual impulses, so when we have to abstain now for whatever reason (e.g., health), we can. And our sexual intimacy is so much more meaningful because it is an expression of God’s will for us as a married couple.
I don’t know what your spiritual life is like. Are you Catholic? The Catechism of the Catholic Church has some beautiful things to say about chastity and modesty. Of course, it is not light reading! But maybe it will give you some ideas about what God is calling you to. I highly recommend picking up a copy of the CCC, but it’s also online:
Have you been praying to God and asking him what he wants you to do? Try taking some time to be honest with God - tell him about what you are afraid of. He never fails to give us the desires of our hearts if we listen to him. Try reading some of these things from the Catechism and bringing them to God in prayer.
If you’re Catholic, have you been to Confession? It can be a very powerful experience and very full of the grace that you will need to sustain you in doing what is right. My first confession after we decided to stop having sex is still one of the best experiences of my life.
I will be praying for you, too. Remember, with God anything is possible. God is the one that can do it - don’t try going it alone, but ask God for his help! I am so amazed with what God has been able to do in my life - I know he will be there for you.
Please keep us updated with how it is going for you. And welcome to the forums!
I can only image what you are going through right now. You must be questioning if his feelings for you are the same and if your feelings for him will continue. I belive that a relationship based on love is more important than one based on physical relationships.
Here is some advice (I won’t claim it is good advice, just advice):
Talk with each other about the relationship and your feelings for each other.
Consider getting true love waits rings. (A ring saying you will abstain till marriage. lifeway.com/tlw/ )
Don’t tempt each other. Avoid situation that may tempt each other.
Avoid situations that may lead to temptation.
If it starts getting serious, and you are considering marriage, have an open discussion of what your intimate life will be like after marriage. But don’t have this discussion when it may lead to temptation.
I just read an interview the other day from a Catholic convert named Dawn Eden. She has written a book called “The Thrill of the Chaste,” which is about her re-embrace of chastity after becoming a Christian. Might be a helpful read for you. One part of the interview really jumped out at me:
Q: Well obviously, there are a lot of people who are having premarital sex and still manage to get married. Why would you say being chaste is better than going that route? What would you say to them if they said to you, “I think I can have premarital sex and I’ll still get married.” What would you tell them about why they should be chaste?
A: I would say it’s better to be chaste because you’re learning how to really love and you’re learning how to give out your whole self and not just parcel out parts of yourself. What I’m learning is how to give my heart, which is the most important part of me. You don’t have to learn how to give your body. Nature just does that. But, giving your heart is something one can learn how to do better and better over the course of a lifetime… But, the more you learn to do it before you’re married, the happier your marriage is going to be.
I know it will be really hard to overcome your habitual ways of expressing love. But God has handed you and your bf a beautiful opportunity to get creative and generous and find other, non-sexual ways to express your feelings. My husband and I did not sleep together before marriage, and while it was tough, it really did force me to stop and think— what can I do for him, concretely, to tell him that I love him? And he the same for me. I can’t remember now what I did for him, but some of the thoughtful things he came up with still stick with me-- doing my assigned housework in my residence when my back was hurting me badly, washing my feet with a cool washcloth back in his dorm after a long, exhausting, humid day of final exams-- things like that. I really encourage you to see this as an opportunity to grow in your love.
Thank you, everyone, for your help. All of you helped me see that this is not a punishment, but a blessing. I have been reading, talking to a priest, and re-read these replies a few times…(haha)
These forums are amazing, and it is wonderful to see so many good people willing to reach out.
I would also recommend the website www.pureloveclub.com and any/all materials by Jason and Christalina Evert on this topic. Get some of their audio/video and/or books.
thank you i have been reading a lot, talking to a priest, and all of your responses have been so helpful, on here, and on the post i made in a forum. It has been so much easier with all of your help!
I highly recommend this book titled, Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West, who is a speaker on JP II’s documents regarding human sexuality, chastity and the joys of being a man and woman in marriage.
It will help you understand that chastity is not abstinence. Chastity is a gift we give to our loved one of ourselves…not a way to put a cork in an explosion of feelings. Chastity is not something we practice only until we are married either. It is a gift to our spouse as well. This is just one title of dozens out there explaining the beauty of our human sexuality, not the way society has darkened it. Give it a try. You will be glad you did.
So wonderful to read your post. God bless you …
This is my take on this: Your boyfriend loves and respects
you and your sexuality so much that he wants you two to stop
having sex and wants you to come with him into a new life
where you do the right thing together… It’ll be so awesome for you both to
reclaim purity as individuals and as a couple… just think about the wedding night also how much more special it will be
Oh yeah… I know the devil will use all kinds of tactics to distort the
reality of what is going on so you get confused… but kick his butt…
Start viewing your body as a priceless jewel and know that sexual intimacy is so much more great when it is done in the right way, within the safe frames of a marriage: total self giving and readiness to receive a child… Think about it: the language of sex is THAT serious that it has the natural power to create a new human person. That shows how sacred it is…
By living in chastity you will have much peace and joy… it will teach you to communicate your love in new ways in order to show your affection for one another… and when you one day have children you can also be good role models to them by your example.
I think its so awesome… you are so lucky to have such a good guy in your life… and he is darn lucky for having you. I am sure he does not forget that.
Now… I’d say… start reading the Gospels…My advice from experience: find a quiet place and read slowly though the Gospel of John… Tell Jesus: “Open my heart to Your Words Lord…” and let the Lord speak to you though Sacred Scripture.
Talk to Him as to a personal friend… He likes that and its the most important thing right now to understand who He is and how He loves and sees you with a personal love and care
And ask Him to strengthen you because you need that… its a difficult road you choose… the road less travelled but its so worth it… :extrahappy:
Yours Grace… (who too has reclaimed purity and is waiting for the heroic knight in shining armor