Concerns about Intimacy


#1

This is my first post here, and I'm posting to better understand my boyfriend.

I am not Catholic, but my boyfriend is. We met at work (we work in a hotel on a tiny island in the Caribbean). We immediately hit it off and within two weeks of being introduced to one another he asked me to move in with him. It was the most spontaneous thing either of us have ever done. My reasonably conservative parents who happen to live in the same area as us love him and have never once questioned our choice. We have been successfully living together for over a year and a half now.

In the first month of living together we did have sex, and I was not his first. It was never very intimate, nor was it often (maybe once every two weeks) and I assumed this was because we had just begun being with each other. Over the next 3 months it very quickly dropped off, to where by our 4th month living together, I had to request for it to occur even once a month.

Six months into our relationship he went to visit his parents. He is not from my country and his parents are very conservative Catholics. He went home to visit them and admitted to his father we were living together. His father told him that it was wrong and that my boyfriend needed to think about the choice. Upon his return, my boyfriend stated we would no longer be making love, and completely shut down.

For the last year we have been living together, while we sleep in the same bed, we have not seen each other naked, we change in different rooms, we cuddle but he doesnt even kiss me. We discuss marriage and he says he wants to marry me, but he also says he doesn't see himself getting married until he's 30, which is still 3 years away.

I have begun to feel very lonely, and I'm worried. I understand his decided he wants to follow his faith, but I am very concerned about the lack of intimacy. I don't understand how he can't want to kiss me passionately, and it bothers me that there has been no passion in the relationship at all since the very first month, even before he went home to visit his parents.

When I bring up my concern Re: passion, he insists being a Catholic prevents him from having feelings of desire or intimacy until we're married. Because it was never there in that very first month, I'm concerned its not a pre-marriage issue, but something that he doesn't even understand is missing from the relationship.

I love him incredibly, but I am scared to wait 3 more years to get married only to discover I'm married to a man completely uninterested in making love, uninterested in making out with me and just generally uninterested in any physical relationship.

Is this typical for a Catholic male of his age...to be completely unaware of passion and able to so EASILY avoid physical contact with me, or is he someone who will never be able to be intimate with me?

Sorry for the long post, but I don't know any Catholics, and I'm so sad over the issue that I often lay awake, wondering if the life we are leading now is how it will always be. I feel like we're already 70!


#2

he probably got freaked out because he had pre-marital sex and got out of control with you. he's now avoiding any intimacy. he doesn't have to avoid all forms of intimacy, as long as you and him keep it in resonable boundaries (as in not having sex or giving into lust, which includes making out.


#3

Well I don't think that he's afraid of intimacy, it's just that he wants to live his faith. I think maybe if he makes out with you he'll be tempted to have sex with you. But I don't think he's afraid.


#4

I don't know, it sounds like he was brought up in a very strict household. It's very unlikely that he was free of that even in the first month of the relationship, he was probably guilt ridden from the beginning.

Do you talk to him about this? Did he feel guilty in that first month? What reasons do you have to believe that he will continue to be this way once you are married?


#5

The man decided that God is more important than you. That is what you WANT in a man.

Find a nice secular athiest (or whatever your faith is) and let this man find a nice Catholic girl.


#6

I feel like it may continue this way once we’re married because he doesn’t seem to understand why I even feel like somethings wrong/missing. His stance is just “we’re not married so we can’t do anything.” and
"I am just not like that" when there’s ever any discussion on tv or with friends when the topic of something slightly more than ‘vanilla’ sex comes up and I say once we’re married I’d eventually like to try it, or I know I would enjoy it. He doesn’t want anything thats creative or beyond the basics.

He does come from a very strict household when it comes to religion. He’s the oldest of 7, with more of an age difference between he & his youngest sister than he & his father.

Is it possible that while he did try things with girlfriends before me, he’s just been raised to be so afraid of sex that he doesn’t know that there’s anything more to it that “its a sin”?


#7

[quote="19rebecca84, post:6, topic:182593"]
I feel like it may continue this way once we're married because he doesn't seem to understand why I even feel like somethings wrong/missing. His stance is just "we're not married so we can't do anything." and
"I am just not like that" when there's ever any discussion on tv or with friends when the topic of something slightly more than 'vanilla' sex comes up and I say once we're married I'd eventually like to try it, or I know I would enjoy it. He doesn't want anything thats creative or beyond the basics.

He does come from a very strict household when it comes to religion. He's the oldest of 7, with more of an age difference between he & his youngest sister than he & his father.

Is it possible that while he did try things with girlfriends before me, he's just been raised to be so afraid of sex that he doesn't know that there's anything more to it that "its a sin"?

[/quote]

I don't know if anyone is qualified to answer your question. I think your best bet would be to talk to a professional psychologist/psychiatrist and tell that person the intimate details of your relationship with your boyfriend. They might be able to give you better understanding of what is driving him and how likely he is to change.

You might also try to search for studies of these phenomena, or talk to individuals who personally experienced this (i.e. men who started out being not into sex, and how they behaved after marriage).


#8

And before you start bashing me and calling me an “Athiest”, I’m not pressuring him to have sex and I’m fine with his choice. What I am questioning is how easy it is for him & how he doesn’t even acknowledge that it could be difficult for anyone else & how he doesn’t seem to want anything more even once we’re married.


#9

Bashing?

No - simply advising to date and marry those of the same faith. Makes marriage much nicer!


#10

Rebecca, I am inclined to suggest that you move out and live separately from this man.

I say this, not because I am convinced this is a bad match. I say this because I think both of you are too close to the situation to be objective. You got involved very quickly and experienced sexual intimacy before you had any kind of true intimacy.

Your boyfriend rightly wants to back off but he doesn’t want to lose you. You want more than he is prepared to give now and is not sure he ever will be. I think you are right to be concerned that he seems to have “shut down”. The period preceding marriage ought to be a time of slowly increasing personal intimacy which will ultimately be expressed sexually after marriage. But it is very difficult to go back and “catch up” on the emotional intimacy when the sexual boundary has been crossed.

I know this is probably not what either of you would like to do but I think it best if you separate and then evaluate your relationship from emotional, intellectual, and spiritual perspectives. If you see a future together then you owe it to yourself to learn what you can about Catholic sexuality. There are a number of good books on the subect


#11

This may not be the answer you want, but you need to not live with him. It sounds like he is trying to get back on track with his faith (especially since he believes he is coming in to marital age in his mind) and there needs to be boundaries. Sex is an intimate act reserved only for married couples in the catholic faith. If he is getting serious about his faith you will find yourself in a relationship where he may be going back to mass, you have to promise to raise all kids in the catholic church, and there is going to be a lot of strife in your relationship because of the difference.

If you can deal with that, awesome. But it still stands that until you are married you need to be living in purity.

The reason he has backed off totally from all physical affection is because he doesn't want to fall in to temptation, and he is avoidong the temptation. I guarantee you its not easy for him, based off his apparent sudden lack of affection.


#12

It may be an old story. The way I understand these situations are that the ‘‘in three years we will get married’’ usually means, that he hopes to find someone to marry in three years, but not you.
If,on, the other hand, he does find someone tomorrow, he will move out, and announce his engement to his future wife. I suppose, you pay half of the rent on your apartment, is that the reason he loves you so much?
Yes, most Catholic men love their church and faith, they don’t practice it as they should, but, he may be looking for a nice Catholic girl to marry. Catholic boys do take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
He hasn’t every asked you to become a Catholic, every asked you to go to Mass with him? I hope he isn’t just taking advantage of your great body.:(:(:(:(:frowning:


#13

A person who loves God will follow His law to live a chaste life, which means no intimacy outside of marriage. As a young woman, this is a benefit to you. When you become intimate with someone, you give a bit of your heart to them. If the relationship ends, you are hurt much more than if you had not been intimate. A man will have much more respect for you if you are chaste than if you are not. If you treat your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, so will he.

It is a myth that Catholics think sex is wrong. God created sex, and it is a beautiful gift. He created it for a specific purpose - to develop bonds between a man and a woman (husband and wife) and to bring children into the world. Sex has been distorted by the devil, so that it becomes whatever anyone wants to make them feel good (whenever, where-ever, with whomever they want). This distortion cheapens what should be something most beautiful.

I agree with others that you and your boyfriend should live apart. Even if you are not intimate physically, you should not be sharing a home or a bed. That creates too much temptation and also creates scandal. Neither of those things is pleasing to God.

I can't say if he is the "one" for you. But I do suggest that you slow down and back up. And also think about how you freely entered into a sexual relationship with him and the harm it has caused YOU. This could have been prevented. Maybe God is speaking to you. Listen. Ask Him to guide you.


#14

[quote="19rebecca84, post:1, topic:182593"]
This is my first post here, and I'm posting to better understand my boyfriend.

I am not Catholic, but my boyfriend is. We met at work (we work in a hotel on a tiny island in the Caribbean). We immediately hit it off and within two weeks of being introduced to one another he asked me to move in with him. It was the most spontaneous thing either of us have ever done. My reasonably conservative parents who happen to live in the same area as us love him and have never once questioned our choice. We have been successfully living together for over a year and a half now. Living outside of marriage seldom proves successfull, as you are now discovering.

In the first month of living together we did have sex, and I was not his first. It was never very intimate, nor was it often (maybe once every two weeks) and I assumed this was because we had just begun being with each other. Over the next 3 months it very quickly dropped off, to where by our 4th month living together, I had to request for it to occur even once a month.This is not "normal" male hetrosexual behavior. He has issues of which you are unaware. That is not a situation that would be classified as "successfull" nor his behavior as normal male behavior.

Six months into our relationship he went to visit his parents. He is not from my country and his parents are very conservative Catholics. He went home to visit them and admitted to his father we were living together. His father told him that it was wrong and that my boyfriend needed to think about the choice. Upon his return, my boyfriend stated we would no longer be making love, and completely shut down.

For the last year we have been living together, while we sleep in the same bed, we have not seen each other naked, we change in different rooms, we cuddle but he doesnt even kiss me. We discuss marriage and he says he wants to marry me, but he also says he doesn't see himself getting married until he's 30, which is still 3 years away. His age has nothing to do with making a committment, especially going for the age of "30", you are being played by this guy while he uses you to hopefully fix whatever is his problem. And what he may want is for you to throw him out and remove the quilt he feels if he leaves you.

I have begun to feel very lonely, and I'm worried. I understand his decided he wants to follow his faith, but I am very concerned about the lack of intimacy. I don't understand how he can't want to kiss me passionately, and it bothers me that there has been no passion in the relationship at all since the very first month, even before he went home to visit his parents. That is not a 'successfull" relationship. Do him the favor of "manning up" - since he won't and throw his bum in the street - which he is hoping for anyway.

When I bring up my concern Re: passion, he insists being a Catholic prevents him from having feelings of desire or intimacy until we're married. Because it was never there in that very first month, I'm concerned its not a pre-marriage issue, but something that he doesn't even understand is missing from the relationship. And he won't get married until he is 30? No he is not limiting his love for you because he is catholic, he is doing so with a hidden agenda, which he has not shared with you, and which clearly effects his desire and image of you.

I love him incredibly, but I am scared to wait 3 more years to get married only to discover I'm married to a man completely uninterested in making love, uninterested in making out with me and just generally uninterested in any physical relationship.It appears that you have already discovered the truth of the situation.

Is this typical for a Catholic male of his age...to be completely unaware of passion and able to so EASILY avoid physical contact with me, or is he someone who will never be able to be intimate with me?Speaking as a catholic male, - which by the way is no different from any other male - no - your being played. As soon as he blamed "no marriage" on waiting 3 more years - that is it, OUT. What is more important to him, YOU or his 30th birthday?

Sorry for the long post, but I don't know any Catholics, and I'm so sad over the issue that I often lay awake, wondering if the life we are leading now is how it will always be. I feel like we're already 70!

[/quote]

This guy took your heart and it is going to hurt, but that is the nature of sin. Regardless of your chosen faith, you are living outside of Gods prescribed formula for "one flesh". Check yourself for AIDS and other blood born diseases transmitted through sexual contact and you set a date. The date he packs up and moves out, and don't fall for his "let's get married right away" act. You need time to actually court this guy and get a good look at him. Set a date of 3-5 years of dating him, to determine if his behavior and heart truly warrant winning your love a 2nd time. You have just experienced the difference between lust and love. He lusted, you loved.


#15

For four years the group of Roman Catholic adults I roamed the Hollywood scene with, went to all of the dances, parties, shows and plays together. The women I was involved with were then and still are, the greatest and beautiful. Several of them really thought that we would be married, I was trying to sort out the best ones; when the strangest thing happened, I saw her, the first thought in my mind was to go some place else; my brother saw her too and saw my reaction and said I had to face the music. Every plane I had, all of the women I knew were lost that night. We spent the next six months together. I had to drive over 20 miles every night to see her and I did return home every night.
We were married, both Roman Catholic virgins, and have had a great life together. I have never looked back. The group turned into the married group, and many of my old girlfriends love my wife too.
When he finds the right one, he will forget everything and marry her.:):):):):slight_smile:


#16

[quote="19rebecca84, post:1, topic:182593"]
We discuss marriage and he says he wants to marry me, but he also says he doesn't see himself getting married until he's 30, which is still 3 years away.

[/quote]

If he wanted to marry you, he would. He doesn't.

Whether you are having sex or not, he is using you. If he's not ready for marriage, you should not be dating him. Or living with him.


#17

Julian gave you great advice.

It's a very good thing when someone wants to live a pure life according to the Catholic faith. It is not normal for a young man to do this so easily as you describe. There are a couple of possibilities: either he's got an unusually low sex drive or he's cheating on you. Neither one is a predictor of a good marriage.

No matter how much it hurts you now, you'll be very glad later if you cut your losses and move on.

Betsy


#18

I'd suggest you move out immediately. In the future, when you 'hit it off' with someone, please have more respect for yourself.

No man will ever respect a young lady that throws herself at him. And no man who accepts that behavior will ever a good husband make.

Try a visit to the local parish priest.


#19

FWIW, I’m not quite ready to ascribe such pure motives to your boyfriend as others have (i.e.–that he’s wanting to live a life of purity and that’s why your intimacy has dried up.)

If he REALLY wanted to live a good, pure Catholic life, he’d have moved out already. He most certainly would NOT be sleeping in the same bed with you!

Either way, I don’t see marriage happening between the two of you… not in three years, not ever. Cut your losses and find someone who really wants to be married to you… but this time, save the honeymoon for AFTER the wedding.


#20

Ok here's the single girls perspective. I understand that living together is considered the responsible and normal thing to do these days but we are called to live by Gods standards and not the worlds which is usually not in tune with what GOD wants for us anyway. Your situation spells out exactly the type consequences that decided me against ever living with a guy. Please understand that I'm not putting you down or anything. We each make our own choices but have to live with the results and when you live with a guy before marriage it kind of leaves you without firm ground to stand on in most cases. I see it time and time again.

I agree with the earlier poster who said the guy is just playing around waiting for someone he really wants to marry. If he was serious about getting married he wouldn't suggest waiting three years. He may be conflicted as to trying to live by his faith and may be afraid of commitment at the same time. I run into type all the time and it's really boring. I would move out and let him know that you won't wait three years for him to make up his mind about marriage.

Hope that helps. :shrug:


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