Help for engaged couple


#1

Hello everyone,

I have a friend who is deeply distressed. She recently got engaged to the love of her life. They have been together since she was 16. She went away to college when she was 18 and she her her bf decided to keep their relationship. She was faithful to him for most of the 4 years apart but she admitted that sometimes she felt the need to explore since he was all she knew and was exposed to a totally different lifestyle and whole new secular world which she slowly adapted to. She was unfaithful about two times and didn’t tell her boyfriend but she still maintained her love for him. Then they hit a rough point in their relationship where they broke up and she became attracted to someone else and “messed around” with him.
She and her boyfriend eventually came back to their home town and decided to work things out, Since then she had been completely faithful to him and he asked her to marry him. However he felt guilty about something and she told him not to tell her to just move on the past is the past and they had a wonderful relationship here and now. He eventually told her he slept with someone else during their separation and she forgave him. She felt then that she could also confess to him as well, she only told him of the major incident when they had broken up- big mistake. He did not take it well he had her on a pedestal and was crushed. I told her that she should have not told him and should have gone to confession instead. She did eventually go to confession but still feels incredibly guilty for not “preserving herself” and allowing the pressures of the world to mislead her into thinking that cheating was ok. Any advice for my friend?..she is depressed and stricken with guilt everyday. Even though she and her fiance are working things out she feels cannot escape the presence of her sin in their relationship. And even though she wants to let go of the things she hasn’t told him that she has confessed she feels she can’t.


#2

Advise your friend to meet privately with a priest to discuss these things. He can help her sort out what to reveal and what not, and also give her absolution if she has any other unconfessed mortal sins.

Gertie


#3

Advice for your friend : Dump the double standard hipocryte. He confessed to sleeping with someone yet is upset she did the same. It makes me think of the story of the king who forgave the servant his debt. The servant walked away and then would not forgive the person how owed him. This man wants her forgiveness and trust for not being pure yet he won’t give the same in return. Total looser

CM


#4

It is for the best that this stuff came out before the marriage. This is major stuff and dishonesty could possibly be used as a reason for a marriage being invalid: a person pretending to be someone they’re not. If you cheated/sinned you need to come forward and say so. The marriage could have been ruined if this was kept secret and came out later.

If he is not willing to forgive her, then they both need to find someone else. It’s not like they’re the only two people left on the planet. There are “plenty of fish in the sea” and each person needs to find someone who will accept them for who they are, and who they are willing to accept.


#5

I'm of mixed emotions here - happy for an engaged couple, but also wondering if they're ready for this. It's diffcult to leave a small town or a close-knit life and go elsewhere and find yourself changed and then try to come back. This is why high school sweethearts tend to make it when they both stay close to home. This is why I dumped my high school girlfriend before I went to college (well, okay, she dumped me first).

The immediate question is how should your friend deal with her guilt over having slept with two people, a guilt that is compounded by her committment to her boyfriend. Regardless of his fidelity, she wanted to remain faithful to him and regrets not doing so. Confession should help her with the guilt of having had premarital sex, but she still has offended ("sinned against" if you will) her boyfriend, and getting over her guilt will either require his forgiving her or her taking time to face up to her failing to live up to her own expectations of herself and forgive herself.

The next question is how do these two proceed having both been unfaithful. I'm not surprised that four years apart led each to look for comfort in others. I'm a little disappointed that comfort involved sex, but such is the disease with which we are afflicted. Marriages can survive infidelity, in particular because of the strength of committment - the failure in an affair is a failure of fidelity, not of love. If a spouse betrays by giving over his or her heart, the damage is far more substantial and harder to heal. But it can be done, and this couple can heal and grow back together if they both commit to it.

The question is whether they'll want to. He's insecure - yes, it is a double-standard to have cheated, been forgiven and not forgive the other. Our Lord tells us of the debtor whose debt was forgiven but who refused to forgive. This is a sign of immaturity and, in my mind, calls to question whether these two are ready for marriage. Especially considering that she's gone out and experienced a life bigger than her small town. If it weren't for her betrothed, would she remain in the small town? If she asked him to, would he leave the small town with her? These are questions they need to answer - and no, when it comes to marriage, a pop song line like "I don't care where we live / so long as I'm with you" doesn't cut it.

Marriage requires, nay demands, growth and maturation from both spouses. It is its own life, its own unity and uniqueness, and like any person it must grow and develop or it will stagnate and die. Are these two ready for growth? Is he clinging to the safety he knew? Is she seeking the same?

Yes, have her talk to a priest about her feelings of guilt, and have him talk with a priest about his unwillingness to forgive. And send both of them to a relationship counselor so they can be ready for what lies ahead. I don't want to see this couple hating one another in five years because she wants to move out of the town, he doesn't, and she's frustrated because even after carrying two kids for him he still doesn't trust her, and his distrust of her makes her wonder if he's got something on the side.

Yes, this really does happen. I see so many people unhappy by means of their own design. It's a tragedy and it's everywhere and everywhom.


#6

IF you know this couple they are really great together. They spent a year both living in the same town since she came back from school before all this mess happened. She is talking to a priest I don’t know what he’s been telling her it seems to help her as soon as she leaves his office then something happens to trigger her into her guilt trips again.

I wonder if this will pass with time.I think his is just a reaction of male pride which is why I advised her to confess her sins to a priest because these men are something else I’m married too so I know. I mean once you confess and make a vow not to sin again (and like I said she has been faithful) aren’t they forgiven ? She should trust in God’s forgiveness, right ? Humans aren’t so forgiving.


#7

[quote="Singer_22, post:6, topic:237913"]
IF you know this couple they are really great together. They spent a year both living in the same town since she came back from school before all this mess happened.

[/quote]

I'm glad to hear they've had a good year together. I can also see that the guilt has been building up in both of them. It takes a toll on a person to have to carry around that terrible burden - maybe that contributed to his outburst, he carries this around, finally gets relief, only to be stung by her confession, and he (assuming he's 21 or 22) isn't ready to deal with that emotional grief.

I first had sex at 18, and I certainly was not ready for it - the intimacy, the closeness, the wierd rending of adolescent relationships. I stopped altogether at 22 because I couldn't deal with it anymore, so I recall how fragile even we strong men are at that age.

[quote="Singer_22, post:6, topic:237913"]
I mean once you confess and make a vow not to sin again (and like I said she has been faithful) aren't they forgiven ? She should trust in God's forgiveness, right ? Humans aren't so forgiving.

[/quote]

Absolutely she is forgiven, and Heaven rejoices. I'm a firm believer in Confession - even if it's not Sacramental, I tell my Protestant friends to have a confessor, someone in whom they can confide and ask to pray for and strengthen. Sin so marrs a person that we get comfortable with lying to ourselves and in private prayer we can even lie to God - or justify and rationalize our sins. But to confess to or with the assistance of another human being provokes this tremendous honesty, and therein is the emotional power of Confession (the greater, Spiritual, power of course is forgiveness and the washing away of sins).

That power is incredible to feel - the lifting a weight off one's body, the tremendous lightness of having that burden taken on the Cross and gone forever. And any time I've made a good Confession - a complete one when my heart is ready - you may not believe this, but I smell something sweet and fragrant. It can be the dead of winter with snow on the ground and my breath freezing in my nostrils and yet I smell something like roses or jasmine or honeysuckle. To me it's an incredible sense of Grace and I want to take a knee or take off my shoes because I'm on holy ground, there and then in the presence of Christ, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Healer, my God.

So she leaves and she's forgiven and she's thrilled and lifted up. And then she encounters the emotional pain he has and that she has caused him. Forgiveness doesn't mean we can avoid the temporal scars of what we've done - you may be forgiven for stealing something but you still have to give it back, and you are forgiven for infidelity but you still have to make amends and help the offended heal.

Please direct these two to a counselor. If the beau is anything like the man I was years ago, he'll hold this in until it destroys him. It's not a Christian sourced saying, but it's very true, I think, that if you place something at the center of your life that does not nourish, it will eventually overwhelm and consume you from within. In this sense, if this young man harbors his mistrust at the center of his relationship with her - and ultimately at the center of their marriage - it will yield only bitter and moldered fruit for the both of them.


#8

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