Help with relationship


#21

This post sums things up very well. Its hard to step back and I its easy to say do it, but as we all know, saying and doing are two different things. I do know that insecurities play a huge issue in this and I will be receiving professional help with this starting next week. I do not want to let her go. I have improved so much since we have been together and I have fought off so many different aspects of my past and the pain that past relationships have given me. Giving up now would be the worst thing I could do, for myself, and for us.

I do see this as a blessing. The strength to fight this was given to one, not both of us. I am praying for this to go away. I do believe if I can get a handle on my securities, that it may be much less of an issue but its undoing 15 years of life, to think in a different way.

Its just hard. I am aware that things are not supposed to be easy though :stuck_out_tongue:


#22

*Yes, I think that is a great step forward…to get counseling. Talking to someone objective about your fears is a good thing to do. Also, seek our a priest to discuss things, too. They are wonderful counselors, to be honest. And above all, talk to God. He can give us a sense of peace, like nothing else–for free. :smiley: I also think that seeing you both were married before, there are things you both might need to heal from. You can do this! The first step towards positive change is always hard. But, after a few steps, it gets better…but know that you might fall…stumble. Just get back up as Jesus got back up, when He fell carrying His cross. This could be a great opportunity for you both, to heal…sometimes, situations are presented to us for just that reason.

God bless you and your gf…I hope things work out! :console:*


#23

Alzarius, are you both ‘free’ to date? Like kage says, have you looked into this?


#24

We are both free to date :slight_smile:


#25

You mentioned that your girlfriend would go to confession. Have you also been to confession about this?


#26

I am not able to participate in that sacrament, yet


#27

I am looking for some advice or reading.

Myself and my GF are Catholics and we do love each other very much. We used to be intimate very often. When I say intimate, I do not mean sex, just “fooling around” quite often. We have never had sex. However, upon doing this, she always felt guilty and had to go to confession. She grew tired of doing this and we decided it was too much and asked me if we could stop fooling around so much. However, it seems to be taking a toll on me a bit.

For me, its hard to understand going from a couple that were intimate often, to never at all. we talk about it and she tells me if we were married, it would be different. I am wondering if that is true or not. If she pushes intimacy completely out of our lives, after it being a part of it for so long, it makes me insecure about whether its the act itself that bothers her, or if my insecurities are messing with me.

In this day and age, its hard to imagine a couple being together for quite some time, and living together (lots of circumstances) and not being intimate. Id like to find a way to either gain control over my insecurities of her losing interest in me, which she assures me she is not. Or Id like to convince her that its okay to be intimate as long as we draw lines, which we have never crossed.

Id like to respect her wishes more and just find a way to not desire her in that way until we get married, which can be quite some time away from now. I do not want to pressure her or bug her or try to convince her to give in, but it makes me feel as if she has lost something for me.

Yes, I know… “get over it and behave”

If it were that easy, I would not be posting here. Any advice, or reading, would be greatly appreciated

Edit: After reading this, I wanted to clarify a few things.

First of all, we are in our late 20’s. I am not a 16 year old with raging hormones (we have all been there)

She has not been a sexually active person through her life. I, however, have been. When we messed around, I felt something I have never felt with any of my former partners, a closeness. With her, it wasnt just about pleasuring myself. It felt like a bond, something that married couples are supposed to feel in a married life.

I love her very much and want to respect her wishes but not get slapped with insecurities I have.

Oh, you’re so close to the truth, you tripped over it! :slight_smile:

Real intimacy isn’t about drawing lines in the sand and not crossing them. Real intimacy is about not needing those lines in the sand. Because you’re both walking in the same direction with the same focus and following the same rules. You don’t quite have that yet. She wants that. You are seeing what she wants as rejection, not as an invitation to something better. Tweak your attitude toward intimacy and you just may find you can do it!

Because marriage is not a cure for sexual desire. It can make it explode. Or it can be a framework in which a couple for various reasons cannot give in to it, but must still be intimate emotionally and spiritually. Illness, separation due to jobs, pregnancy… lots of reasons why a couple cannot give in whenever they want.

The most important part of marriage and one of its goals is for the couple to achieve mutual sanctification. Your GF has realized that being with you does not necessarily make her a better person. Only you can change that. By not challenging her conscience and making her be less than she is by an encounter with you. Earn her trust by saying “I want you to grow in holiness by being a part of my life. I want to help you get to heaven. You help me.” If you are living together, that is a near occasion of temptation and sin. Might want to change that. She is not used to sin being a part of her relationships, perhaps. You have been involved in relationships that were all form no substance. Thus you are insecure because you are used to the shiny wrapped gift box that was empty inside. Trade that for the real thing and you will have less trouble with those insecurities that have plagued prior relationships. Your GF is trying to offer you that.

And what she needs for you to do NOW is to see if you can exercise self control with someone you love. Because she is trying to discern whether you are marriage material. If you cannot prove to her now that you have self control, how can she trust you inside marriage? And you don’t have to go all the way. Do you want her to imagine you doing all the things you do now with a secretary or office co-worker or something while she is at home. While technically, you might not be having intercourse, if what you are doing is not something you’d want to picture her doing with someone else, the reverse is true. You have to prove to her now that you can go without that for the greater good of you as a couple.

How to achieve that… replace what you are doing now with public activities where you work on other areas of intimacy. Spend time that doesn’t involve such things. Show her that just her company is enough for you. Pray with her. Increase your own prayer and scripture life when she isn’t around. Fix the kind of movies you watch and your reading material and online viewing. Sanitize your life of things that could give you ideas like that. Purify yourself. By getting physicality out of the way you can see each other more clearly. Your other relationships failed because you didn’t see them clearly. The truth about them was clouded by your own sin and sexual desire. You chose the shiny package that was empty of the real gift.

God wants something better for you. Your GF is wise. She can help you become a better person too, if you’ll let her.

Go to confession yourself. Receive the sacraments. Frequent communion… you’ll find your insecurities will disappear if you do.

Good luck!


#28

Nice post up there.


#29

Wow, I think you are on the right path to holiness. What an awesome fight you have on your hands! Yes, you will suffer, but your insecurities come from the devil, not you. Pray the rosary. Trust in God. Seek the sacraments.

Honestly, you have a wonderful girlfriend who is in interested in you for all the right reasons. Instead of fueling those insecurities, through those secular glasses you have on, look at it through those spiritual Catholic glasses she has on. In fact, get a pair of those glasses. Your girlfriend loves you and your eternal soul more than you know. Focus on that. Talk with her.

ya’ll need support. Is there Theology on Tap or a Young Adult Ministry in your area? Go to Mass, and often.

It will be hard but not impossible.

“If you pray, why worry? If you worry, why pray?” ~ St. Padre Pio

ah, trusting is the hard part, huh? Prayers for you! :thumbsup: Besides, quite honestly, your “intimacy” wasn’t intimacy at all, in the truest sense, because fooling around was actually hurting her. True intimacy will cause us to rise above our own desires and desire the good of the other…and right now, you are thinking just about you. your insecurities. Take a back seat. Put her first.

Okay, you MUST get “Called to Love” by Carl Anderson and if you haven’t already “Three to get Married” and yes, Jason Evert’s Pure Love. Also, “The Worlds First Love” by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Read the Bible.

Do your part if she is doing hers. :slight_smile:


#30

:thumbsup:


#31

Oh, they can give in… seen it happen. A man in a full body cast, and his wife becomes pregnant – the whole church blushed; how did that happen Richard !?
Marriage does not “cure” lust, nor even just a well built sexual man, but it does put it in chains. St. Augustine. :wink: Women used to die often in child birth, but that did not excuse them from sexuality if they chose marriage – eg: all these thousands of years before surgery became reliable. More on this below…

From the OP’s description, I tend to think her presence is the temptation at this time. If he and she separated to work jobs in different places for a while, he might not feel that urge at all. But if he does, it signals a potential problem that will occurr even during marriage.

The most important part of marriage and one of its goals is for the couple to achieve mutual sanctification. Your GF has realized that being with you does not necessarily make her a better person. Only you can change that.

Amen to the 1st.
Maybe to the rest: There is also a puritanical enshrinement of sexuality which I would call scrupulous. Eg: It may persist into the marriage in a way which is not sanctifying; I don’t know what “fooling” around means; or at what point she goes against her conscience – nor do I think the OP, being in RCIA (???), is yet in a position to judge this. Does normal affection disturb her, eg: holding hands, hugs, or dancing? I am not suggesting emphasizing these things, but as a reality check on a potential problem.

May I ask, does the OP know the reason/grounds for the gf’s former sacrament being declared null? (I don’t say marriage, for she was married.)

I want to help you get to heaven. You help me."

Amen;

Thus you are insecure because you are used to the shiny wrapped gift box that was empty inside. Trade that for the real thing and you will have less trouble with those insecurities that have plagued prior relationships. Your GF is trying to offer you that.

As an observer of other men; I would like to believe what you say here – but the insecurity comes from betrayal of the promised bond. To each of the women the OP united, and the gf’s marriage imposter of a husband, the attempt to become one flesh failed – but at a cost. Neither he nor she will be rid of insecurity easily, they have left a bit of themselves with other people.

And what she needs for you to do NOW is to see if you can exercise self control with someone you love.

snip.
And what you need to be doing is making sure she is supportive of you in your exercise of self control – that includes inuendo, dress, and anything else that may cause you trouble. If she is not, even if you love her, walk away. Women who play am I beautiful are trouble for a man like you… Your physical make up will not change once you are married – and if she is cramped by your needs either pro - or con, these will magnify in the marriage.

How to achieve that… replace what you are doing now with public activities where you work on other areas of intimacy. Spend time that doesn’t involve such things.

Small suggestion: He is a man, his idea of intamacy is not the same as that of a woman. Is fixing her problem “intimacy” or listening to it? If she makes a ridiculous request (in his eyes) for a phobia – is it appropriate to appease the phobia by doing something which appears ridiculous, or is it better to firmly stand ones ground and prove the truth of the ridiculousness of the request and vanquishing the phobia (at least attempting to…)
I know these are conditional ideas, but it is precisely the conditions which men and women are mismatched on naturally; and it is Love (true love) which allows one to suffer annoyances so that the plan of the body as God made it reaches it’s fullest expression of communion and communication; almost redundant ideas.
Would you care to give some guidence here as to the womanly perspective?

Good luck!

hmm … you’re in my prayers tonight.

When you go to sleep, this might help, fold your hands with interlocking fingers – as if in prayer (and prayer would be a good idea), then place them on your stomach. In some people that can bring relief to anxiety and insecurity may be lessened. Also, sometimes sitting in a chair, and placing ones hands just above the knees – palm down and fingers slightly spread can also have a calming effect.

If you find yourself crossing your arms in the form of a hug across your chest when you sleep, that is just as empty as your previous gf’s, and wife. Don’t do it.
Hugs belong between real people.

God bless you on your journey.


#32

How do you know this?


#33

perhaps i could add a different perspective to this? (although still in agreement with all the other great posts)

I was basically in your gf shoes. i found a wonderful man, and we are dating and we plan on getting married eventually. for a while, we were “fooling around” like you said, no sex, but not exactly chaste behavior either.

it ate me up inside. yeah, it would feel great while we were doing it, but when i sat back and thought about what we’d done, i would literally get sick to my stomach. I too was always going to confession and feeling guilty.

but the guilt was just what I had done, but what i was leading my bf, who i love dearly, to do. i was causing him to sin, putting his soul in grave danger as well, and when i realized that, i hated myself for it. Finally bf and i had a talk and we’re on the right path now. i believe someone mention not doing anything you would want her father in the room for? we’re nearly there now (but after indulging in temptation like that, its a hard habit to break)

and you know what? i feel incredible. its like i found a part of me that was missing. and my love and respect for my bf doubled because of his willingness to “slam on the brakes” as it were. I know that its harder for a guy to stop something like that, and the fact that he is willing and actively trying to means the world to me. it really alleviated any doubts i had about spending the rest of my life with him, and each day we live chastely renews that feeling of security with him.

one more thing, before i go, chances are you are not alone in struggling with the new chastity. Its a struggle for girls as well! I know its certainly been difficult for me, as well as my bf. your gf is probably just as tempted to do those things now as she was before, but she has realized that the instant, temporary pleasure is not worth the later, lingering guilt and ultimately hell for both of you. but it doesn’t mean she isn’t attracted to you anymore. I know i still have to stop myself from saying certain things to my bf, or doing certain things i know will inevitably lead to, if not the actual fooling around, at least a lot of needless tension and frustration. I do miss the physical closeness, but i know that we are doing the right thing. all things in their own time. i know we will have that closeness again, we just have to wait until we are properly married.

well, i shall leave it at that and i just want to say, Good Luck and know that your agreeing to wait means the world to your gf.


#34

*I am thinking of Catholicism. I don’t think it is fair for a man who has been unfaithful to the Church’s teachings about sex and marriage to pursue a woman who has remained faithful. I think he should break off the engagement and restrict his future involvements to partners with the same checquered past as himself. Two of the same type would be better able to keep each other in line. The other way seems too much like exploitation of virtue by salaciousness.

Maybe she wants to break off the engagement, knowing about his past and having second thoughts?*


#35

annulments :smiley:


#36

No, you are wrong on both ends in my opinion.

If I am correct in what i have studied so far, no one on this earth is perfect so unless everyone plans on becoming monks and move somewhere up in the hills, then the best thing we can do is continue to fight the fight to become holy everyday.

It was a mutual thing, that we have gone back from. We are taking a step back.

We have helped each other grow closer to God since we started our relationship. Conquering one battle after the next. We, together and with prayer, have fought off many other insecurities and worldly struggles that interfere with ones search for holiness.

Not only that, once we beat this, and we WILL beat this, then maybe we can help some other couple that has to go through the same thing. Once again bringing two other people closer to God through Chasity after starting off in a relationship not built on Chasity. I believe that it would please God more, to be able to help other people, rather than me go off and find some other woman who has had a sexually active life and neither of us have the strength to fight through it. It would lead to MORE temptation.

My partner is understanding of everything that is going on and is 100 percent supportive.

You also speak of two of the same type. We are all children of God and thats the only type that matters. If we both become completely holy, or as close as we can get, then God does not want us to be together, then it will not work out. What is happening here is two people who love each other very much, trying to become better Christians and having each other for support.

We are all sinners. Two people trying to help each other become sinless and get closer to God through each other who DO love each other, is what a Catholic marriage is all about, or so I thought.

We pray for God to help us with this, and we look to other people for support and guidance. We are not going to quit on something as special as we have, because neither of us believe that God would want us to give up on each other. We will fight temptation and sin together, and we will get married, and we will have a family and try to raise them with values that neither of us were raised with.


#37

Thank you for the story. This is what I needed to hear. That others have slammed the brakes and fought through it and that it works. I am happy that you made the decision you did, and reading your post sent something to me, as have a few posts here and that is why I decided to post this on these forums.

I dont want her soul to be in jeopardy because of an insecurity of mine and I clearly have to get over it.

We had a discussion about this and she knows my full thoughts about it and we both agree that I have to understand that there are many ways we love each other and show each other that every day, so I cant look at doing something that would please God (Chasity) as something that means she cares about me less.

Thanks to everyone for the replies and I still have high hopes that this thread will not die.


#38

:thumbsup:

I know i still have to stop myself from saying certain things to my bf, or doing certain things i know will inevitably lead to, if not the actual fooling around, at least a lot of needless tension and frustration.

[sign]WOW![/sign]

You are not far from the kingdom of God in your family.

The only speculative concern I would have for you (clearly no evidence yet), is again, the puritanical mis-application of guilt that can occur within marriage –
You individually have the right to enforce abstaining before marriage, for you are two flesh each individually bound to the laws of God. But once within marriage, you become one flesh and as a whole are bound to the law of God --the marriage debt-- so there is no longer and individual arbitrary right to abstinence; but rather only a mutual one, as you are mutually abstaining now almost by intuition; within marriage, it is for times of prayer to build up the kingdom of God that such abstaining is permitted; charity – but not absolute despotism over ones own body.
In fact, the positive sexual act is part of sanctifying the spouse and I hope you will see that once you are married; its withholding unilaterally is cruel and destructive.

You know that your fiancee is predisposed before the act toward physical intimacy, and the woman is often tempted after a certain exchange of holy and non-physical love has occurred (hopefully not fantasy), when the drive really kicks in. (with exception of a couple days a month… but only perhaps…)

Yet, from reading your post, I think you will understand when I say, that by marrying your finance – the positive sexual encounter required will intensify your husbands need for a physical bond in the future. Individual men will vary in the proportion of vulnerability sexual activity with a wife will bring. But it is this very vulnerability that becomes a very potent temptation in times of disagreement;
If the marriage is strong, small mistakes along this line will damage but not destroy, eg: venial vs. mortal wounding. Yet, to please God fully requires a unity of soul to occur between the spouses – the intention of the sacrament’s physical aspect.

I can’t explain the full depth of my thought here, but I sense that you perhaps will grasp it in time if not immediately; a meditation in the months to come before the marriage and then the sacrament.


#39

Your study is reasonable; but I would like to rephrase what you have said;
With respect to perfect, we are speaking of sin — and of course even monks can sin…

But there is still this “puritanical guilt” which I see in American culture – and even in translations of the actual infallible teachings of the Catholic Church, the translators betray and insert this fallacy into their writings.

Recall our Lord was perfect (the trivial exception), and his mother was perfect (permanently graced) from the moment(/s) of conception. Yet, setting aside the original sin inherited, or contaminated which each of us save our Lord and his mother have had at one time – there is no law which says a person can not be perfectly holy; The only teaching is that it can not be done throughout one’s life without the help and gift of God. There is no infallible teaching that everyone sins every day, nor that the sexual act itself is in any way sinful (although it is tied mysteriously to the sin of Adam). In Trent, this statement was reaffirmed from an earlier infallible council – but:

Let me demonstrate from EWTN’s library of English translations what I mean:
Here is the English of the council of Trent session 6, chapter XI (11), Justification:

For though during this mortal life, men, however holy and just, fall at times into at least light and daily sins, which are also called venial, they do not on that account cease to be just, for that petition of the just, forgive us our trespasses,[62] is both humble and true;

But the actual Latin – which is ODDLY not found at the Vatican website under Latin (as of yesterday, but hopefully fixed in the future?) the documents reads:

in levia saltem et quotidiana, quae etiam venilia dicuntur, peccata quandoque cadant, non propterea desinunt esse justi.

The phrase highlighted in English carries a relational statement, asserting they [venial sins] are “even now pardonable/ed, as OFTEN AS” fall(en into)." meaning that a man does not fail to be just no matter how often these venial sins are fallen into.

It does not say anything about how often one must “sin” – and if you find the “Our Father” in Latin, the phrase “give us this day our DAILY bread” is “Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;”

None of these words appear in the Latin of Trent, and the root for “Daily” is simply not there. The translator has used an ambiguous statement of “Daily” to represent “common” or “easily fallen into”. My son asked a question about the Baltimore catechism, and so having read the earlier councils in Greek – I decided to look into this; One should NEVER assume that his neighbor has even venial faults each day, or any day once they are baptized. It is the better path to assume everyone is better than one’s self and take the lowest place, then the Lord will glorify you by raising you up.

We have helped each other grow closer to God since we started our relationship. Conquering one battle after the next. We, together and with prayer, have fought off many other insecurities and worldly struggles that interfere with ones search for holiness.

Not only that, once we beat this, and we WILL beat this, then maybe we can help some other couple that has to go through the same thing.

How very noble; There is a group called Retrouvaille that does just that for couples already married who are failing; Perhaps there could be some synergy between you and them, for what you speak of is needed.

You also speak of two of the same type. We are all children of God and thats the only type that matters. If we both become completely holy, or as close as we can get, then God does not want us to be together, then it will not work out. What is happening here is two people who love each other very much, trying to become better Christians and having each other for support.

I could have said this in the days of my engagement; I don’t wish to speak now, for it is too hard. But there is more wisdom that you need than what is stated above – I caution you to think carefully about this, for there are some subtle traps that one can fall into based on it; and very painful ones.

Peace of Christ, May the Spirit of his Wisdom lead you into all truth.
–Andrew.


#40

:thumbsup: well said
@shaken: Thank God, His(God’s) judgment is not this harsh


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