hypothetical situation

so I’ve seen quite a few threads on here about marriages of people who are impotent.

and I understand the church’s teaching on the matter.

but, I’m just wondering, what would be considered an appropriate course of action for someone who, say, is a quadriplegic for example who might be in a relationship? or someone who has an accident and becomes one and already had a girlfriend or something?

I understand not being able to marry if you can’t consomate the marriage, but we were watching a movie in Spanish class where a guy became a quadriplegic and his girlfriend just basically wanted nothing to do with him after that, which I think is very sad, but it got me thinking.

would it be acceptable for a girlfriend/boyfriend to act as a primary caregiver in this situation? or would it be better to find someone else?

any thoughts?

I think the church calls us to love. Purely, and without reservation those whom we make a sacramental commitment to.
All of the other stuff is human drama/justification for behaving in an unloving manner.
People who are not married are not bound by the marital promises. But they are bound by the law of love. It can be harsh and unkind to abandon a disabled boyfriend or girlfriend. On the other hand, the reality is that many people just cannot cope with these accidents. Think how the victims of such calamities feel. :frowning:
I think this is one for one’s own conscience and the advice of a great spiritual director should one find oneself in these hypothetical situations. I don’t think we can make a blanket statement about this regarding single folks. It would take many hours of reflection and prayer as to the will of God.
But we do know what He would WANT us to do, right?

When I was younger, my father told me about a man who divorced his wife after he learned she had cancer. I remember, 20 years later, him using the phrase “good time Charlie” to describe the man.

As PianistClare - who I find to give very good advice - said, “in sickness and in health,” etc., and that is true.

I would add, however, purely in my opinion, that I would think there is a distinction between a married couple where an accident occurs - where they have taken a vow before God to be a union and to care for one another - and, for example, a situation where a person meets someone while single and for whatever reason the couple know one is impotent. We are not to be “good time Charlies” or “good time Charlenes,” but IMHO we can and should have our eyes open to health issues. Another real-life analogy would suffice to make my point. I knew a young woman who met, and ultimately married, a young man with a serious heart problem such that he had a defibrillator surgically implanted in his chest, so it could shock him back to life if his heart stopped. It did as advertised, twice in the 6 weeks before their wedding. I don’t know, but I would strongly suspect that, based on his heart condition, he’d be unable to conceive – as an aside, there’s a reason those Cialis-type ads tell watchers to ask their doctors if their heart is healthy enough for sex. Now here’s my point: If that were my 27-year old daughter, I suspect I would strongly counsel her to find another boyfriend, long before the defibrillator episodes: It is really asking a lot of a young woman to not only marry someone apparently impotent, but with a major health issue such that he could basically die at essentially any moment, leaving my daughter a widow. The same way there are issues that would be a major red flag to any relationship such that Mom & Dad would counsel their child to “call it off” - whether drugs; abuse; psychological issues; whatever – health issues IMHO could and should be such issues as well. Sorry, just being honest.

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