Most priests know far more about marriage than most married people do


The kids definitely don’t want to see that.


Not every kiss needs to titalate. A sweet kiss on the cheek is often enough. And when I’m angry with him, or he with me, a perfunctory kiss is often a way to say, “I love you and I’m working on this.”

I’m glad your priest’s advice worked for you. It was offered to you. That doesn’t mean it is universally applicable.


Is that what this is? The need to have the last word? I can relate. Sometimes it is hard to just walk away. But if we all stop trying to refute you, you’ll be finished? Done!


I have a fiance I’ve known for quite some time. We are very affectionate with each other. By “routine kisses,” i assume you mean perfunctory kisses on the cheek or a peck on the lips and not passionate, soul-emptying kisses like most people who love each other indulge in when they are alone.

Well, my fiance does give me perfunctory kisses at times, but I treasure those, and so does he, and I can tell you, there is nothing routine about them. I loaned my car to a friend, so my fiance has been dropping me off at places where I want and need to go. When I get out of the car, it’s very crowded - it’s often downtown LA - and we will give each other a quick kiss on the lips, not a passionate, lingering one, which would be unseemly in public. But there is nothing routine about that quick kiss. If we didn’t give it to each other, we’d feel bad, and that quick kiss makes us feel better the entire time we’re apart. Those quick, perfunctory kisses that you call “routine” deepen our relationship and our love for each other, and though I don’t know and can’t speak for anyone else, I’m willing to bet that the other women on this thread feel the same.

Edit: I don’t think a priest has ever experienced a relationship like this. The missing each other when you’re apart, the anticipation of seeing the one you love, the joy of simply spending time together, the love you feel just knowing the other is right there beside you. Maybe a few priests have experienced this before their calling to the priesthood, but most of the priests I know, and I’ve known many, have never experienced a relationship like this. And, whether you like it or not, experience really is the best teacher.


Maybe somewhere in the middle…I gave some examples above…mix it up…takes a nanosecond, and it leaves one’s bride happy or guessing what’s next. Goofy, frisky, quirky, unexpected, maybe occasionally (if you’re married) sensuous/inviting. But keep her guessing.


I’m not jousting, Ed. I think you need to calm down a bit.


This isn’t kindergarten.


Not all of my examples - obvious to others - were meant to be acts of titillating…some are goofy, some are playful, some are nothing more than a wink.

There is a gene in some people here who need everything fully written down for them…so that they can then pick at this or that one. Sola scripturaists of a different sort.


Yes–experience is very important here.

Congratulations on your engagement!


Thank you, Xantippe. He’s a wonderful man, and I feel very lucky to be engaged to him, but I suppose all engaged women - and men - feel that way.


Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I can’t think of any issue I’ve had in 18 years of marriage for which I’ve needed a priest’s advice.


I honestly don’t think most people go to confession because of marital problems.


I have, but for issues outside of our family. For example, we had a spectacular implosion of a large family in our parish, and my husband and I didn’t know how to approach the issue, as our Baptist brethren were going into full gossip-and-shunning mode (which is the Baptist way). Our pastor gave us excellent advice when we made an appointment with him:

–if a rumor is true, you’ll find out sooner or later
–if a divorce happens in such a large family, it’s not over nothing
–some of the information we were getting was obviously not information that should have been shared if true, so the purveyors of the information should not get a lot of trust
–shunning is not a Catholic tradition

As it turned out, the rumors were largely true (the dad eventually married the woman that rumor said he’d been caught in flagrante with by one of the kids), but we did not need to devote any brain space to thinking about the situation (we weren’t close to the family), so we were well-served by following our pastor’s advice.

Again, we have two pastors in our area who are exceptionally sensible and wise. (We also had a year in which two of the pastors at our old parish flamed out and committed gross financial mismanagement before leaving–but they’re gone now. They both had what seem to have been serious mental health problems and we had one after another after our old pastor–the wise one from my story–got reassigned.)


Besides orgasm there are all the points ConstantLearner articulated so well.


"The “Church” is an abstraction. A spouse is a living breathing emotional with needs and expectations.


That’s too bad.

Selfishness and pride pop up in a hundred ways, no a thousand ways, and a good priest can help you find it.

A good priest can also help one develop a far more lively and fruitful interior life, not just to identify our defects and to begin chipping away at them, but to help us pray better, to examine more sincerely, to see God’s will for us in our marriage, opening us up to horizons not possible by ourselves.

In fact, the “thanks but I’m fine” remark is a good sign that pride is not just active under the surface, but has already reared its head in public.


We go to Confession to return to the Father, who is eager to help us.

Sin clouds our intellect, saps our will to do the good, makes us less sensitive to the will of God.

These issues then affect not just marriage, not just our relationship with God, but our view of our work, our availability with our children, our mood, etc.

Nearly all marital problems begin as interior or spiritual problems…tendencies to unlove, to self love, to build resentment, to claim rights, etc. All of these begin inside, they are spiritual work items first.


I would have to agree with what someone else said. They learn through the filter of the confessional and that is a secondary knowledge of the problems. You were better with your first sentence. “They may not know about a few aspects.” Though I think more than a few.


Married people only know about their own marriage. If they learn anything more it too is through a filter of someone else.

So priests may not know that one’s wife gets upset that the husband doesn’t put the toothpaste cap back on, but they know how irritations build, how resentments are created and nursed, how people can begin to “count”, how their resentments affect their prayer life, how their annoyances impede conversation, how pride changes its form, how vanity can rear its head…where love of comfort gets in the way of personal generosity in the marriage.

And ten thousand other concrete facts about married life that most married people have never ever thought about at any depth, nor have they done much self examination about these and a hundred other matters.

A priest can help enormously with these spiritual and practical tools because they’ve learned about them at a depth and breadth that is striking.


Priests know about marriage as an abstraction. To say that most priest know “far more” about marriage than most married people do is an absurd exaggeration.

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