Need your advice on sex & relationships


I am 31 and would appreciate some real-world advice on an issue, as a Catholic/Christian.
I have to give you some background first.

My first girlfriend, Antigone, was/is the love of my life.

We met as we both went to Catholic high schools before going on to college. We were both conservative Catholics from comfortable backgrounds. However we did have different situations.
• Her parents were divorced. My family was/is very intact.
• I was an ROTC cadet and then officer in the Army. She was an art student/artist with no sure income.

By the time we were both 24, we were looking at marriage. She did not move in with me at this stage, as we both knew living together before marriage was wrong. Anyway, I was living in officer bachelor housing and she was trying to start as a graphic artist, and stayed at her mother’s place.

However, when I moved off-post at 26 as a 1st Lt, Antigone came to stay for long periods. She looked after my place when on deployment and stayed on when I got back. She would set up a studio in my home. I loved having her around. She was artistic and chaotic and disorganized – opposites attracted. I loved taking care of her and I also loved the joy and spontaneity she brought in to my life. I could not imagine a future without her. She was a pacifist and opposed war but supported me being in the Army. I wanted her as my wife and to have and raise my children.

We became keen to marry. However, as her parents were divorced and her family split, she did not want a formal Church wedding. Instead, we decided to plan to elope.

Also Antigone by 25 really wanted children and by 26 was obsessive about it, especially as her friends married and had children. You may think this strange but when we went shopping, she would often get emotional when we passed young couples with children. I know she went to visit baby stores when depressed. One Saturday in Spring, when shopping at a mall, she took me to different stores to get her some flip-flop thongs and some roman sandals – each time she told the sales woman that she need new flipflops and sandals because we were trying for children and pregnant woman feet expand. She would even wear loose maternity clothes at home.

As a way to explain our elopement, we started to have sex. I desired children but also desired Antigone physically. She also had a very high sex drive, but really wanted children. While against Church teachings, we saw it as our almost religious duty to have children together. One particularly sexual Saturday, Antigone was convinced that she had conceived. Expecting that she was pregnant and as I was shortly to leave on a month-long exercise, we started to think of how to elope on my return. I started to look at engagement rings.

When I returned, it turned out that Antigone had not fallen pregnant and she was now remorseful. I do not know what happened but she became very sad, without telling me why. I was tired from the exercise and probably unsupportive. We then attended a family wedding on a Saturday.

On the following Sunday, after the wedding, she told me that she believed we would never work out and that she needed someone less rigid than me. She told me we were over and that we should not contact each other. I did not see it coming.

I was hurt beyond words and felt that my future wife and children left with her that day.

I am now 4 years on from this experience but have never really recovered. I find it hard to date and when I do I am attracted to girls like Antigone, whose chaotic ways are probably bad for me. I am thinking of using some Catholic singles service.

I do not know how to reconcile with my faith what occurred between Antigone and us. I know that sleeping together before marriage is contrary to Church teachings.

However, while I have sincerely confessed and have not repeated it, I do not feel bad about it. I cannot see how it is healthy for a man (cannot speak for women) to live without sex. I often yearn for Antigone, even now.

I do not know how to move on. Yet in a way, I am fortunate to have never married, as I have been promoted in the Army, my career has gone well, and would probably not have deployed to Iraq twice if I had not been single.

Thank you to any one who can give me any practical advice on how to get out of this bad place. I do not know what to do or whether to use a singles service to move on. Please do not respond if you have nothing to contribute except condemnation and ignorance. I know enough sinless perfect Catholics.




Don’t worry about whether you “feel guilty” if you’re truly repentant. “Feeling guilty” is pretty subjective. Sometimes you “feel guilty” even when you haven’t done anything wrong, and in the same way, sometimes you know you’ve done something wrong even if you don’t “feel guilty.” What’s important is that you repented.

Sorry that you are still dealing with your feelings about this woman. Make sure you aren’t falling into the world’s false notion of a “soulmate.” There is NO SUCH THING as “one magic person” who alone can fulfill you. If that is how you’re thinking, then meeting another woman won’t help — it’d be like putting a bandaid on a broken arm. You need to address whatever is going in inside you that makes you feel you need Antigone to be complete.


I think you should take time away from the dating life right now. It’s not fair to you or any women that you date to still be stuck on this first love. Trust in God. He will help you over come anything. I know trusting is the hardest thing to do. God has a special plan for your life Fred. Pray and try to seek God first in your life.

God Bless You!


The most wonderful thing that you did was go to confession. And understandable, we’re human, that’s why we feel all of this.

First off, try not to be anxious. Yeah, easy for me to say, I just got married recently. Sorry 'bout that. But what I’m trying to say is to not be anxious; do the everyday things you do and not even worry about finding a partner. Wait upon the Lord, a spiritual director said, and just do what you can. Seek God in all you do… put him as the ultimate first and everything second and everything else will seem to fall in place.

I know it’s easier said than done… but I have faith in you since you’re a soldier, a **real **soldier… and I’m just a soldier wannabe. :thumbsup: :smiley:


However, while I have sincerely confessed and have not repeated it, I do not feel bad about it. I cannot see how it is healthy for a man (cannot speak for women) to live without sex.

You may want to study what the saints have to say on the virtue of chastity. What it does for you and why it is a virtue.

God bless and peace


You illustrate perfectly the unitive power God designed sex to be.

A chemical reaction actually takes place during sex that is designed to bond the couple. It also clouds our judgement and helps us forget things. It is ideal to keep a marriage together but horrible when misused.



I do believe that you are a wonderful guy and there are not a lot of them out there. The fact that you have not indulged in sex after that speaks volumes for your commitment. Believe me, thats the whole point of confession.

Look into what attracts you to girls like your previous girlfriend. They obviously are not healthy for you and you know that, yet for whatever reason, you want to be with one.

I dont know whether you have a lot of friends but you do really need to connect with men right now, one of solid faith. You still have not stabilised from this relationship and that will happen only when you connect with friends of the same sex. Somehow, I feel that you are going through a lot of symptoms that a person going through a divorce might feel as you were physically and emotionally intimate with this person.

I would say place your priorities first. Go to a therapist and get your feelings sorted out.


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