Please help me- 21 and dating a man who was raised to be lustful


#1

I have been dating a young man for a little over a month right now. We are both 21 years old. On our 2nd date I laid down the ground rules - I told him that I was a devout Catholic, and that if he was to continue seeing me, we would date in a chaste way. He agreed, and treats me better than I have ever been treated by a man I was dating. I have told him EVERYTHING he would have to do should we get married (no contraception, no prenuptual agreements, children must be Catholic) and he’s accepted them. He is very sweet and VERY respectful.
He was raised in Brazil, and although is baptised, does not consider himself a devout Catholic.

From then on, I wanted to learn about his values asap in our dating. He mentioned that he has been very wild before, but 100% regrets it, that he was raised in a very wealthy home, and considers himself very materialistic, but is working on changing that. Whenever we’ve had discussions, he comes to realize that my mentality, Catholic theology, is correct. He has given up sex, clubs, even drinking. Although I was noticing some differences in values, it seemed to me they were similar enough that although he had an awful past, he was in the process of becoming a good Christian man, if not for the belief itself, at least in terms of a lifestyle change. Especially for a man at 21, this is exceptionally rare. I am called to forgive him for his past, and I have been trying to. I will admit however, that he believes his values can be altered, but he is skeptical that he will be able to completely view the world in the way that I do.

However, he recently told me something VERY troublesome…he has had sex with many people before, and even when he was having sex with a former girlfriend whom he loved, he has never seen it has more than physical gratification. With his girlfriend of 2 years, he felt NO emotional connection. He is convinced he is now “wired” this way, and that is all sex will ever be for him. When we delved into his past more, I found out UNBELIEVABLE things - when he was 14, his father (who claims to be Catholic and attends Mass), took him to a prostitute and encouraged it to become a common practice. Until about a year ago, he would have sex with random women on a regular basis, including prostitutes. As a woman who is dating him, this worries me in so many ways. If I were to marry this man and save myself for him, what if he can never see it as mere selfish, physical gratification? How can I respect his family and the way they raised him?

My immediate response was to end the relationship. Before I felt I was assisting him in changing his values, helping him live in Christ as much as possible, but this seems like too much of a heavy load for me, as I am only 21 and have my own personal struggles, including lust. However, it saddens me that such a good man, one who is respectful, thinks about morality and has a stronger sense of right and wrong than any Christian I have ever dated, and really really seems to be changing, should be deemed “hopeless” by me. It is very much due to his upbringing, and he is doing EXCEPTIONALLY well given his situation.

I do not believe he has converted enough to not fall back into sin, and I do believe, were it not for me, he would still be living a very sinful life by Catholic standards. I know he is trying to change, but I do not believe his intention was ever to change to such large a degree as I am envisioning. That being said, I think if we were to continue dating, a conversion would be entirely possible, and at the very least, he would live a much healthier life. I feel if I end this relationship now, I have not done all I can do… I care about him as much as he cares about me (a great deal!), and do not wish to leave him knowing he is would live a very sinful life without guidance. But what if he is not able to convert? What if sex is always lustful for him? What if he remains dependent on material possessions?

Please help me, I am so conflicted :frowning: I have sought advice from my peers, but I desperately need the assistance of my fellow devout Catholics :thumbsup:

Thank you very much!! :slight_smile:


#2

I see a lot of read flags. At 21 his personality and bad habits are quite well formed. When you seek a spouse you should seek someone that shares your principles and has a well defined character. I think that it is self destructing to seek a partner, that does not share your principles and character, with the explicit intention to change him to conform him to your expectations. I understand that you have feelings for him, but feelings are not sufficient as a basis for a healthy relationship. I think that it is time to move on and look for a solid man instead of trying to raise a child.


#3

Well, he has basically said to you that as of now he sees sex as purely something physical.

Will he be able to repent of that feeling and change that?

Or are you willing to go into a relationship where sex is something not considered ‘holy’ by half of the couple?

Another thing that bothers me a lot is the having gone to prostitutes frequently. That bothers me a great deal, and that his father thought it was a good idea.

If you get married this man will be your Father in law, and will still have influence on his son.
Do you want that?

I think investing more time in this relationship would not be prudent. He told you where he stands…I’m not sure he wants to change.


#4

Quite frankly, you’re dating a man who was raised to be a pervert. You are exposing yourself to some pretty dark sin.

Spirtually, physically and emotinally he needs to make sure he is ok.

He should have a detailed exam with a DR to make sure that “everythings ok” becuase he may have something wrong and not know it.

Emotinally, he should be dealing with this with a psycologist. Putting a 14yo…male or female in the position to have a sexual encounter is gross sexual abuse. Just like an abused woman who would seek out sexual encounters to make her feel more powerful, your bf has engaged in a whirlwind of relationships to sooth his inner demons. He needs help to figure this out and get himself on a good path. He is thinking in the right direction, but he needs to turn his modivation from doing it FOR you to understanding his own value and worth. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You truly must be a “whole” person to sucessfully have a relationship. You must not use eachother to fill needs, but learn to devolp a third “need” that is the “we”.

Spiritually, he should seek healing. I believe that abuse like this hurts a person’s very soul. Weither or not it’s in Catholocism this is vitally important.


#5

Hello Stina, that's a bit of a difficult situation!

Sounds like this man doesn't pray or receive the sacraments. If not, I don't see how this situation will change. Does he want to change or believe he can change without God's grace?

I would strongly suggest you pray for divine guidance!

God bless,
Noel.


#6

Thank you everyone SO MUCH for the responses thus far! :slight_smile: You are confirming my inital reaction to the situation, and I am now confident that I will have to end this.

My heart breaks for him though (not that I can’t be with him, but that he was raised in such an awful way). Although my relationship will end, I do feel the need to insist to everyone that he is a very good man. However I agree, a relationship with him would not benefit me.


#7

End the relationship. You shouldn't be involved romantically with this man. Be careful. If you care for him, be his friend. His intentions will be made clear soon enough if you do that, I guarantee it.

Do not start "treating" him as if he's a case and cannot do it without your help.
Do not let him guilt you into things.

It falls on deaf ears here all the time but in my humble opinion you need to end the relationship.


#8

[quote=Cristiano]I see a lot of read flags. At 21 his personality and bad habits are quite well formed.
[/quote]

I don’t agree that by 21 your habits and personality is formed.
OP, I was not exactly as wild as your boyfriend but before the age of 21 I was partying too much, drinking, was not very respectful, quite lustful, etc…But I literally woke up one day AT age 21 and decided to change. And I did. I was raised Catholic but never really practiced until then. I now no longer party or drink, I go to Church every week and Bible study, I am chaste, I don’t watch things I shouldn’t. All this is very hard to do with my career and in LA (everything is oversexed here) but I do it. Do I regret some of the things I did in the past? Absolutely. Some people I know STILL find it hard to believe that I have changed so much, and I don’t really blame them for thinking that way. But people do change. Some may not change until their 60’s! Better late than never, I say. :thumbsup:
I would give him a chance until he does something that proves otherwise. We all have past sins that we are ashamed of I’m sure and I respect his honesty for telling you everything up front. Although I have to admit that just going off what you posted, there does seem to be more than a few red flags…I’ll pray for you both.


#9

Your guidance is very appreciated, and I agree that this relationship should end. However, for discussion’s sake I ask - Would it be possible that he has never been able to see sex as more than physical because he has never had sex in an appropriate way? (i.e. within marriage) In fact, wouldn’t we argue as Catholics that premarital sex is itself, 100% lustful/physical?

Just a thought :slight_smile:


#10

I’m not sure…some people do have pre-marital sex because they feel in-love and they feel it an expression of love. They are not correct, obviously.

But he thinks it’s just physical, and spent 2 years with someone without feeling for her. That concerns me. I think it’s more common to confuse sex/love than to be able to separate them completely.

The fact that he can separate them completely is worrisome.


#11

Based on what you have written here, I would not end this relationship.

I would not mary this man at this time, but if he has honored your request for a chaste relationship so far, I would continue the relationship with him.

Does he go to Mass with you? If not, why not ask him to do so? Why not encourage him to enroll in RCIA or even enroll yourself as well and go with him to the classes?

Consider that, perhaps, God has placed you in this man’s life in order to help him change his ways.

People are not “wired” in such a way that they can not change. No one is hopeless. God’s grace is sufficient to allow anyone, no matter what their past, to be completely forgiven and to change their life.

Don’t give up now. Continue your chaste relationship, pray often, and see what God will do.

I’ll pray for you and him as well.


#12

Does his Dad frequent prostitutes? He encouraged this shameful behavior in his son, who now feels nothing from sex but physical pleasure.

Imagine celebrating family gatherings :eek:

Merry Christmas! Happy Easter! Baptisms!

If you stay with this guy, make sure he gets tested for various sexual diseases - particularly HPV that causes cervical cancer.


#13

[quote="stina, post:1, topic:237705"]
I have been dating a young man for a little over a month right now. We are both 21 years old. On our 2nd date I laid down the ground rules - I told him that I was a devout Catholic, and that if he was to continue seeing me, we would date in a chaste way. He agreed, and treats me better than I have ever been treated by a man I was dating. I have told him EVERYTHING he would have to do should we get married (no contraception, no prenuptual agreements, children must be Catholic) and he's accepted them. He is very sweet and VERY respectful.
He was raised in Brazil, and although is baptised, does not consider himself a devout Catholic.

From then on, I wanted to learn about his values asap in our dating. He mentioned that he has been very wild before, but 100% regrets it, that he was raised in a very wealthy home, and considers himself very materialistic, but is working on changing that. Whenever we've had discussions, he comes to realize that my mentality, Catholic theology, is correct. He has given up sex, clubs, even drinking. Although I was noticing some differences in values, it seemed to me they were similar enough that although he had an awful past, he was in the process of becoming a good Christian man, if not for the belief itself, at least in terms of a lifestyle change. Especially for a man at 21, this is exceptionally rare. I am called to forgive him for his past, and I have been trying to. I will admit however, that he believes his values can be altered, but he is skeptical that he will be able to completely view the world in the way that I do.

However, he recently told me something VERY troublesome...he has had sex with many people before, and even when he was having sex with a former girlfriend whom he loved, he has never seen it has more than physical gratification. With his girlfriend of 2 years, he felt NO emotional connection. He is convinced he is now "wired" this way, and that is all sex will ever be for him. When we delved into his past more, I found out UNBELIEVABLE things - when he was 14, his father (who claims to be Catholic and attends Mass), took him to a prostitute and encouraged it to become a common practice. Until about a year ago, he would have sex with random women on a regular basis, including prostitutes. As a woman who is dating him, this worries me in so many ways. If I were to marry this man and save myself for him, what if he can never see it as mere selfish, physical gratification? How can I respect his family and the way they raised him?

My immediate response was to end the relationship. Before I felt I was assisting him in changing his values, helping him live in Christ as much as possible, but this seems like too much of a heavy load for me, as I am only 21 and have my own personal struggles, including lust. However, it saddens me that such a good man, one who is respectful, thinks about morality and has a stronger sense of right and wrong than any Christian I have ever dated, and really really seems to be changing, should be deemed "hopeless" by me. It is very much due to his upbringing, and he is doing EXCEPTIONALLY well given his situation.

I do not believe he has converted enough to not fall back into sin, and I do believe, were it not for me, he would still be living a very sinful life by Catholic standards. I know he is trying to change, but I do not believe his intention was ever to change to such large a degree as I am envisioning. That being said, I think if we were to continue dating, a conversion would be entirely possible, and at the very least, he would live a much healthier life. I feel if I end this relationship now, I have not done all I can do... I care about him as much as he cares about me (a great deal!), and do not wish to leave him knowing he is would live a very sinful life without guidance. But what if he is not able to convert? What if sex is always lustful for him? What if he remains dependent on material possessions?

Please help me, I am so conflicted :( I have sought advice from my peers, but I desperately need the assistance of my fellow devout Catholics :thumbsup:

Thank you very much!! :)

[/quote]

A friend of mine noted that we women tend to be attracted to "bad boys" because we want to take the place of God in that we want to save them. This plays on our vanity and pride. I think that's why the Twilight books are so popular. The story is about a girl whose beauty and power motivates a vampire who almost goes insane with desire for her blood to deny himself to an advanced degree. What more can be said about the fantasies we women have.

Its important to acknowledge that our job is not to save men. Moreover, its not our job to control men. If they're only going to be motivated to live for Christ so long as we stay with them, than they're not truly motivated to live for Christ. In the end, it just holds you back.

Its not that we need to have perfect pasts. But you need to acknowledge that a lot of what you are saying is an argument about why you're settling for him. No man has treated you better, yet you give examples of him leading you perhaps down a bad path, tempting you and overall not treating women with the respect they ought to be treated with. This seems to show dispair. If you let go of him, you're thinking you won't possibly find someone better. You'd rather settle than be alone. Then there's the sense of purpose you get from micromanaging his faith journey to God.

I'd advise to break up with the guy. Granted I'm only going off of what you wrote here. In the end it is your decision.


#14

A good friend of mine–a man (in his late 40’s now) who came from an unbelievably wealthy family experienced something similar. As a teen and into his early 20’s his family would hire call girls to try to make him “have a little fun”. They would tempt him by giving him more money, cars, houses and girls. This man later became a monk. True story.


#15

[quote="stina, post:1, topic:237705"]
I have been dating a young man for a little over a month right now. We are both 21 years old. On our 2nd date I laid down the ground rules - I told him that I was a devout Catholic, and that if he was to continue seeing me, we would date in a chaste way. He agreed, and treats me better than I have ever been treated by a man I was dating. I have told him EVERYTHING he would have to do should we get married (no contraception, no prenuptual agreements, children must be Catholic) and he's accepted them. He is very sweet and VERY respectful.
He was raised in Brazil, and although is baptised, does not consider himself a devout Catholic.

From then on, I wanted to learn about his values asap in our dating. He mentioned that he has been very wild before, but 100% regrets it, that he was raised in a very wealthy home, and considers himself very materialistic, but is working on changing that. Whenever we've had discussions, he comes to realize that my mentality, Catholic theology, is correct. He has given up sex, clubs, even drinking. Although I was noticing some differences in values, it seemed to me they were similar enough that although he had an awful past, he was in the process of becoming a good Christian man, if not for the belief itself, at least in terms of a lifestyle change. Especially for a man at 21, this is exceptionally rare. I am called to forgive him for his past, and I have been trying to. I will admit however, that he believes his values can be altered, but he is skeptical that he will be able to completely view the world in the way that I do.

However, he recently told me something VERY troublesome...he has had sex with many people before, and even when he was having sex with a former girlfriend whom he loved, he has never seen it has more than physical gratification. With his girlfriend of 2 years, he felt NO emotional connection. He is convinced he is now "wired" this way, and that is all sex will ever be for him. When we delved into his past more, I found out UNBELIEVABLE things - when he was 14, his father (who claims to be Catholic and attends Mass), took him to a prostitute and encouraged it to become a common practice. Until about a year ago, he would have sex with random women on a regular basis, including prostitutes. As a woman who is dating him, this worries me in so many ways. If I were to marry this man and save myself for him, what if he can never see it as mere selfish, physical gratification? How can I respect his family and the way they raised him?

My immediate response was to end the relationship. Before I felt I was assisting him in changing his values, helping him live in Christ as much as possible, but this seems like too much of a heavy load for me, as I am only 21 and have my own personal struggles, including lust. However, it saddens me that such a good man, one who is respectful, thinks about morality and has a stronger sense of right and wrong than any Christian I have ever dated, and really really seems to be changing, should be deemed "hopeless" by me. It is very much due to his upbringing, and he is doing EXCEPTIONALLY well given his situation.

I do not believe he has converted enough to not fall back into sin, and I do believe, were it not for me, he would still be living a very sinful life by Catholic standards. I know he is trying to change, but I do not believe his intention was ever to change to such large a degree as I am envisioning. That being said, I think if we were to continue dating, a conversion would be entirely possible, and at the very least, he would live a much healthier life. I feel if I end this relationship now, I have not done all I can do... I care about him as much as he cares about me (a great deal!), and do not wish to leave him knowing he is would live a very sinful life without guidance. But what if he is not able to convert? What if sex is always lustful for him? What if he remains dependent on material possessions?

Please help me, I am so conflicted :( I have sought advice from my peers, but I desperately need the assistance of my fellow devout Catholics :thumbsup:

Thank you very much!! :)

[/quote]

Stina,

As my wife says, "Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit!"  

Life is too short for you to worry about trying to straighten out this poor soul.  Pray for him, by all means, but don't date him.  Throw him back into the sea. Look for someone who is already a faithful Catholic.  THEN, you have something to work with!

 Dating should be nothing more than looking for a spouse.  And you should have "must have" requirements, without which you disqualify a young man.  And you should have "show stoppers," by which you would disqualify a young man.  He must have ALL the requirements and NONE of the show stoppers.  This young man has several "show stoppers" that make him a really bad candidate for marriage.  You would probably have a very miserable life if you married him.  And I'm speaking from experience.  I'm a grandpa, many times over.  :)

God bless!

Scooby


#16

It sounds like you may have been treating him as a project…maybe saving him from his sinful past? What would YOU benefit from that, assuming your makeover job worked? A man who is very damaged sexually, which damages his ability to be truly intimate with you. He is not and never will be where you are in terms of honoring his God-given gift of a sexually close relationship with ONE woman. Yes, he can heal, but not through you. You would be opening yourself up to a lifetime of pain. And even with the direct intervention of God and the Holy Spirit, he could not return himself to the pure young man he was before his father ruined him. The best he could do would be to try and understand his own sexuality in a different way than he ever has, and knowing that the culture he comes from is very free with sexuality, and men are not encouraged to stay chaste until marriage (as you can see).

The relationship is too one-sided as it stands, and I suspect that he is doing all this so that he can conquer you…Maybe he really wants to love and be loved, but any huge change like that must come from the person himself, not because someone tells him to. It won’t “take” if that is the reason, because if he were to slip, and have sex with another woman or get a prostitute, he could always blame you, “Oh, her conditions are ridiculous, she’s crazy, I’m normal, I’m just a man, I can’t help it, etc.”

Please do not entwine your life with this man! You deserve better than this! Choose someone who will only know you as his first intimate relationship.


#17

Just because you changed that does not mean that by the age 21 personality and habits are not quite well formed. If that were true most of the people of that age would not be able to act independently. There are always exceptions, but here I am looking at the norm as a reference. Just look at the different theories in developmental psychology and tell me how many say that normally at the age 21 an individual is close to being a clean slate.


#18

[quote="stina, post:1, topic:237705"]
I do not believe he has converted enough to not fall back into sin, and I do believe, were it not for me, he would still be living a very sinful life by Catholic standards.

[/quote]

I don't care if his past included sexual promiscuity, drug/alcohol abuse, or some other vice. You're not dating a man, you've created a project for yourself. If you want to remain in this relationship you're going to have to move away from this "I need to save him from himself" thinking unless you want to be a martyr.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to sling his hook and find a man who has far less baggage than this guy; however, if you do decide to stay in this relationship, please insist that he get a full STI panel done ASAP. You don't want to wait until you've been married for three months to discover that he's got HPV or a chlamydia infection. Or worse.


#19

What you need to do is do not get married just live together to see if it works. Make sure you practice safe sex to insure you do not get pregnant. The “date in a chaste way” is a good way to find out something unexpected and end up in a divorce. You said "What if he remains dependent on material possessions?"marriage is nothing but making a person a possession.

A recent study by the Barna Research Group throws extreme doubt on these estimates. Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found::shrug:

11% of the adult population is currently divorced.:mad:

25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.:frowning:

Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.:blush:


#20

[quote="Juda3, post:19, topic:237705"]
What you need to do is do not get married just live together to see if it works. Make sure you practice safe sex to insure you do not get pregnant. The "date in a chaste way" is a good way to find out something unexpected and end up in a divorce. You said "What if he remains dependent on material possessions?"marriage is nothing but making a person a possession.

A recent study by the Barna Research Group throws extreme doubt on these estimates. Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found::shrug:

11% of the adult population is currently divorced.:mad:

25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.:(

Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.:blush:

[/quote]

I think that you did not get at all the point of the O.P.

All your suggestions go against what she believes in and against what she is trying to setup for her life.

BTW your idea of marriage sounds quite weird when you state "marriage is nothing but making a person a possession".


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