My oldest daughter, who is now 17, almost 18, told me today that she wasn’t a virgin. She was involved with a boy who goes to a Catholic school nearby and they went ahead with it… I can’t even say it. I am so upset!
She has always been a good girl, never given us any problems at all. Now she’s confiding in me and she is emotionally wrecked. The ex-boyfriend has been horribly mean to her and broke up with her over text messaging.
I don’t know how to handle this. I need a lot of prayer with this and please please any advice?
I think it is amazing that she has come to you. Even though what she did was wrong, it seems like she has learned a hard but good lesson. It is said that this has happened but it isn’t to late for her to lead a chaste life.
This would be a really good opportunity to link premarital sex to this hurt when two “adults” aren’t married.
There must be a good book to help with this discussion.
No doubt you are angry and hurt, who wouldn’t be. Pray with her. Go to adoration if you can. My mother went every day for an hour each day for me, for years and I got my act together.
I am sincerely praying for you. Don’t lose hope and don’t turn her away because of your anger. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
I wish I had some wise advice but all I can do now is pray for your family.
Hi Steph, I’m so sorry, I hope your daughter doesn’t suffer too terribly from all this. I don’t have any experience raising teenagers, but I thought you may benefit from the Pure Love Club.
There’s a section under Questions and Answers about Starting Over
I recommend you read the articles yourself first, and then pass them on to your daughter. Then you can tell her that you have read them too, and if she wants to talk about anything she reads, you’re there for her. Check out the store section too, there are books you can buy for her, and a chastity ring.
First of all, say a huge prayer of thanksgiving that she came to you in confidence about this matter! That is defiantely a positive thing, that she trusts you enough to come to you.
It breaks my heart to think about this kind of situation…I can only imagine how you must feel. I would say pointing her to the Pure Love Club site is a good start, and I would HIGHLY reccomend Jason Everet’s book “If You Really Loved Me.” It can probably be orderd from Catholic Answers, but I’m sure you could find it on Amazon, etc.
As mentioned above, now is a good time to discuss gently with your daughter the way that sex binds two people together emotionally and physically, and when those bonds are not backed up by the sacrament of marriage, they are empty and painful because they cheapen true love. She is learning this the hard way. Encourage her that all is not lost, that she can reclaim her purity and move past this. I’ve known girls who will think “Well, it’s over now. I’ve lost my virginity, so now I’ve got nothing else to lose” and they will launch themselves on an undesirable lifestyle. But then I have known girls who, through the right encouragement and fortitude, have overcome mistakes and turned their lives around and realized the joy of living purely.
Also, another fantastic book that I highly, highly reccomend, is called “Christian Courtship in an Over-Sexed World”…I believe the subtitle is something like “a guide for Catholics.” It is written by a priest…T.J Morrow I think. It’s VERY good, and also discusses ways to create dating relationships that are more conducive to a pure life, and the importance of guarding one’s heart as well as their physical purity. Many prayers for your daughter!
I’m sorry, I wanted to add one more thing…the previous poster mentioned a chastity ring and I second that.
My parents gave each of us (myself, brother, and sister) chastity rings for our 16th birthdays…the one for my sister and I was a small white gold band with…11 or 12 small diamonds in it. Anyways, when she gave it to us, my mom wrote us a note saying the ring was a visible sign of the promise between us and God that we would save ourselves for marriage, and when we got married we could give the ring to our spouse as their wedding band, and it would be a symbol that we had waited for that person, and would only be with that person for the rest of our lives.
I’m 22 and just got married in May. My husband’s wedding band has the diamonds from my promise ring embedded on the inside (so they are only visible if he takes off the ring) and it was VERY VERY awesome to be able to put his wedding band in the original box with the note from my mother from 6 years before, and give it to him that way.
Even though she has lost her virginity, she can still do this, and make a promise that from now on, she will wait for her future spouse. Throughout high school and college my promise ring was a visible reminder to myself to stay on track, and knowing that I would be giving it to someone one day made it more concrete.
Thank you for your prayers. I guess I’m not exactly angry with her… I do understand temptation. I’ve been there myself. I am more surprised, disappointed that I haven’t been a good enough mother to keep her from doing this. I wish so much that this could have been prevented. I see her clinging to the emotional tie with this boy like I did with her Father, my first husband. I don’t want her to go through all the pain and turmoil that being sexually active outside of marriage brings.
I sent her the Pure Love Club site. She was raised more in the A/G church than in the Catholic church. We have both converted, but I think she still thinks of herself as simply Christian and not Catholic. I love her so much. I don’t want her to end up with the years of regret that I have. I pray that she turns away quickly from this sin and receives forgiveness and accepts the Grace she needs to endure this all.
I know you love her, but there is no way to be such a perfect parent that your kids won’t choose to sin. Isn’t our Heavenly Father perfect? Do we love our children a fraction as much as He loves us? Yet we choose to sin. God decided that free will was worth the chance that we would stray. It is like that with us as parents. Letting our kids become adults is worth the chance that they won’t always make the decisions we wish they would.
She’s a prodigal who is back, that is the main thing. Nobody ever said that the new clothes and the fatted calf were the end of what the prodigal son went through to let himself be “at home.” Obviously, he was going to have his brother to deal with, if nothing else! She might reflect on that story and realize that Jesus knew that this kind of thing happens…that and the story of the lost coin, the story of the lost sheep. She came to you, and in doing that turned from that life she had chosen. She now has access to God’s mercy in a way that few who have not fallen have the humilty to accept. That is why those 99 don’t cause so much joy, because they so rarely embrace the truth of their dependence on grace. She is willing to accept that humility, or she wouldn’t have come to you.
There is great, great rejoicing in heaven over her now! Remember the part in the Easter Vigil, “Oh, happy fault! Oh necessary sin of Adam, that won for us such a Savior!” A sin that is turned from is a victory for God!
Do not be afraid to make this a time when you and she rejoice together that you have each other to fall back on and that God has delivered her back to Himself safely.
You and she might try reading “Reviving Ophelia” by Mary Pipher together, too. There might be something in there that would help her and you both.
I’d encourage her to go out and get into the active life that is not sexually active: volunteering, particularly among other grown women, possibly helping at a shelter for women whose poor choices turned out worse than either hers pr yours did, for instance. She now has a source of compassion that maybe she didn’t have before. They may be the source of a message that she couldn’t identify with before. Just a thought.
I agree with many of the other posters here–it’s a very good sign that your daughter came to you with this. I’m sure she knows that you are disappointed in her choices, but it’s important she knows that she can turn to you for support during this hard time.
You’ve told us here that you were disappointed to learn that she had been sexually active because you don’t want her to experience the same pain/turmoil you did… Does she know this? Have you told her about your own experiences? I’d suggest talking to her about what you’ve been through, talking to her as her wiser mother, but almost more importantly as a woman who has been through the same emotional experience. That might speak to her more than anything else you could try to say, not to mention strengthen your relationship.
Another thing–the books people have suggested are all well and good, but frankly, as a young adult I often find them trite, or lacking depth. I firmly believe that the theology of the body, articulated in its fullness, is what speaks to the hearts and minds of young people today, and truly can cause them to try to live virtuously. I’d definitely recommend getting your daughter The Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West. The theology of marriage is so powerful, and really understanding it is what has strengthened my own commitment to chastity in my relationship with my boyfriend.
Also, if she hasn’t seen a doctor and is sexually active, she should go for a physical soon. It’s important for her not only to get screened for STDs, but to talk to her doctor, in private, about whatever issues she might be having, including those regarding emotional health.
Continue to pray for her–that’s your best bet for the conversion of her heart! Good luck, you’re in my prayers!
This is an excellent point. Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla is a very good, extermely indepth choice as well. Pope John Paul II was a poetic writer and philosopher. This book speaks to the heart and mind.
I echo all of the previous posters who said how wonderful it is that she felt comfortable enough to come to you. I would also suggest getting her to confession. Perhaps you should also advise her that should she plan on getting married in the future, to start loving her spouse now and to avoid this kind of behavior. I would also mention that break-ups are always easier (still hard, but definitly easier) when you haven’t given a part of yourself away in the process. Good luck with this!
It may be a good thing that the child eventually confided in you. It should, however, be remembered that the only reason that she chose to do this is because things went south quickly for her and her boyfriend. Sending her to something like the Pure Love Club is admirable, but only part of the solution to the problem. As your daughter has already demonsrated that she is capable of putting up the facade of a “good girl” when she is anything but, any future free time or relationships are going to have to be closely monitored. Make clear to her that she is turning 18 soon and that if she wishes to continue to rely on your financial support, she will have to conduct herself appropriately.
I haven’t experienced this myself, but being very close to some people who made the same mistake as your daughter I offer the following four things based on what they have told me:
Lots of hugs and long talks. Tell her you are glad she came to you with this. Let her tell you what she thinks she has learned from this.
Let her know she can start over. Previous posters have already given several good suggestions. See if she is interested in confession as a part of this. Go to confession the same day, if it will help her to go. Don’t force it though.
She needs to get tested for STD’s. See if you can find a good, approachable OB/GYN or family practitionerwho isn’t just going to give her birth control for “next time”.
Remember that even the best moms can’t always prevent this. But the best moms are the ones whose children will confide in them when they are in trouble–especially if such confessions could get the child in trouble!
originally posted by queen_anne78
Even though she has lost her virginity, she can still do this, and make a promise that from now on, she will wait for her future spouse.
This is so very true!
My grand daughter lost hers on her 18th birthday to a boy who also dumped her a few days later. (I was sooooo angry!)
My dearest granD, focused on her studies afterwards, met another boy a few months later. He was a faithful, practicing Catholic who took her to Mass with him and his family. Jen had been raised with no religion but fell in love with The Catholic Faith.
Long story short;
They began to date, went to seperate colleges, Jem was Baptized and Confirmed a Catholic and here 6 years later, she and this wonderful guy were married in the most beautiful Catholic ceremony!
That she confides in you is the first step!
I think you must be a wonderful mother tundramom!
I’m sure you will be able to guide your daughter through this rough time. I recommend going to www.hh76.com and getting some of their literature. Also, help her understand why contraception is wrong, and sex & marriage are made for having a family, www.omsoul.com
I read this particularly poignant article today and thought I’d link to it, your daughter may find it really resonates for her:
Thank you all so much for your support and suggestions. I am glad that she is willing to talk to me. I want so much to be there for her.
I’m also asking for prayer while I tell my husband. My daughter doesn’t want to tell him, but I told her that it needed to be done. We are planning on sending the little ones out with a friend for a couple of hours tomorrow night and then we’ll have a family talk just the three of us. My husband doesn’t have a horrible temper, but I know he will be angry at this boy.
I went to Adoration tonight for an hour and just laid down in front of the Monstrance and cried my eyes out. Another wonderful woman who I don’t really know, but I know she goes to Adoration quite a bit prayed for me and with me and we said the Rosary together.
I wanted to date before I was 16, but in a way it was a relief not to have to. I wasn’t ready, but I didn’t have to say “no.” My parents did.
I think the eagle eye and chaperoning are under-rated. I hear the “where there is a will, there is a way” argument too much. A young person who wants to say “no” but feels timid about putting her (or his!) foot down may be quite relieved to have his/her parents providing a good excuse for taking care.
This daughter may welcome a little more structure in her life…a little “as long as you’re under my roof.” I don’t mean to be draconian or heavy-handed in presenting it. It is just explaining your point of view. It is also a good time to discuss what you will be willing to do and what you’re going to expect of her, should she come to you pregnant some day. This is something to talk to DH with about, first, of course.
tundramom, you have my prayers. I hope things go well with your husband when you and your daughter talk to him. All the advice has been so good here, and I really have nothing more to add. I do have a question re: the above though. You sound like a good mom. Your daughter sounds like a good kid. How and where was she able to be alone with her boyfriend so much? I ask this question with all due respect. I have young teens and often wonder how I can keep such a thing from happening??? Everyone tells me that once my kids start driving, I simply won’t know what they are doing anymore. It scares me. I hope you don’t mind my asking this question. I would like to learn from your experience, as I believe others might. Again, you and your family are in my prayers.
She was alone with him when she went with his family to their campground. I talked with the Mom and Dad of the boy and they said that they wouldn’t be left alone. I should have known better. She spent the day with them at their campground and was home by 5pm (exactly what I had told her to do)… apparently the boy’s parents did leave them alone long enough for this to happen. Part of the new rules with any other boys she wants to be interested in is that she if she is going anywhere with them I need to be there. I have given her the “excuse” of using me as an overbearing parent to explain away her reluctance to be alone with anyone.
Parents— I thought I was being overprotective. I gave her little freedoms. We cannot be diligent enough…
You cannot keep your kids from sinning.
You cannot guarantee they’ll never leave the Church.
You cannot guarantee they’ll marry wisely.
I don’t say this to be negative. I say this to remind ourselves that as parents all we ever do is to give our kids all the love, guidance, structure, and support they’ll need to make the best decisions of which they are capable. If they have no room for any mistakes, they have no room to develop any virtue of their own. They’re going to need fewer boundaries than maybe we’d like and probably more than they’d like. You don’t get to set them in retrospect.
In the end, then, the decisions are theirs. That’s why they will never take any of us into the confessional with them, even at age seven.
Do your best, parents, but remember that God put you in a position of powerlessness akin to that He chose for Himself. There is no position which is more loving and wise.
Do your best to be faithful, but do not beat yourself up if it is not enough to protect your children even from serious sin…and thank God that you did at least something right, if they come to you when things go wrong.