Premarital Sex & Chastity Question... Help?


#1

Hello!

I’m new to the community but I’ve been lurking for a bit, it seems. Lately, I’ve been reading this post and I’m currently up to page 7…

Anyway, I seem to have encountered a moral dilemma. I gave up my virginity at age 18 to a man (boy?) I intended to marry. I’d always rationalized it as “We love each other, we’re going to get married, God will forgive us if we make it right in the end”. Well… 5 years later, I’m no longer engaged to this man, but now I’m with a new boyfriend. I didn’t think much about this issue and rushed into having premarital sex with this man as well. Now, I’m sitting here, returning to the Church, and trying to figure out what to do.

I realize that I was not right in my rationalization of premarital sex. If I could rationalize it was OK because we were going to get married, why couldn’t I just wait? And if I could end one engagement, who says that this new boyfriend is the one I will end up marrying?

As a result, I’m struggling with the idea of confessing my sin, repenting, and observing complete abstinence. I’ve been bringing it up with my boyfriend for the last month, asking him what if I wanted this, would he be OK with it, etc. His response has been, consistently, that he would try to live a chaste life, but that it would be hard. He says he loves me more than the sex and would be all right waiting until we got married. I’m not worried about him leaving me over this, or even our relationship going downhill. We’ve been friends for 9 years and apparently he’s been wanting to date me for 8 of those years, so I know we have a good chemistry going.

My question, though, is how can I give up premarital sex, repent, and return to a chaste life? In all honesty, I’m not baptized but I am in the process of being baptized and I truly want to join the Church in every official way. So… for now, I can’t confess my sins. In time between now and my baptism, is there a way I can repent on my own? Not entirely, of course… I realize that’s not possible, but at least partially?

And does anyone here have any advice on how to return to a chaste and pure life? How my boyfriend and I can help each other work past the difficult times where we really have to resist sin? And is there any advice I should convey to my boyfriend that would be especially helpful to him?

Thank you all for your time and help with this matter. I look forward to seeing your advice.

Sincerely,
Luci


Sex in relationships
#2

You make the **decision **and you STOP. It’s an act of your will.

You do not allow yourself to be in situations where you will ‘give in’. If that means you go only on double dates or in public places from here on out then that’s what you do. No being alone so that things ‘just happen.’

Visit chastity.com

Also, as to forgiveness, you simply pray a prayer and tell God you are sorry. You ask him for help to change. And, when you are baptized your sins will be washed away and you will be reborn in the Spirit.


#3

It is so difficult to live a chaste life, especially when you are really into someone and have been having sex with them already. The fact that he is supportive is really helpful. The best way to stay chaste is, like the above poster said, to avoid tempting situations. Go on group dates, no sleep overs (lying in the same bed will make it incredibly difficult to stay chaste), don’t lie in bed or on a couch together, etc. It will be hard, but you can do it! Pray if you find yourself thinking impure thoughts or things ‘heat up’ between you two. I am not going to undermine how tough it will be, but resolve is really important. Best of luck, we are praying for you! Congratulations on joining the church, confession with be very cathartic for you when you get to participate.


#4

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:231608"]
You make the **decision **and you STOP. It's an act of your will.

You do not allow yourself to be in situations where you will 'give in'. If that means you go only on double dates or in public places from here on out then that's what you do. No being alone so that things 'just happen.'

Visit chastity.com

Also, as to forgiveness, you simply pray a prayer and tell God you are sorry. You ask him for help to change. And, when you are baptized your sins will be washed away and you will be reborn in the Spirit.

[/quote]

Listen to 1ke. Everything we do is an act of the will. Please start now.


#5

I really appreciate the link, it seems like it will be very beneficial to peruse and study.

And I recognize that this is an act of will… I’m mostly struggling with “Well, I don’t want to cause any problems/issues for him and… well… is it really so bad?”… Which I know it is. And really, the only problems he says my abstinence will cause is that he’ll be a little more sensitive to my (sometimes) mean sense of humor… Which… really, I consider that to be an opportunity to improve myself as a person and potential spouse so…

All right, yes. I need to just be firm about this, I suppose. It’s one of my weakest points, to be honest… I can commit to things when it’s just me, but when it involves another person, I throw myself under the bus.

Obviously… I need to pray more. And commit. Because I am being given many opportunities for growth and strengthening in this single issue…

Thank you for your advice so far, I look forward to hearing any other gems of information anyone cares to provide me…

Thank you so far for your assistance in strengthening my resolve.


#6

NEVER be in a situation you can not get out of. For example, if your boyfriend comes over, make sure he doesn't have to wait 2 hours for his lift to pick him up. If he doesn't have a vehicle, make sure he has cab money. If things start to get heated pull away and say 'I think we need to cool off, and you will have to leave now.' It is NOT rude it is preserving your chasity. I would even go so far as to when he calls and you plan a date, always know when the date will end. For example, 'After the movie I can go for coffee for an hour and then I have to leave'. The worst thing you can do is 'play it by ear' because that is when you say things like 'well how about we go to my place' and with no set schecule, then you fall into sin.

If he comes over and the plan is to play monopoly and once he gets to your place he says 'I don't feel like playing monopoly anymore' You say 'OK, then we can play scrabble or you can leave. No changing the plans at the last minute'

Keep an organized schedule of your activites. And no matter how much he appears to 'be suffering' let him suffer.

And it may be possible you will have to learn to raise your voice

CM


#7

Always remember, dear sister, the genitalia are not connected to the sense of humour! But seriously, the others have given you top-notch advice. God bless you.


#8

My dear OP,
I can and do relate to your situation because I went through the same thing with my guy. To be honest I pictured it worse and much harder in my head. I remember being a bit anxious to tell my boyfriend we had to stop (this way many years ago) and truthfully, half of me was prepared to end it with him if necessary. Not because I did not want to be with him, but because living a chaste life mattered more. If this man could not respect that, then he was not the man for me. He did respect it. :)

It is honestly not difficult for me at all, it is more difficult for him so we avoid very late night dinners out, too much wine, movies that I wouldn't watch with my parents, etc. We actually work out together and that is a MAJOR stress reliever for him and we bond while doing that together.
God bless you for deciding to take this path. Stay strong! :clapping:


#9

OP, I have a couple thoughts - some of which you might find helpful (I hope).

My wife and I went through the same process. As I was going through RCIA just prior to our engagement, the night where sexuality was the RCIA topic hit us like a ton of bricks. We both realized that night we needed to stop and wait until our wedding night. Once we both firmly resolved that, it actually wasn’t that difficult. Since we both had the same resolve, we backed each other up. I remember some evenings where one of us wanted to give up on it the other stood up and laid down the law. Hopefully you are not living together, as that will complicate matters severely.

I found that reading Christopher West’s books explaining Theology of the Body helped me immensely in coming to an intellectual understanding of why it is a necessity.

There’s also some practical reasons that might help your thinking:

1 There’s a reason 50% of marriages end in divorce and something like 50% of spouses cheat and it has a lot to do with pre-marital sex. If you abstain until marriage, you are basically closing all those doors for your marriage. You are putting your marriage on an absolute rock foundation. My wife and I abstained for 2 years up until our wedding night (this was after 5 years of being sexually active) and we both now realize that has a lot to do with our rock solid marriage. It is wonderful to never, ever have to worry about your spouse cheating on you and we don't because of what we went through together.

2 Sex clouds our judgment. Many, many people (me included) have stayed in a bad relationship way too long because the sex hinders our ability to see things clearly and make an accurate appraisal of the suitability of our mate. By abstaining, you give yourself the ability to be 100% certain you are marrying the right person.

[quote="runwaymodel, post:8, topic:231608"]
I remember being a bit anxious to tell my boyfriend we had to stop (this way many years ago) and truthfully, half of me was prepared to end it with him if necessary. Not because I did not want to be with him, but because living a chaste life mattered more. If this man could not respect that, then he was not the man for me. He did respect it. :)

[/quote]

I agree here. If this ended your relationship, you could be assured that you will have saved yourself a lifetime of unhappiness with the wrong man. I have spoken to many female friends who came to me with boyfriend problems and not knowing if he was the right man. I always counsel them that stopping having sex with them will answer the question quite quickly.

Good luck! Know that this is the best possible thing you can do for your marriage (not to mention your eternal soul!).


#10

Growing up, and even late into my teens, I knew that the girl I'd marry would be a good Catholic girl who would stay chaste until our wedding night and only ever be with me. Then I met this friend of a friend who had just had a kid a couple months earlier. I've always been pretty open-minded, but at the same time I knew that bringing home "that" kind of girl would get me banned from the family. Because of that and my own morals & beliefs, I knew there was no way I'd never wind up with anyone like that. The second I saw her, though, I knew she was the one.

It took a while to ask her out, and when I finally did all my friends cheered me on because they knew I was going to "get some." When I picked her up that night, though, all I could think of was the way I felt that first night I saw her. I found out fairly quickly that, despite her past, she had no intention of falling into that same trap with me. She knew how I felt about her and because of how others had treated her she was afraid that if we had premarital sex I'd treat her the same way. This actually came as a big relief to me and we agreed to save ourselves until our wedding night.

There was a lot of temptation along the way but we kept reminding one another that if we truly loved one another, it was worth waiting. The fact that everyone "knew" we were sexually active and treated us as though we were didn't help things. We relied on our faith and love, though, and that got us by.

If you want advice on how to return to a chaste lifestyle, from my own point of view, it's no more difficult than realizing that there's a lot more to love than the physical aspect. From a spiritual point of view, the great thing about confession is that it gives you a fresh start. Until you're able to go through the sacrament, I'd say talk to a priest about it. As for advice for your boyfriend, I'd keep reminding him how important it is to the two of you and much more it will mean to share that side of your love just within the bond of marriage. I've talked to my numerous times over the years about how much it means to me that she's the only woman I'll ever be with. None of my male friends and very few of my female friends have the privilege of being able to say that about their spouses.


#11

The following prayer forgives mortal sins BUT is not meant to replace going to confession. One must still confess these sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. My confessor urged me to immediately pray the **Act Of Perfect Contrition ** in the event I committed mortal sin and to go to confession as soon as possible.

Since you are not yet prepared to go to confession, I urge you to pray thus:
(good advice given to me: When you pray, say what you mean, and mean what you say)

Act Of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God I’m heartily sorry for having offended Thee. And I detest all my sins, not so much because these sins bring suffering and Hell to me, but because they have crucified my loving Saviour Jesus Christ and offended Thy infinite goodness. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.


#12

Gordon Sims - Your story is beautiful, I am so glad it wasn’t a ‘ruined woman’ perspective. You and your wife are amazing, and I like hearing success stories like this :slight_smile: Absolutely inspiring.


#13

Stop immediately. You are worth more than this. Your boyfriend is worth more than this. Your future spouse is worth more than this.

You are not doing this for your boyfriend if you love him. You are hurting him, as well as yourself.

If you love him, if you love yourself you will stop.

I pray that you have the strength to become chaste. Don't rely on yourself, rely on Jesus Christ.

And do not relate to St.Augustine's recollection of his own struggle with Chastity: Lord make me chaste... but not yet [or something like that it's been some time since I read Confessions]


#14

Thank you all for your replies and personal stories.

I talked it over with my boyfriend tonight, told him I'd officially decided what to do. I've decided to abstain and reform myself in the Church's teachings. I admit, however, that after a month or so of warning that this had a very real possibility of happening, I probably didn't bring this up in the best way... I.e. via facebook... :nope: We talked for a bit after and I think it's ok... I'm not sure... I'll find out later today when I get out of class... In all honesty, I'm sure everything is OK, I'm just a very nervous and people-pleasing person and I hate to disappoint people.

I have to say, Wampa & Gordon Sims' stories really are what pushed me over the edge... I mean... you two just confirmed what I had been feeling but trying to talk myself out of. Giving up sex in the interest of a more pure and chaste relationship is worth it and necessary.

And thank you, Jedicri, for the prayer. I have to meet with my parish's priest soon to discuss my baptism and future confirmation, while I am there I will probably bring up what I can do to help atone further until I am able to actually attend confession.

[quote="NewsTheMan, post:13, topic:231608"]
Stop immediately. You are worth more than this. Your boyfriend is worth more than this. Your future spouse is worth more than this.

You are not doing this for your boyfriend if you love him. You are hurting him, as well as yourself.

If you love him, if you love yourself you will stop.

I pray that you have the strength to become chaste. Don't rely on yourself, rely on Jesus Christ.]

[/quote]

This only further affirms that this is the right decision for me, and hopefully for him. I truly appreciate and welcome your prayers, NewsTheMan.

I think what will help this, is that he's a confirmed Catholic and is also working his way back into the Church. When I found out that premarital sex was not only a mortal sin but that receiving the Eucharist while having a mortal sin on your soul only furthered the problem, I told my boyfriend. Because we've been going to Mass consistently for nearly two months and he's taken communion every time. When I told him, he seemed really bothered by this fact and asked me when confession will be offered at the parish.

He says we're both working towards making each other better people, more wholesome people. And I really believe he wants to do this, to work closer to God. One thing I worry about, however, is that our group of friends (though the majority are virgins) are very sexually-oriented in their relationship viewpoints and I know they (particularly one or two of them) will make this harder for him. Also, he has his upbringing against him. His uncle was the main male-influence in his life and has always told him that the more "notches" he can put in his belt, the better. That there is no reason to settle down and that he should avoid long-term relationships at all costs... My boyfriend doesn't support any of that, but he says that he does struggle with the idea that sex is only for marriage because of his uncle's advise.

I am sorry for the long reply :p

Again, I am so unbelievably thankful for you who have shared your personal stories, and for all advice that has been offered. I will try my hardest to be strong, and where I fail in the matter, I will ask my boyfriend and Jesus to keep me on the right path (in reverse order, of course).


#15

You're in for a rough road, but the REASON it is going to be so tough is the very reason why it is so important to stay the course.

Sex isn't just pleasurable, it's intensely bonding - by design! When you enter into premarital sex, you loose your ability to objectively judge the suitability of the partner for marriage. This is how so many women get stuck with horribly wrong men! The sexual union creates a bond far stronger than the relationship deserves by its own merits. Once the glorious newness of the sexual union fades, the fatal flaws suddenly re-appear. You've already discovered this once, please don't delude yourself that it was a one-time occurence!

So if you want the best chance for a solid marriage some day, cut it out right now. No rationalizing, no exceptions and know your weaknesses and avoid them (i.e. back rubs, etc). This will allow you to regain some independent perspective and have some hope of making a decision free of unwarranted and premature attachments.


#16

It sounds as though your boyfriend does plan on marrying you (you must post piccies of the wedding when it happens yay!) and you sound so much in love, so the only advice I can give is to say if you wait until your wedding night it'll be so much better and so worth the wait. I think you owe it to yourself to wait and to make it extra special seeing as how you've already been through all that turmoil with your ex boyfriends. As for repenting, I think it sounds as though you truely have repented already and the fact that you're asking questions and trying your best etc. proves this. ;)


#17

His uncle needs to shut up! But honestly, that viewpoint is so common, your boyfriend is going to have to learn to stand firm on his (and God's) principles no matter who is telling him differently. It won't be easy but it sounds as if your boyfriend was affected to learn that you both have been mortally sinning.

Just one person like your boyfriend's uncle can do so much damage. I have a family member who told our 16 year old son that sex is good for boys his age, and told him where to park so he and his girlfriend could have sex in her car! He also said that our values (Mom and Dad) are old-fashioned and out of date, and too strict. And bought our son condoms.

This is someone our son has a very close relationship with and whom he looks up to. The damage is immeasurable. Of course our son was destroyed when his girlfriend broke up with him. And the family member was not there to pick up the pieces.

I'm cheering for you both over here! You can do it, and you'll be so much better for it. Adding you to my prayers...Can't wait to hear how happy you are!

:thumbsup:


#18

Great decision, and your boyfriend is to be commended if he sticks with you on this.

Several points I want to make that may prove of value:

Having sex bonds you both in a positive way but I want to emphasize it ONLY works well within marriage. That is why having sex outside of marriage messes things up in a big way on multiple levels. The one I want to focus on here is that doing so loses you the ability to see yourselves, each other, and your relationhip with clarity - that is, as God sees you. The waters of your relationship become clouded by all the sediment stirred up by "waking love before its time," as the Canticle of Canticles (Song of Songs) tells us, and prevents you fro seeing clearly.

After suddenly embracing chastity during an active sexual relationship I then witnessed first hand over the next few months (we stayed together for another year - chastely) the sediment clouding my vision slowly dissipating until I could recognize we weren't the right fit (NOT that she wasn't worthy of me).

After you two embrace chastity the same experience will begin to manifest itself, and just as working out generates its own incentive to continue once you experience the benefits you'll find the many trade-offs from loving chastely will lift you beyond the temptation to chuck it all for a (not so) little sin. Of course, that success won't be automatic but viewing it as I've just described will give you an enormous advantage over mastering your more fleshly desires.

Another comment concerns the fact that prior to entering into chastity I had been attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion daily for about 6 months (that's another story). Even after that I still fell back into my old ways on two occasions over the next year. Both times I immediately sought out a priest for Confession so I could receive daily without interruption.

Understanding that using the Sacrament to accomodate my desires to get my ticket punched each time I sinned was even more sinful, I suddenly realized it had become far more important to me to be able to receive Him daily without interruption than it is to yield to any desies which would deny Him. I continue to see it this way five years later without having fallen again.

Each time I experience temptation now I turn it over to Him who is much stronger than me and who proved it by His persevernece through His agony on my behalf. Specifically, I do this by turning to His Mother. After all, she knows far more about chastity than I ever will, and so praying as many Hail Marys as needed continues to work for me every time without fail.

Finally, I agree with the commenter who recommended Theology of the Body to you two. Many Catholic parishes offer workshops and study groups on TOB. I can't be too enthusiastic about Pope John Paul II's re-presentation of Catholic teaching about sex. TOB resonates with those yearning to discover deeper reasons to be chaste beyond just following the rules (commandments). When you finally see with your heart why sex within marriage is a reflection of the Community of Persons in the Trinity, then you'll want to be part of the Father's plan for man and woman. The only way to begin to do so is to live chastely.

God bless you both. Stay strong in the Lord and His Grace will be yours always.


#19

you should first move out if you are living with him. try not to be alone with him. pray to god, and confess to him, read your bible, and beleive that god will deliver you from lust.

god bless.


#20

[quote="Phil_Steinacker, post:18, topic:231608"]
Great decision, and your boyfriend is to be commended if he sticks with you on this.

Several points I want to make that may prove of value:

Having sex bonds you both in a positive way but I want to emphasize it ONLY works well within marriage. That is why having sex outside of marriage messes things up in a big way on multiple levels. The one I want to focus on here is that doing so loses you the ability to see yourselves, each other, and your relationhip with clarity - that is, as God sees you. The waters of your relationship become clouded by all the sediment stirred up by "waking love before its time," as the Canticle of Canticles (Song of Songs) tells us, and prevents you fro seeing clearly.

After suddenly embracing chastity during an active sexual relationship I then witnessed first hand over the next few months (we stayed together for another year - chastely) the sediment clouding my vision slowly dissipating until I could recognize we weren't the right fit (NOT that she wasn't worthy of me).

After you two embrace chastity the same experience will begin to manifest itself, and just as working out generates its own incentive to continue once you experience the benefits you'll find the many trade-offs from loving chastely will lift you beyond the temptation to chuck it all for a (not so) little sin. Of course, that success won't be automatic but viewing it as I've just described will give you an enormous advantage over mastering your more fleshly desires.

Another comment concerns the fact that prior to entering into chastity I had been attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion daily for about 6 months (that's another story). Even after that I still fell back into my old ways on two occasions over the next year. Both times I immediately sought out a priest for Confession so I could receive daily without interruption.

Understanding that using the Sacrament to accomodate my desires to get my ticket punched each time I sinned was even more sinful, I suddenly realized it had become far more important to me to be able to receive Him daily without interruption than it is to yield to any desies which would deny Him. I continue to see it this way five years later without having fallen again.

Each time I experience temptation now I turn it over to Him who is much stronger than me and who proved it by His persevernece through His agony on my behalf. Specifically, I do this by turning to His Mother. After all, she knows far more about chastity than I ever will, and so praying as many Hail Marys as needed continues to work for me every time without fail.

Finally, I agree with the commenter who recommended Theology of the Body to you two. Many Catholic parishes offer workshops and study groups on TOB. I can't be too enthusiastic about Pope John Paul II's re-presentation of Catholic teaching about sex. TOB resonates with those yearning to discover deeper reasons to be chaste beyond just following the rules (commandments). When you finally see with your heart why sex within marriage is a reflection of the Community of Persons in the Trinity, then you'll want to be part of the Father's plan for man and woman. The only way to begin to do so is to live chastely.

God bless you both. Stay strong in the Lord and His Grace will be yours always.

[/quote]

Excellent post. Removing sexual intimacy from a relationship isn't easy but it does clear up the sediment...to get married based on that cloudy view can ruin your life.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.