Purity during engagement


#1

Hey guys,

I’m a regular here but my other username is my full name (stupid) and I’m too embarrassed to post this under it. I’ve posted here once before about a similar issue.

This will probably be a little incoherent, but basically, I’m getting married in 5 months, and my fiance and I are having a terribly difficult time staying chaste. We are both Catholic, go to Mass and Confession weekly, and have been getting counsel from our priest regularly.

The first year of our relationship we had no problems in this area… but after a year we started going “too far” and it’s been a struggle ever since. There have been a lot of ups and downs… we’d be good for a while and then we’d mess up and fall into the habit again. We don’t take it lightly and we’ve been trying SO hard to stop and set boundaries, but I feel like we’ve gone so far so many times that it’s really hard to see the lines clearly now.

We wanted to wait until marriage for sex so badly… and we lost our virginity to each other a couple of months ago… we stopped immediately… it happened again last month, and then last night. I can’t believe it’s gotten to this point and we’re both so discouraged and disappointed.

We both know how wrong it is, but staying completely chaste and pure at his point feels so impossible right now. I love him so much and we have a great friendship and I’m excited to be his wife soon. I feel like this is tainting everything and I’m so frustrated.

I don’t really know what I’m asking other than… has anyone had a similar struggle? Do you have any suggestions for us? We’ve prayed (we could pray more, we will…) and we go to confession every time something like this happens, and seek counsel. Are there any certain prayers or saints, etc… that would be helpful? Any help at all…

Thanks. God bless.


#2

I'm not engaged, but I have been in relationships that have gone beyond my comfort zone. My advice to you is to read up on why everything you're doing is wrong and really memorize it. When we're tempted we start to justify our actions in our minds. I do that a lot unfortunately :( But if you know why everything is wrong in the first place, and you know it like the back of your hand, it's easier to fight temptations with logic. That's how my mind works anyway :p

I also suggest getting a Miraculous Medal for the both of you (and get it blessed). Pray the Rosary as much as you can, be it with him or when you're on your own. Also, I suggest printing up a small copy of the St. Michael prayer you can carry with you (or memorize it). When temptations come up, start saying it, no matter how much your mind is telling you that what you're doing is ok.

Go on dates where people are around- movies, dinner, walks in the park, etc. Avoiding alone time would do you two good it seems like (I apologize if that sounded insulting. I don't mean it that way!)

Lastly, surround yourself with holy images, like prayer cards. Even if you don't have prayer cards, you can certainly print stuff off the Internet. Put the images next to your bed, in your car, and on your computer. If you have a phone or ipod that you can change the background on, change it to a holy image (I used to change my background to St. Michael if I was feeling really tempted).

I heard a quote once: "It's not about how many times you fall down. It's about how many times you get back up". You two know what to do. Now get out there and do it :thumbsup:

PS- Check out the chastity link at the top of the page and read the Q&A section. Good stuff!! :D


#3

[quote="avemaria58, post:1, topic:240879"]
Hey ? Any help at all...

Thanks. God bless.

[/quote]

either get married, or stay out of the situation. you know very well the situation I am talking about. Just get married.


#4

My wife and I had some similar struggles during our engagement. The only thing that worked for us was limiting physical contact. We did not allow extended hugs or "intimate" kisssing. It was tremendously hard. We also prayed to St. Augustine. As a young man, he also struggled with chastity. We also found it much easier to avoid sinning when there were other people around.


#5

Life is short, you've already married him in your heart, lose the guilt and enjoy it!


#6

I like what Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers says he does. He is married and there are times when he is feeling "frisky" but his wife is not. He keeps a copy of St. Thomas Aquinas' book Summa Theologica on his night stand. Whenever he gets sexually frustrated, he reads something from that book. He says there is nothing, NOTHING, that will kill the sexual urge like the Summa! :rotfl:


#7

The suggestion by a previous poster to surround yourself with holy images is a really good one. I find that wearing a cross as my necklace makes both me and my fiance feel too guilty to go further than we should. :o

We have been together for several years, and to be honest it wasn’t terribly hard to stay chaste up until we were engaged. I guess I felt like because we were committed to each other in a different way, it’s been a little harder for me. We haven’t given in, and I don’t think we will, but we’ve definitely had to become a bit more vigilant and careful.

Keep yourselves busy and around other people as much as possible. Keep thinking about how much better it will be when you can give yourselves to each other freely and without feeling badly about it later. Also…consider that you could become pregnant before your wedding… :eek:

You can do this!


#8

STOP BEING ALONE TOGETHER!!!!! There is no opportunity to have sex if you are in the company of others. You are putting yourself into situations where you could not only BE tempted, but easily GIVE IN TO temptation. No more alone times period.


#9

It is very important to keep fighting this. As at least one other poster said avoid situation where this might be a problem. Sleeping under the same roof would be an obvious problem.

One of the reasons this is so important that you establish chastity during marriage is that it shows a true commitment to each other and a caring for each others souls. It shows an authentic commitment and understanding of true holy sexuality that is only available in marriage. If you do not re-establish chastity you are at risk for sexual sins after marriage, such as porn use, affairs, contraception etc. So many people say how did this happen, I didn't see it coming... yet they engaged in premarital sex and/or contraception and have already distorted their understanding of marital sex, they have devalued it to pleasure alone. You guys are already cheating on your future married selves. What is going to stop one of you from cheating when times get tough later on in the marriage?

I don't mean to sound harsh, but you are looking for extra motivation, I think understanding the long term consequences will help.

The great news is by doing the right thing now, starting anew, you can pretty much repair the situation. A purity re-boot is highly valuable, it is a new start. Many people make tohe mistake of despairing and considering themselves "tainted"... so why try... this is incorrect, defeating thinking.

Best wishes for you and your future husband.


#10

You both need to read scripture, talk together about it with your priest, and pray together. I was in your situation too before marriage, and it was tough. If I had it to do all over again, I would definitely want to be with someone like you have found that both shares my views and wants to save that for AFTER marriage.

You are both lucky to find each other in this world. Once your realize that, you will stop taking advantage of each other. You need to learn to respect each other and yourselves enough to wait five more months. It will be worth the wait, as you will not be living in sin until the day of your marriage.


#11

You are definitely NOT the only person who has gone through this. I would say one thing that would help is, like others have suggested, try not to put yourselves in that position. Try to plan outings and group dates. Of course, I am sure there are times that you just want to hang out with him by yourself. Just remember, you only have five months to go! Believe me, the next few months will go by really fast! Keep yourself busy with wedding planning. And don't make it a negative that you have to wait. You GET to wait until your wedding night.

Oh, and congratulations on your engagement! :) How excited.


#12

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:8, topic:240879"]
STOP BEING ALONE TOGETHER!!!!!

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#13

It might help to set a curfew for yourselves, too. The later it gets, the more difficult it can become to overcome temptation.


#14

I don’t know if you are using contraception - BUT DON’T. Being on contraception or having it available makes it easier to sin. Pope Benedict XVI speaks about this in Light of the World. It is sex without the consequences. Take this time to look at Theology of the Body and what it means. Besides nothing worse than letting out a wedding dress because the bride is five months pregnant - that is except for mortal sin. God bless you and good luck.


#15

Yes, I think the best advice is to surround yourselves with other people for the remaining 5 months. Everything you do together, do it in the company of other people that care about you, avoid “alone time.” You’ll have plenty of alone time in 5 months, and then for the rest of your lives! 5 months is not really a long time, although in this situation, it can seem an eternity.
My suggestion would be to offer all of the struggle that you undergo during this time for the reparation of the sins of the souls in purgatory who are there for this very reason…and didn’t fight and resist as you are trying so valiantly to do. Go to frequent confession! May Our Blessed Mother protect you! St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!


#16

Firstly, do not be discouraged. The Spirit is with you as evidenced by the fact that you know what you have done is wrong and you want to wait until you are married.

I second the folks who said that it isn't a "have to", but more of a "get to." Sex is such a beautiful, sacred gift. If you love each other, you desire the best for each other. You can express this love by waiting...and it will make your wedding night that much more special.

I would also say to remember that to abstain from such behavior until you are married is excellent practice. Remember that we are all called to chastity according to our station - just because we become married does not mean we cease trying to be chaste! There are times when my wife and I can not give one another to each other in this way. For medical reasons, it would be risky for her to bear another child, so we practice NFP, which requires periodic abstinence. You may find in your marriage that you have sufficient reason to space your children using this method...and if you do, you and your spouse will have to have self control.

With the birth of our third child a couple of years ago and my wife breastfeeding, we had to abstain until her cycles returned (for the reason mentioned above). It took almost 9 months. While there were frustrating moments during that span, I will say that the time "apart" was a great blessing and time of spiritual growth, and an excellent chance to practice self-mastery. Perhaps you can look at this time of preparation in the same light. And how wonderful it was when we were able to again make gifts of ourselves to one another!

But most of all, do not be discouraged. It is ok to be disappointed when you fail...but do not despair. It would be impossible, were it not for Jesus. With Him all things are possible. He does not ask anything of us beyond what we can do.

You and your fiance are certainly in my prayers.


#17

[quote="ironband, post:16, topic:240879"]
Firstly, do not be discouraged. The Spirit is with you as evidenced by the fact that you know what you have done is wrong and you want to wait until you are married.

I second the folks who said that it isn't a "have to", but more of a "get to." Sex is such a beautiful, sacred gift. If you love each other, you desire the best for each other. You can express this love by waiting...and it will make your wedding night that much more special.

I would also say to remember that to abstain from such behavior until you are married is excellent practice. Remember that we are all called to chastity according to our station - just because we become married does not mean we cease trying to be chaste! There are times when my wife and I can not give one another to each other in this way. For medical reasons, it would be risky for her to bear another child, so we practice NFP, which requires periodic abstinence. You may find in your marriage that you have sufficient reason to space your children using this method...and if you do, you and your spouse will have to have self control.

With the birth of our third child a couple of years ago and my wife breastfeeding, we had to abstain until her cycles returned (for the reason mentioned above). It took almost 9 months. While there were frustrating moments during that span, I will say that the time "apart" was a great blessing and time of spiritual growth, and an excellent chance to practice self-mastery. Perhaps you can look at this time of preparation in the same light. And how wonderful it was when we were able to again make gifts of ourselves to one another!

But most of all, do not be discouraged. It is ok to be disappointed when you fail...but do not despair. It would be impossible, were it not for Jesus. With Him all things are possible. He does not ask anything of us beyond what we can do.

You and your fiance are certainly in my prayers.

[/quote]

I just wanted to stop and say that this is one of the most beautiful posts on chastity I have read on CAF.


#18

Life is short, you've already married him in your heart, lose the guilt and enjoy it!

Ok, I know I am going to get drilled for this, but the post (above) made me smile just a little. Do I believe in pre-marital sex? No, I don't. Do I believe in love and the beauty of expressing love? Yes.

If it means that much to you and your faith to stop engaging in what you consider to be unchaste behavior, separate yourselves, really, and continue to seek counsel from your spiritual advisors and your families.


#19

My husband and I dealt with the same stuff you are before we got married. A lot of really good suggestions have already been made. I think one of the key things is to not be in a closed room (or empty house... I don't know if either of you live with roommates) by yourselves. Also, we had to limit physical contact to just hugging for awhile. It helped tremendously having such a strict and clear boundary. It seems kind of extreme, but it worked for us. We also told a few very close people of our struggles so that they could help keep us accountable. My husband has a very open and honest relationship with his parents so we confided in them and they helped us a lot. I know most people probably don't have that kind of relationship with their parents but anyone you're really close to could work. It's always a good motivator to not do something if you know you're going to have to tell someone about it (besides a priest in confession, though that's a good motivator sometimes too).

Don't give up in your fight to remain chaste. And don't give up hope. I was scared that because of our impurity before marriage, things wouldn't change once we got married in that I would still feel dirty and guilty. But we went to confession and prayed and really examined our attitudes about sex. By God's grace and forgiveness things were completely different (in a great way) once we got married. It was pure and beautiful. I'd suggest reading "Holy Sex" by Greg Popcak, though you might should to wait until you are married. May God give you the strength to persevere.


#20

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:17, topic:240879"]
I just wanted to stop and say that this is one of the most beautiful posts on chastity I have read on CAF.

[/quote]

AGREED!!!! :thumbsup:


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