CAF friends: I’ve had other threads on my daughter and her behavior. By the grace of God, she appears to be turning a corner. She has failed a couple of times where boys are concerned and regrets this. She asked me the other day how she will deal with this fact when she meets a “good guy who maybe wants to marry me.” She was 14 when she lost her virginity. Admittedly, a tough pill for many men to swallow. I’ve told her to give it to God, pray to Our Lady and it would take care of itself at the proper time.
I still feel like I failed her in terms of a correct answer. While I didn’t tell her this, my own thought is, a man of 30 might better understand, but I question how much any decent man in his late teens/early twenties might accept it (assuming she might meet marriage-appropriate men in college). Any thoughts or advice?
Assuming she has been to confession and has been absolved and has resolved to remain chaste from this point forward, I have a hard time imagining a scenario where any nice young man would reject her out of hand for making a past mistake that she has repented of. My husband and I were both virgins, and we value that about each other, but we also met when we were 14, and I knew when I met him that he was going to be my husband one day. Had we not had such awareness, we might very well have made the same mistake as your precious daughter has. Also, having been so young when she lost her virginity, I might question whether she was even old enough to be aware of the ramifications of her actions. She was a child making a very grown-up mistake, and I believe that most people are going to be compassionate rather than judgemental, especially when they see that she is trying so hard to move on from her mistakes. She might very well find a nice young man who made a similar mistake, or struggled with other forms of unchastity in his youth, and therefore they can both understand each other and help each other to heal from their mistakes. Christianity is a religion of forgiveness and reconciliation, and we should never lose hope that God has wonderful plans laid for us, and that He can accomplish His will for us in spite of our pasts.
If it were me, I’d tell her to make a vow of staying chaste, and of reclaiming her lost innocence. I realize she can’t grow her hymen back, but she can train herself to think and act like the virgin she would like to be. Have her pray especially to Mary. But she shouldn’t get too obsessed with this right now, provided she has gone to confession and been absolved. If she truly regrets her loss of virginity, that should keep her safe when the offer of sex comes up again.
Unfortunately, she may regret her early loss of virginity the rest of her life, it’s something you can’t go back and undo. It’s just one of those things we have to bear in life, our mistakes sometimes have very far-reaching consequences that we may not understand at the time. I’m not talking about constant, paralyzing regret, but the heartfelt wish that she had stayed pure for her husband.
Any guy who doesn’t immediately get over it is a jerk and not worthy of her love. Pure and simple.
EDIT-The more I think about it, the angrier I get. If someone made a mistake, than jeez, it’s just that-a mistake. Go to confession, and if God forgives you, how dare someone else hold them against you?!
As a man in his late 20’s who is still waiting, my view on this is…
She has been forgiven by our Creator, we are nothing compared to God so it would be wrong for any person to pass judgment on her. We posses basically no Wisdom when compared to God, it would be downright condescending not to accept God’s forgiveness of her past transgressions. Any man that holds the forgiven past against her is saying his view on the matter is correct and God is wrong. Of-course God is right, she has been forgiven, and anyone that thinks they are in a position to judge her considering the sin has been absolved… they are the one with the problem and I would pray they could learn the true meaning and power of the forgiveness.
I think her question to me (that I didn’t articulate well) was more along the lines of “how much” to tell a future spouse. My own thought is that she is absolutely required to divulge she isn’t a virgin, but the other details (the age) are not necessary. That said, I recall a priest in college telling a group of students that even that basic admission was not necessary; if someone was living a chaste life, he/she did not have to tell a future spouse he/she was not a virgin. He qualified this by saying that the sin must have been forgiven in the Confessional and that there must be no possibility of disease, etc. I don’t know where he got this idea or if it was just his own opinion. I remember thinking at the time that doing such a thing would be a grave unfairness to a future spouse.
I do agree that it’s not a pressing matter for her at the moment, but she seems genuinely bothered by this. I wanted to advise her as honestly and wisely as possible. Thank you all for your thoughts.
Colorfully put. I would add the caveat, though, that it might not happen “immediately”, but if it is the right guy and he’s a good man, it will happen.
Just to offer my own experience, I know girls who made the same mistakes in their teen years, had a conversion, and found their spouse in college just the same. It comes with its own unique obstacles to overcome, but no obstacle is insurmountable for the Lord.
I don’t really think there is any need to keep the information from the future spouse if they inquire. And honestly speaking as a 24 year old male I don’t think there are a great many Catholics in the 20 year old age bracket who don’t understand that there is a decent chance the person they marry may not be a virgin even if they are on themselves. When your dating pool is already limited to trying to find a woman of God the concerns of past mistakes are going to be limited to the very nit-picky and scrupulous members of our age group (and not many people want to date them anyway).
There are a million things you might have said, but what you did say was loving and forgiving. Surely you were guided by the Holy Spirit. I don’t doubt that there will be other opportunities to have this conversation with your daughter. Pray that you will be able to hear her and give her good advice. No, she can’t get her virginity back, but you can help her to understand how chastity and celibacy can give her back her dignity. You’re a good Mom.
Tonssss of men will accept it.
Have you seen how people are these days? 85% of highschoolers give up their virginity in highschool. Its really no secret that people don’t care about their bodies anymore.
At the age of 14, she probably didn’t have the maturity or the presence of mind to be able to recognize what was going on, and to stop the situation from happening before the point of no return. She might have had half of her clothes off before it really dawned on her what was about to happen, and of course by then, unless you want to cry rape or something, it’s way too late to stop.
The male virgins are in the minority, but they are there.
However, you may want to tell her that there are consequences for her actions, and that if a guy can’t handle her past, she is going to have to accept it as a consequence and should offer it up as part of her temporal punishment. That is part of repentance and accepting responsibility for one’s actions and so may take on the value of expiation. Additionally, if she does run into a few situations where it caused her to lose a guy, then she may be able to be an example to other women and deter them from making a “mistake” before it’s too late.
Now, if the male is not a virgin himself, then he is in no position to lecture.
She isn’t required to tell her future spouse anything and I really doubt that anyone is going to ask her. If she is asked she shouldn’t lie but she can simply dodge the question or indicate that she doesn’t discuss her sins with anyone but her confessor.