Relationship stuff


#1

I have recently returned to the church. Recently as in, this year. My girlfriend and I have now been going out for almost 2 years. When we first got together, she wasn’t really anything (agnostic I guess) and I was a non-practising Catholic. Since then, my girlfriend became a Presbyterian (something I was happy for at the time) and then a few months later (once I heard the outrageous claims made against my childhood church, and decided to look into it), I became a practising Catholic. I’m not confirmed yet, but I’m looking into it, and will get it done soon (probably this next Easter).

Now, my girlfriend is reading Catholicism and Fundamentalism at the moment, and has come to the conclusion that the Bible is not enough. So she’s not really a Protestant anymore, but she’s not a Catholic yet either. She doesn’t really know where she belongs, which must be very difficult!

My question is about sexual stuff. We stopped most of our sexual immorality a long time ago (and I’ve gone to confession about it and so forth), but one thing that we didn’t stop was sleeping in the same bed. Now at confession yesterday I asked my priest about this. Basically his response was that the Church teaches that this is a sin, or something along those lines (I can’t remember his exact words). So I told my girlfriend that I can no longer share her bed, and this really upset her. What I would like would be for someone to give me some kind of explanation behind this rule (not sure if this is the right word). If I have a good explanation, then it will be easier for me to deal with this issue, as my girlfriend always wants to know “why” something is at it is, especially in terms of doctrine.

Also, are there any good resources on how a young Catholic couple should behave before they are married? Please realise that I do not willingly go against the teachings of the Church. I think that if somebody is a Catholic then he should fully adhere to the teachings of the Church, but sometimes it is a difficult thing to know what these teachings are. Also even when you do know the teachings of the Church, sometimes it is hard to come around and follow them, but I try my best!


#2

Tons here


#3

Atreyu,

I have to think that sleeping in the same bed with your girlfriend is wrong on a couple of fronts: first, it is what we call the “near occasion of sin”. You are putting yourself into temptation, needlessly. It’s like an alcoholic hanging out in a bar with all of his former drinking buddies: why would a serious Catholic, who wishes to remain in a state of grace, deliberately put themselves into such an environment of temptation?

Secondly, even if you aren’t having sex, it sure is going to be assumed by others that you are, and so you are giving a terrible example to others (especially if it is known that you profess to be a Christian). This is especially important in today’s culture: we truly are really counter-cultural, and we need to confront the culture that assumes that everyone lives with their latest significant other and has sex with them. Why not be a shining example to a culture that desperately needs shining examples?

Just curious: how is it that you are sleeping in the same bed? Are you living together?

I would look up Jason Evert’s books. They’re available at catholic.com.


#4

One point of being truly sorry for one’s sins is to avoid what are called the “near occasions of sin” which means that one is obligated to avoid those situations which have proven to trigger ones decision to sin. You mention having been to confession and putting sins of a sexual nature behind you, but continuing to sleep in the same bed with someone you love while still in the single state is like filling your tank with gasoline while smoking a cigarette. You don’t intend an explosion, but you set up a condition that makes one quite possible. Thus intentionally placing yourself in a position where the temptaion can be very powerful and difficult to overcome. Another analogy might be that a person is allergic to strawberries but loves how they taste and smell and buys a quart of them every so often just to look at. :thumbsup:


#5

One might also consider scandal:

Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.87

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"90


#6

What I would like would be for someone to give me some kind of explanation behind this rule (not sure if this is the right word).

ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=416446&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2004&Author=&Keyword=cohabitation&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=4&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=

ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=329156&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2002&Author=&Keyword=cohabitation&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=7&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=


#7

[quote=Atreyu]I have recently returned to the church. Recently as in, this year. My girlfriend and I have now been going out for almost 2 years. When we first got together, she wasn’t really anything (agnostic I guess) and I was a non-practising Catholic. Since then, my girlfriend became a Presbyterian (something I was happy for at the time) and then a few months later (once I heard the outrageous claims made against my childhood church, and decided to look into it), I became a practising Catholic. I’m not confirmed yet, but I’m looking into it, and will get it done soon (probably this next Easter).

Now, my girlfriend is reading Catholicism and Fundamentalism at the moment, and has come to the conclusion that the Bible is not enough. So she’s not really a Protestant anymore, but she’s not a Catholic yet either. She doesn’t really know where she belongs, which must be very difficult!

My question is about sexual stuff. We stopped most of our sexual immorality a long time ago (and I’ve gone to confession about it and so forth), but one thing that we didn’t stop was sleeping in the same bed. Now at confession yesterday I asked my priest about this. Basically his response was that the Church teaches that this is a sin, or something along those lines (I can’t remember his exact words). So I told my girlfriend that I can no longer share her bed, and this really upset her. What I would like would be for someone to give me some kind of explanation behind this rule (not sure if this is the right word). If I have a good explanation, then it will be easier for me to deal with this issue, as my girlfriend always wants to know “why” something is at it is, especially in terms of doctrine.

Also, are there any good resources on how a young Catholic couple should behave before they are married? Please realise that I do not willingly go against the teachings of the Church. I think that if somebody is a Catholic then he should fully adhere to the teachings of the Church, but sometimes it is a difficult thing to know what these teachings are. Also even when you do know the teachings of the Church, sometimes it is hard to come around and follow them, but I try my best!
[/quote]

May I say two things?

  1. You are both restoring my faith in young people - proving beyond doubt that wanting a better spiritual life is something all of us are seeking.

  2. WELCOME HOME

Now, get those books on Chastity that were recommended. I gave one to my 16 year old nephew and he not only read it he actually said it helped take the ‘pressure’ off.


#8

[quote=Atreyu]. . . how a young Catholic couple should behave before they are married?
[/quote]

Living in their own separate homes or apartments would be a good start and solve a lot of potential problems before they arise.


#9

Just curious: how is it that you are sleeping in the same bed? Are you living together?

No we are not living together. I live in the middle of my city, right next to the hospital that my girlfriend studies at. She lives about half an hour out of the city. So sometimes she would stay at my place, because we wanted to or because it was convenient! I’m still not too sure what to do about that lack of convenience…

Oh, and it is a little bit of an excuse (and I realise it is), but I would make a point to let others know that we are not sleeping together. Although I acknowledge that I could have been much more active in doing this.

Everything everyone has said makes sense; I just have to come to terms with it! Thank you very much for your help. And LSK thank you for your kind words.

Stu.


#10

Visit that link Buffalo gave in post #2

My teen children listened to that speech (they’re 15 and 17) and they applauded right in the living room afterward. They’ve attended public schools all along the way, and they’ve always been into chastity because it’s Catholic teaching…but after the speech, the ‘aha’ light went on because chastity was presented from a secular perspective and they’ve felt empowered with the new information.

I’d click on just about every link on that sight…with your girlfriend…explore it together and you’ll both understand and appreciate what you’re protecting to give to the other when the time is right (if you’re to be married some day)…and if you aren’t planning of marrying, then you’ll both understand what you’re protecting for your future wife and husband. You can’t go wrong with that site.


#11

Yeah I already have checked out that site, it’s really helpful. And we are planning on getting married - if she were a Catholic then I’d probably pop the question today. Such as it is, I’m still planning on asking her in the near future, but I’m not going to give too much away because I’m trying to encourage her to come by this site and ask some questions!


#12

Hi Atreyu,
I had a hard time with this as my fiance (now husband) lived at my house. My priest explained it much as these folks here did. Even though we were not having sex and anyone close to us knew it, there was still the appearance of immorality. In my case, I was a single mom trying to keep it together with 3 kids and it was a losing battle with the finances. The initial reason for him moving in was my then 13 yo son was beating the snot out of me. The day he moved in was because 2 days before back surgery my son kicked me so hard in the back that I collapsed on the floor and couldn’t get up. So after I had surgery, he came home from the hospital with me and stayed. Sounds reasonable when you know the situation but I didn’t advertize that my son kicked my behind. Incidently, we made a point of telling the kids that we were not having sex and we considered it wrong to do so before marriage. My son is now 18 and is the best kid you can imagine; he works full time, goes to school full time (college) and is very responsible. He is a virgin and plans to remain a virgin until he marries. August 27th we got married and he got his brother and sister off to school everyday for the week we were on our honeymoon. Not only did he get them there, they were early…pretty responsible kid. Anyway, about 3 weeks before the wedding, an aquaintance saw me and said (very loudly, in public no less) “it’s about time you stopped living in sin!” I was floored, not only was she wrong, but she wasn’t even a close friend that knew me well enough to know I wasn’t “living in sin” as she thought. It hit me then that I was appearing to others to be immoral. As with any situation like this, if you can possibly live apart, I would suggest you do so. I wish I could have, but as I said, there was no way I would have made it otherwise.


#13

A thought just occurred to me, sharehouses are ok, right? As in, I actually live in a very large apartment with two girls and another guy (4 in total). Is there anything wrong with this?


#14

Another question! I am planning on buying that book, The good news about sex and marriage, but only once I’m married. I don’t want to buy it before then, because I don’t think it would be a good idea to dwell too much on what’s going to happen after marriage, if you get what I mean. But I would like to ask a question about NFP; how well does it work? Does it necessarily mean that I’m going to have a large family? Is it possible or likely that you can have a healthy sexual life and still only have a few kids?


#15

Hi there. In terms of your question about sharehouses, IMO they are fine, since it is clear that there are no non-platonic relationships. Even though there are both men and women, everyone is “just friends” and it is known, so there is no scandal.

For your question on NFP, I know virually nothing about it myself, but many do on the “Family Life” forum, so I would advise asking that question there.

I hope that everything works out for you. I was also a fallen away Catholic, who knew virtually nothing about my faith until, well, less than a year ago when I came back. I have been learning ever since. :slight_smile: Good luck!


#16

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