Virgin dating a non-virgin. How do I deal with it?


#21

If you believe God is all powerlful, you would understand that if John and his ex both went to confession, the sin would be forgiven and the harm gone if they repent

CM


#22

Hi OP,

I see that you are trying your best to be charitable, and I ask that the posters try to understand where you are coming from. I think you’re saying that you do forgive, but you’re afraid of it haunting you. You know you should let it go, but you’re having trouble with it.

All this comes down to is this:** is the Lord calling you to be with this man?**
Is he the man that you can expect respect and sacrifice from, that you can lovingly submit to and care for, that you can trust as the spiritual “head of the household” who will strongly and lovingly help raise your children in a deeply Catholic home?

If yes, then get married :slight_smile:

If he has truly repented and is truly converted and prays for chastity and for those in the past, then I don’t think you need to leave him, but the issue would be working with him and a priest/Catholic marital counselor or the likes on how to get past this so that it won’t be an issue. I have a very recently married friend how is struggling because of the same situation. I don’t think her husband made as complete of a turnaround as your possible future husband seems to (from what I’m getting out of what you’ve written, at least). My friend knows she shouldn’t struggle with this, but it’s hard for her; she says that she also feels self-conscious during their intimacy because of his sexual history. That’s not in any way to say that this isn’t a fixable issue; I’m simply saying that addressing it now, early, with an appropriate person, is the prudent thing to do.

I will say a prayer for you. Remember, our Mother is always there to teach us humility, forgiveness, and complete submission to the will of the Lord. She is our beautiful model of perfect discipleship and womanhood. Come to her and ask her to teach you to be like her and her Divine Son!

May God bless you and John,

sjmb


#23

[quote="Angeles2010, post:17, topic:224696"]
I never said I haven't forgiven him. I have. I do not hold it against him. He knows my past mistakes and forgives me too. For me, I can and willingly forgive, but it is just hard to forget. I don't mean that to sound petty or anything. I just find it very saddening that his virginity, which should have been saved for his future wife (at this point, it is not guaranteed to be me), was given to someone who should not taken it from him. I regret, for him, the harm he did to his soul, her soul and the offense they gave to God. I know he has repented. But what about her? So much sin that could have been avoided, just seems very sad to me.

[/quote]

Just my 2 cents:

If you know you can't let this go, then you have to let him go. And hope that you will someday find a man that is everything that John is AND a virgin.

The thing is, it's clear that being a virgin isn't your only criteria. As you were dating a virgin for 4 years. And yet, he wasn't the right guy either.

I bet you anything his loss of virginity is not his ONLY sin. So, I guess you have to ask yourself, where is your concern for his other sins... Like say. I bet they used contraception. How are you feeling about that? Are you concerned there might have beeen a pregnancy? Are you concerned that all his friends think you're having sex? What about masterbation. Has he been up to that at all? Many men struggle with this. And that's just all about Sex. In those 4 years did he go to Mass? Are you concerned about that sin? Did he use the Lords name in Vain during the course of his life. Seriously, Go through the 10 commandments. Chances are he's easily brushed against them in his life. We all have. But if we're truly sorry, that's the whole promise, God grants us the Grace of forgiveness. It's no one human's right to even contemplate that it's not there. His soul is back in proper allignment. You should actually rejoice that such a thing is possible. Or your love would be destined for hell. NOW, that would be terribly sad.

For some reason you have weighted this offense as the one that has irreparably damaged his soul. And also, it seem that you've assumed his soul is not salvagable. Then you must not think he is truly sorry. And you know what? He didn't do this to you? I pity the guy when he does something to hurt you. 'Cause he's going to blow it someday, and something he'll wish he hadn't. You are likely too. It happens. We learn how to forgive each other.

I would recommend you do some research on Father Carapi. This is an AMAZING priest. And he's done things in his life that make your sweeties offense pale in serious comparison. Now, I realize that your guy is your reality. But you've got to learn to let it go. Because if he's repented... he is fine. And although it's quite charitable of you to worry about his ex girlfriend... It's really up to her to decide is she's sorry or not.

And although his future wife should get his virginity... he chose to give it away... No one TOOK it from him. And although he did so, I suspect he didn't do so with his heart and soul... because he clearly didn't even know to do that. Which it seems he will extend to his future wife.

The thing is, you know yourself. Can you forgive a sinner of any sort? Can you eat at the same table and call them friend? Only you know. And then you know what you need to do.


#24

Here’s my two cents. I think it’s unfair of you to hold his past against him when he’s clearly repented of his past acts. The ex girlfriend’s sin is not your concern. (Unless, of course, she’s still pursuing your guy and he seems like he’s into her. I’m not saying that’s happening, just that IF it was, that’s really the only thing you can hold against her…) As long as he’s showing you that he regrets his past and is dedicated to making things work with you, you need to let this go. We all make mistakes. If Jesus has forgiven him, what right do you have to hold this against him? (You say you’ve forgiven him, but you’re still letting it bother you, so you haven’t really let go–that’s part of forgiveness.) How would you treat him if you had no knowledge of his sexual past? He can still live a chaste life today and moving forward; him being a virgin or not is a technicality. His past mistake has little to do with how he is living today. Is there something else that’s bothering you about the relationship?

However, if this is something that you know will bother you for years to come, don’t move forward and marry him. You’d just be setting both of you up for unhappiness.


#25

There is no rewind button on sin. You can’t change your past, you can’t change his past. True unconditional love has forgiveness at its heart. If you can’t totally forgive, even though in this case, God has already done the forgiveness, then you have a problem. Almost everyone would prefer to marry their life partner as a virgin, however, when you enter marriage you are starting anew. Making a spirtiual and physical committment that will last your or his lifetime.

You are on the diving board right now, you have to decide whether to jump in, but don’t jump in if you are going to be “great than God” in judgement of sins you didn’t have any control over before meeting your spouse. Remember that God put you together straight after his break up, you seem to have a very healthy spirit filled life together dating, if you are hung up on forgiveness for this issue, what will you do when you are faced with REAL challenges in your marriage?

Sorry if this sounds a little challenging, my wife knew of my past before marriage, but never held it against me. Now 31 years and five children later we could not be happier. She could have judged me and we would have missed a wonderfilled life together.

Remember those that get up on a pedestal of their own making will fall over eventually.

BTW if you are worried about being compared with the other(s) sexually, don’t even consider it. When your marriage is consumated under God the blessings will flow, and lovemaking under the marriage convenant is a physical and spirit filled high that no drugs or human experience can compare. Remember you have the rest of your life to perfect and refine that love.


#26

As someone in the same situation, I understand your sadness about this. A lot of people are commenting that you should "let it go" and not "hold a grudge", but I don't think that is the concern. I don't get the impression that you hold it against him, but rather that it saddens you to think that, if he becomes your husband, you waited for him, while he did not wait for you. (Correct me if I'm getting the wrong impression- but I'm drawing on what you wrote and how closely it relates to my own experience.) It's one thing to forgive him, but another to be hurt by it.

My boyfriend is not a virgin, and I am. We plan to be married. I am not sure that I am completely over it. I have cried about it with him and he knows how much it hurts me to think about him being that intimate with someone else. I try not to focus on it and instead on what a great guy he is, but it's hard.

You say that he has more respect and love for you than your virgin boyfriend did, and he probably knows how much it affects you. I think his being sensitive to this is key to you being able to deal with it, and it sounds like he is. He says that he does wish that he waited for his future wife. If he didn't regret it, I would be concerned. It probably hurts him to see you affected by it.

I think what is hardest for me is feeling like somehow I value sexuality more than my boyfriend does. It bothers me to think that, though I was tempted by an ex boyfriend, I didn't give in, and my boyfriend did. But I'm not sorry that I waited, and I'm sure you aren't either. If anything, though it is hard to come to terms with, we are in a sense luckier than our boyfriends. We will get to experience sex for the first time the way it is supposed to be, and give ourselves to them completely. It sounds like your boyfriend really values and cherishes the fact that you waited, and I think you should focus on that. Focus on the gift of yourself to him, and do your best not to think about what he can't give to you. Because in the end, it's about what we give to our spouse and not what we receive. It sounds like you have a really solid, beautiful relationship, and that, as hard as it is to deal with, this has made your relationship stronger. God leads us to a spouse who is right for us, if we let Him, and if this man is right for you it isn't something you won't be able to overcome.


#27

If the boyfriend had posted this scenario, and asked our opinion about whether to continue a relationship with a woman who just won't let it go, what would our response be?


#28

[quote="Angeles2010, post:17, topic:224696"]
I never said I haven't forgiven him. I have. I do not hold it against him. He knows my past mistakes and forgives me too. For me, I can and willingly forgive, but it is just hard to forget. I don't mean that to sound petty or anything. I just find it very saddening that his virginity, which should have been saved for his future wife (at this point, it is not guaranteed to be me), was given to someone who should not taken it from him. I regret, for him, the harm he did to his soul, her soul and the offense they gave to God. I know he has repented. But what about her? So much sin that could have been avoided, just seems very sad to me.

[/quote]

I completely understand your feelings... I had the same situation (we've been married for 10 years now).
My only advice is to ask God to open your hear fully to His forgiveness. I understand your feelings on the differences between "forgiving" and "forgetting"... but you'll never forget. And I understand it's not something that's easy to "just let go"... it won't happen that way. Just ask God to suppress this thought through true forgiveness. It takes some time... but that needs to be a PRIVATE struggle - do your best not to bring it up with HIM.

HTH!


#29

I sense you want to let it go. and know you must . You already realize he has done all he can and you must forgive.it and forget. . I suspect that what is haunting you is that you are imagining him in sexual acts with the exgirlfriend. You knowv that should have belonged to you. Grieve it if you haven’t but then let it go. It is important you let go of it , because once you are married those thoughts are going to get in the way of your sexual relationship with your then husband. To forget, I have some practical advice. Every time the thought of his prior sinful acts pop into your head, substitute in your head a loving act he has done for you or substitute in your head something he has said that shows he understands chastity. Substitute the negative thought with a positive one. This may take practice, but keep doing it. It will help you to let go. .


#30

Cried about it? Really? A man who has had sex before and then in the next relationship makes a choice to wait and go about it God’s way is a gem! It is so very hard to wait as it is! For the man or woman who has had sex it is even harder! This proves while you are thinking about the fact so and so has had sex they are living out the repentance that only comes through Jesus Christ.

The fact that my husband chose to come back to Church and then made the choice to wait means he is a man of virtue. He was the more heroic one on my opinion. Christ the true God was working in his life. Nothing is more beautiful than that!

Maybe any of you that are thinking this way should look at the gift God is giving you. He is also trying to teach you something.

The point the previous poster made about dealing with the real problems in marriage is well taken. :thumbsup:

Also he fell. He didn’t purposely try to hurt you. I hope you never face some huge temptation but at some point you will.


#31

I assume this is directed at me and my comment- yes, I’ve cried over the fact that my future husband did not save himself for me the way I did for him. I can think of more ridiculous things to cry about. It’s not that absurd.

I don’t think God is trying to “teach me something” by sending me a man who isn’t a virgin. I think he made a mistake that he regrets. God teaches me things all the time through my boyfriend, but I can’t imagine that he wanted him to have sex before marriage simply so that I could learn some kind of lesson.

And, I have faced huge temptation. I did not give in.

All of this though, is neither here nor there. The OP knows what a gift she has in this man. She is asking how to deal with it, and simply saying “get over it” is unhelpful. Are there worse things in the world? Of course. That doesn’t mean this situation doesn’t affect someone emotionally.


#32

God can use someone’s past sin to show someone something. He did not want him to sin.

I think we have to see that when he slept with someone else he did not intend to hurt you. The one he hurt the most was himself. I have compassion on my husband and I never had to get over anything because that was in my husband’s past.

Maybe anyone who is upset by this should think about my point of how great the man is that has repented. It shows that in the future when really big things come up he is able to seek the Lord and repent when it is needed. It is much tougher to wait when you have already had sex. Focus on that and not something in the past.

Remember I too waited and my husband did not. This has never been an issue in our marriage. I thank God every day I am his wife.

Another thing in this day and age finding someone who has waited especially a man is very hard. Finding a good Catholic is tough enough.

We are the Church of St Mary of Egypt, St Augustine, and St Mary Magdelain.


#33

[quote="joandarc2008, post:8, topic:224696"]
I think you need to ask yourself why you should him responsible for a sin that Christ has forgiven him for? Also would you want something from your past brought up like this in your relationship?

[/quote]

Yes, although I can certainly understand the OP's feelings in the matter. That's one reason why I think it's best for fiancees and spouses to confess their sins to a priest, not to each other.


#34

[quote="JimG, post:33, topic:224696"]
Yes, although I can certainly understand the OP's feelings in the matter. That's one reason why I think it's best for fiancées and spouses to confess their sins to a priest, not to each other.

[/quote]

I totally agree with this. In our culture, it seems to be acceptable to tell deeply personal things to everyone...post them on Facebook, etc. Novel idea-keep it between you, God, your confessor, and that's it! I don't need to know how many woman my potential girlfriends slept with, her personal hygine habits-just keep it to yourself!


#35

I agree with marie682 that just telling her to get over it is not enough. She is grieving and she has a reason to grieve. To a lesser extent, much, much lesser, but she is in the same situation that a married person would be in who has to deal with infidelity and the cheating spouse has truly changed and asked for forgiveness. If the marriage is to go forward forgiveness must take place, but you would expect , even after the forgiving, for the noncheating spouse to grieve and have to deal with remembering, wouldn’t you/? She knows she has to let go and was asking for advice on how to do that. I suggested the technique of substituting a positive thought in her head every time the negative thought of him with his exgirlfriend enters her head and do that repeatedly. . Does anyone have any other suggestions?


#36

Yes what are you complaining about? I’ve yet to meet a guy who will date anyone without the “sex requirement” don’t let him go he’s a keeper. The past is the past and I’m of the mind that it’s not really your business as long as he’s living up to what he told you and living a good Christian life. :cool:


#37

You are lucky then, in that it did not affect you. However, I think it is pretty normal for someone who has waited (and especially someone who hasn’t simply waited out of a lack of opportunity, but waited in the face of real temptation) to be saddened that their (potential) future spouse didn’t value her enough at the time to wait as well. (Which is not to say he doesn’t now, but that he wasn’t thinking of his future wife at the time.)

I think what has been helpful for me to remember is that the reason I waited was so that I could give myself to my husband only. It was and is about me giving to him, not about what I would get in return. This doesn’t negate the feelings of sadness that are part of the situation, but helps me to put into perspective what marriage really is about, and makes the sadness seem surmountable.


#38

I think that one thing which is important to remember is that people are capable of change. I know that I’m not the same girl I was when I was 16 or even 20; the OP’s future husband isn’t the same man he was when he had sex with his ex girlfriend. He wasn’t thinking of the OP at the time, but weren’t we all young and dumb at one point? We haven’t all made the exact same mistakes, but we’ve all done dumb things that have ended up hurting those we love.

When two people come together in a marriage, they should work together to move forward; not dwell on past mistakes. We can’t undo the past–what’s done is done. If he is showing the OP that he regrets his past mistakes and is dedicated to living a chaste life now and in the future, the loving thing for her to do is to work with him to build a healthy relationship together. Show him that even though he’s made mistakes, she still loves him and is willing to overlook faults; especially things that occurred before they were even together. This is a completely different chapter in his life.


#39

[quote="Angeles2010, post:1, topic:224696"]
IDoes anyone have any suggestions on how I should deal with this? Yes, I would prefer that he was a virgin, but I can honestly say that this man has more respect and genuine love for me than my virgin boyfriend did. My gut says not to pass up that respect and real love for his past sins. Please pray for me.

In Christ,
Mary

[/quote]

It sounds to me like your gut is pulling you in different directions.

If I may ask, what was it about your ex-boyfriend (who is a virgin) that makes you believe that your current boyfriend (who is not) has more genuine love and respect for you?

And who initiated the breakup, you or him?


#40

[quote="Norseman82, post:39, topic:224696"]
It sounds to me like your gut is pulling you in different directions.

If I may ask, what was it about your ex-boyfriend (who is a virgin) that makes you believe that your current boyfriend (who is not) has more genuine love and respect for you?

And who initiated the breakup, you or him?

[/quote]

First of all, thank you all for your input. It is appreciated.

My ex-boyfriend and I mutually decided to break up because we found ourselves in the middle of a family feud. Relatives on both sides of our families had a disagreement, and we were both treated horribly as a result. After so much pressure and stress, we broke things off. We were both 21 at the time,in school, and financially dependent on our parents. Neither one of us was willing to endure hardship and sacrifice so that we could be together. In the face of adversity, our relationship fell apart. I think most of us can agree that love cannot really exist without sacrifice.

John and I met as adults. We have had our discussions, disagreements, differences (and disappointments) but we have always tried our best to work as a team, to talk things through and to understand each other as best we can. In face of adversity, John has not left my side. He has taken an active step in re-educating himself in the faith, and together, we have studied catholic books about chaste dating, courtship and marriage. In an effort to practice what we have studied about chastity, I have asked him to limit the physical affection he shows me. Like a man of God, he listens, understand, and respects my physical boundaries better than any man I have ever known. He does not do this so that he can pounce on me when we are married, or out of the hope of making me the object of his passion in the future, but rather he now knows that as practicing Catholics, we cannot live like the rest of the world and live unchaste just because everyone else is doing it. The active steps we have taken to maintain a chaste relationship has required tremendous patience, sacrifice and respect from both of us. (Yes, I deeply respect him, in case anyone is wondering. It isn't one sided) It is this effort and dedication he has put into our relationship that makes me love him so deeply. I think that for both of us, this is the first time that we have put our partners' soul before our own needs in a relationship. The love and respect we have for each other far surpasses the youthful infatuation that my ex-boyfriend and I had for each other as teens. In short, it is his sacrifice and effort to do things right that makes me feel that I am loved more deeply than I was before.

Some of you have said get over it. Let it go. I want to. I sincerely want to. Some of you have understood that the sadness I feel isn't something that can simply be shrugged off in the blink of an eye. Other have suggested that this issue has its base in some deep and unspoken problem that I haven't addressed. I guess that could be partly true....I am afraid of being compared. Not that he would do so intentionally...It is natural to compare our past to our present in all kinds of aspects of our lives. We all do this. But I did not post this to create a piety pedestal for myself, nor was I seeking a petty pity party. I know many have gone through this, and I was genuinely seeking advice and words of wisdom from others in the same situation, hoping to hear what they have done in their situations. One of you suggested my thinking of positive things/sacrifices/efforts at chastity that he has done for me when I am tempted to remember his past. Thank you for that suggestion! It is golden! Another of you reminded me that when two people are joined together in marriage, the joy, pleasure, and comfort resulting from the consummation of their marriage far surpasses every other kind of unsanctified human experience. This also reminded me that as husband and wife, consummating our marriage will also be a source of grace for us. Another one of you suggested that I pray to saints who had problems with chastity, such as Augustine, Mary of Egypt, etc. And someone else suggested addressing this topic with our priest when we have pre-marriage counseling. For now I will pray to the saints and our Blessed Mother for the grace to do God's will and for guidance and assistance. I will bring up this issue if I am still having trouble, if we get engaged and begin the counseling process.

There is still another possibility that crossed my mind today. There is a chance that this despondency which I cannot fully explain or understand myself, could be a ploy of distraction from the devil. The devil knows John and I are actively pursuing a chaste relationship, going to Mass together, saying the rosary and novenas together, etc. Since he would like to see us fall into temptation, but we are dedicated to rejecting our temptations, the devil just might be trying to create trouble in other ways. How can he be content when so much good and genuine efforts at chastity are exercised on a daily basis? The devil knocks loud when you are close to Our Lord and Blessed Mother.

I thank you all for your words of encouragement and ask that you say a Hail Mary for John and me.

God bless,
Mary


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