Virginity and Vocation


#1

Hi,

I lost my virginity when I was 17. Over the past six years, I not only committed that sin with the guy who took my virginity, but also with one other guy that I dated. The occasions were infrequent and I always felt horrible afterward, but they did occur more than once with each person. I went to confession and received absolution, and truly did resolve to stay pure, etc etc. I am currently single and living a chaste life.

However, what I did tears me apart. My mother knows what happened, and she has confirmed my current opinion of myself: damaged goods. I know that I need to 'forgive myself' because God has forgiven me, and I do believe He has, but what makes me so ashamed and scared is that if I find a good Catholic guy, and eventually we get to a point where he wants to marry me...and I tell him about this, or he finds out...that I will suddenly become disgusting, which is how I see myself right now.

Is it true that there are guys out there who can forgive this? Isn't it also true that there are just as many (if not more) guys who can't? And when is the right time to let a guy know something like that? I don't like the idea of concealing it, even if its not deception, just, 'you don't need to know this so I wont bring it up', but I don't want to 'lead' a good man on and then find that he is, understandbly, not willing to settle for damaged goods.

Please let me know what some of you think!


#2

[quote="CredoUnumDeo, post:1, topic:257084"]
Hi,

I lost my virginity when I was 17. Over the past six years, I not only committed that sin with the guy who took my virginity, but also with one other guy that I dated. The occasions were infrequent and I always felt horrible afterward, but they did occur more than once with each person. I went to confession and received absolution, and truly did resolve to stay pure, etc etc. I am currently single and living a chaste life.

However, what I did tears me apart. My mother knows what happened, and she has confirmed my current opinion of myself: damaged goods. I know that I need to 'forgive myself' because God has forgiven me, and I do believe He has, but what makes me so ashamed and scared is that if I find a good Catholic guy, and eventually we get to a point where he wants to marry me...and I tell him about this, or he finds out...that I will suddenly become disgusting, which is how I see myself right now.

Is it true that there are guys out there who can forgive this? Isn't it also true that there are just as many (if not more) guys who can't? And when is the right time to let a guy know something like that? I don't like the idea of concealing it, even if its not deception, just, 'you don't need to know this so I wont bring it up', but I don't want to 'lead' a good man on and then find that he is, understandbly, not willing to settle for damaged goods.

Please let me know what some of you think!

[/quote]

You are not "damaged goods"!

Jesus took ALL our shame with Him on the cross. Before He took His last breath, His thoughts were not on his wounds and suffering, but on sinners. He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

The Lord (in Isaiah 4:13) says, "Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are mine."

I know it's hard to forgive yourself. This song helped me to forgive myself and accept the new life that God has called me to live in:

"You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North:
youtube.com/watch?v=qlnEtGh3QXE

I would like to also add this song "Someone Worth Dying For" by MikesChair:
youtu.be/oF5CjtrIl_c

God bless you!


#3

[quote="CredoUnumDeo, post:1, topic:257084"]
...if I find a good Catholic guy, and eventually we get to a point where he wants to marry me...and I tell him about this, or he finds out...that I will suddenly become disgusting

[/quote]

If he loves you, he won't find you disgusting.

Is it true that there are guys out there who can forgive this?

There are many, many men who can look beyond what you have done in the past to where your heart is now. Remember that there are good Catholic guys out there that are in the same boat. Yours might be. Will you be able to love him regardless?

Isn't it also true that there are just as many (if not more) guys who can't?

You don't need them. You need a man who loves you where your heart is now.

And when is the right time to let a guy know something like that? I don't like the idea of concealing it, even if its not deception, just, 'you don't need to know this so I wont bring it up', but I don't want to 'lead' a good man on and then find that he is, understandbly, not willing to settle for damaged goods.

I'm not sure there is a single correct answer to this.

I can empathize with you. I too hope to marry someday, and my past is positively sordid in comparison. I don't look forward to that conversation.

But take heart! God loves you! For that reason, you are priceless. Seek first the kingdom, and trust in God to provide.


#4

Please do not think of yourself as damaged goods. Remember, Jesus said "I make all things new again."

Every time bad thoughts about yourself come to mind just look at the Lord and thank Him for making you new again.

Pray for discernment about how or what to discuss with the man you are to marry some day.


#5

God certainly has the power not only to forgive but also to heal. He can make you whole again (spiritually if not physically). The only serious damage is the spiritual damage.

I realized long before marriage that even though I was successfully avoiding fornication, the woman I would eventually marry may not have been so fortunate. I think it was necessary to think through this scenario because of the state of Western society.

Something else to consider: Your eventual spouse is not your confessor. While he has a need to know whether you have STDs, he actually might not even desire to know past sins (and certainly this should not be discussed until you are ready to discuss marriage with him).


#6

CredoinUnumDeum,

Look to St. Augustine of Hippo. He was definitely a "loose-cannon" if you will, before his conversion. And yet, Christ made him a Bishop, a theologian, and one of the first Doctors of the Church, and an immensely influential Saint! The reason for such sanctity, despite a heinous background? He was sorry for his sins. He realized that having endless orgies with women was immoral, and he repented.

If I may make a recommendation, I suggest reading his Confessions (which can be found online here.) Book Two and Three of his autobiography deal with his early adulthood, when he stole and succumbed to lust.

Peace, and God bless.


#7

This is an excellent question!

First of all be honest from the start and guys will be more accepting. I know that the worst thing is when you get an image built up of a girl and then everything gets shattered when she reveals something like this. It forces you to re-think who the person is. However, when you know from the start it gives you a feeling that she isnt trying to hide who she is and what she has been through.

Second, dont go into details unless he asks and even if he asks be sure to make sure you do it at the start of a relationship. As soon as he is done at the start with questions, never mention or entertain the idea of giving details. The details can be what drives a guy away. Details can also make a guy think you are a bit loose sexually and that isnt what you want to portray to guys.

Thirdly, walk the walk. Do as you say and act like a faithful woman. Value not only your own sexuality and new found virtue but also appreciate his if he has been chaste. Dont make any excuses for your past and dont blame the guys that had sex with you. We all know that sex takes two to tango and it frankly gets old and cliche to most guys to hear the all too often told story that the guy took advantage of an unwitting girl. Also, women do well with words but not always with the actions. If any guy tries to take advantage of you, dont entertain his advances and prove to yourself and to him that you are a worthy women. When you can prove to yourself that your past is behind you then you can more effectively convince future guys that you are a good lady.

Lastly, most guys dont care that much about the emotional side of sex. The hold up is that the guys that care about a girls past worry about sizing up in the bedroom. It is important to a decent number of guys to be the top dog and to be the best she ever had. When a guy worries about sizing up, he worries about getting married and having a wife be unhappy, unfaithful or leave him because he wasnt as good as guys she had in the past. Whatever you do, I would never let the guy feel like he isnt as good as what you had in the past.

For me, it would depend on the girl. If she was good enough to be my wife and had cleaned up her act, its not an issue at all. If I think that she cannot leave her past behind and move forward that is very unattractive and would be hard to move forward with such a girl.


#8

Actually, we're all "damaged goods" including your mom (avoid reminding her of that ;)). That's a pretty good explanation of original sin. Your sin wasn't as great as those of some SAINTS. Perhaps it would help you to foster a devotion to St. Mary Magdalen or Bl. Angela of Foligno. From the world's perspective they were much more "damaged" than you.

The sorrow you feel betrays a delicate conscience, which is a great gift. The Lord may have something great in store for you, but you must trust in His mercy. Reading St. Faustina's Diary has helped deepen my trust in Jesus. God bless.


#9

You have been hard on yourself, which is a good thing because it reflects that your love of GOD has overcome your love of self, which has been manifested through the sacrament of confession.
It is sad to hear that your mom would hold a negative opinion of your action, such that it impacts “how” she sees you. Negative yes, but “…forgive us our tresspasses, as we forgive those who tresspass against us…” hello mom ! Move on and start over.

I think your worry about “what will he think” is misplaced. In this nation of depravity you will be lucky to find a guy who has not done worse - and continues to do so via porn.

And I question the need to share this with your future spouse. It was a sin, you confessed with GOD - to whom you owe the penance, but once forgiven why suffer twice, that being the second time in confessing to your boyfriend. Will he confess all that he has done?

You will not undo what has been done in confessing a second time, but you will endure a second, and uncessary penance. “. . . for better or worse…” covers everything. As you go through the marriage counseling, let that process be your guide toward making a second confession - which I think is uwarranted.

In the “old” Testament, confession was very much a public affair. Everyone saw and heard. In the “new” Testament, it is between GOD and you as presented via the Priest, not the public.

Go in the grace of GOD as presented to you by HIS Holy and Blessed Mother Mary. Pray the rosary daily and ask that she send a good man who will love you.


#10

I do think you should be honest about your past with any potential future husband, and expect him to be honest about his past too. Not every gritty detail of course, just the basic facts like what you have shared here.

I’m not going to lie to you, the idea that many guys would rather marry a virgin (or at least think that way for part of their lives) isn’t 100% myth, but still most have less than pure pasts themselves and if he is a decent guy who loves you your past shouldn’t be a barrier to your future with him.

I’d try not to think of yourself as damaged goods. You can’t change the past and it’s no good worrying about what you cannot change. God can redeem you and make you pure right now and in the future. So think of yourself as redeemed, purified, renewed.


#11

[quote="CredoUnumDeo, post:1, topic:257084"]
I lost my virginity when I was 17. Over the past six years, I not only committed that sin with the guy who took my virginity, but also with one other guy that I dated. The occasions were infrequent and I always felt horrible afterward, but they did occur more than once with each person. I went to confession and received absolution, and truly did resolve to stay pure, etc etc. I am currently single and living a chaste life.

[/quote]

Although the past was conflicting, the present is what matters now. Remember that, and stay strong and unyielding in your current chastity.

[quote="CredoUnumDeo, post:1, topic:257084"]
However, what I did tears me apart. My mother knows what happened, and she has confirmed my current opinion of myself: damaged goods. I know that I need to 'forgive myself' because God has forgiven me, and I do believe He has, but what makes me so ashamed and scared is that if I find a good Catholic guy, and eventually we get to a point where he wants to marry me...and I tell him about this, or he finds out...that I will suddenly become disgusting, which is how I see myself right now.

[/quote]

If a guy finds you disgusting because of that, then say to Hell with him. Just be honest, be truthful, but don't be too revealing. You are not damaged goods though. God doesn't make junk!

[quote="CredoUnumDeo, post:1, topic:257084"]
Is it true that there are guys out there who can forgive this? Isn't it also true that there are just as many (if not more) guys who can't? And when is the right time to let a guy know something like that? I don't like the idea of concealing it, even if its not deception, just, 'you don't need to know this so I wont bring it up', but I don't want to 'lead' a good man on and then find that he is, understandbly, not willing to settle for damaged goods.

[/quote]

As a young man, I would stray from a lady who had "damaged goods". I would be quite angry at her and the heathen who damaged them, but more at the latter than the former. Last year I fell in love with a girl. I cared very much about her. It crushed me when I learned of her "past". I could never look at her the same again and a while after we stopped talking. This was an important cause of that. I also happen to be very picky and particular of girls I'm attracted to...but that's a story for another thread. God loves you. You remember that. And also remember Mary, our Blessed virgin mother.

By thine Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy.

~ Pius :knight1:


#12

Hello,

Just to hear your fears, hopes, regrets, and concerns make my heart sigh and weep…God bless you for your sincerity. Any true gentleman, worthy of his name, would feel the same, along with the flaming desire to make you feel your true self-worth, a lily dipped and reborn in the Precious Blood. Your scars of love, your spiritual stigmata make you more beautiful than ever, as did the Wounds of Love on the Body of Christ. He did not resurrect with a pristine Body, but forever, the Second Person of the the Most Blessed Trinity is changed…for the better. God is Human, True Man, True God with True Wounds. His Body, Soul, Heart and Mind have lots of mileage on them, you could say. Jesus seduces sinners with His vulnerability, like Mary Magdalene, His weakness that has saved us, His apparent lack of attraction and appeal because He took it all our ugliness upon Himself.

Your wounds are signs and proofs of your love and conversion, they do not make you ugly or unattractive or unappealing, only mature in love. Through them you can heal and attract many souls for Christ as He does with His Wounds. You can be His little open wound calling out to others to learn from Him what the truth of Love is the the Love of Truth. If he, your prospective spouse or date, cannot see this, you can do a heaven of a lot better than that…He must be someone with depth of soul and suffering who has lived great dissapointments in himself as well and come out trusting in Divine Mercy and His Mother as the Great Renovators of souls.

Jesus and Mary made Mary Magdalene, and all sinners, more beautiful than if they had never sinned, providing they admit the truth about themselves. The sour grapes become sweeter wine as repentance ferments our hearts. Mary has the Jesus touch and turns all raw rough materials into gold. The toughest materials must be forged in the most intense heat which make them most pure, compared to those who were not so dense, but they can’t stand the heat of purification if we use the analogy of precious metals. Your future spouse must be one of these kind of precious metals who has withstood the heat of Truth.

Such men exist and I have met them and they are looking for a woman like you. They just don’t advertise. They seek with their heart someone like them who has suffered. It shows a mile away if you pay attention. You will both win each others’ hearts very naturally as you bear witness to what you have been through. When the time comes, you will share what you feel is appropriate, prudently and confidently. You will check each other out spiritually to see if you can share the pearls of suffering and wisdom with one another. You don’t need to play a role, just be yourself and bear witness to the Truth and if he be a real man, he will be first to do this with you anyway.

In other words, you don’t have to wait at the bottom of a blue box of recyclable virgins, waiting for someone to have pity on you, or settle for something less than the ideal…This one of the of games of self-love to avoid rejection and more suffering and dissapointment in the future…Please don’t…Take courage and accept to be the beautiful Saint Jesus wants you to be through Mary. Jesus will make all things new and improved and better in spite of your fall, and, even through your fall…O Happy Fault that gave us such a wonderful Redeemer we sing in the Exultate in Easter Vigil…this applies to every one of our personal sins by mere implementation of the remedy of the Precious Blood… Do we really believe that Jesus makes all things work for the good of those who love Him, or not?

We always want a garantee that this time it will work and it will be o.k., even though…this is conditional trust in His Love. It is not being willing to give yourself entirely without reserve or hesitation to God or to your beloved. This is what is in your control and what really matters, that you can believe in love and practice love more than ever before in total trust, abandonment, surrender and confidence, disclosing your vulnerability, the nakedness of your soul, first to God, in prayer, in Confession, then, when the time is ripe, to the chosen soul for you, and, he will do the same. This is the risk and the challenge of love. We all yearn for this-to meet a soul I can share everything with, and feel unconditionally loved infinitely more all the same, and be able to reciprocate this, in turn.

Aim for the greatest love and intimacy with a future spouse, and all will come in God’s good time. That is what I think anyway, and what I do with my Bride, the Church. She has been through it all, my bride, and I know she will be resplendent with perfect purity, thanks to Mary’s Beauty School by the time She finished with her. We are both on the way there…One last thought: Love is not looking at each other but looking together in the same direction…Look for such a man and look with him at Jesus and Mary. God bless you abundantly in your quest for courage.

Fr. Dominic


#13

[quote="CredoUnumDeo, post:1, topic:257084"]
Hi,

I lost my virginity when I was 17. Over the past six years, I not only committed that sin with the guy who took my virginity, but also with one other guy that I dated. The occasions were infrequent and I always felt horrible afterward, but they did occur more than once with each person. I went to confession and received absolution, and truly did resolve to stay pure, etc etc. I am currently single and living a chaste life.

However, what I did tears me apart. My mother knows what happened, and she has confirmed my current opinion of myself: damaged goods. I know that I need to 'forgive myself' because God has forgiven me, and I do believe He has, but what makes me so ashamed and scared is that if I find a good Catholic guy, and eventually we get to a point where he wants to marry me...and I tell him about this, or he finds out...that I will suddenly become disgusting, which is how I see myself right now.

Is it true that there are guys out there who can forgive this? Isn't it also true that there are just as many (if not more) guys who can't? And when is the right time to let a guy know something like that? I don't like the idea of concealing it, even if its not deception, just, 'you don't need to know this so I wont bring it up', but I don't want to 'lead' a good man on and then find that he is, understandbly, not willing to settle for damaged goods.

Please let me know what some of you think!

[/quote]

Well, if this is of any help, I'm sure (judging by what I've seen both here on CAF and in real life) that there are a lot of "good Catholic men" who are in the exact same boat - maybe even more than those who don't have a past. So, please don't despair over the odds.


#14

Absence of virginity for whatever reason as 'damaged goods' is a wordly standard to my mind. We are called to be a challenge to wordly standards and by living out The Gospel of Jesus - and we need only refer to, for one, the parable of the prodigal son to grasp that The Father welcomes with great joy the repentant son with complete disinterest in his past or what took place during his absence and before he repented and returned. We are called to do likewise and nothing in The Gospels to state that there is some sort of an exception for marital partners, or anyone else for that matter.

Sometimes, however, I can be 'cafeteria Gospel follower' abiding by this aspect of The Gospel - and wordly standards in another instance. Sometimes this is not at all deliberate, but once I recognize I am living by contrary standards to The Gospel, I need to amend the situation and embrace The Gospel in all areas of my life. Sometimes not at all easy - sometimes absolutely challenging and difficult and it is a lifetime's work and project, commitment.

A 'cafeteria Gospel follower' would be also a 'cafeteria Catholic' to my mind since as Catholic I am called to follow The Gospel of Jesus.


#15

Well, I won't cast judgement on you.

But I will say however that when it comes to my experience with women, things are always bad. I'm practically all but given up on them, and am starting to look at a monastic life with interest. I've lived a life without any sex at all. (Still a virgin) and I think my virginity has a lot to do with how American culture has really disappointed me. I've tried dating, ended bad, I've tried more dating, still bad, I've tried social conversation with women, it went so bad that I've just about given up on talking to women at all. I don't even talk to my mother, which...is also bad.

At any point, perhaps these people here may be more understanding of life and love and sex and all that nonsense. As for me, well, I guess love isn't going to be for me. At least, love in the sense between a man and a woman.

I will say this, if MY wed-to-be waited 'till the last minute to tell me she wasn't a virgin, you can expect a lot of friction in that. Depends on how much I love her. Personally I don't see any hope of love at all, it's actually too painful to think about...

But let me just give some advice:

If he loves you, he'll understand. If not, then you move on.

-MontChevalier


#16

You are not damaged goods.

As far as what to tell a guy...., you don't discuss it. If he asks if you are a virgin, don't lie. If he asks, just tell him that you are not a virgin. If he wants details or a number, absolutely do not go there. No good can come from discussing past sexual partners with the exception of STD risks. That issue can be addressed with tests.


#17

[quote="Paul1961, post:16, topic:257084"]
As far as what to tell a guy...., you don't discuss it. If he asks if you are a virgin, don't lie. If he asks, just tell him that you are not a virgin. If he wants details or a number, absolutely do not go there. No good can come from discussing past sexual partners with the exception of STD risks. That issue can be addressed with tests.

[/quote]

I'm not so sure about this. I think with some couples it would be important to 'clear the air' on this subject, with others, perhaps not. If a woman I loved wanted to know about my past, would I refuse to tell her, perhaps jeopardizing our chance of marriage, or frustrating her while making her constantly wonder what I was trying to hide? No. I would tell her what she wanted to know, taking the risk, out of love for her. On the other hand, neither would I burden her with information that she did not want to know.

Whatever the case, it is critical that there not be any deceit.


#18

I'm grateful to everyone for their encouragement and advice!

To follow up, I want to relate something for the benefit of anybody else who feels or felt like me and reads this in the future:

When I said I was single, I am, but within the past 6 months or so I became reacquainted with a childhood friend of mine. He is a great guy and a staunch Catholic--a true gentleman. He began to show a marked interest, which was mutual, but the question of whether or not, and when, to tell him about my past was tormenting me. So when he said he was preparing to talk to my dad about officially taking me out in the future, I decided to tell him. I feel that it was the right decision in light of the fact that we were under no obligations to one another at that point, and I respected him enough that I felt he deserved total honesty before he made a decision about me.

His reaction was more beautiful and forgiving than I could have hoped. I think we will be dating very soon, and see where God's will takes us.

But I wanted to relate this as encouragement, of the kind I was looking for and found when I first posted this topic, for anybody who has struggled with similar doubts. In fact, I can repeat what this young man said to me when he quoted JPII in responding to the information I'd given him--"Be Not Afraid!"


#19

Credo, that is wonderful news! May God bless you both.


#20

:thumbsup: I’m glad you worked it out. I’m sure it helped that you already knew him from before. For someone beginning to date a complete stranger, this discussion should probably wait until after a few dates. The reason for this is that you would no longer be telling a complete stranger but a new friend. One who hopefully understands you well enough to sympathize.


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