First, do NOT read this article if you can’t handle the cold, hard truth. Go back to your Vampire Diaries.
Second, Catholics love sex. If you don’t believe me, read a little European history. Oh, and look at your own family. (Nuff said? Okay.)
Third, why on earth is sex such a big deal? It would be far easier for Catholics to just relax, already, and do what everyone else is doing – guilt free! Right?
Wrong. Read on, if you dare…
Not About Your Self-Esteem
You can relax, because I am not going to deliver a lecture on your self-esteem. Actually, I couldn’t care less about your self -esteem.
What I care about is you spending your youth bouncing from one guy to the next. It’s called ‘serial monogamy’ – and it’s all the rage with people in the 20-40 age group.
After that, the men settle down and marry a younger woman, if they are successful enough. Women get fat, bitter and depressed. (Or, they spend jillions on cosmetic treatments, marry a guy who is years younger and settle down to life as a successful cougar. NOT. Does the name ‘Demi Moore’ ring a bell?)
I am not going to deliver a lecture on your self-esteem. Actually, I couldn’t care less about your self -esteem.
So, how do you avoid this fate worse than death?
Step One: Be honest. Admit that you want to get married and have a family. You don’t have to tell anyone this. Just admit it to yourself. (There, now doesn't that feel better?)
Step Two: Look at your boyfriend. Is he sacramental marriage material?
Step Three: Learn what sacramental marriage material looks like. (See: “What a Catholic Husband Knows” below.)
Step Four: Repeat Step Two.
If your answer is ‘yes,’ then you need to exercise some self-control for the sake of your future marriage. (See: “Re-Virginization”)
If your answer is ‘no,’ then what are you doing wasting your time like this? (See: “How To Get On the Right Track For a Happy Future”)
Step Five: You and your boyfriend need to decide about marriage. Go to church, and pray for strength. A good first step is to sit down with your parish priest and ask his advice, together. He will probably tell you to enroll in Pre-Cana classes, which are designed to help you discern and prepare for the sacrament. Take it one day at a time, but move forward steadily towards your goal of a true Catholic marriage.
If you are playing the serial monogamy game, you should know that after a certain age, men settle down and marry a younger woman — if they are successful enough. Many women get fat, bitter and depressed. (Or, they spend jillions on cosmetic treatments, marry a guy who is years younger and settle down to life as a successful cougar. NOT. Does the name ‘Demi Moore’ ring a bell?)
What a Catholic Husband Knows
Is your boyfriend sacramental marriage material?
What’s a ‘sacramental marriage,’ you ask?
For 2000 years, the Church has regarded marriage as a sacrament, an outward sign of God’s grace. This is in contrast to most religions, where marriage is a contract, which can be terminated when one or the other partner is unhappy.
Marriage was instituted – like all other sacraments – as a way to help you get to heaven. A Catholic husband knows what his job is: to help his wife and children get to heaven.
That’s his Prime Directive: He needs to do whatever needs to be done to help his wife and children be holy.
Why? Because he loves them, and he wants eternal life for them and himself.
This is why he works hard to earn a living. Not so he can have all the latest toys. That is called selfishness – just the same as you blowing all your money shopping.
This is why he insists on practicing your Faith. Not because he’s weird. Because he knows that is the way to grow closer and stay in the state of grace.
This is why he helps you whenever he can. Not because he’s a fair-minded feminist. Because he knows you need help, and he wants to make your life better. Why? Because that will help you be holier—and get you to heaven.
This is why he avoids pornography, excessive drinking, gambling, drugs and womanizing. Not because he’s boring. Because he knows all of that is ‘sin’ — the road to deep unhappiness for you, for him and for your future children.
So, does your boyfriend know all this? Do you think he is capable of committing himself to this goal, for the rest of his life?
If your answer is ‘yes,’ then you need to exercise some self-control for the sake of your future marriage. (See: “Re-Virginization” below.)
If your answer is ‘no,’ then what are you doing wasting your time like this? (See: “How To Get On the Right Track For a Happy Future” below.)
A Catholic husband avoids pornography, excessive drinking, gambling, drugs and womanizing. Not because he’s boring.
It looks like you have a great future husband! So, let’s say you do marry this great guy. How are you going to keep your love affair going? Through the jealousies, the stress, the diapers and babies crying at 4 am? Through losing your figure? Losing his job? Bad medical diagnoses? Sick children? Aged parents needing care? Money problems?
Seems impossible, and I have no doubt you have seen all kinds of relationships and marriages train wreck. So what’s the difference between those and the old couples you see who have been happily married for 50 years?
Well, science has now proven what we all knew: It turns out that sex is key to happy marriages. A slew of recent studies confirm that married couples who practice their religion have the best sex.
More to the point, all kinds of studies show that delaying sex makes for happier marriages. Here’s just one:
A 2010 Journal of Family Psychology study involved 2,035 married participants in an online assessment of marriage called “RELATE.” According to the study, people who waited until marriage:
- rated sexual quality 15% higher than people who had premarital sex
- rated relationship stability as 22% higher
- rated satisfaction with their relationships 20% higher
The benefits were about half as strong for couples who became sexually active later in their relationships but before marriage.[i]
A slew of recent studies confirm that married couples who practice their religion have the best sex.
Seems reasonable? But impossible? Because there is no such thing as ‘re-virginization’?
Take a deep breath. I know that you are already sleeping with him. And that stopping this seems like something you cannot do.
Actually, there is a chemical reason for this. It’s because your oxytocin level is very high. Oxytocin is called the ‘bonding’ hormone; women secrete oxytocin in lovemaking and breastfeeding. It’s the reason why your girlfriend can’t leave her bum of a boyfriend. It’s also the reason why battered women go back to the slimebags who beat them and cheat on them.
It’s not because women are stupid. It’s because of oxytocin.
It’s the reason why your girlfriend can’t leave her bum of a boyfriend. It’s also the reason why battered women go back to the slimebags who beat them and cheat on them. It’s not because women are stupid. It’s because of oxytocin.
So, how do you fight the chemical in your bloodstream?
Don’t trigger it.
Oxytocin levels rise when women come into contact with men they have slept with. The closer he gets, the more your oxytocin levels rise. The higher your oxytocin levels, the less able you are to think objectively about your loved one. You are bonded to him.
Hmmm, could this be why traditional cultures insisted that courting couples never be left alone?
So, now what?
Now you need to talk to your man. Tell him that you love him, and that you want a future with him. Assure him that there is nobody else in your life. Explain that you want to keep seeing him, but that your sexual relationship needs to stop unless and until you are married.
You will have a LOT of ‘splaining to do, but his reaction will tell you A LOT about whether he is, indeed, sacramental marriage material.
If he is surprised, chagrined but ultimately respectful, go to Step Five.
If he gets angry, sulks or tries to over-ride your wishes, see: “How to Get On the Right Track For a Happy Future.”
Explain that you want to keep seeing him, but that your sexual relationship needs to stop unless and until you are married.
How to Get On the Right Track for a Happy Future
First, if your boyfriend has agreed to abstain from sex, stop right here and go to Step Five above.
However, if you have decided that this guy isn’t for you, you need to end this bad relationship and free yourself for a good relationship that will lead to a happy, Catholic marriage. This isn't easy, but you have to face facts: you have already wasted enough time as it is.
Step One: No contact. Not even once. Do not try to be friends. Do not waste your time trying to make him happy. Soon enough, he will find some else and will have moved on – probably before you are over him. (You can pray for him of course.)
Step Two: Go to confession. Get this off your chest. Ask the priest for his guidance on how to get yourself on the right road. Establish a regular prayer routine whereby you focus your requests for help in finding a good, Catholic spouse. Pray for strength and perseverance.
Step Three: Focus your efforts on finding a good, Catholic man. Here’s a few ideas: Polish up a profile on Catholic Match or Ave Maria Singles. Research Catholic events or conferences you would like to attend. Find yourself a vital parish. (Hint: Latin Mass parishes are teeming with young adults.) Get involved with your parish doing all sorts of great religious and social events.
You need to end this bad relationship and free yourself for a good relationship that will lead to a happy, Catholic marriage. This isn't easy, but you have to face facts: you have already wasted enough time as it is.
And pray that God sends you a good, Catholic spouse.