Monday 5 October 2015

Things have changed

There are a lot of things within the Catholic church I have struggled with over the years and either have found peace with this or found a way of living with the contradiction within myself.

However, recently I have found myself in a place I thought I would never find myself.  I am fast falling in love with a guy.  Which within itself is causing issues within me for different reasons.  However, from my faith point of view this is causing conflict that I am struggling to reconcile within myself.

1. He has been married before, has been separated for quite a while but as of yet not got a divorce. The fact he has been married makes it hard for me to have a church wedding.  Yes, I know I'm jumping the gun a bit here but he is someone I am thinking like that with.

2. Contraception:  I don't want to be a mother... I don't know if I ever want to be a mother and when I was single and happy to stay like that for the rest of my life this was never an issue.  Now it is and I don't know what to do.

3. Sex outside of marriage!  We are seeing each other but I have yet to take that big step (for me) of sleeping with him, for he will be the first person I will have slept with.  This is a bit of a sticking point for me.  The Catholic church is quite clear about sex before marriage and about sleeping with married people.

4. He's (still technically) married.  He becomes an adultery, and I'm destroying a marriage.  Sort of, they have been separated for quite a while.

These were things I've never had to think about.  I was the singleton from now until the day I die.  I made my peace with it, and now this guy has come along and I have to reassess things and I know what I want to do, I know what the church says but I do, and have done for a while, thought they are out dated with their thoughts and believes and have had many a conversation with priests and nuns about this but at the end of the day the church is the church.

I have no idea what I am going to do.  I need advice please... and prayer.  I am going to have to pray about this a lot.


  1. So pleased you've found happiness; long may it flourish.

    My take on these sorts of questions is to ask who will have to live with the consequences: basically they are the ones who ought to take the decisions.

    From a theological background point of view, there are a few questions that seem relevant to me. Firstly, is his previous marriage definitely over, broken down and finished? In many ways the divorce bit is a piece of paper, nothing more.

    Secondly, do you believe the RC ban on contraception is (a) correct and (b) likely to last more than about ten years? I kind of get the official line on the importance of life, but to me this ban is a wrong-minded approach to affirming it.

    Thirdly, how important is it to you to be a virgin on your wedding night? For obvious reason you won't both be so; how much does it matter to you? The church in general, and Rome in particular, has a real problem getting its head around sex for any other purpose than procreation; in the Bible its first purpose seems to have been more about partnership. But the church doesn't get to live with the consequences either way; all they can do is give their opinion (like me ;)

    Your fourth point I think depends on the basic question of whether the old marriage is over. We live in a fallen world and I think it is a shame that churches don't put extra effort into helping second marriages succeed this time - a kind of resurrection witness.

    Whatever you choose, and however things work out, just know that God loves you and is with you.

    Grace & peace.

  2. Sorry, in all those words I missed the important practical advice: if you do have sex outside marriage always use contraception. If you even just possibly might have sex outside marriage use contraception. It is better to have contraception and not need it than the other way around. Effectively your point 3 links back to point 2, in my view.

    Grace & peace.

  3. These are all things I am desperately thinking about. I must confess that I have not always agreed with the church on these matters. And I think I only struggle with it now as an excuse to stop getting close. At the end of the day the Lord understands us, he made us. He knows that best will in the world a marriage may not last, he understands that we do not want to have lots of children or sometimes any. One thing I do know is I'm not convinced I want children.

    Sex is a mystery to me and as a result it scares me. I suspect that my look towards my faith is just my way of avoiding the real issue. What do I think about the man I am dating? Avoiding intimacy and the likes which is something I done my entire life.

    The real question, I suspect, is do I really want to get intimate with another person!

    As always Phil, you read and your thoughts are very welcome. You are a calm voice to me in a head where a hurricane is always blowing. Thank you.