- 6 years ago
- Wedding: April 2010
I am sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner, as I just received an email notification today.
The wedding is very important to me. We want the opportunity to share our vows with our family and friends. Our wedding invitation actually says a “celebration of the marriage.” We are not trying to fool anyone.
Had I not needed to move 1100 miles, we wouldn’t have done it this way. We prayed about it a lot, and it was the best option for us.
The Baptist church I grew up in dating was rough, it was oddly like the Amish. Talking and applying the bible to sex was never applied, the book of Solomon was always passed over. My bestfriend from the church and I live completely seperate lives. When the time came and we both found our spouses, our lives split. She waited till marriage and I have not. Likeminded we found it odd that the church “dissed” sex, a God given act of love. It surprising churches do not try to change this view point of sex being unnatural or naughty. We had different paths, and she has distance herself from me, but the same view point remains: sex is not to be taken lightly, it is a beautiful and sacrade thing.
I hope you see that it is not my intent to dilute God, sex, or the sanctity of marriage. My order was different that yours or what God calls for, I am aware. But I do regard each with deep thought and my full sincerity.
I didn’t wait. My religious reasoning was thus:
– Much in the Bible was relevant to a certain time and place… a time when it made more sense to avoid shellfish, or to observe other taboos. These rules were designed to protect women in a patriarchal society from being used and left with a child to support, in the days before birth control. Now, we not only have birth control, but women are in a better situation.
– G-d is a father… why would your father not want you to have sex (aside from the obvious… disease, pregnancy etc)? It’s because of the emotional damage that engaging in deep relationships before you are mature enough for them can do to both you and your partner… so that’s a good reason to wait until you are older. But you know when you are ready.
I should also say that I think we live in a society where we have disposable clothes, food… everything. We have learned to take and take, and I’m not a fan of sleeping around because that treats people as if they are disposable as well.. as if one can be simply swapped for another. It seems disrespectful to your fellow human. I’ve also seen how it can lead to hurt feelings… and I will also say that I’ve seen more men hurt than women, so this isn’t a gender thing. My feelings about this apply equally to both genders. However, sex within a committed relationship is completely different to this.
I should also say that abstainance is just not a “thing” in the UK. It’s not really a concept that most people (including most mainstream Christians) really understand. There is also a lot of pressure to have sex… I know people who waited until they were in their mid to late 20s and then really struggled to find partners, simply because the people they dated wondered if they had some sort of dark secret reason why they were still a virgin, and decided to stay clear. So I must say that, sadly, that pressure did affect me. I didn’t want to make myself “undateable”.
I’m confused… a Catholic priest is not allowed to deny a baby baptism, or to deny you marriage, even if you are living together. He CAN deny you communion if you are divorced, because the church does not recognise divorce, and therefore you have abandoned your spouse and sinned in their eyes. If you have the marriage annulled using the proper Catholic procedure, you may take communion again.
I’ve known plenty of people get married in the Catholic church whilst living together etc. Us, for starters! I am not a Catholic, but Darling Husband is, so we followed canon law.
No, my upbringing was very sex negative and full of a lack of information. What information I had was very frightening. I had trouble trusting men for a long time. When I got married, I was so afraid of sex, I couldn’t calm down. I was eventually diagnosed with vaginismus. I had to go through physical therapy and needed to work out psychologically my past to be able to consumate my marriage. It took us two months to finally consummate our marriage. Our attempts before that were…well let’s just say I know to an extreme degree how bad sex bad sex can be even when its not rape.
That said, I don’t think losing my virginity would have been any easier if we hadn’t waited for marriage to make attempts. I actually had a traumatic medical experience related to that area of my body when I was four. I had flashbacks, but no one knew during that time that kids could suffer from post traumatic stress like that and mostly adults just wrote me off as a crybaby and criticized me for crying so much. I became very protective of that area of my body. My parents kept me in the dark about sex and tampons and all that till just before puberty or right at puberty and suddenly the adult world seemed horrible to me. It retriggered a lot of the anxieties. My mom got angry at my refusal to use tampons. My Dad got angry. They said I was ruining family vacations. When I finally tried under their pressure, I failed. Mom threatened to do it for me. I ended up locking myself in the bathroom crying. Finally they realized they wouldn’t get me to use one, but they were mad at me the entire vacation.
Mom tried other approaches. She tried to find the smallest tampons she could with the smoothest edges and when I freaked out, she got angry again and asked me how I ever expected to have sex because guys were a lot bigger than tampons. And then when I started expressing the desire to marry but remain a virgin, my mom told me that wives were obligated to have sex with their husbands. She said it was impossible for a wife to be raped by her husband because you give sexual consent on your wedding day. She also told me that if I tried to withhold sex from marriage, my husband would just cheat on me. It convinced me that men’s desire for sex was so strong that they loved sex more than women. In effect, perhaps they were a bit incapable of love and women were thus morally superior.
It took me a long time to realize that teenage girls were having sex for more reasons than just trying to keep their boyfriends from cheating on them.
Thankfully I got over most of those attitudes by the time I did get married, but …I don’t know. You grow up with those fears and those experiences and everything else positive about sex seems very theoretical. Then you get married and things don’t work and its nothing but burning pain and its like all your old fears come out. Everything else seems like lies. I’m very lucky it only took us two months to consummate our marriage. A lot of women are so afraid that they don’t pesevere in therapy and often go years with an unconsummated marriage.
… so you get to your 20s and you think “eh, so why is X still a virgin? Do they have issues with their body? Are they psychologically scarred by some awful experience? I genuinely don’t understand why they have never had sex” You suspect something awful, and if you don’t want to have to deal with that possibility in your date, you steer clear.
It’s not that virginity is something awful per se… it’s just that it’s not seen as interesting or important, so if older people are virgins then the assumption is that there is something which is psychologically abnormal, if that makes sense?
Recently I’ve come to discover that many different Catholic churches/priests/etc have different views on things like unmarried parents, cohabitating, etc. I’ve even seen some WB posts about girls not knowing what to do because they want to get married in a Catholic church but they’re living with their SO and their priest doesn’t want to marry them. But then again I’ve seen/heard stories where this is no big deal.
I’m not judging either way, I’m just sharing my experiences.
I love the current Pope… and I’m not even Catholic…
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