“I DO” : My Courtship Story: Part 7

This post is part of a series. To start at the beginning click here.

We spent most of our time together at our family homes, so we also spent a lot of our time together trying to evade family. Since we were engaged we were allowed to go on short excursions alone to public places. So we ran errands for the wedding, like picking up my wedding dress after the alterations were finished, or running to the mall to pick out “Hunk”’s wedding band. When we were around my house, we went for lots of walks together, and I even took him up to my secret spot on the garage roof where we could be alone.
At the end of June (about 3 weeks out from the wedding) I went on another trip with “Hunk” and his family. We all flew out to spend a week with his extended family and introduce me to his grandma. Again, time together was wonderful! Like the weekend early that same month, we ended up getting a lot closer on this trip. His family mostly left us alone when there were no planned events, so we had days of uninterrupted time to wander around the parks in the area.

Up until this point, we had been able to keep my parents rules for the most part. My Dad still hadn’t approved hugging, and we did hug when we were out of his eyesight. But other than that we were being very careful. The emphasis on no physical touch just seemed to heighten the desire for it all the more. I was torn between really wanting to get closer to My Love, but still feeling an incredible burden to obey my parents and give a good example for my siblings. My parents always explained the reasons for their rules being that “kissing would inevitably lead to other stuff”. On this trip, it became apparent to “Hunk” and I that you could get around to “other stuff” even if you never technically kissed. The whole thing started to feel ridiculous, and “Hunk” was getting frustrated. We both knew that the no kissing rule was silly, and we both wanted to kiss, but I was still saying no each time he asked me, and he respected that no.

*******************

After we returned from the trip, I was getting fed up. We had all this pressure to be a wonderful example of what finding your spouse “the Christian way” meant, and I didn’t want to pretend that meant we hadn’t gone beyond holding hands. Maybe it was possible to go through courtship and engagement without any physical connection, but it didn’t feel like as big a deal as I was supposed to think it was and our relationship wasn’t turning out that way.

At church everyone was so impressed with our Courtship (aside from the pregnancy rumours that continued to circulate), many parents in the church saw us as a wonderful example of a “pure” relationship, and used it to bolster their own opinions of their authoritative role as parents in their own children’s lives. I even heard from one Quiverfull mom who was planning on bringing her 6 children (all under the age of ten) to the wedding because she wanted them to see how we had “saved our first kiss”. It felt hypocritical to stand up at our wedding and kiss for the first time, thereby implying that we had zero physical connection throughout our engagement. So 8 days before the wedding I decided that the charade was over and on a walk to the park near my house, I kissed him (or should I say attacked him!).

It was such a relief to have it over with and not have to think about it anymore! Later that day, I informed my Mom that the kissing ban was officially over since I had kissed “Hunk”. She was disappointed, but fairly understanding. She said it was good that we had held out against temptation as long as we did, and that one day I would be grateful we hadn’t kissed. When my Dad heard, he just made the tight-lipped look that he gets when he isn’t happy, but I guess since the wedding was so close, he decided to let it slide.

At some point in that week before the wedding, my Mom decided to talk with me about sex, for the first time since I got the bare bones basics “where babies come from” talk at 11 years old. She basically asked if I had any questions about the wedding night. I asked her if losing your virginity was painful, and she replied that she didn’t really remember, but that she didn’t think so. And that was it. A few months after the wedding, she pulled me aside and asked if I knew that women could have orgasms. I have to admit I laughed when I told her that thankfully I had figured out a few things on my own thanks to books and the internet.

“Hunk” and I never had any pre-marital counselling. I guess the idea was that since we were both Christians and had extensive involvement of our parents who had determined that we were compatible, it was unnecessary. Plus “Hunk”’s Dad was a Pastor, so we had some chats with him that I guess were supposed to be a substitute for counselling. We never talked about Family systems or background or boundaries, or conflict resolution, or finances, or anything much really. He gave us a book on sex and told us what we’d been hearing since we were young, “sex is great, but only when you are married”.

*******************

The day of the wedding dawned beautiful and sunny. I showered and went over to the church early. My sisters and I did our own hair (I wore mine down in loose curls) and I put on a little eye makeup and some lipstick. We all had our pictures taken. I loved my wedding dress. We had found it on the clearance rack and it had fit me perfectly (with the exception of the 8 inches they cut off the bottom). The bodice was satin, with a belt and neckline of white beading. The floor length skirt was satin with a sheer layer over it, and it had a small train. My favourite part was the sleeves, they were long, sheer and flared out at the edges, like a princess. The neckline was scooped to a few inches below my collar bone, and a bit lower than my Dad liked. But the price had been very good, and the dress was very modest overall, so in the end it had been approved.

The ceremony went smoothly. Neither of us had that many childhood friends (he had one good friend, I had none) and we wanted to include our many siblings, so we opted to have just sibling stand up. I had everyone over age 8 (4 sisters and a brother) on my side, and he had all 4 of his sisters. I walked up the aisle to “Be Thou my Vision” and I hardly remember who was there, I was so focused on “Hunk” at the end of the aisle. The sermon is a blur in my mind, I do know that it seemed longwinded, and since his Dad was doing it there was a lot of stuff about “Hunk” in it, and like nothing about me which was a bit strange. As the vows approached, I was so nervous. I felt hot and cold and shaky, I could feel my face burning and later looking at the photo’s I realized that my skin had been white and covered in red splotches. “Hunk” told me later that he wondered if I was going to pass out! I made it through just fine, promising to submit to him in all things (I did try at first, but I never was very good at that) we sang a very long song, and then we were pronounced husband and wife.

We had a wonderful time taking pictures as a couple, and then the reception began. We had a buffet luncheon of fruit and sandwiches (which turned out very nice) and then spent some time going from table to table to greet and thank our guests. The one major regret I have is that just as we had finished greeting “Hunk”’s family and the church members, and were getting to the tables with our friends and my extended family, “Hunk”’s Dad (who was the self-appointed MC) told us that we needed to sit down because they were going to start the speeches and other programs. He said that we could get back to greeting the rest of the guests afterwards so I gave in, but we never did get to say hello to the rest of the guests.

We had been informed that we needed to tell our courtship story so that people could see an example of a courtship that had “worked” (aka ended in marriage) so I went up to the mike and shared a synopsis of our story, and I was sure to include the fact that the kiss in the ceremony was not our first, for the sake of all the other young couples to follow in the courtship mindset. There was no dancing, since this was a fundamentalist wedding, and when my Dad went up for his speech he told us to be sure to have lots of babies since he was looking forward to grandchildren. I remember feeling slightly disappointed that he didn’t really have much more to say about me, but I had mostly expected that.

**********************

Late in the afternoon the guests were starting to leave, and “Hunk” and I were ready to take off. After saying goodbye to parents and siblings, my Dad shook “Hunk”’s hand and passed us a little spending cash. We climbed into our car and drove away. We made a quick stop to grab our bags and change our clothes and then we settled in for our drive to our honeymoon location. We were both tired from the long day, and tense from so much interaction with family. But as time went on we found ourselves relaxing and falling back into our usual pattern of talking about our experiences of the day. We spent some time opening all the wedding cards and reading the funny notes inside and counting the cash. We stopped at a Chinese buffet to eat and by the time we got to our destination 3 hours later we were feeling at ease together.

We spent a delicious 6 days alone in that little condo. We ate out together, and when we stayed in I cooked way too much food (that’s what happens when you are used to cooking for a dozen people). We went for walks, and watched movies together. We went to the beach (where I’m pretty sure we completely disgusted everyone with our displays of affection) and we spent many (rather awkward) hours in bed together. It was so wonderful to be alone, without anyone else to tell us what to do. We did interrupt our honeymoon for one evening, at the request of “Hunk”’s Dad. He wanted us to meet with him and the family at the home of a wealthy supporter of his ministry. So we went, because it was “important”. The rest of the time was ours, and that week came to a close all too soon.

*********************

We moved around for the next few weeks staying with family, until the Seminary Apartments were open for us to move in. After 3 months together (at barely 20 years old) we were starting married life, but we still had so much to learn about each other.

We got pregnant right away, and I spent the first several months of marriage puking so much that I lost 15 pounds. Then we lost that baby, and when we got pregnant again a few months later, we lost that baby as well. We grieved and struggled through depression together. Hunk was taking 19 credit hours of graduate work, and working for his Dad’s ministry and was often exhausted and working long into the night. I was a stay-at-home wife, trying to process the loss of our first two babies.

Since we had gotten married “God’s way”, we were told that we would have a free pass on all the problems that come with marriage. But we had a lot to learn about communication. He alternately confided in me and ordered me around, I alternately “rebelled against his authority” and submitted. We fought. A lot. We fought about religion, finances, gender roles, and family boundaries. Both of us were far too enmeshed in our families of origin, and it took a long time for us to truly “leave and cleave”.

Be sure to come back soon for my concluding thoughts on Courtship

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16891461692390092827 rachel

    Oh I can't wait to hear the end! I love seeing that another segment has been posted – everyone's story is so different and they have different thoughts about what did or did not happen. I am riveted!

    And wouldn't it be wonderful if just because we were in Christian marriages that we did indeed get a pass? Makes you wonder about those people that say that … are they single? Or do they just not see their spouse?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08135229596877003069 Michelle

    It's been amazing to read this. I found myself glad that you kissed your man before the wedding. Not sure why…just did.

    Courtship in this way is so very different from the way I met my husband and decided to marry him. In some ways I see it as better, but in others, I could see how it would be so difficult and maybe even scary.

    Perhaps when i think that I want to be involved when my children choose a mate, what I really want and hope for is to see the values we've instilled in them and the love of Christ in them through their decision and that of their future husband or wife.

    That is (of course) if their vocations turn out to be marriage. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03792937108732259684 priest’s wife

    and they lived happily ever after….
    isn't it funny with all the first year adjustments in a marriage even when you really love each other? :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Rachel- I'm not sure. I think that alot of them feel the need to pretend everything is perfect, and I know that my parents felt a lot of their issues in marraige all stemmed from "sins of the past". I think they thought that they could somehow spare us from pain if we just followed the formula for success to the "T".

    Michelle- I'm glad I kissed him too. :) This courtship model is is very different from the usual, and yes, it was scary in some ways. I appreciate parental involvement, but when it crosses the line to control I think it will always go badly, because there really isn't any way to control another persons thoughts and beliefs.

    pries's wife- I think the "adjustments" are there in part BECAUSE you love each other. Otherwise why would you bother to fight with the person?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08553760391176072177 Joy

    Really enjoying the series, and your description of your dress sounds a lot like mine. I loved the 'belled' sleeves!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05354424704358588553 lissla lissar

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with a wise friend recently- she's a therapist and fairly newly married, and she thinks that premarital counselling is mostly a waste of time. What she thinks would be splendid is if churches offered counselling at the end of the first year, when you're still newly in love but after you've begun to drive each other crazy. I mean notice each other's flaws. ;) I think that's an amazing idea, and would love, LOVE to see it happen.

    Anyway, I'm really enjoying your story, and I can't wait for the end.

  • http://lydiapurpuraria.wordpress.com/ lydiapurpuraria

    This has been a great series. My husband and I actually didn't kiss until we got engaged, but that was our decision because of some bad stuff that had happened in relationships past. It was great for us, but it's not for everyone, and once we kissed we kissed good and proper. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Joy- I knew the minute I put it on that it was the dress I wanted, all because of those sleeves.

    Lissla- Haha! That's when you "need" it I suppose. I think it would be great to have both pre-marital counselling and one year anniversary counselling. My husband as a minister, always reccomends pre-marital counselling because he feels like if you go before you are married, it gets the stigma of "counselling is only for bad marriages or abusive situations" out of the way. Then hopefully when there is actually a problem, its not as hard to convince yourself to go!

    Lydia- I like the idea of waiting on kissing until engaged, but agree that it is not for everyone. And I think that saving your first kiss for the alter is pretty extreme.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05117120475033380036 Emily G.

    I've really really enjoyed reading this story. My husband and I are Catholic, but we did courtship very similar to what you went through. My parents had vague, rather strict ideas of how things were supposed to go. I keep laughing when I read about you evading your siblings. We spent so much time trying to talk without eavesdroppers. Sometimes we simply resorted to walking in big circles around my parents house. No one wanted to bother following us! We started out planning to save our first kiss for our wedding. Four months into our eight month long engagement, when we, like you, realised that you can get to 'other stuff' without any lip contact, we decided to just kiss and have it over. Oddly, once that barrier was down we had an easier time being pure, not harder. We did not kiss very many more times before our wedding. With my own children, I think I will not set such strict physical boundaries once they are engaged.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06628206579067878095 Sarah

    That was brave of you to tell everyone that you had not saved your first kiss for the altar – was there any backlash or comments from your guests? I was also glad at the part when you finally locked lips :-)

    It's so encouraging to me to hear stories about getting through hardships in marriage – right now the thought of fighting with my Beau and getting on his nerves terrifies me. I've loved reading this series – can't wait for the last installment!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01641970264436339191 dulce de leche

    I enjoy your story so much. I smiled over the kiss. Carlos and I waited 3 years, although we weren't officially engaged. Our story has patriarchal weirdness, too, though it wasn't as extreme as what you guys went through. It makes me so thankful for grace. :)

  • Anonymous

    Lots of thoughts on the first kiss! My husband and I waited to kiss until our wedding day, and neither of us regret it. I have to say, though, that if it were something either of our parents had tried to force on us, or if it was something that one of us didn't agree to, it would have been a difficult and perhaps unhealthy thing. As it was, we both agreed to it on our own. Even after five years, I admire the way he restrained himself and respected me. (We hugged, held hands, kissed on the cheek.) Waiting until marriage to kiss is something I would never expect or try to force on my own children. We'll probably tell them what we did and leave it at that, only stressing the importance of chastity and purity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04559244806125834569 The Sojourner

    Bother. I composed a vast comment and Google ate it.

    Abbreviated version: BF and I don't kiss (yet), but that's our own choice based on discussing it between ourselves, not something that was forced on us by our parents. We do hug and snuggle on the couch watching movies and other such terribly scandalous stuff.

    I can still sympathize with the parental control thing, though. It seems to be pretty universal that parents don't want their young adult children to mess up and so they institute arbitrary rules based on their own experience and not on their child's actual situation. It kind of makes me mad. Maybe I'll change my mind when I'm 40 and on the other end of things, but I hope not.

    P.S. Your dress sounds gorgeous.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Emily G- Time alone had always been hard to get growing up in a big family, Courtship sure didn’t change that! I agree with purity becoming easier after kissing. Honestly I think it would have been a good way for us to have a physical outlet and connection point, artificially restricting it made everything more difficult. (My primary love language is Physical touch! Being near him really helped me to solidify my feelings for him despite our short engagement.)

    Sarah- There was some general disappointment, but not a whole lot of direct interaction from our guests.

    Dulce- Wow, I can’t imagine 3 years! I think that even if our relationship had been more normal, we would have been married in under a year. I am so thankful that I wasn’t just betrothed to someone by my Dad, I’m also thankful that my Dad believed that he knew enough about my husband to approve him without the “dating the Dad” thing that a lot of patriarchal families do.

    Anonymous- I also admire the way my husband respected me, it was one of the things that really drew me to him! I agree about not forcing children to do what we did, I think it has to be each person’s decision.

    Sojourner- Scandalous! ;) I think a lot of parental control starts with good intentions, but like you said, they base their restrictions on their own experience, and fail to see their children as different people. It reminds me of all the times my Dad would say “If you ever say anything like that to your husband someday, he would be furious!” My husband is completely different than my Dad, and bothered by completely different things.

  • Lisa

    I recently told my dad that there are some people that wait until their wedding day for their first kiss, and his response was "That's crazy! How on earth could you even know that the guy isn't gay?" lol. I remember as a kid, asking my mom about her first kiss, and she would always say "why my wedding day, of course!" in an exaggerated "wink, wink, nudge, nudge," kind of way. I still don't know anything about my mom's first kiss, but I guess my dad's comment clarified once and for all that it was not, in fact on her wedding day.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02614822971755761394 Rebecca

    I hope you'll share how you found a balance in your marriage…thanks again for a great read!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Lisa- Haha! I would actually consider that to be a somewhat legitimate fear, are you actually attracted to each other?

    Rebecca- I'm still writing the final post. Can I ask what you mean by balance? Balance in what areas? I'd love to address it if I can.

  • Beth

    I wanted to add that my husband and I kissed all the time before we were married and his respect for me has never waivered.

    I am amazed when I speak with fundamentalists (either christian or Catholic christian) who have decided that their children will not kiss before marriage (even though they did themselves) They are raising their kids to believe their is something wrong or sinful about kissing. I think it can cause a great deal of psychological trouble down the road.

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story young mom. How has your journey (with faith and questioning) affected your marriage? Is your husband understanding or is this hard for him to accept? Does he have similiar issues he is working out? I have had my own journey from fundamentalism (both christian and Catholic christian) and it has been interesting to see how this unfolds in both my life and my husband's and the role it has in our marriage.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Beth- So you know, I in no way meant to imply that not kissing was the only way to show respect! I simply admire the fact that my husband respected my no as no, even when I wasn't so sure of it myself. I think that teaching that kissing is sinful is damaging. I had a difficult time relaxing and being OK with my body and married sexuality for long (several years) after we were married.

    Interesting questions about faith and marriage. According to the christian marriage books, we were pretty unevenly yoked from the start. Actually our first huge screaming match stemmed out of a debate over calvinism, so we were not fully a match theologically even before I started wrestling with doubt. I think I'll turn this into a post itself sometime soon. (Forgive me if it takes a little while, I never know when writing will happen. :)

  • Rebecca in CA

    Very neat. Glad you kissed. My jaw is still on the floor that kissing and hugging of any sort was not allowed, weeks before the wedding… Did the question ever come up of whether you could kiss/hug while others were present? It seems like even in quite proper times, although an unmarried man and woman wouldn't be found alone together for any lengthy period of time, it was expected that between an engaged couple there would be appropriate public display of affection, which would include (chaste) kisses.

  • http://nowealthbutlife.com Rae

    Okay, I love the fact that your first screaming match was over Calvinism. Josh and I aren't screamers (well, I might occasionally raise my voice, you'll have to ask him) but our really angry fights tend to be over things like ectopic pregnancy (which thankfully we haven't actually dealt with, it's totally abstract ethics).

    Anyway I appreciate your writing as always. Josh and I never planned to "save" our first kiss which didn't really make things easier, but I do think made it better for us. One of my dear friends was determined to kiss for the first time on her wedding day and they too ended up doing a lot that was, well, a lot closer to resulting in a positive pregnancy test. So I imagine that is fairly common.

    I'm sorry about how much of your wedding and reception was not about you two, at least not including you. I say its one thing if they want to talk about Jesus more than the couple, but otherwise it should be balanced! ;-)

    I wish people would be more honest about something you hint at here: all the courtships that don't end in marriage (or end in marriage that ends in divorce, as is already the case for some of my friends). It is amazing how wonderfully you've done despite all this.

    As for your last point, I am a HUGE fan of people not getting married until they've moved out from their parents' homes, even if only for 6 months.

    Really looking forward to the last part!

  • Beth

    No worries, I did not think you implied that. Take you time with the post. I think it is amazing you find anytime to write!!

    I need to submit my comment 3 times before I see that it will go thru–do you get my comment x3–sorry if you do but it does not seem to go thru

  • Anonymous

    As a couple who do not come from religious backgrounds and have come to follow Catholic teaching only since we got married, our stories could not be more different. We both had other partners before we met and lived together before we decided to get married so the idea of not even kissing is beyond my comprehension. Even though we both now very much regret not waiting and I particularly struggle with not having been a virgin when I met my husband. 

    I read a lot of stories of 'pure courtship' and although I admire the couples and wish I had had the personal strength (and maybe parental guidance) to have done the same. I do really feel for those who after waiting so long fall pregnant so soon and never reply get the chance to get to know each other. And having miscarried myself your story was doubly moving. 

    We agreed to abstain for our 6 month engagement as I came off the pill and we wanted to start afresh as soon as we were married and my body had settled down. As it happens I fell pregnant literally two weeks into married life, it was what we wanted and marked a big part of our change of heart. But even though we were delighted I'm so glad looking back we had intimate time together before pregnancy. 

    As someone who did both, I truely beleave that both pre-marital sex and contraception are wrong and I regret both but I would also urge any couple to chart,  practice NFP and delay their first child for at least a few months to give themselves a bit of time to enjoy what is such an important part of marriage before pregnancy and babies take over.  

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Rebecca in CA- My parents were uncomfortable with any display of affection between me and my fiancé, they were fine with it after we were married. Let’s just say I was glad our engagement was short!

    Rae- I didn’t think I was a screamer myself (it wasn’t allowed growing up). But my husband was the first person who would actually bother to hear all my feelings, the good and the bad. And he is the kind of person who gets loud in a fight, and then forgets all about the fight an hour later! Once he gets it out it’s gone, I have a harder time letting things go. Part of the reason Calvinism was such a big debate for us, was because he was a Calvinist and I was not and we had differing understandings of God’s relationship to/ the salvation of the babies we lost
    It was very hard for me to not kiss, especially with the wedding looming so soon, I really wanted to feel close to him before the day arrived, and part of feeling loved for me includes physical connection. I think that kissing could have been a healthy outlet for that need without all of the stress of wanting to be near each other and feeling guilty over every little touch since we weren’t supposed to be touching at all!
    I’m tired of the “courtship is the way to have a successful marriage” lie as well. There is no formula that will make the perfect marriage. I’m hoping to talk more about that in the last post.
    I could see the living out of the home being a big advantage before getting married. In my upbringing that would have been impossible since women were not allowed to live outside of the “protection” of either their father or husband, ever.

    Beth- Sorry the comment form was giving you trouble! And yes, sometimes I wonder how I find time to write too! I guess it’s because I only write about what is just spilling out of me already, so when I sit down to write, a 1000 words can get typed pretty quickly.

    Anonymous- As a very jealous person, I am glad that my husband and I were each other’s first. I am thankful that I valued marriage and met someone who did as well. I appreciate that my parents gave me a high view of the importance of marriage and think that parents can go a long way encouraging their children to value themselves and marriage. I do not think that their involvement in the courtship process was helpful at all.
    I can definitely see the benefits of postponing children for a time after marriage, especially when courtship and engagement was quick. With our theology going into marriage, there was no questioning that we were supposed to have children right away, in our religion that was pretty much the only point of marriage. Also my value as a woman was highly tied to reproducing. Looking back, I would make a different decision now, but of course I would never trade the children I have now. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09934795013862435614 Anna

    Interesting point about the benefits of leaving home before marriage. In the modern world, it seems so crazy to me NOT to encourage that degree of mature independence before marriage.

    A traditionalist Catholic acquaintance of mine, in his thirties "courted" and married a young girl, 100% homeschooled and barely nineteen. (I believe the marriage was arranged a year or two earlier, in fact.) He has advanced graduate degrees; there was no plan for her to get any education at all.

    Besides the creepiness of it, the thing I don't understand is why the parents (and the husband!) don't worry about what will happen 5 or 10 or 15 years down the road. Isn't she going to resent her inferior position, and feel she was pushed into it? How can such a young girl, carefully deprived of adult experiences, and presented with no other path toward freedom, truly make the free commitment marriage requires?

    It truly seems like a miracle that you and your husband have built a healthy marriage. You must both be very resilient. Before reaching the stability you have, did either of you ever struggle with feelings that your vows weren't made freely? Or is that too personal to ask?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Anna- I was not allowed to get any education or have any activities outside the homeat all. It would have interfered with my “God-given” role as homemaker and homeschooling mother. In my upbringing, there would be no thought to continued happiness in that role because you had no other choice if you wanted to be in god’s will, so you had to make it work, period. Looking back, I am amazed that our marriage is as healthy as it is, because it had a sort of “escape” aspect to it. But I think the fact that both my husband and I are the same age and come from very similar backgrounds, and both became disillusioned around the same time, things went more smoothly than they could have. We count ourselves among the lucky ones.

  • Anonymous

    I'm jealous to but our big regret in not having waited is exactly as you say that we did not treat marriage and ourselves with the reverence that we now believe it deserves and although I do not envy the extreme control which your parents exercised I wish I had come from a background with a strong moral framework.

    Although I find your parents view which measures a woman's worth solely in terms of her role as a mother. I definitely feel a greater guilt for having been sexually active before marriage than I would as a man and although my conscious mind knows its unfair I it definitely a factor in leading me now to a more conservative / fundamentalist interpretation of Catholic teaching and in particular my objection to contraception. I do not believe that children are the sole purpose of marriage or that pregnancy is the sole purpose of sex, but I am deeply ashamed of having tried to separate the two and although as I said I would urge couples to delay their first child a little to give time to get to know each other. I believe passionately in the importance ( to women in particular ) of being open to life.

    Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to conceive, not all women love their role as a mother and most women are so much more than just that but the fact is that God and nature truly designed us to save ourselves for one man, our husband and to bear children in partnership with him and we are not at liberty to change that.


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