Dear Auntie Seraphic,
Given your past (& present) experiences, I'm interested in your thoughts on this. I was an NCG until after college when I met this guy that I thought I wanted to marry. We quickly became sexually involved, but my conscience got the better of me and we stopped. We then tried for a couple of years to salvage the relationship, but in vain. I subsequently learned the "why" behind the Church's teachings on chastity, and in the process I realized that I had used him to satisfy my desire to be loved and he had used me to satisfy his desire for sex.
Sometime thereafter I began to date someone I thought was an NCB and we became serious enough to talk about marriage. (I told him the relevant information about my previous relationship.) At one point I found it necessary to ask, "What's going to happen when we get married and you want to have sex but I don't?" He responded, "Well, your body is my body and my body is your body, and there will be times when you want to have sex and I don't, and I will have to do that for you." I ended the relationship not long after that conversation.
Auntie Seraphic, I want to marry and I want to have sex and I want to have children. But I am really, really afraid of "having to" have sex. Any time I see wives sort of roll their eyes about sex, it stirs that fear in me again. I realize that this is part of the consequences of my sin, but I can't undo the past and I'm not quite sure how to handle the future. I liked your vitamin C perspective, so I wondered your thoughts on my situation.
Wounded and Wondering
Dear Wounded and Wondering,
You don't have to have sex when you don't want to.
I think we should get that out of the way first. Your almost-fiance was a bit of a dork. The correct answer to "What if sometimes you want to have sex and I don't?" is "Well, honey, I guess I'd read for a bit and then fall asleep."
Most men are not selfish sex fiends. Most of them are fundamentally sound at heart, if a little inept at meaningful talks, and would be horrified at the very idea of forcing their sexual attentions on their beloved wives when those wives were really not up for them.
One of the things about falling in love is that you can't really imagine not wanting to sleep with the Perfect Man for You. "I'm going to have sex every single day, man," you rave to your married best friend.
"No, you won't," says your married best friend.
"I so will," you say, pawing among the wedding dresses in the shop.
"No, you won't."
And you don't, but that's okay.
What is not so okay is if, for reasons of diet or depression or fury at your husband for never doing any chores, your libido just dries up entirely or you start thinking that your husband's bachelor brother looks mighty tasty. At that point, you will have to talk to A) your husband and B) your doctor about your sex life. However, don't borrow trouble. You're not even married yet.
Meanwhile, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest--just suggest because I wasn't there--that not only are you freaking yourself out needlessly about the future, you are freaking yourself out needlessly about the past.
First of all, you can lose your virginity before marriage and still be a Nice Catholic Girl. You are a Nice Catholic Girl who should have known better, made a stupid mistake and is now back on track.
Second of all, men who use women just to satisfy their desire for sex don't work on relationships for two years. I am perfectly willing to believe the man was a jerk or a wimp and ultimately not the Perfect Man for You, but I am less willing to believe he was just using you. Do you not think, in his own flawed way, he probably cared for you? And if he did, how does that change the way you think about men-in-general?
Usually I make up the pseudonyms for people who write in, but I kept yours as-is so I could tell you to stop thinking of yourself as "Wounded." Pace Henry Nouwen (author of The Wounded Healer, a book which I do not recommend) I don't think that is a healthy way to think of oneself.
Not wanting to have sex when you don't want to have sex is not a wound, it's perfectly healthy and normal. And what you wanted from your almost-fiance was assurance that he was going to respect your boundaries. And it kind of looks like he wasn't going to, so good call on dumping him. "I will have to do that for you" indeed! He was going to swallow Viagra on command, was he? Puh-leeze.
WW, my dear, the solution is to not get married until you meet a man who is so jaw-droppingly wonderful that it is hard for you not to simply start kneading him like bread-dough, so badly do you want to touch him. And if he is so truly wonderful, you will find yourself so relaxed around him that you can tease and mock and scold him as easily and affectionately as you do your best friend. Saying "Can I take a raincheck?" will be as easy as pie.
I hope this is helpful.
Grace and peace,
Update: Incidentally, many married women find the sight of their husbands washing the dishes or doing any other chore wives usually find themselves doing extremely attractive. This is not something advertisers have yet figured out how to exploit. Diamonds may be forever, but discovering Husband has already done the dishes is... Modesty forbids me to say more.
Update 2: The married-women-eye-rolling thing has been bothering me all afternoon. My guess is that it is usually a facitious, woman-bonding thing that may have very little to do with these women's actual experiences. I don't think married women should make jokes like that, though, especially not around unmarried young women. Once upon a time, well-bred married women were discreet around unmarried women. Meanwhile, if my husband rolled his eyes around about such private things having to do about me, I would go MENTAL.