DISCLAIMER: Fr. Josh and Dr. Mario Sacasa dive deep into some of these topics including conjugal love and struggles with pornography. You may want to listen first and discern whether or not it is the right time for your child(ren) to listen.
Today Fr. Josh answers questions about sexual baggage, feeling guilty about NFP, the morality of pleasure outside the marital act, and dealing with a partner who watches porn.
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Snippet from the Show
“If you’re not already putting practices in place to grow in holiness and find freedom, then you’re not going to get married and all of a sudden have everything get better.”
Glory Story (1:15)
Fr. Josh is celebrating five years of priesthood and spent some time with brother priests to celebrate everyone’s ordination! As they were celebrating, they shared something that pierced Fr. Josh’s heart and almost made him cry.
Listener Feedback (5:52)
Marital Pleasure (10:54)
Other than actual intercourse, is it wrong for married couples to enjoy physical pleasure with each other if they don't intend it to result in intercourse every time?
Sexual History (15:23)
How am I supposed to handle my boyfriend's sexual past, me being a virgin? It feels at times like I've been betrayed even though he didn't know me at the time. I also worry what it would mean for our marriage, not only regarding human insecurities but lost graces. The secular advice is "his past is none of your business" but I feel if we get married it will be my business.
Pornogrogaphy in a Relationship (28:58)
How do you deal with porn in a relationship -- by that, I mean, it hurts to get months into a relationship with someone who is quite wonderful, then find out he struggles with a porn problem. But, mortal sins are also not a first date topic. And although I've heard some say you shouldn't date someone who has this problem, I don't find myself able to act on that advice, or even able to find a guy who doesn't struggle with this! On the other hand, it makes a relationship so hard to maintain... when you know your SO is looking at other girls, it makes you feel like your relationship is a lie, or maybe you're not worth very much. It puts distance and mistrust between you, and it doesn't help much to know, logically, that you're valuable, when you feel like you're not. I don't want to tell him never to talk about this with me, because I don't want to pretend it's not happening. But I also don't want to hear about it, because it hurts so much. I don't want to leave because I'll regret it, and as I said... the next guy will probably be dealing with the same thing anyway. I petition St. Jude for intercession because this seems so hopeless. What's a girl -- or guy -- to do?
Struggles with NFP (40:51)
1.) My husband and I have been married for a little over 8 years and have 4 beautiful children (7, 5 1/2, 3 1/2, and 16 months), plus a couple more babies in Heaven that I miscarried. My struggle comes with practicing NFP. We have always used the Creighton Model, but I'm a yellow stamper (meaning my cycles aren't always as obvious) and I also have a history of low progesterone (hence the miscarriages) and have had to be on progesterone supplements for my last three pregnancies. That being said, I'm terrified of getting pregnant again. Don't get me wrong... I will be elated if I end up pregnant. I really want another baby. But due to several factors including financial restraints, having an extremely small house, and still having low progesterone where I could end up miscarrying again, my husband and I are currently "trying to avoid". I realize we don't need to have a dozen kids to make it into Heaven (though not there's anything wrong with that), but I feel guilty any time my husband and I want to be intimate and I can't tell if I'm fertile or not. Part of me feels like it’s best for us to avoid right now, but then part of me wonders if that's being closed off to God and not welcoming any children He has planned (because obviously His plans are infinitely better than mine). I just feel this huge amount of guilt and frustration either way. We are working with our NFP coordinator to figure out my cycles, but until then, it's a lot of "Well you could've used those days" (which doesn't help us after the fact), or feeling guilty that I am disappointing my husband for having to abstain so much or worried that my attitude is disappointing God. Besides bearing my cross and continuing to meet with my NFP coordinator, do you have any advice?
-Wife and Mother
Want to browse the previous resources Fr. Josh has recommended? Go to ascensionpress.com/askfrjosh to select an episode and view the shownotes.