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Then my thoughts go to the parents (in-laws.) I figure they know what their daughter and I were doing. But I have a daughter as well, and I know I can be guilty of willing blindness. She's had two fairly serious BF's, one more so than the other. Both of them broke it off with her and she was devastated by the last one. I often wonder how far they actually went, though I want to believe she held her ground. I'm also sure my in-laws wanted to believe their daughter held her ground as well. I know how I would feel if I found out my DD fell. I would be hurt for her. But I would also pick her up, hold her and help her feel my forgiveness and understanding as best I could, so she could feel God's better.
My DW has vowed never to divulge the truth to her parents. I have held onto it as well for her sake, though I do believe it causes some issues with her that she'll never admit. My parents are deceased and it was never something I specifically hid from my mother while she was alive. DW however outright lied to her parents about it on more than one occasion. And they (and her) can be rather judgmental. Which is so strange because my DW was conceived out of wedlock...go figure.
Just more of the tangled web that pre-marital sex leads you into...
There was an old academic study by Teachman 1990, which shows that women who had had sex with someone besides their husband were much more likely to experience 'marital disruption' (which I assume means divorce or separation, etc.) The same effects were not shown for those who'd lost their virginity before marriage with their husband. it reminds me of the seduction law in Deuteronomy.
I'll go ahead and share our experience(s):
As some background, we did not engage in PIV intercourse but did participate in OS/MS, heavy petting, etc. In our minds at the time, it wasn't "sex", and there wasn't much guilt. Several months after starting OS/MS (and still over a year before getting married), my DW said she'd like to have full PIV with me, but I held out and did not engage in it. Close to our wedding, she took that offer off the table thankfully.
Was it with your current spouse? Yes. We have only been sexual, or even kissed, each other. I think this is very helpful. I would argue that my porn use and her romance-novel use has been worse for us that anything physical we did prior to marriage.
Do you feel it helped or hindered your marriage bed? I'm going to be in the camp that their wasn't much effect either way. It did take away from some of the novelty on the honeymoon, particularly since we were doing NFP and didn't get to have PIV until seven days into our marriage. However, I don't think there have been major long-lasting effects.
How did you work through it? What problems arose? Honestly, there hasn't been a lot to work through or major problems. We both regret it, but it hasn't been a major sticking point, nor does she feel I took advantage of her or let her down as a leader.
What advice might you give to those going through engagement right now? My main advice would be two things: (1) OS/MS/etc are still sex. Playing the semantic games and trying to follow the "letter of the law" but not the "spirit of the law" is not was God intended, seriously. (2) As others have said, keep the engagement short. We wanted to do things "right", not just by having a long engagement (12 months), but also by delaying the engagement several months because of what we thought others would think. We ended up marrying about 20 months after starting dating (we'd known each other 3 months before dating too). In retrospect, I would have changed that to marrying more like 10 months after starting dating!
Reason: Updated formatting from QNA transfer.
First, we knew each other for only a short time before we were engaged (both out of college, her, having just recently graduated and me, several years out) when we worked on the staff of an volunteer organization. She was mid-20's, I was late 20's.
So, while we didn't "date", that is to say "court" for a long time, and actually, as I think of it, really had very few "dates" per se during that time span, we were around each other a setting where as we went about performing our individual tasks and duties we got to see much more of each other as a whole person than just being out for "hamburgers & sodas" on a Friday night would reveal.
Once we decided to marry, (after some drama that forced me to commit - see my thread in the Off Topic's category about being an ACoA), and I put the ring on her finger, the engagement was fairly short and was dictated more by wedding arrangements, and mostly family travel logistics than any other particular need to wait. We both came from large families, some siblings still in school, so getting a time picked when all could easily attend mostly dictated the timing.
We did not have PIV sex. That wasn't my decision, it was hers. I tried, but she declined and I didn't pressure her past that. I'm so glad now that I didn't (pressure her) and she didn't (allow it). She was a virgin and I had only had one dalliance in my past - a weekend tryst, so more than just romp, but other than that, sexually inexperienced.
But, we did engage in heavy petting during the engagement period. No OS or anything much more than my hands wandering to places where she hadn't had anyone else's hands on her ever. I don't believe that we ever got completely naked together, although some clothing was removed.
I think the fact of her standing her ground made our wedding night real special. I attribute that to her and take no credit at all. If I had had my way, that wouldn't have been the case, and I might have been typing something else here.
So, my recommendation would always be to wait. It is better to wait and be glad you did than not to wait and wish for the rest of your life that you had.
My respect for her holding us to that standard (when I couldn't have) is still out the roof.
Deleted User 1388 wrote: ↑Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:20 am I know what God’s design is for marriage. But, I have a read a wide range of premarital activities between couples on this forum from those who didn't even kiss to those who had regular sex before they married. I am really interested in the couples who had sex and now are married. Was it with your current spouse? Do you feel it helped or hindered your marriage bed? How did you work through it? What problems arose? What advice might you give to those going through engagement right now?
Yes, we did. We knew better, but we convinced ourselves it was okay with God for, ah, reasons.
A big part of it was I was the better part of a year into not masturbating after more than a decade of doing so. I was never 100% convinced it was wrong, but a group of legalistic folks (that our pastor called the naked zealots) got me to where I was unsure, and I knew doing it apart from faith was sin, so I stopped. And I mean I really stopped. Aside from the far too infrequent wet dreams (once a monthish) there was nothing. So here I am with the woman I love and am going to marry, and I'm so horny I can't think. So yeah I heard from my crotch and convinced myself it was the voice of God.
Anyway, we started out short of intercourse. Then I reasoned if what we were doing was okay, intercourse would be okay. My reasoning was sound, the problem was I didn't think what we were doing was wrong.
When we started I was a virgin with very little previous experience. Lori was recently divorced, and that marriage was bad in a lot of ways, including sexually. On top of that, she had been molested as a child and lost her virginity it college to acquaintance rape. So she was drenched in petrol and I was on fire.
Prior to the wedding, it seems okay - to me. But we had limited ability to have sex as we were hiding it, and I wasn't paying attention to signs I should have seen that she was struggling. I mean she had expressed the desire to do it and was all in, but given her past, she was ripe for getting hurt.
We married and it got bad. Sex once on a week-long honeymoon, and less often than that after. The second-year it got worse, and we finally agreed we had to deal with it. There was a lot of prayer, plenty of crying, reading what we could find bout sex in the Bible, and a few books we felt were safe. It took about three years to really get through the worst of it to a good place.
Give our situation, we would have had trouble had we waited, but I know having sex before the wedding make it far worse. Lori is now convinced I would have married her had we not started to have sex, but she will never know that from experience and she doubted it early on.
Then there was my going 100 mph when she was barely ready to crawl. After we married she started to say no to things she didn't want or was not ready for, but before we got married she did not. So she got hurt, and I got upset when she tool things we had done before off the menu.
Of course, God brought good out of it. This forum would not exist were it not for our experience.