Sex in your Marriage: Is it as God intended or not at all?

August 20, 2012 under Syllabus 2012-2013

Summary

Who can you talk to about the sex in your marriage, are you talking to your spouse about it, is your marriage healthy from a physical point of view as the church intends, have you ever wondered what’s normal for couples in their 30’s, 40’s or 50+? Join us for a discussion on this subject with a Catholic Sex Therapist – Dr. William Wester.

Objective

  • hile we all joke about sex in our marriage, for some couples, there is no sex in the relationship. One definition of a ‘sexless marriage’ is having sex less than 10 times per year. Also, surveys suggest that over 20% of couples report they are in a sexless marriage.
  • We will provide a forum for the men of the Father’s team to be able to have a discussion with their spouse about the health of their sex life and how it reflects on the overall relationship and the teachings of the church.
  • We will also again engage a Catholic Sex Therapist – Dr William Wester – to join us for the large group discussion.
  • According to the Church, humans are sexual beings whose sexual identity extends beyond the body to the mind and soul. The sexes are meant by divine design to be different and complementary, each having equal dignity and made in the image of God. The sexual act is sacred within the context of the marital relationship that reflects a complete and life-long mutual gift of a man and a woman. Sexual sins thus violate not just the body but the person’s whole being.
  • Spousal love, according to Church teaching, is meant to achieve an unbroken, twofold end: union of husband and wife as well as transmission of life. The unitive aspect includes a person’s whole being that calls spouses to grow in love and fidelity “so that they are no longer two but one flesh”. The sacrament of matrimony is viewed as God’s sealing of spousal consent to the gift of themselves to each other. Church teaching on the marital state requires spousal acceptance of each other’s failures and faults and the recognition that the “call to holiness in marriage” is one that requires a process of spiritual growth and conversion that can last throughout life.
  • Throughout Church history, various Catholic thinkers have offered differing opinions on sexual pleasure. Some saw it as sinful, while others disagreed. We are fortunate to have Pope John Paul II Theology of the body which has been discussed this summer in a 4 week session. While we plan to incorporate elements of TOTB we want to make sure we take advantage of the resources who will join us for the session (Dr Wester and Dave Shea).

How we plan to prepare for the session:

  1. We plan to prime the pump for the discussion about 3 weeks ahead of time with a handout that you can reflect on and potentially talk with your spouse. This will be some questions and dialog from Dr Wester for your consideration.
  2. For 2 weeks ahead of the session – we will pass our index cards (like we did previously) and ask you to anonymously list your questions and concerns about the health of your marriage from a sexual point of view to prepare Dr. Wester in his comments at the meeting.
  3. For the large group session – we would hope to have Dr. Wester and Dave talk about the common themes that were reflected in the card questions and provide a list of resources for your follow-up after the meeting and in small group discussion.

Bible Readings

  1. 1. Corinthians 7:1-5

Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Catechism Readings

  1. Paragraph 1646

By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement “until further notice.” The “intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them.”

Small Group Questions

  1. Are you in a sexless marriage – can you use today’s topic to start a discussion with your spouse?
  2. Thinking about your marriage and the commitment with your spouse. Is your first priority what is best for her or do you put yourself and your wants first?
  3. Have you considered reading the Theology of the Body – For Beginners – Christopher West?

Recommended Resources

  1. Theology of the Body – For Beginners – Christopher West?

Accountability

This week try to find a way to talk to your spouse about taking your Marriage a Conjugal Relationship to a better level that will allow the two of you to grow even close to one another and to God.

Author(s)

Rich DelCore

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