A problem. Any answers?

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STJOMO

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Hello all. This forum is so timely, in that our daughter, 17, informed us that she wants to live with her boyfriend this summer, about 60 miles away, in the city in which he is going to college. She says they are not, nor have they ever had sexual relations (her mother and I believe her) and, therefore, she doesn’t see the sinfulness in doing this.

I told her that just the act of living under the same roof with her boyfriend is a sin of scandal, that the very nature of her domestic situation would give the impression (perhaps to some young girl who looks to her for inspiration) that this is acceptable.

Any ideas on what the church says about this type of circumstance? I’m convinced it’s no more acceptable than living together and being sexually active. What kind of solid information can I give her that would convince her that what she is contemplating is wrong (other than a dad’s advice)? I’ve searched the Catechism and Catholic Answers. I’ve only found references to chastity. She says that that isn’t the case here.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
I’ve read it somewhere, but I can’t remember where, and you are right about the sin of scandal. Even if nothing untoward is going on, someone else could possibly be led astray seeing this “arrangement”.
 
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STJOMO:
Hello all. This forum is so timely, in that our daughter, 17, informed us that she wants to live with her boyfriend this summer, about 60 miles away, in the city in which he is going to college. She says they are not, nor have they ever had sexual relations (her mother and I believe her) and, therefore, she doesn’t see the sinfulness in doing this.

I told her that just the act of living under the same roof with her boyfriend is a sin of scandal, that the very nature of her domestic situation would give the impression (perhaps to some young girl who looks to her for inspiration) that this is acceptable.

Any ideas on what the church says about this type of circumstance? I’m convinced it’s no more acceptable than living together and being sexually active. What kind of solid information can I give her that would convince her that what she is contemplating is wrong (other than a dad’s advice)? I’ve searched the Catechism and Catholic Answers. I’ve only found references to chastity. She says that that isn’t the case here.

Any help would be appreciated.
How about the directive to “Avoid Sin and the NEAR Occassions of sin.” ?
 
Amen to NM2. The sin of scandal is a very big problem here. Also, while your daughter says she is not having relations with her boyfriend (which is a praiseworthy thing for sure) at this age however temptations to have relations are very strong. I am a 27 year old single male and know of such temptations. In the act of contrition we pray for the grace to avoid the “near occasions of sin.” Living under the same roof places one in the near occasion of sin. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” I would ask your daughter as to why she has to live with her boyfriend? If there is some financial reason or other reason offered that you can help her overcome as a parent I would do so. Emotional attachment too can be a problem for unmarried couples as well as physical attachment. Chastity can also be related to one’s emotional sharing. For the love of your daugther and her soul as well as her boyfriend’s and to ensure their future is a happy one, I would discourage this and support here in a more Godly direction. God bless and I shall pray for this situation, STJOMO.
 
I agree with the others that this is not a good arrangement. While I don’t think that this is, in and of itself, the same sin as fornication, it can easily become that. As stated by others, the sin of scandal is a real possibility as well.

As Fr. John Powell, SJ, once wrote “The Devil never asks that the first step be a big one.” She may be very sincere in her desire to remain chaste in this arrangement, but she is taking a dangerous step towards a sin against chastity by placing herself in a near occasion of sin. First, they might just share an apartment. Later, they may decide to sleep in the same bed under the pretense that they will be “just sleeping.” Satan will tempt them to do more and more.

One must also look at the emotional effect such an arrangement would have on a person of her age and maturity. The more emotionally involved one becomes, the more difficult it is to make an objective decision as to whether or not she should remain in this relationship. A younger person lacking in perspective will have even more difficulty.

With that being said, I am praying that you will be able to speak the truth to your daughter with love and convince her not to do this.

David
 
How about the good ol’ “I’m your father and I say HECK NO!!”?
 
Sex is not the only privilege that should be enjoyed just by married couples. Simply sharing a bed with someone, or being able to wake up next to a loved one is probably a privilege that belongs only in marriage. While your daughter honestly may not wish to have sex with her boyfriend she is (as others in this post have said) putting herself too much in the near occasion of sin and also she is probably acting out of a selfish desire to ‘cash in’ on other marital privileges. I think that this may be an important aspect to emphasize because, while she can simply assert “my will is quite strong enough to resist sin, but thanks for your concern mom” she may not even have considered this smaller sin of selfishness, or may have buried such thoughts, and they deserve to be meditated on.
 
The Temptation will be far too great.

You need to tell her no.

Guys have real clever ways to get what they need and you need to explain this to your daughter. It seems harmless and almost normal if you watch TV today but this is where the line in the sand needs to be drawn.

Your daughter is too young to be in such a committed relationship. Guys today are not interested in settling down early. They are too busy keeping score cards with their buddies.

Go to college, meet lots of people and worry about the relationship thing later. Is my advise.

I met my wife in college, we did not date until a few years after college and we got married at age 26 & 27. We are both Cradle Catholics and we have been married alomost 14 years with 4 kids. We never lived together.

-Ted
 
P.S. Remember what the “near occassion of sin” is??? If not, this is a perfect example of it.
 
You could always introduce her to a nice Catholic guy who wouldn’t let her do such a thing 😉
 
Have you asked her why she wants to live with him?

What are the benfits that she sees?

If they are at the same school they will still have more than enough time togther.

While you are having this conversation with her and having read (yourself) books like “If you really Loved me” and the Great booklet “pure Love” listen for ways you can show her the reality of what she is doing her vision is clouded and you need to help her clear it.

In addition I would get to the nearest Catholic Church to where she will be going to school and spend some time with our Lord there and the Priest. It is important that you enlist his help (I pray he is in line with Rome).

Dont forget to tell her you Love her and want nothing but the best for her. You must fight for her but be sly like a fox.

Me and mine will pray for you and her
 
One other thought, and you have to be careful here. If you have a relationship with the young man ask him if he loves your daughter?

If he says yes ask him to prove it by protecting her reputation.

This can and does work but I suggest a fair amount of time with our Lady prior to doing this even if you know the young man very well.:gopray:
 
Perhaps you should find lodging for her nearby her boyfriend, so they arent living together but nonetheless near each other.

Oh, and being 21 and young myself, I just want to say that the idea that all guys can’t control themselves and need to always put walls between us and girls is as insulting as you can get :mad: .

As much as there are imature people my age (believe me, i know plenty of 'em) most of my friends and companions are very mature and wise, and I honestly think if these were an older couple being discussed, you would allow more leeway. I can’t speak for your daughter or the guy, not knowing them or even how they think, and I understand your concerns, but it annoys me when I hear of parents treating their older children like they were still 5.

Then again, my parents are so trusting of me that for years now they neevr ask where im going or even mind what time i come home since they know I can take care of myself. Then again, maybe I’m just a rarity among people my age, I dont know. :confused:
 
Ask her to dress up like a Nazi officer, and then deny she’s a Nazi.

Ask her to put on a KKK robe, and deny she’s racist.

Sure, she can do it, but will anyone believe her?

There’s a saying: If it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, walks like a duck, its a duck. What people believe in IS reflected by their actions.

Sure, she can claim she’s not having sexual intercourse, all she wants, but “I’m sorry, your actions are speaking too loud for me to hear your words.”
 
I would recommend a book and have her read it… It is called **Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives **by Laura Schlessinger. While I have some concerns with her, She is pretty straight forward and at least to me, brutally honest about a lot of the choices that we make in our relationships.

In addition, it is possible that Jason Evert has put out some materials that would be very helpful.

I hate to say it… but living with another takes a familiarity that is beyond boy-friend/girl-friend. It is, if nothing less, a near occassion of sin. However, right now your daughter may not be worried about that. Maybe the book above exploring the practical consequences, as well as your prayers and guidance will be enough for her to choose the right things.

If all else fails… “until your 18…”

Good Luck… I will be praying for you!!

Brandon
 
Hi St. JOMO

I had a similar problem with a son away at college. As much as you want to believe your kids, (as was my case) you have to recognize the likelihood that you’re not hearing the truth.

Sorry dad, you have to play the heavy and lay down the law. As the fighting and rejection starts, you can begin discussions about marriage as follows…

“If it’s that important, maybe you should be married… but are you READY?” “If you ARE ready, then save yourself for the wedding.” "Don’t tarnish the holy sacrament of matrimony (and the history of your relationship/marriage).

Chances are, the temptation of the arrangement will not be satisfied with this reasoning. And then the argument will turn to “Don’t you trust me?” etc. Yes, you trust your daughter (that’s clear to me) but you don’t trust the devil who’s a clever enemy when given these opportunities. But maybe it’s best just to say that it’s an unexceptable situation for a member of your family. period.

Good luck and God Bless. I’ll keep you in my prayers.
 
crimson dragon:
Oh, and being 21 and young myself, I just want to say that the idea that all guys can’t control themselves and need to always put walls between us and girls is as insulting as you can get :mad: .
Well, if someone made the statment exactly as you quoted it, it would be problematic. For starters, a period of courtship is necessary before marriage to determine if a young lady is a suitable marriage partner for you. You can’t well do this without associating with members of the opposite sex.

However, it is better to be safe than sorry when we try to guage just how self-controlled we are. After all, we can easily find ourselves playing with mortal sin. Our nature is wounded due to the effects of Original Sin, but Satan would like to have us think otherwise. This is not to say that you, or anyone else, has not developed a great degree of self-control. It’s just that living with a girlfriend is not a good way to test it out.

Even if we don’t sin, placing ourselves in a near occasion of sin ultimately will not benefit us. Even if we stay out of trouble, there are others who will imitate what we did but without avoiding the sin. This is where the problem of scandal comes in.

David
 
If you are paying for her education and/or for a place for her to live while she’s being educated, you have the right to determine the conditions under which you will provide funding.

Even putting aside the issues of temptation and scandal (not that they should be ignored), your daughter should be going to college to learn. How will that happen if she’s got her boyfriend around the house all the time? I remember how much my grades suffered one year in high school when I was just talking to a certain girl on the phone every night. If I’d have been living with her, I’m sure I’d have flunked out completely!

My older sister followed her high school boyfriend (one year her senior) to college. My parents didn’t let them live together, but the irony was, after a year of “waiting” for each other, they broke up less than a month after she started school. Your daughter may not be willing to acknowledge that possibility, but it is worth your consideration – do you really want to have help your daughter find a new place to live (and to help her move) midway through the year?
 
My daughter didn’t fall in love with someone who was her fiance` until she turned 18, and she did break it off finally when she was nearly 21.
One thing you might wish to remember when talking to her, Dad, is how many times she has reinforced her virtue to this point in her life. She expects you to remember that too, and depending upon her nature she may well make sure you remember it.

During that time, I came to find out her fiance` wanted to see how they would get along by living under the same roof. I knew that if I confronted my daughter personally it would not go well even though we were and still are very close.
She had a very personal closeness with her chosen Confirmation sponsor. This woman presently has eight children and is a serious Catholic. A woman like that is better than any book you can give your daughter.
I phoned her. I told her. She is a friend of mine as well.

What can I say?
My 24 year old daughter is home taking care of our house while we are away, she isn’t married, she has fought the good fight until now, and we are both still radically loving her Confirmation sponsor!
Oh, and by the way, my daughter is the godmother of one of her children. Your daughter may want to be the godmother of someone’s child, and believe me, she will not want to admit to a godchild or her future children that she lived with someone even if NOTHING happened.
God bless.
 
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