How can I reclaim purity after falling? How can a friendship become a romantic relationship?
Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute President Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.
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Hi Christopher and Wendy. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a little over a year. I grew up, (thankfully!) with a very wholesome understanding of sexuality. I know that is rare. Despite the best efforts of my parents though, there were many needs in my heart for love and understanding, beauty and respect that went unmet. . . as I matured, these “holes” in my heart made me very vulnerable to the desires of other women my age who saw me as an opportunity to have their “needs” met. There’s a lot said in Christian circles about the lusts of men, but very little about the ways women use men so I think I was unprepared for this. I am very deeply empathetic, and am often told that I am very handsome. . . I share this because I think it explains why so many women have ended up using me to gratify their desires. Over time I began using these women back in different ways and eventually lost my resolve to save myself for marriage. Now, I feel so sick. I am exposing these wounds and needs to the blessed mother in prayer, but still every time thoughts of sexuality come to my mind, I feel a twisting in my stomach instead of the awe and wonder I had when I was much younger. What do I do? I feel like I have been compromised in the worst way.
Christopher, I know you’ve told this story a lot but here is the deal: my female best friend is attracted to me. Honestly, she is smart, very beautiful, very very funny and I know I can count on her anytime, she is simply the best. . . But, I just can’t see her as anything more than a friend right now. Christopher and Wendy, I want what you have, and I really want the best for her but I don’t know if I’m the best for her. Christopher, how did you turn your friendship with Wendy into romantic love?
My wife and I have been married for over 30 years. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve had to adjust our physical relationship because of health issues. I know this is a sensitive question, but I want to know what is permissible for couples who are able to experience sexual climax but cannot comfortably have penetration.
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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.
Featuring music by Mike Mangione.