Episode 63

The Ember Beneath the Ash | ACW63


March 16th, 2020

40 mins 58 secs

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About this Episode

My father is divorced from my mother and in a new relationship, and is now receiving the Eucharist. Should I say something? My husband has a form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. How do I handle this issue within our marriage? In some Christian circles, it's believed that husbands may be justified in cheating if their wives aren't sexually available enough. Where did this mentality come from?

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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Q1: My parents are divorced, my mom has decided to be by herself for the rest of her life and my dad has a girlfriend. I’ve noticed my mom and dad BOTH take the Eucharist but... you have compared the Eucharist with matrimony so much that I fear they are committing sin. How should I proceed as their daughter?

Q2: I’ve been married to my husband for over twenty difficult years. We recently discovered through both individual and couples therapy that he most likely lives with a form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. While I have established boundaries that make it clear he is no longer permitted to abuse or threaten me or our children, I still realize that this disorder means he is most likely never going to have a true capacity for self-donative love for me (or anyone). I intend to keep my marriage vows, but what does this mean for the reality of our physically intimate relationship? He has demonstrated time and again that he does not see me as someone to love but as someone to use, and that is unlikely ever to change.

Q3: I grew up in a Protestant household and church and was taught that if a man cheats on his wife because she is not available enough for him sexually, then it is her fault. What I have read of TOB so far has helped me untwist this a bit. But I am curious if you could go deeper into why this is so wrong and how this idea came about?

Submit your question at AskChristopherWest.com.

Resources mentioned this week:

TOB Head and Heart Immersion Course

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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.

Produced by Sounder and Key.