What are your thoughts on sex before remarriage?

NOTE: This is a 4-part interview series by a fellow coach in approximately 2014. He asked my opinion about a singles having sex before marrying again. It is a lengthy interview but offers important perspectives. The world has changed somewhat since the interview but, because sex has to do with an individual’s heart and well-being, my overall views have not changed. Relationships are relationships, no matter the decade.

I wanted to write this introduction to the series to explain some terms, my ultimately biased perspective, and what I will and will not be addressing around this topic.

Before I talk about my thoughts about singles having sex before marrying again, I want to discuss marriage itself. Marriage once had a more unified definition than it does today. I once heard young women say, “He will do for a first husband.” That kind of short-term, non-committed view of marriage isn’t what I will be addressing.

I work with a lot of singles, most of them divorced.

They are ultimately looking for a long-term relationship, a life partner. They want the fairy tale. And above all, they don’t want to go through the heartache of a breakup again. So my thoughts on sex before marriage, or remarriage, are the same. I have developed my views over time from personal experience and the experience of the people I coach, as well as from knowing what works and does not work according to the available research.  I coach people toward relationship success and holding themselves accountable to the future they are committed to create for themselves.

It is the heart tie that matters

Although marriage is considered the ultimate commitment when it comes to relationship, I would like to address this question as sex before commitment instead of sex before marriage. Marriage has become more of a legal entity than a soul-joining ceremony. When I discuss the topic of sex before marriage I understand that it is the heart-tie that matters, not the fact that a couple is legally bound.

In my observation, it is quite rare for sex before commitment to produce much more than disillusionment, heartache, and maybe an unwanted child. Some couples make their way to a long-term committed union that started as a sexual encounter.  Most don’t.

Tender Sex Can Heal

I know a woman who, coming out of an abusive marriage, was grateful for the healing she received on many levels via the tender sex she experienced with a subsequent lover even though they were not in a committed relationship. I was happy for her and happy it turned out well. Those cases are often the exception rather than the rule. She had a positive outcome but many do not.

Abstaining from sex until in a committed relationship has many benefits…

…only one of which includes providing the best chance for creating a loving, fulfilling, long-term partnership, which is what most singles want.

In this article I will offer a variety of viewpoints as to the benefits of singles consciously choosing (not white-knuckling, not abstaining because of moral law or parental mandates), to avoid sexual intercourse until in a committed relationship. Sometimes it seems that the whole world, media especially, is shouting from the rooftops that being sexually active at any age, with anyone, under any conditions is the norm. As a healer working with folks who are endeavoring to unravel unexpected consequences as a result of that faulty belief system, I do have some things to say about it. I believe my views offer folks the best chance of long-term relationship success, which, from what I see and hear, is the heart’s desire of nearly everyone.

(As a bit of a side note: there is always the question of what to do with that ever-present sex drive in a conversation such as this one. To that I would say that there are a variety of ways for managing the sexual tension that is present for singles. I will not be addressing that topic in this series, but there is a lot of information available online.)

Defining Conscious and Unconscious Behaviors

In this series I will speak of conscious and unconscious behaviors, so let me define what I mean by those terms.  A conscious behavior stems from being aware of your values, aware of the future you desire to create for yourself, and choosing your actions accordingly. Conscious behaviors are action-oriented and specific. They have a direction.  Unconscious behaviors, on the other hand, are by default.  They just happen with little thought given to outcomes or consequences. They are reactionary.  They are diffuse.  Usually one choice is as good as another.

M y views are admittedly from a woman’s perspective as it is the only perspective with which I have personal experience.

Next post:  Are you equally matched?