Question:

Today I went to meet with my preacher to talk about him marrying my fiance and me. After talking he said that he would do it as long as, starting today, we couldn't sleep in the same house together. The wedding is scheduled about three weeks away. I currently work two jobs and she works also. We both use one vehichle and the only way for this to work is her to move to her mother's with the vehichle and for me to walk to work, which both jobs happen to be about 3/4 of a mile away. It is not too terrible and I'm willing to do what my preacher asks. But my fiance doesn't like the idea at all. She agreed to do so and left, but she's incredibly upset about it, and the situation all around puts a incredible strain on our relationship and our everyday lives. She says that if we just refrained from sex, it would be the same thing. But I think it would end up with us lying to the preacher because he says not to or he won't marry us. I was under the impression it was supposed to be a very happy time when getting married, not a separation. I'm very confused as to what to do and what is actually right. Would it be OK to sleep in different rooms? Or the same bed and no sexual intercourse at all? She also has very bad panic attacks and I'm the only one who has been able to calm her. She can't see at night at all so spending time together is even harder because she will have to be home everyday before dark. We've slept together for the past nine months, how would these three weeks change anything?

Answer:

You've raised a number of good issues -- more than what I probably can address in this one reply, but I'll do the best I can.

It appears that the reason you are separating for this brief period of time has nothing to do with any conviction on your part, or you fiance, that what you had been doing is wrong. You are only doing it to "purchase" the services of this preacher. Because of this, you perceive the preacher's request as an imposition or a burden to be born. You have sadness, but not over you sins. Your sadness is that you can't continue to do as you have been, and once married just pretend that it doesn't matter. It really bothers me that you are even considering adding lying to your sins.

Without a change in your attitude toward sin, you are right that these three weeks won't change anything -- but that is because you haven't changed. Your current situation came about by a series of decisions, each one built on top of the previous. Because you decided to sleep together, it allowed you to make financial short cuts. But what you overlooked is that ten months ago you could have decided to marry. It would have been an exciting prospect that you looked forward to doing. Nothing else much would have changed, but you would have had peace within yourself knowing that your sexual relationship was holy.

Now that you chose the route of sin, you are grumbling about your further choices, such as to wait three weeks to get married. If you want to stay together, then do it the right way. Go down to the courthouse, get a license and get married. Then have your wedding celebration as you have planned.

I'm sorry about your fiance's panic attacks and I'm glad that you are a comfort to her, but the argument isn't a sound one because all I need to ask is what did she do last year, before you two start living together?

Finally, I'm a bit concerned that you say this short inconvenience is putting a great strain on your relationship. I would hope that the two of you have much greater love than this expresses because love should be able to overcome obstacles. I'm hoping that this isn't an indication of deeper problems.