Blog

Confronting the Realities of Pre-Marital Sex: Part 2—Frustrated
Friday, April 26, 2024 by Donna Cameron, PhD

Welcome to Frustrated, Part 2 of a 3-part series, Confronting the Realities of Pre-Marital Sex. Check out Part 1, Tangled, to read about some distorted Christian principles that shaped my views and behaviors about sexual intimacy.

In this post, I share about some high costs associated with sex without the benefit of the marriage commitment. Somewhere along my life’s journey, I discovered that some of my distress around sexual intimacy was based on what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance”—discrepancies between my intellectual commitment (i.e., wanting to live in ways that honor God) and my behaviors (i.e., satisfying my basic needs for love and affection in ways that were inconsistent with my “stated” values)

During those years when I was engaging in sexual intimacy outside of marriage, I often felt at least two pervasive emotions: deep sadness and shame about my choices, and fear of being found out. Here is how each emotion manifested itself. 

Deep Sadness and Shame

Sometimes when I felt lonely, I would look for a way to satisfy my needs for security and love with a sexual experience. Even though I said I wanted to honor God by living His way, instead I chose my own way to meet my needs. The “return on my investment” was only temporary pleasure, followed by loneliness—the morning after left me alone again, and my heart ached with deep sadness. 

Here’s an example. During my sexually active days, I might engage with someone for a period of time. After a few dates and good times, I would say to myself, “This just might lead to the security and committed relationship I long for. It seems like he’s really into me.” (No pun intended.)  But then, fade to black. I was disappointed with myself for not living up to the values I had claimed were mine. And I felt abandoned.

The shame surfaced when people said nice things about me—something I said or did. I welcomed their praise and thanked them. However, I felt ashamed about my double life. I thought, “If they really knew what I was struggling with, they would most likely condemn me instead of praise me.” 

And for a people pleaser like me, condemnation was a very heavy burden.

Fear of Being Found Out 

Wanting a loving relationship that would result in a happy, lifelong marriage led to what I call “people-pleasing on steroids.” Empty, lonely feelings robbed me of the pleasures God intended for sexual intimacy between husband and wife in a committed, lifelong marriage, and I ended up not really pleasing myself or my partner for the long haul.

I could only hope that no one would find out about my intense struggle with sex outside of marriage.

Sidebar:  There is something I must add here. It’s about fertility in the lives of many women in their childbearing years. During this season, our hormones vacillate. At various points in the menstrual cycle, the libido LIT UP!!!!!!!!!!  This is normal. However, I had said I valued celibacy. So, the disconnect between my value and my behavior haunted me when they didn’t align. I felt like a failure for not keeping my promises.  

I was frustrated—unsuccessful and disappointed.

As “fate” would have it, my secret longings for a loving, committed relationship resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. (I used the term “fate”, but actually it was the natural outcome of having unprotected sex. But I was in denial that it would actually happen.)

As the days and months went by, it became apparent that a little person was growing inside me. My struggle was showing! While I was excited about becoming a mother, I also felt relieved—now my struggle had become public; no more hiding.  

The pregnancy—and subsequently motherhood—launched me into an entirely new season of life. Read about it in Transformed, Part 3 of this series coming soon.

Join Our Email List on our Home page to be notified when new blogs are posted and to receive other TFT updates.

Visit our Online Resource Center for resources on sexuality, wellness, and change.

Contact Us to schedule life coaching, communications, or consulting services.

Copyright © 2024 Training for Transformation, Inc. All rights reserved.


Previous Posts

Confronting the Realities of Pre-Marital Sex: Part 3—Transformed
Donna Cameron, PhD

5/3/2024

Confronting the Realities of Pre-Marital Sex: Part 2—Frustrated
Donna Cameron, PhD

4/26/2024

Confronting the Realities of Pre-Marital Sex: Part 1—Tangled
Donna Cameron, PhD

4/19/2024

Evil—Part 3: How Do I Live With Bad Stuff?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/17/2023

Evil—Part 2: Why Doesn't God Stop Bad Stuff From Happening?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

11/7/2023

Evil—Part 1: Why Does Bad Stuff Happen?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

10/23/2023

In the Midst of Life’s Realities - the Good and the Bad - What Keeps Me Going?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

6/27/2023

Teen Dating Part 1: 7 Tips for Young Gentlemen
Dr James H Dotson Jr

6/5/2023

Teen Dating Part 2: 7 Tips for Young Ladies
Dr James H Dotson Jr

6/5/2023

Does Forgiveness Cancel Accountability and Consequences?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

2/24/2023

Joy
Dr James H Dotson Jr

1/22/2023

Be Alert!!!
Dr James H Dotson Jr

1/7/2023

Where Are You Going?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/16/2022

Breaking the Chains
Dr James H Dotson Jr

10/21/2022

The Renewing of My Mind—Part 3
Dr James H Dotson Jr

8/27/2022

The Renewing of My Mind—Part 2
Dr James H Dotson Jr

8/21/2022

The Renewing of My Mind—Part 1
Dr James H Dotson Jr

8/16/2022

What In The World Is Going On? — Part 2
Dr James H Dotson Jr

8/6/2022

What In The World Is Going On? — Part 1
Dr James H Dotson Jr

8/6/2022

A Gift We Cherish or A Gift We Abuse?
Dr James H Dotson Jr

1/14/2022

Caught in the Very Act
Dr James H Dotson Jr

1/7/2022

Daniel's Resolve
The Professor

12/31/2021

A Distorted View of Manliness
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/24/2021

Breaking the Cycle of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/17/2021

We Can Win!!! We Have Won!!!
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/10/2021

Help for Victims of Sexual Abuse
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/4/2021

Extraordinary Opponents, Require Extraordinary Measures
Dr James H Dotson Jr

12/3/2021

Journey to Transformation
Dr James H Dotson Jr

9/11/2021