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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband and I have been married for three years now.  When we were dating, we failed to remain abstinent, though it was our intention to; we struggled with it throughout our engagement. It is something I have confessed in Confession but guilt still plagues me. I know that while we never directly told anyone, we led our family and friends to believe that we remained abstinent until we got married. I feel like we indirectly lied to our loved ones.

  • Is it necessary to confess this to our family?

I hesitate because I do not want to expose my husband's sin in this and I do not want to be "digging up" the past that God has forgiven me for.


  { Is it necessary to confess our premarital extracurricular activities to our family and friends? }

John replied:

Dear Friend,

One of things we need to learn is that when we have been forgiven, that's it!; we've been forgiven. Yes, some healing of the soul must take place and that's why we have penances and even Purgatory but forgiveness is final. God throws our sin in to a sea of forgetfulness. Nevertheless, when we remember these sins, we allow Satan to accuse us of sins we have already been forgiven of.

Hold your head up. You are forgiven if you've brought it to Confession! Your husband may need to do the same for his own sake.


Mary Ann replied:

Dear Anonymous,

According to Catholic teaching, you have a right to your reputation and a duty to not give scandal. Therefore, you ought not to "confess" to your family.

As for your persistent guilt, it may be more because of a sense of shame or disappointment in yourself rather than any sorrow toward God (because you know you are now "right with God".)
Every time you recall these shortcomings strive to remember the importance of relying on Christ, your Savior. Relying on ourselves and our own virtue is Pharisaic and doomed to failure. Remembering our sins helps us to trust the Lord and lean on Him!

Mary Ann

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