Background: So I'm working on this novel in which the young female protagonist has been raised Catholic - grade school - high school - almost a nun - the whole nine yards. She's in love with "a nice Catholic boy" and of course, the issue of sex before marriage is looming large in their lives. The friends in her life are probably having sex before marriage although her group doesn't really talk about it. She just suspects they might be. She is faced with the dilemma of sex before marriage. After much soul searching, she tells him she's ready to break with her upbringing because of her love for him. He feels it will affect her all her life. They decide not to. He gets drafted and she makes love to him because, of course, that's the sacrifice she wants to make for him. So it's a case of who is going to make the sacrifice (for her it would be guilt for her morals; for him the sacrifice would be waiting for her until he returned and they got married.) I don't want the scenario of them getting married because there are several other themes in the novel.
Ok, now from YOUR OBSERVATIONS THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME, if he sacrifices and waits to have sex with her until they are married, despite his needs, will he after 20 or so years see her as having been selfish and lose his love? If she sacrifices her morals and has sex, will she down the road always wonder if all he wanted was to experience sex before marriage before he left and doubt his love for her?
So the question is this: From what you know of your own life and the life of your friends, how did the decision either to have sex before or after marriage play out in real life? I'm specifically wondering about males leaving their wives. I'm playing around with the idea that if the woman refused sex before marriage, might the man secretly feel that she wasn't unselfish enough to sacrifice for him and eventually seek out a new person in later life?
If you don't have any experience or know of any, how would you want the story to play out in the 60s? What would be the more interesting story for you?
'Mary" gives in and makes love to her Catholic boyfriend, John. He goes off to war a week later. She writes to him for about four months, but stops after she discovers she is pregnant. She is determined he will never know the truth. (Why, I have no idea.) Mary's parents kick her out of the house after she tells them she is pregnant. (I don't know exactly why here either, but parents in the seventies cared about what the neighbors would say.) She moves in with her grandmother in another city. Mary's (well-to-do) grandmother, Janet, tells Mary she must find a way to support herself and the baby, but would help her out until she did.
John comes home two years later and looks Mary up. He cannot find her and eventually meets another girl, Sue, who he marries.
Janet helps Mary raise her daughter, Jody, while Mary attends a nearby university. She earns a master's degree in Psychology. She becomes a well-paid marriage and family counselor advising couples not to have sex before marriage." "You really need to wait to have sex or live together until you have a two parent home and a washer and a dryer," she advises. Finally, Mary moves into her own home and raises Jody as a single mother. She dates occasionally, but refuses to live with anyone or have sex before marriage, as was popular during the seventies. No one during this time period would accept those terms and Mary remains single.
Seventeen years later, the child finds her father (this could be an interesting/lucky event.) Jody stays in touch with him against her mother's wishes. John's wife, Sue, could never have children so John is overjoyed to discover he has a daughter, especially by Mary who he never lost affection for. He contacts Mary and they begin a platonic relationship for Jody's sake. John and Jody develop a close father-daughter relationship. Sue eventually dies and John and Mary date without having sex or living together. They get married and Jody is overjoyed to be in her own parent's wedding!
I'm sorry I could not answer your questions. Maybe we will never know.
You have blown me AWAY! You have a much better novel than I could ever imagine. Yours is a GREAT story. What about writing it this month for National Novel Writing Month. Surely there's room for both of ours. You are an AMAZING story teller. Go for it. It's much more dynamic than anything I could think of! WOW, just plain WOW
I like the structure of a story. I usually behold a long held opinion or belief in it. The bones and blueprint I can produce. The meat and skin, not so much. I am lazy about details and dramatic effects.
Also, I tend to write to a known audience even if the audience is one person. I do not believe anyone would read what I write, (when writing alone at my desk, for instance,) so the potential final and end result would get short-circuited.
I like your path and what you want to discover. I side-stepped it totally. Here is why:
To answer your question would make us confront the psychological suffering which most people have gone through or are going through. You are attempting to dredge up subconscious truths and emotions which are usually kept at bay in the average consciousness. I do not even want to go where you have asked us to go.
Here is what I believe about sex and love. Sex works like love potion #9. Sex is the glue that holds a relationship together. It is deep and instinctual and a gift from nature. It is only a gift if used carefully. It is like playing with fire if used casually without hope of lasting partnership.
Believe it or not, a healthy sex life keeps two adults together for the sake of their offspring who psychologically need two parents. The presence and balance of mother/ father, masculine/ feminine energies is in a child's best interest.
Do I talk like Mr. Spock.
So, I hope you will go on with your story. Maybe you can give us a short version of it as a Hub?
PS I give you the story I wrote. You can put some meat and skin on it! Be my guest! After all, I would not have written it, if not for your prompt.
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