One of the major causes of marital break-ups in the US and probably elsewhere in the world has been conjugal infidelity. Although the act itself can be a an instantaneous one-night stand, the path that leads to infidelity is long and cumulative and can be traced back to the time when the marital partners have started to lose their marital intimacy.
Intimacy can be among friends or between husbands and wives. It is actually a good word because it entails some degree of “closeness” or “nearness” on both the physical and emotional/intellectual/ spiritual levels. In other words, the closeness is not just something physical but more.
But just how can two people become intimate? If physical proximity is not enough then the feelings, thoughts and spirit or the “condition” of either person will definitely come to the fore.
In the sexual act for example, where the union of man and woman is supreme, mere physical nearness cannot be a guarantee for intimacy.
In fact the sexual act alone if taken out in the authentic context of true love destroys the relationship between husband and wife. The Papal encyclical Humanae Vitae states that: “It is in fact justly observed that a conjugal act imposed upon one’s partner without regard for his or her condition and lawful desires is not a true act of love, and therefore denies an exigency of right moral order in the relationships between husband and wife.”
In other words, if the sexual act is simply “imposed” or done without even knowing the “condition” of one’s partner and there is no check on whether one’s desires are “lawful” or not then the breakdown of intimacy begins.
And how true can this assertion be not only among married couples but even among the casual partners. Although the assertion was meant for the married ones, it can also be applied to single individuals who plan to venture on the conjugal act of sex.
First of all, the individuals concerned are not yet married and thus make their “condition” not suited for the marital act. When this happens two people commit fornication which is basically the unlawful sexual act between two unmarried people. Take note that the unlawful act includes married individuals committing adultery since the sexual act was done with someone whom he/she did not really marry.
In today’s society these unlawful sexual acts of fornication seem to be outmoded. The mere mention of it can create a stir or an outrage, a diabolical abhorrence among the many – both single and married, that practice fornication with the aid of contraceptive devices. It wouldn’t fare well to point an accusing finger. Instead it would be best to focus on the seriousness of the sin, and how such sinful act will someday have some harmful effects on important element in a married life: INTIMACY.
First of all the sexual act was meant for husbands and wives. It was meant to make the married couple close or intimate to one another but at the same time open to life or the procreative aspect of marriage.
The conjugal act “… is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning. Indeed, by its intimate structure, the conjugal act, while most closely uniting husband and wife, capacitates them for the generation of new lives, according to laws inscribed in the very being of man and of woman.”
Doing the conjugal act outside marriage fails to fulfill both the “unitive” and “procreative” connection. In other words, fornication fails to make two people become intimate and bear children.
Frankly speaking, I myself tend to laugh at this assertion even at this very moment. But come to think of it, the unitive and procreative aspects really matters because the values borne of intimacy and children , as espoused by the good Papal encyclical, are long lasting and are built upon a solid-rock foundation.
How sad and tragic it is in today’s society for unmarried persons to engage in unlawful conjugal acts when in the end they will just be separated because of circumstances. Regret only comes in the end.
Scientific studies even prove that sexual acts among humans create a bonding that lasts a lifetime, and it is probably for this reason that God intended such bonding within marriage.
The song “First love never dies” is indeed true. But many times painfully and regrettably true. And if perchance children were born as a result of such illicit sexual acts, these innocent beings will again last a lifetime if their broken hearted parents refuse to have them labeled as simply “unplanned”.