[ God's Word ] [ A Letter to... ] [ 17-Year Old Reflections ] [ Life is Sacred ]
I got this at the National Catholic Youth Conference, held
in Indianapolis, Indiana, in December 2001. It's also a little long, but very
touching. It was written by Mary Beth Bonacci.
An Open Letter to my Future Husband
Even though I don't know exactly who
you'll be yet, I think of you often. I wonder how you're living your life now?
It matters to me, you know, because how you live your life now determines
the kind of man you're becoming... and the kind of man I'll spend the rest of my
Apparently, for some bizarre reason, manhood does not come
automatically for males. Some guys seem to spend their entire lives trying to
"prove their manhood" - by hunting, playing sports, driving fast... and,
unfortunately, having sex. It seems rather strange to us women that guys think
having sex proves you're a man. To us, it just proves you've reached puberty.
And we don't really consider that, in itself, to be any great accomplishment.
Becoming a man is a much more complicated process.
The funny thing is, even in this day and age, most guys want
to marry a girl who respects her sexuality. A guy doesn't like the idea of his
future wife in the back seat with someone else, or of her being the subject of a
sexual conquest story in the locker room. They'll brag about girls like that,
but they won't marry them. They want to marry a girl, whether she's never "done
it" or done it and regretted it, who recognizes that sex speaks the language of
forever, committed love... someone like me.
But why would I want to marry someone like that... someone
who wants to marry a virgin, but spends his dating years robbing other girls of
their virginity so that he can prove his manhood? He's not a "real man" in my
eyes - he's a selfish, immature boy driven by insecurity, not love. And I'm not
I want more from you. I want you to respect your sexuality as
much as I respect mine. I want you to be a real, confident man, not a
wimp who has to use women to feed his insecurity. A guy like that couldn't use
all of those women, and then suddenly love me. He may be "good" in bed, but he's
no good at loving.
I want you to learn to really love. Learning to love
is learning to put the other first. A guy who messes around outside of marriage
isn't putting the good of the other first. He's using a girl... speaking the
"body language" of a permanent commitment when the relationship isn't permanent.
He's putting the girl at risk of pregnancy. And he's putting himself at risk for
some nasty diseases... diseases he can later give his wife. That's not making
love. A real man loves women - all women - and wants what's best for them. And
he doesn't let his desires control his actions. He controls his desires instead.
I want you to develop self-control. That's important to me. I
don't want to marry a man who can't control himself. Men like that make lousy
husbands. A guy who isn't used to saying "no" to sex isn't going to be any
better at it at 40 than he is at 18. I've seen women who worry every time their
husbands hire an attractive secretary. I don't want that. What kind of marriage
could I have with someone I couldn't even trust on a business trip?
In the short run, I'm sure there aren't too many rewards for
a guy living this way. Society tells you that you're missing out on your "sexual
peak". Your silence during the locker room bragging sessions can seem deafening.
You may have even heard from the girls you date that something must be "wrong"
with you because you won't take them to bed. Deep down, you must know that
having sex won't prove you're a man. It's just irritating that no one else
seems to know it, isn't it?
But somebody does know it. I know it. And in the end, I'm the
only someone that matters.
And no, I'm not as narrow-minded as those guys who say
they'll only marry a virgin. Society isn't too supportive of virginity,
especially male virginity. I can forgive mistakes in your past. But I'm
interested in your future, starting now. When I meet you, I want you to be a man
who has made a conscious decision to wait... out of love for our future family
and commitment to our marriage. And I want you to be a real man, who's
developed the control, maturity and unselfishness that waiting brings. They may
not be popular traits in the locker room, but they're popular with me. They'll
make you a better husband, and a better father. To me, that's sexy.
I've abstained from sex all these years, and it hasn't been
for the lack of offers. I've had plenty of opportunities, and saying "no" hasn't
always been easy. I'm sure it's not always easy for you, either. But it will
make our marriage so much stronger. Sex will be our gift to each other, our
exclusive "language". It'll belong to us, not "us and everyone else we
Thanks for waiting for me, I promise you won't regret it.
- Mary Beth Bonacci