“Ask a Priest: What’s a Married Man to Do If He Has Same-Sex Attraction?”

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Q: What if someone marries and had children, but God never wanted him to marry? What does the person do? What if the person carries the cross of same-sex attraction and ignorantly chose marriage when he was Protestant. He learns later he was probably called to be single. Now he is married with children. What does he do? — T.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It is laudable that this man wants to do God’s will in his life. The good news is: He is doing it now, by being a faithful husband and father.

His specific concern centers on the same-sex attraction. Such attraction can be more or less intense, and for shorter or longer duration in a person’s life. Having such attraction isn’t sinful in itself and it doesn’t automatically disqualify someone from marriage. The face that he sees this attraction as a cross is a sign that he hasn’t sought it.

It’s hard to say whether God never intended for him to marry. In any case God gives us a certain freedom of choice in the path we pursue in life. And the children certainly were no mistake. So let’s start with them and the man’s wife.

He made a decision to marry a woman. Even if God’s perfect plan was to call him to the single life, the option for marriage was still there, and he took it. God can work with that; he can give this man the grace to grow in holiness if he is faithful to his spouse and dedicated to his children, and make prayer and other good works a part of his life.

He made a choice, and now his duty is to live out the consequences of that choice. This isn’t meant in a legalistic way. This is simply what life is about.

By remaining faithful and dedicated to his family, this man can become a saint. There is no reason to deviate from that path now.

Perhaps all the news about same-sex unions, etc., in recent years has prompted his second thoughts about marriage. If so, he needs to recognize them for what they are: temptations. He would do well to shrug them off. Marriage isn’t only about sexual intercourse, and he can still continue to grow in spiritual, emotional and intellectual intimacy with his wife, developing a truly beautiful spousal relationship.

If need be, he might seek out a bit of counseling, preferably with someone who has a strong Christian viewpoint.  (the site HERE might help).

At any rate make time for prayer for man. You mention “when he was Protestant.” If he is Catholic now, he would do well to stay close to the sacraments and the Blessed Virgin Mary. She will help him live his marriage well.

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