Unmarried and vacationing...common question, different answers.
#11
Pilgrim has a tenderness and protectiveness that come from living years wondering if his mother would fall on the stairs and break her neck - literally.  He has always treated me like a piece of crystal, despite the fact that I'm physically capable of virtually anything he is.  I sensed this gentleness in him early on.  It also felt like finding a piece of myself in his eyes.  I don't know how to describe it but a sense of fitting together in a way that seemed inevitable.  He made me feel safe - not an easy thing given my past.  When I freaked out if he hugged me too tightly, he would comfort me and talk me down - even if I had shoved him halfway across a room in my panic (yes, really).

As for Lug and your sexual/health concerns: why not book a joint appointment for a visit to your doctor?  Let him ask questions about your illness and the prognosis at this point. You can then discuss the STD concerns and any testing that might be appropriate given your health.  You both would have a measure of comfort in knowing more about the full situation.  He might feel better knowing he is doing everything he can, given his past, to protect you both.

Your aunt sounds like Pilgrim's grandma!  We came up to visit his father for a surprise birthday party and stayed in her home.  I was given a sleeper sofa in the living room.  Early in the morning, Pilgrim came down and sat in a chair near he bed to talk to me and hold my hand.  Out came grandma with a tongue lashing for Pilgrim the likes of which I'll not forget - even 16+ years later!  :). That was one formidable lady!!!

I'm no wiser in my own life than you are.  Trust me: I've made plenty of mistakes along the way.  I'm just more objective about yours.  :).
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#12
Yet again, you've spoken so glowingly about Pilgrim that I just had to smile.  It's really something you know to come to a place where people speak so highly of their spouses.  Kinda strange and sad it isn't more common.  You obviously love each other tremendously and God has blessed you both. 

If you remember a tongue lashing 16+ years after, that's pretty remarkable... especially coming from a grandma!  My brother and I have an inside joke about this particular aunt.  We call her auntie Oxana but her name is not even close to that.  Borat had a wife named Oxana and well, that's like my aunt.  Apparently everyone on my father's side is hardy and struggles with indoor voices.  I hope she gets back to me soon...  :eyeroll: :eyeroll:  :eyeroll:

I've thought about taking Lug (that sounds so not nice now...ha ha ha) to the doctor with me previously but I didn't know if it was a good idea.  We have a social worker that deals with all kinds of social issues (sexual health included) but she usually just fills out paperwork.  So she'd be good to see too and I think for once she's appreciate using her degrees.  :LOL:  But really, him getting some really stringent testing isn't a question but a must.  Really, just have to prepare myself for answers or scenarios that may not be too great.

He's asking me exactly what we're doing because hotels/tickets have to be booked like yesterday.  I said I'm still thinking about it and trying to find a respectable solution not only for me but for him too.  But right now, don't hold his breath on a vacation.  We'e going shopping for a gift for my sister in law like right now.. so he may be a sourpuss for the day with this 'you can't come' revelation.  :crazy:
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#13
I confess that I do love Pilgrim and am deeply grateful to have found such a good man.  I never realized how difficult it was until I talked with my little sister and heard her troubles with dating.  She has pretty much given up.  It is quite sad that men and women do not speak about each other with love and respect, especially since marriage is such a beautiful thing - even when its hard.  :)

This grandma was an amazing, creative, forceful woman that I will respect until the end of my days.  She and her husband never lived alone but took in the previous generation, caring for them with love until the end.  There are stories of her cooking two dinners because her father-in-law didn't care for what the rest of the family enjoyed and doing it on a regular basis without complaint.  She quilted, embroidered, crocheted, sewed, and was simply marvelous.  She volunteered at church and did so much for others!  Her son and daughter both speak of her with great respect and I've never heard anything else from them - ever.  I met her at my husband's graduation the first year we were dating and was amazed that an 80 year old woman was so spry, happy, and engaged in everything.  She never stopped being that way.  The year before she died, she came out to visit us in Colorado and since we were still building our current home, we took her to the model home like the one we had chosen.  She insisted on going up the stairs, visiting every nook and cranny.  When she passed, it was from a stroke in mid-conversation with her daughter, my husband's dear, spinster aunt.  It was quite a shock because she hadn't really been ill.  But she lived a good long life, surrounded by family.  We all miss her still.

I think every family has at least a few forceful women like that.  Your aunt sounds like a wonderful lady - just the kind to keep things respectable, especially if you share a room with her on the trip.  :grin:

Your social worker may be a good place to start in all of this.  No doubt Lug (and I mean that in the best possible way) will need to be tested.  I doubt he would want to make you sick either.  He probably has a lot of questions and concerns that may be best answered in such a setting too.  He may be afraid to ask some things since they might come across as a bit strange.  Having a professional in the room gives him a chance to voice concerns hopefully without making it oddly pressing or otherwise weird.

If he is cranky for the day, that's OK.  He's processing some natural disappointment.  I'm sure he's also trying to look at things from your perspective.  Let it go, talk about things later, and just make the best of the day.  If he cares for you as much as he says, he'll get over it. 
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#14
There was a solution to all of this after all and it is a very Suzdal-solution.  A monastery with a handful of monks offers a few rooms.  The rooms are very clean and look so cosy.  Naturally, they are very simple but their rules are 1) No noise 2) No smoking 3) No alcohol.  Perfect and respectable solution for a young man.  I'll call once day breaks and if there is a room, I decided that is a good solution.  There he can pray and be contemplative.  Besides, "Aunt Oxana" said yes.  So, my accommodations with her have been set.

When I read about the 'hardy and amazing grandma', it makes me consider how our society experiences such a loss when the older generations are gone.  God makes us all wonderful and in His image but you know, our generations haven't adopted responsibility, service or skills like our elders.  We should cherish those still with us and strongly remember those who have departed.  Pray for all of them.

I'm going to call my social worker tomorrow; I have to call the office for something else anyways.  The only way to deal with things we fear or don't understand is to ask questions.  Then, he can do what he wants with the information but a good sexual health check is just a no brainer.  If I recall, my social worker has a list of all the strange STI's that we don't really consider unless someone has a greater concern.  See, this is why chastity is so very important these days even from a secular perspective.
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#15
I'm so glad you found a compromise that works!!!

Yes, I agree.  We don't value our elders as we should and are ill prepared to take their place.
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#16
Booked him a spot at the monastery.  I messaged him all the information as he's at work.  Got a cranky call during his lunch hour.  "There's no television and no wifi!  What am I supposed to do?"  You'll survive without Instagram for a few days and you'll be too tired for television!  Services early in the morning, sightseeing during the day/crazy dancing at the cucumber fest, maybe evening services, time to contemplate, then sleep.  :LOL:  I don't mean to laugh like that but I can't help it.  Apparently leaving him in a monastery with some monks means I think he's a rapist.  :eyeroll:

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#17
:LOL: :LOL: :LOL:  He'll get over it . . .  I hope.  It will be good for him to have a solid dose of monasticism in his life.  You should be chuckling to yourself over this one.  It's a cute move.  "I'm sorry honey, but if you want to go, this is where you'll be . . . "  Love it!
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#18
Thankfully, he's over it already.  :LOL:  I advised him to view it as a special opportunity and we all need those times in our lives to ground ourselves to examine our relationship with God.  If he feels Orthodoxy in his heart, this is the perfect opportunity to really mull it over.  I know this opportunity wouldn't be available for most locations or vacation destinations; the location is known for its Russian Orthodox history.  So, this is not to say I support unmarried couples going away as I know the near occasion of sin is so heavy in the atmosphere.

He's still kind of cranky over the supposition that maybe I don't trust him.  I'm trying my best to explain that it isn't solely a question of trust.  He's very new to moral teachings and though he sees the big point, it's all the other little stuff he still has to comprehend.  Trying to explain "the near occasion of sin" or "at what point something becomes lust" causes strained discourse among dedicated Catholics so imagine a beginner to Christian thought altogether.

And I really hate to go on a rant but CINO's and all kinds of mixed messages don't really help.  He asked why do I have to live so strictly when people are Catholic and are much freer with themselves?  Here's an example: He has a co-worker who said, "I'm Catholic but I was sleeping with my wife (then girlfriend) and other girlfriends.  It's not a big deal."  How do you even answer such a thing without coming across as judgemental?  (which I was trying not to be.)  I simply said some people take their faith more seriously and his friend made things right by marrying his now wife.  We all sin, we all stumble with our crosses but it is how we turn away from sin that matters.  But, it's not easy when one person is saying one thing and others say another. 

So, I'm trying to explain to him, especially in the situation of a vacation, all of the pressure IS NOT on him so he shouldn't feel that I think he's a monster or something.  But, when you genuinely care for a person, you want to do what is best for their soul.  If I act in a certain way or expect something from this person, am I helping them get closer to eternity with Our Lord or not?  And if he cares for me, he will also not want to put me in a similar situation.  So, understand this is coming from love and not fear or bad ideas about him.  We have to pray for each other and since I know he's struggling, I have to pray a lot for him. 

Then again, he's coming over to watch a film about an old Russian lady that poisons (with Viagra) her husband so maybe he'll be questioning my love.  :LOL:  :LOL:  :LOL:
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#19
:LOL: :LOL:  You do manage him quite well!

I would explain to him that we all come to our faith with different levels of understanding of what practicing it means.  It is the truth . . .  His friend at work may not really understand the expectations of his faith.  In truth, I'm not sure it's taught at all clearly these days. 

As for whether or not you trust Lug: tell him you don't entirely trust yourself either.  Use Wilde's line: "I can resist everything except temptation."  You don't want to compromise either of you on this trip.  It's about avoiding situations that would perhaps make either one of you behave in a way that stirs up passions you can't really satisfy at this point.  Don't use the technical terminology.  It's confusing for a newbie.  Instead tell him you are passionate and care for him deeply (it's truth).  Make it about waiting patiently for something beautiful and truly wonderful.

You can poison someone with Viagra?!?!  I suppose a woody for 2 days straight could kill a man . . .  :LOL:
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#20
(06-29-2016, 07:07 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: You can poison someone with Viagra?!?!  I suppose a woody for 2 days straight could kill a man . . .  :LOL:
The man had heart trouble.  :LOL:  So, when he wouldn't hand over badly needed cash, she put an overdose of Viagra in his juice. He died that morning.

My father totally ruined the movie.  He turned it into question period; what do you want to see on vacation? have you been there before? why aren't you married yet?  (in general, not to me  :LOL: ) Why haven't you been married?  Aren't you too old to be single? Why did you move here instead of somewhere else? Do you want to go mushroom picking? My father is probably going to stuff this poor boy with poisonous mushrooms.   

(06-29-2016, 07:07 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: As for whether or not you trust Lug: tell him you don't entirely trust yourself either.  Use Wilde's line: "I can resist everything except temptation."  You don't want to compromise either of you on this trip.  It's about avoiding situations that would perhaps make either one of you behave in a way that stirs up passions you can't really satisfy at this point.
So true, so very true.  To be brutally honest, like I said before, my parents stuck all these prayer cards all over the place.  Always reminders to remain chaste and keep my virtue.  I thought they were nuts because though I went out with guys, it really wasn't a problem.  I thought 'what's the big deal? I have no desire for any of these boys.'  But now, though I am dedicated to not commit any mortal sins, I acknowledge it is difficult and I have to watch my actions carefully.  It is imperative that he knows this because it puts things on a much more equal footing. But I swear, with our itinerary, it's more like a vacation of a senior citizen bus tour.  :P
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