Once again, we look over the shoulder of Germany's favorite advice columnist, Reinhard Marx, as he opens up his mailbag...
I have been married for 18 years and have a six year old daughter. The last few years my husband has been uninterested in sex. I met a young bi-sexual woman a couple of years ago, and we really hit it off. We have been in a loving, sexual relationship for the past two years.
There would be no problem, except my husband is a customer of her sex trade. He thinks I don't know, but Lena has told me everything. The really weird part is that Lena tells me she has feelings for my husband, too, and that he claims to love her. I should add that despite all of our problems, I still love my husband. (I also want to stay together for the sake of our daughter, who I'd do anything for.) To top everything off, Lena has disclosed that my husband has told her he still loves me, despite his faithful extramarital relationship with Lena.
Lena wants to move in with my husband and me. She says it would save her rent, and save my family the cost of my husband's frequent visits to her, which are really putting a strain on our budget. Since we all love each other, I cannot find an objection to this.
We are faithful Mass-goers, sometimes attending as much as once a month. So my concern is whether our little trio will be welcomed in the communion line. Because, I mean, if you can't get communion, why even go? This would break my heart.
We are in a stable, loving tri-relationship that surely cannot be considered a sin, can it? The Church will welcome us, won't it?
Multi-Partnered in Munich
I can tell you are not a regular reader of my column, ha ha. Anyway, you should not worry. What seems complicated for us is simple for God.
First of all, the Bible clearly approves of polyamory. The character of the patriarch "Abraham" is depicted as having two wives, and God is said to have blessed the products of both unions. The "Jacob" composite figure had multiple wives that gave birth to the twelve tribes of Israel. Don't even start with the mythical idealized Davidic king, "Solomon!" He had 700 wives and 300 concubines! This is scripture's way of expressing approval by exaggeration.
So what if it fell out of fashion for a few centuries? Clearly you are in a loving, stable relationship among three adults that cannot be called "adultery." And do we even need to say that we are pastorally tolerant of your loving relationship with Lena?
You may be thinking of the old days, before the Church rediscovered mercy and love (before Pope Francis). I can assure you that priests in my diocese don't know the meaning of the word "sin!" So, of course you may receive communion.
You should be proud of your concern for your daughter. You are a great mother!
God bless you!