Am I committing a mortal sin?


#1

Pretty much, I’ve always had mental health issues for as long as I can remember. My doctor is pretty certain I’m on the bipolar spectrum. This sort of relates to the question as when I was younger I’d always go through the most horrible depressions and find it difficult to sleep. So I invented a way of being able to get to sleep by creating an imaginary world inside of my head, with what I believe would be the ‘perfect life,’ without illness ect.

As I’ve grown older I’ve started imagining that I’m married to the man of my dreams and that we have children together ect. When I became a Catholic these fantasies became more moral in the sense that I never imagined doing anything sexual with my perfect partner or anything that the church disagrees with. It’s just a way to get me off to sleep and without it, I just lie awake with the thoughts spinning in my head.

The part that worries me is that I imagine I’m married to a celebrity who is already married in real life. I, myself, am not married or in a relationship at the moment (I’m 18, if you were wondering) and for a while now I wondered if this would be considered as lusting after a married man? The thing is, it’s all innocent and rather silly but it helps me sleep, so I use it as a technique for that purpose. I could never imagine these stories becoming real or anything, and I would never knowingly cheat with a married man. If I’m honest, I’ve kind of shaped him in my head to what I’d imagine him to be…so he’s not really real anyway. I just kind of fancy him hahaha. But yeah, is this mortal sin?

Thanks in advance for any answers! And I’d be happy to elaborate on any more details if you ask. :slight_smile:


#2

I think if it constitutes a sin at all it wouldn’t be a mortal one. Keeping in mind that God is truth, and that indulging in fantasies regarding radical distortions of reality could be considered by some to be contrary to God’s will

When I was younger I had similar “mental health issues”, my way of getting to sleep was to drink a litre of scotch; so I think your way is much healthier :slight_smile:


#3

I think you should definitely discuss this with your priest via confession.

On one hand it might seem innocent enough. But on the other hand, what you describe seems to be covetting, which is prohibited in the ten commendments, which the Church teaches us form the basis of grave matter for mortal sin. To covet someone elses husband may very well be grave matter. And lust need not be involved.

If you indulge in such fantasies, you should use a nonspecific ideal, not a real person, and especially not a married person. It’s OK to have dreams of an idealic future, but not if those dreams invlove covetting.

Of course, even if this does constitute grave matter (your priest can advise), if you didn’t know it was wrong, you can’t be guilty of mortal sin. But go chat with (or confess to) your priest, who can guide you better.


#4

Probably not but I would strongly advise to make an active effort to reshape your form of coping to something else. I’m a very imaginative person and know firsthand that the human imagination can be a very dangerous tool if you do not keep ownership of it. Once you entertain certain trains of thought long enough, it can be extremely difficult to close them. If you’re 18, then change course while you’re ahead of yourself.


#5

I think anyone can use imagining to get to sleep. I see little harm in it, but I see no reason to add parameters like married to the ideal man. Make up a mysterious prince of whom you know little, rather than something illicit. Why allow a harmless flight of fancy worry you about the state of your soul. The added extra is not worth it.


#6

Imagining that you are Married with Children.

He is married to someone else, and you do NOT lust after him … even though he is your Perfect Man.

So, if this act is purely innocent, then I would change the facts a little to examine it more thoroughly.

You imagine that you are a Secret Agent for the CIA, in order to go to Sleep.
Is this act a Sin?

I would liken this situation to the one you have.
Imagining is NOT a Sin, Mortal or otherwise (or else, kids would be racking up 1000s of sins by the time they were 5 years old).

Whether you use your imagination to go to Sleep, or for any other purpose, does not matter (as far as I can see).


#7

The perfect man is Jesus. Celebrities are probably as far from perfect as anyone on earth.


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.