Boyfriend Whom Struggles With Masturbation; any advice? Prayers greatly welcomed too!


#1

If you have not read my previous threads, I also too struggle with the same terrible sin, Masturbation. I am an RCIA Student, whom is very passionate about my religion. I have a boyfriend of seven and a half months and he is truly a blessing from God. The most loving, caring, non-judgmental, and over-all godly man; I couldn't ask God for any better man in my life. We keep God at the center of our relationship and have just a wonderful, care-free, loving, greatly honest and trustworthy relationship. We have a very open and comfortable relationship, we both strictly agreed on no sex till marriage and definitely no sexual acts before marriage. He, too, is Catholic, raised Catholic, in a Catholic family. I love him dearly and he too struggles with the same sin I struggle in. We desperately try to help each other, we are basically each other's accountability partners and each other's crutch whenever times get tough. He struggles with it just as much as I do, yet has strong willpower to avoid it just as well. Can you possibly lend me any advice on how to help him avoid falling into this sin? Any tips or advice? I've made him a bracelet with a holy medal attached to it for him to wear and he constantly thanks me for it because he says it helps tremendously; yet sometimes he still falls into this sin. Is there anything else I can possibly do?

As I've heard before, the roll of a couple/married couple is to help each other get to heaven.

Thanks so much for your support. And prayers for him would be wonderful.
You can call him "Scott" in your prayers, I'm sure God will know who you are referring to. Thank you so so much(:

~ Mel


#2

I will pray for both of you, as often as I can!

It’s great that you are both aware of this NOW instead of one of you finding out fifteen years into marriage that the other has this problem.

The bracelet with a medal is a great idea. Do you have one for yourself as well? If not, a St. Benedict medal may be a particularly good one (as St. Benedict is the patron against temptation) and don’t forget to have it blessed.

Is there anything in either of your homes that may lead you into sin? Pornography magazines, “toys” for self-gratification, that sort of thing. If you do, DESTROY it. Don’t just throw it away. Throw it into a fire. Shred it directly into the trash can. Do either of you access pornography using your computer? Clean it up. Clear anything you’ve saved to your hard drive. Install some sort of filter and hold each others’ passwords. Covenant Eyes is a program that filters AND reports your searches: You choose an ‘accountability partner’ and this person will receive a weekly report showing what you have done. You can’t go to an ‘adult’ site and then clear your history: if you go there, it’s on the report.

If there is no pornography involved, GOOD, you’re a step ahead.

Is he frequenting confession? He should confess this every.single.time and if he hasn’t struggled with is but is tempted, might as well confess that too. I don’t say this to shame him but a good priest will be able to give him advice in the confessional on fighting those temptations.

St. Josemaria Escriva said “In prayer, do not ask for consolation (but thank God if He gives it to you!). Pray for perseverance.” Pray for this CONSTANTLY. Make it habit to ask for strength in fighting temptation. Pray your Rosary daily, either together or on your own. If you’re not already praying the Rosary daily, you will be amazed at how this pious act will lend to an increase in your faith as well as perseverance against temptation.

Is there a certain room in your home where you tend to go for self-gratification? Hang a crucifix. Put holy cards on your night stand. Find a picture of the Blessed Virgin. Pray for her to stand by you and help you.

Maybe it will help you to reflect, when you feel tempted to sin, on marrying this man and entering into the marriage as pure as you can be. You can give yourself meaningless, short-lived pleasure that ends with tremendous guilt and a heavy heart. But the loving embrace of marriage is so much more than that in so many ways. Don’t let that moment be spoiled by giving in to this sin.

I hope that is helpful in some way. My husband has struggled for years with temptation to view pornography and he is three months “clean,” but the temptations haven’t gone away. I don’t think they ever will. We will carry our crosses until we die, but in carrying our cross, we unite our suffering with the suffering of Christ, and grow in holiness. You and your boyfriend can do this but only with God’s help, so rely on HIM, not your own strength. I will pray for both of you. And yes, our spouses can help us get to Heaven, whether they are a holy spouse or not…some spouses help us get to Heaven because we are so patient with their wretchedness that our patience makes us a saint. :wink: I don’t see that happening with you and your boyfriend of course. :slight_smile: May God strengthen you and Our Lady intercede for you.


#3

Finding other things to occupy your time also helps! It's hard to break bad habits but developing good habits helps. For example, I read travel guides or study languages to occupy myself in my spare time.


#4

Wow; thank you so much for the advice. I can’t say how greatly appreciative I am of your advice! I sadly used to struggle with pornography, yet I let it go awhile back. One day I just truly realized the disgusting and destroying qualities it had and how bad it affected me and my perspective of people that I quickly threw it away. I must say that was all due to God’s grace and helping hand that I let it go and truly realized what it was doing to me. I don’t know if he has or does use pornography, but from my understanding he does not use any form of it. I must say it’s a true blessing to know he doesn’t struggle with that; it truly is a step forward(: The bracelet helps a great deal and I was going to make one for myself today actually. He hasn’t been to confession in a very very long time because he was afraid of failing again after confession but I’ve been able to convince him recently to start going to confession recently; hopefully he will go next week at our school that offers weekly confession. I can’t take confession/the sacrament of reconciliation because I am still an RCIA Student, yet I can’t wait until the day I am baptized and able to receive such a beautiful and truly blissful sacrament. Sometimes we stay up with each other on the phone, and even sometimes keep the phone on overnight to keep us from failing with surprisingly helps each of us tremendously. Fighting this sin despite the sometimes struggles and depression brought on from failing, surprisingly, hasn’t taken a huge toll on our relationship and if anything it’s brought me and him closer not only together, but together with God and His continuing grace. Something I’m truly thankful for is that my boyfriend has really taught me about unfailing forgiveness and unconditional love. He helped remind me constantly every time I failed into this sin that he will always forgive me and love me for who I am and that God will do the same if not more. My boyfriend has just been an amazing blessing in my life. I truly pray that one day we will be able to be free from this sin. We try to visit the chapel at our school once a week too, to pray together and everything. Thank you so very much(: and also another prayer, if you don’t mind, is to pray for me and my boyfriend’s relationship to grow stronger not only with each other, but with God and our faith.

Thanks again!

~ Mel


#5

[quote="onjac, post:3, topic:318642"]
Finding other things to occupy your time also helps! It's hard to break bad habits but developing good habits helps. For example, I read travel guides or study languages to occupy myself in my spare time.

[/quote]

Yes, that's something I've noticed that helps greatly too. Thank you so much! I've noticed that during breaks; when I have a lot of free time on my hands is when I'm most liable to fail rather on school days when most of my time is spent on homework and studying. Thanks again!

~ Mel


#6

Aww…poor guy.

I fight that same feeling sometimes. “What is the point of going to confession if I’m just going to fail again?”

That thought is not from God. He must not deprive our loving God of the chance to pour His mercy out on us, because that is what He truly WANTS to do. :slight_smile: Think of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. The son said to his father, “Give me my share of your estate.” (Basically, “you’re dead to me, so give me what you owe me so I can leave.”) His father gave him the share, and the son went to a distant country and squandered the money on sinful things. He had to take a job feeding swine to support himself and realized that while he slept with the pigs, his father’s servants were at least given food, so he returned home to repent. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and, filled with compassion, ran to his son to embrace him.

Reflect on the merciful Father in this story. The son committed horrible sin against his father, but the father waited for his return. He didn’t happen to wander out and see his son walking home…don’t you think maybe he went out to look for his son now and then, and this time, finally saw him return? The father RAN to the son and embraced him! He couldn’t wait to show his mercy to his son who had finally returned to him. :slight_smile: Your boyfriend and all the rest of us has a fallen nature and will sin again, but going to confession regularly will help him to recognize his sins. The more you go to God, the more you realize you NEED God, and that God ALONE can help him overcome this sin. And since this is a serious sin he should not receive Communion without going to confession - is his fear of falling again really worth denying himself the Body and Blood of Christ? I hope he will be able to go soon, and if he falls again, that he will get up again and go back. :slight_smile: My husband has to go several times a week sometimes, even if it’s just to say “I didn’t do anything terrible, but I have been highly tempted to look at pornography,” because the sacrament is so healing and strengthening. It will help.

Sorry I wrote so much. Having struggled with this sort of thing with my marriage I feel it would be good for me to share my blessings by helping those who are in a similar situation. The reason my husband and I are growing stronger instead of weaker is because we frequent the Sacraments. :heart:


#7

Yeah. . . He’s such a sweet, loving guy yet he’s always been afraid of that; I happily have convinced him to go during school which I hope he takes advantage of the opportunity and does go. Was this problem hard on your relationship? Has it brought you closer as a couple or caused some tension? If you don’t feel comfortable answering I totally understand. And It’s just all right! I love reading and I honestly love long messages(:


#8

It's difficult to give a useful answer to these situations based on the limited knowlege we have.
There is an impurity addiction support group right here on CAF. It is anonymous and you can get lots of good help there. Handling lust is a process, not something there is a magic bullet for. Typically a person will think one solution will do it only to discover there is some hard work to be done.


#9

Was this problem hard on your relationship? Has it brought you closer as a couple or caused some tension?

I only found out a few months ago that he had been looking at porn for our entire relationship and before he met me, for a total of over twenty years. A habit like that is hard to break. My first reaction was to forgive him and thank you for finally telling me, because it was obvious that SOMETHING had been eating him up and he clearly felt the urge to say it. By the time he told me, he had already been to confession several times and had prayers of deliverance said over him by the priest.

He is a very loving husband so when I start to feel like I’m not enough for him, I can usually shoo those thoughts away and recognize that they’re not true.

Like I said, this only came to light a few months ago, but we have definitely grown in our faith - not just a little bit, but by leaps and bounds. We used to go to confession every 4-6 months, Mass on days of obligation, and Adoration every once in a while (usually once a month or less). We did nightly prayers with the kids but nothing that required too much effort on our parts. Since he admitted this problem to me, we have been going to confession every 1-3 weeks, daily Mass whenever possible, and Adoration as often as possible: when we are out of town, we look for Adoration chapels that we could visit, and I have been every day for the past week (not for a full hour, but I try to slip in for a few minutes before or after running errands or while the baby is sleeping). We pray the Rosary daily and try to read some Scripture daily, or at least some spiritual reading. Instead of staying up late and watching TV, we stay up and have meaningful talks, or listen to a CD or MP3 from LighthouseCatholicMedia.org. These things have become integral to our faith, and our faith has become integral to our lives. :slight_smile:

There is tension now and then but not with each other. I get tense, for example, when he’s having a hard time at work because I’m afraid he’ll get too stressed and the temptations will grow. Sometimes I will mope around silently for a few days before I finally realize I need to go to confession and tell the priest that I’m starting to obsess more about pornography than my husband ever did, because I can’t stop worrying that he’ll use it! I always feel better after that, or at least feel more prepared to talk about it with my husband (who is very understanding that this will take time to process and get over).


#10

You need to cut the internet connection to your house to avoid porn. Also thought control…there are greater extremes to avoiding porn which I have taken that I prefer not to mention.

Masturbation is a really hard sin to stop, I think its a form of OCD for those who cant stop.


#11

And typically it requires help from others struggling with the same issue, depending on whether there is an addiction factor or not. Part of the reason people get involved with porn and MB is we believe we don't need others. Many people who get trapped in lust will stay trapped until they face the music that they can't beat it without surrendering themsleves. That means different things for different people.
A lust addiction will surely destroy you if not confronted. I don't have time to tell my story, but I will just say that it can destroy your marriage, lead you into affairs, abortion, loss of friends and family.


#12

Yeah. He doesn’t struggle with porn, and happily I don’t anymore. I know. . Thank you for your advice:)


#13

Ah, yeah I can definitely understand. See I have a re-occurring problem however. Whenever he fails he tends to get into these deep, dark, depressing slumps and constantly gets drowned in guilt over failing to this sin. It hurts me so much to see him in so much pain and all I can do is be there for him. Is there anything I can do to help him not dive deeper into this hole and help him come out of his depression and strong guilt?? It’s always a problem once he fails and I would love to find an answer or any advice that can be given. And that’s wonderful that your relationship now includes such holy, and faith-strengthening activities. Me and my boyfriend try to go to the chapel often but now knowing all of these other opportunities it can help a lot. Thank you so so very much too for the advice:)


#14

Yeah. I’ve noticed in my life how it can be critically destroying. I’m glad to have turned my ways from pornography; yet masturbation can still be a problem for me. Happily, I’m two days clean, I know it may not be much yet it truly is a good step forward. Thanks so much for the advice and if you kindly could, pray for both my boyfriend and I:)


#15

[quote="Melanae, post:13, topic:318642"]
Whenever he fails he tends to get into these deep, dark, depressing slumps and constantly gets drowned in guilt over failing to this sin.

[/quote]

Google "cycle of addition" and look for images showing the cycle. This is meant to be for drug and alcohol addictions but you can see that it could be used for other things too. There are some variations in the different cycles but the principal is the same:

frustration --> fantasizing --> obsessing --> using (or in his case masturbating) --> guilt --> cessation of use --> passage of time --> frustration --> fantasizing.... and so on. If you really want to dive into it you can find plenty of articles and videos about each part of the cycle.

DH and I went over these images together. He said the cycle made sense to him and that when he gets the "fantasizing/obsessing" part he starts doing certain rituals to distract him. Some are GREAT rituals (Divine Mercy Chaplet, confession, etc.) but some are neutral (playing video games) and some are bad (dwelling on self-loathing thoughts).

If you can catch your boyfriend in the "frustration" phase you might sometimes be able to stop this cycle right there and get him out before he's so deep into it that he caves in. In the words of two different priests about my husband:

  1. Be his girlfriend, not his mother. Keep acting as though you are dating and trying to win him. Make every effort to make him feel loved.

  2. Very often when men have problems like this, their salvation comes in the form of their spouse.

When he becomes frustrated and enters a dark phase, this is when you can bring him carry-out and watch a funny movie, or play a game of Scrabble with him, or say a Divine Mercy Chaplet with him, or encourage him to go to confession, or send him something cutesy in the mail just to make his day even if you are local.


#16

That will help tremendously actually. I’ve always wondered what to do whenever he becomes sad. I definitely show him love, especially more-so when he becomes sad like that. Thank you very much! (:


#17

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