HELP! I'm having a problem with pornography

Hello, I’d like to start of by saying that I just had this problem today. I had this really strong impulse and I felt like I just had to watch some porn. I began watching this one video and then it was as if I suddenly realized what I was doing and how harmful it is to my relationships with others and God. I closed out of the video and felt relieved. I had also been masturbating and I had hit the climax but I was somehow able to prevent it and I did not release any bodily fluids. There is this girl I really like and she seems to likes me and I’m going to a dance with her later this week and I feel good about not fully giving in to my temptation but at the same time I feel bad about what I did do, I feel like I’ve betrayed her in terms of the affection and concern I have given to her. If anyone has any advice or prayers to share that would be great. Also how do I determine if this is a mortal sin. I didn’t really give any thought into what I was doing, and I reacted based on impulse but I bailed out not even 30 seconds into the video so would this be venial? Thank you and God bless!

Having the appropriate sorrow of sin is good, but I don’t think you ought to let that interfere with your dating life.

I understand the feeling, but the reality is that you are not married to this woman right now. I think you should confess what you did, but to a priest, not to her. She doesn’t need to know about this.

As far as determining if this is a mortal sin—full knowledge, full consent of will and grave matter.

I can only say for certain it’s the latter in your case, and that it could be mortal. Just confess it unless you have some other spiritual direction.

If I was you I would go and confess the pornography and masturbation. You will come out of the confession better, happier and stronger.

I don’t know how old you are but when you truly find your spouse. sex would be the last thing on your mind because she would be someone you love and want to treat like a queen. You would want to respect her and do everything and anything for her. Don’t get me wrong sex will happen but their will be other things in your life keeping you busy.

I will speak up here because I too have some porn problems. Is business or boredom involved here. I don’t date and don’t know much about that so I won’t venture into that. But you didn’t say how you "came into possesion on your porn. In order to be contrite I would eliminate all access to it. If you have videos burn them. Some people have more of a problem with this than others. Temptations occur and the holy spirit can help you withstand. I would try to keep my mind occupied with other things. You may been begin to see many things like porn and/or masturbation are mostly habit.

Bill

Thank you all for the feedback. I’ll try and get to confession asap. I’ve also removed all the porn I was in possession of.

I was addicted to porn for 15 years - I’ve been in and through hell. For your sake, install a filter program on your computer (Covenant Eyes is good, I use a family protection program that came packaged with my anti-virus, and it works well, from McAfee.) Once you see porn once, it will stick in your mind, and will continue to draw you back in. I’m assuming you’re fairly young (forgive me if I’m wrong) and at the most susceptible to attractions of pornography. So, burn your bridges - make it impossible to access porn at home, school, workplace, anywhere. Enlist your parents or a trusted friends help - maybe someone from your church, who is strong and able to help. Also, pray - pray the rosary every day, read scripture, and immerse yourself in the power and glory of God.
Frequent confession is also your friend. Pope St. John Paul II went to confession every week, I suggest trying to follow his example (I go every two weeks, sometimes more often.) You are in my prayers.

So long as we live in this world, we cannot remain without trial and temptation: as Job says, “Man’s life on earth is a warfare.” We must therefore be on guard against temptations, and watchful in prayer, that the Devil find no means of deceiving us; for he never rests, but prowls around seeking whom he may devour. No one is so perfect and holy that he is never tempted, and we can never be secure from temptation.

Although temptations are so troublesome and grievous, yet they are often profitable to us, for by them we are humbled, cleansed, and instructed. All the Saints endured many trials and temptations, and profited by them; but those who could not resist temptations became reprobate, and fell away. There is no Order so holy, nor place so secluded, where there are no troubles and temptations.

No man can be entirely free from temptation so long as he lives; for the source of temptation lies within our own nature, since we are born with an inclination towards evil. When one temptation or trial draws to a close, another takes its place; and we shall always have something to fight, for man has lost the blessing of original happiness. Many try to escape temptations, only to encounter them more fiercely, for no one can win victory by flight alone; it is only by patience and true humility that we can grow stronger than all our foes.

The man who only avoids the outward occasions of evil, but fails to uproot it in himself, will gain little advantage. Indeed, temptations will return upon him the sooner, and he will find himself in a worse state than before. Little by little and by patient endurance you will overcome them by God’s help, better than by your own violence and importunity. Seek regular advice in temptation, and never deal harshly with those who are tempted, but give them such encouragement as you would value yourself.

The beginning of all evil temptation is an unstable mind and lack of trust in God. Just as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so a careless man, who abandons his proper course, is tempted in countless ways. Fire tempers steel, and temptation the just man. We often do not know what we can bear, but temptation reveals our true nature. We need especially to be on our guard at the very onset of temptation, for then the Enemy may be more easily overcome, if he is not allowed to enter the gates of the mind: he must be repulsed at the threshold, as soon as he knocks. Thus the poet Ovid writes, “Resist at the beginning; the remedy may come too late.” For first there comes into the mind an evil thought: next, a vivid picture: then delight, and urge to evil, and finally consent. In this way the Enemy gradually gains complete mastery, when he is not resisted at first. And the longer a slothful man delays resistance, the weaker he becomes, and the stronger his enemy grows against him.

Some people undergo their heaviest temptations at the beginning of their conversion; some towards the end of their course; others are greatly troubled all their lives; while there are some whose temptations are but light. This is in accordance with the wisdom and justice of God’s ordinance, who weighs the condition and merits of every man, and disposes all things for the salvation of those whom He chooses.

We must not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but earnestly pray God to grant us his help in every need. For, as Saint Paul says, “With the temptation, God will provide a way to overcome it, that we may be able to bear it.” So, let us humble ourselves under the hand of God, in every trial and trouble, for He will save and raise up the humble in Spirit. In all these trials, our progress is tested; in them great merit may be secured, and our virtue become evident. It is no great matter if we are devout and fervent when we have no troubles; but if we show patience in adversity, we can make great progress in virtue. Some are spared severe temptations, but are overcome in the lesser ones of every day, in order that they may be humble, and learn not to trust in themselves, but to recognize their frailty.
-The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, Chapter 13

To add to my earlier post, I’d recommend going to the Covenant Eyes website and reading their free e-books, which are excellent. And I highly recommend Matt Fradd’s book ‘Delivered’ available very cheaply as an e-book (I think it’s only $1 or $2).

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