I’ve seen a decent amount of threads on masturbation and “sins of the flesh” and thought it might be useful to share some of the points that my fiancee and I found helpful in ending masturbation.
First, to give a bit of history, when I was 16 I met my first girlfriend, and before we entered a relationship I had stopped masturbating completely, and remained chaste in this sense for the entirety of the relationship and some time afterwards (around 7 months), but eventually fell into sin again. Prior to this, like every other teen I’m sure, I had masturbated and given into lust and temptation; however, I was never “addicted” in the sense that I never had such terrible urges to engage in this sort of sinful activity, and always felt dirty afterwards. I wasn’t much of a practicing Catholic at the time (I hadn’t been to Church in years), but nevertheless, it just felt so wrong when I met my ex-girlfriend that I forced myself to stop almost instantly.
Several years later, I met the most wonderful woman in the world, my fiancee We talked about sexual morality and I grew in faith a lot, and neither of us wanted to admit that we still committed this sin of the flesh, even though we did. Granted, we both tried very hard and were “pure” for quite some time, but each of us fell at some point. I recall an unforgettable night when I “fell” following a long period of abstinence: I shook and cried and felt such terrible separation from God. I was up all night without an ounce of sleep and told my fiancee how terrible I felt the next day (she wasn’t my fiancee yet, however). In any event, after being open with each other about this, we resolved to stop.
There are, I think, five things which helped us both to quit fairly quickly and never look back; those are what I want to share with anyone who is struggling Know that it is quite possible to stop masturbating completely, and it gets so much easier with time. Okay, so here’s what motivated us:
Recognition of the gravity of the sin. Masturbation is a mortal sin; a mortal sin separates us from God to the extent that unless confessed, we will go to hell! Masturbation is a sin against one’s own body, and a primary gateway to lust. It is evil on every level. How could we not do everything possible to rid ourselves of this - not for a month at a time or a few months at a time - but forever? Thus, we would exercise sufficient prayer and willpower to keep ourselves from masturbating, and we would avoid occasions of sin at all costs.
Neither my fiancee nor I could bear the dirtiness, shame, and sheer sense of separation from God that resulted after masturbation. We knew that nothing good ever came from it, and we had tremendous guilt that lasted for weeks sometimes, if we masturbated.
We also recognized how much masturbation hurt each other. To be blunt, it’s a violation of trust and a betrayal of chastity, in which we are called to preserve ourselves for our future spouse. I would never want to betray my fiancee so much as to give in to destructive lustful temptations and lie to her with my mind and body.
Vowing to each other to stop, being open about our “struggles,” and being accountable to each other also helped tremendously. Accountability really helps, which brings me to point five:
Confession. Always go to confession, and always face the sinfulness of what you’re doing with a priest.
Finally, let me make two suggestions, as I’m afraid it sounds like this was an easy struggle, which I can assure you it wasn’t at times. First, something that I discovered really did the trick was simply drawing - in ink - crosses on my palms; that always reminded me to stop if I ever felt tempted Second, simply recall the prayer, “Lord save me or I perish,” which will instantly draw your mind to God and off of temptation.
I hope this helps The more time you stay away from masturbation, the purer you feel and the easier it becomes!