How My Fiancee and I Conquered Impurity

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 :slight_smile: 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 :slight_smile: 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

  5. 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 :smiley: 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 :slight_smile: The more time you stay away from masturbation, the purer you feel and the easier it becomes!

As Alterum’s very lucky fiancee, :slight_smile: I’d like to add to what he wrote:

I was brought up in an atheist household and grew up believing that unless I masturbated regularly I would fall victim to sexual frustration caused by a “build up of unreleased sexual energy,” and possibly hysteria. Actually, until I met Alterum, I thought that every human being regularly masturbated and that stopping was impossible! :frowning:

My first step to stopping was realizing that it was actually possible to do so without becoming frustrated and insane. After all, here was a person who stopped masturbating for a long period of time and was far more relaxed than I!

I have proved to myself that “sexual frustration” is a complete myth. I haven’t had any kind of sexual release in a very long time, and I am more at peace than I have ever been.

I think a very, very big help in stopping masturbation was conquering lustful thoughts. Until I stopped thinking lustful thoughts there were always times when I was very tempted to masturbate, and when being unable to do so made me feel frustrated. Until I stopped lusting, I sometimes felt a bit sad because I wasn’t able to masturbate, and sometimes wished I could!!! :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

I think that purifying my mind of sexual thoughts and temptations was the step that won the battle with masturbation for me. I haven’t been tempted to masturbate even once since I stopped thinking sexual thoughts, and I can’t see myself being tempted again unless I fall back into thinking sexual thoughts.

As for how I stopped lusting, the first step was realizing what a horrible sin lust is, and how much it offends God. Jesus said that whoever lusts after a person is committing adultery in his heart!!! I also felt very bad for hurting Alterum by thinking lustful thoughts about him. How can I hope to be a good wife to him if I use him as an object in my thoughts? How can I say I love him and violate him in my mind?

The next step was resolving to stop no matter what. I know that I wouldn’t have stopped without God’s help. Whenever I was tempted to think a sexual thought I would immediately think of Jesus and say “Lord save me or I perish” repeatedly until the thought went away. It truly helped. Anything is possible with God! :slight_smile:

Continued…

Another thing that helped is realizing the seriousness of my sins. Thinking of actually partaking in Jesus’ torture by virtue of sinning made me feel very bad about what I was doing. Praying this prayer helped:

" Lord Jesus hanging on the cross, I raise sorrowful and shameful eyes to you. You have granted me untold blessing and I have repaid You by contributing to Your Passion and death. My hands took part in Your scourging, my voice was among those who denied You and called for Your death, my thoughts, brought about Your crowning with thorns, my sins drove the nails into Your hands and feet, and the lance into Your side.
Dear Lord, forgive me for all these sins. You are great, glorious, and infinitely good; I am insignificant, selfish, and hopelessly sinful. But I am sorry for all my sins, and by the Blood shed in Your Passion I beg for forgiveness and for a share in Your love and grace."

A big thing that strengthened my resolve in the beginning was the contract Alterum and I made with each other not to masturbate. We would report to each other once a week and tell each other all the bad things we had done and thought. This kept me going when I was weak because I did not want to betray him.

Another thing that really helped was thinking and reading about Hell. Whenever I read about Hell I become terrified of going there, and my resolve to do whatever it takes to avoid Hell is strengthened. If we know that masturbation is a sin and still do it, we are committing a mortal sin that would take us to Hell unless we repent.

In the end, I think the thing that helped the most was turning to God at the moment of temptation. The instant I was tempted to either lust or masturbate I would start praying to Jesus and asking him to keep me pure. It truly helped. And this method helps with other temptations as well! Whenever I start thinking a bad thought I don’t want to be thinking I beg Jesus to take it away and it works! :slight_smile:

Another thing that helped a lot was praying the Rosary!

Well, I hope this helps!

[quote=Hermione]Another thing that helped is realizing the seriousness of my sins. Thinking of actually partaking in Jesus’ torture by virtue of sinning made me feel very bad about what I was doing. Praying this prayer helped:

" Lord Jesus hanging on the cross, I raise sorrowful and shameful eyes to you. You have granted me untold blessing and I have repaid You by contributing to Your Passion and death. My hands took part in Your scourging, my voice was among those who denied You and called for Your death, my thoughts, brought about Your crowning with thorns, my sins drove the nails into Your hands and feet, and the lance into Your side.
Dear Lord, forgive me for all these sins. You are great, glorious, and infinitely good; I am insignificant, selfish, and hopelessly sinful. But I am sorry for all my sins, and by the Blood shed in Your Passion I beg for forgiveness and for a share in Your love and grace."

A big thing that strengthened my resolve in the beginning was the contract Alterum and I made with each other not to masturbate. We would report to each other once a week and tell each other all the bad things we had done and thought. This kept me going when I was weak because I did not want to betray him.

Another thing that really helped was thinking and reading about Hell. Whenever I read about Hell I become terrified of going there, and my resolve to do whatever it takes to avoid Hell is strengthened. If we know that masturbation is a sin and still do it, we are committing a mortal sin that would take us to Hell unless we repent.

In the end, I think the thing that helped the most was turning to God at the moment of temptation. The instant I was tempted to either lust or masturbate I would start praying to Jesus and asking him to keep me pure. It truly helped. And this method helps with other temptations as well! Whenever I start thinking a bad thought I don’t want to be thinking I beg Jesus to take it away and it works! :slight_smile:

Another thing that helped a lot was praying the Rosary!

Well, I hope this helps!
[/quote]

The testomny of both of you is very inspiring thank you so much. I am a male who has and continues to struggle with this demon. I believe that if i could only control what i LOOK at (when I see a pretty woman in sexy clothing) etc. then i would not go from the thought o the actual action, especially at night. My God! Even watching TV seems to be a sorce of sexual temptation for me!
Anyway, I hope you guys continue to do so well and PLEASE stay away from that sin that ENSLAVES and becomes an addiction as alcholism is.
Pray for me, please.

[quote=misericordie]The testomny of both of you is very inspiring thank you so much. I am a male who has and continues to struggle with this demon. I believe that if i could only control what i LOOK at (when I see a pretty woman in sexy clothing) etc. then i would not go from the thought o the actual action, especially at night. My God! Even watching TV seems to be a sorce of sexual temptation for me!
Anyway, I hope you guys continue to do so well and PLEASE stay away from that sin that ENSLAVES and becomes an addiction as alcholism is.
Pray for me, please.
[/quote]

Dear Misericordie,

We were indeed tempted by “everyday” inappropriate things as much as anyone else is. We stopped watching television and eventually had to stop reading certain books (we were reading a Lord of the Rings-type fantasy series, and while it was mostly clean it still had some objectionable content). While this may seem extreme, we’d much rather live like this than commit sins of such an enslaving nature, as you say. Cutting these things out of our lives was essential; it would have been much more difficult to stop without doing so, as it seems that allowing lustful things to enter one’s mind continually leaves one open to temptations of this sort. However, I think I can safely say that we’re both much happier without television and with so little inappropriate material in our lives. My fiancee and I will pray for you :slight_smile:

[quote=misericordie]The testomny of both of you is very inspiring thank you so much. I am a male who has and continues to struggle with this demon. I believe that if i could only control what i LOOK at (when I see a pretty woman in sexy clothing) etc. then i would not go from the thought o the actual action, especially at night. My God! Even watching TV seems to be a sorce of sexual temptation for me!
Anyway, I hope you guys continue to do so well and PLEASE stay away from that sin that ENSLAVES and becomes an addiction as alcholism is.
Pray for me, please.
[/quote]

It may help to remind yourself that every female is a creation of God, and a sister in the Lord through God’s eyes. Likewise, appreciate and remind yourself that this female is some parents’ daughter and how would you like it if men were looking lustfully at your own grown daughter (whether you have children or not).You should be finding a growing disdain, repugnancy, of entertaining lustful thoughts of a female with this reality mindset. Basically, you want to put on more of a familial mindset when encountering fellow adults.

Ultimately and firstly, you simply want to give your eyes and thought production over to Jesus and expectantly pray for the gift of chastity–he wants this and will honor this desire/prayer as you trust and turn yourself and desires over to Him.

[quote=Hermione]As Alterum’s very lucky fiancee, :slight_smile: I’d like to add to what he wrote:

I was brought up in an atheist household and grew up believing that unless I masturbated regularly I would fall victim to sexual frustration caused by a “build up of unreleased sexual energy,” and possibly hysteria.
[/quote]

LOL LOL LOL

Sorry, but that thought is just funny! :rotfl:

While I totally agree with everything you say about mortal sin and masturbation separately, there is no reason to say masturbation is a mortal sin. We know from the CCC that masturbation is a sin of grave matter and therefore can be mortal but not always so. Given your understanding of the gravity of masturbation I can see how it might be a mortal sin for you to masturbate (this is between you and God) but this isn’t the case for everyone. The danger of generalizing any sin into de facto mortal sin is that someone who has committed the sin but has circumstances which mitigate or eliminate moral culpability might be mislead and think he/she is destined for hell unless he confesses when this is not true. The danger of thinking you’re bound for hell when there’s no reason to think so is that you have a distorted picture of God’s grace and mercy.

I admire your and your fiance’s dedication to full chastity. May God bless your marriage!

  • JP

[quote=j_arden] Given your understanding of the gravity of masturbation I can see how it might be a mortal sin for you to masturbate (this is between you and God) but this isn’t the case for everyone.

  • JP
    [/quote]

Dear j_arden,

Thank you for your comment :slight_smile:

While I do think it is important to realize that masturbation may not always be a mortal sin, given a person’s circumstance, I also think it’s important to state what I said, the way that I said it. I think that when we deal with such important matters, in general, we can either say that something constitutes a mortal sin or that it doesn’t; this of course implies that, like any mortal sin, the critera are met by the person committing the sin. However, in saying that anything is a mortal sin, I think we mean that the gravity of the sin is such that it has the capacity to separate us so completely from God. If we can’t make this distinction, then there is no reason to say that any grave sin is a mortal sin.

Thus, I think it is important to recognize that masturbation is a mortal sin.

However, it is also important to understand your comment. Thank you for clarifying and making these important distinctions; and particularly for pointing out the danger of thinking you’re bound for hell when you’re not! It is indeed important to point out the mercy and forgiveness of God, and I will keep this in mind should I discuss masturbation in the future :slight_smile:

Alterum -

While I still think the best way to address the connection of masturbation–or any other sin–and mortal sin is to say, “masturbation can be a mortal sin,” I understand what you’re saying about the common usage and suppositions of “mortal sin.” It’s an interesting question. I think I’ll submit it to the ask an apologist thread, though I haven’t had much luck in getting my questions answered recently. But, I’m sure there’s a reason for that.

Peace,

JP

oh man… this is really one time that less would be much more… :confused:

[quote=j_arden]While I totally agree with everything you say about mortal sin and masturbation separately, there is no reason to say masturbation is a mortal sin. We know from the CCC that masturbation is a sin of grave matter and therefore can be mortal but not always so. Given your understanding of the gravity of masturbation I can see how it might be a mortal sin for you to masturbate (this is between you and God) but this isn’t the case for everyone. The danger of generalizing any sin into de facto mortal sin is that someone who has committed the sin but has circumstances which mitigate or eliminate moral culpability might be mislead and think he/she is destined for hell unless he confesses when this is not true. The danger of thinking you’re bound for hell when there’s no reason to think so is that you have a distorted picture of God’s grace and mercy.

I admire your and your fiance’s dedication to full chastity. May God bless your marriage!

  • JP
    [/quote]

    With all due respect: theologically speaking: “grave” with regard to sin in the Catholic Church means=mortal. A GRAVE sin is a MORTAL sin. Furthermore, as the new catechism of the Catholic Church states: “it is NOT true that masturbation is NOT a grave sin.” Also,catholic TRADITION has always taught it was gravely sinful, not to mention the Famous sin of Onan in the Old Testament, in which he was punished by God for "spilling his Seed."
    I asked a great priest who is young, and belongs to a very orthodox order the other day if masturbation was a mortal sin: he said: if the full consent of the WILL is used, always YES! However, he said, if one is sleeping, and unWILLINGLY not in a state of consiousness one masturbates due to a dream etc. there is not even VENIAL sin. Or if sleeping, one ejaculates(wet dreams). The same is for both men and women. He says if HOWEVER, one watched indecent material, then went to bed and of course had a dream of what he saw(exp. Porn, or other stuff) and masturbates, then he or she is fully culpaple, and sins mortally.
    Please be reminded that this 38 year old priest has a Licentiate degree in Moral theology from the Angelicum in Rome, and is a DOCTOR of MORAL theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome: specialty marriage, and human sexulality.

[quote=felra]It may help to remind yourself that every female is a creation of God, and a sister in the Lord through God’s eyes. Likewise, appreciate and remind yourself that this female is some parents’ daughter and how would you like it if men were looking lustfully at your own grown daughter (whether you have children or not).You should be finding a growing disdain, repugnancy, of entertaining lustful thoughts of a female with this reality mindset. Basically, you want to put on more of a familial mindset when encountering fellow adults.

Ultimately and firstly, you simply want to give your eyes and thought production over to Jesus and expectantly pray for the gift of chastity–he wants this and will honor this desire/prayer as you trust and turn yourself and desires over to Him.
[/quote]

Thanks for the great advice. I due notice that i must stop seeing TV, especially when I cahnge the channels and see certain sexy new television shows that have become very popular, some which glorify infidelity. even some commercials which show woman in underware. I can’t believe that. Years ago one never saw things like that on REGULAR television.

**Notice:

Ordinarily, topics of an explicit sexual nature are banned (see link below). As this one has a useful purpose, I am going to leave it up and close the thread. I have also edited the original title for the sake of those browsing the forum. Thanks to all for their participation.** :slight_smile:

Regarding Posts on Sexual Issues

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.