How to quit masturbating?

I’m 26. I’ve struggled with masturbation for a while now. I’ve wanted to quit for the longest time, but it’s been a terrible struggle. What do any of you guys out there recommend? Are there any guys out there who have gone through the same struggle? Any advice, ideas, or prayers are welcome.

Confess your sin, then go forth and sin no more. :slight_smile:

Be freed of it and a slave to sin no more. But don’t give up if you fall, pick yourself up and start over again with determination. Eventually, with prayer, your sincere desire to end it, and God’s grace you will be able to stop. Ask for His strength to resist temptation of sin, especially if it has become a habit of sin.

It might even be today. :slight_smile:

God be with you in this.

Pray to God, of course. Never forget that without Him, you can’t do anything.

What helps me in those crucial periods is the fact that satan really wants you to sin, and that the temptation comes from him. And is there a better feeling than displeasing satan and pleasing God? :thumbsup:

Hey, welcome to the forum CaliJournalist :tiphat::wave:

You are in the right place. This one of the most recurring topics in this board and you will find many useful advices searching through it.

As we have the same age, and I also ‘used to’ struggle with masturbation, I would leave you few advices (maybe not so few :D) and really personal reflections :blush:.

The very first advice is to seek the sacrament of Reconciliation. A plus, is not only to confess, but to explicitly ask the priest to give your advice on overcoming masturbation. I have learnt that when you ask they don’t save on advices. And between us, who better than a priest. Many of my current weapons were given by my confessor (even my first rosary). Hence, it would be good if you could confess with the same priest as he can always find the right words to your specific case.

The second turning point in my life was when I really understood that masturbation was a mortal sin and that I should stop it immediately. I mean, I used to use tactics like, try to stay chaste for one month or stop until Easter. Needless to say I failed all those times. One day, I said I will just never do it again. Because when Jesus forgave the sins he would always say: “Sin no more”. It is dark to say, but even at 26, I wanted to be ready to die not in mortal sin if there was no priest nearby.

However, it would be normal to sin again. Why? If you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results. Something needed to change in me. Something must be changed in you. As said in Matthew:** “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away”** (Wait, don’t pluck your eyes before reading the rest :D)

What I think dramatically changed in me is that I shifted from: **‘fighting the temptation’ **to **‘living a virtuous life’ **(or at least trying :blush:). Why, because the temptation was just too strong to me, and no weapon would make me resist.

Now comes the tricky part, as my English is rubbish to explain what I mean by living by virtue as this involves some time that I spent reading a bit of philosophy.

Chastity is a virtue. And I had been reading that there is a kind of happiness that doesn’t fade away, unlike the very temporary gratification from masturbation. So, I realised that chastity as a virtue was actually supposed to make me happy. Truly happy, not just my body, but my soul. Thus, chastity would be defined not as the absence of masturbation, but the presence of something greater. And this something was to my surprise closer than I thought. As Jesus said: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again.

So, where to find this virtue of chastity? The catechism says: "Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth.

I can’t exhaust the many ways you can strengthen the spirit. I personally don’t go a day without praying the rosary, reading the gospel of the day, learning shortly about the saint of the day and praying for other people’s intentions and trying to help whoever is in need whom I can help (even if stranger). Even if I am not doing any of these things, I tend to always keep on a state of prayer remembering the love of God at all moments.

As said before the virtue is in constant growth. And strangely there was a time when I had this strange feeling, maybe weird to say, but I started to feel in love with God. I was with God not just in reason and understanding but with my heart. I still face temptations, but I don’t use the word ‘struggling’ and in minutes they just go away. Because what I am feeling is way more addicting and bring more happiness than masturbation.

And trust me, I am not exaggerating when talking about happiness. Chastity is also called a gift of the Holy Spirit and now I understand why. I haven’t stop to focus on any vocation yet, but for first time in my life I would even consider religious in the future. And I am more confident to go into marriage as well, as I know that what will drive me will not be the desires of the flesh.

Ops, maybe this is a too much information already :smiley: (I would say a lot more), but feel free me to PM if you want to exchange ideas or support in your fight.

I cannot offer a great deal of advice except that which helped me.

I developed a “visual prayer”…After all, if we can “visualize” toward lust - why not “visualize” away from it…
So I prayed, “Father, take me to the foot of the cross”, and then began thinking, visualizing myself there. Gazing on the scene of the one who died for my sins.
Hot, dry, dusty day.
The foot of the cross buried in the ground.
The wood of the cross stained black from blood and sweat.
The feet of our Lord.
Filthy and stained and dripping blood and sweat.
I did this - I put Him there - Not alone - but I helped.
Every time I sin, it is increases His pain.
If I refrain, it eases His pain.
Feel the heat of that day, the dryness of the air.
How thirsty He is…
…and so on…

How could I possibly sin while standing at the foot of the cross.

As a corollary to the idea of our sin putting Him there, consider how his cross is the accumulation of our sins. Each time we sin, the cross gets heavier…Each time we resist sin, the cross gets lighter.

Peace
James

Excercise. Great advice from a priest.

People get into a rut with this stuff that you think that urge will always be there, and is there for everyone.

You will discover there is a normalcy without the urge and everyone doesn’t have it.

Work out, run, play sports. Spend your time not in front of a computer.

Excercise. Push-ups, sit-ups.

Confession weekly. Setup a scheduled time with a priest even.

Don’t let the problem discourage you from understanding that you are a good person that can and will do right and this will be in the review mirror soon.

You can do it.

Keep a rosary with you at all times, and when you feel the urge, hold the rosary beads and pray instead.

Please Look at these links for help.

Steve Wood - Family Life Center
familylifecenter.net/strugglewithporn.asp

Treating Sexual and Pornographic Addictions
dads.org/article.asp?artId=233

What is Pornography Doing to Fathers and Their Families?
familylifecenter.net/article.asp?artId=234
by Steve Wood
The venom of Internet Pornography is slowly killing the spiritual life of millions of Christian fathers. At every Catholic men’s conference I have spoken at over the past four years, I have encountered men addicted to Internet pornography. Men from every region of North America, who attend Mass every Sunday, are silently addicted to pornography.

Screwtape’s Strategies and Pornography
familylifecenter.net/article.asp?artId=235
Alias Screwtape
My Dear Wormwood:
For your careful review, I have outlined below our strategies for destroying faith and family life. Destroy this secret message immediately after reading it. This classified material comes from the lowest regions. … Now as we begin this new millennium, we must use technology to bring our master plan to completion by utilizing Internet pornography. Already we have spiritually neutralized millions of the Enemy’s men with pornography…

Steve Wood’s book Breaking Free 12 Steps to Sexual Purity for Men
familylifecenterstore.net/breaking-free/

Organizations and Resources dealing with Pornography
familylifecenter.net/article.asp?artId=241

Pure Mind Scripture Computer Program
familylifecenter.net/article.asp?artId=319

Search this program’s website to help you and for accountability.

May you find the graces to escape the traps you have suffered.

from their website: reclaimsexualhealth.com/

RECLAiM Sexual Health offers an anonymous, science-based, Catholic online program, and provides resources for those who desire to reclaim God’s plan for their lives, and the lives of loved ones impacted by pornography or other unhealthy sexual behaviors.

It’s time to RECLAiM God’s original plan for your life!

reclaimsexualhealth.com/Education-Resources/help-for-individuals.html

RECLAiM Online Recovery Program

Get the help you need while keeping your privacy and anonymity.

reclaimsexualhealth.com/Reclaim-Online-Program/features.html
RECLAiM is Online and Available 24/7

from Reclaim website:

reclaimsexualhealth.com/Reclaim-Online-Program/features.html#tracking

Tracking Success & Receiving Feedback:

Your Daily Tracking Calendar -This incredibly valuable tool helps you identify patterns and trends in your daily life, making it easier to consistently progress forward.

Crisis & Setbacks

At times, your cravings and urges to act out your unwanted sexual behaviors can be so strong they’re like a wave crashing over you. This state of mind is called a “crisis.” In the RECLAiM program, you can immediately access your online “Crisis Tools” to get through “the wave.”

There will be situations where you give in to your cravings and experience what we call a “temporary setback.” When this happens, you simply open your “Setback Tools” page and follow the simple steps. Self-flogging, self-loathing and despair are a waste of time. You will learn how to immediately pick yourself up, assess what went wrong, make adjustments and instantly begin progressing forward again.

i have the same predicament and iam now 45 let us pray togeather

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

Masturbation can be very difficult to overcome, but I found this chapter from The Imitation of Christ to be very valuable.

LOVE! :heart:

Pray to St Anthony, he’s an expert in overcoming temptations. Take a good look at this photo, and know this is how I often feel. You’re not alone in your fight, and you are blessed in fighting against it.

Great posts. I’ll offer my little advice.

Grow holy over time. The eye is the window of the soul… if your eye is on holy things, your soul will become holy. Guard that your eye is not on dark things, or your soul will be filled with darkness.

Those who love country music are entertained by a country music festival. Those who love impressionist art are entertained by a museum. What sort are entertained by improper sexual content? So avert your eyes from inappropriate tv, music, media, and more.

This is one of the temptations that is better overcome by flight than by combat. And it won’t be overcome probably even within one year.

You will not overcome it just by trying to overcome it. You have to grow in all things faith, hope and charity. Do that by reading the Scripture with the counsels of the Church, by reading the writings of the saints, by attending Mass, and reading the Catholic Answers forums! :thumbsup:

Apart from prayer and the sacraments, you must remove yourself from anything that leads you to sexual thoughts. Keep away from the internet late at night on your own and be particularly careful about what programmes you watch on tv. It is also important to know why you are abstaining from it, it must come from a love of God and purity or otherwise it will only lead to resentment.

A good way to quit a bad habit is by avoiding the near occasion of that habit.

Think about it; if you don’t allow your hands to get near private parts, there is very little chance you will touch them inappropriately. Thus, except for necessary hygiene only, I suggest you establish a hands-free zone on your body from your naval to your knees for at least a year. During that time, if you are used to urinating while standing, I suggest you do so sitting. I also suggest you keep your showers short.

Habits are hard to break so remember, if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.

Pray. Exercise. Study. Eucharist. Work. Pray. Study. Exercise. Eucharist. Work. Persevere.

It’s humanly impossible for you to continue to attack this sinful habit and for it to not weaken over time. It will be slow, and you will burn, and you will may fall many times, but there is no sin on this Earth that is infinite in its hold over a person. They are all finite.

Faith is an enormous asset to overcoming lust, because with lust, there will be those fleeting occasions where you will be on fire with the desire to masturbate. These episodes come, and then they go, but in the moment of the episode, you will think to yourself “How can I resist this? It is impossible” and you have to have faith in spite of your emotions that that is not true.

Hi,

I would like to share with you some tips/advice that have helped me greatly regarding chastity/purity if you don’t mind. :slight_smile:

Id like to start by quoting a small piece from C.S. Lewis

I would also like to share with you these motivational tips which I believe will help you greatly in overcoming this, remember to overcome this is within your power, don’t let the evil one deceive you by telling you otherwise.

Motivational Tips to Help You Quit -

Keep the following 3 Ds in mind when you have a craving

Delay: remember that the worst cravings last for only a few minutes and will become even less frequent the longer you have quit.

**Deep breath: **this should help you relax and focus your mind on something else.

Do something else: you could listen to music or pray (pray is usually the best). Find something that keeps your mind busy and distracted and focus on it, don’t allow your thoughts to go into temptation, when tempted, do not give give the temptation any attention, instead give it your back.

**1) **A slip up doesn’t mean you’ve failed. What’s important is to work out how you can stop a slip up from happening next time.

2) Don’t say “this is my last time” say “I’m not going to give in today” and take one day at a time.

3) Each craving only lasts a few minutes. Don’t let this be the day that you blow it.
**
4)** Once you have quit for a while, the desires to give in will be much less intense and frequent and remember, the worst cravings only last a few minutes, so remember the 3 D’s above (Delay, Deep Breathe, Do something else).

**5) **It’s important that it’s your decision to quit. That you want to quit and that you feel confident you can succeed.

**6) **Be clear about your reason to quit. It will motivate you to keep going.

7) The most dangerous thought you can have is. I will just give in this one time.

**8) **You may feel as if you have just lost a friend, but really you have just lost your worst enemy.

**9) **Remember the sooner you quit. The sooner you will reap the benefits.

**10) **The more times you try to quit. The better you will get at it until you quit for good.

11) Immediately get rid of any provocative magazines/images etc anything that reminds you of giving in (Otherwise It’s like those who say* “I’m going on a diet”* yet fill their cupboard with junk food, it isn’t going to work, you can’t rely on will power when it comes to these things, you need to set your environment up so that it pulls for your success).

12) Practise saying to yourself “No thanks, I’m chaste/pure”

13) Avoid challenging occasions where there may be provocative images.
**
14)** If you are feeling tense Exercise, lift some weights, take a walk or go for a jog.

15) The most common quitting method for most people is to stop suddenly Go cold turkey.

16) When you quit you might feel some different withdrawal symptoms This is because your body is re-adjusting to being without, it will pass.

When it comes to such desires, I believe they are addictive in nature much the same as things like smoking are, so if you view it as an addiction like smoking, I believe there are dozens of very, very affective resources out there to help you quit. Remember the worst cravings only last a few minutes and they become less intense and frequent the longer you have quit and do not fear you will lose your sex drive, that is a lie, this is why motivational tip number** 7** is “The most dangerous thought you can have is. I will just give in this one time.”

Take one day at a time and tell yourself “don’t let this be the day that you blow it.”

I believe this site is also helpful - chastity.org/

Never Give up Giving Up - quit.org.au/keep-quitting/

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I would also like to share with you two extracts out of the book ‘Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas A Kempis on temptations.

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And remember, Jesus fell three times carrying His cross to Calvary, The first to show sinners who are use to sinning that they can convert and have the strength even though they have fallen into sin. **The second for those souls who fail because they are frail or those souls who are blinded by sadness and restlessness that they can get up and embark with courage upon the path of virtue **and the third for those souls who depart from sin at the hour of death.

1) A slip up doesn’t mean you’ve failed. What’s important is to work out how you can stop a slip up from happening next time. (Rise with Jesus after he fell the second time while carrying the cross to Calvary and embark with courage upon the path of virtue). :slight_smile:

“The sinner who feels within himself a total deprivation of all that is holy, pure, and solemn because of sin, the sinner who in his own eyes is in utter darkness, severed from the hope of salvation, from the light of life, and from the communion of saints, is himself the friend whom Jesus invited to dinner, the one who was asked to come out from behind the hedges, the one asked to be a partner in His wedding and an heir to God… Whoever is poor, hungry, sinful, fallen or ignorant is the guest of Christ.” — Matthew the Poor

"My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain…" (Diary, 1777).

**“Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness” **(Diary, 300).

**"Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy **(Diary, 687).

"My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy" (Diary, 1485).

"My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them. You, at least, come to Me as often as possible and take these graces they do not want to accept. In this way you will console My Heart…" (Diary, 367).

Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy" (Diary, 1396).

"The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death" (Diary, 754).

How to pray the Chaplet of Devine Mercy
The Image

http://s8.postimg.org/422f1cyxh/Christ_9.jpg

I hope I have helped (I apologise for the length).

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh

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