Is giving this up for lent a mockery?


#1

So I don’t feel like getting into…I’ve posted about this issue before, but there is this guy and well he’s in my life when he shouldn’t be ( I’m married). Anyways I try to get away from him but it’s complicated and I’ve been doing pretty good lately especially since I found out I’m pregnant I thought it would for sure scare him off and it did for awhile but now well …he’s still in my life…I’ve confessed about him to my priest and he tells me I’m addicted to his attention. This may be true but I always pray for the desire to go away…when in reality I don’t want it to.

Ok anyways my question is…I’m thinking about giving him up for lent. Is this making a mockery of lent? Because technically I should be giving him up for good not just lent. My thinking is that I am having such a hard time letting him go but doing it for God to offer it up to him for lent would be very motivating and very hard at the same time. I don’t know what will happen after lent I may be counting down the days but I feel like this may be worth a shot.

Would this be wrong of me to this and give him up when I have no desire to do it?


#2

What I mean is this sinful because I know I should give it up entirely…because it’s a sin but I’m giving it up with the intentions of possibly continuing this sin?


#3

When I read your title, I thought “Oh, I need this”. I’m considering giving up candy for lent. I’m 64 years old! The thing is, I’ve been eating candy gluttenously. Definitely sinful. I should be stopping anyway. Plus I’ve gained weight. Oh, my motives are so mixed.
I think I’ve come to a morally comfortable solution. I’m going to try fasting. That eliminates between meal food. So it’s becoming a little mortification. And I don’t think my motives will be quite as selfish. I guess I could call this doing a good instead of halfheartedly cutting out a bad. Maybe this could be helpful?


#4

I don’t know that I’d call it a “mockery,” but you know perfectly well that giving him up for Lent isn’t going to solve the problem. Do you or don’t you value your marriage? That’s the question. If you do, you will cut this guy off.


#5

Giving something up for Lent has never had as much power for me as determining something to **do **during Lent – something foreign, uncomfortable, and eminently Christlike. You’re married. Commit to doing things that prize and privilege your spouse during Lent. Be Christ to him. That process should inherently involve cutting off contact with this other gent – it’s not possible to prize and privilege your spouse while also giving attention to some other man. But the “giving up” would be secondary to what you actively **do **for your husband. What at first might feel empty and uncomfortable would undoubtedly feel full and familiar at the end of 40 days.


#6

I’m going to be blunt here, HoneyBea…you’re pregnant with your husband’s child, yet you still have this other man in your life, and you just want to give this other man up for Lent. Is this the example you want for your child? You should cut this other man out of your life completely.

How does your husband feel about his baby? And is he still away from home?


#7

You’re married. It is a sin to keep seeing him, period.


#8

I don’t think this it is making a “mockery” out of Lent to take on such a penance. You recognize that you should be doing this for good. But “forever” has to start somewhere. And if 40 days seems more manageable than “forever” to you right now, then it’s as good a place as any to start.

There is a danger that – when we recognize a change we need to make in our lives – we feel we should be in a place where we can renounce the old ways entirely before we even bother trying. What this does is basically keep us from making any changes at all. It’s often very hard to make those kinds of changes in our life. And the desire to do so is not going to magically spring out of nowhere. The first thing we need to do is turn around and start walking in the right direction. We may be taking baby steps at first. But taking baby steps in the right direction is better than sprinting in the wrong direction.

I think this is a good point. You can certainly give up contact with this guy for Lent. That would be a good thing to do. But in conjunction with this, make the decision to do something positive and affirming for your husband and your marriage. Do something intentional every day to show your husband you love him. And say some extra prayers for him every day. That’s what’s going to facilitate your 40 day “fast” becoming a permanent.change.

You can do it! :thumbsup:


#9

:thumbsup:

Giving him up for Lent is a good start, but it must lead to a lasting change. :slight_smile:


#10

Yes I know it’s a sin and I don’t mind the bluntness I deserve it.

I just wanted to clarify that the end goal is to give him up for good. I would love nothing more than for the desire for him to go away even if I don’t even mean that. If that makes any sense? Confusing I know. What I’m saying is that I want this act to lead to ever lasting resistance from this temptation but going into it I need to be honest and God knows my heart. I can’t deceive God he knows I don’t really want to give him up even though I know I should…I want to want to give him up but I don’t so I pray for that. It’s hard to explain.

I just can’t honestly say I will do this for lent and not fall back into temptation. So would this be a mockery?


#11

Giving up something during Lent revolves around giving up something good to show our greater commitment and devotion to something even better (Jesus).

We shouldn’t try to give up something sinful or wrong for Lent, in that we should get rid of them (or at least fight them) at all times. As you yourself noted, this could become just an excuse to see him again in 40 days.

Don’t beat yourself up, but cut him out of your life for good.

And I like the suggestions of others, to do acts of charity and kindness towards your husband, because idle hands are the devil’s playground.

Prov 18:9 Those slack in their work are kin to the destroyer


#12

Giving him up for Lent is certainly something you should do, as others have said, and not only just for Lent, but permanently.

However, keep in mind that you may only “give up”, or abstain from, things that are a “legitimate good”. That means that you can only give up things that you may absolutely have without sinning or doing harm to yourself.

So, if you were allergic to gluten, you couldn’t “give up” gluten for Lent. You already can’t have gluten. That isn’t a legitimate good.

The same goes with sin and bad behavior. You can’t give up overeating, or insulting people, or cursing. Those are sins, and no grace is obtained from “abstaining” from them; only from getting rid of them all together.

You should absolutely stop seeing this man, and not for Lent. For the health and safety of your soul.


#13

Honeybea does this man have feelings for you or does he just see you as a friend?..

You should definately give him up for lent…then if you have to have anything to do with him after lent then only see him while you are accompanied by your husband then he can get the message that you are a wife and a mother to be…

Or you could just tell him to leave you alone and ignore any attempts to make contact with you


#14

I still wouldn’t call it a “mockery”. I’d call it “trying your best to move in the right direction even while admitting the possibility that personal weakness may make you regress after it is over.” That doesn’t quite roll of the tongue as easily, though. :stuck_out_tongue:

I get what you’re saying. Even St. Augustine – in the beginning – would pray, “Lord make me chaste…just not yet.” We all have things like that in our lives. We know we need to change. And we want to want to change, even if we still kind of don’t want to change just yet.

I think Lent is a good first step for these sorts of things. It’s a lot easier to commit to something short-term. Of course, the hope is that – by the end of Lent – you will be in a different place such that you really won’t have any desire to contact this other guy. But it’s hard to get to that point if you don’t start somewhere.


#15

I can’t see this as a mockery because I think you would like to be free of this addiction. As with any addiction you are afraid of entirely letting go.

Giving up an addiction for 40 days is not a bad thing. One day, one minute at a time. Every day pray that you will some day be free of this addiction.

There may come a morning that you wake up with your baby and say to yourself, “Where have I been. I have so much to give to this child who deserves what I have to offer. Why, waste my love on someone who does not care.”


#16

There is a difference between desire and behavior. Just because you have a desire for something doesn’t always mean you act (behavior) on the desire. Similar to those with substance addiction, stopping the use of substance (the behavior) is the first & critical step to decreasing the desire.

You need to separate the two and stop the behavior regardless of your desire to see this person. After time has passed your desire to see him will decrease if not disappear completely. It doesn’t work the other way around. I quit smoking several years ago. The first thing I had to do was not smoke. It was difficult because the desire was strong and at times almost unbearable but by sticking to my commitment to not smoke the desire decreased dramatically. Even now there are fleeting temptations but it is so much easier to tell myself no.

I think Lent is the perfect time to start your path to remove this person from your life.


#17

When I first read this, I thought… Really??? Would Mary just have had a little buddy on the side because Joseph was distracted?

However, I’m guessing you are not Mary and your husband not Joseph. So, now that charity has indeed kicked in, I’m thinking that like all sinful behavior, you didn’t just jump into it, but fell into this relationship in bits and pieces.

So, yes, 40 days ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT of any sort. And to fill that void, rosary rosary rosary rosary. Do charitable acts, especially since you are pregnant, pray and ACT for your local homeless womens shelter. Go volunteer for ARC or other organization for the disabled.

Try to remember that God put you and your husband together as helpers, to assist each other in this life so that you can each reach heaven. Work on charitable feelings for your spouse. Make HIS life more enjoyable, more fulfilling, more Christ-centered.


#18

Honeybea, I agree with you that giving up this man for Lent would be a good idea. Lent is to be a spiritual housecleaning, and he is a major mess in your spiritual life!

I would also suggest a couple of other things based on what you said here. First, discuss this with your spiritual director or confessor, because it’s a big problem that I think you need to discuss in a real conversation as opposed to online. That conversation might yield more good than you find here.

Second, consider why you are “hanging onto” this man… you say because he gives you attention. Why do you need attention? Is this attention something you actually need or simply want a whole lot?

Third, consider that this may all be a temptation that you have fallen into. First the idea of this man floats through your mind–this could be your own bad habit or a balloon of the devil’s. This is actually the crucial point! You must not fall into this trap, and you should pray to Christ, to His Mother, and to St Michael and your patron saint(s) for their help!

A few years ago, I decided that my New Year’s resolution would be to learn to do xxx. It took all year, but I succeeded :slight_smile: By putting it in the context of learning, I did not feel discouraged when I messed up, because I was learning. So I would suggest to you to see Lent as the period during which you learn and pray about this mess in your life and getting rid of it.

In addition, I would suggest also doing the other things: additional prayer or spiritual reading (or simply improving in those areas); a minor thing you can give up easily, and preferably something which will allow you to have a little extra for almsgiving. Give up candy or take-out coffee and give that money to the poor.


#19

Ask God to give you the desire to give him up for good. Maybe if you stop contact with him it will be easier to forget him. Work on strengthening your marriage and getting the attention you deserve from your husband.


#20

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Took the words right out of my mouth. You need to stop praying for the desire to go away and resolve to stop the behavior - stop speaking to and seeing him. We all have the desire to sin, that is a result of our fallen nature (thanks Adam and Eve!). It’s what is called concupiscence. The good news is the desire is NOT sinful. It’s beyond your control. Continuing to see and speak to this guy, however, IS sinful. I just posted an article on St. Faustina’s vision of Hell and the souls in agony there. I too hate to be blunt, but this is what you are risking. Maybe reading it will give you the spur to stop seeing this other man. If you’re interested you can read it HERE. I’ll say a prayer to Our Lady for you. God bless.


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