Losing Friends b/c of Struggle w/Purity


I could really use some help. I am a complete mess right now.

I have struggled with purity for years. I was, by the grace of God, been able to overcome my addiction to pornography & “self gratification” over 3 years ago. However, I still struggle greatly with purity & chastity. It is now causing me to lose (at least) 2 important friends. Both of these friends are female, married, with kids. I see them on a regular basis through my work. I find myself attracted to them - physically & emotionally, desiring them, etc. I have tried all kinds of things from extra prayers to extra confessions, to changing what I’m thinking about when I’m around them, nothing seems to help get me past these desires. It has gotten to the point that I have pulled completely away from them. I am afraid to speak to them or even look at them for fear that these desires will come back. They have no idea what is going on, only that their friend doesn’t want anything to do with them anymore.

I don’t know what to do because I am miserable when I’m around them, they are upset, I don’t have any idea how to “fix” it, & I see no end in sight other than losing 2 friends.

Any suggestions? Any help? I don’t want to be miserable anymore. I don’t want to lose my friends! I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT THIS BATTLE ANYMORE!!!


I don’t think you can “fix” this-- it is one of the main reasons that men and women should not strike up close friendships. That is a relationship exclusive to your spouse. These women should not cultivate such a close relationship with you-- they are both married.

You need to continue down the right path-- removing yourself from these situations and these “friendships”. Cultivate friendships with men and save the close female connection for your future spouse.

Also, if you struggle so much with these issues-- I suggest you get spiritual direction and join some mens groups to support you-- such as www.dads.org


If you want to be friends with married folks, you need to be friends with their spouse. Are you married? Invite their families over for a BBQ.


I am friends with their spouses as well. And have done many things with them & their spouses, as well as having just guy outings with their spouses.

No, I am not married.


How can I accept that as the answer? To not have any female friends? To not associate with women at work?


The question is why *can’t *you accept it?

Correct. You are a man, not a woman.

You can certainly associate with them professionally.


Because I can’t seriously believe that God intended us to avoid having frienships with & caring about the opposite sex. Are you telling me that you have no friends of the opposite sex???

You can certainly associate with them professionally.

Just not personally? That sure seems to me to be as unhealthy an extreme as my problem. And it denies the fact that we are all created as God’s children & should therefore be loved as God’s children.


Ok, but you are having a problem, right? And you’re looking for a solution? What you’re doing right now isn’t working, so you obviously need to try something different.

In other areas of your life, how do you feel? Are you generally happy, or are you usually unhappy?

If you usually feel unhappy, do you think your unhappiness is caused by your singleness?


Dude, take 1ke’s advice goto dads.org look around and get that book, “The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Wife”. You won’t regret it.

A couple of questions come to mind. Have you ever had a long term girlfriend? Do you have a girlfriend now?

If you are comfortable with these girls are you not comfortable meeting new SINGLE girls?

Don’t be infatuated with these girls, get your own girlfriend or wife.:cool: Hopefully you wouldn’t regret that either.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:



First, to point out what the Church teaches about friendship:

**2347 “**The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality. Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.”

IMHO, it is up to one’s spiritual director to advise if you should cut off friendship with anyone of the opposite sex. For some people, me and my husband included, we have many lasting friendships with people of the opposite sex. Jesus Himself had both men and women as close friends.

I would imagine that the OP is lonely, and finding a good Catholic woman and discerning marriage is good advice.

Friendships between those of the opposite sex is not always easy, and you should be honest with these friends. Do cultivate friendships with fellow Catholics (get involved at your Parish is a great way to meet people), and to begin seeking a spouse.

If you have to put a bit of distance between you and your friends for awhile - tell them you are going through a spiritual struggle and need some time. Real friends will understand and pray for you during that time!


I think that we can find a good answer to this in the Bible, more specifically Matthew 5:29-30

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.


Personally, I see no problem with men and women being friends. I have several male friends. These men were the ones I was friends with before I met my husband. One of them ended up introducing me to my husband, they were also friends. I currently, as a married woman, have even more male friends. I know these men don’t think of me in that manner, and if they do they know better.

To the OP: unfortunately you are having feelings for women who can’t and never will be yours. It’s okay to be friends with a female, but first you need to control your urges. If you can not do this then you need to avoid them outside of work for awhile.


If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If you eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.

If your relationships lead you to sin-- cut them off. Good grief, this isn’t rocket science. For YOU, these relationships are occasions of sin. Therefore, YOU need to remove yourself from them.

In general, men and women should not have close, emotional friendships with those of the opposite sex as those relationships are exclusive to your spouse.

This isn’t about me, but since you asked…

I have friends of the opposite sex with whom my husband and I exchange Christmas cards and the like.

I do not have any friendships with men that include “hanging out” with them, talking on the phone with them, being emotionally involved with them or their lives, or where I “find myself attracted to them - physically & emotionally, desiring them, etc.” as you do.

Now you are just making excuses.

Close, personal, emotional, intimate relationships with the opposite sex should be exclusive to your SPOUSE.


Me, Don’t be ridiculous, listen to 1ke. Their are hundreds, thousands, of good Catholic girls out there, looking for a decent Catholic man. Don’t sit there like a bump on a log, go out there and find them. Ask the Holy Spirit to send you someone special, maybe go to Adoration and pray about it.


Me, Don’t be ridiculous, listen to 1ke. Their are hundreds, thousands, of good Catholic girls out there, looking for a decent Catholic man. Don’t sit there like a bump on a log, go out there and find them. Ask the Holy Spirit to send you someone special, maybe go to Adoration and pray about it.


We could have a nice long 10-page thread on the topic of it it is hypothetically good for men and women to be friends with each other. This is not the place for that argument though, because you are not a hypothetical. In your very real situation, friendships with women are tempting you towards serious sin. You can’t put yourself in these situations of temptation. THAT is why YOU shouldn’t have close female friends right now. Whether or not God frowns on male-female friendships, do you really think that He would want you to be putting yourself into these near occasions of sin?

BTW, three years is not a very long time. I’m very impressed that you have been able to overcome the horrible habits that you have. Praise God for giving you the grace to do that, and Good for you for being open to His grace! But timewise, you are not far from those habits, and you are still affected by the lustful thinking that they caused you. Perhaps after more time, a friendship with a woman won’t be such a tempting situation. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect yourself to be able to have the same kind of self control that a person who had never had a chastity problem would. Even if you have repented and been forgiven of your sins, the scars are probably still there. For you, perhaps the scars are your lustful desires and temptations. You are not a hypothetical. You are a real person, with a real problem, that you have already done so much to conquer, but you are still susceptible to that real danger of falling into sin. Please remember that your purity is worth the sacrifice of some friendships. God Bless.


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