Stopping Masturbating

Because your experience is not universal. I know people for whom your experience is the case.

But I’ve been ordained for four years and I’ve heard literally thousands upon thousands of confessions. So I know that married men confess to sexual sin with some regularity. And I know that marriage isn’t a fix for sexual sin of itself.

And further, I know Church teaching that that can’t be the reason you get married. If your intention is not to have a permanent, fruitful, and exclusive union with a particular person, your intention is defective. You might have other reasons, of course.

But “just get married” is really terrible advice for someone struggling with sexual sin. And you’d think I know what I’m talking about.

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Because if the issue were to start up again in a marriage when marriage was used as a solution to the issue then the person could claim that th e
marriage or the other spouse was the cause for the issue reappearing. That is a heavy burden to put on someone.

You have moved a bit beyond simply asserting your opinion.

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I’m posting my informed professional opinion, sure.

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I try to stay out of discussions on this particular topic — it boils down to three basic ideas:

  • In the objective order, it is mortally sinful
  • Due to the very nature of the sin, though, there can be factors that mitigate culpability
  • But avoid near occasions of sin and go to confession each and every time

I only “jump in” here because just “getting married” is not that simple anymore, for a man who desires it. Many women have satisfying, fulfilling lives and careers, and are in no particular hurry to get married. In our culture, their expectations tend to be very high — marriage is more like a “capstone” than a “beginning”, the icing on the cake, so to speak. Catholic women who accept and want to follow all of the teachings of the magisterium regarding married life are relatively rare — and why would you want to marry someone who isn’t willing to follow all of those teachings? That’s asking for trouble if there ever were such a thing.

I’ve just got to say it, starting from “ground zero” of being single with no one in particular in mind, and getting to the point of finding someone who wants to marry you and will help you towards heaven — not hinder you — is a major undertaking. It can be a real “hat trick”. Sadly, not everyone succeeds at it. CatholicMatch is one of your better bets.

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I’m posting as someone married for 35 plus years. IF one of us had entered into our marriage using this marriage as a solution for what the OP posted it would have been doomed to failure because it would have been based upon a lie and gross exaggerated expectation of what marriage is for and should do. No other person can cure that person of this particular sin whether married or not. To believe so is an unattainable expectation of one person for another. This is a personal sin and only the person comm iting it can cease to commit it of their own free will and by the Grace of God.

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Talk to your PRIEST about this.

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Not lecturing here, or judging - just adding some ancient perspective. Staring my 40th in the face, it is so much more than a physical relationship. Sure that is part of it, but what to do when life changes? When sexual desire no longer matches?

Marriage also includes “for worse, for poorer and in sickness” - even though we may not hear that or pay attention to it. It is not the solution; the end to a problem. It is the beginning of a sacramental life together with all the ups and the many downs.

It is love - which desires the good of the other and which does not count the cost. Is there sexual union? Certainly but one can go to the red light district if that is what is desired.

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You are absolutely right about that. Sadly I’m living proof of that fact.

You are suggesting that for something to be “a” solution that it is the only reason for doing it. That is an incorrect assumption. My advice to the OP suggests that there is hope. Marriage should quench the fire that affects men. It suggests as much in the bible. The OP can look forward to one day marrying and which should alleviate, objectively speaking, the physiological yearning he is struggling with. If it doesn’t solve the problem for a man when married then there are others issues involved. The OP did not indicate anything other than a physiological difficulty.

Here is an analogy that may get lost on some of you, but loosen your hair buns and try to understand the principle:

If you were hungry and I told you, “Go eat a big dinner, that will cure your problem.” Objectively speaking, it would cure the problem for most people. Now you can say there might be some or even many people who would still be hungry, but objectively speaking, telling someone to eat a big meal would be good advice. But if the person is unable at this time to eat a big meal then one would give the advice on what to do in the meantime…This I did for the OP.

I never suggested that one should marry ONLY to avoid masturbating.
I never suggested that getting married is a magic cure-all.
I never suggested that marriage doesn’t have other problems.
I never suggested that marriage solves all problems.
I never suggested that the decision to marry should be solely or even primarily to avoid masturbation.
I never suggested that a marriage is centered around a physical relationship.
I never suggested that a marriage should not first and foremost be about love.
etc., etc. etc…

How you all came up with these inferences based on eight words is beyond me. Even after explaining what I meant, you all still won’t accept my explanation.

And “those problems” meant those problems the OP was having, obviously. But some of you won’t accept that explanation either!

Indeed, a marriage should be based on love and a desire for one’s spouse to get to heaven. How you all would quickly assume otherwise based on my post is beyond me.

When I was struggling with this addiction, I lived with regret for many years. It negatively affected my life in many ways. One day I got on my knees and pleaded with God. “I can’t take this anymore. I will live a celibate life out of love for you, but I can’t struggle with lust anymore. I can’t do it anymore. Please either help me to no longer have this feeling or help me get married.” One month later, at age 48, a woman contacted me on a Catholic dating site, we fell in love, and married two years later. I have been chaste in the five years I have been married.

If the OP has a calling to be married and that will serve him well for a variety of reasons, his sexual issue not withstanding, then as the bible says, “It is good to be married”.

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Finally, someone who understands context. Thanks for your support! :+1:

Here’s one problem with your thinking on this matter: at some point in marriage there will almost assuredly be a time when the couple needs to practice a period of prolonged abstinence. If someone hasn’t learned self-control prior to marriage, what are they supposed to do then?

In your posts you also keep referring to the “good Catholic woman” as the reason a husband is able to remain chaste, as if it is somehow the wife’s fault for her husband’s incontinence. There are “good Catholic women” with paper-thin uteruses who, with their husbands have to practice total abstinence for years at a time. A couple will need to abstain after the birth of a baby as well. Those are just two of the many, many reasons a married couple might have to abstain for a long period of time.

I don’t know how old your wife is, but your experience marrying later in life may have a lot to do with your rather myopic view on this. Have you ever had a period of prolonged (lasting weeks or months) abstinence in your marriage?

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That’s the problem right here : you’re indirectly comparing a spouse to dinner - to something you can use to fill your needs. That’s complete objectification of another human being.

I can’t think of many worse ways of objectifying someone than marrying them with the expectation that they will be available to satisfy one’s sexual urges, be it the main reason why you marry or one reason among many others.

The root of sexual sins lies within an individual, and it isn’t realistic to expect someone else to cure it. Only the affected person can, with the help of God and, in some cases, the help of medical professionals.

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As I expected, the principle of the analogy was lost. Instead another literal translation.

I never said the reason a man is chaste is solely because of his wife…Here we go again! This is a Catholic site. I understand the OP is a practicing Catholic. I would hope he would find a Catholic woman who also understands Catholic teaching whereby both spouses support each other in this vain.

That period of abstinence is an issue that the couple can deal with then. In the meantime, the spouses enjoy one another and his lustful disposition he had as a single man struggling, should be under control for obvious reasons…and objectively speaking. Not everyone, even with much prayer can overcome constant sexual arousal. It is as physiological as it is psychological. Sometimes, its best to hope that one day marriage will curb one’s sexual appetite. It does just that for most. The bible even addresses this issue. Its interesting that no one has explained what they think the passage means. But until marriage, prayer, avoiding occasions of sin, and I would add fasting, are the common remedies given.

We practice NFP, so yes, I have gone two to four weeks. Not fun but not a problem. Extreme situations as you described often aren’t a reliable debate tactic.

Poor Traces95z - and poor St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas… going on about one of the three goods of matrimony as if it were an actual… good, or something! How dare they?

If the OP is having pain, he should talk to a doctor. Mild discomfort might be normal, but feeling like you’re being stabbed is not. Usually the body takes care of itself while one is unconscious.

The standard cures, other than marriage, are the following:

Prayer and the Sacraments
Distracting oneself with work, recreation, and strong male friendships
Removing near occasions of sin as far as reasonably possible (computer by the window, open doors, cold showers, monitoring programs like Covenant Eyes, etc.)
Laughing a lot - the overflow of rational delight drives out lust
Fasting more - the body wants to have food more than sex
Exercising more

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“loosen your hair buns”

How uncharitable and presumptuous of you. Type casting us as old pru des with our hair in buns is really very narrow minded. You know one doesn’t grow closer to God without humility and examination of one’s own faults. I am very much willing to admit I am no spiritual expert. What I know about our Catholic Faith has been taught to me over my lifetime by devout true Catholics----lay and clergy. I didn’t go to college, I didn’t go to Seminary I’ve learned the Faith by those gracious enough to share it with me. You knew what you meant when you posted what you did but because of the way it was worded many including myself read it in a way that apparently you didn’t mean. Instead of “beating the subject to death” and trying to point out our interpretation of what you posted maybe stop and be willing to CHARITABLY clarify what you meant. None of us are mind readers. We are on an online forum so we don’t know your ways of expression. Your posts has been addressed by many. Hopefully you will understand that you and you alone knew 100% exactly what you meant by posting what you did. Again don’t presume that we all did.

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To the OP - If you’re struggling with porn, I highly recommend a programme called Covenant Eyes. It’s not free, but it’s a small price to pay for freedom. All you need is one friend you can use as an accountability partner.

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For what it’s worth, I can attest that I haven’t masturbated since getting married 19 years ago; we also went four years without relations at one point (after the birth of our youngest). Obviously it takes prayer and commitment to remain chaste, but the grace of marriage certainly helped. Didn’t some of the Fathers posit the quieting of concupiscence as an argument for marriage?

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Would Father (or any vowed celibate OR chaste single person) care to offer guidance to those on the forums who struggle with this sin? I’ve always wanted to ask a priest ‘how they do it’ but never had sufficient anonymity to so :grin:

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