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EngagedButOnEdge Erica wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question regarding engagement and masturbation.

I am a 22-year-old Catholic woman and:

  • I've been a devout Catholic my whole life and
  • have also struggled with masturbation for nearly my whole life.

This is not something I do all the time, but I fall into temptation and occasionally give into this. I can sometimes go weeks or months without it and then I almost always end up falling back into doing it. This is usually a lot worse during certain periods of the month when I believe my sexual desire is heightened and my effort is weakened in resisting. I then go to Confession and try to be better but it has consistently been this way ever since I was 13-years-old.

On that note, I started dating a wonderful man at the age of 18 and we just got engaged last week. I'm very happy but my history of sexual struggles has me worried.

  • I'm wondering if this tendency and weakness is something that I should have entirely overcome before getting engaged?
  • Does it mean I haven't mastered myself?
  • Should I have waited?

I'm also wondering what this will mean for our marriage.

  • Am I reliant on this form of satisfaction and will I continue to struggle with this temptation in our marriage?
  • What if he doesn't fully satisfy me and I'm then tempted again to turn to this sin?

I feel very guilty and concerned because he deserves someone who isn't selfish and isn't caught up in mortal sin.

  • What should I do and how should I view this?


  { Should I have tamed this weakness before getting engaged and what if he doesn't fully satisfy me? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

Thanks for the question.

You have a good grasp of all the potential harms that can come from this, so you need to end this once and for all.

Your problem is that you enjoy the benefit, and when temptation comes around, the only thing that matters is the benefit you experience in the moment.

  • What if this were to cost your soul, would you give it up?

Jesus said:

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:43 (RSVCE)

I'm not bringing this up to scare you, but to let Christ shake you into a radical change. You need to take new measures to defeat this addiction permanently. It is as serious as an alcoholic that needs to get sober.

First, understand what is happening in your body. Your sex drive increases when you ovulate. Your hormones surge and you have sex on your mind. That is simply biology working.

Now as someone who is a child of God you don't have to be a slave to your body.

You can turn that awareness into an offering for someone with much greater struggles than yourself. The pain of not giving in is a sacrifice you can give to God for a sinner in need. There is someone laying on the floor of some bathroom bawling their eyes out because they can't overcome horrible sex addictions, homosexuality, gender dysphoria, abuse, and so much more. So you can either sink into your self gratification or sacrifice for them. God knows the difference between the choice you have and will help you . . . so will the saints.

Get militant and stop living like a Christian on the sidelines. This is war and we are taking casualties everyday. Fight. Pray. Fast. Confess . . . but don't resign yourself to slavery. Pray the Rosary everyday and fast hard core once a week -— that will get you conditioned for the fight ahead.

Ultimately, your sexuality is not for you, despite what the current culture says, it is outwardly directed (think of how God made them male and female — complementary partners!).

The gift of your womanhood is given for a spouse, for your community, to be a daughter, mother, sister and even a lover of a husband — so you should focus on meeting his needs and not your own. Don't be selfish but selfless. That is the gift of your sexuality. The world has lied to you; it teaches selfishness and masturbation which exemplifies that lie perfectly. Change your thinking, and when you direct your mission away from yourself, your life will be complete and so will your sex life. You may even have beautiful relations with your husband as you learn how to please each other.

Happiness, joy, and fulfillment come as a fruit of service and marriage is such a wonderful institution for these fruits to grow. Everything you fear can come to pass if you don't deal with this, but if you do change, by the grace of God, you will be blessed beyond your imagination.

Finally, keep also in mind that sex is a gift meant to bring new life — that is the biggest orgasm of all!

Think about why God made the sex act so powerfully rewarding . . . because he wants the fruit! Entrust your Love-making to the Will of God so that He can partner with you in creating new children to love and be loved. There is nothing greater than this power, which only a woman can possess: to bring a child into this world.

These are the thoughts you should ponder to prepare yourself for marital intimacy . . . although this really, barely scratches the surface.

You need not break off your engagement, nor wallow in mortal sin. Just resolve to change your life and throw yourself into the arms of God who will make you the woman you were intended to be.


Bob Kirby
[Related posting]|[Under FAQ]|[Similar Issues]

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