No Will to Stop Sinning
I have struggled with self abuse since childhood. This sin has carried over into every aspect of my life, and plagues me with constant guilt. I've tried everything... Therapy, recovery programs, retreats... Literally everything. I can't stop. Now it's come to the point where I don't even care about stopping anymore... But I guess deep down I do care, otherwise I wouldn't be here writing about it. 

The worst part is that my lack of self control has carried over into my relationship with my boyfriend. Thanks to my insistent initiating, we often fall into sexual sin. I feel horrible about it, but don't know how to stop, and sometimes I don't even bother to stop because all my attempts at purity fail. I'm tired of fighting and losing. I'm also terrified that I'm putting his soul in danger too.

Has anyone pulled themselves out of this mess? I'm so ready to just give up.
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pillar of Families, Glory of Domestic Life, Pray for Us!

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.
I was in the same boat for most of my life. My confessor advised me to take it day by day as a battle, and at the first temptation to turn away with all of your strength. Part of the problem for me was that I looked into the future and felt that I would fall again anyway, and gave in. Finding other ways to occupy yourself is also important, for me I picked up reading as a habit. I also learned to recognize the small occasions, especially on social media, added up to a great amount of stress over time, and cut out a lot of the time and places I spent online. As regards another person being involved, I had to resolve, with my fiancé, that it was simply not going to happen anymore. Period. It sounds simplistic, but that's really at that it took, with the grace of God. Don't allow yourselves to be alone privately, because that is where the strongest attacks tend to come. For a long time, I wanted to give up too, and for days or weeks I would. But never lay down, run to the confessional and have recourse to Our Lady and the rosary. It's an uphill battle, but it can be won. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength, and he wants to save you. You'll be in my prayers.
Part of the solution is to ask what the sexual pleasure is a substitute for. We all seek happiness, and clearly pleasure does bring that happiness, but it's a limited happiness. So what are you so unhappy about that sex seems the solution?

Find that, and fix that, and the sexual stuff will stop being the drug of choice to hide from that problem.

I promise you that if you don't learn to control yourself now before marriage, you won't do it later. Married people still have sinful habits, they still abuse themselves. Marriage does not solve moral problems, if anything it makes them worse.

Part of avoiding sin with your boyfriend is to avoid the situations where you have any chance of those sins. Don't spend time alone. Don't permit yourself any occasions of sin that are not absolutely necessary.

How about always going out with another couple? How about never being in a private place together? Do you pray together? How about every time you go out first meeting at a Church and praying a Rosary?

You cannot complain that you are lacking self control and fall and then not be taking the basic steps to avoid the temptations.

Also why is he willing to give into these sins? Is he a Catholic? Is he a real man who is interested in your salvation or is he just looking to get his fix and you're a useful tool? Good people fall, sure, but if he is a willful participant in sin and makes no fuss about it and is not playing the part of the leader in trying to prevent the sins, then you should dump him ASAP, as he's not the man who will help you to save your soul (which is part of what marriage is all about).

On your own front, part of the difficulty is habit, and you're working against that. A solution is distraction, yes, but also to vary the kinds of things you do to distract yourself, so those things do not become associated with the sins and thus a cause of them.
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  • mpk1987
As a married man I can tell you for certain that marriage isn't magic that suddenly you'll stop. In fact when you're having sex you'll just want more sex and when you're not having sex, you'll just want sex. So saying I'll stop masturbating when I'm having regular sex is not exactly true. 

I think in general most of us have a really hard time not giving into temptation, whatever our weakness is. We were never trained to resist urges for pleasurable things. Regular fasting can certainly help, but even there I tend to wonder if we do it wrong. When you're voluntarily fasting (meaning that the Church is not insisting that you fast on that day), giving into the fast is not a sin. So, why do we try to avoid being near food? Instead we should be using these times as training. When you're starving go walk by your favorite restaurant. See and smell the delicious food and how badly you want to eat it. Go sit in the food court at your local mall and sit around while you watch everyone eating. Go walk by a nice burger joint and smell how amazing those beef patties smell frying up. Why? Well you want to resist temptation? Well put yourself into a temptation to eat when you're starving. If you can't overcome that urge what's going to stop you when your sexual or any sinful urges come upon you? 

If I fast and sit in a room away from all food, what do I gain except doing a little bit of penance? In real life temptations are everywhere. They're on the street, they're at work, they're even at home. Sure, we do our best to avoid them, but we will eventually be exposed to them and if we haven't trained ourselves properly, the battle will be that much more difficult.

Our Lord said to fast and pray. Well, then fast and throw yourself into so much temptation to eat that overcoming those temptations becomes fairly easy. If you can't overcome that, then you have no shot at overcoming the desire for sex.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.

“It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus, A.D. 612
I think we have to learn to acknowledge that our habitual sins, particularly those that relate to pleasure, are frequently driven by pride, even if it's fairly subtle. It's a hard thing to admit. It's hard to change our way of seeing our actions in order to properly recognize this evil inside us. But once you see it, you will realize just how much it influences our actions.

Something to consider.
Ave Christus Rex!
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  • MagisterMusicae
Just a quick question, SacraCor; did going on that traditional Ignation retreat ever work out for you?
"..the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world" -William Ross Wallace

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