Masturbate to Release Pent-up Pension?

Dear Fr. Bloom,

I like you website very much. Your answers are clear and compassionate. Many people can learn a lot from you.

Maybe my problem is going to seem rather trivial in relation to those of others, but I would like your opinion nevertheless.

My husband and I have been married for 26 years and have always tried to be good Catholic Christians and to be responsible parents for our five sons. We have always practiced NFP, some- times with great difficulty due to erratic cycles, occasionally having to abstain for two, three, or even more weeks.

Needless to say, the resumption of lovemaking is always met with enthusiasm. The problem: My husband always experiences complete physical satisfaction at these times. That is not necessarily true for me. In relation to this situation, Dr. James Dobson said in one of his books: "The husband is on a pleasure trip while her car is still in the garage." A very apt description I think. My husband tries very hard to help me to reach that level as well, but it just doesn't happen very often and it is quite frustrating for me. Once in a while I give in and masturbate to find some release from the pent-up tension. Then I start feeling guilty and end up going to confession again.

I have read the Pope's writings on this topic and they are wonderful - if only real life worked that way! Yes, I know sin is sin; but is what I do on the level of abortificiant birth control, marital infidelity, etc.? Sorry this is so lengthy. I just wanted to explain the situation as best I could. Thanks for your help in a confusing situation.



Dear PH,

It is not, but still masturbation should be resisted. Every temptation causes tension. I can release anger by kicking the dog. In fact, I did once and greatly regretted it. But if with the help of Jesus we do resist a temptation, once it subsides, we usually do not find ourselves damaged physically or emotionally. Do you know what I mean?

Of course, any advice I could give you and your husband would be extremely limited. I just want to encourage you to continue following Jesus' teaching. You obviously have a tremendous husband for whom you can be thankful. Keep up the communication, affection, sense of humor and humility.

Have you met w/ an NFP instructor recently to review your chart - and perhaps even discuss some of this? I have found instructors to be very sensitive and wise in advising couples.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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