My Boyfriend Masturbates

My Boyfriend Masturbates

Can a couple stay together when one is in sexual sin?
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Q. My boyfriend and I used to have sex. We've talked to our youth leader about wanting to change, but our past continues to affect our relationship. Since I don't have sex with my boyfriend anymore, he masturbates and lies to me about it. This hurts my feelings. I'm not mad, but I just don't know how to feel about this.

A. I'm so proud of you and your boyfriend for making this huge change in your relationship. You showed a lot of maturity and wisdom in deciding to talk to your youth pastor about the sexual part of your relationship.

Now, there are more tough decisions for each of you to make.

The first decision is yours. You need to decide whether or not to stay with your boyfriend. So think about what's keeping you in this relationship. It might be that you have strong feelings for your boy-friend. It may be that having sex has created a bond that's hard to break. Or maybe you'd rather date a guy who lies to you than not date at all. Whatever the reason, I want you to take some time to sort out what this relationship means to you.

I encourage you to talk and pray with your youth leader or a mature, godly woman from your church. You need to think about how this relationship is helpful or harmful to you.

To be honest, it sounds to me like there's a lot more here that's harmful. Even though you have stopped having sex, premarital sex has taken a toll on the trust, respect and care that make for a strong relationship. And the fact that your boyfriend has begun to lie to you is not a good sign.

Your boyfriend has his own decision to make. The fact that he's masturbating doesn't make him a bad guy. It doesn't mean he's a sex addict or a freak or anything else. But it does mean he's still trying to figure out the best way to deal with his sexual feelings. He used to deal with them by having sex with you. Now he's dealing with them through masturbation. Neither of those choices will help him develop a healthy, God-centered understanding of his sexuality.

So he needs to decide what kind of guy he wants to be. Does he want to be a guy who is willing to have difficult conversations with people he trusts—like your youth leaders—so he can have a healthy sex life when he's a married adult? Or does he want to be a guy who lies to his girlfriend and is unwilling to work toward being a more mature Christian?

Finally, the two of you need to decide what the future holds for you. It might be best for you to break up—at least for a while. This would give you time and space to do the work each of you need to do to get a better perspective on sex in general and your relationship in particular. Since you've already invited your youth leader into your relationship, you'd be wise to include him or her in this process as well.

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