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Abstaining From Sex Will Help Your Marriage

January 27, 2010

A voluntary sexual abstinence may be a help to your marriage. 

Dr. Mark Laaser’s has some interesting thoughts for the married person on sexual abstinence.  In his book “Faithful and True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World” he recommends abstinence for three reasons (p. 193).

1.  Abstinence helps cleanse your brain chemistry – Lust, porn, fantasies, and sexual activity produce pleasure chemicals in the brain.  Sex addicts start to depend on these chemicals to medicate and escape. 

2.  Abstinence helps you deal with tolerance – As addiction grows, the addict needs more of the behavior to achieve the same high.  The addict starts seeking more sexual stimuli and more dangerous levels. 

3.  Abstinence helps you change your core beliefs – The addict believes that “sex is the most important need”.  He might also believe “sex is equal to love.”  These are false core beliefs.  Abstinence helps the married addict see the deeper emotional and relational needs that can be met by his spouse.   

If you are going to commit to a period of sexual abstience with your spouse, Dr. Laaser recommends that you:

  • Discuss the contract with your sponsor and your accountablity group.
  • Discuss it with your spouse.  Make sure it’s mutual.
  • Establish a beginning and ending date.
  • Get counselling during this time.  Abstinence causes many feelings and trauma to come to the service. 
  • Write out a contract, and have others hold you both accountable. 


Late in 2008, Marsha and I went through a 6-week period of abstinence.  This was revolutionary to our marriage.  It gave her breathing room and taught me that I didn’t have to have sex to be fulfilled sexually. 

Q:  Have you been through a marital abstinence period?
Q:  What have your learned from abstinence? 
Q:  What other encouragement would you offer to sexual addicts and their spouses?

TWITTER:  @porntopurity
PODCAST:  Top Tips For Sexual Purity (I-Tunes)

  1. Craig permalink
    January 27, 2010 7:42 am


    i need some advice brother. as i’m going to iraq soon, the masturbation issue has come up. i tend to lean to the side saying that masturbation is a sin. that’s still something i struggle with occasionally so please pray for me. do you know of a resource my wife and i could look at to find some answers on this issue? i love the idea of not masturbating as victory over the flesh and see it as an opportunity to gain a closer relationship with our Lord. what are you thoughts?


    • January 27, 2010 10:22 pm

      Hey Craig,

      First, some links. I’ve done some specific blogs on masturbation. The three most recent blogs will give you some of my deepest thoughts on the subject. They can be found here:

      I personally believe that masturbation is self sex and is not honoring to God. It’s just too wide a door to walk through. And most of us guys lose our self-control and head down the lust path quickly. It seems like you believe the same. Others have differing opinions about it. I just don’t trust myself to be able to masturbate with a clear conscience.

      Critcal to you maintaining your sexual purity away from your wife will be relationships. Your relationship with God, your talking as much as you can to your wife, but most of all you finding some healthy relationships among your fellow soldiers. I will specifically pray for that. That God would send you a great friend or two with the same value for sexual purity. You being able to share with another man the things that you are struggling with and what is going on underneath is critical.

      You should talk to your wife about a good strategy. My wife and I have talked together about the issue. They have always been healthy conversations. They also help us understand each other’s needs.

      Making a visit to a good counselor or pastor would be well worth it. I forget how far you are from the Raleigh area. If you are within an hour or so, let me know and I’ll give you the number of my counselor.

      Another thought is you keeping a journal to write out and pray out your feelings to God. My notebook has been an incredible tool for me to work out what I’m feeling inside.

      READERS: Say a prayer for Craig in Iraq, will you?


  2. January 27, 2010 10:44 am

    Good words Jeff. Here are some thoughts from 1 Corinthians 7:5.

    Biblical Marital Abstinence: Abstaining from Sex in Marriage


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