My wife has almost completely lost her desire
to have sex and when we do, I feel like I am forcing
myself on her.
I know the Church teaches against
masturbation but is it a sin if I do it, just
to relieve myself?
Since my wife has lost her desire
to have sex, is it
OK to masturbate just to relieve myself? }
Alas, it is, which I know is not what you wanted to hear. No dispensation
for relieving pent-up sexual tension.
You are in a difficult position, though no more difficult (and no less
common) than that of the average single man who strives to remain chaste.
I would encourage you, if you have not already done so (though I'm sure
you have), to see if there is any change in approach or behavior on your
part that can make sex enjoyable for your wife. Perhaps she senses that
you are using sex to fulfill your own needs more than you are using it
to make a sincere gift of yourself to her and to communicate your love.
Maybe it's become more lust than love; I don't know since I'm not familiar
with the situation, so don't take this as a personal rebuke, just as a
list of things to consider. Don't rule out marriage counseling, either.
One thing I'd highly recommend is to listen to a series on the Theology
of the Body, an excellent teaching on marital love from a Catholic perspective
that I guarantee will blow your socks off.
And, No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.