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Lust After Death: Advice to a Widower Who Fantasizes About His Wife

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

A week or so ago I received an e-mail from a man whose wife passed away recently. They had been married for nearly 40 years. In his loneliness, he says, he fantasizes about times of intimacy with his wife and masturbates. He knows it would be wrong to fantasize about anyone else, but he wanted to know if he should abstain from fantasizing about his wife.

How would you advise a man like this?

I asked my friend Brad Hambrick to comment on this story. (During this vlog, Brad mentions his “grief resource” and his “false love” resource. These are nine-step, video-based seminars focused on grief and overcoming sexual sin, respectively. These are both excellent resources.)

There were several points I really appreciated about Brad’s response.

1. Differentiate between fantasy that comes from “yearning” and fantasy that feeds “burning.”

We can be aroused because of a yearning that longs for the companionship that sex provides. We can also be aroused because of a burning for physical sexual pleasure.

Brad says while the latter is a moral issue, the former should probably be understood as a wisdom issue. It is wrong to engage in acts of sexual lust. It is not necessarily “wrong” to be aroused by memories of companionship and sexual intimacy. But neither is it wise.

2. Satisfy your yearning in non-sexual ways

It is important for those who are grieving to satisfy their yearning for companionship in non-sexual ways. If we let our fantasies continually lead to masturbation, it only feeds the idea that sex is ultimate rather than just a good gift God has given to us: sex becomes an idol of sorts.

Furthermore, it complicates the grief process. According to Romans 7:2-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, a widow or widower is released from the law of marriage. The one who has passed on is no longer your spouse. The vow to be faithful “until death do you part” is fulfilled. To repeatedly fantasize about these moments of marital intimacy makes properly grieving this loss more difficult.

3. Learn to grieve; then learn self-control

Brad specifically recommends a widower to first grieve the loss of his wife. It is important to first feel God’s compassion in your loss. Then, as the grieving process progresses, learn how God wants to walk with you in the journey to self-control and freedom from lust.

  • Comments on: Lust After Death: Advice to a Widower Who Fantasizes About His Wife
    1. Joe

      I’m the one who asked the question, and, Luke, I appreciate your personal email and counsel after I asked you the question. In your answer you pointed out that death breaks the marriage bond. That was the first time I acknowledged that I was a single man. It made me grieve for a while, but it also made me do a lot of thinking. And strange as it seems even to me, admitting that I am no longer married seemed to let me release my wife to God and Heaven. I had been holding on to something that could not be a reality.

      Then Brad’s kind and well-thought-out video blog gave me more to think about. Looking both issues–is it wise; is it moral–was really good. My answer to myself was, No, it isn’t wise, and Yes, it certainly could be immoral.

      As to the loneliness, I’ve been going to a men’s Bible study each week that is facilitate by a long-time friend of mine. I’ve also started visiting another church that has an active senior citizens’ group. I regret to say that I’ve not had much support from the church where I’m a present member. I hope it’s not selfishness on my part to try and find a church where I’m more than a non-person after “amen” is said each Sunday and each Wed. evening.

      Thanks so much Luke and Brad. And thanks to my local counselor, Rod, who told me about Covenant Eyes. God’s blessings on your work and counsel.

      • Thanks for asking the question, Joe. It is a good one to consider. I’m glad we’ve been able to help!

      • Mark

        I had the same ? For myself and others who do not want to ask it out loud. Thanks. I want to follow more posts if I figure how on my desktop.

      • Tim Harrison

        To the author of this article. Please stop misleading people about sex. It is natural that a person would experience these things after the loss of their partner. You are saying that we should feel guilty to have sexual feelings because ‘god’ says that these feelings are immoral! Firstly, I have yet to see any scientific proof that a god exists. Secondly, the bible was not written by god (even if a god does exist) , and so how do you know what such a god would say. Thirdly if there is a god, surely it is him that takes away our loved ones in the first place and leaves us to deal with the unbelievable pain associated with our loss. You are not trained counsellors and are behaving irresponsibly by pretending that some almighty sky fairy knows what’s best for someone.

      • Camille grubz

        Hi i dont know how to put a comment so i just click the word “reply”..
        Ok heres my story..
        My grandmom died last month sept 2017
        And then what had happened next ,after the funeral my grandpa change ALOT !
        he keeps on wanting having new relationship with the young ones that dont even fit for his age .
        I told him its pedophilia but it seems like he wont listen to us his children and grandaughter.
        We are worried coz what if he do something really bad one day about wanting young girls .
        So pls help what advice we can do to my grand father..
        Thank you

      • Kay Bruner

        HAVE NO CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE INAPPROPRIATE WITH CHILDREN, especially if the person is a family member. Keep your children and grandchildren away from this person.

        If you know that he is preying on an underage person, report it to your local police department immediately. If you find any inappropriate materials that involve underage persons, report it to your local police department immediately.

      • Charles Evans

        I too became a unexpected widower November 2013. I know how death works spiritually, we are Christian’s lived for God. But strangely I think I’m still waiting on God to raise her for it’s not impossible for God after all look at all those raised thru out the Bible. What do you think? I can let go when I know God’s answer on this for sure “still waiting on God” time does not affect God’s power or his will….look at Lazarus! I have actually seen 3 different people raised from the dead in my lifetime so far, just like in Acts 9:36-43. God don’t raise everyone we know that but always that possiblity with God. His will be done. Thanks for reply in advance

    2. izzie omariba

      I have a question,what do you tell a married woman whose husband ignores her in bed for many years, he claims he turned off his mind from sex. But the wfife fights with feelings of being aroused because of a burning for physical sexual pleasure.

      How can you advise her, she says she gets aroused by sharing the same bed though the husband does not. Can she leave the marriage instead of falling in sin with another man?

      • First, your husband needs to be held accountable for his sin against you. If he is approaching this marriage from a Christian perspective, then he is sinning against you by denying you sexual gratification. The Bible speaks to this situation specifically:

        “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

        That said, I’m very curious about the underlying reason for his desire to turn his mind off from sex. Is it a biological problem? Is there some reason for his frigidity? Does he know why? Has he told you? That would be a good place to start the conversation.

        Even if there is a physiological or psychological reason for his asexuality, he is still in a covenant of marriage with you and should not deny you your desire for sexual pleasure.

        Have you had this kind of discussion with him?

      • Kristal

        He is definitely has someone else whom he gratifies he has no feelings for you but out side he does.

      • Tim Harrison

        You won’t find answers from God. Don’t be fooled by corrupt institutions such as Christianity. Help from trained counsellors is the answer. Faith is not a reliable path to truth.

      • Shaylee

        He’s likely involved with either someone else or pornography on the internet. He may even have an online relationship. That’s something you have to do a little detective work to find out. Even though I personally feel everyone needs some to calm their own, I equally feel you have the right to find out what is going on with your husband.
        I just saw the date on this comment. I’ll leave my answer for anyone else that may need my expert advice ;)

      • James Drane

        I came here hoping to get answers. As I just loss my wife suddenly. In my grief I asked my chaplain to help me turn to God so I can ultimately make it to heaven to be with my son’s that passed away and my wife.

        First of all I do not know the word of God. But I am searching it out. My mother is a born again Christian minister. So I have heard many scriptures through out my life.

        When you see and hear different opinions it is hard to determine the truth of the Bible. And a relationship with God is one on one so any answer to this question must come from him to me. I understand that. What is the right path for someone may not be the right path for someone else.

        The advise of fulfilling your obligation of marriage till death do you part and you are no longer married to your spouse are words in vows. And they come from the Bible. And also the Bible says you will be reunited with your loved ones in paradise . So wouldn’t you be reunited with your spouse in heaven. That union of being one seems like it would be reaffirmed in heaven.

        At present time I can not see myself ever wanting another woman. Throughout my marriage my wife was always my deepest desire in reality and in fantasy . Even if I saw a woman that caught my eye I always saw that woman as my wife. I realize that is lust if another woman but I truly saw her as my wife. I can’t explain it but it was in no way a want to be with that woman but my wife. I truly do not believe I lusted after another woman but something about her reminded me of my wife then the lust came in to play. I truly love my wife and always will. I can not see this as a sin. I truly see it as how much I love my wife. I truly hope that some day to be reunited with her as we were made as one and I hope that means in heaven also.

        As for Tim Harrison I have no idea why he would chime in on anything on this site. You do not have a belief in God, and you do not have faith in Christianity. You keep saying a professional counceling is required. You may be right but the proper professional counceling should be with a councelor with the same beliefs. I personally would not be comfortable using you as that councelor. And feel you are looking for clients. So please do not respond to my questions. And I hope God opens your eyes to faith.

    3. Rocky

      I didn’t watch the video and of course didn’t read the email, but found the advice given to Joe underwhelming and a bit condemning. There is an assumption in this article that its wrong for this man to desire and experience sexual pleasure/release without a wife. There’s a statement that “its wrong to engage in acts of sexual lust” and ties this to the phrase “burning for physical sexual pleasure” calling this a moral issue! When Paul spoke of burning for sex, he approached it as a normal need, not a moral issue, and instructed those who were evidently postponing relations to go ahead and enter their prospective sexual relationships. (That’s the only interpretation that makes sense to me.) The only thing that would have been immoral was to try to continue in a celibate life when one still has active sexual desire.

      I agree that it might be unwise for the widower to yearn for the companionship of his wife, but it doesn’t mean he has to erase happy memories of having sex with her which aid him in obtaining sexual arousal as needed. A divorced man might still recall enjoyable moments with his ex, though there’s no love left between them. The guilt trip people are on regarding sexual fantasy etc, is mind-numbing sometimes.

      Regarding “self-control”, again Paul said “not all have this gift”. It seems obvious that masturbation is a relief valve for these until they find a new partner. We can agree that they shouldn’t idolize sex or be pre-occupied with it, but it’s part of life and good health, physical and mental. I would advise the same to the woman whose husband is neglecting her. Yes, she may have a right to divorce, but would rather not go that route. Ideally she should talk to her husband, but I doubt if she want to make love with someone who apparently doesn’t truly desire her. It will take time to heal that relationship. Masturbation allows her a way to allay her physical/emotional drives and to make a more rational decision as to her life in general.

      • I think you’re glossing over important details. Did Paul treat sex as a natural drive? Yes. But did he also treat burning with sexual desires as a moral issue? Yes. All of 1 Corinthians 7 speaks of sexual relations as a moral issue. And when you say Paul told them to “enter their prospective sexual relationships,” let’s be very clear that we’re talking about marriage here, not just any sexual relationship.

        I really think your reading of Paul is poor.

    4. Joe

      My pastor yesterday, in speaking of dealing with the Christian believer dealing with addiction or a besetting sin, quoted a Christian counselor who said these kinds of issues come down to this: “Are you going to worship self or worship God?”

      And I thought, that question just about covers it all. Viewing porn, lustful masturbating, fantasizing encounters, etc., are all basically worshiping self, are they not?

      Also, the entire book of First John was written to encourage us that that sins can be overcome and that living a pure life is supposed to be the norm for Christians.

      • I agree that idolatry is the characteristic and summary word for our drift from God, especially in the Old Testament. Sin is idolatry. The idol of self is perhaps the biggest cult in the world today.

    5. Grieving widow

      This is disturbing. Sounds to me like you are condemning the already broken hearted. If this is how you try to help then I don’t want anything to do with your so called compassionate way of show the truth. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to mourn the death of a spouse and deal with missing your husband intimately. I don’t appreciate people like you at all.

      • Kay Bruner

        Hi there. I’m sorry you were hurt by this post, at a time when you’re already grieving. I think it’s impossible for those of us who haven’t been berieved to truly understand what that experience is like. I do know that I would horribly miss the intimate life that my husband and I share. That would be an enormous loss, and I’m sorry that you’re suffering in that way as well as every other way. I hope you’re able to find comfort in your sorrow with people who are able to mourn with you, and again, I’m sorry that this post was hurtful to you at such a difficult time. Praying blessings for you today, Kay

    6. mike

      I lost my wife whom I’ve known fo 41 years, 32 of them happily married without childen. Many cannot understand that not having children, sometimes means an intense love for one another which is simply indescribable! We laughed, we loved, we fought and we did everything under the sun together. Unless you’ve worn these same shoes one cannot possibly understand the grief one goes through. I for one, never did before this tragedy happened to me. We should all embrace good advise, but please be compassionate and don’t judge anyone who does not conform to your ideals. We may critisise the atitude, but not the person. For the moment, past sexual fantasies are helping me through my griefing process. Yes, maybe one day I’ll meet someone who will continue with me my final journey in this world. There again maybe not. Don’t be angry with those who do not agree with you. They mean well, and their advise is sincere. It’s just up to each indivdual’s conscience. Search deep and see if it’s really good or bad whatever you’re thinking or doing. May your God Bless you

      • Kay Bruner

        Thanks for this, Mike. Blessings on your healing, Kay

      • Joe

        Mike, Every grief is individual, and the process of getting through it is different for each of us. It’s been almost 6 years, and I still occasionally fantasize about being intimate with her. I’ve found that the fantasizing is quite infrequent now. What I miss the most is just the nearness of herself, her arms around me, her lying by my side in bed and my reaching over to pat her on the rump just before falling asleep. God has been gracious, patient and kind in leading me these years she’s been gone. He will do the same in your life. And you are correct when you say the fantasies help. They did me as well. Blessing, my friend.

      • Michael

        Hi,I’m sitting watching a Monday night football game feeling a wee bit lonely after loosing my lovely wife 7 years ago November 22 , 2010. Somebody said at work the other day ,it must be getting easier. I said ” no , it’s just the opposite, more difficult and doing everything by myself because I’m not totally ready to say goodbye to my wife “. I find not having my wife , lover, companion, antique shopper, travelling the Orient Express 10 years ago, sharing spiritually with 2 different organizations and sharing the raising 2 wonderful girls together until she was Promoted To Glory. So , I’m trying to figure out God’s altimate timing in taking my wife and leaving the girls and I down on this earth . I know He has a purpose and use for me , just trying to figure it all out and seeking Him in Prayer and reading His Word . Thank you for listing . Michael

      • mike

        Thank you Kay. I came across this site again almost two and half years later. I am still of the belief of what I thought and wrote at the time. I happily confirm that I did not develop anything negative since then. I still yearn for my wife in the sex department. We had a healthy sex relationship and whatever we did or thought was mutual. Since I retired (approx the same time when I wrote above message) I’ve had the opportunity to increase my voluntary work in my country and even more abroad. I feel fulfilled. That does not mean that if I find the right partner, and I wish I did, I’m not willing to discover a new relationship, but I’m not looking for one. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t! Meanwhile I relish in my wife’s past fantasies. Good luck to everyone who is struggling with this. May you find the right path to happiness in your own personal way. Blessings!

      • Ruth

        I read from up there abd im realising it seems im not getting what i really want to know.
        I am a 25year old widow from 17th june 2020 and as much as its difficult to accept he is gone, I find my self with so much desire for pleasure and I wonder if its too soon? Its almost 3 months since Lymphoma took him from me and our 1 year daughter Jennell.

        My question is not about wrong or right its about time frame…ist too soon? What does the bible say about time frame? Or expects experience say?

        I loved him and still do. Due to poor health and weak immune system we had stoped with conjugal rights and 3 months later he passed.

        I feel so alone and need help.

    7. Robert

      We were married over 54 years when my wonderful wife went to heaven to be with Jesus. It is hard to describe how I feel about her not being with me, but time is putting distance between us, and I am now able to talk about her without bursting into tears (It has been 14 months now). The second beatitude (Matthew, Chapter 5) says, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted.” I prayed for this comfort, and finally found it in daily bible study. I am fully convinced that even the loss of my beautiful wife was hard at the time, but God has blessed me in many ways since she went to heaven. We both know Jesus as our savior, and I know we will see each other in heaven, but not as husband and wife, for we are not given or taken in marriage in heaven. My daughter has come to live with me as my caretaker, and I take this as a gift from Almighty God. I soon will be 78, but I look forward each day and consider each day a gift.

      • Joe

        Robert, I found that being loud and vigorous in my weeping was a good and relieving event. I would go through the house sobbing and wailing, and then when I was exhausted, I would stop and thank God for the years my wife and I were together. She loved me unconditionally, and Heaven knows I didn’t deserve her! She was the dearest earthly thing God put into my life. I, too. am 78. God will see you through this time of grief, and you will find that as you depend upon His grace and unconditional love, that it does get better. I’ve walked where you’re walking, but every grief is individual; so, I can’t say “I know what you’re going through.” I can say that I know a little of what you’re going through. May God bless you.

      • mike

        Joe, thank you for your insight. Everything helps in such situations. It is up to us to see what works or does not work for us…..and hope for the better.

    8. Tanyi Felicia

      Hi I am Tanyi, I became a widow after 2 years of marriage and it has not been easy to control my sexual drive since I was just 28 years when he died. I got involved in two different relationships which ended up hurting me so bodly. so I have ended relationships in my life and I have turn to God to serve him for the rest of my life, and to take care of my children. your article have been very encouraging thank you very much and remain blessed

      • Ruth

        Thank you Tanyi. Finally someone younger. I can relate.

        We have known each other for over ten years, but have been married for 1 year two months. And i am 25 with our only daughter Jennell who is just a year old.

        Hearing that you tried relationships and they failed, gives me fear to want to try. Almost all advices I received so far, every one including my mom acknowledge that im still young but dont encourage me to try new relationship as it will hurt me or have bad effect on the baby.

        I dont know what to decide.

    9. Joce

      Pray for me my husband passed April 2015 and I am having issues with what you stated in the article. It’s tough and confusing to lose a husband in a tragic situation at a young age. I do good for awhile, but it seems every month or so I can’t handle it anymore.

    10. Nicole

      !!!!!!!!PLEASE REPLY!!!!!!!!!!
      i need help. idk what to do. i have tried asking people before (5 months ago) and no response. my boyfriend is a widower, she passed away a year ago, we have been together almost 8 months. we live together, talk about the future, plan on trying for a baby in a few months even. I love him so much. My issue is when we were about 2 or 3 months in his phone was trying to reset and he was freaking out. i did not get why till he said he had adult videos of his deceased wife on the phone. I was silent the rest of the day because i was upset but no idea if i was allowed to be. he later said he realized it upset me so he got rid of them.
      a few months after that he left his email open and he still had them. I confronted him, saying it upset me and he said he should have gotten rid of them, he didn’t know why he still had them. I told him those are the only images of her that upset me. he said he would delete them and i told him “do it when you are ready”.
      8 months together now and he left his email open again and they are still there! am I wrong for wanting him to delete them? if it was just an ex i would be pissed and delete them myself! but… she is no longer here, and i know that is the only reason i am here. i feel 2nd best whenever i see these nude photos sitting in his email. it makes me angry, but more makes me unbelievably depressed and unloved :(
      please help! should i just ask him to delete them? i dont want to make him chose because what if he picks the memories over me.

      • Kay Bruner

        Nicole, you need to consider what healthy boundaries will look like for you given the reality of this situation. Are you willing to participate in a relationship where this is ongoing? Yes? Okay, continue. No? Then: here, here, and here are some articles that can help direct you into healthy paths for your future. You might also want to find a therapist who can help the two of you navigate a healthy future together, should you decide to continue the relationship.

    11. Gabrielle Redford

      I am so shocked by the lack of compassion in these so-called expert advice. No-one who has not experienced this extreme sense of loss has the right to lecture anyone. I identify with the original writer. After a year of widowhood I still remember and feel desire for my husband of 35 years. We, like Mike had no children and were absolutely in tune with one another. We had differences of opinion, of course, but there was never any rancour and our intimate life was wonderful.
      I also disagree with the interpretation of that often quoted bible extract. At the time women ‘were given’ and ‘taken’ as part of a system that was mainly to do with tribal survival or family survival much as some communities still practice. They were lucky if they found someone they could love in the sense that I and my lovely husband loved. because we exercised the free choice that is our birthright.
      I am also disgusted with the suggestion that sexual satisfaction is something selfish or sinful. A healthy sexual relationship is all about sharing, respecting and making the ‘other’ happy and joyful. Its quite clear from some of these remarks that the writers have no experience of that.
      It is as thoughtless and as ignorant as the people who think that intimacy in old-age is somehow taboo. We were made with these desire, we should channel them in a way which is life affirming and increases your respect and deep love.
      Shame on you who think you know what God expects. How arrogant!

      • Kay Bruner

        Thanks for speaking up, Gabrielle. Sexual shame and repression is a sad legacy of puritanical religion, which overlooks the fact that our sexuality is God’s gift to us. Unfortunately, purity culture within the conservative church has continued to promote these unhealthy ideas, to the detriment of everyone and the benefit of none.

        I agree with everything you said here and would just add that a healthy sexual relationship includes making myself happy and joyful, along with the other person.

        I hope that my own old age is full of life and love, including a long and happy sex life.

        Peace to you,

    12. I have read a lot of statements concerning if thinking about sex with your spouse who’s just passed is ok or a sin I never thought about the marriage being over when one passes so. Now we learn that this is lust I don’t agree with that so should I feel guilty when I have these feeling

      • I was searching for an answer to my sexual urge and fantasy with my late wife. We have been together for 9years and got married 4years ago and has two kids. She passed on after a brief illness. I have been feeling sexual urge right after a week she left as our sex life was a super one. Is it too soon to have masturbate to our last moment or I need to get a sexual partner soon if this is a sin…. I need help cos I miss her so much.

    13. Anonymous by request.

      It is a measure of how difficult and complex is the question of masturbating to memories of your deceased spouse that this thread appears prominently in Google search results on the topic. Well intentioned as the author’s advice is, please don’t be offended if those of us who have dealt with this issue find your ideas inadequate.

      One data point completely ignored is that a lot depends on how long you have been together and where are you are in your life. My wife and I raised five kids together, married them off, had grandchildren, had good times, had tough times–nearly 4 decades in all. The thought of finding another is revolting to me, so the advice that I am released from my commitment is of no utility whatsoever. But I do not want to judge harshly a man who has lost his wife of five years and who has not done the full circle of wonderful things that married family life means–the things we did. And heaven help the poor soul who had some duration in between, say 15 or 20 years. Long enough to only really get started on all of what married life has to offer. I cannot conceive how painful that must be compared to my loss.

      The author’s advice may be of some help to the young, but it does not fit all situations. For some of us finding someone new would be a pointless exercise whose only end result would be to spoil the glorious memories of intimacy we have of our beloved. I won’t sully those memories by blurring them together with a set of similar but less significant ones. Instead I will put those memories to use in the way I think she would want me to.

    14. Ruth

      Please answer me, I see Emmanuel has similar question. Ist too soon? How soon is too soon for sexual pleasure either by a partner or by masturbation after spouse passes away.

      What does the bible say about time frame?

      • Moriah Bowman


        I do not believe that the Bible is specific about a time frame for this. However, the Bible is clear about lust and having sex outside of marriage. I would say that finding a sexual partner and/or masturbating would not be considered Biblical. Only when you are married to this person would it be permissible, according to Scripture.

        I hope that answers your question to some degree! Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    15. A.H.

      1 Timothy 1:14~15
      14 Therefore, I am wishing for younger widows to be marrying, to be making-children, to be mistressing-a-house, to be giving to the opposer not-one occasion in-favor-of verbal-abuse. 15 For certain ones were already turned-out of their course to follow behind the Adversary.

    16. BB

      I would be willing to guess that the writer is neither a widow or widower. It’s always easy to give advice when you do not have to live that to which you are giving advice on.

    17. J.P.

      DON’T LOOK TO PEPOLE FOR ANSWERS… especially with this problem,
      (especially those who have not lost a spouse!) This is a “take this problem” to the power of Jesus situation, go to his word… HE WILL NOT GOSSIP

    18. Steve Wyce

      I would say the person who answered this is not married or if they are, they have not lost a spouse. There is nothing wrong with fantasizing about the memories and sexual encounters you had with your spouse in the past.

    19. mike

      I have come across this site again and wish to follow up on my previous posts of May 15th. 2016 (1.37pm) and 19th. November 2018. (12.25hrs). I wrote the dates since there are more than one Mike.
      Since then I have been to a psychologist who is an expert in this field. It is not easy to find one, as previous to him, they all detoured the subject of sexually fantasising about one’s late wife (which implies masterbating). I’m happy to say that after rigorous sessions (almost a year’s therapy), he did not find anything wrong with this, as long as it does not impeach negatively on your daily life. Which means it will interfere on your time of getting things done and shed your responsibilities. In fact it is healthy! I did not look and did not find another partner since then. I do not feel it has impacted me negatively. I make a distinction between my religious beliefs and my natural feelings. I am not a priest who is celibate. My sexual desires are real and help me to overcome even bereavement! May this help others in their discoveries. Blessings.

      • Louis Baldovino

        Mike, your comments really peaked my interest. After 58 years of marriage to the loveliest woman I had ever seen and one who fit the bill of all my desires, my fantasy girl since the beginning, she passed away 6 months ago. The solace I take from her passing is that I was able to fulfill my vow of ’til death do us part”. There was baggage, there were some unpleasant memories throughout our married life when the subject would creep into days. Because I worshipped her and the past had nothing to do with me I believed I was appointed as her protector from shame, further harassment, and helping her achieve her dreams. It took along time to get to that point of support.
        Since we had such a passionate marriage I do find a tremendous loss and miss her terribly. I think about her all the time. Most of my thoughts are sexual of her.
        My problem is trying to follow my Christian upbringing which became dormant for almost 60 years off and on. I went to a Catholic boarding school where celibate Catholic priests taught and disciplined us. It’s also where I learned that celibacy was another word for pedophilia. I left school very angry and confused only to return home with a parish priest that was a pedophiliac.
        I went into the US Air Force where I saw my future wife which after 3 duty station changes her being assigned the same places a relationship developed. We could not have been more on the same page as were if we had been cut from the same pattern.
        Now I am besieged with secular behaviors about sex and religious Bible instructions.
        I am torn between secular permission with casual sex, or masturbation or Bible sexual abstinence. My faith is not strong enough to believe something interpreted and written by men. At that time women were recognized as created for man’s pleasure. Women were not allowed to read the Bible nor speak out .Thus the Bible may not be precisely the Word of God. Psychology despite it’s helpfulness in dealing with the human ego is not in agreement with biblical teaching.
        I am a lukewarm Christian and the Bible says the Lord will spit us out of HIs mouth! Well.. OUCH!
        I have a conscience that tells me what to do. But it is too much abut guilt leading me. I want to be free but I want to be accountable for the things I do. But for whom or what?
        I do believe in a higher power with an all knowing nature. The one thing I have read is to be patient and wait. For the time is not yet ready to reveal the best wisdom for peace and joy in living.. in an afterlife with my spiritual love.
        Facetiously I could say be like her and we’ll wind up in the same place.

      • Kay Bruner

        Hey Louis,

        I just want to throw out there for your consideration that the Bible never condemns masturbation. There are zero verses on this. In fact, in the Song of Solomon, the female protagonist has “myrrh dripping from her fingers” as she thinks about her lover in her bed. That looks very much like the Bible normalizing human passion and masturbation.

        I think that you’re striving to be a person of empathy and care, someone who won’t abuse women for sex. Trust yourself.

        Peace to you,

    20. Walt

      In 2009 I lost my wife of 20 years. It’s 2023 and it still hurts. Not as much but it’s still there. And to think that she despised the ground I walked on when we first met. She would share that piece of history with smile. To this day I do not know how I won her over so I can’t repeat it. I still have desire and fantasy for her. But it’s not just thoughts of my pleasure. My thoughts are just as much about giving her pleasure as well. We enjoyed each other. How is that wrong? I don’t want casual sex. Sex is for the committed relationship but I not jumping into one just to make sex ok. If another partner is in my future, I’m open to it. Do I have to be distressed while waiting? What if that was my “one”? Do I have to be distressed for the rest of my days?

      • Keith Rose

        Hi Walt, thanks for sharing your comment. I am sorry for your loss, that must be so deeply painful. I pray that you find peace and comfort.


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