How do we deal with separation due to work?

Jay Dee

How do we deal with separation due to work?

Dec 04, 2015

I received this anonymous question through our Have A Question page, and I’m writing the entire post on my phone, a first for me, so excuse any typos or bad auto corrects. So my husband is away on business for the next month (this is


I received this anonymous question through our Have A Question page, and I’m writing the entire post on my phone, a first for me, so excuse any typos or bad auto corrects.

So my husband is away on business for the next month (this is the first time we’ll be apart) and I wanted to know if playing with my vibrator without him is wrong?

This is a question that’s splits the Christian marriage community.  Is masturbation wrong or okay?

And, unfortunately, we have no clear authority to settle the matter, so you’ll have to decide for yourself.  But I’ll explain my views, as I’m guessing you want then, based on your question.

I believe it would be wrong, because I believe the bible teaches that sex is an activity to be shared with your spouse, and I believe masturbation is a form of sex.

Further, I read in the bible that we are called to persevere, to endure, and to build character through this practice.  That is how I believe we should deal with separations.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5:3-5

Luckily for us, with all our technology, there is a third option: phone/skype sex.  Just because you are separated, does not mean you still can’t have a shared sexual experience.  It might be odd, or awkward at first, but in a month you’ll get enough practice that next time it should be easier to pick back up.

In this way you can manage to keep you sexual connection, despite the distance, rather than learning to be sexually independent.  I’ve heard too many spouses lamenting the fact that their spouse prefers masturbation to sex to know that investing time in masturbation is risky, at best.  Because solo masturbation is inherently a selfish activity, it serves no real purpose except gratifying your desires without having to consider anyone else.  Now, many will rationalize it as a means of escaping temptation, but the bible teaches us how to do that: have sex with your spouse, and if you can’t, there is that character building stuff.

Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:5

Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest giving into a lesser temptation to avoid a larger one.  And it can’t, because that would be inconsistent with the message that all sins are equal.

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. – James 2:10

So, my advice: invite your husband to a phone or Skype sex date.  Learn to be intimate in a new way.  Plus, to dopamine rush from trying something new should make for some spectacular orgasms, so win-win.

Those are my thoughts.  What do you think?  Let us know below in the comments.

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9 thoughts on “How do we deal with separation due to work?”

  1. Re Schlitt says:

    As one who has served in the military and been separated from my wife for months at a time, I don’t share your opinion on this.

    As you said, the bible gives no clear answer on this. We can stretch meanings of verses to get what we feel is an answer, but I feel the answer to this will be different for everyone.

    My persoanl opinion is tha as long as her husband is aware that she is doing it, is Ok with it, and any sexual thoughts she has while masterbating are of her husband, it would be fine in that context. It should not however, be something that is used solo once he comes home.

    I would also encourage her to try to share the experience with him via Skype or on the phone if possible.

    Christian Life Coach

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I find those in the military (past or present) usually disagree. I appreciate you sharing your perspective. As I said, she has to make up her own mind on the topic.

  2. LatterDay Marriage says:

    I would recommend waiting to back together again. I think having orgasms that are not related to intimacy with your spouse weakens the ability of sex to bond a couple. It dissociates the pleasure and rush of oxytocin from being linked with the other spouse.

    I also think it’s a good idea to avoid jobs that frequently require being away. I know that isn’t possible across the board, but when you have an option to avoid long separations, consider taking it, even if it costs you in other ways.

  3. Mike says:

    I was thinking of what I was going to to do when my wife enters an assisted living home. She is not tech savvy, and I don’t know if there is much privacy in some of the homes.

  4. Greg says:

    I can’t say that I totally agree.

    My wife and I are frequently separated due to work. We would definitely change this if we could, but unfortunately that’s what our jobs require, and we need our jobs at the moment.

    My wife grew up with a house full of siblings who were constantly attempting to eavesdrop on her phone conversations. So she has always been adamantly against the whole phone/skype sex idea. She has said before that there is no way she would ever be able to “enjoy it” for fear that someone might be listening. I think she’s being a little overly cautious, but I respect her feelings and I don’t push the issue. She has offered to be on the phone for me, but again, knowing how uncomfortable she is with this, I don’t ask her to do it. There have been many times though, when we have gotten off the phone with each other at night, that one or both of us have masturbated (me more than her.) We don’t discuss it while on the phone, but she knows me well enough to know what I have in mind if I suddenly become anxious to get off the phone. And I know there’s a possibility she’ll be doing the same thing. We do talk about it when we’re back together, and we’re both okay with it. Sure, we would both prefer intercourse, but when intercourse is physically impossible, I’m not sure I see the problem.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      You were anxious to stop a conversation with your wife so you could pursue self gratification…and you don’t see any problem. From my perspective you’re training yourself to satisfy your own sexual needs above seeking intimacy with the person you should be experiencing that with. But, as I said, each must decide for themselves.

      1. Greg says:

        I guess I never looked at it that way.

        Thanks for the insight.

  5. Beth says:

    Surely masturbating together is still self-seeking? Just because the other person is present (or on Skype) doesn’t mean that you’re seeking to please the other person. Essentially, I would be pleasuring myself whilst treating my wife/husband as pornography. Surely sex within marriage is more about receiving pleasure from the other? If you do have an article about this then do share it!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That’s true, I supposed one could do that, in just the same way that sex together could be treating the other like a life-sized sex toy.
      But, I think sex within marriage is more about connection than anything else, and that can be achieved through mutual masturbation, together, or apart using Skype.
      I have a post on mutual masturbation here and a survey on the topic here.

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