“Keeping secrets from someone is no different than lying to them. It’s still dishonest.—Anonymous

solo masturbation

Masturbation is a topic few people want to talk about. However, engaging in solo masturbation without your spouse’s knowledge can be destructive to your marriage.

Solo masturbation affects your emotional and sexual intimacy, especially when hidden.

Above all else, it’s important to have an open conversation with your spouse about how the two of you view the role of masturbation in your marriage, whether solo or together.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary identifies a few key aspects of masturbation: it’s the stimulation of one’s own genitals by manual contact, instrumental manipulation, or sexual fantasies that commonly results in orgasm.

Now, incorporating masturbation into your sexual intimacy as part of foreplay or initiation is one thing. But engaging in solo masturbation without your spouse’s knowledge is something entirely different.

Among the ONE Family, 81% of you said that you have masturbated without your spouse knowing, and for many reasons.

Some of you say that solo masturbation can help you desire your spouse more or connect better. Others say solo masturbation is helpful when you’re stressed out, need release, or don’t feel your spouse is meeting your needs.

However, many of you express that your spouse’s solo masturbation evokes feelings of inadequacy, betrayal, rejection, and disconnection. These emotions can affect both emotional and sexual intimacy.

Since there are a variety of ways that people approach and view this subject, it is crucial that you have this conversation with your spouse. In fact, having this conversation is a great first step in building emotional intimacy, even if it feels awkward.

There are two questions you and your spouse need to ask yourselves in order to continue building sexual and emotional intimacy around the topic of solo masturbation.

First, what does masturbation look like in your marriage?

If one or both of you engage in solo masturbation, how do you and your spouse feel about it? Don’t make assumptions.

Of course, there are also cultural and religious points of view that you and your spouse may wish to discuss together.

And if you’re hiding this sexual activity from your spouse, why is that?

To engage in an act that is pleasing to yourself but hurtful to your spouse will actively break trust. The same is true when you keep secrets.

Hiding this behavior from your spouse is a slippery slope because everything will be revealed one day. And discovery is much more destructive than revelation.

However, you can choose to reveal your behavior and open the door to healing, restoration, and repair. If you need help, apply for marriage coaching today.

Second, if you choose to incorporate solo masturbation into your sexual intimacy, how are you using it as a tool to strengthen your sexual intimacy?

Is masturbation a form of foreplay or initiating that you take part in together? Do you use solo masturbation to help heat things up before sexual intercourse with your spouse’s knowledge?

Sexual intimacy is about more than just intercourse. In fact, it encompasses everything about your sexual connection with your spouse.

So, if you have never discussed this as a couple, it’s time.

While it might initially feel uncomfortable, you can develop the skills to talk about topics like this. Practice creating a safe space to engage in these conversations with each other.

Your emotional and sexual intimacy will thank you!


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