Are marital relations only for having children?

I am a convert to the Catholic Faith. My husband and I have been married approximately 3 years. We have been together for over 14 years. My husband came back to the church. We were both far away from it. We have a 14 year old daughter. Now that we are married in the Church we have been celibate for 4 years. i would like to consumate our marriage. Some times its that we were tired, ill or some such. I have always needed more physicall affection, not necessarily sex. He was only that way the first year. I realized that people show affection in different ways, but I was always used to showing love phisically. I have no doubt whatsoever that he loves me. We are devoted catholics. The difference is he was raised in it. He now feels that we shouldn’t be having sex (I would say making love) because we couldn’t handle another child. I had post partum depression and have chronic fatique. I would not close myself off to it, but he doesn’t want to take a chance with my health. He also says that sex, even in marriage is strictly for having children. He is 39 and I’m 51 so I am starting menapause, but there is still a chance. Even then, my question is, is it true that marital relations are only for having children or is pleasure allowed for it’s own sake within the marriage. I think I know the answer already, but please confirm the church’s position…

Thank you!


Dear Linda,

Your husband needs to learn more about his faith. Husband and wives owe each other the physical expression of their wedding vows. I strongly encourage you to get the book, “Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West. You can order in through or by phone: 888 291 8000.

Also you need to learn about Natural Family Planning. The Couple to couple League has a web sight that can help you in this:

You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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