Between the Rock and a hard place

My wife does not want to have anymore kids and wishes to use birth control. I am open to life and agree that sex is both unitive and procreative. My wife insist on using the pill. I have read that it is not morally wrong for me to have relations with my wife if I don’t agree with it, it is for a grave reason and that I continue to try to talk her out of it. I have a great problem with this because I know the pill can cause abortions and to me the “lesser” evil would be to deny my wife instead of possibly causing an abortion. So with this in mind I finagled what I thought was a solution. I would use a condom even though I did not wish to so that one I wouldn’t deny my wife and risk a separation and two would not have to worry about inadvertently causing an abortion. I have since found that I am not allowed in any circumstance to use a type of birth control myself. I have accepted that and will go to confession and not do it again. The problem is my wife is not ok with any of this. I told her that I will no longer be able to use condoms since it is a mortal sin. She is not strong in that faith and doesn’t understand. When we first met I was barely hanging on to my faith and didn’t practice it much if at all. A couple of years ago I had a conversion experience and have been full speed ahead since then. She now thinks I am a religious fanatic and that I am denying her and that I am not the person she married. She is unwilling to try NFP. Since I have told her she has cried alot and thinks that her life is ruined. I feel so bad for breaking her heart but can’t go against God. She took off her wedding rings today which I don’t know what to make of. If I use a condom I sin, if I deny my wife I sin. What do I do? I have to choose God over my wife. Thanks for any advice you might have.

Jesus even said that following HIM would divide families. Stay true to God, keep loving your wife and sacrificing for her, ask her to just take an NFP course.

I’m afraid I don’t have an advice for you, I have seen the destruction that contraceptives can bring to a relationship and I know your doing the right thing. What I can say is that I will pray for you both.

Is she catholic? Maybe you could explain to her how it’s always been held as wrong.

She is Catholic but not strong in her faith. She converted 3 years ago after growing up with no religion at all. Sadly though I think she converted “for me” instead of her actually believing all the truths of our faith. Which brings up another problem that this seems to be pushing her away from the faith instead of towards it.:frowning:

If your wife insists on using birth control and intends not to have any more children because of a serious health reason, why doesn’t she get sterilized? It seems like the best solution for your situation, since she insists on birth control, but you cannot use condoms and are not okay with abortifacient contraception (even though the Church permits this as long as she is the one uses it).

But search the Ask an Apologist forum, many have asked a question like yours, you would not be sinning if you had sex with your wife on the pill. Don’t demand more of yourself than the Church demands.

See a priest separately at Confession and together at a counseling session. This can be resolved!

In the mean time pray for her like you’ve never prayed for anything or anyone before! And be sensitive and charitable. Don’t repay evil for evil or hurt for hurt. Endure all things for Christ.

God is with you.

He would be sinning, he has a well formed conscience and knows about abortion and the pill.

Do not demand people ignore their well formed consciences.

flyingfish…This is not the type of advice we should be offering here. Sterilization is not a licit option.

Use birth control. It is as easy as that.

OOPs, seems you pointed your browser to the wrong site.

This is NOT “Hedonist Answers” - google may help you find the correct web site.

You can choose both.
Consult your priest. Call up your Diocese and speak to a Moral Theologian. Write to the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Call up a moral theologian when they are on Catholic Answers. I believe all will tell you that you may have marital relations with your wife if you desire it while she is on the pill without using a condom. There is no practical proof that the pill actually causes abortions or at what percentage despite the product information suggesting that it does. There has never been a study to back up the actual action of abortafacient to my knowledge.

You cannot use a condom. They will tell you that also.

You should discuss this with your wife from time to time and try to help her understand the heartbreak she is causing you .

If the difference between his marriage working out, and his marriage not working out, is a condom, there is no doubt in my mind that is the right thing to do. In my opinion, I don’t even think condom use is wrong because it doesn’t hurt our love of neighbors or God.

Can anyone refute this claim? Every time I search the subject everything written on it are from websites that are affiliated with Christianity or pro life movements. Seems like they would be a little biased. And their reasons for why it happens is just a bunch of odd math equations that they made up saying “well it must be an abortion pill because otherwise so many more babies would be born on the pill.”

Another marriage driven to the rocky shoals thanks to trying to follow impossible church doctrine.

The OP says he must choose between God or his wife, and that is the saddest thing I have read in a long time. Marriage is the first vocation in the Bible, and to feel that one must destroy their marriage because of a doctrine that makes no sense at all is the height of insanity. Please, please, please…remove the Church from the bedroom.

I will pray that the Holy Spirit brings some healing to you and your wife, and to the Church. ASAP.

But marriage is also a sacrament and Jesus also said what God joined, let no man divide.

He cannot control his wife’s conscience. It would seem to me that given the circumstances, he should err on the side of preserving family unity. Especially since he has children.

It is clear to me that the Church teaches-in fact she must teach-a perfect ideal. The problem is that people unrealistically expect that they can reach that ideal. Life is sadly considerably messier than that, because of the Fall. As a result many of us are in circumstances that mean that while we can do our best to tend towards the ideal, we are not going to achieve it on this mortal Earth and are thus dependent on Christ’s mercy, the second part of the equation that people tend to forget.

Forgetting that second part of the equation leads, in particular those tending towards obsessive-compulsive disorder, towards scrupulosity.

We must never let the fact that humans will never meet that ideal, turn the Church away from teaching it.

If we don’t hold humanity to a high moral standard, humanity will never reach a high level of morality. We will never achieve 100% perfection, but we must strive for it.

So therefore please don’t criticize the Church for humanity’s failure to reach perfection. It isn’t the Church that is in error, it is humanity that is enslaved to sin.

Well, it is my opinion that the Church is in error. People are advising that this person should very well give up his marriage because his wife is asking him to use a condom. Is there not something wrong with this?

People on this forum giving someone advice you don’t agree with does not mean the Church is in error.

I happen to think the advice to give up his marriage is wrong, especially since he has children. I think the Church clearly allows someone to continue having marital relations if one member of the couple erroneously uses contraception. It is her error, not his. Advice that says that he should leave is in wrong, and those advising that are too scrupulous.

If the Church is in error, we may as well toss our Bibles in the recycling.

His wife isn’t asking him to use a condom.
Doesn’t matter because he cannot use a condom. That would be a violation of his conscience .

”We should submit ourselves to the Church so completely, that if we clearly perceived a thing to be white and she were to declare it to be black, we should, with her, declare it black.” -Saint Ignatius, Father of the Church

Thank you all for your concern and advice. I am sorry for the bickering I have caused between you all, As I Catholic I must stay true to Catholic teaching. I see my best bet is to pray and express my concerns to a priest.

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much. ~Blessed Mother Teresa

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit