Birth Control and my Husband

Hi all,

I am brand new here and looking for some guidance. I was baptized and confirmed Catholic, but I do not believe I was properly catechized. At any rate, due to many factors, I have drifted away from the Church over the last 10 years or so. Recently, I have finally come to understand a lot of the Church’s teachings in a way I never have before. My faith before was muddled and confused, and I was always trying to work out for myself what I believed and why. It’s been a relief to find that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, by becoming a participating member of the Church.

Anyway, my husband (we were married in the Church a year and a half ago) is also Catholic, but he does not practice. He doesn’t know what he believes and says that at the moment, he’s not very interested in delving into it. I’ve told him about my recent realizations, and while he’s been supportive, I am dreading the inevitable monkey-wrench of birth control.

He is very, VERY in favor of birth control, and I am almost sure that he would rather abstain than engage in unprotected sex. It’s true that we are not prepared for children as we are both graduate students on a small income. I understand the Church’s position and am coming to believe that my use of birth control is wrong. I just don’t know what to do about my husband and am afraid that this issue will damage our marriage if I demand we stop using it.

Does anyone have any advice on the best way to bring this up with him? He is a very loving man and I’m sure would want to respect my wishes, but at the same time his fear of having kids now is very, very great. I feel like I will be pulling the rug out from under him when I bring this up. Help!

Learn all about NFP!!! Then take a class TOGETHER. When he realizes that it is just as effective as the pill and more effective than condoms or other barriers, he should see the light.

But remember that we have a duty to ourselves to not sin. Now that you know and believe that contracepting is wrong, you have to stop or risk mortal sin.

But, if your husband insists on contracepting, your duty is to try and persuade him otherwise, but you are not obligated to abstain if he chooses to contracept (condoms). As long as you are not doing anything yourself, you are permitted to continue having sex with him as you work on changing his view.


How about just finding where NFP classes are offered locally and making contact so that you can say you would like to “try” it and already have a contact lined up so he can get some answers.

Also, as a general rule, more analytical men seem to like the use of temperatures as a back-up to the mucus symptoms since it is something they can “see”.

Thank you both for your replies. I have looked around and it appears NFP classes are offered every month through my parish.

It has only been in the last few months that we have stopped using condoms (used to use two methods at once, I always did think that was excessive for a married couple), so I’m sure he won’t be thrilled at a possible return to that method.

I think I can talk to him, and I guess I’d better do it soon, I just hate feeling that I am suddenly doing a 180 on my former position, and that this is arguably not what my husband signed up for.

I would also point out in addition to learning NFP, that you probably ought to start having children. There is lots of income fear I know, but God will provide. Trust Him. It only gets harder to raise children as you get older, not easier.


Visit the website and obtain some of their (inexpensive) literature on contraception, NFP, etc.–especially Janet Smith’s talk on CD called “Contraception Why Not?”

DON’T overwhelm the poor guy!!! One thing at a time.

By taking NFP classes and hopefully learning more about how/why God designed sex…

** (I recommend “the good news about sex and marriage” by Christopher West…it was a turning point in my life and helped tremendously!!!)**

…the husband may start to trust more in God and desire to start a family.

But, I can tell you that I was in a similar position to him (only reversed as I am female, lol). Hubby wanted kids right away. Hubby just wanted to trust God. Hubby wanted to ditch contraception., etc. I needed to come to the understanding MYSELF and then we both could agree.

If she starts talking to him about NFP and kids at the same time, he will have more fear, not less and it could be detrimental to the marriage.

Thank you, Feanaro’s Wife. I can just imagine the reaction if I were to tell him I wanted to stop using birth control and by the way, let’s have a baby. We’d have to drop out of school (or I would, at the least. Too many bad chemicals in the lab for a pregnant lady.)

I emailed the local NFP contact to find out class schedules. It’s my understanding that I would need to chart my cycles for a few months before being able to pinpoint my fertile times. Abstaining for a few months isn’t going to go over very well…

I served on a health and safety committee for my union (chemical workers) for several years, and one thing we learned, since workplace exposures of pregnant women was our hot topic, was that most chemical-caused birth defects and mutagens occur because of exposure of the father before conception, who then passes on a defective sperm. the next most important cause is exposure of the mother before conception who then has a defective egg, and exposures to the pregnant woman account for a minority of detectable birth defects. bottom line, everyone who works with hazardous materials must take precautions to limit damaging exposures and be tested regularly for those that show up in urine, blood etc.

Thank you, Puzzleannie, that is certainly food for thought. I do take appropriate precautions.

My husband and I are in the middle of our discussion. It’s going pretty much like I thought. He’s not pleased. He also brings up the excellent point that I have been “really Catholic” for like…two weeks, so he’s not exactly convinced I’m serious or will remain serious.

Have you heard of Christopher West? Attending one of his seminars is well-worth it, and affordable on a studen’ts budget, too. If nothing else, it might help your hubby to see your point of view and also how important this is to you.

Also, might have some secular, but basic, ideas for continued open dialogue with him. You probably feel worried about protecting this beautiful, new found faith, but I’m sure he’s worried about losing something really important to him! :wink:

Is he worried about finances? I mean, naturally, yes, but is he the main worrywart on that subject? Maybe sitting down with him to work out a concrete baby-step plan for providing for a family will help with some fears. I know that when I sat down with my DF and thought up a real savings plan, I felt a whole lot better.

As someone close to getting married, the financial thing weighs really heavily on me. But on the other hand, I have grown up with a large family and friends of large families. You’d be surprised at how happy and fulfilling a life you can have with a little bit of money. So long as you have some security, savings and good thinking, things are a lot simpler than it seems.

My advice? Start with his pocketbook. That’s part of how my (Baptist) wife got me to go to NFP classes. Figure out how much ABC (artificial birth control) is costing you per year, and make sure he knows it when you look into how much an NFP class costs. If you’re lucky, you can get a free NFP class.

Next, if you’re using the pill, you might bring up the health risks associated with it - I’m thinking a discussion of the breast cancer link might be in order. (If you’re not aware of this link, ask and the folks on this forum would be happy to tell you all about it.) If you’re using condoms or other barrier methods, look up the failure rates. Then compare these to the failure rates of NFP as listed on this website (link). Near zero unintended pregnancy rate for nearly 20,000 mostly-illiterate folks. Not too shabby. Challenge his intellect, and say if it’s not too hard for them what’s his problem?

At the class, they’ll likely give you a copy of Dr. Janet Smith’s talk listed above - or at least they gave me one at mine. This talk made me feel better about the whole matter.

Just a couple of thoughts.

God Bless,

Well, I’m pretty much in the dog house over here. He found a statistic on Planned Parenthood’s website showing a perfect use effectiveness of 97% for NFP (sympto-thermal method). This did not go over well, as I would say that for him, having kids any time in the near future is a worst case scenario.

He has said that he will give it a shot, but says he will not want to have sex since he will be too afraid of getting me pregnant (even if he uses condoms). He also said he’d take a class. However, he is really, really unhappy about it. He feels forced.

I feel so bad, he didn’t do anything to deserve this. We had plans, and I’m throwing them away on what looks to him like a whim. This is a lot for me to take on, new as I am in the faith. I am also afraid that this is only making him see the Church in an even more negative light. I’m afraid that he won’t be as supportive of my need to go to Mass or even consider coming with me. He won’t look at any resources I have because he thinks it will be “propaganda”.

I wish mightily that there was a way for me to ease into this. As it is, he thinks I’ve turned into an alien. :frowning:

**Hi Shiny, :slight_smile: **
I just posted this on another thread, but in the event you haven’t seen it; might I recommend this product?****

It may help your hubby feel more comfortable knowing when you are ovulating; and could aid you in learning about NFP. In time, when you felt more confident about NFP, you could dispense with the watch.

Best wishes to you and your husband during this difficult time.

He deserves the truth and that’s what you’re giving him. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Really, when I found out the true teachings of the Church, I felt angry and cheated. I was angry that no one had the guts to tell us before we were married. It may be tough now, but keep praying (especially the Rosary!). You do what you feel God is asking and let God take care of your husband.

Have him look into the Creighton Model with you. Here’s a link to the Effectiveness of the System section of the website. And for goodness sake, does he think Planned Parenthood wants any competitition?? Take anything from their site with a jumbo grain of salt.:slight_smile:

NFP does work if you follow the guidelines (and definately take a class). I would bet my life on it. Actually I do.:slight_smile: I will die if I get pregnant again. We have been using NFP since 1996 which was a little less than a year after the birth of our daughter. I have not become pregnant and we have a very active and fulfilling sex life (I know TMI :smiley: ).

I am in heart failure and will need a transplant. My heart is having enough trouble sustaining me it could not with a baby on board.

We have been so conditioned against “unprotected sex” and lied to about the ease of getting pregnant the idea of going without artificial birth control is very scary. In sex ed in school I remember being told clearly that a woman can get pregnant at any time. That is lie and is told obviously to scare kids into using bc, (since they are obviously all going to have sex :rolleyes: ).There is a very small window during a woman’s cycle that she can get pregnant. The egg only lives 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm survive three to five days. Clearly a woman can not get pregnant at any time.

With the sympto-thermal method I see my temperature shift every month, I know when ovulation occurs. There are other physical symptoms you cross check against temperature to give extra reasurrance.

Get your hubby to an NFP class, it will lay out the scientific information about how NFP works.

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