Birth control?


My husband and I have been married for a little over a year and have 1 son. My family, being a very traditional Catholic family, keeps asking when we’re going to have another. The subject of how wrong birth control is keeps coming up, as well as how abstinence is not any better, being as it keeps Catholic families from having more kids. I’m getting very frustrated because we simply cannot AFFORD another child. My husband is in the military and everyone knows how well paid that job is (sarcasm). He’s infantry, been to war twice, works from 4 AM to 10 PM and yet after all our necessary bills are paid we have a little less then $800 over each month which has to go towards our sons diapers, clothes, our food, gas, etc. So what are we supposed to do? Follow the Church’s teachings and have another child that we very simply cannot afford until my husband gets promoted or use birth control/abstinence and be lectured from my family about how badly we’re sinning? :confused:


What about NFP? :slight_smile: That way you kill two birds with one stone. You follow church teaching AND you can hold off on adding to your family because of your financial situation.

You also need to let the extended family know that you and your husband are trying to do God’s will in your current situation and that you are not open to discussing your family planning with them. Have your husband tell them in more forceful language if necessary–they sound like they’ve crossed the line of being charitable and are simply being nosey.


Bleh I can only imagine how you must feel. I would just ignore them and tell them to mind their own dang business if I were you. Course that is just me. You could also maybe ask them so hey if you want me to have more kids SO bad I am sure you will be pitching in to help pay/care for them right? I bet that will shut them up!


Actually, while birth control is a sin, abstinance that is agreed on mutually is a moral way for a married couple to space the birth of children. Various methods of natural family planning are an alternative to total abstainance and follow the teachings of the Church.

Tell your family that your sex life is none of their business, follow the Church in her teachings.


We’ve discussed NFP as an option but considering its obviously not a guarenteed effective way to prevent pregnancy, we don’t think it’s right for us. As a married couple who spends about 5 months a year together because of deployments, we want to be able to be intimate without feeling like we’re sinning. In no way shape or form are we against having children. I come from a huge family and I love it. My husband is from a small family that barely speaks to eachother and after being with mine, loves the idea of having a big family. But we both feel that adding more kids at this time that we can’t sufficiently take care of to the best of our ability is being so irresponsible. Most of the poorest people in our town have many kids that they can’t even afford to feed and I refuse to be like that. But I’m torn on what we can do. I feel like we’re being punished for wanting to behave like a married couple and for also acting responsible with our finances and not forcing another child into the world that we can’t take care of.


Welcome to the Catholic Answers Forums. :wave:

I think some of the confusion may stem from the understanding of “birth control.” The Church does not condemn birth control (the spacing and limiting of births, for serious reasons), only contraception, which is artificial birth control.

It certainly sounds as though with the combined financial strain and psychological difficulty of having your husband in the military right now, you have a valid reason to hold off on having more children for now. I wouldn’t sweat that part.

While abstinence is an acceptable method of birth control, you and your husband may find it much more acceptable to learn Natural Family Planning. It may look daunting at first, but with a good teacher and a commitment on the part of both spouses, it is really not that difficult to master after a few months. My husband and I have used it successfully for nearly 3 years. You might check out or for more information.

Be patient with your family. They may be misinformed about what the Church truly allows, and their concern obviously stems from a deep love for you and a desire for you to do what is right. It would not be disrespectful to explain to them gently but firmly that you and your husband are sorting this out and you need them to respect you in your reproductive decisions. Tell them if they want to help you, pray for you. That’s the best thing they could do, anyway. :wink:


Actually, you would be amazed at the actual effectiveness of real NFP (not the “rhythm method”). It is incredibly scientific, and it has a 99% rate of effectiveness, which is as much as or more than what you’d get with the Pill. So don’t fear of failure stop you! :slight_smile:


You are giving a non-Catholic advice and that is not good for someone who wants to be faithful to the teaching of the Catholic faith.


How so? I am just saying that her family should mind their own business. I am not suggesting that the oping use the pill or anything. I mentioned nothing about contraceptive use in my post.


Actually, modern NFP methods have been scientifically proven to be very effective. Don’t be afraid to look into it. It’s a real solution for you and it sure beats putting your soul on the line.


This is a false dichotomy. You do not have to choose either of these things.

#1 The Church does NOT teach that you have children if you have a just reason not to. Natural family planning and child spacing through periodic abstinence is morally acceptable and the Church says so.

#2 You are not children and your family has no right to “lecture” you or to talk about your personal decisions. So, you had better establish BOUNDARIES. Tell them the topic is OFF LIMITS and will not be discussed ever again. When they bring it up, remind them this topic is closed. If they persist, tell them you have to go/get off the phone-- then do it. If they are at your home, tell them they will have to leave if they cannot respect your privacy and wishes. Then follow up with action.

You will have no peace until they understand your boundaries and respect them.


Guess what-- contraceptives are not a guaranteed effective way to prevent pregnancy either. And, it’s a mortal sin to contracept.

Then you won’t be using contraception, which is always gravely immoral.

Married couples “behave” in a way that conforms to Christ if they are serious about the Sacrament of Marriage and about their Faith.

I don’t get the problem. If you have a reason to avoid pregnancy, you use periodic abstinence by learning a method of natural family planning. Anything else is gravely immoral.

Contraception is never a moral option.


Next time it comes up, ask the person, “WHY do you want to discuss my sex life?” in the most shocked tone you can muster. Do this EVERY time someone brings it up. After a while, they will shut up.

I agree, your problem here is not necessarily your choices (you gave no specific info on your birth control practices, so I will not comment), but that you have not established proper boundaries with people.

I do also agree that you seem ignorant of what NFP really is. I encourage you to investigate it more thoroughly.


Any chemical birthcontrol is not 100% effective. The pill has the same fail rate as NFP (when the rules of NFP are followed). Condoms have a much greater failure rate.

Another pregnancy will almost certainly be fatal for me. We have used NFP for over a decade without pregnancy. I literally trust the effectiveness of NFP with my life. And yes our romantic life is alive and well.

I suggest you really look into an NFP class. It will help you understand the teaching of the church better -and how effective NFP truly is. There is only a very small window each month when a woman can become pregnant. NFP is not the old calender method. We did use artificial birthcontrol before the birth of our daughter when I had no understanding of the church teaching. Since we have decided to follow the guidance of Christ’s church on this issue our marriage has been amazingly blessed.


Have you heard of Ladycomp? It’s supposed to be pretty good.



I feel for you Kit Kat!!

My hubby and I are almost identical to you and yours. We have our first son on the way (due in October). He’s in the AF and only an E3 (I assume you will be one of the only ones who pick up on how little that is… ).

We can’t afford a second baby- at least not for another few years.

In all honesty, we were using NFP when we concieved our little boy. We were very happy, but not planning it at all. I feel I was following NFP very closely. So I have lost faith that it is full proof.

So I am facing the same moral dilema.


I used real NFP for one year before it finally failed me… So it works, but it won’t work forever… I mean… I am nervous about continuing to use it.

I want to wait 3 years at least and 5 at most before having my next baby. Having another one too soon… just can’t afford.

But I know the right answer is NFP. It’s just frustrating. I really don’t want to end up like my relative w/ 10 children…


NFP can and does work forever–esp if you are motivated to use it properly. Perhaps a different version–there are at least 3-4





Find one that you’ll use properly, if you have serious reasons to avoid. Contraception is NEVER morally licit. Spacing births by NFP is morally licit.

To the OP, while your family may need to mind their own business to a certain extent, perhaps they are worried about seeing you potentially sinning. They are correct that contraception is wrong, however periodic or total abstinence is perfectly fine if both parties agree to it. offers info about teachers and doctors of NFP as well as info about the Church and contraception. You might want to listen/read to Janet Smith’s “Contraception, Why Not?” read:


I was using a combination of the temp method and mucus method.

I looked in on Ladycomp, which is a nice idea- but I don’t know if I would feel to hot about trusting a computer w/ something so important!! Plus it costs a TON of money!!

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