Hi!


#1

Hi everyone,

I found this site yesterday while doing a search for an online Catholic community that is faithful to the Magesterium and B16. I just wanted to introduce myself before diving in.

I have been married for 19 years to my wife and I have seven boys (yes, all boys) aged 16-3. My family converted to Catholicism when I was 7, and my wife is a lifelong Catholic.

In the past I'd say 18-24 months, my wife has taken the hard line that she is "done" having kids and I am really struggling with that. When she was pregnant with Ben, our 3 year old, she said she never wanted to be pregnant again. I know she's tired and burned out and feeling old (she's 41) but I want to be open to life. She wants me to get a vasectomy and she is threatening to get a tubal ligation if I don't do it within the next 3 months. Until then, it's condoms or no sex. She said if she gets pregnant again she will kill me (not really, but you know the saying.)

Really having a hard time with this. I fear for her salvation, for her health, and for our marriage. In every other respect we are pretty good. She is a great wife and mom, hardworking, smart and loving. I really can't complain as a husband I have been lucky. But this has come between us, and I need prayers and I need help keeping her from making a huge mistake and sinning. Most of my buddies think we're nuts for already having the boys and they don't see much wrong with getting "the snip" or whatever is is.

Thanks for listening.

Roland


#2

Welcome and glad to meet you!

Wow, 7 boys! That's quite a houseful! :)

If your buddies aren't Catholic, then their opinions are irrelevant. Even if they are Catholic, many lukewarm Catholics contracept or get permanently sterilized, which are both grave sins. If you use a condom you are sinning. I feel for your dilemma, have you been to talk to your priest?


#3

Do you practice NFP?


#4

Hi Roland, welcome aboard! :wave:
Your church may offer a class on NFP (natural family planning), which is the only approved way to prudently space your children. It might be worth looking into. I am no expert on the matter, but there are some ladies on here that are NFP instructors and they might be able to shed more light on the subject for you. NFP, when done by the book, is very effective.
As for tired and feeling old… I am 42 and gave birth to our third child three months ago. :smiley: I can understand she’s tired though! Seven boys must be challenging, although I have to admit I would absolutely LOVE a house that full!


#5

Eeesh. First, congratulations on your seven sons, and on your faithfulness to Holy Mother Church.

My wife just gave birth to our second child last month, so as I'm sure you've experienced, I'm in the midst of a period of abstinence from sex myself right now.

If she's burned out right now, she's burned out. I think the first step is to respect that for what it is. She may become more rational (morally speaking) after she's had some time to recover from what's exhausted her. If so, maybe she just needs some time.

Of course, under no circumstances should you get a vasectomy. Not only is it objectively wrong and a mortal sin to self-mutilate yourself in a way that is opposed to life, but it is a mortal sin which I can already tell you do not want to commit. Be true to your own conscience, when it's your own soul that is at stake. If she chooses to sin, it will grieve you, and us, but it will be her choice. If she makes a bad decision, she will come to regret it (all bad decisions end up that way), but her repentance will go a lot smoother if you remain faithful.

The right way forward is a twofold path: abstinence, and NFP. With seven children already, and your wife unable to cope with having more, you are fully justified in using NFP to avoid conception. To guarantee effectiveness, that means knowing what you're doing, and erring on the safe side, and that will mean more abstinence in the near future. (Well, that is what 'not having kids' is all about!).

The tricky bit with NFP is that it is mostly the woman's business, so us guys are put in a tough position when it comes to convincing a reluctant spouse. If she's not on board for it already, you may have to woo her all over again to get her on board.

For dealing with the abstinence part, I recommend the rosary and the scapular as good ways to remind yourself that, in making such choices, you are giving up a worldly pleasure for a heavenly pleasure, and following the example of the Holy Family, whom all Christian families can look to as their model.

Your wife will be in my prayers.


#6

You should definitely look around your whole Diocese for an NFP class.

AND…

[SIGN]WELCOME TO CAF!!![/SIGN]


#7

I just wanted to let you know that you will be in my prayers. I am going through a somewhat related problem with my husband, so I will also be looking at the advice you receive with interest. God bless you and your family!


#8

Hey guys!

Thank you for such quick responses. I am glad I posted here - it is a HUGE weight off my shoulders. This is something that has really come between my wife and me like nothing ever has before.

We took an NFP class back in the 90s and we did use NFP for about 7 months after my wife was diagnosed with melanoma. I have read Humanae Vitae and at this point I just don't believe we have a grave or just reason to avoid conception. I love our big family and we can afford to welcome another little soul - maybe even a girl. My wife believes that she is "burned out" on pregnancy and childcare and sick of the demands on her. She said she couldn't do it all again. To tell you the truth, it's hard for me to accept because before we got married we used to talk about having a baker's dozen of children. My wife's health really is fine, our house is big enough, and I'm not sure I can say with a pure heart that I believe we should avoid having more children other than for selfish reasons. It would grieve me to abstain during her fertile periods, knowing I was participating in it. And anyway she says NFP is not good enough and too much work. I guess her cycles are not regular anymore? Plus she is up all hours of the night with Ben, the baby.

Of course I will not use condoms, or get a vasectomy. I just wish I could get into her head! Why after all our blessings would she refuse more? Right now we are mostly abstinent although I sheepishly admit that this is quite difficult on my end. I don't think I can go the rest of my marriage like this.

Patricia, my wife, wants to hire a housekeeper every other week so that she can relax more. I think that's a bit extravagant and silly, but I might be willing to go for it if it means she could be open to the possibility of LIFE. I fear that the secular world has gotten to her, though, telling her she must be DONE with 7 boys.

Thanks,
Roland


#9

Roland, her physical heath might be fine, but it sounds like her emotional health is a little raw right now. At her age she is probably dreading being pregnant sick and taking care of the other children. I have 2 little ones right now, and am growing another, but it is really hard, I feel exhausted, nauseated, and have major food aversions while pregnant, and I am young. All this has made it difficult to care for my children and it has prompted me to tell my husband that we are having a greater spacing between this child and the next.

Also her hormones might be changing causing her anxiety to increase, her feeling more tired, or just her body feeling different.

She thinks you have serious reasons to avoid. It seems like she is usually faithful to the church and her faith, and this is sort of out of the blue. (I might be wrong about this), but if this is the case, the very fact that she is suggesting this, would show me that you guys have a serious reason to avoid. Try to convince her to practice NFP for now, she might change her mind about being done, when she feels she has things better under control (the house, the kids, her body, her emotions).

Lastly, pray for her.


#10

Hi there! Welcome to CAF! :wave:


#11

[quote="RolandSimms, post:8, topic:272051"]
Hey guys!

Thank you for such quick responses. I am glad I posted here - it is a HUGE weight off my shoulders. This is something that has really come between my wife and me like nothing ever has before.

We took an NFP class back in the 90s and we did use NFP for about 7 months after my wife was diagnosed with melanoma. I have read Humanae Vitae and at this point I just don't believe we have a grave or just reason to avoid conception. I love our big family and we can afford to welcome another little soul - maybe even a girl. My wife believes that she is "burned out" on pregnancy and childcare and sick of the demands on her. She said she couldn't do it all again. To tell you the truth, it's hard for me to accept because before we got married we used to talk about having a baker's dozen of children. My wife's health really is fine, our house is big enough, and I'm not sure I can say with a pure heart that I believe we should avoid having more children other than for selfish reasons. It would grieve me to abstain during her fertile periods, knowing I was participating in it. And anyway she says NFP is not good enough and too much work. I guess her cycles are not regular anymore? Plus she is up all hours of the night with Ben, the baby.

Of course I will not use condoms, or get a vasectomy. I just wish I could get into her head! Why after all our blessings would she refuse more? Right now we are mostly abstinent although I sheepishly admit that this is quite difficult on my end. I don't think I can go the rest of my marriage like this.

Patricia, my wife, wants to hire a housekeeper every other week so that she can relax more. I think that's a bit extravagant and silly, but I might be willing to go for it if it means she could be open to the possibility of LIFE. I fear that the secular world has gotten to her, though, telling her she must be DONE with 7 boys.

Thanks,
Roland

[/quote]

I'm sure you mean well, but the fact that you think hiring a housekeeper every couple of weeks to help your exhausted (physically and emotionally) wife and mom of your 7 children tells me you don't take her emotional and mental health into consideration much.


#12

I have to agree with Jill. Your wife’s physical health may be fine, but I am sure she is physically tired. You say here she is still up all hours of the night with the “baby.” The baby in question is 3 years old. If she is still getting up with him, and taking care of 6 other children during the day, do you really think she has time to be pregnant? Now, so women have no problem. But she is telling you that she is having one. You need to listen to her.

Of course I will not use condoms, or get a vasectomy. I just wish I could get into her head! Why after all our blessings would she refuse more? Right now we are mostly abstinent although I sheepishly admit that this is quite difficult on my end. I don’t think I can go the rest of my marriage like this.

Patricia, my wife, wants to hire a housekeeper every other week so that she can relax more. I think that’s a bit extravagant and silly, but I might be willing to go for it if it means she could be open to the possibility of LIFE. I fear that the secular world has gotten to her, though, telling her she must be DONE with 7 boys.

Thanks,
Roland

Having 7 children and having someone come in once every other week is not an extravagance, nor is it silly. Your wife is telling you she needs help. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a loving husband refusing to listen to her.


#13

Thanks for responding!

I am sorry - I must have given you the impression that I was a real heel and not considerate of my wife's needs at all! Please let me explain, lest I be run out on a rail.

My wife is able to stay home full time because I support the family financially, which means I work over 70 hours most weeks. Before we had our first, we decided that I would take on the job of supporting the family alone, and my wife would take on the duties of the children and home.

That has always been our agreement and arrangement. So, to hear that she wanted to hire out part of her job was a little shocking. But yes, I do see that she has a lot on her plate and might need some temporary help. Don't worry, I am not totally opposed to getting someone to help her in her duties. I guess I just am shocked at the timing. "I don't want any more kids, and I also want to hire someone to do the housework" kind of struck me the wrong way.

Trust me, I am trying to understand her issues. I have always tried to be a loving husband and I am not minimizing her struggles. Our boys are great kids, but it's definitely a bit of work to manage all their needs, homework, appointments, laundry, shopping, etc. But, I think women are so specially equipped to deal with these things! My wife is really talented at multitasking and really does a fine job keeping them all in line : )

I just... Don't understand the "I'm done" mentality. How could a mother not want another blessing? It's hard for me to grasp, that's all. I have the utmost respect for women and their role in the family.

Roland


#14

Said with all kindness and understanding…But if you are out of the house 70 hours a week, that means she is responsible, pretty much on her own, for raising seven boys. Look at it this way, it would be as if your job suddenly asked you to work 80 hours a week. :eek:

That has always been our agreement and arrangement. So, to hear that she wanted to hire out part of her job was a little shocking. But yes, I do see that she has a lot on her plate and might need some temporary help. Don’t worry, I am not totally opposed to getting someone to help her in her duties. I guess I just am shocked at the timing. “I don’t want any more kids, and I also want to hire someone to do the housework” kind of struck me the wrong way.

She is trying to figure out a way to keep her head above water. Someone coming in once every other week is hardly the same as having someone else do the housework. One of the best things that happened in our family to help my husband understand what I do all day was for me to have knee surgery. He didn’t realize that I run the vac every other day. Or that just picking up the little messes around the house has to happen every day. Or unloading the dishwasher doesn’t happen on it own. Don’t get me wrong, my husband has always helped around the house. He has always been a hands on Dad. BUT understanding what a mom does all day long is sometimes an eye opener.l

Trust me, I am trying to understand her issues. **I have always tried to be a loving husband and I am not minimizing her struggles. ** Our boys are great kids, but it’s definitely a bit of work to manage all their needs, homework, appointments, laundry, shopping, etc. But, I think women are so specially equipped to deal with these things! My wife is really talented at multitasking and really does a fine job keeping them all in line : )

So throw her a line. :stuck_out_tongue:

I just… Don’t understand the “I’m done” mentality. How could a mother not want another blessing? It’s hard for me to grasp, that’s all. I have the utmost respect for women and their role in the family.

Roland

Could it be that she is just tired? Has she given her all and just doesn’t have any more to give?


#15

:hug1: The timing might be related. There is probably one big superseding cause. Like her hormones are changing and she is entering perimenopause, or something else is kicking in to run her down both emotionally and physically. Or just the constant being in change of 7 kids (boys to boot) for over 70 hours a week, with all the pregnancies, lack of sleep (I bet she gets up and deals with the kids because you have to work no?), breastfeeding, etc. that it entails, and it has finally caught up with her.


#16

OP,

You work 70 hours a week. Your wife works 24 hours a day. She has spent 5 years of her life having her body occupied by another human being, with all of the sickness and fatigue that comes with that, then up all night with babies and tots. And you can't understand how she isn't excited about adding to the load? And you dare say that getting a little cleaning help is "hiring out part of her job"? Are you joking???? Maybe your wife isn't the one with the issues...:shrug: I'm trying to empathize with you but am finding it hard. Maybe if you get her some assistance and spend some time reflecting on all the work your wife does and how you can make things a little easier on her, she might back off of the "I'm done" stance.


#17

[quote="mini_me640, post:16, topic:272051"]
OP,

You work 70 hours a week. Your wife works 24 hours a day. She has spent 5 years of her life having her body occupied by another human being, with all of the sickness and fatigue that comes with that, then up all night with babies and tots. And you can't understand how she isn't excited about adding to the load? And you dare say that getting a little cleaning help is "hiring out part of her job"? Are you joking???? Maybe your wife isn't the one with the issues...:shrug: I'm trying to empathize with you but am finding it hard. Maybe if you get her some assistance and spend some time reflecting on all the work your wife does and how you can make things a little easier on her, she might back off of the "I'm done" stance.

[/quote]

Please don't misunderstand! I definitely do see how hard she works and how dedicated she is to her vocation. She is a wonderful woman and mother and there is nothing that could change my view on that.

But, we do have a traditional marriage and always have. This is just...unsettling. I am open to life and she isn't (at the moment.) That's really the crux of the issue. I mean, I would really like to hire out part of MY job too, but the world is what it is and our agreement is what it is.

And I definitely can see how she wouldn't be excited, at first, to "add to the load." But I know that it is our calling as a married Catholic couple to be OPEN to life, so I don't see how she can just deny that for personal reasons of not wanting to put in the effort. I know she's sacrificed a lot, trust me, I do. But to not be willing to welcome another little soul? To put one's own comfort ahead of our calling as a married couple?

I'm just trying to understand.


#18

Roland, we have ten kids.

If I told my husband I didn’t want another baby, and he said he didn’t think we had grave reason to avoid, I would feel absolutely discounted.

With a house full of children, me not wanting another could be valid for a dozen reasons. Some of which are posted, others which may include:
Being shocked and disappointed at my own shortcomings as a mother
Seeing a child or another who seems to be feeling invisible
A sense of worry that my body is laboring less and less well as I age

Etc
Etc
etc

If my husband told me, i who had demonstrated decades of loving openness to life, if he told me my desire to have no more wasn’t valid enough reason to avoid…
… and if he blamed me for caving to my own personal comfort…

I’d think we had much bigger problems than disagreeing on adding to our family. I might not be the spouse who’s misunderstanding the vocation.


#19

[quote="RolandSimms, post:17, topic:272051"]
Please don't misunderstand! I definitely do see how hard she works and how dedicated she is to her vocation. She is a wonderful woman and mother and there is nothing that could change my view on that.

But, we do have a traditional marriage and always have. This is just...unsettling. I am open to life and she isn't (at the moment.) That's really the crux of the issue. I mean, I would really like to hire out part of MY job too, but the world is what it is and our agreement is what it is.

[/quote]

So your agreement is for her to have as many children as YOU want?

And I definitely can see how she wouldn't be excited, at first, to "add to the load." But I know that it is our calling as a married Catholic couple to be OPEN to life, so I don't see how she can just deny that for personal reasons of not wanting to put in the effort. I know she's sacrificed a lot, trust me, I do. But to not be willing to welcome another little soul? To put one's own comfort ahead of our calling as a married couple?

I'm just trying to understand.

Actually it sounds like you are trying to justify your position. :shrug:

What do you consider a valid reason to avoid having another child? Because if you don't consider a mother so overwhelmed that she is willing to commit a mortal sin to avoid more work a valid reason, I am not sure there is a valid reason.


#20

[quote="maryjk, post:19, topic:272051"]
So your agreement is for her to have as many children as YOU want?
Actually it sounds like you are trying to justify your position. :shrug:

What do you consider a valid reason to avoid having another child? Because if you don't consider a mother so overwhelmed that she is willing to commit a mortal sin to avoid more work a valid reason, I am not sure there is a valid reason.

[/quote]

That is a really good question. What is a good enough reason to prevent life? I am not sure I have a definitive answer. I honestly want my wife to be happy and healthy, but more than that I want her to get to Heaven. The idea that someone just "doesn't want" more kids because they are a lot of work doesn't strike me as a grave reason to avoid. What if a mother said that after one or two children?

I have obviouslyd described this poorly in an attempt not to implicate my dear wife. I am just not sure that te answer to this issue is to defer to pregnancy avoidance. Ultimately, does God want us to decide when we are "done" with bringing new souls into the world?


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