How do I convince my wife to not use birth control?


My wife and I are both catholic, and agree on alot of catholic doctrine. There is one area that we just can’t see eye to eye on, and that is birth control. We have three children and my wife is fearful she may become pregnant again so she is on the ring. She also requires that I practice onanism during intercourse. I have spoken with her several times trying to direct her towards Natural Family Planning, but my pleading always falls on deaf ears. I feel like there is such an enormous weight on my shoulders and I can’t get it off. I go to confession once a month and confess the birth control each time. How do I convince her to let our marital love life be as god intended without birth control, and am I held responsible for the sin of onan during marital relations?


Hi Paul,

For the sustaining of the marriage the Church does allow the spouse who desires to be faithful to Church teaching regarding contraception, to have sexual relations with the spouse who is using such. The faithful spouse must not directly use the contraception and must continue to try to educate the other in the teachings of the Church in this matter. So you may have intercourse if she uses the contraceptive ring or the pill or some other device, but you may not withdraw as you have been doing.

I suggest that you get the book, “Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West (available through or by phone: 888 291 8000) and read it with her. Your are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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